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Subterfuge over Iran's centrifuges

In an excellent commentary, the Christian Science Monitor hits the nail on the head with regards to the contradiction between Iran's stated peaceful intentions of their nuclear technology advances and Iran's agressive language regarding the regional security environment, including direct threats to Israel and strong-arm intimidation of its Gulf neighbors. The editors get there by examining the similarities between the UN-centric run-up to the war in Iraq and the current wrangling over Iran.

Parallels with the Bush administration's diplomatic build-up to the Iraq war cannot be ignored. But such a comparison is weakened by two other examples: the West persuading Libya to give up its nuclear program, and a patient three-year effort by the US and four Asian nations to talk North Korea out of its atomic bombs.

Both those examples suggest to some that the US talk directly to Iran. With Libya, such talks worked because it wanted economic benefits for its people. Talks with North Korea are failing because it prefers to brandish nuclear weapons as a way to wield power over its neighbors.

Iran, too, appears more interested in extending its regional and global power rather than lifting its people out of massive joblessness. If it wants nuclear weapons, then that goal doesn't appear to be defensive.

Indeed, Iran has a funny way of taking care of its people and conveying peace to its neighbors.