IRAN RUNAROUND (NEW YORK POST OP-ED) By PETER BROOKES 11/24/03)
NEW YORK POST
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November 24, 2003 -- WITH $8 billion a year in trade and a deal
pending to up that ante even more, the European Union is Iranīs
largest trading partner. And it appears that the E.U. - led by
France, Germany and Britain - may now value those trade privileges
over the principle of opposing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy
(IAEA), reported recently that Iran had secretly manufactured small
amounts of highly-enriched uranium and plutonium - violating the
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Further, the report noted, Tehran
had deliberately hidden the evidence from the IAEA for almost two
The E.U. reaction? It wants to give Iran a chance to
put the nuclear
genie back in the bottle. Figure the odds of that happening.
Specifically, the European Union opposes a get-tough U.N.
on Iranīs nuke program, discussed last week at the IAEA meeting in
Vienna. (The talks were so divisive; they will continue again this
week starting Wednesday.)
Secretary of State Colin Powell warns
that the Europeans are being
too lenient with the Iranians. He wants Iranīs nuclear transgressions
referred to the U.N. Security Council for action, including possible
Clearly, the E.U. has no stomach for
another diplomatic showdown on
the scale of Iraq for the moment. But if the international community
fails to take tough action now against Iran, Tehran will join the
nuclear club before you can say "ayatollah."
How? Hereīs a
dirty little secret from the rogue regime playbook: The
U.N.īs Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) has a dangerous
loophole. Under the guise of a peaceful, civilian nuclear energy
program, a state can openly develop - right under the nose of the
IAEA - most of what it needs for a nuclear-weapons program. It worked
for North Korea and itīs working for Iran today.
On this side
of the Atlantic, heart palpitations are in order when
contemplating nukes in the hands of a regime that is:
worldīs most active state sponsor of terrorism,
* Bent on the
destruction of the United States and Israel, and
* Aspiring to
dominance in the Persian Gulf.
But E.U. hearts appear
unfluttered by all that. The top concern of
Europeīs leaders seems to be preserving - and expanding - lucrative
trade relationships with Tehran.
Iran has the worldīs third-
largest oil reserves. So far, European
firms have invested $10.5 billion in those fields. But 50 percent to
70 percent of the profits from those investments - everything the
investors donīt collect -go directly to Tehranīs treasury.
there, the money funds such nefarious activities as political
repression, acquisition of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear,
chemical and biological) and terrorism - most often directed against
But back to Iranīs nukes. Only a united international
contain the mullahīs atomic efforts. If we donīt address Iranīs
nuclear ambitions with vigor and verve, weīll end up in the same
situation we have today with North Korea, where a nasty regime
possesses nasty weapons.
If the international community is
serious about preventing the spread
of the worldīs most dangerous weapons, hereīs what it must do in the
* The 35-member IAEA should declare Iran in
violation of the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and forward the resolution to the U.N.
Security Council (UNSC) for action.
* The UNSC should set
strong terms for compliance, including no-
notice inspections and intrusive monitoring.
* Any Iranian
noncompliance should trigger immediate multilateral
U.N. economic sanctions.
* The E.U. must freeze its pending
trade pact with Iran until Tehran
demonstrates - not just promises - that it no longer seeks to become
a nuclear power.
If Iran has, indeed, decided to come clean on
its "peaceful" (ha!)
nuclear program, sanctions and other confrontational moves may not be
required - over this issue.
But even so, Iranīs trading
partners should stop closing their eyes
to the deeds that commerce with Iran is supporting, and adjust
accordingly. Because giving each other the runaround on Iran, isnīt
in anyoneīs interest - except Tehranīs.
Peter Brookes is a
Heritage Foundation senior fellow. E-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Copyright 2003 NYP Holdings, Inc. 11/24/03)
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