Just one question: Why is any of this being allowed to proceed on Iran’s timetable? If the goal is still to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of a state sponsor of jihadist terrorism, that approach ought to seem just a bit counterproductive. “Iran ready to resume nuclear talks in August, president says,” from CNN, June 28:
Tehran, Iran (CNN) — Iran is prepared to resume talks over its nuclear program but will wait until late August as punishment for recently imposed U.N. sanctions, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday.
The outcome of the talks will depend on whether Western powers hold Israel to the same standards over its nuclear program, Ahmadinejad said at a news conference.
How about Iran holds itself to the same standards as Israel? Let Iran be a tiny country in a vast, hostile territory, that only wants to protect the minute sliver of land it can call its own, but still adheres to vastly higher standards of human rights, democracy, and an open society than is remotely expected of any of its neighbors. And that includes the neighbors who are client states of Iran — Syria, Hamas’s Gaza, and Hizballah’s state-within-a-state in Lebanon.
“Western countries have no problems with Israel’s nuclear bombs,” Ahmadinejad said.
The U.N. Security Council imposed additional sanctions on Iran in early June, expanding an arms embargo and tightening restrictions on financial and shipping enterprises related to “proliferation-sensitive activities.”
The 12-2 vote with one abstention came after the United States and other Security Council members expressed their concern over Iran’s lack of compliance with previous U.N. resolutions on ensuring the peaceful nature of the nation’s nuclear program.
The resolution on further sanctions was introduced by France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Brazil and Turkey voted against the measure and Lebanon abstained.
The United States pressured some nations to vote against Iran, Ahmadinejad said at Monday’s news conference.
The Security Council also asked the U.N. secretary-general to create a panel of experts to monitor implementation of the sanctions.
Iran has disavowed any intentions of developing nuclear weapons and says its program is for peaceful purposes.
Well, except for that one ayatollah who recently went off-message.