Iranians have been dreaming of a “peaceful nuclear program” for many years. No doubts about it, they want a full-blown nuclear power complex. Female activists in wraparound clothes go chanting through the streets of Tehran: “We have the right to develop nuclear energy.” The military seems ready and willing to stand up for their president: they eye Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with awe and obedience as though to show that the army with a model drill like that does not need any atomic bomb. The statement about Iran being opposed to a nuclear weapon has had an exquisite ambiguity since the time of the first debate about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. One can be still tempted to take a deep breath and ask something like: “Oh, really?” on hearing the infamous statement. Then all the diplomacy crumbles and a policy of doubts and gossips comes along.
The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran’s Foreign Ministry took a break to upgrade a range of threats. The show needs fresh gags because the old ones e.g. “That’s it, we are going to refer the issue to the UN Security Council” and “No, it is not acceptable” have bored the audience. New pranks should be based on fresh suspicions. Voila, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice got inspiration from the good old “Paris arrangements.”
For starters, Ms. Rice believes an expert opinion published by a newspaper is not worth a plugged nickel. Therefore, she prefers to get first-handed information by “mingling in the diplomatic circles”. “The newspapers keep saying about a ‘breakthrough’ being reached here and there. After talking to diplomats I do doubt that Iranians have already said the words everybody wants them to say,” says she and shrugs her shoulders.
Here is what Secretary Rice wants to hear Tehran say: “First, they should stop the activity they resumed in breach of the Paris arrangements. Second, they should appreciate that “ Iran’s civil nuclear program shall not include uranium enrichment and conversion on the Iranian soil.” And they stop picking at the West. The “three wishes” of the State Department hover above the diplomats yet the Iranian authorities have been mute. Sure thing, Tehran is likely to object it later and call it “unacceptable” or “not permissible” for a change. But any concessions to the U.S. are out of the question. One step towards the U.S, one step towards Russia, and two steps backwards.
Meanwhile, Mohammad El Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is polishing up a major report on the Iranian nuclear crisis. He will soon submit the report to the UN Security Council. Then the Security Council will have a serious discussion regarding the next steps to be taken, says Condoleezza Rice.
She certainly gives that chance to Iran: “We are not saying that we should slap sanctions on Iran. We would rather resolve the problem within the IAEA framework and get Iran follow the resolution taken by the UN Security Council on February 4. So far the Iranians have not shown their willingness to do that,” says Condoleezza Rice. However, she apparently believes that Iran’s recent rush at the international scene is just a case of clutching at straws, a sort of nighttime panic before the morning exam.
Translated by Guerman Grachev
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