Iran Defies UN, Opens A Nuclear Power Plant
Iran's hard-line president inaugurated a new phase of a nuclear facility today. A facility that will probably be used to develop a nuclear weapon, just days ahead of a United Nations deadline that requires Tehran to halt uranium enrichment.
Was this the big "surprise" we were told to expect? Many expected Iran to do something irrational as part of its millenial ambitions to bring back the 12th Imam. Could this just be a stepping stone toward that goal?
The U.N. has called on Tehran to stop the separate process of uranium enrichment, which also can be used to create nuclear weapons, by Thursday or face economic and political sanctions.
Ahmadinejad said in a speech that Iran would never abandon what he once again called its purely peaceful nuclear program.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that "There is no discussion of nuclear weapons," and that "We are not a threat to anybody even the Zionist regime, which is a definite enemy for the people of the region."
That seems like a contradictory statement considering everything President Ahmadinejad has stated previously point to Iran's Islamic regime being determined to bring about the end of the world and it is likely to begin with the destruction of Israel.
A senior Israeli lawmaker is taking it seriously though and warned in a statement that the plant inauguration marks "another leap in Iran's advance toward a nuclear bomb."
Though the West's main worry has been enrichment of uranium that could be used in a bomb, it also has called on Iran to stop the construction of a heavy-water reactor near the production plant.
I read over at Captain's Quarters Blog that the Germans tried using heavy water for its own atomic-weapons program during World War II, and for a solid technical reason: it eliminates the need for uranium enrichment to fuel reactors, which can then yield weapons-grade fissile material. It seems as though the Iranians want to cover all their bases in creating the fuel for nuclear weapons; they continue to pursue enrichment in parallel.
Ahmadinejad's construction of the heavy-water plant puts a stake in the heart of the argument that Iran only wants peaceful nuclear energy. Their multiple-tracked efforts to achieve plutonium production shows quite clearly that they have spent more effort than necessary to get simple civil nuclear power production. The incentive package offered by the West would have given it to them in any case.
The United Nations has decided to go back on a previous deadline, that had already passed anyway, and extend the deadline to August 31st for Iran to stop enriching uranium. If Iran fails to do so, the UNSC will be forced to do a lot of public blustering while still not forcing Iran to pay any serious consequences.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov says it is premature to talk about sanctions, calling for more time to resolve the dispute through negotiations. That was the Russian position on Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein as well, and in the latter case, Russia made itself one of the chief reasons that sanctions failed.
Russia and China both know that they are pretty much immune to a nuclear attack from Iran, so they sit back and stick it to the US safe in the knowlege that we are in this almost alone. The rest of the world is gambling that less support for the US will keep them out of the terrorist’s sights, so they tacitly do everything possible to keep Israel, Britain and the US at the forefront of Islamic hatred.
That leaves the US with few options, short of militarily, to stop the Iranian nuke. The Bush administration wants to still try to apply international sanctions, and may attempt a coalition of nations to join, but for sanctions to work they must have near-universal acceptance and application and this has never been the case.
Ahmadinejad said that Iran would pursue its right to develop nuclear technology even if sanctions are imposed.
Perhaps Mr. Ahmadinejad might be meeting up with his hidden Imam sooner than he thinks.