Condoleeza Rice has absolutely no credibility in the International Community. If this is the first time you've heard this, then I'm sorry, but you had to find out sometime. Her recent statements to the effect that Iran is "playing games" by OFFERING TO ALLOW CONTINUED IAEA INSPECTIONS is a transparent attempt to push the confrontation in the Diplomatic community into the realm of warfare. Her threats of putting pressure on Iran "outside of the U.N." or moving to a Chapter 7 resolution by the Security Council (she's just re-iterating what the US Ambassador to the U.N. said on friday) are rediculous and only tarnish the already pathetic reputation of the United States. Let me explain.
To refer back to a previous post of mine that discussed this particular issue, I have previously noted that the only intent of the Security Council with regards to the Iran issue before it was "unresolved questions" and that Iran needed to be more transparent in their dealings with the international community regarding their Nuclear ambitions. THAT IS THE ONLY PART OF THIS THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AGREES UPON, regardless of the spin you may hear from such news agencies as ABC (always bush's constituents). France has not sided with the U.S. regarding the "all options are on the table" nonsense or any of the rest of it, but the media is still counting them as in America's corner no matter what comes up. However, the most recent press conference with the French Ambassador to the UN stressed that all governments must work together for a diplomatic solution, and that if ALL governments don't agree on the issue then there is no issue. His exact words:
"[On Iran Mr. Ambassador, are you now close to putting something forward on a chapter 7 resolution? Does the (Iranian) announcement yesterday change the dynamics in the Council? ]
We must first wait for the discussions between the capitals before we can look at it here among ambassadors. We are now in a phase of discussions between capitals.
[But are you going towards a chapter 7 resolution right now?] As far as France is concerned, we’ve never had any problem with such a proposal. It is our position, but it has to be shared by the others."
IT HAS TO BE SHARED BY THE OTHERS. The others=China and Russia (HUGE TRADING PARTNERS WITH THE EU). China and Russia, you may recall, are also strong trading partners with Iran. The american media viewpoint that there is some kind of agreement between France and America on the "all options are on the table" stance is completely baseless.
Condi's blatant attempt to push the situation to the next level becomes painfully obvious upon review of the events that led up to it.
- The IAEA (in march) released a report on Iran's nuclear program that stated in no uncertain terms that there was NO EVIDENCE of the diversion of Nuclear materials to any kind of weapons program, but that raised concerns about the fact that there were still some gaps in their knowledge of the atomic situation in Iran.
- The March President of the U.N. Security Council released a decree that the IAEA was to look in to Iran's nuclear program for the purpose of "building confidence in the international community" that their Nuclear program was for peaceful civilian uses. The decree also called on Iran to halt their enrichment program FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF ALLOWING CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURES TO BE PUT IN TO PLACE, such as "greater transparency" in their intentions and in their actions.
- Iran announces that they have successfully enriched uranium (and they specifically noted that it was specifically) for the purpose of producing nuclear power, a concept that the UN Security council president had specifically stated (in the same decree discussed above) was well within the realm of acceptability as far as the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty was concerned, and thusly well within the purvue of UN Member States.
- The IAEA releases their report regarding the Iranian nuclear program, and the report specifically states that Iran had continued their enrichment activities (which was already public knowledge due to statements from Tehran) which the Security Council march president had asked them to suspend ONLY FOR AS LONG AS THE IAEA WAS STILL DOING THEIR RESEARCH FOR THE PURPOSE OF BUILDING CONFIDENCE IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, but the report states that Iranian Nuclear weapons intentions WAS NOT A CONCLUSION THAT COULD BE DRAWN FROM THE EVIDENCE.
- Iran states that they would be more than happy to allow "snap" inspections of their Nuclear sites by the IAEA, but ONLY IF the UN did not start taking direct sanction or military action against them for pursuing what they have the legal right to pursue: a civilian Nuclear Power program.
- Condeleeza Rice flatly rejects their offer (even though it is EXACTLY what was requested of Iran by the UN in march)
If you look at this chain of events objectively and with your information drawn from the first hand sources, such as the UN or the IAEA, then it becomes painfully obvious that Iran has complied specifically with everything that has been asked of them (to the letter). Yet america continues to try to goad them into a fight.
America is well aware that if they are successful in pushing through a Chapter 7 resolution by the security council that could lead to imposing sanctions on Iran, they will most likely follow through on their threat to discontinue cooperation with the IAEA and withdraw from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, because as they so aptly pointed out, they have been cooperating up until this point and it has gotten them nowhere. What the U.S. seems to be failing to recognize (although this point is well hidden by the Western Media so most casual observers do not recognize it either) is that any kind of attack on Iran (sanctions, military, etc.) is (as Iran continually points out) not in anyone's best interests, but those who would suffer the most from it (as Iran keeps pointing out) are actually those in America. Again, let me repeat: an attack on Iran is counterproductive to American interests, economically, politically, and with regards to safety. Again, I must explain.
