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US v Iran « Previous | |Next »
April 29, 2006

The negative report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, saying that Tehran had ignored demands to suspend uranium enrichment puts the ball squarely in the UN Security Council 's Court. It will discuss the possible imposition of sanctions against Iran, even though it is not in breach of any international treaty or law. Iran's exercise of its right under the Non-Proliferation Treaty to acquire full nuclear technology under the IAEA's inspection regime can hardly be called "aggression" or "defiance".

Although the Bush administration talks diplomacy, it is evident that the US is planning some kind of military strike against known, and suspected nuclear sites in Iran, with some kind of covert operation to overthrow President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Though sanctions would hurt the Iranian regime the chances of diplomacy succeeding are little, given the resistance of Russia and China to the imposition of economic sanctions.

Though Iran has yet to achieve technological sophistication as regards uranium enrichment--it is understood that the Isfahan and Natanz facilities are rudimentary---Iran is definitely gaining strategic power in the region. As Martin Woollacot observes in the Guardian:

Iran is a threat to is the unusual degree of power and influence possessed by the United States and Israel in the region. But has that preponderant influence been all that good for the people concerned, including the Israelis? Iran is a case of what happens when rising powers bump into established powers.

The US strategy of containing Iran is part of its superpower hegemony that involves building several large military bases in Iraq, and beefing up its military presence in various southern Persian Gulf states that are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

William Kristol at the Weekly Standard reckons the US is already in retreat. Gerard Baker of the Times doesn't hear the US drumbeat or a pre-emptive strike.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:31 AM | | Comments (0)