After more than a year and a half of resistance, Iran has given inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency access to a razed military site, but it has failed to meet other demands under its international treaty obligations, officials knowledgeable about the inspections said Sunday.This is the cheat and retreat policy that was first advanced by Saddam Hussein and studied and perfected by Iran all while Iran was not affected by international sanctions, resolutions, or inspections of its nuclear sites. Iran is playing the IAEA and everyone knows it, but can't take action because Iran is doing just enough to avoid getting called on it.
The concession seemed aimed at derailing an American and European initiative to immediately send Iran's nuclear case for judgment by the United Nations Security Council.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the foreign ministers of Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany will meet in London on Monday to plot a joint strategy on how best to curb Iran's nuclear activities. Then on Thursday, the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-country board will hold an emergency session in Vienna to decide whether and how the case should be considered by the Security Council.
But the limited cooperation given to the inspectors leaves open a number of major issues about the nature and scope of Iran's nuclear program that have been raised by the United States and Europe.
As far as allowing access to a single site, which happens to be a site that was razed, that's beyond silly. Iran is known to have multiple nuclear research facilities, including facilities that are buried underground and has officially stated as much. It's the unknown sites and the sites that the IAEA does not have access to that are the worrisome parts of Iran's nuclear program.
Iran's foreign minister can bloviate about how the US is pushing the situation into a crisis for American domestic political purposes, but that's the Iran's foreign minister's job. He's pushing Iran's foreign policy goals, and that means attacking Iran's enemies in every forum. He's also a hack whose job it is to give the totalitarian regime as much time as possible to complete its nuclear weapons capabilities.
And about those nuclear research facilities buried underground. There's absolutely no reason that a purely civilian research facility would have to be buried underground. The purpose of burying the facilities underground are a direct result of learning the lessons of Osirak and US airstrikes against all manner of facilities in the two Gulf Wars. These facilities are hardened precisely because they are so important to Iran's national security and nuclear ambitions that they cannot be easily attacked.