Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Latest on Iran's "answer" to the EU3..

From Atlas Shrugs: U.S. diplomats at the United Nations tried to organize a meeting for today in New York, but European officials said they have no plans to attend. A purported satellite image provided of the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran. Iran has refused to allow inspectors in its underground facility. GEOEYE / WIA /AP Courtesy NY Sun August 22nd has come and gone. Feel like you're being played? You should. Iran handed over its formal response on Tuesday to "a nuclear incentives offer from the major powers and said it contained ideas that would allow serious talks about its standoff with the West." Three months later their response is they'll talk? Benny Avni in today's Sun writes: Iran yesterday formally rejected an American backed package of incentives that was conditional upon its agreement to suspend all uranium enrichment activities. American officials have said such a refusal will lead to sanctions and other punitive measures. In Tehran, the Iranian nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, delivered a document containing the rejection to representatives of the six countries leading the diplomacy on the crisis. When the five major powers met in Paris last month, they said Iran would "suffer sanction and other punitive measures". But Chinese and Russian diplomats are backpedaling saying punitive measures were not included in the final Paris declaration. The hate-filled Iranian mullahocracy may feel strong enough to dispense with even a pretense of pseudo-moderation. The signs point strongly in this direction. As we write, the Associated Press, citing UN officials and diplomats, reports that Iran has turned away UN inspectors wanting to examine its underground nuclear site in an apparent violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty. The refusal is reportedly unprecedented. Coming on the heels of the weekend's events--large-scale Iranian military exercises featuring the firing of 10 short-range missiles--the move is clearly calculated to signal defiance and steadfastness. Which should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the Iranian issue, especially from our angle--the role of China in fueling conflict and crisis in the context of its aggressive, mercantilist "energy diplomacy" and imperialist foreign policy. Despite China's vote for the weakened Security Council resolution, Iran, like China's vassal, North Korea, is confident that when push comes to shove it can count on both China and Russia to block meaningful anti-Iranian action at the UN--meaning authorization for use of force under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. [...]The fact that Beijing is bold enough to deepen its ties with Islamist Iran, given the US role in spurring China's spectacular growth is more than disturbing. It is inexcusable. The US is China's largest consumer market; and US investment bankers are still rushing to pour money into booming, rising China. At the same time, Beijing is helping and encouraging and doing business--big business with Chinese characteristics--with America's worst enemies and the world's rogue states, like Islamic-leaning, genocidal Sudan, for instance. And China's nuclear-armed vassal, North Korea ... which was instrumental in Iran's missile and nuclear development programs ... may be preparing to test one of its nuclear bombs after defying the US and Japan with its July 4 missile launchings. China Confidential was one of the first outlets to report that Iranians were present for the provocative test firings; the report was subsequently confirmed by US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill (a well known dove on North Korea) in testimony at a US Senate hearing. More at China Confidential Here is Thomas Sowell, one of our best and most brilliant minds, spells it out in real time: 'It is hard to think of a time when a nation -- and a whole civilization -- has drifted more futilely toward a bigger catastrophe than that looming over the United States and western civilization today. 'Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran and North Korea mean that it is only a matter of time before there are nuclear weapons in the hands of international terrorist organizations. North Korea needs money and Iran has brazenly stated its aim as the destruction of Israel -- and both its actions and its rhetoric suggest aims that extend even beyond a second Holocaust."

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