There was an article in a paper the other day that said while so many Americans were focusing their ire at Libya’s Moammar Qaddafi, their real concern ought to be Iran.
Looks like that article got it right. The Iranians now admit they have a second uranium enrichment facility. This one looks to be fully capable of producing bomb making material. So much for Ahmadinejad’s statement the other day at the UN that Iran has fully cooperated with weapons inspectors. He certainly made no mention of this second facility in his remarks to the General Assembly.
So now what to do? Even those who might think the Iranians have a right to develop nuclear power for the nation’s energy needs are at a loss. This appears to be out and out deception.
Presidents Obama and Sarkozy, as well as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown were quick to respond to Iran’s admission. President Obama said the new facility “is inconsistent with a peaceful program.” He demanded Iran present detailed information to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) as to the scope and intention of the new plant.
However, CNN is quoting sources who say Western powers have known about the existence of this so-called secret plant for several months. It was that knowledge that led Iran to send a letter to the IAEA admitting the new plant existed.
So the question must be asked again. What to do now? President Obama and France’s Sarkozy talk about new and “serious” sanctions. Can they work, and to what end? Demanding the Iranians close the new plant is like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube.
And while the West may see Iran’s nuclear ambition as war-like, what about the rest of the world. The Chinese have a longstanding problem with ratcheting up sanctions against Iran. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it has the power to veto any such action, rendering the tough talk of Obama, Sarkozy, and Brown effectively moot.
So it seems the road to getting Iran to scale back its nuclear program runs right through Beijing. Which leads to the question, what will the West have to concede to get the Chinese to pressure Iran despite their strong economic ties? It’s obvious any progress here will come in increments, and perhaps despite the tough words we heard Friday morning. Unlike the previous administration, no one is talking about a military option.
So what would you do? How would you respond to Iran’s new nuclear plant? Do you think they want to make a bomb? You tell me.