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Thursday, July 09, 2009

G-8 takes a pass on Iran

When I was a child, I remember hearing on the radio that the United States was involved in negotiations to end the Vietnam War. The negotiations were taking place in Paris, and every hour we would hear headlines about the 'Paris peace talks.' For what seemed like many months, I remember that all they discussed at the 'Paris peace talks' was the shape of the table at which the negotiators would sit. Would it be round or square or perhaps oval? Who would sit next to whom? That went on for months. Eventually, Americans lost their stomach for the war, withdrew their troops and lost (okay, I'm oversimplifying). But one never got a sense that the negotiations were being treated with any sense of urgency.

Unfortunately, I sense the same lack of urgency regarding the 'negotiations' with Iran over its potential development of nuclear weapons. In L'Aquila, Italy on Wednesday, the leaders of the eight largest industrial powers (minus China, whose President returned home to attend to riots in his own country) decided to give Iran until September - September 24 to be exact - to agree to negotiations over its nuclear capability. Otherwise, Iran will face 'tougher sanctions' although whether those sanctions, if implemented, will be enforced remains to be seen.

If negotiations start in September, how long will they drag out? How long will Iran be able to continue to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of negotiations? How long will Israel be asked to wait to 'give negotiations a chance' before undertaking a high risk operation that will get riskier by the day and that may have no less than Israel's future existence at stake?
Upping the stakes in a dispute with Tehran, [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy said the powers would review the situation at a G20 meeting of developed and developing countries in Pittsburgh on September 24 and 25.

"If there is no progress by then we will have to take decisions," said Sarkozy after discussions with G8 partners that wrapped up the first day of their annual summit.
Take decisions? What decisions? Whether to impose further sanctions? I don't see anything else on the table. Does Sarkozy mean that even if the Iranians don't come to the table in September, there still may not be further sanctions?

The Russians are still dragging their feet about sanctions (Sarkozy referred to them as 'the more reserved among us'), the Chinese left but are known to oppose further sanctions, the Obama administration is dogmatically committed to 'engagement' with Iran and would require a major epiphany to agree to any other course of action.

No one seems to have a sense of urgency about this situation. No one except Israel. And we're not even being invited to the table. The clock is ticking. But no one seems to hear it.


At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prior to the conference America had said it would not support sanctions against Iran. Guess they convinced the rest of the attendees.

At 4:11 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Iran has to take satisfaction in the fact that it has used raw brutality to maintain itself in power and the West's response has been... nothing.

Party like its 1938!

At 6:50 PM, Blogger All-Mi-T [Thought Crime] Rawdawgbuffalo said...

we dont really have a foreign policy but rather a Foreign Policy Faux Pas


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