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Realpolitik for Iran

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by Roger Cohen

12 Apr 09 | NYT

For Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, “a combination of ignorance and arrogance” under the Bush administration squandered countless diplomatic opportunities with Iran and so allowed it to forge ahead with its nuclear program.

Referring twice to Dick Cheney as “Darth Vader,” ElBaradei told me in an interview that “U.S. policy consisted of two mantras — Iran should not have the knowledge and should not spin one single centrifuge. They kept saying, wait, Iran is not North Korea, it will buckle. That was absolutely a mistake.”

Instead of building on Iran’s Afghan help in 2001, exploring an Iranian “grand bargain” offer in 2003, or backing 2005 European mediation that hinged on the U.S. agreeing to sale of a French nuclear power reactor, “We got Darth Vader and company saying Iran was in the axis of evil and we have to change this regime.”

The result, ElBaradei said, was that instead of containing the program at a few dozen centrifuges, “Iran now has close to 5,500 centrifuges, and they have 1,000 kilos of low enriched uranium, and they have the know-how.” Still, he dismissed the notion that Iran “could go to a weapon tomorrow” as “hype,” putting the time frame for that at two to five years. >>>

Written by Editors

13 April 2009 at 11:59 am

One Response

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  1. [...] As it’s been shown on this blog and to anyone who wishes to utilize a quick Google News search, Iran has no nuclear weapons and the rhetoric of this article is important to note — that there is simply a “claim” that Iran “could” gain nuclear weapons “within ‘months’”. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei, who’s given Iran something like 14 clean bills of health in recent years said in an interview with the New York Times‘ Roger Cohen recently that he “dismissed the notion that Iran ‘could go to a weapon tomorrow’ as ‘hype&#82…. [...]


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