Sunday, November 20, 2005

Iran Parliament Votes to Keep IAEA Out

In a story just released, Iran's parliament has voted to keep the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) out of Iran and block any inspections of its nuclear facilities. This, of course, is troublesome because Iran consistently claims it is building facilities and enriching uranium solely for power production and peaceful purposes. The Iranian leaders also consistently whine that the world is against them (i.e. being a member of the axis of evil), and wrongly accuse Iran of trying to develop a full nuclear weapons capability. Of course, it doesn't help their cause when the Iranian president states publicly that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth. Nor will actions such as the one just taken by the parliament.

When a nation has consistently lied about their intentions and has tried to get away with hiding facts (such as state support of terror groups) in the past, it would seem logical that if they want to gain world acceptance and respect and become a legitimate player in the MidEast they would want to show a sign of good faith. This is not the way to do it. How else can we interpret their defiance of allowing inspections except to conclude Iran is trying to hide a weapons program?

Iran has had essentially a two-year grace period since the U.S. invaded Iraq to do whatever they want, since the U.S. did not keep pressure on Iran as I think we should have. Saddam was contained and we had UN inspectors on the ground in Iraq (and they were discovering that our intelligence was not accurate), and during that time I think we made a mistake by not focusing on the larger threats of Iran and North Korea. Has Iran made progress towards a nuclear weapons program during the past two years, as North Korea supposedly has? It may be the price we pay for going into Iraq, and it is absolutely essential we figure out a way to get inspectors into Iran to make sure. It will be difficult to believe our intelligence after the disastrous failures in Iraq, so we need to get direct, on the ground evidence to be absolutely sure about Iran.

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