Consummate dilettantism!

Monday, October 29, 2007

More Bloviating on Iran

See here. In case the link dies, here's the story in part:
WASHINGTON - The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Sunday he had no evidence Iran was working actively to build nuclear weapons and expressed concern that escalating rhetoric from the U.S. could bring disaster.

"We have information that there has been maybe some studies about possible weaponization," said Mohamed ElBaradei, who leads the International Atomic Energy Agency. "That's why we have said that we cannot give Iran a pass right now, because there is still a lot of question marks."

"But have we seen Iran having the nuclear material that can readily be used into a weapon? No. Have we seen an active weaponization program? No." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Iran this month of "lying" about the aim of its nuclear program. She said there is no doubt Tehran wants the capability to produce nuclear weapons and has deceived the IAEA about its intentions.

Vice President Dick Cheney has raised the prospect of "serious consequences" if Iran were found to be working toward developing a nuclear weapon. Last week, the Bush administration announced harsh penalties against the Iranian military and state-owned banking systems in hopes of raising pressure on the world financial system to cut ties with Tehran.

ElBaradei said he was worried about the growing rhetoric from the U.S., which he noted focused on Iran's alleged intentions to build a nuclear weapon rather than evidence the country was actively doing so. If there is actual evidence, ElBaradei said he would welcome seeing it.

"I'm very much concerned about confrontation, building confrontation, because that would lead absolutely to a disaster. I see no military solution. The only durable solution is through negotiation and inspection," he said.

ElBaradei asserts that there is no hard evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. What then is Iran, having flaunted the UN time and again, planning to do with its nuclear program? Does he think that it is actually attempting to obtain nuclear material for peaceful energy purposes, a claim almost no one believes? (It is absurd on its face - Iran's petroleum and natural gas industry accounts for 61% of its revenue.) Does this sound like a country that's planning to make peace with the world anytime soon?
Iranian politics in 2006 were deeply affected by a continuing confrontation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Western world, which demanded that Iran eschew development of uranium enrichment in its nuclear program. The situation deteriorated in January when Iran ended a moratorium on nuclear research agreed upon earlier with the European Union. The Iranians claimed the program was for peaceful purposes and did not contravene the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. An EU delegation negotiating the Iranian nuclear issue reacted by suspending talks with Iran and proposing a referral to the UN Security Council. On January 10, IAEA seals on a research unit were broken and a small centrifuge installed. Meanwhile, Iranian negotiators endeavoured to divert the Europeans from involving the Security Council. Iran offered continuing but restricted research on uranium enrichment, but the UN body on March 29 called for Iran's full compliance with IAEA requests.

Make no mistake; "negotiation and inspection" will allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. Iran has its eyes set on them, and as we have already seen, gentle "come join us at the roundtable" rhetoric will do absolutely nothing.

ElBaradei sounds like this guy on the eve of WWII.

At least Doris Lessing would agree with me, albeit unwittingly.

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