Well hold onto your seats and set your faces to stunned. A day after the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a third round of sanctions against Iran, a fresh resolution was introduced today at the International Atomic Energy Agency aimed at addressing Iran’s continued defiance of that body with regards to its highly suspect “civilian” nuclear weapons program. In my opinion, it represented the first real chance for Western momentum in dealing with Iran since whatever idiots who put together the December National Intelligence Estimate shivved the rest of the global intelligence community with their moronic peacenik document.
It was a chance for Western governments to take a real nice shot at the Iranians. In late February, the IAEA had described evidence that Iran had experimented with technologies consistent with developing a weapons program, thanks in part to U.S. intelligence agencies sharing with the atomic agency the contents of the nearly mythical “laptop of death” allegedly spirited out of Iran in 2004 and purporting to contain Iranian plans for developing a nuclear arsenal. So an agency run by a Nobel Peace Prize winner with some real credibility was building a pretty solid case for stronger international action against Iran and thereby giving the international community the evidence they need to directly address the new evidence with a new resolution. In other words, a reason to act like they’ve got a pair.
Can we please get John Bolton back for just one day so that he can call the Russians out on the floor of the United Nations and lay a mustache-enhanced ass beating on those godless clowns? The leverage Russia has here is just amazing – it’s a lot more than we’ve got, I’ll tell you that. All the U.S. can do at this point is hint that we might see fit to reduce Iran to the Middle East’s newest parking lot in the hopes the mullahs come around. With Iraq draining American military capacity, that’s a threat without a lot of teeth. Russia, on the other hand, is the single most important actor in regards to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and has consistently been their advocate in diplomatic circles. Beyond that, while the rest of the world severs financial ties to Iran, Russia is building Iran a nuclear reactor, the sometimes controversial Bushehr facility. Not only building it, but might enter into a joint venture with Iran to run the damn thing.
Why do we even let Russia vote at this point? If they wanted to do the right thing, they could walk into Iran and say “this reactor is going away and we’re going to quit deflecting diplomatic fire for you unless you open the country up to inspectors and let the IAEA put seals on your suspect facilities.” It’s doing quite the opposite instead, and in fact, the only time Russia got up in Iran’s grill is when they weren’t getting paid.
I know all this complaining is just so much shouting down a well…obviously, Russia sees Iran as a geopolitical tool to be used to harry, distract, and divide the United States and Europe as well as to establish a presence (or maybe even a proxy) in the Middle East. The Western challenge presented by Russia and Iran is one whose most difficult element is this: these are two countries that are in no way interested in becoming free societies, and who in no way share Western values. They instead seem determined to create an oppositional sphere, made up of political and economic zones which make military, energy, and civic decisions deliberately at odds with democratic and constitutional governments in the West.
They’re drawing a line in the sand, and have been for several years now, it’s just that no one has been willing to point it out. And if that’s the way they want it…