Fearing Iran, Ceding the War on Terror
Iran has made it quite clear that the cessation of nuclear enrichment is non-negotiable. Clearly, repeatedly and forcefully - every time the subject has been broached. Hillel Fradkin reiterates this undeniable reality with Iran Won't Budge in today's New York Post. (Thanks, Power Line.)
For all these purposes - the Iranian and the pan-Islamic - the pursuit of nuclear weaponry is indeed a "golden treasure." Actual possession of nuclear weapons would aid in the survival of the clerical regime - as the North Korean case made clear - and protect Iran's efforts to involve itself in radical endeavors elsewhere in the Muslim world; indeed, the enormous prestige of being a nuclear power would enhance the latter project.
In short, Ahmadinejad has no good reason to agree to our condition to suspend enrichment. Thus it is most unlikely that there will be negotiations on our terms.
If there are negotiations, they are likely to be among ourselves - among the United States, the Europeans, Russia and China. There may be several subjects of these negotiations, but the most crucial will be whether to drop our demand for a cessation of enrichment.
The Bush administration has insisted that this it will not do. Indeed, there is no point to any negotiations unless they achieve at a minimum an interruption of Iranian nuclear development. But at least some of our partners will be tempted to think and say otherwise and to try to persuade us to negotiate directly anyway.
Far be it for Iran to moderate. Clearly this is the unreasonable West's responsibility.
If there are negotiations, based on today's revelations of ceding military options and even existing sanctions (let alone the impossibility of future UN sanctions with Russia and China adamantly opposed), what's left to negotiate with?
In the proposal to Iran:
1. EU Construction of Nuclear Plants (failed North Korean approach)
2. Military Option Dropped
3. Current Sanctions Removed/Relaxed
4. Direct Talks with US5. Immensely Favorable Trade Packages
Toss in the unlikelihood of any future sanctions due to Russian and Chinese staunch opposition to them, and what precisely is left to negotiate with?
How can a Global War on Terror be prosecuted while the West remains afraid to look the chief State Sponsor of Terrorism squarely in the eye?