Semi-major news today that the IAEA has reported Iran to the Security Council. This is something the US has been trying to get done for the last two years without success:
The U.N. nuclear watchdog Saturday reported Iran to the U.N. Security Council in a resolution expressing concern that Tehran’s nuclear program may not be “exclusively for peaceful purposes.” Iran retaliated immediately, saying it would resume uranium enrichment at its main plant instead of in Russia.
The landmark decision by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation board sets the stage for future action by the top U.N. body, which has the authority to impose economic and political sanctions.
Still, any such moves were weeks if not months away. Two permanent council members, Russia and China, agreed to referral only on condition the council take no action before March.
Twenty-seven nations supported the resolution, which was sponsored by three European powers ? Britain, France and Germany ? and backed by the United States.
Cuba, Syria and Venezuela were the only nations to vote against. Five others ? Algeria, Belarus, Indonesia, Libya and South Africa ? abstained, a milder form of showing opposition.
Those backing the referral included India, a nation with great weight in the developing world whose stance was unclear until the vote.
Iran reacted immediately, saying a proposal by Moscow to enrich Iranian uranium in Russia was dead.
“Commercial scale uranium enrichment will be resumed in Natanz in accordance with the law passed by the parliament,” Javad Vaeidi, deputy head of the powerful National Security Council, told Iran state television in a telephone interview from Vienna.
Iran removed some U.N. seals from its main uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, central Iran, on Jan. 10 and resumed research on nuclear fuel ? including small-scale enrichment ? after a 2 1/2-year freeze. Full-scale uranium enrichment can produce the fissile core of nuclear warheads.
The Kremlin had proposed that Iran shift its large-scale enrichment of uranium to Russian territory to allay world suspicions that Iran might use the process to develop a nuclear bomb.
Vaeidi also said that after approval by the Iranian council, Iran would stop honoring an agreement with the IAEA allowing its inspectors broad powers to monitor and probe Tehran’s nuclear activities.[…]The resolution calls on Iran to:
[…]The resolution recognized “that a solution to the Iranian issue would contribute to global nonproliferation efforts and … the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including their means of delivery.”
- Reestablish a freeze on uranium enrichment and related activities.
- Consider whether to stop construction of a heavy water reactor that could be the source of plutonium for weapons.
- Formally ratify an agreement allowing the IAEA greater inspecting authority and continue honoring the agreement before it is ratified.
- Give the IAEA additional power in its investigation of Iran’s nuclear program, including “access to individuals” for interviews and to documentation on its black-market nuclear purchases, equipment that could be used for nuclear and non-nuclear purposes and “certain military-owned workshops” where nuclear activities might be going on.
I’m actually quite shocked that the UN has done anything about Iran. Yes, I know it’s not much, basically just telling Iran that they MAY get in trouble, but it’s something.
As expected the Iranian president had a fit and told the world to go F#*$ themselves. They are destroying and removing any and all inspection related equipment and refusing any more inspections. Can anyone guess where this country is leading it’s people?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel likened Iran’s nuclear programme on Saturday to the threat posed by Germany’s Nazi regime in its early days, saying the world must act now to prevent it building the atom bomb.
Addressing the annual Munich security conference, she said there had been complacency in other countries as Adolf Hitler rose to power.
“Looking back to German history in the early 1930s when National Socialism (Nazism) was on the rise, there were many outside Germany who said ‘It’s only rhetoric — don’t get excited’,” she told the assembled world policy makers.
“There were times when people could have reacted differently and, in my view, Germany is obliged to do something at the early stages … We want to, we must prevent Iran from developing its nuclear programme.”
As she was speaking, the board of governors of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, voted in Vienna to report Iran to the UN Security Council over concerns that it is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.
I couldn’t agree more with the new Chancellor, and unfortunately the world is replaying the late 1930’s once again.
In other related news Rumsfeld stated that a diplomatic solution must be found while at the same time Sen. McCain tried to act tough:
MUNICH, Germany – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld urged the world Saturday to find a diplomatic solution to halt Iran’s nuclear program, but Sen. John McCain only hours later said that military action could not be ruled out.
Rumsfeld told an international security conference that the United States stands “with the Iranian people, the women, the young people, who want a peaceful, democratic future,” and he accused Tehran of sponsoring terrorism.
“The Iranian regime is today the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” he said. “The world does not want, and must work together to avoid, a nuclear Iran.”
Despite Rumsfeld’s call for diplomacy, McCain said military action could not be ruled out if diplomatic efforts fail to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.
“Every option must remain on the table,” McCain told the security conference after Rumsfeld spoke. “There’s only one thing worse than military action, that is a nuclear-armed Iran.”
The Arizona Republican later added that military action is “totally undesirable” and could be considered only after all other options were exhausted.
I say tried because we all know he doesn’t have what it takes to order a military strike, he’s basically a Democrat in sheeps clothing. Just more posturing to look tough for his bid to the White House.
What Other’s Are Saying:
Captain’s Quarters: What the referral does is provide a replay of the Iraq debate for this year. The US and UK, this time joined by the French and Germans, will insist on action against Iran. If the UNSC passes such a resolution and actually enforces it, it will prove a significant victory for the US/UK alliance. If not, it will provide another example of UN uselessness on terrorism and nuclear proliferation, and give the US/EU partners an opening to accelerate their efforts to topple the mullahcracy from within.
Ace of Trump: How can they retaliate? They can’t afford to keep their oil off of the world market, at least not for very long. They’ve threatened to blockade the Straits of Hormuz, which would be an overt act of war bringing the full military wrath of the US, Britain and other nations upon them. They’ve threatened to begin a uranium enrichment program, but most likely they’ve already been doing their best to do this already.
California Yankee: I am very pleased to see that this has finally gotten to the U.N. Security Council, but I fear we will eventually regret agreeing to Egypt’s demand that the resolution include support for the creation of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. linking the issues of Iran’s atomic ambitions and Israel’s nuclear weapons status will make preventing Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons even more difficult.
A Blog For All: So what did Iran do? They said that their deal with Russia was dead. Big deal. It should never have even been a consideration in the first place. Iran also said that they’d resume enrichment at Natanz. That’s not surprising either – especially since it was suspected that they were doing this in secret. We now know that they’re working on it, and it’s only a matter of time before they have sufficient weapons grade materials.