IRAN DESCENDING - AT 8:08 A.M. ET: In all the hoopla over the health-care plan, which, of course, will ultimately save us and let us live forever, too many souls are forgetting the drama being played out with Iran.
Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons change everything. They change the way the world looks, and feels, and is. Mr. Obama has chosen "engagement" with Iran, as if the leader of Iran were the coach of the visiting basketball team. It isn't working out. In an extraordinary statement, the EU this morning took a tough stand toward Tehran, tougher, alas, than the one offered by our president lite:
The European Union is urging Iran to stick by a deal that would limit its uranium enrichment.
EU leaders complained in a draft statement discussed at a summit Friday about "Iran's persistent failure to meet its international obligations."
Teheran is considering a plan proposed last week at talks involving Iran, the US, Russia and France.
But a Western diplomat in Vienna said Thursday that Teheran had rejected the plan, which calls for Iran to export most of its enriched uranium, offering instead to enrich it to a higher level inside the country under UN supervision.
In the statement, EU leaders also said they "deplore the continued violations of human rights in Iran" and urged Iran to release EU citizens and employees of European missions charged or held in Iran.
European diplomats and US officials were quoted by the New York Times on Thursday night as saying that Teheran had informed the UN of its decision, but had not provided a reason for backing out of the draft agreement formulated during a conference in Vienna last week.
However, the sources said that the Iranians had objected to the main component of the plan, which called for a large quantity of its uranium stockpile to be transferred to Russia, where it would be enriched into metal fuel rods before returning to the Islamic republic.
COMMENT: All right, Mr. Obama, if you could take a few minutes out from the important work of playing basketball and golf, or going on another endless campaign trip, maybe you'd like to decide on our next step with Iran - that is, after you dispense with the pesky business of Afghanistan.
October 30, 2009