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Iran Continues Nuclear Development; Bush Turns Cheek

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While the US has been pre-occupied with its mis-adventure in Iraq, Iran has been steadily working away on their nuclear program, threatening the very stability and continued existence of the Middle East. What is highly confusing is Washington’s soft stance on the issue of Iranian nuclear procurement — the Bush administration has basically left most tough negotiations with Iran to European powers — Germany, UK, and France. For a group of leaders so concerned with the spread of WMD and not afraid to unleash a cowboy-like mentality on the global stage in order to meet such a supposed threat, this is indeed puzzling. After all, Iraq did not have WMDs, yet Bush himself now states that Hussein’s intention to obtain nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons was enough to justify military action. Well, now it is plainly obvious Iran actually has a nuclear capability and has no intention of abandoning it:

Germany, France and the UK have drawn up a deadline of November for Iran to abandon all parts of the atomic fuel cycle, particularly uranium enrichment.

The proposal is due to be raised at a meeting of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog in Vienna on Monday.

The Iranian foreign ministry said the idea was “out of the question”.

“If the Europeans and the international community want assurances that nuclear technology will be for peaceful purposes, we are ready to give assurances,” ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters in Tehran.

“But if the issue is that we cannot master nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, that is out of the question because we have already reached that point.”

So, under Bush’s pre-emption mentality, Iran becomes an obvious target. And an attack has not yet been ruled out:

President George W. Bush’s top official on nuclear on-proliferation, Undersecretary of State John Bolton, was asked during a brief visit to Israel if the United States could consider such an attack.

“President Bush is determined to try and find a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the problem of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons,” he said. “But we are determined that they are not going to achieve a nuclear weapons capability.”

Yet, this does seem rather docile coming from an administration that had no time to wait on inspectors and the world community before it opened fire in Iraq. Simply put, Bush et all have overextended themselves and overtaxed their goodwill worldwide. The one time when a strong response is required and pressure paramount, the US is unable to muster either. A unilateral position accompanied by military action is not needed, although strong leadership is — however, after Iraq the United States is no longer in a position to be that strong leader. Iran has achieved a window of opportunity in a global leadership vacuum, courtesy of the Bush administration.

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About Justin Delabar

  • http://marketdata.blogspot.com Jason Koulouras

    It does seem odd that Iran is getting a free pass so far to date from the EU, US, Russia and Israel – normally groups you cannot cross and get away with it.

    Of course Iran is not Iraq and would be much harder to occupy never mind pacify.

    Not sure what options US has at this point other than all out air strikes and remote attack – they need more troops in Iraq first though so that Iran does not pour over the border in such an event

  • http://www.digitaldissent.net Justin Delabar

    Well, the states you mentioned are all getting together this week at an IAEA meeting on the Iranian situation. They’ll basically be discussing moving the issue to the UN, which would then act to impose sanctions on Iran. It just seems everyone is taking there sweet time to get the process rolling.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Not sure what options US has at this point other than all out air strikes and remote attack – they need more troops in Iraq first though so that Iran does not pour over the border in such an event”

    Great point.

    Any US bombing of Iranian nuclear facilities will likely be met with an Iranian incursion (which they would call a “liberation”) into southeastern Iraq. Which explains the administration’s hesitance to use bellicose rhetoric is this instance…

    Have no fear, though. Israel will not hesitate to use bombs and missiles to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability if it feels threatened.

    Let the Europeans be the diplomats and let the Israelis be the military force. The US doesn’t really need to do anything here.

  • http://www.juicedthoughts.com Bryan

    uhhhh,

    Yet, this does seem rather docile coming from an administration that had no time to wait on inspectors and the world community before it opened fire in Iraq.

    Though I think that Bush should play more hardball with Iran, Iraq’s problem was that Saddamm refused UN Inspectors for so long. I mean, Saddamm was told to remove all biological / WMD’s from his program for a very long time. He wouldn’t comply. Then he rejected UN inspectors from the country for quite some time. I don’t believe Iran is in the same boat. Saddam’s time ran out. Iran is allowed to have the diplomatic approach as they have not made the same mistakes Saddam and Iraq did. Just my 2 cents.

