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June 25, 2004
Iran Thumbs Its Nose

The Islamic mullahcracy of Iran has thumbed its nose at the international community, announcing it will resume enriching uranium in defiance of its agreement to comply with IAEA requirements for non-proliferation:

Iran has announced a "substantial resumption" of its uranium enrichment program and may have already stockpiled chemical weapons, a State Department official said Thursday.

In testimony before the House International Relations Committee, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton said Iran had reneged "on the commitment it made to the United Kingdom, Germany and France" to stop enriching uranium.

Bolton said Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, that beginning next week the country will restart "the production of uranium centrifuge parts assembly and testing."

Once again, the titans of Europe have taken us on a rollercoaster ride on WMD, and once again, the trip has been as pointless as an amusement-park ride: we are right back where we started. The New York Times reports that the mullahs decided to tweak the noses of France, Germany, and Britain in its refusal by sending them each diplomatic notes blaming them for their decision, saying that the three Continental powers didn't do enough to normalize relations. This position seems a bit odd, considering that Iran captured eight British servicement this week and threatened to try them, a diplomatic breach bordering on an act of war, but expecting rational behavior from Iran usually leads to sharp disappointment, as the British themselves note in this instance:

"They've sent letters saying we haven't lived up to our commitments to normalize relations," said a spokesman for Britain, which received the note, along with France and Germany.

"Among Europeans and the U.S., there will be deep disappointment," he added. "There is no good reason for it. Europe will be urging them to reverse this decision."

The Times says that the US will interpret this as an indication that Teheran "has chosen to defy the International Atomic Energy Agency," an obvious point -- how can it be interpreted any other way? The Europeans need to quit stalling and allow this matter to come to the UN Security Council. Either the international community has to act to enforce its treaties and agreements or, once again, risk becoming irrelevant. And if they avoid the UNSC because they know that the US and the UK will force them to actually act upon their decision, then that battle has already been lost, and the French and Germans should just acknowledge that and get out of the way.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 25, 2004 6:41 AM

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