Thursday, March 30, 2006

Iran Rejects New U.N. Demands-no surprise there!

Iran vehemently rejected the UN Security council demand that it stop enriching uranium within 30 days and resume IAEA access to inspectors.

(Hmmm. Doesn't this seem like a replay of the same old story??)

Iran's foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki condemned "unjustified propaganda" about his country's nuclear program. And in Vienna, Iran's chief representative to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told The Associated Press that "it is impossible to go back to suspension."

"This enrichment matter is not reversible," Soltanieh said.

I didn't expect anything else from Iran, but Condi Rice surprises me, warning Iran that the non-binding resolution sends "a very strong signal to Iran that the international community is united."

Oh, please Madame Secretary.

Russia, China and the Muslim bloc in the UN are nowhere near being on board for any kind of meaningful consequences if Iran continues to tell the UN to go pound sand.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was very plain about that, saying that sanctions were not discussed as a last resort and that Moscow wouldn't support them in any event. saying "Russia on principle doesn't think sanctions can achieve a settlement, especially in the Middle East where there's so much going on," he said.

China's Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo said almost the exact same thing, calling for a "peaceful solution" and adding there was "too much turmoil" in the region.

Doesn't sound like the `international community' is united to me, Madame Secretary.

What Russia and China want, of course, is to go back to business as usual and for this to be referred back to the IAEA and Inspector Clouseau, aka IAEA head Mohamed El Baradei, which, unlike the Security Council has no power to level sanctions or other meaningful consequences.

El Baradi, remember, was supposed to be inspecting Iran's nukes for the last several years and somehow never managed to find anything until Iranian dissidents busted Iran's secret nuclear weapons program two years ago. He's at least more open these days about where his symphathies lie.

Today, at the Doha Debates Forum in Qatar, El Baradi said:

"Sanctions are a bad idea. We are not facing an imminent threat. We need to lower the pitch."

Hey, no great urgency, right Inspector Clouseau?

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