Monday, February 13, 2006

Trusting Iran

Q: How is Iran like Ross Perot?

A: They're both in. Then they're both out. Wait, no, back in again. Oh, to hell with us all, they're back out again!
Iran Reaffirms Nuclear Treaty Commitment

TEHRAN, Iran Feb 12, 2006 (AP)— Iran reaffirmed its commitment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty on Sunday, a day after its hard-line president implied Tehran was considering withdrawing from the pact after being reported to the U.N. Security Council.

The declaration by the Iranian Foreign Ministry came as inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog arrived in the Islamic republic over the weekend to evaluate what controls remained on nuclear sites and equipment after Tehran reduced the agency's monitoring power to a minimum, diplomats said.

A diplomat told The Associated Press Saturday that some seals and cameras had been removed within the last few days, suggesting that happened without IAEA supervision. But others familiar with the probe said Sunday they doubted the Iranians would make such a move before the arrival of the inspectors.

The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak on the issue.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi urged a peaceful solution to the dispute over his country's nuclear program.

"We are still committed to the provisions of the NPT. But we can't accept its use as a (political) instrument. We will cooperate in the treaty and the safeguards' framework," Asefi said at a weekly news conference.

On Saturday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected U.S. and European pressure to freeze the country's nuclear program and hinted that Iran might withdraw from the treaty.

"The nuclear policy of the Islamic Republic so far has been peaceful. Until now, we have worked inside the agency (IAEA) and the NPT regulations," he said in a speech before tens of thousands of Iranians marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

"If we see you want to violate the right of the Iranian people by using those regulations (against us), you should know that the Iranian people will revise its policies," he said.

He did not specify what changes Tehran envisioned, but it was believed to be a threat to withdraw from the NPT and the IAEA....
Trusting Iran on its nuclear ambitions is like trusting gang members to obey gun control laws. It's utter naïveté to think that Iran wouldn't remove the seals until the inspectors arrived, let alone to think Iran's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes -- with all the cheap oil in their back yard, why do they want to bother with expensive nuclear energy? Am I the only one who sees significance in the timing of "Madman Mahmoud," i.e. the anniversary of the day they declared war on the United States?

I'm sure U.S. intelligence analysts similarly believed on November 3, 1979, that Iranians would never dare take American citizens hostage in our own embassy. Let me relate a little family story showing my father's contempt for the country Iran became. When news of the hostage crisis broke out, my father was in a bar with some friends. There was a Middle Eastern-looking man who said he was glad it happened, that he hated the United States. My father thought he was Iranian and was about to go over and literally beat the crap out of him. One of my father's friends told him not to bother, though, that "He's not even an Iranian."

Though my father was an atheist, he had a bit of agnosticism at times. I think it was more that he wanted a hell to punish evil people, rather than a heaven so people can be with God. Dad growled as we watched the news of Khomeini's death, "I hope that bastard rots in hell!" My father truly hated Khomeini, as I always have, especially for what Khomeini did to a country once friendly with the United States. In the 1960s, my father traveled quite a bit through the Middle East, including Beirut and Tehran. He really enjoyed those cities, which were jewels then. Today they're but shadows of the beauty and wealth they were just starting to enjoy. It's a real credit to Islam's centuries of suppression of Middle East art, philosophy and scholarship, its own equivalent of Europe's Dark Ages.

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Iran: it's all your fault, you made us do it!
Two words for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

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