Walking the tightrope in Iran

""We have options ranging from complete and full cooperation to leaving the Non-Proliferation Treaty on our table," said Kazem Jalali, spokesman for the parliament's national security and foreign policy committee. "But we believe that if the West reforms its path, we can still choose the full-cooperation option."

The parliament has made similar calls in the past to reduce cooperation with the IAEA, to no avail. It has, however, regularly managed to block an update to the Non-Proliferation Treaty that would widen the atomic watchdog's inspection capabilities.

Mashallah Shamsolva'ezin, a journalist who is barred from working by the government and now advises at the Tehran-based Middle East Strategic Research Center, said both Iran and world powers, led by the United States, have little space to maneuver diplomatically. Iran, for its part, believes sanctions from the U.N. Security Council can be ignored.

"Iran's nuclear policy has always been about walking the tightrope at the edge of a cliff," he said. "But our leaders will never take actions that would jeopardize Iran's national security. For both parties, the only solution is negotiations." "  Washpost


This is basically a "nose-thumbing" defiance of the West, especially of the United States.

The issue here is not whether Iran has a legal right to buil whatever size nuclear program that it desires, but rather whether or not such a program will be tolerated by those who can do something about it..

This brings us all closer to "the day."  pl

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7 Responses to Walking the tightrope in Iran

  1. JohnH says:

    You posit the issue correctly. The West doesn’t care about Iran’s “rights.” The issue is about Iran’s doing what the West tells it to do. That is something that Iranian political leaders cannot accept. To do so would threaten their survival.
    And so we are closer to “the day.”
    Sad that intransigence prevails. Negotiations could find a middle way for everything except the West’s need to command, and the Iranians’ need to be independent. Therein lies the real crux of the issue: who will hold ultimate authority over Iran?

  2. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Yes, “der Tag” does seem to be on the way. I can hear the Kagans and various Neocons singing:
    “….Der Tag für Freiheit und für Brot bricht an!
    Marschieren im Geist in unseren Reihen mit.”

  3. RAISER William says:

    I don’t understand this post.
    As best I understand, Iran does have the “right” to enrich uranium. Shouldn’t the West, and all other signers of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, protect that right?
    I may not agree with what a person says, but since I believe in the “right” of free speech, I will defend their right to speak.
    Or are you suggesting, as the first comment seems to imply, that “rights” ought to be the issue rather than the ability of the West — the US and Europe — to force compliance as some seem to want?
    I think Obama and the US military are VERY reluctant to get into another war. I hope cooler heads, on both sides, will carry the day.

  4. N. M. Salamon says:

    I respectfully beg to differ with you.
    The point of no return was made by the USA and her satraps when they demanded that Iran hand over her 3-5% uranium without clear guarantees that they would in fact receive the 20% uranium for the USA built medical supply reactor.
    This was a slap on the face of Iran, a sovereign country trying to make peace with the West [note they have peace with China and most non west controlled nations, such as Brazil].
    Reviewing the USA’s [and allies’] cooperation or lack thereof since the time of the Shah [under whom the nuclear power generation was to be started] led by USA leadership, only a fool would accept the barter offered by this group.
    For over 50 years the sole foreign interest of the USA with regards to Iran was to control the nation and through that control get access to the oil /gas within Iran.
    Now it is possible that fools and madman think that they could win with a war. Recent history in Iraq and Afganistan indicate that this route leads to national bankrupcy, as if the present financial situation would leave any moneys for chasing the rainbow of controling IRan or Iraq or any other oil rich nation.
    As a sure way to indicate that the USA is in big trouble, the USA’a oil demand has fallen for another month, at a time when there should be concentrated effort to use excess net energy to create and build alternative energy infrastructure. Note that the IEA clearly stated that oil use by OECD countries is expected to fall, indicating that growth in economies is not possible due to lack of energy! At this time the USA is wasting energy fighting wars 5000-10000+ miles off shore. Trying to imitate the collapse of USSR? is this rational? is this a way to give a better world to our children and grandchildren?

  5. Patrick Lang says:

    I am an intelligence analyst by trade and taste. I avoided the policy business deliberately. it is only recently that I have begun offering my opinions on policy here and in print media.
    As an intelligenc analyst, one must forecast on the basis of what IS or what is most likely to come to be, not on what one would like the situation to be. That other business is the field of the policy wonks and the operations staff officers in the military pl

  6. Cieran says:

    I’m sorry to say that I agree with your assessment. It has long seemed to me that the Iranian government’s goal on nuclear technology is to put Iran and Israel on a similar footing, including the potential for abrogating the NPT so there would be no legal basis for inspections of Iranian facilities.
    This may seem just, but it’s not likely to be tolerated by other interests, primarily Israel but also potentially the U.S. And while starting wars is remarkably easy, waging them is difficult, and ending them on desirable terms can be impossible, hence my disappointment in the current actions taken by Iranian leaders.
    I think it’s important for everyone to be familiar with the origins of the Iranian nuclear program, as this seems to be a topic of some considerable confusion in otherwise-well-informed discussions. The Iranian nuclear program was started in earnest during the Ford administration, where it was supported by folks with names like Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz. Sound familiar?
    So regardless of the poor quality of Iranian decision-making on this topic, the neocons have done a lot worse on this topic. And thus the last people we should be listening to in this day and age are those neocon folk who helped get the world into this mess.

  7. Cato the Censor says:

    Colonel: I’ll seriously worry about something really bad happening with Iran when the neocons and the folks in the current administration who like to dance to their tune figure out how to get Russia and China to sign off. It seems to me that this would be a very neat trick since such action would be inimical to these countries’ interests. I can’t see the U.S. taking unilateral action, especially if the administration plans to seriously boost forces in Afghanistan. Any such action would, in my opinion, push the stupid index all the way up to 11. Then again, stupidity seems to be one of the chief criteria for U.S. GOV action nowadays. I sincerely hope that none of these worst-possible-case scenarios occur.

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