Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Iran still playing games

Oliver Kamm posts on the IAEA report that concludes that Iran is still not being transparent about its nuclear programme. This is foolhardy in the the extreme. UN Security Council resolutions, most recently NSC 1803, have called for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment programme and for Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA.

I agree with Oliver Kamm that now is the time for international pressure as past experience has shown (as evidenced in the recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iran) that Iran does bow to pressure when it is exerted. Some of Oliver's language grates a bit (such as the notion that the UK and US have to 'deal with' Iran...not in the negotiating sense!) and he repeats one or two assertions that I have rebutted elsewhere but his conclusions are broadly right.

Now is the time for cool heads, clever diplomacy, multilateral unity, and for Iran's friends to counsel caution and compliance. It is also necessary to offer Iran a vision of what its place in the region and the world could be. Rather than playing the silly politics of verbal aggression, now is the time to be resolute but generous. Let's coax Iran back into legitimacy rather than provoke it into disastrous and ever more petulant isolation.

Resolving Iran's nuclear programme, whether it is truly civil or otherwise, is a test of whether the world can enter a post neo-conservative era. And Mr Bush, keep your finger well and truly away from the trigger.

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