Aug 3, 2008 10:43 pm


I was reading today's Iranian News Agency report when I came to the one entitled"Peaceful nuclear activities, Iran's legal right: Erdogan." Something in the following sentiment attributed to the Turkish PM did not ring true:

He (Erdogan) moreover said that Iran, with its moderate policies, plays a very crucial role in the region and the world.

So, I checked and bingo. Erdogan really said:

"For Iran to adopt a more moderate and amenable stance is important for world and regional peace. . . . Iran's nuclear program is its most natural right as long as it proceeds in a peaceful manner. But it is impossible to support (the program) when we look at the issue from a weapons of mass destruction point of view.

No, Turkey would be no more comfortable with a nuclear Iran than Russia or El Baradei who in a recent Newsweek interview called for real muscular pressure on Iran:

DICKEY: What if the Iranians are just buying time for their bomb building? ELBARADEI: That's why I said we are coming to the litmus test in the next few weeks. Diplomacy is not just talking. Diplomacy has to be backed by pressure and, in extreme cases, by force. We have rules. We have to do everything possible to uphold the rules through conviction. If not, then you impose them. Of course, this has to be the last resort, but sometimes you have to do it.

Iran has retorted that his remarks put IAEA neutrality into question but today IRNA reassures its readers that "ElBaradei says UN agency would do its best to support Iran's rights." In other words, all is well in IAEA-Iranians relations.

Forget the Iranian bravado. The Iranians are nervous and the state news agency is lying in order to try to reassure them. It is crucial that word to the contrary reach Iranians. IRNA reports about Russian experts pontificating about Western helplessness should be balanced by Western reports about Rumsfelds talk about contingency plans and Olmert's warning that Israel will not put up with a nuclear Iran.

Iranians must not be permitted to fall into the trap Egyptians did in 1967. Then the US was mired in Vietnam. Today she is mired in Iraq but that does not translate into a carte blanch for aggressors.

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