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calendar   Thursday - August 31, 2006

Showdown

Today is the day. The last several months of negotiations and political maneuvering comes to a head today as the UN awaits Iran’s answer to a demand to stop enriching uranium. Of course everyone knows what the Mad Mullahs and Prez Ahmawhackjob will say. The Iranians are not about to stop or even pause in their mad quest to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran has been thumbing its nose at the entire world since 1979 when “Peanuts” Carter handed the Mad Mullahs the country on a silver platter. All they have to do is agree to allow IAEA inspectors back in to monitor their program (like every other nuclear power in the world does) and start acting rationally. The latter is why it will never happen.

At one time Iran was one of the most advanced countries in the Middle East and Central Asia. The country, under the Shah, was an example of a backwater third-world country achieving a progressive, modern status on a level with the rest of the world. However, “Peanuts” didn’t see it that way and decided that Iran would be better off reverting to a 7th century theocracy.

Now we’re paying the price for that irrational decision. Iran has been a thorn in the side of the world for nearly three decades now and is about to become more than a nuisance. A nuclear-armed Iran is unthinkable. I cannot imagine the repercussions if they are allowed to get away with this. Besides the grave threat to the Middle East, it will embolden every tinpot dictator like Hugo Chavez.

How long before Chavez decides he needs nuclear weapons too? Imagine a country just south of us with nuclear bombs and an attitude. The longer we put this off and allow rogue nations to continue to starve their people in order to finance weapons of mass destruction, the worse it will be in the end. I’d like to think I left my children a better world than that ...

Iran Welcomes Showdown on Deadline Day
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Aug 31, 8:37 AM (ET)

U.S. and European officials appeared ready Thursday to push for low-level sanctions against Iran, like travel bans, as the country remained defiant on the day of a U.N. deadline to halt uranium enrichment.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not directly address the deadline during a speech to a cheering crowd the day before, but he maintained that Iran had the right to pursue nuclear technology.

“The Iranian nation will not succumb to bullying, invasion and the violation of its rights,” Ahmadinejad said. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi shrugged off the possibility of sanctions, telling state-run television that Iran “will find a way to avoid pressure eventually,”

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The deadline was widely reported on the front pages of major Iranian newspapers. The daily Aftab said the showdown offers “the enemies” a chance to ratchet up pressure on Iran. Another newspaper, Kargozaran, expressed doubt that the U.S. would muster enough support within the Security Council for punitive sanctions.

Washington also continues to hold open the possibility that it and its allies - as the next step - might pursue a course outside the U.N. Security Council and impose penalties of their own against Iran. Iran’s refusal to heed the Security Council demand to stop enrichment will be detailed in a confidential IAEA report to be completed Thursday and given to the Security Council. That is likely to trigger council members - by mid-September - to begin considering economic or political sanctions.

The U.S. State Department has not said publicly what it might seek. But U.S. and European officials have indicated they might push for travel restrictions on Iranian officials or a ban on sale of dual-use technology to Iran. The hope is to start with relatively low-level punishments in a bid to attract Russian and Chinese support, the officials have signaled.

More extreme would be a freeze on Iranian assets or a broader trade ban - although opposition to that by Russia, China and perhaps others would be strong, particularly since it could cut off badly needed oil exports from Iran. Russia and China seem likely, in any case, to resist U.S.-led efforts for a quick response, which likely means sanctions do not loom immediately.

It’s not clear when exactly the deadline will run out. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said Wednesday that he believed it would end at 12:01 a.m. Friday in Tehran - or 3:31 p.m. Thursday at the Security Council in New York.

- More on the pending showdown at MyWay News ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 08/31/2006 at 09:31 AM   
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