April 29, 2006

Iran's Diplomatic Delay

Just up on CNN:

Iran will allow snap inspections of its nuclear facilities if the U.N. Security Council does not get involved in the country's nuclear program, a senior Iranian official said on Saturday.

Iran wants to deal solely with the U.N. nuclear inspection group -- the International Atomic Energy Agency -- according to Muhammad Saeedi, deputy head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency.

"If the agency is again responsible for Iran's dossier and the Security Council is no longer involved, we are ready to finalize and solve the remaining issues with the agency during a three-week period," Saeedi said, referring to the IAEA.

Note that at no point do they say anything about actually suspending their uranium enrichment.

In retrospect, Saddam seems like he was always in the Kaiser Wilhelm II Special Olympics of international adventures. Whether it was the Iran-Iraq War, the invasion of Kuwait, or the 2003 American ultimatum, he never could guess accurately how his opponents would respond, and that's why he always wound-up losing. By contrast, the Iranians since 1979 have proven they know how to take the measure of their enemies. For all the terrorism they have funded, inspired or directed, they have never paid a severe penalty. They have always known how far they could push things.

Which is why I don't think the Iranian deal on the IAEA is legit. They know the Security Council is toothless thanks to the inevitable Chinese and Russian vetoes, so fear of sanctions or military action isn't what is inspiring this sudden half-hearted attempt at cooperation. More likely, they know that if the UNSC is finally revealed to hold no promise of containing Iran's nuclear ambitions, it'll fall on the U.S. to do something about it. The Iranians therefore have an interest in making sure that the Security Council retains its mask of potential effectiveness as long as possible, or at least until they have a bomb.

Bottom line: this a delaying tactic.

Posted by JakeM at April 29, 2006 11:22 AM | TrackBack

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