The Rosett Report

Fiddling While Iran Builds the Bomb

It’s time to open an office pool on how many failed resolutions the UN will produce before Iran, on an industrial scale, gets the bomb. We’ve already had a UN resolution with an August 31 deadline — utterly ignored — for Iran to stop enriching uranium (according to Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kofi Annan himself told the Iranians not to worry about it). This past weekend we got UN sanctions-lite, watered down to please Russia and China even before they are further filtered through an opaque and corrupt UN system. Iran responded by promising to fire up a whole new set of centrifuges and run them at top speed. Iran’s rulers have learned that the UN is, in effect, on their side — providing a Security Council stacked with their business partners and pals, a stage to dignify their propaganda, and a forum that protects them from surprise attack by requiring months, even years of debate, before even the weakest decisions can be reached.

If the UN were serious about stopping Iran’s nuclear-bomb program, then Iran’s swaggering abuses of recent times would have had members of the UN Security Council, seconded by Annan, calling, pleading, begging for the U.S., with its precision capabilities, to lead a bombing raid on Iranian targets dear to the hearts of the terrorist-spawning totalitarian ayatollahs and their globe-trotting totem, Ahmadinejad. Even if it’s impossible to track down every iota of Iran’s sprawling nuclear program, it ought to be at least feasible to target the known nuclear-related installations, assorted crucial ministries, and enough in the way of Iran’s oil-export and gasoline-import facilities to give Ahmadinejad & Co. a deadly serious message of disapproval, backed by a large repair bill — costing not only money, but the precious element of time. That would be far more fool-proof, not to mention bribe-proof, than anything that goes under the name of UN sanctions. As a by-product, it would introduce a note of sobriety in Tehran, and neighboring Damascus, that would do more than all the Iraq Study Groups in creation to help quell the Syrian- and Iranian-backed violence in Iraq. It would cut down on the available resources now flowing from Iran to assist Hezbollah’s terrorist takeover of Lebanon. And watching Ahmadinejad and his cohorts pick through a Bushehr reactor reduced to rubble might even inspire North Korea’s Kim Jong Il to re-think the wisdom of acting as the nuclear pace-setter of rogue regimes.

Instead, the UN is now providing our own administration with an excuse and an avenue to delay and dither while terrorist-sponsoring Iran, one of the world’s most dangerous regimes, arms itself — to borrow President Bush’s phrase — with the world’s deadliest weapons. My colleague at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Andy McCarthy, has an excellent piece about this on NRO.

A few months ago, I wrote an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal, arguing that UN sanctions will not stop Iran. A UN resolution or so later, one can update minor details. The basic case remains the same. Here’s the conclusion:

It is quite possible that–after years of delay and dithering by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, the European Union and the U.S. itself–there is no initiative that will by now stop Iran short of direct military force. But whatever the solution, it is clearly the U.S. that will have to do the bulk of the cajoling, prodding and backroom bargaining to put together any coalition both able and willing, in whatever way necessary, to get the job done. That is a challenge urgent and daunting enough, without trying to drag along the entire baggage of the U.N.

The entire article is here.