The EU and the IAEA Deflect An Attack on Iran
by Sam Hamod
October 25, 2003
With the meeting of the foreign ministers of France, Germany and England with the head of the atomic energy division of Iran, and the constant communications and updates from the IAEA and Dr. El Baradi, it is clear that the EU and the UN have deflected a possible American attack on Iran.
Iran has agreed to spot and regular monitoring from the IAEA, has agreed to stop production of enriched uranium and pledged not to build atomic weapons. The EU members have agreed to give Iran the materials it needs to create useful, civilian atomic energy for its utility needs.
Thus, in short order, the EU has now taken the initiative in a situation that could easily have turned into another Iraq, only worse. I say worse, because Iran is a bigger and better armed nation, with a vast dedicated, militant Shi’a population, a population that would fight from day one to a bitter end. This war would also bring more antagonism from other Muslim nations; this would create anti-American behavior to a degree that would outdo the Iraqi resistance. The EU ministers were aware of the message the American neo-cons were telegraphing in their rhetoric of the past few months; if you examine the American political rhetoric of the past two months, you’ll note that Iran and Syria are both targets of the neo-cons who surround Bush.
This move, initiated by France and Germany, and joined by England makes up the big 3 of the EU. This may also show that Blair has tired of following Bush into chaos, political disaster for himself and his party, and that he may have seen that it is time to rejoin the EU team in light of the fact that only Americans are getting the big contracts in Iraq, British troops are being killed and injured on a regular basis, and the British economy is suffering from the outlay of monies to the Iraq sector. It certainly also shows that the persistence of France and Germany in standing against the Bush initiated war, is finally starting to pay off in terms of bringing Britain around. I’m sure that Blair has seen, by this time, that he and his country will get no major rewards in treasure from the Iraq adventure. Add to this the blistering Blair and Straw are getting in the British media, in the House of Commons, and the toll it is taking on Blair’s health (note his recent heart palpitations, medically known to be primarily from stress)—and you can see why this recent move to join France and Germany on the Iran matter is so important.
This will present a quandary for Bush and his neo-con advisors, especially Wolfowitz and Perle; the two men who assured the Bush team that Iraq would fall easily and that the people would rally in the streets to meet the Americans with flowers. Perle and Wolfowitz have both been attacking Iran and Syria of late in their briefings and public pronouncements; not having even Britain as an ally will now make it harder for Bush to go forward with an attack on Iran.
Add to these matters that Colin Powell has lost his credibility at the UN, has been seen to fail at the call for more financial and military donors at the UN and on his world tours, the rising discontent in the American armed forces on duty in Iraq and those who might be called up from the Reserves and the National Guard, the discontent in the world media with no WMDs in sight and the failing of the “proof” that was alleged, which has led the American public to show more discontent with these foreign adventures, and the terrible financial condition America finds itself in—and an Iran adventure would not fly terribly well.
Thus, this visit and the agreement worked out with Iran by these major EU foreign ministers may save Iran, the UN, the US and the world from a terrible catastrophe.
Professor Sam Hamod is an expert on the Middle East and Islam and has written widely on these areas. He is also the former Director of The Islamic Center of Washington, DC. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.