Sunday, August 14, 2005

Britain keeps distance from talk of strike on Iran - Sunday Times - Times Online

I have to wonder exactly where the EU3 negotiators learned the art of negotiation. What kind of negotiators leave the sticks at home and only bring carrots along?

Well, it's hardly surprising I suppose. With the trashing of the European militaries in order to feed their socialist states, they have very little sticks. In fact, their main stick seems to be, to sic the US on the bad guys if negotiations break down.

Both Britain and Germany have resolutely stated that they will have nothing to do with any attack on Iran and have subsequently sent new offers to the Iranian nuclear team to renew discussions. After offering Iran a non-agression pact, Europe has left itself few options outside of bigger and bigger bribes and appeasements.

Of course if the EU were to raise their hands to the Iranians, the billions of Euros worth of business they do with Iran on a yearly basis would probably dry up immediately. At the moment, the Eurozone economies would take a serious hit and probably end up in recession should these "business" dealings disappear.

Rolling out the red carpet for Mugabe, Khomeni, Arafat and now the Mad Mullahs of Iran, the EU seem to have found their soulmates and are not only are militarily unable to mount an attack on Iran, they're philosophically unable to as well.

I really don't understand why the US is still a member of NATO. If they didn't have the US military to use as a crutch, Europe might have to develop their own military. The US pulling out of NATO and pulling its troops from Western Europe where they've been posted for almost 60 years would leave Europe all but defenseless and put them in a position of sink or swim.

Britain keeps distance from talk of strike on Iran - Sunday Times - Times Online

August 14, 2005

Andrew Porter and Tom Walker

THE foreign secretary Jack Straw sought to distance Britain yesterday from comments by President George W Bush that he would not rule out a military strike against Iran.

It came as diplomats gave warning that British attempts to solve the crisis prompted by Tehran’s resumption of its nuclear programme last week were doomed to failure.

Bush raised the temperature by giving an interview to Israeli television from his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Asked if he would consider force, he replied: “All options are on the table.” He added: “The use of force is the last option for any president and you know we’ve used force in the recent past to secure our country.”

The Foreign Office reacted swiftly. “Our position is clear and has been made very, very clear by the foreign secretary,” a spokesman said. “We do not think there are any circumstances where military action would be justified against Iran. It does not form part of British foreign policy.”

So soon after the invasion of Iraq, which has led to so much political turmoil for Tony Blair’s administration, Straw is anxious not to be seen trying to talk up any future forays. But some rightwingers in Washington have criticised Straw’s position, saying that every time the foreign secretary rules out any remote chance of military action the Iranians know there is no need to compromise.

Bush’s veiled remarks came as Foreign Office negotiators launched a new round of shuttle diplomacy to try to persuade Tehran to reverse last week’s decision to resume its enriching of uranium — seen by Washington and the European Union as a smokescreen for a secret nuclear weapons programme.

A spokesman said Britain’s negotiators had “worked their socks off” to convince a meeting in Vienna of the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to call on Iran to freeze activity at its Isfahan and Natanz plants.

Britain has made it clear that if Iran has not backed down by September 3, when Mohamed ElBaradei, the IAEA’s secretary-general, is to report on the country’s nuclear programme, it will push for Tehran to be taken to the United Nations security council. Officials in Vienna warned, however, that any attempt to impose sanctions on Iran would be likely to be vetoed by Russia and China.

“Iran has all the cards,” said one official close to the talks. “It’s going to be embarrassing for the Brits.”

Russia has a civilian nuclear contract with Iran worth £500m while China is increasingly reliant on Iranian oil and gas. Last October Sinopec, the Chinese state oil company, signed a £39 billion deal giving it a 51% stake in Yadavaran, Iran’s largest onshore oilfield.

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