  • http://www.juicedthoughts.com Bryan

    btw – We gave Iraq PLENTY of time to get rid of their programs. Hell, when you have other countries like Russia passing intelligence to the US about WMD programs and biological programs in Iraq, it forces us into a bind of making a decision, especially if you think Saddam is capable of using them.

    So did we have no time to wait on inspectors? Yea we had no time because we gave them their chance. They had 10-12 years of chances. Times up. Iran, again, is not in the same boat.

  • http://www.digitaldissent.net Justin Delabar

    However, Saddam did let inspectors in during early 2003 and allowed them unprecedented access. They found nothing and were forced to leave once Bush et all decided to drop bombs. Saddam cooperated when he was threatened, and the process could have most likely been resolved peacefully had it been followed thorugh. It’s the entire “speak softly but carry a big stick” scenario — it’s just that Bush used the big stick half-way through his sentence. So, due to this, it’s difficult for the US to take a definitive stand on Iran, especially when that’s also coupled with their current problems with the Iraqi insurgency.

  • Al J Venter

    As the author of ‘Iran’s Nuclear Option’ I sense unbridled enthusiasm in some quarters for pre-emptive action on the part of the US against Iran. I would advise caution. As the homily goes – paraphrased once by that old war-horse Churchill – wars are too damned easy to start but hell to bring to a close. So this must an option that needs most careful thought. Certainly, a ground war is out: the Shi’ites are a different breed of Moslem, both driven and fanatical, and, as the eight-year Iran/Iraq cnflict proved, they can be totally fanatical:observe the current Ashura flagelation ceremonies throughout the Shi’ite world. During the 1980s war with Iraq, the Ayatollah Khomenei’s lieutenants thought nothing of pushing ten thousand teenagers ahead of the infantry to clear mindfields in some of the larger battles. The casualties were horrific. It is also the subject, incidentally, of another book just out about those innocent young martyrs. And, as Stephen Tanner tells us in the book in his Prologue, they were armed with plastic trinkets around their necks called ‘keys to heaven’.
    Before there is any rush to arms, let us also be absolutely certain that the mullahs have the bomb, or are about to acquire it. My own thoughts on the subject is that Tehran is almost there, which makes it difficult to be objective. Certainly, as Tanner also reminds us, there won’t be any Tehran return address on an atom bomb that lays waste to large tracts of San Diego or Lower Manhattan. Or one that might have been brought into the Haifa’s roadstead onboard an innocuous sailing yacht.
    Certainly, this is one of the most critical problems that has faced the world community since two atom bombs were dropped on Japanese cities. And don’t be fooled by Arab complacency: the Arabs states are just as terrified of a prancing Persian monolith dominating the antire region with nuclear weapons. I can tell you with confidence that there is no love lost between the Arab states and the single-minded theocrats in Iran. Islamic sentiment plays no part in it.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>It does seem odd that Iran is getting a free pass so far to date from the EU, US, Russia and Israel – normally groups you cannot cross and get away with it.< <

    It's getting more than a free pass from Russia - Putin recently indicated that he would continue to sell nuclear technology to Iran for their 'nucelar power program'.

    >>It’s the entire “speak softly but carry a big stick” scenario — it’s just that Bush used the big stick half-way through his sentence. So, due to this, it’s difficult for the US to take a definitive stand on Iran, especially when that’s also coupled with their current problems with the Iraqi insurgency<<

    Actually, die to Bush’s willingness to actually use force in Iraq he’s much more likely to be taken seriously by the Iranians when it comes to negotiations and getting them to back off of their nuclear belligerance.

    Dave

  • Al J Venter

    Dave, forget about the Iranian theocracy agreeing to do anything at the behest of the Americans, no matter how big the stick. Their goal is single minded, to the exclusion of all else. That becomes alarmingly clear when you read how they threatened the European negotiators this past week. Their approach was quite simply, do as we say, or else…

  • Sydney

    This post is hilarious!

    You guys are all sitting around debating as if invading Iran is an option. Christ! Is America just going run around like a fucking cowboy bombing every country with a nuclear program. That’d go over really well and with great success I think…

    And the remaining arab countries would love the idea of an America invasion-of-the-week campaign.

