And North Korea Standoff:
US policy On NPT Is In Tatters
By Abid Mustafa
26 December, 2006
23/12/06 the UN Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanction
against Iran's nuclear programme. The key aspects of the resolution
were a) Ban on import and export of nuclear-related material and b)
Assets frozen of 10 companies and 12 individuals. Although the resolution
was passed under Chapter 7 Article 41, which renders enforcement obligatory
there was no mention of military force in the event of Iran's non-compliance
with demands stipulated by the UNSC.
The resolution was passed
after it had been considerably watered down from its initial draft.
Both Russia and China objected to key points in the resolution drafted
by the EU-3, as Moscow and Beijing manoeuvred to protect their commercial
interests in Iran. But there are a couple of factors that has motivated
the two erstwhile enemies to band together and stand firm against the
US. First, both countries perceive Ahmadinejad to be acting independently
from the US and this has spurred them on to engage Iran. This is despite
the fact that most of Iran's institutions and instruments of power are
firmly in the hands of American agents through which the US secures
its foreign policy goals in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The US has further weakened Ahmadinejad by bolstering the credentials
of Khatami and Rafsanjani in the Assembly of Experts and the Municipal
elections. But none of this has lessened Moscow and Beijing's enthusiasm
to embrace Ahmadinejad. Second, Russia and China do not want to appear
as frightened spectators, as they were in the run up to the gulf war
in 2003. Today, both countries sense that America has been weakened
by its occupation in Iraq and want to make the prospect of attacking
Iran as difficult as possible.
From the EU's perspective
they had little choice, but to draft the resolutions as it was a condition
imposed on the EU-3 in return for US supporting half-hearted economic
incentives to placate Tehran in exchange for halting uranium enrichment.
As far as the Bush administration is concerned, America's security is
inextricably linked to Israel's security, and as long as Bush is under
the influence of the Israeli lobby and the neoconservatives, Bush is
reluctant to soften its stance on Iran's nuclear programme. Speaking
on this matter the Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said, "We
don't think this resolution is enough in itself. We want to let the
Iranians know that there is a big cost to them."
Nevertheless, the dismissal
of Rumsfeld and Bolton, and the selection of Gates as the new secretary
of defence, signals that an intense debate between realists and neoconservatives
is underway over Tehran's nuclear programme. On 7/12/06 during his Senate
confirmation, Gates mentioned why Iran might be seeking the means to
build an atomic bomb: "They are surrounded by powers with nuclear
weapons: Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis
to the west and us in the Persian Gulf.". The admission by Gates
that Israel is in possession of nuclear weapons is an attempt to shift
the debate amongst US policy makers that the nuclear issue should be
made part of the comprehensive settlement of the Middle East. Unless
the US includes Israel as part of a nuclear free Middle East; other
countries in the region will want to become nuclear. The GCC countries
have already made their intentions known.
As for the six party talks
regarding North Korea's nuclear programme, they were destined to fail
from the outset. This is because America is adamant not to lift economic
sanction imposed on Pyongyang. The Bush administration believes these
that the financial sanctions will eventually cripple Kim's regime. Furthermore
the US is doing its utmost to eschew the signing of security pact with
North Korea, and this is further complicating matter between the two
countries. Again the US wants to reserve the option of applying military
force to change North Korea's behaviour.
For North Korea the removal
of financial sanctions and security pledges are essential before Pyongyang
rescinds its nuclear weapons programme. Unless America is prepared to
compromise tactically on these issues it is almost inevitable that Pyongyang
will conduct another atomic test to coerce the US to make some concessions.
To sum up the US has not
only failed to curb the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea, but
has also made the world a dangerous place to live in. By signing a nuclear
deal with India in violation of the NPT and not lifting a finger to
reign in Israel's atomic weapons, more and more countries will follow
Iran and North Korea in a bid to nuclearize. Thanks to the Bush administration,
America now stands on the verge of becoming the worlds biggest proliferate
of nuclear technology.
is a political commentator who specialises in Muslim affairs
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