According to the Associated Press…
Iran is unlikely to accept European incentives aimed at getting it to suspend uranium enrichment, diplomats said Thursday, raising the prospect of a showdown next month between Tehran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency.
Envoys from Britain, France and Germany offered civilian nuclear technology and a trade deal to the Iranians in a private meeting at the French mission to international organizations in Vienna. But Western diplomats said they doubt Iran will back down easily.
What does this mean? “Trouble ahead, trouble behind,” as Jerry Garcia used to sing. The Bush Administration was skeptical of the Euros iniative to begin with. Where would a Kerry Administration stand? More complaisant, I would imagine, but the Mullahs have already shot down John Edwards’ naive proposal of a few weeks ago. This will be a big challenge for whoever is our next President, probably the biggest of all since the Iranians are already claiming to have missiles capable of reaching Southern Europe and Tel Aviv. There is some debate whether these missiles are operational, but that is small beer, as they say. They soon will be. All these technologies, nuclear and rocket, are decades old. Logically speaking, the Iranians should have them already… if not now, in the nearly now.
Meanwhile, it would seem that the Euros would be our natural allies in this. They shouldn’t want nukes on their doorstep either.But are they? It’s worth remembering that back in 1979, when Khomeini staged his revolution, the new Islamic Republic quickly made huge discount oil deals with those same putative allies (including our closest buddies in Albion). Here’s a way of looking at it: When they say it’s about oil, it’s about projection.
On a personal note, I will be following the unfolding Mullahdrama as an intermittent commentator on the John Batchelor Show. John, who is part Iranian himself, knows how important this story is.
UPDATE: I’m not sure of the accuracy of this article from last April by Darius Shirazi. But given recent events, it’s worth considering.