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Posts Tagged ‘nukes’

Ship Seized On Its Way to Iran

August 29, 2009 Leave a comment

The United Arab Emirates seized a cargo ship bound for Iran with a cache of banned weaponry. The UAE, which is a hub for Iranian goods, reported the find in a confidential letter to the council’s sanctions committee for North Korea.

Although the ship contained rockets rather than nukes, the discovery does not bode well for the international reputation of either North Korea or Iran.

North Korea has only recently developed a more conciliatory stance towards South Korea and the U.S., the Associated Press reports, and Iran has only just begun to produce nuclear fuel at a slower rate and has increased U.N. access to its main nuclear complex in Natanz and Arak.

Still,  contention between Iran and the U.S. rages.

Iran’s chief representative to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh told the AP, “America alleges that Iran has a Manhattan Project” to build a bomb, Soltanieh said. “This is ridiculous. This game is enough. It should be over. … We have tried to take a very logical and pragmatic approach.”

The fate of a nuclear Iran will be decided after September 2nd during a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation board. President Obama has said that sanctions will be tightened if Iran does not stop enriching uranium. However, if Iran does end it’s nuclear program, Obama has promised trade and commercial benefits.

It is doubtful whether an economically-based ultimatum can address an issue that is largely ideological. Can commerce and trade substitute national (and regional) pride? That remains to be seen, but it is just as unlikely that Iran can bear the weight of the “severe” sanctions that Europe hopes to put forth after September 2nd.

— Tina Carter, Trinity ’10
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Iran Has Deals in the Works

Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki said today that the government will prepare a package of deals on issues of economy, security and international affairs.

The omission of nuclear activity is not a smart one. Prior to the G-8 summit this week,  Israel was successful in pushing three European superpowers to back a military amendment to the IAEA on Iran in September, and despite President Obama’s decision to refrain from military action, he has warned Iran of the September “deadline” for nuclear talks.

In April, the West presented its own package to Iran in which it provided incentives for nuclear non-proliferation, and it was well-received by President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad who said that it respected the nation’s sovereignty. Unfortunately, diplomatic relations have all but severed in the post-election backdrop, and the president has accused the West of trying to undercut Iran and of even inciting the street protests.

— Tina Carter, Trinity ’10