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July 27, 2004
Iran Defies World Community, Breaks Seal On Equipment

Iran has broken the seal on its proscribed nuclear equipment and started rebuilding the centrifuges needed to enrich uranium into weapons-grade material, according to the London Telegraph. The move comes despite the intense negotiations that European countries have used to keep the issue from coming to the UN Security Council:

Teheran's move, revealed to The Daily Telegraph yesterday by western sources, breaks a deal with European countries under which Iran suspended "all uranium enrichment activity". ...

America has in recent weeks renewed its call for Iran to be referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

However, diplomats said senior officials from the "EU-3" - Britain, France and Germany - would try to coax Teheran back to the path of co-operation at a secret meeting in Paris on Thursday.

Anton La Guardia writes in his analysis that the Iranians have chosen this moment to press its luck as it sees America as "paralyzed" during the presidential elections. One can only wonder why they would think that. Could it be that one of the two candidates has spent the past month denouncing the other for taking action with a coalition of the willing instead of holding America hostage to the whims of the Security Council? This attack has put pressure on Bush to follow the EU-3's lead on Iran and not force the issue to the UNSC for action. Otherwise, we'd hear more wailing and gnashing of teeth about 'unilateralism'.

Now we need to move past that. If Iran remains defiant, then the EU-3 needs to defer to the Security Council before Iran builds itself a fissile weapon and it's too late. And the irresponsible rhetoric from the left needs to be rebuked by their party leaders if they want to be taken seriously on national defense, but unfortunately it's the party leaders who indulge themselves in the irresponsible rhetoric.

UPDATE: The Watcher's Council has nominated this post for the best of the week. Make sure you read all of the other blogs that will kick my rear end in the weekly contest!

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 27, 2004 12:50 PM

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