Nuclear Apartheid or Common Sense

Now that it looks like North Korea has decided to give up it’s nuclear ambitions, the next major problem on the global stage is Iran. In a speech before the UN on Saturday Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took a hardline position in response to US and EU efforts to reign in Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions. Ahmadinejad called Western efforts nuclear apartheid, apparently trying to draw sympathy from other non-nuclear nations. Unfortunately this argument is just stupid. The question on the table here is whether Iran is using it’s nuclear reactors to create weapons or not. Iran says no, but all of this stonewalling, similar to the games Saddam Hussein played during the 90’s, only makes them look guilty in the eyes of the international community.

At this point, our major NATO allies are on board with the idea of referring Iran to the UN over their actions. While it would seem that a majority of the 35 nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency are in agreement here, there are still some major players that are opposed to action against Iran.

Russia, China, Brazil and IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei oppose an immediate referral to the U.N. Council, along with many developing countries on the board.

Twelve of 14 IAEA board members from the Non-Aligned Movement, who met on Monday to forge a common position, believed Iran’s case should be resolved within the IAEA, diplomats said, with only Peru and Singapore ready to back a referral.

“Everybody would like to avoid a contentious debate in the Security Council,” Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh, speaking in New York, told NDTV television news.

Washington and the EU want an early IAEA referral, before the 2005-2006 IAEA board takes office with more non-aligned states. Any vote on a referral to the Security Council is unlikely before the end of the week, if at all.

Some of you, and you know who you are, have expressed disdain for the UN and it’s ability to control rogue nations but in my opinion UN action is the logical first step here. At present no one is inside Iran and able to get their eyes on what they are doing. The only way to get a clear picture of Iran’s nuclear program is to get them to agree to inspections. If this does not happen, which is quite possible, we will likely see a ton of spin accusing Iran of building nukes. And without any evidence to the contrary it would be highly likely that this time around the US would have the full support politically, monetarily and militarily of countries such as France and Germany for preemptive military action. Bottom line, we CAN NOT afford to let anyone else into the nuclear club and a UN referral is the logical first step in ensuring that.

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