Iran playing with fire?

06.14.04

The U.N. is reporting that Iran is being less than forthcoming with weapons inspections teams:

Iran is not fully cooperating with U.N. inspectors and must come clean about the full extent of its nuclear program within months, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday.

Mohamed ElBaradei said Iran’s cooperation has been “less than satisfactory” and warned that the process of clarifying unresolved issues — particularly over Iran’s uranium enrichment activities — could not be allowed to drag on for ever.

I’m sure I’m not the only one hit with a sense of deja vu. Though if I were the type to gamble, I’d bet that the situation in Iran will never come to what has transpired in Iraq. The two are vastly different, and while Bush had grouped them under his “Axis of Evil” umbrella, it’s still like comparing apples to oranges.

However, ElBaradei would also do well to remember that his weapons inspections teams lost all credibility when they failed in Iraq. Countries like Iran might feel more comfortable flouting them now, knowing that the U.N. will not do anything beyond shaking a fist at a country’s failure to cooperate.

And of course, the worst-case scenario is that Iran is far ahead of anyone’s expectations in terms of development of nuclear weaponry. That would truly be catastrophic, because if the U.N. allows this lack of cooperation to drag for months, then a militant Islamist regime would have acquired nuclear capability, and does anyone have any doubts as to who the first victims would be?

Far more likely, of course, is that Iran is simply flouting the process to prove a point. In any case, the U.N. and most of the world demonstrated pretty clearly that they won’t do anything to countries who flout the inspections. That leaves us in a dangerous place. Iraq’s WMDs were nowhere to be found, so the United States ended up looking foolish. But remember the story of the boy who cried wolf: what happens when there really is a threat?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DaninVan 06.15.04 at 6:55 PM

The Mad mullahs are mad, not totally stupid. They know that Israel would annihalate Iran if they targetted Israel. Pretty hard to rule when you’re a glow-in-the-dark puddle of molten glass.
Hopefully, at least THAT lesson was learned from the Cold War.
I’m still hopeful that Iranian refugee groups will eventually topple the regime

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2 Jonathan R. 06.16.04 at 10:39 PM

To appreciate the control of the Ayatollahs, one has to see the pictures of shredded documents that the USA left behind (when they left in the late 1970’s)… which were meticulously put back together by these people – each tiny strip of paper in its place – until the document was readable again.

I met an Iranian here in Canada, and he said that, in his opinion, the leaders were not actually religious but were using it as a tool to control the people.

Nice blog, by the way 🙂

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3 ScottAdler 06.21.04 at 10:22 AM

The Mullah Regime has been admonished. Yeah, like that’ll stop them…

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