17.12.05

I-ran in the Arms Race


The Grizzly Contenders

Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be whiped off of the map, has renently gained a front-runner standing in the latest laps of the Arms Race time trials. Although the US and its European allies are discussing at what point the issue should be taken up with the UN Security Council, not everyone shares their concerns, Reuters reports:
Tehran insists it only aims to produce civilian nuclear energy. Allies say the program is to produce weapons.

Russia, which is building Iran's nuclear power plant at Bushehr in southern Iran, remains a serious impediment. The United States fears that weapons grade plutonium could be extracted from the Bushehr reactor once it goes on line.
To complicate matters, it seems there is little faith in the Security Council's ability to effect a diplomatic solution:
The Bush administration is under growing pressure from Congress and pro-Israel groups to soften its stance toward Tehran. They want the nuclear issue referred to the U.N. Security Council, where sanctions could be imposed.
On the other hand, pro-Israeli power brokers are bitterly aware of the real-life stakes:

A pro-Israel advocate said administration officials "are considering harder approaches. Things are moving on a faster track."

Essentially, Iranian hostitlity toward Israel is characteristic of the country's lack of diplomatic prudence and patience:
Efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program would suffer if the issue was moved to the Security Council and the council was too divided to take action, some analysts said.
Once again, the all too familiar cliche that whether the ends justify the means can only be answered with time, and when it might be too late, is looming large over Israel.

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