Have We Already Accepted the Fact of an Iranian Bomb?
Last week, President Barack Obama was at the United Nations, wining and dining the international do-gooder set and doing the grip and grin with friends, adversaries, and those who can't quite make up their minds. He gave a lovely speech to the General Assembly, speaking in glowing terms of international cooperation to deal with the world's problems, and he chaired a meeting of the Security Council where one and all solemnly promised to work toward a world where Albert Einstein's ruinous equation E=MC2 would be conveniently forgotten and mankind would be forever saved from the prospect of nuclear annihilation.
Both the speech and the song and dance at the Security Council meeting were illustrative of the sad fact that the United Nations is not a place where serious issues are addressed, much less resolved. While Obama talked non-proliferation and a nuke-free world, he was also fully aware that one of the UN's member states was thumbing its nose at the world and constructing a secret uranium enrichment facility that was giving the lie to its oft-repeated promises that its nuclear program is for "peaceful" purposes only.
It is not logical or reasonable to assume that Iran has not been engaged in the dreaded "parallel fuel cycle" approach to their enrichment program. While their main facility for enriching uranium at Natanz was under the eyes of the International Atomic Energy Agency and producing low-grade uranium suitable for nuclear reactors, the Iranians were secretly building one -- or more -- facilities that, for safety's sake, we must assume was going to be used to enrich uranium to levels suitable for bomb-making, else why keep it secret?
And yet, world leaders at that Security Council meeting (most of whom were fully aware of the secret Iranian facility) pretended that dismantling their bombs and missiles would somehow remove the nuclear threat from the world, and we would all live happily ever after.
We like to think that this is simple naivete on the part of our president and the other leaders present. This is not a credible analysis given what these ladies and gentleman know from their own intelligence briefings regarding what is happening in Iran, and North Korea as well. Instead, they found it a pleasant diversion to pretend that the disagreeable reality represented by the Iranian threat simply didn't exist.
In case you haven't noticed, this is par for the course at the UN. You may recall during the last decade, the United Nations refused to call what was happening in Darfur "genocide" despite hundreds of thousands being murdered. You also may remember that the UNIFIL force (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) was supposed to keep the political party/terrorist group Hezbollah from rearming after their war with Israel in the summer of 2006 -- as futile a mission ever designed given the fact that the Party of God has been resupplied by their Iranian benefactors to the tune of 40,000 rockets. And it was done right under UNIFIL's noses.
The disheartening corruption that permeates the world body, the cronyism, the waste, the fraud, the Oil for Food scandal -- all of this pales in comparison to the consequences of what will happen if the United Nations does not get deadly serious about the Iranian nuclear program and do all in its power to stop it.
But this is a body that only gets "deadly serious" about making sure the napkins match the curtains at any of the endless diplomatic soirees that help kill the boredom of life at the UN. In order to get serious about denying Iran the ultimate means of assuring that no one will ever again insult the prophet by portraying him in silly little cartoons, the world would have to face some unpleasant truths. And since the UN is all about burying unpleasant truths underneath an avalanche of platitudes and meaningless drivel, the chances of any concerted effort by the world community to stop the Iranians are between slim and none.
The number one unpleasant truth the UN refuses to face is that the Iranians are not going to stop their drive for developing the capability to build a nuclear weapon unless someone physically restrains them from doing so. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made this perfectly plain and there should be no reason to doubt him. He has tied the Iranian nuclear program to the issue of Iranian sovereignty and demands the same rights any other nation has to a nuclear program granted under international law.
The "P-5 + 1" talks (the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany) in Geneva will simply confirm what everyone already knows: no sanctions regime will prevent Iran from continuing their nuclear work. There are no enticements, no blandishments that the Iranians will accept in exchange for abandoning what they clearly see is a matter of national pride and international prestige. To think otherwise is not logical.
There have been all manner of grandiose proposals for a "grand bargain" that would establish a multinational enrichment facility on Iranian soil, or a vastly increased inspection regime by the IAEA, in exchange for inducements to Iran that consist of sponsoring Iranian membership in the WTO to increased trade with the West.
But when Iran refuses, what then? And here is where I think it fairly obvious that the United States, the West, and the rest of the world have already accepted the idea that Iran is going to eventually develop the capability to construct a nuclear bomb.