You almost have to laugh at the way the media cover the “international community’s” kicking of the Iran can down the road. The board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which a few days ago acknowledged that its policy toward Iran had “reached a dead end,” has passed a resolution criticizing Iran for flouting U.N. resolutions and demanding that it stop work on nuclear weapons. The Associated Press risibly declares this a “blow” to the mullahs:
In a blow to Iran, the board of the U.N. nuclear agency on Friday overwhelmingly backed a demand from the U.S., Russia, China and three other powers that Tehran immediately stop building its newly revealed nuclear facility and freeze uranium enrichment. …
The West said some time remained for Tehran to come around and accept a specific offer that would delay its ability to make a nuclear weapon as well as engage in broader talks with the ultimate goal of persuading it to mothball its enrichment program.
But that window of opportunity would not stay open indefinitely, officials said.
“The next stage will have to be sanctions if Iran doesn’t respond to what is a very clear vote from the world community,” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the resolution’s passage shows that “the international community still wants dialogue with Iran, but time is pressing.”
“Our hand is still held out,” he added. “I hope Iran will take it. Iran must know: our patience is not infinite.”
That’s true. But the mullahs’ patience, if not infinite, is certainly greater than that of the “world community.” They seemed to bear up reasonably well under the “blow” of another strongly-worded resolution. In fact, at least one Iranian legislator suggested today that his country could respond by simply withdrawing from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, thus ending any involvement by the IAEA in Iran’s affairs. The Associated Press considers this, too, to be a “blow”:
If Iran withdraws from the treaty, its nuclear program would no longer be subject to oversight by the U.N. nuclear agency. That in turn would be a significant blow to efforts to ensure that no enriched uranium is diverted from use as fuel to warhead development.
The bottom line of these blows and counter-blows is that Iran’s will to possess nuclear weapons vastly exceeds the will of the “world community” to stop it.