Friday, September 17, 2004

Iran Must Be Denied Even Peaceful Nuclear Technologies

The United States and European negotiators have agreed on text for a resolution demanding that Iran cease its nuclear enrichment acitities and halt its pursuit of 'dual use' nuclear technologies. The resolution, however, does not go far enough. According to an AP story, the text, at the insistence of the ever-hesitant Europeans, "recognize[s] the right of countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy," leaving Tehran a lot of "wiggle room" and setting the stage for further confrontation against the U.S. when the resolution's deadline comes to pass in November. Iran, of course, insists that it must be allowed to possess nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes. Hossein Mousavian, Tehran's chief delegate to the IAEA meeting, has already seized on the language of the resolution as recognition of the country's "right" to possess the technology:

"For us two or three months of (continued) suspension is not the issue," he told the AP. "For us, the recognition of the right to Iran" to possess technology for nonmilitary use "is the most important issue."

Mousavian's comment reveals the danger in taking anything but a hard line on this issue -- any softness is immediately prodded, tested, and used to Iranian's greatest advantage.

Returning to the theme of my post from yesterday, we absolutely must make moral determinations regarding the nations of the world. President Bush did just this regarding Iran, labelling it part of the infamous axis of evil. Iran has sponsored terrorism in the past and and is clearly supporting the insurgency in Iraq at the present. The Islamist bent of the highest authorities of their government allies them with the sentiments of Al Qaeda and the rest of the Islamist terror groups. Given the awful power of nuclear weapons and the ill motives and actions of the Iranians, we must deny them dual use technologies that they might give to terrorists, use to attack Israel, or use to upset the fledgling democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have no right to use nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes -- they forfeited that right by their misdeeds past and present. We cannot trust to their good will the security of the region or our homeland, and we need not be forced to so trust them because they claim it is their 'right' as a sovereign nation to possess such dangerous technologies. The twin realities of the new post-cold war age, those of evil, hate-filled terrorists and proliferating WMD technologies, demand that we act preemptively to stop the two from coming together. That means both ranking regimes according to their demonstrated goodness, and acting more preemptively with regard to nations at the bottom of the list of good regimes.


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