Khatami Lands In America After Deadline Ignored
The so-called Security Council deadline for Iran to cease enrichment activities and come clean on their nuclear program has come and gone. The IAEA report has been penned and issued to members of the Security Council, reporting that due to the Iranian regime’s non-cooperation, the Agency cannot verify the nature of the Iranian regime. The Iranians have made various statements, each of them defiant but couched in calls for more talks and negotiations. Yet, it is also made clear that the issue at hand – Iran’s enrichment program - is strictly non-negotiable.
In response to Iran’s refusal to comply with UNSC demands, President Bush said that that there “must be consequences for Iran’s defiance.” And so it is reported in the UK’s Telegraph that “Western powers were last night preparing crippling sanctions against Iran.” This begs the question: What is the definition of “crippling”?
The only sanctions being seriously discussed with regards to Iran at present are travel restrictions on its leadership and forbidding the sale of ‘dual use technology.’ The effectiveness of this approach is questionable at best, considering that President Bush’s own State Department has issued a visa with no restrictions to former Iranian president Khatami.
Khatami will not only address the United Nations, but the Islamist will speak at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, and embark on a cross-country speaking tour, invited by various universities including Harvard and Virginia. But the most controversial of all is that the Islamist former president of the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism has been invited and will be permitted to keynote address at the Islamic Society of North America convention in Chicago Saturday night, with 40,000 American Muslims expected to be in attendance.
The criticism of the situation has been direct and from many sources. Said Dr. Michael Ledeen, “For those who believed Bush is serious about regime change, this is a numbing blow. Would FDR have given Goebbels a visa while the Reich was attacking Czechoslovakia?”
Restricting the sale of ‘dual use’ technology and equipment is a step that many believe should have been implemented long ago. But its implementation’s effect on the Iranian nuclear program would likely be minimal. Iran has already acquired such single-use technology as centrifuge parts and even actual bomb designs through the AQ Khan proliferation network from producers in many countries.
With the UN unlikely to pursue any strict sanctions while veto-wielding Russia is under contract to build Iran’s nuclear facilities and veto-wielding China is increasingly dependent on Iranian oil, dual-use bans at this stage would regardless prove of little tangible effect on a nuclear program that has already successfully subverted all aspects of the Nonproliferation Treaty it threatens to withdraw from.
Members of the Security Council are ignoring their own deadline just as Iran has. Russia is rejecting Iran sanctions and, in the words of Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao, China is calling for Security Council members to “exercise restraint and keep pushing for the early resumption of talks.” Iranian nuclear chief Ali Larijani is set to meet the EU’s Javier Solana in Berlin Tuesday for talks.
Meanwhile, Islamist and former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has landed in New York City and Iran’s uranium enrichment and surely projects unknown continue unabated, as directly acknowledged by the IAEA’s August 31 report to the UN Security Council.