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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Iran Thumbs Its Nose at the World

A few days back the IAEA approved a strongly worded censure of Iran over its nuclear program. The Politico had a story that called this censure a "vindication", at least according to the White House.

The resolution was hailed by the White House and won praise from the Israeli government, which has previously expressed skepticism that much can be gained from trying to engage Iran.

"Today's overwhelming vote at the IAEA's Board of Governors demonstrates the resolve and unity of the international community with regard to Iran's nuclear program," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement. "Indeed, the fact that 25 countries from all parts of the world cast their votes in favor shows the urgent need for Iran to address the growing international deficit of confidence in its intentions."

Not two days later, the same Politico, along with most media, is reporting that Iran is thumbing its nose at the censure by no longer working with the same IAEA.

Iran will no longer voluntarily cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency after its vote last week to rebuke the nation, the Tehran Times is reporting.

As Laura noted, the IAEA vote was a big win for Obama in that China and Russia, the two powers that have been most resistant to taking a harder line, both signed on to the resolution.

Thus, we continue this diplomatic dance that has played out in front of the world and it's a dance that Iran has manipulated perfectly to their benefit. So far the world community is patting itself on the back over a strongly worded letter that was rebuked publicly by Iran two days later. That's sum total of the diplomatic accomplishments of the Obama administration.

Listening to politicians from all parties and from all countries, none have a clue what to do. Everyone must understand that if nothing happens Israel will bomb Iran's nuclear sites. Even Israel itself wants to avoid this outcome. In fact, even Iran's chief defenders, China and Russia, have no clue.

No one wants Israel to bomb Iran, not even China and Russia. The price of oil would go to some unheard of level if that happened. That's not what China wants. That's what Russia wants but they also want a situation they can manage. A nuclear strike would very likely create a regional if not an all out war. Plenty of terrorist groups near Russia would take advantage of said situation.

Yet, both insist on stopping any significant sanctions giving Iran carte blanche to create a nuclear weapon. Meanwhile, the U.S. and our allies are acting like high school kids with a major research paper due. They'd all rather procrastinate with a series of meaningless diplomatic gestures and actions rather than making the difficult decisions necessary to actually stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon diplomatically.

If you ever listen to any politician from either side of the aisle talk about what we should do to stop Iran from getting the bomb all you get is a series of platitudes designed to make a nice sounding sound bite not to have any meaningful practical plan. It will be things like working with our allies, getting Russia on board, and show strength. No politicians really have a clue.

There's only a limited number of options short of war. We can encourage all our allies to pull their ambassadors. All internal investment funds can make it clear to all companies that do business in Iran: they'll divest if the business continues. Most meaningful sanctions are unlikely because of Russia and Iran. Finally, we can engage in a Naval blockade, an act of war. That's it.

Yet, every politician from both sides offers nothing but platitudes. Platitudes won't get it done. Soon, we'll have to have real solutions and so far no one has shown they have any.

1 comment:

John Freeman said...

Where is the evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon? What is the justification for giving Israel a free pass when we /know/ they already /have/ nukes, unlike Iran, where we /speculate/ that they may be /building/ nukes?