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Analysis

* Preventing the Iranian Nuclear Crisis from Escalating  Pierre Goldschmidt

* An Open letter to Mrs Hillary Clinton - signed by 96 sinatories  Ali Behrooz

* Iran's Failed 'Litmus Test'  News Report

* A Sensible Path on Iran  News Report

* A Freshman’s Solution  Ali Behrooz

* Iran – a tough nut for the American election candidates  Korosh Erfani

* Obama shaken, rattled, and rolled  Dick Polman

* The Ayatollahs’ Choice?  Ali Behrooz

* ‘With enemies like this…’  Ali Behrooz

* Mitigating Iranian Mischief  David Ignatius

* Playing at CINC  Michelle Oddis

* The Conceit of Hindsight  Richard Dawkins

* The lesser of two evils  Ali Behrooz

* Gertrude Himmelfarb - Queen bee of American neoconservatives -PROFILE:  Gertrude Himmelfarb

* Analysis: Iran's political flux mirrored in US  News Report

* Lebanon and the Lebanese need a lot more than just a new president  News Report

* Iran seen to need 3-8 yrs to produce bomb  Jon Boyle

* Invasion would be a disaster  Michael Evans

* The Warmongers!  Ali Behrooz

* It Doesn't Get Any Worse Than That, Ray"  William A. Cook

* Chaotic, Disarrayed and Appeasing  Ali Behrooz

* Still a messiah?  Isabel Hilton

* The fallout from an attack on Iran would be devastating  News Report

* Intellectually Progressive  Ali Behrooz

* Islamists, USA and Terrorists – Foes or Friends?  Ali Behrooz

* No Sanctuary for Rashid Ghazi  Ali Behrooz

* 'The driving force of global terror'  News Report

* Getting serious about Syria  News Report

* Mideast lessons from Northern Ireland  News Report

* Defusing the Israeli-Syrian PR war  News Report

* The Democrats After November  Mike Davis

* Mid-Point In The Middle East?  Tariq Ali

* Nato's Islamists  Cihan tuğal

* France’s foreign policy  Bernard Cassen

* Interview: Bank Pressures Hit Iranian Business Harder than Sanctions  Lee Hudson Teslik

* Interview: Gingrich: Bipartisanship, and Possibly His Candidacy, Needed to Right U.S. Foreign Policy  Robert McMaho

* Turks are reconstructing Northern Iraq  Serpil Yilmaz

* Two men on the wrong mission  Robert Fox

* General Sees Iran s Hand in Iraq Fight  Robert Burns

* Bush's Dilemma: Iran vs. Israel  Patrick J. Buchanan

* Iran may be the greatest crisis of modern times  John Pilger

* Intelligence Indications And Warnings Abound On Bush Iran Military Strike  Wayne Madsen

* As peace summit ends, war begins  News Report

* Solution in Sight  Noam Chomsky


Iran's Failed 'Litmus Test'
[ News Report]  [2008-05-28 13:17:07]
[Source: Washington Post - 28/05/08]


Will there be consequences for Tehran's stonewalling of U.N. nuclear inspectors?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008; A12

LAST AUGUST, the International Atomic Energy Agency struck a deal with Iran on a "work plan" for clearing up outstanding questions about its nuclear program within three months -- in other words, before December 2007. IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, who launched the initiative as an end run around the Western campaign to stop Tehran's ongoing uranium enrichment, claimed that it would be a "litmus test." "If Iran were to prove that it was using this period for delaying tactics and it was not really acting in good faith, then obviously nobody -- nobody -- will come to its support when people call for more sanctions or for punitive measures," Mr. ElBaradei said in an interview last September with Newsweek.

On Monday, some six months after the expiration of the deadline, the IAEA issued a report saying, in essence, that Iran had not acted in good faith and was engaging in delaying tactics. "Substantial explanations" were still lacking, the agency said, for documents showing that Iran had worked on bomb-related explosives and a missile warhead design. Moreover, while the IAEA has been cooling its heels, the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been installing two new and more advanced sets of centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, without providing required notification. International inspectors were denied access to sites where the centrifuge components were manufactured. "Iran has not provided the Agency with all the information, access to documents and access to individuals necessary," the IAEA report says.

So will Mr. ElBaradei now support tough new punitive measures by the U.N. Security Council? We expect not. Like several of the Security Council's members, the Egyptian-born director is far less concerned with preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb than in thwarting those he describes as the "crazies" in Washington. As long as that mentality prevails, it's unlikely that Iran will face sanctions stiff enough to cause it to reconsider its defiance of the multiple U.N. resolutions ordering it to suspend uranium enrichment.

That, in turn, is bad news not only for President Bush but for Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.). The two presidential candidates have been arguing over whether and how the United States should negotiate with Iran; Mr. Obama suggests that talks would be a key element of his strategy. But as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates recently pointed out, negotiations won't work unless the United States and its allies develop "leverage, either through economic or diplomatic or military pressures, on the Iranian government so that they believe they must have talks with the United States because there is something they want from us."

At the moment, such leverage is manifestly lacking. How could it be brought about, despite the obstructionism of actors such as Mr. ElBaradei? That, more than the facile subject of whether to negotiate, would be a worthy point for the presidential candidates to address.





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