    Even if we did have the money, or the troops, or the justification to invade another country, where would we stop? We probably wouldnt ever stop until we had the whole world sporting nike-wear and eating doritos.

    Most of you clowns on this page are bunch crack pots. The world is your oyster isn’t it….

  • http://www.bigtimepatriot.com Big Time Patriot

    Well, the only real option the US would have to attack Iran under present troop deployments would be either to just bomb Iraq (just like Clinton tried to get away with just bombing bin Laden, just like Clinton) and stop at that, OR he could declare victory in Iraq and just send the troops from there over the border.

    I’m sure those national guard people won’t mind being forced to serve an extra 5 years to help fight another war…

    But there is one more option, we can always drop some nukes on Iran. There is a cheery thought..

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Sydney, you remain a bonafide nut. No one was seriously talking about invading Iran. The goal here is to put some pressure on them. We don’t have the troops or the resources for an invasion, however much they might deserve it. To take actual military action we’d need a lot of international participation.

    Frankly, just bombing the living hell out of them seems like the most likely course to take. It kind of sucks, but it’s the only next step if they refuse to be at all cooperative which is where things seem to be going.

    Dave

  • http://mysticwanderer.blogspot.com/ sapere aude

    A friend commented that the U.S. is targeting muslim countries and finding reasons why it should take a hard stance in the Middle East. I’m hate sounding like a broken record, but what about North Korea? And how will the U.S. deal with Russia, who clearly is selling nuclear arms to Syria? Will the U.S. invade Syria? The Syrian government doesn’t seem overly concerned with Pres. Bush’s “demand” that it pulls out its 14,000 troops after the death of Hariri.

  • Al J Venter

    sapere aude – obviously not your real name. Might I say that North Korea is in a totally different category to Iran because it is in reality a ‘fortress state’. While it might have the bomb, and like Donald Rumsfeld, I stress the word ‘might’, the northern half of that peninsula is surrounded by a number of Asian countries, every one them intent on acquiring a better lifestyle. They all aspire to conditions that would in the long term improve the lot of the general populace. What they don’t need right now is another war: any kind of war. That applies equally to China (where 1.4 billion people are working hard at catching up with the West), the increasingly affluent South Korea and, of course, Japan. The last thing that the Tokyo Government would like to see in its own back yard is a nuclear confrontation. Trust me, these people will work together to sort out the lunatics in North Korea as well as their demented ‘Great Leader’. It’ll take a bit of time, but in the end, sense will be allowed to prevail.
    So, to compare North Korea with Iran, simply does not rate comment.

    I suggest that you look at my Iranian book and see whether you agree. Iran is on the brink of getting the bomb. That means only one thing: dropping it on the heads of someone. Or perhaps taking it onboard a yacht that is headed for the Haifa roadstead would be an easier option. Or possibly Boston harbor.
    You have to face reality when there is no rationality while dealing with people who strap explosives to their bodies in order to be vaporised.
    Thus, for the men imbued with the philosophy of self-destruction, there might very well be 70 virgins waiting for the martys at the other end. It is instructive that, according to the Qur’an, the same option is not afforded to the female of the species.

    alaikam salaam

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    I’m not saying it’s not, as I barely know how to spell Iran, such is my expertise, but why is the logical step that because Iran is building a nuke it plans to drop one (unless you just mean to test one, which I’m pretty sure you don’t mean).

    All nuclear powers have managed NOT to drop them in conflict. Except one, which had they absolutely known of the gory destruction I maintain they would not have done.

    Thanks for visiting. AJ.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>You have to face reality when there is no rationality while dealing with people who strap explosives to their bodies in order to be vaporised. <<

    You forget the ironic fact that it’s not the real terrorists who strap on the bombs and get vaporized, but poor Sudanese and Yemenis who are told their families will be paid off and they will go to heaven when they die. These suicide bombers are in many ways as much victims as the people they blow up. They’re pulled out of backwards cultures, brainwashed, bribed and manipulated for a cause they barely understand.

    Dave