Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Must Be
And France
Are Getting

Yesterday came the news that UN Nuclear watchdog, Mohammed El-Baradei may be growing a set of stones. He's actually starting to talk about the use of force:

Newsweek: What if the Iranians are just buying time for their bomb building?

El Baradei: That’s why I said we are coming to the litmus test in the next few weeks. Diplomacy is not just talking. Diplomacy has to be backed by pressure and, in extreme cases, by force. We have rules. We have to do everything possible to uphold the rules through conviction. If not, then you impose them. Of course, this has to be the last resort, but sometimes you have to do it.

He also said this:

El-Baradei: ... if they have the nuclear material and they have a parallel weaponization program along the way, they are really not very far—a few months—from a weapon.

Newsweek: With all due respect, the Iranians don't seem to care what you think.

El-Baradei: Well, they might not seem to care. But if I say that I am not able to confirm the peaceful nature of that program after three years of intensive work, well, that's a conclusion that's going to reverberate, I think, around the world.

In the past I have questioned whether El-Baradei was working for the other side. If he is, then this is just a clever smokescreen. Let's hope he means what he says. He does sound like a man who is fed up.

And, let's note something else here. Repeatedly, in past weeks, Reuters and AP have published articles indicating Iran is years away from having a bomb. But, here, El-Baradei himself is saying that for all he knows, Iran could be just months away.

Why do you think AP and Reuters are doing what they are doing?

The thing is, things must be getting awfully dangerous because even the French are starting to draw a line in the sand:

TEHRAN, Iran - France rejected Iran's request for more talks on Iran's nuclear program, saying Wednesday that Tehran first must suspend its atomic activities. Iran asked for a ministerial-level meeting, but its decision to resume some activities "means that it is not possible for us to meet under satisfactory conditions to pursue these discussions," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Denis Simonneau said in Paris.