Comment.I don't claim to have the ear of presidents or prime ministers, but I don't need them to know there is trouble brewing with Iran.
I remain pretty confident that, even if George Bush is right about President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's aspirations to build a nuclear bomb--which I doubt at this particular time--such a device could not be thrown together within the space of a few weeks, yet the pressure to "take on" Iran seems to be cranking up by the hour.
It was with some consternation that I listened to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in his first foreign policy speech since taking office, call for new sanctions on Iran's oil and gas investments, warning that, should Tehran refuse to comply with UN resolutions, Britain "will lead" the international campaign to stop its nuclear programme. Mr Brown described his approach as "hard headed internationalism in·ter·na·tion·al·ism
1. The condition or quality of being international in character, principles, concern, or attitude.
2. A policy or practice of cooperation among nations, especially in politics and economic matters. ".
Doesn't it just make your heart sink?
I am no fan either of the way President Ahmadinejad is handling the situation. His rantings about "exposing traitors", these "domestic elements" who are supposedly "conspiring with the West" to sabotage Iran's uranium enrichment programme, are inflaming in·flame
v. in·flamed, in·flam·ing, in·flames
1. To arouse to passionate feeling or action: crimes that inflamed the entire community.
2. an already sensitive situation at home. Ahmadinejad's barbs barbs
the primary, delicate filaments that are given off the shaft of a bird's contour feather. They project from the rachis and bear the barbules. are directed at former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, still a powerful figure in the Islamic Republic An Islamic republic, in its modern context, has come to mean several different things, some contradictory to others. Theoretically, to many religious leaders, it is a state under a particular theocratic form of government advocated by some Muslim religious leaders in the Middle , some would say, the voice of reason, who has accused the president of endangering Iran's position in the international community with his confrontational rhetoric.
However, the Iranian president has a right to feel annoyed. Russian premier Vladimir Putin had already put forward a proposal for international consideration that Russia take on the task of enriching Iran's nuclear energy programme, thereby removing the weapons risk at the heart of the dispute. The proposal was not rejected by Tehran and was widely considered a viable option by the EU.
"We are deeply convinced there is unexhausted space for the use of diplomacy," said Dmitri Peskov, Putin's deputy spokesman. "We want to avoid a situation where a country is pushed into a corner. But it is not a secret for Iran that Russia is determined to stay with the international community in ensuring no-proliferation and our own security," he added. Now, that sounds more like diplomacy to me.
Except that back in London Prime Minister Brown, in the same foreign policy speech, was drawing worrying parallels. Like his American counterpart, Mr Brown has not ruled out the possibility of a military offensive and has made clear he will, if necessary, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with George Bush: "I have no truck with anti-Americanism in Britain or elsewhere in Europe," boldly stated the new PM, adding, for good measure, "I believe that our ties with America, founded on values we share, constitute our most important bilateral relationship."
Yes, Gordon, Britain's relationship with the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. is an important one but it is not, hopefully, destined des·tine
tr.v. des·tined, des·tin·ing, des·tines
1. To determine beforehand; preordain: a foolish scheme destined to fail; a film destined to become a classic.
2. to be an exclusive one. Britain has other "friends", good friends of long standing whose interests it should also be nurturing. And many of these friends are in the Middle East, the very area Mr Brown is shaking his big fist towards. Draw your own conclusions.
Negotiation, cooperation, conciliation conciliation: see mediation. , that should be the focus of Britain's attention now; the country is already deeply enmeshed en·mesh also im·mesh
tr.v. en·meshed, en·mesh·ing, en·mesh·es
To entangle, involve, or catch in or as if in a mesh. See Synonyms at catch. in too many wars in too many places. The current Labour government has very little to be proud of in its Middle East policy. The British electorate didn't want Tony Blair Noun 1. Tony Blair - British statesman who became prime minister in 1997 (born in 1953)
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, Blair after Iraq and they won't want Gordon Brown if he continues this stance against Iran.
Many erudite er·u·dite
Characterized by erudition; learned. See Synonyms at learned.
[Middle English erudit, from Latin and eloquent people have warned that to launch an attack on Iran would result in an international disaster from which the fall out would be immense and enduring. Let me add my voice to theirs: butt out Gordon and do it now, while you still can.
In the Oct 2007 issue of TME See Tivoli Systems Management Software. we published an article, Gazan gas set to flow to Israeli consumers, by Mr. Joel Bainerman. The BG Group, to whom Mr. Bainerman's article referred, has pointed out that contrary to our information, no deal has yet been signed between them and the government of Israel for gas from the Gaza Marine Field. The exact level of revenues to the PA has yet to be determined and currently the Gaza Marine Licence is held between the BG Group (90%) and CCC CCC
A very speculative grade assigned to a debt obligation by a rating agency. Such a rating indicates default or considerable doubt that interest will be paid or principal repaid. Also called Caa. (10%). We apologise for the errors and are happy to be able to set the record straight.