Iranian rhetoric escalates as governments react to IAEA report

Iranian rhetoric escalates as governments react to IAEA report Tensions flared in response to the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency report’s allegations of Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons technology. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad worked to cast the IAEA in a negative light for purported collusion with the United States. He said: “Some bullying powers are armed ...

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547421_111110_1320258872.jpg

Iranian rhetoric escalates as governments react to IAEA report

Tensions flared in response to the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency report's allegations of Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons technology. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad worked to cast the IAEA in a negative light for purported collusion with the United States. He said: "Some bullying powers are armed with atomic bombs and they claim Iran is seeking such bombs. The Iranian nation does not fear you if it wants to make a bomb, but it does not need a bomb." Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Iran "will respond with full force to any aggression or even threats in a way that will demolish the aggressors from within." There was speculation of an Israeli attack on Iran prior to the report, however since its release, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said merely that the report confirmed suspicions. Meanwhile, the United States, Britain, and France said they would pursue new sanctions on Iran while Russia says it will not endorse fresh sanctions. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennday Gatilov claimed sanctions would be seen as "an instrument for regime change in Iran," an approach that is "unacceptable to us."

Headlines  

Iranian rhetoric escalates as governments react to IAEA report

Tensions flared in response to the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency report’s allegations of Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons technology. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad worked to cast the IAEA in a negative light for purported collusion with the United States. He said: “Some bullying powers are armed with atomic bombs and they claim Iran is seeking such bombs. The Iranian nation does not fear you if it wants to make a bomb, but it does not need a bomb.” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Iran “will respond with full force to any aggression or even threats in a way that will demolish the aggressors from within.” There was speculation of an Israeli attack on Iran prior to the report, however since its release, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said merely that the report confirmed suspicions. Meanwhile, the United States, Britain, and France said they would pursue new sanctions on Iran while Russia says it will not endorse fresh sanctions. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennday Gatilov claimed sanctions would be seen as “an instrument for regime change in Iran,” an approach that is “unacceptable to us.”

Headlines  

  • Two explosions hit an Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan, in the seventh such blast since the ouster of Mubarak, as criticism continues over Egypt’s supplying of 43 percent of Israel’s natural gas.
  • A seven-year jail term was upheld for former Israeli president Moshe Katsav for rape and molestation charges.
  • Palestinians are seeking alternatives to full U.N. membership as prospects for reaching the 9-vote threshold at the Security Council wane. Meanwhile, the British Foreign Minister William Hague announced that the UK will abstain on that vote.
  • A U.N. envoy to Yemen will work with the regime and opposition in a third effort to implement a GCC power transfer plan for President Saleh to step down.
  • A second major earthquake in eastern Turkey has killed seven people in a region still trying to recover from October’s 7.2 earthquake that killed over 600 people.

Daily Snapshot

Flames rise from a pipeline that delivers gas to Israel and Jordan after it was hit by an explosion some 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of the town of Al-Arish in the north of the Sinai peninsula, early on November 10, 2011 (AFP/Getty Images).  

Arguments and Analysis

‘Steps to a democratic Libya’ (Sara ElGaddari, Open Democracy)

“Finally, Libya can be clear about what it does not want. Abdulrahman Shalgam, formerly a Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United Nations under Gaddafi, has decried further Qatari involvement in Libya. The National Transitional Council, under the leadership of Al-Keib is entering a new phase where it is attempting to do more than juggle immediate competing demands. The interim leadership is also attempting to reformulate its relations with current and former partners, which is proving a difficult task, given that a number of Arab League and African Union counterparts (namely Algeria, Qatar, Niger and Mali) have provided safe havens to Gaddafi family members and loyalists.  Ultimately, while heavily reliant on external logistical and financial support, the NTC will have to carefully pitch its battles to fulfil immediate internal demands.”

‘It’s not too late to peacefully keep Iran from a bomb’ (Ali Vaez, The Atlantic)

“During an unprecedented trip to Tehran in 2003, the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom used international ire over revelations of Iran’s long history of nuclear concealment as leverage to convince their Iranian counterparts to admit to their country’s past wrongdoings. Just two days after the Tehran agreement was reached, the Iranian government fully disclosed its past undeclared activities to the IAEA, including valuable information about the relations with the illicit network of Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan.Why not try to reproduce such diplomacy-driven successes? If Iran is provided with guarantees that it will not be penalized for admitting to its past transgressions, it might be more willing to open up to greater IAEA scrutiny, which could help the world understand what threats it is and is not facing from Iran. A similar approach worked well in Libya and could work in Iran as well.” 

‘Jordan and the current unrest in Syria’ (Edward W. Gnehm, USIP)

“The successful overthrow of the current Syrian regime and establishment of a more democratic state will inevitably embolden democratic and reformist elements in Jordan. Several voices in Jordan are already criticizing the government for what they see as a “timid” response to events in Syria. A spokesman for the Jordanian Committee for Supporting the Syrian People, quoted as recently as Aug. 12, described the official Jordanian position as “hesitant and vague.” Some critics and advocates of reform are quick to attack the government on yet another front, hoping to convert public sympathy for the plight of Syrians resisting regime brutality into public support for renewed political pressure against the Jordanian monarchy.” 

Recent posts on the Channel

‘Turkey’s Kurdish conundrum’ by Mohammed Ayoob

‘Iran supports Syria (but not at any cost)’ by Mohammad Ataie

‘Jordan’s fictional reforms’ by Sean L. Yom

    <p>Mary Casey-Baker is the editor of Foreign Policy’s Middle East Daily Brief, as well as the assistant director of public affairs at the Project on Middle East Political Science and assistant editor of The Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post. </p> Twitter: @casey_mary

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