Monday, May 3, 2010
Someone's not telling the truth in U.S.-Iran nuclear dispute
Lingering mistrust over the imperial attitude of the United States during the last administration no doubt took at lot of the sting off Monday's trade of hyperbole between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the United Nations in New York. After Ahmadinejad delivered his expected tirade against the United States, which is trying to put together international economic sanctions to penalize Iran for trying to develop nuclear weapons, Clinton accused Tehran of ignoring its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and called for "a strong international response," according to Cable News Network. The two leaders spoke at the opening of a monthlong conference on nuclear nonproliferation, which has taken on additional urgency of late due to Iran's apparent progress toward developing nuclear weaponry and North Korea's detonations of two nuclear warheads since 2006. Diplomats from the United States, Britain and France walked out of Ahmadinejad's speech a few minutes after he began speaking, CNN said. But the diplomats no doubt heard Ahmadinejad denounce the United States for accusing Iran of nuclear activities without "even a single credible proof," and for permitting Israel to compile an arsenal of several hundred nuclear weapons. "Regrettably," Ahmadinejad told the conference, "the government of the United States has not only used nuclear weapons, but also continues to threaten to use such weapons against other countries, including Iran." Of course, Ahmadinejad speaks as if the world hadn't repeatedly heard him threaten Israel with annihilation. And, as if Israel hadn't already proved itself capable of maintaining a nuclear stockpile in a peaceful manner -- something no one wants to see unstable Iran try to do. Clinton, for her part, accused Iran of placing the future of the nonproliferation treaty in jeopardy with its actions and disingenuous remarks. Iran "will do whatever it can to divert attention from its own record and to attempt to evade accountability," she said. "I hope that we can reach agreement in the Security Council on tough new sanctions because I believe that is the only way to catch Iran's attention," Clinton told reporters after her speech. Ahmadinejad also called for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, a concept endorsed by the United States. Clinton said such a zone would be possible only after successful peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Clinton also called for creation of a $50 million Peaceful Uses Initiative by the International Atomic Energy Agency to bring the benefits of nuclear energy to more countries, no doubt a reaction to Ahmadinejad's oft-repeated complaint that the United States and Western nations were trying to monopolize nuclear technology.