Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Let The Ball Roll

Just because the U.S. pushed to have Iran's nuclear program brought before the Security Council, we get this statement from the Iranians:
"The United States has the power to cause harm and pain. But the United States is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if that is the path that the U.S. wishes to choose, let the ball roll." (source)

The media has pronounced that this is an oil threat. Maybe it is; maybe it isn't. More on that in a minute.

If they want to punish the West by cutting oil supplies, that's fine, since it would reduce the amount of terror-funding cash available to the Mullahs. The Tehradicals would be powerless religious scholars were it not for the petrodollars at their disposal, so go ahead and shut of the spiggot.

I'm not sure why the Iranian's comments were directed at us and not Switzerland, where the IAEA is headquarters. After all, we didn't make all this stuff up about Iran's nuke programs; it's in the IAEA statement to the Security Council, which says in part:

“Although the Agency has not seen any diversion of nuclear material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, the Agency is not at this point in time in a position to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran,” it states. (source)
And why are the unprepared to make such a conclusion? Their report lays out a number of reasons:
  • Iran hid its program for 18 years (until 2003), in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • Iran has provided inadequate information on its centrifuge enrichment program
  • A document was found relating to the fabrication of nuclear weapon components,
  • The Iranian military's role in Iran’s nuclear program has not been made clear
  • The IAEA recently received information concerning alleged weapon studies that could involve nuclear material.
  • There are uncertainties related to the scope and nature of Iran’s nuclear program that remain unclarified after three years of IAEA verification efforts
  • Iran continues to be uncooperative, limiting or denying access to individuals, documents, and military owned workshops and R&D locations IAEA wants to investigate.
Meanwhile, over at the White House, Scott McClelland had some choice things to say, including:
The international community is deeply concerned about the regime developing nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian program. And this is about the regime and its behavior. The regime still has an opportunity or has time to change their behavior. You can understand why we remain skeptical given their history, and given their continued defiance of the international community. They have continued to move in the wrong direction. ...

And the international community has made it very clear to the regime that we are not going to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons or a nuclear weapon capability. And that's where the focus is.

Q -- when they make this threat somewhat directly?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think that provocative statements and actions only further isolate Iran from the rest of the world. And the international community has spelled out what the regime needs to do. We've made it very clear that Iran must not be allowed to engage in any enrichment and reprocessing activity within its own territory. There have been proposals put on the table for Iran to realize peaceful civilian nuclear energy. And thus far, the regime continues to move in the wrong direction and defy the international community. (source)

Yesterday, Defense Sec. Rumsfield said what we've all known all along: Iran is sending fighters to Iraq to kill Americans.

Today, they issue not-so-veiled threats. The media assumes they're talking about oil, but are they? The timing of today's threat so quickly after Rumsfield's long overdue declaration of their war effort is perhaps more than a curious coincidence.

If the Iranians are stupid enough to step up shipments of fighters to Iraq, it will quickly force our hand, and hopefully we will see a few Army bases and a few nuclear "research" facilities fall under our awesome airpower.