The Nudnik File

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

Friday, March 11, 2005

              Signs of a Backbone?
The EU3 today came out with a statement that seemed to threaten Iran.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain, France and Germany told their European Union (news - web sites) partners on Friday they would support referring Iran (news - web sites) to the U.N. Security Council if it resumes uranium enrichment or breaches nuclear commitments.
Could this be a sign of some backbone in Europe? Sadly, the answer is not really. The EU3 decided on this compromise after the US compromised by dropping opposition to preliminary talks on Iran's entry into the WTO. The reason that this statement of the EU3 is meaningless is that it lacks any threat of sanctions. So the threat that the EU3 are really issuing is that if Iran breaks its promises (again), it will be referred to the UN Security Council where any action will undoubtedly be blocked by Russia or China. In effect, it is not a meaningful threat to an institution well summarized by this Cox & Forkum cartoon.

It is true that the US compromise also does not cost the US anything. Talks on entry into the WTO last for years, and the preliminary talks that the US agreed to not oppose are merely talks about talking about entering the WTO. The net effect of all this news on Iran is zero, and Europe - especially France - is free to continue its support of Iran while pretending that they are doing something to stop Iran's nuclear program.
|| Nudnik 10:29 AM
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