Friday, November 27, 2009

What's Up Iran?

photo complements of BBC

Again, Iran is rebuked over nuclear ‘cover up’ by the UN. Such has been repeated ad nauseam, this year. In September, it emerged that—as well as its uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, Iran had a second such facility near the town of Qom. And—until two months ago, Iran had failed to tell the IAEA about the plant. Iran later claimed that it had kept the construction secret because it feared that its known nuclear plants could be bombed.

The three countries voting against the resolution were Cuba, Malaysia and Venezuela. Six other nations — Afghanistan, Brazil, Egypt, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey — abstained, and one, Azerbaijan, was absent. The resolution called on Tehran to confirm “that Iran has not taken a decision to construct, or authorize construction of, any other nuclear facility which has as yet not been declared to the agency,” according to diplomats familiar with the text of the resolution.

What’s also new, is Iran is looking to [Brazil] for help—as a sort of “new source of legitimacy to hide the government’s surreptitious goals.” The two countries said that they may discuss cooperation in the nuclear field, where Iran is under intense international pressure to stop uranium enrichment for fear that it is developing atomic weapons. "We can build partnerships to build nuclear plants," Ahmadinejad said in an interview with Brazil's Globo TV News. "Our two countries need nuclear power to generate electricity. Both Brazil and Iran are entitled to benefit from nuclear technology." Indeed, it may not be as embracing as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, a close ally whom Ahmadinejad will visit next on his tour of South America. But it also shouldn't be as punitive as the U.S. or European approach.

Sadly, the UN has given it the golden opportunity for the uranium to be shipped overseas—which is a win-win solution if truly [truly] wants nuclear power for peaceful means. Nevertheless, a rejection of this resolution is not a sign of Iran's growing isolation. Iran’s hesitation to cooperate is truly indicative of its posture since ’79. However, its reluctance to engage in more constructive talks has infuriated even those countries which have protected it in the past.