The latest proposal for resolving the nuclear impasse with Iran
was recently delivered on behalf of the European Union by its foreign policy chief, Javier Solana. The proposal, which has reportedly been agreed to by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Great Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) and Germany, contains a number of incentives for Iran to at least begin serious negotiations regarding its nuclear ambitions. The incentives are enticing, however, only if Iran is seriously interested in nuclear power
for peaceful purposes.
If the proposal is agreed to, the members of the Security Council and Germany would assist Iran with upgrading its air fleet and gaining membership in the World Trade Organization. In addition, the package would offer support for an Iranian civilian nuclear energy program and would seek to waive current trade sanctions against the Islamic Republic. In return, the Iranians would agree to suspend all enrichment and reprocessing activities.
The problem, of course, is what to do if Iran says no.
If the incentives package is rejected, there is no agreement among the members of the Security Council about what punitive measures should be taken if Iran continues its nuclear program. While the United States can likely count on support from Great Britain, France is a maybe at best and Russia and China will almost certainly block any attempt at sanctions or military action. This leaves the United States and Great Britain with few options but to act together in what would probably be described as “unilateral” action.
Initially, at least, the Iranians have reacted positively to the incentives package, but have warned that it will require serious review before a decision can be made about possible negotiations. So, what is Iran doing? It is likely that the Islamic Republic is stalling, buying as much time as possible while continuing to work on its nuclear program. As long as there is the potential for possible negotiations, the United States and Britain will never find support for forcing Iran’s hand.
Iran is one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism. It has threatened the supply of oil from the Gulf region and is actively undermining American-led efforts at stabilizing Iraq. It is not inconceivable that an Islamic fundamentalist controlled Iran would use nuclear weapons, if it is able to produce them, to launch an attack aimed at destroying the state of Israel. The world has long known that appeasement does not work. The time for action is now. The United Nations should come together, at last, and prove to the world that it can do more than pass meaningless resolutions that it can not or will not enforce. If not, the Iranians will most assuredly continue their nuclear program and join the ranks of those nations with atomic weapons.
This piece was previously published online by The American Chronicle and OpinionEditorials.com.