Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Iran Rejects UN Security Council's Demands on Dropping Its Nuclear Program

I noted back in July at the beginning of the Hezbollah-Israel conflict that Iran would come out stronger in the end, and use the war as pretext to reject the UN demands that Iran freeze its nuclear program. (Middle East Play of the Year)

Well, Iran has rejected the freeze. The rationale is not yet official, so I cannot say whether or not the war in Lebanon is being used as any sort of justification, but we do know that Iran has been emboldened by Israel's failure to achieve the crippling of Hezbollah.

And, as usual, Bush has backed himself into a corner. Iran will not freeze its nuclear program until there are negotiations. Bush won't negotiate until Iran freezes its program. The longer that Iran can drag this out, the better position they will be in. If Bush negotiates now, Iran wins because they are see as negotiating from a winning position. If Bush refuses to negotiate, Iran wins because it is Bush who is delaying negotiations, not Iran, and Iran continues its program.

The constant problem with Bush's foreign policy is that while everyone else is playing a game of high stakes poker, Bush is playing the "wheel of fortune." In the end, we will always loose... At least with poker, you can bluff, bet, and play your cards with strategy. Every hand has the potential to be a winning hand...

Iran Reportedly Rejects Demands to Halt Nuclear Efforts
By Fred Barbash and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 22, 2006; 10:56 AM

Iran's semi-official news agency reported today that Tehran has "rejected suspension of its nuclear activities" as demanded by the United Nations Security Council but has proposed a "new formula for resolving the issue through talks."

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator delivered Tehran's response to the ambassadors of Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and Switzerland and was briefing them on the substance, reported Iran's Fars news agency.

Diplomats in Washington, Tehran and European capitals had said yesterday that the Iranian government is willing to enter negotiations and to consider a freeze of the program, but it will not accept a freeze as a precondition for the talks.

Earlier this month, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution giving Iran 30 days to stop the program or face the threat of sanctions. U.S. officials have said they would push for strong financial sanctions against the Tehran government if it does not cooperate and that they expect support from Europe.

The Iranian position is nearly identical to its initial reaction to the offer, which was presented in June and includes a package of U.S.-backed economic and political incentives. U.S., British and French diplomats concluded yesterday, after receiving word of Iran's intention, that the government simply bought time to advance its nuclear program, rather than scale it back as the U.N. resolution requires.

(Full Story)


N.B. Goldstein said...

Yep. Seems like Iran was all talk and no "flash" - of light. Good, so far.

Check out the U.N.'s latest ad campaign:

Personally endorsed by Kofi Annan.

Great post!

tommy said...

sounds to me like you've painted bush into a corner. If he negotiates he loses and if he doesn't negotiate he loses.

if someone else were president how would there be more options?

Joe said...

It is clear that Iran is buying CRITICAL time. The funny thing though, is that the world keeps on falling to the same pattern: we focus on Iran's nuclear program - "something" happens in the world that diverts attention - we slowly start refocusing on Iran - they come out with statements about their 'readiness to negotiate' - it takes a long time to digest and realize that these declarations are just 'time buyers' - we threaten them with sanctions - "something happens in the world that diverts attention - we slowly start refocusing on Iran - they come out with statements about their 'readiness to negotiate' - it takes a long time to digest and realize that these declarations are just 'time buyers' - we threaten them with sanctions - etc.
You get the picture...
My hope is that sooner or later the world will wake up!
But the longer it takes...the more lives will be lost.
Also, it would be interesting to predict when Iran will use their 'secret weapon'. Check it out at http://www.technonllc.com/blog

Dingo said...

Tommy, the key is not to paint yourself into a corner to begin with. Bush's use of condition precedent in all forms of foreign diplomacy doesn't leave him room to maneuver, nor does it leave the opposing side room to maneuver without losing face.

Diplomacy is a game in which both sides must be ale to appear to come out winners, even if there is a real winner and real loser. Perception is half of the objective. Bush does not allow for that possibility. He is playing a zero sum game where he wants there to be a clear public recognition of winners and losers. This traps both parties because once the positions are set, there is no way to back out to a winner-winner scenario.

tommy said...

I think the more appropriate analogy is North Korea. Their diplomacy was nothing but a stall tactic, a charade and they didn't take any negotiations or agreements seriously.

We would have been better off not negotiating with them.

Dingo said...

My personal opinion is that NK is easier to negotiate with than Iran. NK is willing to deal. In fact they just want to be bribed. They are not pursuing their agenda for as much ideological reasons as monetary. Iran, on the other hand, looks like their motivation is ideological and not monetary.

I could be wrong, but that is the way I see it.