Iran's Race to Beat UN Action
There are no new conclusions or really much new to add to the understanding of the Iranian Nuclear Crisis, but the title of Bronwen Maddox's Times Online editorial says it all and is itself worthy of repeating here.
Maddox concludes a good editorial commentary with the following:
European officials believe that the best chance for diplomacy may be to force Iran into the position of rejecting an offer that all members of the Security Council regard as self- evidently reasonable.
One version of this has been mooted by British officials — that the five permanent members of the council, plus Germany, offer a return to talks provided that Iran freezes its enrichment and submits to all IAEA inspections.
Iran’s move this week appears designed to make even that attempt look out of date.
The West engages in diplomacy with talks and UN-centric (and often heated) debate. Iran engages in diplomacy with further nuclear enrichment.
Consider the commentary written by the Iranian Ambassador to the UN published in the New York Times. In it he claimed, among other things, that Iran had voluntarily "Refrain[ed] from reprocessing or producing plutonium".
We responded to that statement directly, asking, "Then why the continued construction of the Arak heavy water plant? It has one solitary purpose: Plutonium production."
Iran refraining [present tense noted] from plutonium production is no different from Brazil refraining from launching a man to the moon. They're not refraining. They can't yet. Refraining [present tense again noted] would entail ceasing Arak heavy water plant construction. But, of course, they have not.
Along similar lines, we rebutted teh Ambassador on his insistance that Iran seeks to strengthen the IAEA and the NPT (which they completely ignored in their acquisition of technology).
Ambassador Zarif opens, stating that ”Lost amid the rhetoric is this: Iran has a strong interest in enhancing the integrity and authority of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.” Iran has had a funny way of demonstrating this interest. Namely kicking out inspectors, removing observation cameras and breaking IAEA seals on equipment under direct protest of observing IAEA officials.
Maddox may be correct that some in Iran see the public persuit of enrichment as a powerful negotiating tool. At least one would hope. But to those that matter in the Iranian regime (Ayatollah Khameini, Ahmadinejad and the senior clerics who have issued or agreed with a fatwa declaring nuclear weapons as accceptable) it is as it appears: A duty to produce and a quest to achieve nuclear weapons for the furthering of the Islamic revolution and for ushering in the return of the Mahdi, the 12th Imam.