Friday, January 22, 2010

Chaos over West’s Iran policy: US intelligence stutters over nuclear programme and Iran rejects uranium exchange proposal.


by  Robin Shepherd

US led efforts to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons descended into chaos today as it emerged that Iran had rejected proposals to ship enriched uranium out of the country to prevent Tehran from processing it to weapon's grade and the US National Intelligence Council (NIC) indicated a merely partial reversal of its infamous 2007 "estimate" that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003.

Iran's rejection of the uranium plan was conveyed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna while developments at the NIC emerged from an exclusive report by the Reuters news agency which quoted unnamed officials as saying they now believed that Iran was researching a nuclear weapons programme but not necessarily developing one:

"Basically, we're talking about research (resuming) — not about the Iranians barrelling full steam ahead on a bomb program," a U.S. official was quoted by Reuters as saying on condition of anonymity.

Taking these two developments together, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Western policy on Iran's nuclear programme has all but fallen apart.

Against the background of a US president whose foreign policy smacks of weakness to every dictatorship in the world, Ahmadinejad and company must now be laughing their socks off. Every broken promise on their nuclear programme has elicited next to nothing in terms of meaningful sanctions, and the leading US intelligence gatherers are telling the president that there's no real urgency about a weapons programme in any case.

At this stage in the game this is no laughing matter. The nuclear ambitions of an Islamist despotism which has genocidal intentions against Israel, which is the world's leading sponsor of terrorism, which has hegemonic ambitions in the Middle East and which poses a long term threat to the security of the wider West are simply being allowed to press forward without threat or hindrance.

There are no easy solutions to this problem. But the way things are going, it looks more and more certain that we are now sleep walking our way to a nuclear armed Iran.


Robin Shepherd

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.


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