Iran: The all new Russia and China game

As we get closer to the scheduled 6 nation meeting in London on Monday, January 30th, that is supposed to discuss a draft resolution to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for its secret nuclear weapons program at the next meeting of IAEA board of governors on February 2nd, Tehran Mullahs anxiously, as they did not expect this to happen until March, are trying to somehow join up with Russia and China to stop the matter from escalating further.

Russia and China are two permanent members of the UN Security Council and have veto power along with France, Briton and the United States.

Europeans disenchanted after three years of going back and forth with Iran and after Iran resumed its operation of Natanz nuclear plant, now have joined in with the US to call on IAEA to refer Iran’s dossier to the Security Council.

The new game Iran has been playing, the so called Russian plan, is supposed to be an alternative for Iran to develop a full nuclear fuel cycle while leaving a critical step, uranium enrichment, which could lead to bomb production in the hands of Russians outside of Iran. This would enable the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor the enrichment process where Iran has no control.

ElBaradei, the head of IAEA and 2005 Noble peace price winner, praised the new development in the standoff and said he was encouraged that all parties still were discussing a diplomatic solution.

Trying to help its second major oil supplier after Saudi Arabia, China said that it opposes sanctions to resolve the quarrel over Iran’s nuclear program. "We oppose the habitual use of sanctions, or threats of sanctions, to solve problems. This only complicates problems," Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said after meeting with Iran’s top national security official, Larijani, Thursday, January 26th.

President Bush said he believes Iran should have a civilian nuclear program as long as the material used to power the plant is manufactured in Russia and delivered under IAEA supervision, and the waste from the plant is returned to Russia. "The Russians came up with the idea, and I support it," he said Thursday.

Yet Iran is using the Russian proposal as a way to defuse the showdown next week, February 2nd, in Vienna as envoys to the IAEA consider referring Iran’s case to the U.N. Security Council for possible punitive action.

Iran is not making any promises regarding the Russian plan and it has postponed further talks regarding the plan to February 27th emphasizing that if it is referred to the Security Council at the London meeting, talks about Russian Plan would be off.

Obviously, this is just another excuse for the mullahs to keep this game going for just a little longer. Time is what this regime is trying to buy and it is exactly what it should not be given. Russian plan or not, the IAEA must refer Iran to the Security Council on February 2nd.

What Iran needs is a firm stand and strong action and not more appeasement. Iran would never agree to give up its nuclear program unless it is forced to do so and the only way to apply force is through the Security Council.