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Monday, June 14, 2004

Iran seeking to join nuclear club

Arizona Daily Sun

Toughening its stance in advance of a meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, Iran on Saturday said it would reject international restrictions on its nuclear program and challenged the world to accept Tehran as a member of the "nuclear club." Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi rejected further outside influence on Tehran's nuclear ambitions two days before the International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors meets to discuss Iran's highly controversial program. "We won't accept any new obligations," Kharrazi said. "Iran has a high technical capability and has to be recognized by the international community as a member of the nuclear club. This is an irreversible path."
This creates a nearly intractable problem. The only thing likely to deter Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons is credible threat of force. The IAEA is likely to issue a rebuke, asking for more cooperation but will not refer the matter to the U.N. Security council. Even if it did, the Security Council is unlikely to act in any significant way due in part to the needs of the world economy for Iranian oil. The US has its hands full in Iraq and President Bush is unlikely to take any action until after the election in November and even then the options of what can be done are limited. Meanwhile, Iran is close to having operational nuclear weapons if they have not developed them already. Perhaps the best hope is the burgeoning pro-democracy movement in Iran. I don’t think this movement can succeed without outside help. If you agree, consider supporting the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran.


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