“TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran warned the United States that its nuclear sites cannot be destroyed by air or missile strikes, as Britain entered the fray by declaring that Tehran is a state sponsor of terrorism.”
Is anyone surprised by this revelation. Do you really expect them to say that they can be destroyed. “Here George, take the self-destruct codes and use them.
“Top national security official Hassan Rowhani said on state television that a military strike would only push Iran’s nuclear activities underground, and told Washington that the stand-off should be settled by dialogue.
“Our nuclear centres cannot be destroyed. Our nuclear technology comes from our scientists (and) we can transfer our nuclear workshops under mountains and carry out enrichment where no bomb or missile can be effective,” said the cleric, adding he did not consider an attack as a “serious threat.”
Rowhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, insisted that Iran was “not looking for increased tensions with any country, even with the Americans.”
“We are seeking to resolve our issues with the US. But they are blocking any chance of resolving the issues.”
Fine, everyone would prefer that this be resolved with diplomacy and not with bloodshed. I am not surprised to see them continue to claim innocence here.
But his comments were followed by yet more criticism of the 26-year-old Islamic regime, with British Prime Minister Tony Blair (news – web sites) calling Iran a state sponsor of terrorism and it to renounce its suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons.
“Iran has now been given a set of obligations that it’s got to fulfill,” Blair said of its nuclear programme. “I hope they fulfill it.”
Again, no surprises here. This is everything that I would expect to hear. What I want to see is more pressure from the EU and the world.
“For the time being it has suspended all uranium enrichment-related activities to fulfill its part of a deal clinched in November with the Europeans.
But Rowhani repeated warnings that Iran’s patience during negotiations on the issue was not finite.
“Our condition for a continuation of the talks is progress. Therefore, if the talks are not be progressing (by March 20), we are not obliged to continue,” he said.
And Hossein Mousavian, a top Iranian negotiator, also said Tuesday’s Geneva talks would be decisive.
“As of this meeting and the two next ones, the working groups should begin practical and serious discussions,” he told state television.
“Our working groups will maybe have only one or two more meetings. Iran’s decision is to continue the talks only if there is definitive, concrete and tangible progress.”
More rhetoric from Iran, but not very promising. Maybe I am biased, but all I hear are excuses for why to drag this out.
And US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (news – web sites) said last week that military force against Tehran had not not been ruled out even though the “question is simply not on the agenda at this point.”
“We are all concerned by the potential of a nuclear weapon in Iran. It would be a destabilising factor and we cannot let that happen,” Rice said on a visit to Israel this week. “Iran is clearly a problem for the international system.”
And now we show a couple of cards to let them wonder if the US and company will use more forceful means to gain compliance from the Iranians.
“The UN nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has been investigating Iran for two years, has found plenty of evidence pointing to suspicious activity but no “smoking gun” that proves Iran is seeking the bomb.”
Here is another key area, I am curious to see how things proceed. We are dealing with an area in which the US and company are unwilling to wait to see if Iran has acquired WMDs, that is too late, the horse is out of the barn. The question is whether “circumstantial evidence” is enough to cause a military strike of some sort, assuming that Tehran refuses to cooperate.