Friday, January 27, 2006

We (Don't) Have a Diplomatic Solution!

This seemed halfway heartening in the Iran standoff:

Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick had urged the Chinese leadership on Tuesday to join the United States and other nations in taking urgent steps to make sure Iran does not expand its nuclear research program into weapons production. China agrees that Iran should not have nuclear weapons, he said afterward, but differs with Washington over how to prevent it and how fast a solution has to be found.

Without mentioning the United States or its European allies directly, Quan urged other countries to pursue a solution to the crisis through more negotiations, and said China's leaders view the Russian suggestions as a good place to start. Larijani, at a news conference later, said that, in this regard, the views of China and Iran were "very close."

"The Russian idea is fruitful, but it needs to be discussed more, and we are in the process of this negotiation," he said, adding that another round of talks had been scheduled with Russia for mid-February.

All were on board for the Russian proposal of Russia providing Iran with enriched Uranium and holding onto the by-product (plutonium used to make bombs). Iran, if they want their nuclear reactors for "peaceful purposes" should be fine accepting the Uranium. But we all know there's nothing "peaceful" about Iran's nuclear program. This confirms it:

A Russian proposal to carry out sensitive nuclear fuel work outside Iran to allay fears Tehran is seeking the bomb is "not sufficient" for the Iranians.

"The Russian proposal is not sufficient for Iran's nuclear energy needs," Ali Larijani was quoted as saying by the official news agency IRNA on Friday.

"The Russian proposal has certain capabilities, but this capability is not sufficient for Iran's nuclear technology," he said on his arrival back from China, where he has been discussing the mounting crisis.

Russia's proposal was quite generous. It would've provided Iran with enriched Uranium, that they could use for nuclear power. It even would probably reduce the costs for them of having to purchase uranium from elsewhere and enrich it on their own using non-optimal technology. The fact that they are balking from the proposal, which the Quartet (US, EU, China, and Russia) all were getting behind, shows they have no interest at stopping at energy. Everyone knows this, but if the Iranians reject the Russian proposal (or for that matter drag out negotiations) it's a clear sign their intentions are solely focused on nuclear weaponry.

Yet another in a long line of diplomatic solutions has been axed, and this one was nothing but beneficial to Tehran. I don't hold out hopes this crisis, and the disaster of Iran obtaining a bomb, will be solved diplomatically. Iran is showing now as before they're deadset on a bomb, accept no substitutes, damn the consequences.