A general view shows a nuclear power plant in Bushehr, about 1,215 km (755 miles) south of Tehran, Iran in this February 26, 2006 file photo. Iran said on Sunday it would not abandon its work on uranium enrichment, which the United Nations has demanded it halt, and was prepared to face the consequences.
Reuters: Iran vows no u-turn on nuclear work
Iran’s decision to enrich uranium is irreversible, its foreign ministry said on Sunday in defiance of international demands it halt all nuclear work.
Iran, accused by Western nations of seeking nuclear bombs, said this month it had enriched uranium for the first time to a level used in power stations.
“Iran’s uranium enrichment and nuclear research and development activities are irreversible,” foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a weekly news conference.
Iran said Sunday its nuclear program is irreversible, issuing yet another rejection of a U.N. Security Council deadline to cease enriching uranium that expires in five days.
“Nuclear research will continue. Suspension of (nuclear activities including uranium enrichment) is not on our agenda. This issue is irreversible,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.
The United States and some allies charge Iran is using the program as a cover for weapons production. Iran says it is designed only for power generation.
The Security Council deadline of Friday is not binding, but the United States and Britain said Iran must comply or the two countries would seek a resolution to make the demand compulsory, which would raise the possibility of sanctions.
“Iran won’t give up its rights and has prepared plans for any eventuality,” Asefi said.
The spokesman said a Russian compromise plan for joint uranium enrichment was still on the table.
Escorted by his bodyguards Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 2nd right, and Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh, 2nd left, visit from the Tehran’s Oil, Gas, Petrochemical Show, in Tehran on Friday, April. 21, 2006.
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee acknowledged Sunday that mixed messages surround Iran’s nuclear capabilities and that “we really don’t know” how close Tehran is to developing a nuclear weapon.
“It all points out the fact we need to do much better in rebuilding our intelligence community, reshaping it, transforming it, making sure that we give public policy, that we give policymakers the information that they need so that we can make better decisions,” Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., told “Fox News Sunday.”
National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said last week that Iran, while determined to acquire a nuclear weapon, remains as many as 10 years away from having the material it needs.
A week earlier, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice brushed aside suggestions that Iran was far from nuclear weaponry and said the world believes Iran has the capacity and the technology that lead to nuclear weapons.
Asked how close is Iran to actually developing a nuclear weapon, Hoekstra replied, “I’d say we really don’t know.”
“We as public policymakers need to know that as we’re moving forward and as decisions are being made on Iran, we don’t have all of the information that we would like to have,” Hoekstra said.
Los Angeles Times: Been there, done that
Talk of a U.S. strike on Iran is eerily reminiscent of the run-up to the Iraq war.
By Zbigniew Brzezinski, Zbigniew Brzezinski was national security advisor to President Carter from 1977 to 1981.
IRAN’S ANNOUNCEMENT that it has enriched a minute amount of uranium has unleashed urgent calls for a preventive U.S. airstrike from the same sources that earlier urged war on Iraq. If there is another terrorist attack in the United States, you can bet your bottom dollar that there also will be immediate charges that Iran was responsible in order to generate public hysteria in favor of military action.
But there are four compelling reasons against a preventive air attack on Iranian nuclear facilities:
First, in the absence of an imminent threat (and the Iranians are at least several years away from having a nuclear arsenal), the attack would be a unilateral act of war. If undertaken without a formal congressional declaration of war, an attack would be unconstitutional and merit the impeachment of the president. Similarly, if undertaken without the sanction of the United Nations Security Council, either alone by the United States or in complicity with Israel, it would stamp the perpetrator(s) as an international outlaw(s).
Second, likely Iranian reactions would significantly compound ongoing U.S. difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan, perhaps precipitate new violence by Hezbollah in Lebanon and possibly elsewhere, and in all probability bog down the United States in regional violence for a decade or more. Iran is a country of about 70 million people, and a conflict with it would make the misadventure in Iraq look trivial.
Third, oil prices would climb steeply, especially if the Iranians were to cut their production or seek to disrupt the flow of oil from the nearby Saudi oil fields. The world economy would be severely affected, and the United States would be blamed for it. Note that oil prices have already shot above $70 per barrel, in part because of fears of a U.S.-Iran clash.
Finally, the United States, in the wake of the attack, would become an even more likely target of terrorism while reinforcing global suspicions that U.S. support for Israel is in itself a major cause of the rise of Islamic terrorism. The United States would become more isolated and thus more vulnerable while prospects for an eventual regional accommodation between Israel and its neighbors would be ever more remote.
In short, an attack on Iran would be an act of political folly, setting in motion a progressive upheaval in world affairs. With the U.S. increasingly the object of widespread hostility, the era of American preponderance could even come to a premature end. Although the United States is clearly dominant in the world at the moment, it has neither the power nor the domestic inclination to impose and then to sustain its will in the face of protracted and costly resistance. That certainly is the lesson taught by its experiences in Vietnam and Iraq.
Power Line: Still feckless after all these years
“Been there, done that” is the title of a piece about Iran by Zbigniew Brzezinski. The title is intended to evoke a comparison between the current debate over whether to attack Iran and the debate of a few years ago about Iraq. Brzezinski apparently is unable to distinguish between an invastion followed by an occupation and bombing strikes. Similarly, he can’t detect the difference between a regime that indisputably had chemical weapons at one time but claimed to have destroyed them and a regime that does not yet have nuclear weapons but indisputably is working diligently to develop them, and making excellent progress.
Nonetheless, Brzezinski’s title is apt because we have “been there and done that” when it comes to Iran. Brzezinski should know because he was there doing “that.” It was he and his feckless boss President Carter who saw no cause for concern in a potential Iranian mullocracy, and hence no reason to back the Shah of Iran who stood in the mullahs way.
Now, more than 25 years on, the old foreign policy hand is still assuring us that we have little to fear from the mullahs. He seems to take it as a given that, through negotiations, we can talk them out of developing nukes. Alternatively, he assumes that the mullahs won’t be around much longer. Indeed, in the familiar “blame America first” tradition of his party, Brzezinski suggests, without presenting any evidence, that the mullahs were on their way out until the U.S. gave them a lease on life by being so confrontational. If only we would “treat Iran with respect,” our problems with that country would work themselves out.
Wishful thinking is a powerful force in the human psyche, but the Carter years confirmed that it’s a recipe for disaster in foreign policy. But all these years later, wishful thinking is all Brzezinski has to offer.
YAWN…..nothing new from Iran. They have consistent in their uranium enrichment policy:
THEY DON’T GIVE A DAMN WHAT THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL DICTATES.
And, now, the appeasers from the LEFT are creeping out of the woodwork. Two decades ago they were appalled that Reagan and Thatcher had the nuclear switch at their finger but today are satisfied that the Mullahs may soon be in the same position……Ridiculous.
Iran Nuclear Watch Briefings
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