Saturday, September 26, 2009

Obama's Charge Against Iran Could Limit Diplomatic Options

"As renewed verbal hostilities between the U.S. and Iran threaten to derail the prospect of diplomatic talks, President Obama may find there are few diplomatic options left to stop the Islamic regime from pursuing nuclear technology.

After nearly 30 years of no diplomatic relations, Iran and the United States are meeting Oct. 1, along with five other nations. A week of meetings at the U.N. in New York aimed at thwarting Iranian nuclear ambitions appeared to offer hopeful signs, even ones of openness from Iran.

But a grand bargain may be out of the question after the latest developments.

Obama revealed Friday that Iran has been building a second nuclear facility, and he, along with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, accused Tehran of hiding the site and demanded that Iran allow nuclear weapons monitors inspect it.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fired back, saying those leaders would "regret" their charges and that Tehran never hid the facility.  On Friday evening, the Islamic leader told CNN's Larry King that Obama's accusations that its nuclear program broke international agreements are "baseless."

"This is an extremely serious matter," John Bolton, a U.N. ambassador in the Bush administration, told FOX News. "I think it demonstrates the continuing deceit and deception that Iran has been practicing on its nuclear weapons program and why any real prospect of negotiations with them is now once again revealed to be frivolous."

Bolton said the Oct. 1 meeting now becomes "the moment of truth."

"And if Iran continues to insist that all of its facilities are for peaceful purposes, then I think we will really find out whether new sanctions are in order and whether any new sanctions actually deter Iran from continuing to pursue nuclear weapons," he said.

If the talks in Geneva lead to a dead end, Obama will look to impose tougher sanctions on Iran. But for any sanction to be effective, Russia and China would have to be on board because of their large and growing trade and investment interests in the Gulf region."

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