Ok Now. In the wee hours this morning Team America and Team Europe engineered an end run around the IAEA meeting scheduled for Thursday. Apparently at a cosy little dinner at Jack Straw's place last night, it was decided to turn up the juice on the IAEA and to go for a major push to get the Iran question before the UN Security Council ASAP:
"China and Russia, long-time allies and trading partners of Iran, signed a statement that calls on the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to transfer the Iran dossier to the Security Council, which could impose sanctions or take other harsh action.
Though the United States, Britain and France have been pressing to hand Iran's case to the Security Council, it had been unclear until now whether China and Russia would support such a move." More...
So what's the deal? Up until the end of last week Team American seemed quite confident that they would get a slam-dunk at the IAEA meeting in Austria on Thursday, with most of the 35 members voting their way. But and this a BIG BUT, over-confidence and a substantial dose of arrogance apparently shot that position in the foot, because rather than resisting the temptation to bully it looks like Team America went too far; by the start of this week that slam-dunk was starting to look like an own goal.
A last intensive round of threatening diplomacy just managed to piss other countries off. Two key countries in the IAEA took a big step away from Team America's position: South Africa and India. Oops. So rather than scoring an own goal it was decided last night to move the goal posts. Crude, but effective.
The great big elephant sitting at Jack's table last night, in the IAEA room on Thursday and when we get to the UN is the fact that India, Pakistan and Israel already have Nukes and are not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran is and has been co-operating with the IAEA. There is only one word that describes the current situation: hypocrisy.
Of far greater concern is that these countries should be the ones being hauled over the coals for possessing military nukes and should have their butts sanctioned into signing the NPT before sundown today.
But we all know that this is not the point of it all... George and Team America are out to bust some balls and if they can't get UN sanctioned cover, they are just going to do it anyway. So sit down and shut-up.