Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Diplomacy better than brute force for Iran :: The Daily Herald, Provo Utah

Diplomacy better than brute force for Iran :: The Daily Herald, Provo Utah: "Diplomacy better than brute force for Iran

The Daily Herald
From the Miami Herald, Sept. 22, 2004
Despite Iran's defiant attitude, the world's nuclear watchdog agency is giving the country's leaders one more chance to resolve doubts over an alleged forbidden weapons program. The decision by the International Atomic Energy Agency to have Iran comply with IAEA demands to stop nuclear-enrichment activities by November is a clear signal that its 35-nation board is determined to go the last mile in using diplomacy to resolve what has become one of the most pressing matters on the global agenda.

This is a commendable decision, but it's far from clear that Iran is prepared to back down, now or in November. Iran would make a serious mistake to regard the reliance on diplomacy as a form of weakness by the world community. The Bush administration has made it clear that U.S. patience is wearing thin.

The administration first sought to have the IAEA refer the Iran issue to the U.N. Security Council, which could impose sanctions on Iran. In the end, U.S. diplomats agreed to a softer line promoted by Europeans to give Iran more time. But even Europeans understand that Iran must eventually comply or face the consequences.

What does the IAEA want? For Iran to stop all nuclear-enrichment activities, as a goodwill gesture, and resolve all doubts about its suspect nuclear program before it's too late. The Iranians have responded with a voluntary suspension of actual uranium enrichment, but its leaders intend to continue related programs that feed suspicions of a secret nuclear program.

The suspicions are bolstered by the sudden disclosure in 2002 of a secret uranium-enrichment program that Iran had wrongly failed to inform the IAEA about. This has prompted U.S. leaders such as Secretary of State Colin Powell, a leading advocate of diplomacy, to declare that Iran has a secret nuclear program and that the international community must "apply all the pressure we can" to end it.

Already, administration hard-liners and their allies on Capitol Hill, led by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., are suggesting that "regime change" in Tehran should become official U.S. policy if Iran continues to stonewall the IAEA. The idea seems to be that because this policy is working so well in Iraq, it should be implemented next door in Iran, a vastly bigger country with more resources and more manpower than Saddam Hussein ever possessed.

Santorum's idea, we hope, will not catch on anytime soon inside the Beltway, but it points to the dangers of a continued Iranian standoff. Threats by mullah hard-liners to stop cooperating with the IAEA altogether only serve to raise the stakes and reduce the chances of a reasonable settlement.


AP Wire | 09/29/2004 | Israel Takes Issue With Iran Weapons

AP Wire | 09/29/2004 | Israel Takes Issue With Iran Weapons: "Israel Takes Issue With Iran Weapons

Associated Press
JERUSALEM - Israel will consider "all options" to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said in an interview published Wednesday, marking the latest in a series of Israeli threats against Iran's nuclear program.

Concern about Iranian nuclear development intensified last week when Iranian Vice President Reza Aghazadeh said the country had started converting raw uranium into the gas needed for enrichment, an important step in making a nuclear bomb.

The declaration came in defiance of a resolution passed by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, demanding Iran freeze all uranium enrichment - including conversion.

Israel considers Iran its most dangerous enemy and worries that Iran's nuclear weapons program is intended as a threat against it. Iran denies it is developing nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear development program is aimed at generating electricity.

Mofaz told the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot that Israel had to be prepared to deal with what he called the Iranian "threat."

"All options have to be taken into account to prevent it," he was quoted as saying.

Mofaz said there was a chance a moderate regime would emerge in Tehran to stop the development of nuclear weapons, but if not, measures had to be taken to prevent their deployment.

"The question is what comes first, nuclear ability or regime change," Yediot quoted him as saying.

Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Israel is "taking measures to defend itself" - a comment that raised concern Israel is considering a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear installations along the lines of its 1981 bombing of an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak near Baghdad.

Speculation has also been fueled by recent Israeli weapons acquisitions, including bunker-buster bombs and long-range fighter-bombers."

Shariatmadari: Iran, Kyrgyzstan to sign economic, trade accord

IranMania News: "Iran, Kyrgyzstan to sign economic, trade accord

Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com

LONDON, Sep 29 (IranMania) - A Kyrgyz official said here Tuesday that the meeting of Iranian and Kyrgyz economic experts have been successful, Iran's State News Agency (IRNA) reported.

Kyrgyz Deputy Communication and Transportation Minister Azad Ajikov said that the meeting was held in two sessions on Monday and Tuesday and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the 7th Iran-Kyrgyzstan Joint Economic and Trade Cooperation Commission, to be held in Bishkek Thursday, was finalized and ready to be signed.

An Iranian delegation headed by the Minister of Commerce Mohammad Shariatmadari and the head of joint commission are to arrive in Bishkek Wednesday. The experts have been able to lift main obstacles to mutual economic cooperation and draw up the outlines of the agreement, he added.

He told IRNA that the agreement embraces all the issues related to banking, customs, communication, energy, industry, engineering and technology. The two countries` officials are also keen to expand ties in other areas including scientific, vocational and tourism fields, the Kyrgyz official stated. The two nations private sectors` representatives are also participating in the talks.

Earlier in September, President Mohammad Khatami met with Kyrgyzstan President Asghar Akayev on the sidelines of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) meeting in Dushanbe.

Khatami said that the two nations should use all their political and economic potentials to expand bilateral cooperation in all areas. The two nations will achieve constructive results within the framework of their joint economic commission which is to be held in Bishkek, the Iranian president remarked.

He also said that regional trade blocks have important role in the world, adding "ECO members states have many cultural and historical commonalties, ample natural resources and vast markets and the strengthening of the organization will ensure the interests of the countries."

Akayev also said that holding of the joint economic commission in the next few month will lead to closer ties in all areas. He lauded Iran`s active presence in the reconstruction drive of Afghanistan. "Bishkek is activity pursuing practical ways for implementation of the proposal of the dialogue among civilizations."

He further welcomed the participation of the two nations` private sector in projects as being instrumental in boosting the level of bilateral trade to "twice its present level." The Kyrgyz president further underscored the two nations common views on the role of ECO saying "Iran pays an important role in preserving security in the region.""