First of all, everyone in America is bitching and moaning these days about the price of gasoline (at record highs in many parts of the states). Sanctions on Iran are likely to drive the price of gasoline (petrol) up yet again, as the current price-highs are based primarily on the fact that everyone is worried about supplies from Iran (the worlds 4th largest producer of crude oil). What most americans don't seem to grasp is that these same gasoline prices affect the PRICE OF EVERYTHING in america. All goods sold have to get to their selling point somehow, that somehow is through oil-powered vehicles. If it costs more for their goods to get to supermarket shelves, then the products themselves are going to cost more to maintain profit margins. Simple capitalism. Attacking a huge supplier of oil will push oil futures through the roof (bloomberg.com recently reported that Oil prices are likely to continue their rise, right up to nearly 100 dollars a barrel; at the moment they're about 72 dollars, and the price at the pump is 3.00doll's a gallon. If the price goes up for crude by another 40%, then, well, you can do the math). But that's not even the greatest of America's concerns.
More worrysome to the American Taxpayer should be the fact that this war is not a winnable one (in the classic american definition of the term) for America. First of all, the U.S. has proven their ineptness militarily in Iraq (and even Afghanistan) through their failure to control what they claim to be their main danger: terrorism. They turned Iraq from a harmless and defenseless country (STILL WAITIN' on the WMDs they claimed were there...) into the largest recruitment pool for Al-Qaida in the world. You need only check the news on Iraq to see how the "coalition" forces are completely unable to control the situation. And Iraq's military was extremely weak, and the average soldier in that army was a conscript (average citizen given a gun and told they must go fight, they had no choice). Iran's military is not weak. If America cannot control Iraq (they are STILL CLAIMING THAT REMNANTS OF SADDAMS REPUBLICAN GUARD ARE FIGHTING THE COALITION TROOPS, and that's their excuse for why they can't get the security situation under control) after 3 years, and Iraq's military was tremendously weak, they don't have a hope in hell of defeating Iran.
As far as how effective a military attack on Iran would be at actually halting Iran's nuclear program, in the words of Iran's top security official:
"It will have no effect on our nuclear programme. They say they will bomb us, but where do they want to bomb? We already have the know-how."
In fact, attacking Iran directly with military force will most likely only solidify the public opinion in Iran that their Nuclear program is a matter of national pride, and that it is important for their very national character.
Perhaps more importantly, (you should pay attention to this one) an attack on Iran is an attack on China, Russia, India, and Pakistan.As I have discussed in previous posts (such as "lies, nuclear chess, and george orwell" and "conspicuously absent from western media") just last month Iran was accepted as a full member into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, an intergovernmental energy/security organisation whose founding members include China and Russia. Everyone has to be well aware by this point that Iran exports the vast majority of their oil to china, china exports a large amount of military equipment to Iran, and that Iran's nuclear program was built and is being partially operated by Russia.
If I may draw your attention to an article posted recently regarding a role playing scenario acted out at an American university by university students:
"When it became clear that an American attack was imminent, the Russian team announced an extraordinary measure: the deployment of Russian troops to strategic sites in Iran"
It goes on to conclude that if that was the logical course of action for American University students, then obviously (former KGB officer) Vladimir Putin may contemplate the same. As I have discussed before, both China and Russia have important economic interests in Iran, and I do believe that they (based on their party platforms and rhetoric) would be inclined to protect their interests.
Which brings us back to the concept of sanctions, as I mentioned earlier. Ms. (it's a wonder she isn't married, isn't it?) Rice's recent rejection of the most logical course of action to solve this issue and her reiteration of the American demand for sanctions against Iran is a moronic idea. The administration in washington is also trying to assert that if the UN doesn't support sanctions that the UN is not fullfilling it's responsibility (from the administration's standpoint, apparently, that is to serve the U.S.'s interests at all times, based on the fact [as pointed out in the US UN Ambassador's friday news conference about the IAEA findings by a reporter from "News Weekly"] that the UN was "irrelevant" as far as America attacking Iraq, in violation of article 51 of the UN charter, and now the US is saying that they will again prove their irrelevance if they don't support sanctions, but yet are still trying to say that one of the dangerous aspects of Iran is that they are not living up to their responsibilities as a UN member [which, as illustrated above, is actually completely untrue] by acting in a manner that is in violation of the US interpretation of the wishes of the Security council) in yet another attempt to circumvent the actual authority of the U.N., and hopefully it's an attempt that will eventually be noticed in the International press and exposed for what it is. It seems that the U.S. is trying to set the situation up so that they can again claim the "irrelevance" of the U.N. and act unilaterally to again try to secure global hegemony. The likelyhood of sanctions as an ACTUAL solution to the problem is neglegable.
First of all, (as many media sources around the globe have pointed out) Russia and China both have veto power in the UN Security Council, and they are not going to allow tough economic sanctions against one of their close economic partners. Secondly, (as mentioned above) France only supports moving towards chapter 7 and pressing for sanctions if ALL INTERNATION BODIES AGREE that this is the proper course of action. The western media should take note of this and (AGAIN) stop their inaccurate reporting of the situation: If all parties don't agree on sanctions, France does not support sanctions. Therefore France cannot continue to be grouped in as supporting America on this issue. Thirdly, as Colin Powell (former holder of Condi's position) recently pointed out, "Iran seems to "have pretty much decided they can accept whatever sanctions are coming their way."" which is very much in contrast to Condi's position that sanctions are the most intelligent course of action.
Therefore, sanctions obviously (as even C.P. is admitting) wouldn't have the effect of sorting out the situation. Nor would military action, as explained above. The only intelligent option left open to America is to return to the negotiating table, accept Iran's concession of allowing the IAEA free reign in Iran, and stop their war mongering. But how often does America EVER make the intelligent decision.