I haven’t fully read this article yet but I had to laugh when I saw the heading: ‘Iran clarified on Tuesday that its offer of allowing “full supervision” of its atomic programme in return for lifting of sanctions does not include snap checks by UN inspectors of its nuclear units.’
Am I being overly cynical? Or is it fair to feel like this is yet another tactic being played in a really ineffective negotiating process? The trouble is, if, in the worst case scenario, Iran does want to develop nuclear weapons, it will not come out BEFORE it has managed to develop them. Rather it will string along international community (well all the countries willing and wanting to enforce nuclear non-proliferation) getting as much as it can from the deal – civil nuclear technology and materials – which will help speed along it’s nuclear ambitions. The system seems unfairly weighted on the international community to somehow convince the country not to proliferate.
I am not advocating a military response – I don’t think that would work. And I don’t think economic sanctions would do much good either (show me evidence that it has ever worked before). But there needs to be more in place that will enforce all the alarm bells going off right now. The IAEA has found IRAN to be in breach of the NPT for some time now (since 24 September 2005, they had been investigating 2.5 yrs previously but didn’t have access to sites so couldn’t be conclusive in their findings) but really what has happened because of this international breach? There has been a UNSC resolution and there has been economic sanctions but so far they have been ineffective and there seems to be a lack of follow-through and escalation. I know there is not the political will behind this – China and Russia being 2 of the biggest obstacles. I do not know this subject well enough to shine much insight on this, but the fact that Iran will ahve a nuclear weapon which will drive other countries to gain nuclear weapons, particularly in the Middle East seems to be of the utmost importance to nearly everyone’s safety across the world.
UN is not an enforcement mechanism, it is a consensus builder and a norm em-bedder. What if there were protocol set-up within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (of which Iran is still, just, a member) whereby if requirements were not met entitlements would be immediately cut – specifically entitlements to nuclear fuel and civil nuclear technologies. It would be easy to continue escalating these responses, and if they were put into protocol. ‘decisions’ would not have to be made, it would be simply in response to meeting, or not meeting, criteria.