Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Speaking of clueless:
London, March 9, IRNA - Two former aides to the administration of George W Bush's father called Wednesday for the US, EU and Russia to make an offer Iran cannot refuse in the interests of all nations of the world.

"Europe, Russia and the US should therefore back a comprehensive package that offers significant security and economic benefits," said former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and member of the National Security Council Daniel Poneman.

This, they suggested, should be in return "for a verifiable Iranian commitment, at a minimum, to halt all activities that could enhance nuclear weapon capabilities."

"If it complies, it should be offered cradle-to-grave fuel services for any Iranian nuclear power plant in perpetuity, on attractive terms," the two former US aides proposed. [...]

"The US will reduce the risks of Iranian action against its interests. Europe will increase trade and energy security. Russia will open the door to increased nuclear co-operation with the US," Scowcroft and Poneman said.

They said that also "Iran will increase its security and trade. And the world will avoid cascading proliferation in the Middle East."

But the two former officials equally warned that such an approach "requires seamless integration of positions among the governments concerned."

"If Europe only offers incentives and the US only threats, Iran is likely to conclude that it can continue to play one against the other, or that any deal will not stick," they said.

The coalition, the former national security advisers said, also should make it clear that, "if Iran refused such an offer, there would be no choice but to conclude that it was interested only in nuclear weapons and to act jointly to impose significant penalties."

They further warned that "if the US, Europe and Russia fail to join in an approach along these lines, it is likely that the world will face an Iranian government far closer to the acquisition of nuclear weapons."

"That is an outcome that it is in the interests of all nations to avoid," Scowcroft and Poneman said.
Have these guys been asleep since 1993? There is nothing in this strategy significantly different than the deal with DPRK in 1994, except the fuel in that case oil and not nuclear as is the case here. It could well be argued this deal is worse because of that fact.

There is no reason for the Iranians to stop their efforts at joining the nuclear club. To the contrary, they have every incentive to continue their efforts rather than quit them. Being a nuclear power allows them to fend off outside pressures while they maintain their tyrannical govermental construct with its favored methods of political maintenance - crackdowns, round ups, beatings, imprisonments, and disappearances and hangings - so they can continue their favorite brand of civil administration - hanging 13 yo retarded girls who have sex and young sassy young boys, not to mention women unfortunate enough to get raped. (Or was that penalty stoning? I forget. Maybe the guilty have that freedom of choice.) Etc, etc, etc.

The Iranian Revolution would not last more than a few years, with current events not factored in, if they willingly surrendered on these efforts. It is their only hope if the IR is to survive as the moolahs envision it and the moolahs are deluding themselves if they think the IR can survive by being nuclear power alone. At most it might go a decade with the help of ever more brutal tactics used on their own citizenry.

But factoring the current events in, it will be even less because, contrary to Scowcroft and Poneman's assertion, the only cascading proliferation to come in the Middle East is freedom and democracy.

[Original story was in the Financial Times, access by subscription only.]

Update: Khamenei sounds amenable to suggestions such as Scowcroft and Poneman's. Not. Meanwhile, this from the government S&P thinks we ought to appease. Sure, they'll listen to reason.

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