Sunday, February 25, 2007

Diplomacy Failing :: War Closer for US and Iran

Iran - US tension on the rise.

The International Atomic Energy Agency last week reported that Iran had ignored a U.N. Security Council ultimatum to freeze its uranium enrichment program and instead had expanded the program by setting up hundreds of centrifuges.

The report came after a U.N Security Council deadline expired Wednesday for Iran to stop enrichment. Iran has repeatedly refused to halt enrichment as a precondition to negotiations about its program.

Iran declares nuclear program irreversible

France's International Heral Tribune reports that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country's disputed nuclear program was like a train without brakes or a reverse gear, prompting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to respond that Iran needs "a stop button." The comments came Sunday.

Iran defies West's threat to impose more sanctions .

Diplomats from the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany were expected to meet in London on Monday to begin discussing what steps to take to increase international pressure on Tehran to cooperate.

A senior British diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, said diplomats would discuss whether the U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran in December could be widened to apply to certain individuals and organizations.

He said they would also examine options for further sanctions – including on export credits and arms exports. He acknowledged negotiations on new U.N. sanctions would likely be delicate, with the U.S., Britain, Germany and France thought to favor tougher measures than Russia and China will accept.

Russia and China - Anti Sanctions

In the case of Iran, Russia and China offer the biggest hindrance to the imposition of an effective economic sanction. Their reluctance to support a comprehensive sanction regime arises from purely pure national interests to a desire to assert their position on the global map. Iran is a major energy supplier to China, and as to Russia, the two countries have good trade relations.

On the international scene, since the end of the Cold War, Russia has sought to curve a new place under the sun for itself, by challenging American hegemony as seen recently with President Putin's declaration that America's approach to global relations is "very dangerous."

For China, its foreign policy centers on energy as it strives for economic growth. These considerations are bound to impact on negotiations relating to the language in the new resolution, the imposition of sanctions and the monitoring process. (The Jerusalem Post)

Just Threat of Sanctions has caused Oil Prices to rise

Crude oil rose for a fourth day on concern that sanctions against Iran may disrupt supplies from the Middle East.

And as prices go up, so does US consumption

Gasoline consumption over the past four weeks has averaged 9.1 million barrels a day, 3.6 percent higher than the same period a year ago, according to the department, which tracks shipments from refineries, pipelines and terminals to calculate demand. (Bloomberg)

Meanwhile the price of Tomatoes rises in Iran

Iran President Ahmadinejad said: "..the country’s enemies have hatched a range of plots to push the Islamic Republic to give up its disputed nuclear programme, including driving up the price of tomatoes and other food, but that such tactics would not work, Iran’s ISNA news agency quoted him as saying.

Rising prices, particularly the cost of tomatoes which form an important ingredient in Iranian food, have prompted growing public criticism of Mr Ahmadinejad’s government. The president has often dismissed complaints as media exaggeration. “In order to harm us, they (enemies) make plots, for instance they come and push tomato prices up in the market. (

US Planning for Military action

The New Yorker magazine said a Pentagon panel has been created to plan a bombing attack that could be implemented within 24 hours of getting the go-ahead from US President George W Bush.

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney makes Threat

Accusing Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons and assisting Iraqi insurgents in fight against coalition forces in the war-torn country, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, during his visit to Australia on Saturday, refused to rule out the possibility of taking military action against Iran, saying that "all options are still on the table" over Tehran's nuclear programs.

Cheney said that Washington was still working with other countries to persuade Tehran to abandon its nuclear programs and preferred to achieve the goal peacefully.

"But all options are still on the table," Cheney said, adding that it is still being debated at home how to move next to deal with Tehran over the nuclear issue.

Iran Plays Down Threat of US Military Action :: US is in no position to start war

The Iranian foreign minister said yesterday the United States is in no position for another war and maintained negotiations -- not threats -- are the only way to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear activities.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was responding to U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney, who renewed Washington's warning to Iran earlier yesterday that "all options" are on the table if Iran continues to defy UN demands to halt uranium-enrichment.

Mottaki said the U.S. cannot afford to settle its differences with Iran by launching a third war after Afghanistan and Iraq.

"We do not see America in a position to impose another crisis on its taxpayers inside America by starting another war in the region," Mottaki said. (London Free Press)

Iran claims it's ready for war

A deputy Iranian foreign minister said on Sunday that Tehran was ready for any scenario in its nuclear row with the West and "even for war", Iran's student news agency ISNA reported.

"We have prepared ourselves for any situation, even for war," Manouchehr Mohammadi, one of the deputies to the foreign minister, was quoted as saying at a conference in the central city of Isfahan. (

7 Muslim countries urge peaceful solution to Iran nuclear standoff

The New York Times reports:

".. foreign ministers of seven Muslim countries met in Islamabad, Pakistan, and warned of a “dangerous escalation” between the West and Iran, The Associated Press reported. They called for a peaceful resolution.

The ministers represented Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan.

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