It is becoming increasingly obvious that the President of these United States is swiftly adopting a more aggressive stand on international security and defense issues. Prior to the recent controversial Nuclear Arms Non-proliferation Conference the President unveiled a new policy principle, that “the United States would not use its nuclear arsenal against non-nuclear states that abided by the nuclear non-proliferation treaty." We note that a nation which for one reason or another chooses to disregard that non-proliferation treaty might have cause to feel threatened.
In late March, two months ago, 47 world leaders participated in a two-day nuclear security summit in Washington. And now, in early May, 2010, many of the same world leaders are attending a month long debate at the United Nations on how to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in the midst of explaining Iranian views on these important matters when the U.S. delegation, joined by several European delegations, including the French and British, walked out of the conference. At that point, Ahmadinejad was reiterating his position that The West has no credible proof that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. Clearly those who “walked out” will still have access to Ahmadinejad’s words and positions, but this walkout seems a faux pas of negotiations. America still seems resolved only to “communicate” with those who agree with her. Does not the walkout send a “bad message”?
The G.W. Bush administration was staunchly supportive of a course that had been used in the past; the course of non- negotiation with terrorists. Bush felt negotiating “gave them credibility … enhanced their stature on the world stage." Obama had seemed to reverse that lack of communication. Apparently the new thinking has abruptly ended.
Recall that In March of 2007, Ahmadinejad had planned to address a session at the United Nations. At that time Iranian rhetoric was less combative. But curiously the Iranian Visas from the United States were slow in coming, and that appearance by the Iranian President never came to fruition.
Iran in recent months has been stating that relations between that nation and the United States “might never heal,” owing to new sanctions imposed by the U.S. and her allies against Iran. Iran takes the position that the United Nations Atomic Agency has no authority to "poke its nose" into matters like missiles. Ahmadinejad maintains that despite contested elections last year, Iran is not “a republic of fear.”
In a conversation with George Stephanopoulos, on a recent airing of This Week Ahmadinejad stated, "Well, we are calling for peace and security for all. We would like international relations to be based on justice and friendship. Wherever a hostile relationship turns into friendship; that would make us happy." He went on: "You need to appreciate that the American administration, 29 years ago, unilaterally cut its relations with Iran. In the past 29 years, different U.S. administrations have opposed the Iranian people. Now they say that we have given up that enmity. That's fine. But an administration which, up until yesterday, was saying that I'm going to kill you, and today says that I'm not going to kill you, is that sufficient?"
Speaking to Boston Globe reporters on May 5, 2010, Ahmadinejad was lucid and forthright. “We're prepared to take the Additional Protocol (under the International Atomic Energy Agency), but with one condition: That both the United States and Iran adhere to the Additional Protocol simultaneously. We don't have a nuclear bomb. Yesterday, the American administration declared that it possesses over 5,000 nuclear bombs…. We are saying: we don't have a bomb. Is it fair for us to accept the Additional Protocol, and for a country that possesses nuclear bombs not to? So, if the United States agrees to the Additional Protocol, simultaneously. That's our proposal."
Responding to questions from The Globe:
Why does the US government, I ask you, insist on these frameworks of international law? The international institutions belong to all nations, and we are one member of international institutions, and based on that, we have rights that we must enjoy in order to help reform the international legal system. . . . If it was a perfect system, why have a review conference to examine it? Obviously it has imperfections that I talk about as well. The Security Council set up has imperfections as well. That is precisely why for over 10 years at least the Security Council reform agenda has been under discussion. We happen to be more explicit and frank about pointing to the imperfections of the system and we also are vigilant in reforming it as well.
The United States and other Western powers accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons in violation of its commitment under the Non-Proliferation Treaty not to do so. Iran has said its nuclear program is designed solely to produce electricity.
The Chinese Press made note of the Western walkout on President Ahmadinejad. From the Chinese Global Times: "Iran has adopted a slew of countermeasures, and the prolonged bickering is expected to be rolled out at the NPT conference, (the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Conference)" said Yin Gang, an Iran expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences."
Following the speech of the Iranian President, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the assembly. She accused Iran of “flouting the rules” of the nonproliferation treaty with the suspected Iranian uranium enrichment program. "I hope that we can reach agreement in the Security Council on tough new sanctions," Clinton said, "because I believe that is the only way to catch Iran's attention."
America has indeed been imposing rigid sanctions against the belligerent Iran. In early February of this year, I published an article regarding one such sanction. That article in part reads "In a recent surprise move, the United States federal government has seized control of four mosques and a Manhattan skyscraper belonging to a Muslim non-profit group. The seized properties are in New York City, Rockville, Maryland, Houston, Texas, and Sacramento, California. Included is the Islamic Education Center – the Al-Hadi School of Accelerated Learning in Houston. I recall at the time there was some question as to whether the teachers and students would still be allowed to use the facility.
President Ahmadinejad has been open and diplomatic. He has made his points clearly and often. He has been guilty only of vile rhetoric; he has yet to attack Israel, or any of Iran’s neighbors.
We hope the Obama administration will review these issues, and that the unwillingness to communicate will only be a momentary lapse.