No more Mr. Nice Guy: Ahmadinejab and the UN
I would say that Iran's President Ahmadinejad (and is anyone else besides me incongruously reminded of food--trout almandine, for example--by his name?) is dropping any show of being amenable to pressure from international bodies such as the UN--if he'd ever given any sign of such tractability in the first place.
What I don't understand is those who believe he cares about such things as the UN. But perhaps because they care so much, they have a difficult time giving up the hope that he does. No doubt such true believers will say this current pronouncement is just strategic bluster, and that he doesn't really mean it. Or, alternatively, that he is stating the truth when he says he's just interested in atomic energy for electrical power and such.
So, now we hear this from our dear friend Ahmadinejad, on the UN and its effort to slap Iran's wrist for its nuclear program:
Iran won't give a damn" about any U.N. resolutions concerning its nuclear program, its president said Friday, hours before an expected finding that Tehran has failed to meet a Security Council deadline to suspend uranium enrichment.
The anticipated finding by U.N. nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei will set the stage for a confrontation at the Security Council.
If Iran does not comply, the council is likely to consider punitive measures against the Islamic republic. While Russia and China have been reluctant to endorse sanctions, the council's three other veto-wielding members say a strong response is in order.
And what sort of "confrontation" is it that the UN contemplates? Unclear, if NATO is any indication:
However, NATO foreign ministers meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, did not offer any specific threat of sanctions against Iran, in part to avoid a rift with Russia and China.
"On Iran, there was unanimity," Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told reporters. "Although the clear message to the Iranian authorities is one of firmness, we have to continue with the diplomatic path."
If that's "firmness," I'd hate to see flabbiness.
From Secretary Rice:
Rice said it was time for the Security Council to act if the world body wished to remain credible.
"The Security Council is the primary and most important institution for the maintenance of peace and stability and security and it cannot have its word and its will simply ignored by a member state," Rice said....
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton already has said he plans to introduce a resolution requiring Tehran to comply with the council's demand to stop its enrichment program. The resolution would not call for sanctions now, but it would be introduced under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which allows for sanctions and is militarily enforceable.
Ah, that's the game Saddam played, as I recall. The one we decided to end by the Iraq War.
And then there's this:
Iran's U.N. ambassador, Javad Zarif, said Tehran will refuse to comply with such a resolution because its activities are legal and peaceful. Enrichment can be used to generate fuel or make the fissile core of nuclear weapons.
"If the Security Council decides to take decisions that are not within its competence, then Iran does not feel obliged to obey," he said Thursday in New York.
I'm afraid that most decisions undertaken by the UN are not within its competence. On that, if nothing else, Javad Zarif and I seem to be in agreement.
[CORRECTION: I noticed I spelled Ahmadinejad's name incorrectly in the title of the post. Freudian slip, no doubt.]