Nukes, Iran and Sanctions
Back in July The UNSC set a deadline of Aug 31 2006 (my post here) for Iran to either suspend uranium enrichment or face economic & diplomatic sanctions…. That deadline came and went with no significant sanctions imposed nor a commitment by Iran to halt its uranium enrichment and other aspects of its nuclear weapons program.
Reminds me of a couple of Quotes:
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
WASHINGTON – The United States will seek tougher U.N. sanctions against Iran for defying a Security Council demand to suspend uranium enrichment, U.S. officials said Thursday. But it was unclear whether Russia or China, which hold Security Council vetoes, will go along.
U.S. officials disclosed the latest move after the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, said Iran was expanding an industrial-scale uranium enrichment facility and continuing to build the Arak heavy water reactor.
The United States and its European allies believe that Iran’s uranium enrichment program is part of a secret effort to develop nuclear weapons, while Iran insists that the program is aimed at generating electrical power. There is ambiguity, because the same process that produces low-enriched uranium for power plants also produces highly enriched uranium fuel used in nuclear weapons.
A renewed drive for sanctions almost certainly will ratchet up tensions that are already rising following U.S. charges that Iranian-supplied weapons have cost hundreds of American troops in Iraq their lives.
Britain announced that it would support tougher sanctions, but there was no word from Russia and China on whether they would drop their earlier objections to stronger measures.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted that Iran would “never” abandon its nuclear program, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.
And this from the NY Times:
WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 — In open defiance of the United Nations, Iran is steadily expanding its efforts to enrich uranium, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported Thursday. In response, the Bush administration immediately pressed for more severe sanctions against the country, at a moment of greatly increased tensions between Washington and Tehran.
In a mild surprise to outside experts, the nuclear agency reported that Iran was now operating or about to switch on roughly 1,000 centrifuges, the high-speed devices that enrich uranium, at its nuclear facility at Natanz.