Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Iran next ?

I knew after seeing Deadeye Dick and Rummy posturing the last couple of days regarding Iran that they were setting up the American public for the possibility of another War. It's like the bully picking the fight in the schoolyard, except these asshats in Iran are friends with Russia and China and they have or will have the ability to put nukes up our asses. Unlike Iraq who had ZERO WMD. But how can the world take the US that seriously when the Preznit gives nukes without strings to India?????

Iran Threatens 'Harm and Pain' to U.S. if Sanctions Imposed

By William Branigin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 8, 2006; 1:15 PM

Iran warned today that the United States could suffer "harm and pain" if the United Nations Security Council imposes sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

Iran delivered the warning at a meeting in Vienna of the International Atomic Energy Agency's governing board. The 35-member board convened to consider an IAEA report that concluded, after three years of inspections, that the existence of "undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran" could not be ruled out.

The meeting is the final step before the U.N. Security Council takes up the case and begins considering whether to impose economic and political sanctions on Iran. The United States, convinced that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons development under the guise of a civilian nuclear power program, has pushed for Iran to be referred to the Security Council for violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

A statement issued by Iran at the IAEA meeting today said: "The United States has the power to cause harm and pain. But the United States is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if that is the path that the U.S. wishes to choose, let the ball roll."

The statement did not explain what sort of "harm and pain" the United States could face, but a top Iranian national security official later hinted that his country could eventually cut back its oil exports. Iran is the world's fourth-largest exporter of crude oil, and a cutback could drive up oil prices.

Javad Vaidi, deputy secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, told Reuters news agency that Iran would not use oil as a weapon for the time being. "But if the situation changes, we will have to review our oil policies," he said.

The United States does not import any oil from Iran. But in the event of an Iranian cutback, other countries that do buy Iran's oil would be forced to look elsewhere, putting a squeeze on supplies, which would likely be felt by Americans.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan denounced what he called Iran's "provocative statements and actions," which he said "only further isolate Iran from the rest of the world."

The Iranian threat to inflict "harm and pain" came a day after Vice President Cheney warned Iran of "meaningful consequences" if it fails to cooperate with international efforts to restrict its nuclear program. In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Tuesday, Cheney said the United States is "keeping all options on the table in addressing the irresponsible conduct of the regime" and is sending "a clear message: We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."

In Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country is determined to pursue peaceful nuclear activities despite opposition from "world despotism." In a speech on a provincial tour, he said, "Given our decision to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, we expect our relevant right to be recognized and respected," the official news agency IRNA reported.

The agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hamid-Reza Asefi, as saying that a Russian-proposed compromise would be ruled out if Iran were hauled before the Security Council. Russia has offered to process fuel for Iran's civilian nuclear power program inside Russia, removing uranium enrichment activities from Iranian facilities. Spent fuel from Iranian reactors would also be sent back to Russia under the proposal.

The proposal has been seen as a potential breakthrough, because it would address Iran's ability to divert enriched uranium from its own production facilities to a weapons program.

In Vienna, U.S. delegate Gregory Schulte told the IAEA board that the "the time has now come for the Security Council to act," the Associated Press reported.

Schulte cited Iran's decision to curtail IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities and its stated determination to develop a large-scale uranium enrichment program. He also pointed to links between Iranian nuclear programs and the military and said Iran possesses documents showing how to form fissile material into warheads, plans that could be used only for military purposes.

"IAEA inspectors have no doubt this information was expressly intended for the fabrication of nuclear weapons components," Schulte said, AP reported.



© 2006 The Washington Post

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