No consequences for Iran's arrogant actions on nukes
Washington Times Editorial:
The contrast between the speeches delivered Tuesday by President Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could hardly have been more stark. Mr. Bush delivered an upbeat, even Reaganesque vision of freedom for the people of the Middle East. Later that day, Mr. Ahmadinejad delivered his response, a bellicose attack on the legitimacy of the United Nations and the Security Council, in which he derided the United Nations as tools of the United States, Israel and other malefactors. Although the Iranian leader's remarks hardly suggest any basis for serious discussions about ending Iran's illicit nuclear weapons programs, other Security Council members are not about to let the real world interfere with the notion that virtually all differences with rogue states can be resolved at the negotiating table.This dance has to be based on something besides a real world look at Iran's intentions that it has clearly stated. What part of no is not clear to the UN? Iran's only agreement on future talks is on Iran's hope that it can persuade the UN to its point of view, not the otherway around. Talks have become a subsitute for enforcing previous resolutions. It is a very unsatisfactory subtitute unless you don't care whether Iran has nuke weapons.
Thus far, negotiations and diplomacy have yielded little of substance. Iran defied a Security Council resolution requiring that it halt uranium enrichment by Aug. 31. For months, U.S. policy-makers have suggested that, if Iranian defiance continued, that Washington would be able to persuade our allies and key Security Council members like Russia and China to support sanctions. French President Jacques Chirac appeared to throw a monkey wrench into those plans on Monday, suggesting that the Security Council members and Iran should enter into broad negotiations on economic and diplomatic issues. Under the Chirac proposal, Iran would announce that it had suspended uranium enrichment -- without any verification that it had actually done so. In exchange for this "compromise," the Security Council members would agree not to seek sanctions against Iran.
It appears that for now, Mr. Chirac, Russia and China have gotten their way on the most critical point: Tehran will not face sanctions. On Tuesday night, the five permanent members of the Security Council, along with Italy and Germany, met to discuss the Iran nuclear issue. The meeting ended with Washington backing a plan for yet another round of negotiations with Iran. Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns said that negotiations would be conducted later this week between EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani. If the Iranians agree to "verifiably"suspend their enrichment program, Mr. Burns said later, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would personally attend the launching of broader negotiations on improving ties between the West and the Iranian regime.