Next step on Iran

-

Washington Post – Editorial: As the U.N. Security Council’s latest deadline for Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment passed last week, U.N. inspectors reported that 2,100 centrifuges were operating or under construction at the Natanz plant, more than triple the number of three months ago. Washington Post

Editorial

The Western campaign to stop Iran’s nuclear program still isn’t working.
Sunday, May 27, 2007; Page B06

AS THE U.N. Security Council’s latest deadline for Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment passed last week, U.N. inspectors reported that 2,100 centrifuges were operating or under construction at the Natanz plant, more than triple the number of three months ago. Iran is on track to reach its stated goal of 3,000 operating centrifuges by sometime this summer; a plant of that size, if used to produce highly enriched uranium, could supply enough for a bomb in about a year. While openly defying the Security Council, the mullahs have begun taking de facto American hostages. Five U.S.-Iranian citizens are now reported in detention, including Woodrow Wilson Center scholar Haleh Esfandiari, a leading advocate of dialogue between the United States and Iran.

While Iran remains implacably belligerent, Western governments — and the Bush administration itself — are divided about how to proceed. Some U.S. officials seem to take their cue from Vice President Cheney’s recent visit to one of the aircraft carriers cruising the Persian Gulf; military action against Iranian nuclear facilities, they say, cannot be ruled out. Others press for an expansion of the contacts that have begun between U.S. and Iranian officials on Iraq, which will continue with a meeting of ambassadors in Baghdad tomorrow. For his part, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, has begun arguing that the Security Council should simply concede that its three legally binding, unanimous resolutions ordering an end to Iranian enrichment have been “overtaken by events” and that it should give up the effort to enforce them.

None of these options look workable. Military action against Iran would be a desperate and probably ineffective measure. Barring an emergency, the Bush administration should not undertake it. While dialogue with Iran on Iraq is worth pursuing, there’s no reason to abandon the administration’s position that the opening of broader, strategic negotiations with Tehran should depend on a suspension of enrichment. Having sought such U.S. recognition for decades, the Islamic regime should not receive it in response to aggressive and illegal behavior. Finally, we can only marvel at the nerve of Mr. ElBaradei, an unelected international civil servant whose mission is to implement the decisions of the Security Council — and who proposes to destroy the council’s authority by having it simply drop binding resolutions. Were it to do so, any chance to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons through diplomacy would be lost.

Unsatisfying as it sounds, there is no better alternative than returning to the Security Council, as the administration says it will do, and forging another resolution with tougher sanctions. Iran is vulnerable to economic pressure. Its oil industry counts on foreign investment, and the automobiles that choke its cities are mostly fueled by imported gasoline. Sanctions that put real pressure on the Iranian economy, combined with a continuing offer of expanded trade and security guarantees when the nuclear program is suspended, might still crack Iran’s hard-line posture. In the absence of such action, the options of surrender or war will only gain ground.

Latest news

Iran’s Regime Has Nothing To Offer but Weakness

In recent years the weaknesses of Iran’s regime have become more transparent every day. From its weakness in the...

Iran Regime’s Bad Situation in Iraq

“One damn thing after another.” This is what the Iranian regime is facing at an increasing tendency. The miserable...

Iran Regime’s Biological Weapon: The Coronavirus

The coronavirus situation in Iran is a long time out of control and the regime not only does not...

Iran Regime’s Solution To Prevent the Expansion of Protests: National Internet

Statements by Ahmad Khatami, a member of the Iranian regime’s Assembly of Experts on cyberspace and the new government's...

Why the Iranian Economy Is in Tatters

Iranian Foreign Affairs Commentator and research analyst Cyrus Yaqubi have written an op-ed about the Iranian economy, where he...

Raisi’s Execution Tactics Exposed

Ebrahim Raisi will become president of Iran in just over a week, even though (or perhaps, because) his resume...

Must read

Hunger strike for Ashraf

Church Times: Hundreds of people attended a rally in...

Iran’s ex-Foreign Minister hints at official role in terror abroad

Iran Focus: Tehran, May 04 - In an interview...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you