EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana failed to convince Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani to respond to the package of incentives offered on June 6 to persuade Iran to dismantle their uranium enrichment program. Larijani asserts that the process of reviewing the incentive package is long and complex, and Iran will not give any response until August 22. Their primary complaint is that the incentives contain "ambiguities," itself an ambiguous term that will allow the Iranians to draw out the negotiations until their nuclear program is quite advanced.
The U.S. is threatening to restart efforts to impose sanctions on Iran. It is probably futile, as the UN appears ready to appease Iran in any way possible: they have already acceded to an Iranian demand that their chief nuclear inspector be removed.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has remained defiant on the two points that are central to his governing program, at least as far as foreign policy is concerned. First, he defiantly asserts the right to develop nuclear capabilities, a nationalist sentiment that helps him maintain his popularity:
"In the face of the venomous campaign of malicious people, we'll not step back one iota," Iranian Students News Agency ISNA quoted Ahmadinejad as telling supporters in East Azerbaijan province. "The Iranian people are standing tall on their way to access their full rights and complete use of the nuclear fuel cycle."
Second, he defiantly asserts the necessity of driving Israel into the sea. Like a proper fascist, his panacea for the suffering of all Muslims, the people he truly believes he is serving, is the murder of Jews:
"The basic problem in the Islamic world is the existence of the Zionist regime, and the Islamic world and the region must mobilize to remove this problem. It is a usurper that our enemies made and imposed on the Muslim world, a regime that prevented the progress of the region's nations, a regime that all Muslims must join hands in isolating worldwide."
In possible preparation for such an effort against Israel, his government has taken steps to ensure that they will have cannon fodder to throw against Israeli tanks: it is reported that the head of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, has decamped from Syria and established a base in Iran.
- Iran Has Deadline
- Place Your Bets, Part 3
- Place Your Bets, Part 2
- The Dance Continues
- Place Your Bets
- "Iran nuclear talks nearing accord"