Thursday, October 1, 2009

Does Obama Think Iran Will Be Forthright in a Fortnight?

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as Germany (a.k.a. P5 + 1) met with representatives from Iran today in Geneva.

President Obama told reporters today that Iran "must grant unfettered access to IAEA inspectors within two weeks" to inspect the recently discovered nuclear facility in Qom.

Let us assume Iran thumbs its nose at this edict. What does Obama do if Iran fails to comply? If Iran doesn't pony up then Obama has to do something otherwise he looks like a fool? At this point, sanctions are probably the avenue down which he could travel although it's doubtful Russia and China would go along with him. Which means he'll probably give Iran another two weeks and warn them that they had better get Qom ready or that he'll be really, really angry and send you a letter telling them how angry he is with them a la Team America: World Police. On the other hand, Iran could cooperate and then be able to declare, "Nothing to see here," and we're right back to where we are now.

President Obama also called upon Iran to take confidence building steps. He specifically cited one such step. Namely that Iran transfer its low enriched uranium to a third country. It appears that Iran will transfer its low enriched uranium to Russia. Well, isn't that convenient? This doesn't exactly inspire confidence when you consider that it is Russia that is helping them build a nuclear facility in Bushrer. Russia has a vested interest in Iran's nuclear program so of course the Iranians have no problem transferring their low enriched uranium to them. Russia is not a reliable ally of the United States, Britain, France and Germany when it comes to Iran.

In calling upon Iran to take confidence building steps there is an underlying assumption that Iran will be honest and transparent in their dealings with the international community. If Iran couldn't carry out its own election in an honest and transparent matter why is it that President Obama expects Iran will be honest and transparent with him and other Western powers where it concerns disclosing the contents of their nuclear program? Iran has been behaving dubiously for thirty years. What makes Obama think the Islamic Republic will be forthright in a fortnight?

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