The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Monday, December 13, 2004


              Foreign Ministers on Iran
Today's Washington Post carries a commentary from seven current and former Foreign Ministers - of the US, Canada, and Europe - on what should be done to solve the problem of Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. From the commentary it is clear that matters of foreign policy can not be left to Foreign Ministers, or at least these foreign ministers.

They have three main ideas on how to solve this crisis. The first is
European and U.S. policymakers must repeatedly and jointly articulate that they seek to hold Iran to the obligations it has accepted under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to refrain from building nuclear arms.
This is the type of platitude one expects from diplomats. But this is not a solution, or even an idea. Telling Iran that we don't want them to have nuclear weapons is pointless. They already know that, and still build nuclear weapons.
Second, the major nuclear suppliers (Russia, the United States and Europe) should provide a firm guarantee to supply fresh reactor fuel for civilian nuclear power and to retrieve and dispose of spent fuel in exchange for Iran's agreement to permanently forswear its own nuclear fuel-cycle capabilities
This, of course, has already been proposed to Iran and rejected out of hand. Do the Foreign Ministers really think that repeating this offer will make Iran accept it?

The third idea is that the US should support the agreement negotiated by the EU-3 - the very agreement that Iran started violating two days after agreeing to it. Then we should engage Iran diplomatically and commercially. Of course, if Iran still does not cooperate,
Europeans must prove to the Iranians that severe political and economic consequences will result if Iran does not renounce the nuclear weapons option. In the event that diplomacy fails and Iran decides not to abandon its efforts to develop nuclear weapons, Europeans should be ready for alternative courses of action, including going to the U.N. Security Council, and they should repeatedly stress their willingness to act.
So the end result is that if ran continues to violate agreements and build nuclear weapons, then the way to punish them is to continue talking about doing something. Everyone understands that the Security Council will do nothing, especially with Russia and China threatening to veto any resolution. In effect, the ideas of these Foreign Ministers is to allow Iran to continue and for the rest of the world to learn to live with a Mullah Bomb.
|| Nudnik 1:26 PM
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