Thursday, February 14, 2008

Go ahead build a nuke; just don't tell us about it

James Taranto discusses a statement from Russia's foreign minister:

"Russia Warns Iran on Missiles, Uranium Enrichment" reads a Reuters headline. The actual quotes, though, show why efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation are so dangerously ineffective:

Russia warned Iran on Wednesday that its development of rockets and continued uranium enrichment was creating the impression Tehran was intentionally ignoring the concerns of the international community.
"We do not approve of Iran's actions in constantly demonstrating its intentions to develop its rocket sector and continue enriching uranium," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russian news agencies.
"From the point of view of international law these actions are not forbidden, but you can also not ignore that in previous years a whole host of problems were uncovered in Iran's nuclear program," Lavrov said, Interfax news agency reported.
"Until these problems can be removed I think it is advisable to refrain from steps, and especially from statements, that merely heat up the atmosphere and create the impression that Iran really has made up its mind to ignore the international community, the United Nations Security Council and the IAEA," he said.

So Lavrov is worried about the "impression" that Iran is "creating" and the "intentions" it is "demonstrating," and he wants Tehran to "refrain from steps, and especially from statements," that have that effect. Whether Iran actually acquires nuclear weapons would seem to be a secondary concern to the appearance of it all.

With reasoning like that, Lavrov would obviously be right at home in the US Democratic party.

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