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Monday, September 07, 2009

Iran to Obama: There's nothing to discuss

Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that there is nothing further to discuss with the 'six powers' (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) regarding Iran's nuclear program.
"From our view point (discussion of) our nuclear issue is finished," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his first news conference since he was sworn into office on August 5 following a disputed re-election in June.

"We will continue our work in the framework of global regulations and in close cooperation with the (U.N.) International Atomic Energy Agency. We will never negotiate on the Iranian nation's obvious rights," he added.

Obama has given Tehran until this month to take up a six powers' offer of talks on trade benefits if it stops nuclear enrichment, or face harsher sanctions.

Ahmadinejad invited officials from the six powers -- the United States, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany -- to take a look at Iran's upcoming package of proposals addressing global "challenges."

Iran was ready to negotiate and cooperate on making "peaceful use of clean nuclear energy" available for all countries and in preventing the spread of nuclear arms, he said.

The semi-official ISNA news agency said Iran was likely to unveil the package by the end of this week.
At this point, sanctions are highly unlikely to be
effective. For starters, Russia and China will never go along with them, and it's doubtful that the Europeans will either.

More important, the only sanctions that have been discussed that could have a quick and painful effect on Iran would be a cutoff in imported oil products (Iran produces crude but has almost no refining capacity). That won't work either. First, because the Iranian government could care less whether its civilian population has fuel and has shown that it will brutally repress that civilian population should it rise up in protest.

Second, it won't work because Iran also has abundant natural gas and it has been adapting cars to run on that fuel.

Third, China is in the process of building enough refineries for Iran to meet all of its energy needs by 2012.

The only effective method left to stop Iran is military. Barack Obama is unwilling to use that method, and is unlikely to consent to Israel (the only country that is willing to attack Iran) using military means until it is far too late.

What could go wrong?


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