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“Dead End” On Iran

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, says what should have been obvious for a while: the IAEA’s effort to rein in Iran’s nuclear weapons program is futile:

The International Atomic Energy Agency probe of Iran’s nuclear program is at a dead end because Tehran is not cooperating, the chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Thursday in an unusually blunt expression of frustration four days before he leaves office. …
“There has been no movement on remaining issues of concern which need to be clarified for the agency to verify the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program,” ElBaradei told the opening session of the IAEA’s 35-nation board of governors. “We have effectively reached a dead end, unless Iran engages fully with us.”
“Issues of concern” is the IAEA term for indications that Tehran has experimented with nuclear weapons programs, including missile-delivery systems and tests of explosives that could serve as nuclear-bomb detonators. …
Iran continues enriching, despite three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions meant to make it freeze that activity and has built an enriched stockpile that could arm two nuclear warheads.

Relying on international organizations to deal with problems like Iran’s mullahs can be worse than useless because it creates the illusion of having a policy. The fact is that we have no Iran policy, in any meaningful sense; nor do our allies. Acknowledging the futility of continued reliance on the IAEA could be the first step toward developing a real policy toward Iran.

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