Friday, August 25, 2006

The cracks appear

Iran hoped its nuclear proposal would split the six-nation group that is attempting to tame Iran's nuclear program.

Looks like it might have succeeded.

Russia rejected talk for now of sanctions against
Iran and France warned on Friday against conflict with Tehran, raising doubts whether it will face swift penalties if nuclear work is not halted by an August 31 deadline.

Spain and some other European countries expressed reservations on that score, as well.

If it all works out in the end, then no harm, no foul. And we still have plenty of time to let negotiations work. But failure to enforce a self-imposed deadline only weakens the credibility of the six-nation coalition, and encourages Iran to play even more diplomatic games. Unless something emerges in the next few days to justify backing off from the deadline, this round will go down as an Iranian victory.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couple of questions here (at the risk of being branded...something...by neocons).
Does any country not have the right to pursue nuclear technology for energy purposes?
Do we have evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear technology for making bombs? Propaganda from Bush et al doesn't count.
Would sanctions on Iran really be effective at anything other than crippling the civilian population?
- Caracarn

8/28/2006 4:01 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Why Caracarn... you... you.... traitor! ;)

To answer your questions:

Does any country not have the right to pursue nuclear technology for energy purposes?

Nope. The main limit on nuclear technology is the Nonproliferation Treaty, which merely says signees agree not to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for being given access to peaceful nuke technology.

But I do believe they're going for a bomb; see below.

Further, Iran is a poster child for "countries that shouldn't have the bomb." They're a theocractic dictatorship that has publicly said Israel should be destroyed. Further, they're heavily involved in the affairs of other countries in the Mideast. That's a destabilizing influence, and a bomb would render them almost immune to outside pressure in that regard. The result would be a more unstable Mideast even if they never used their bombs.

Do we have evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear technology for making bombs?

I think the discovery of a secret enrichment program -- in blatant violation of the NPT, by the way -- is proof of intent to pursue a bomb. There's no other reason to have a secret program.

Would sanctions on Iran really be effective at anything other than crippling the civilian population?

Well, it would put some pressure on the regime. It might increase internal opposition to the mullahs. But would sanctions alone stop their nuclear program? No, especially given their long border and extensive smuggling routes.

Which is why I reluctantly conclude that military action will probably be necessary unless Iran voluntarily abandons its enrichment program.

8/29/2006 8:51 AM  

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