A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Monday, August 29, 2005

Same old, same old

Yahoo News: Iran's President Reappoints Nuclear Chief---

TEHRAN, Iran, - Iran's president reinstated Gholamreza Aghazadeh as head of Iran's nuclear program on Monday, a clear sign to the Europeans and Washington not to expect a change of course under the country's new leadership.

State radio announced President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's decision to reappoint the 58-year-old Aghazadeh, who had run the country's nuclear program since 1997.

The United States fears Iran is using its nuclear program to create an atomic weapon. Iran says it is only building reactors to generate electricity.

Aghazadeh had backed Ahmadinejad's rival, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, in the June national election that swept the former Tehran mayor into office.

Iran renewed its uranium reprocessing activities at a plant in central city of Isfahan earlier this month after rejecting a European proposal to give up its uranium enrichment program in return for economic incentives. Aghazadeh called the offer a "joke."

Britain, France, and Germany held talks with Iran on behalf of the 25-member European Union. Aghazadeh took a strong line, insisting Europe would only show flexibility if Iran resisted the temptation to accept Western demands.

After saying earlier this month it was ready for further negotiations with the Europeans, Tehran announced on Sunday that it now wanted talks with the U.N.'s international nuclear watchdog agency, rejecting what it called European demands for "conditional negotiations."
Anyone surprised the French and Germans had no luck?

In Paris on Monday, President Jacques Chirac called on Iran to cooperate in nuclear talks or risk having the issue sent to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

"We call on Iran's spirit of responsibility to re-establish cooperation and confidence, without which the (U.N.) Security Council will have no choice but to take up the question," Chirac told France's ambassadors brought home for an annual conference.

The French president implored Tehran to "truly examine" the offer made by France, Britain and Germany.

Chirac's comments are the toughest from the French president since the European proposal was presented to Iran earlier this month, though in July he said, "the question should be taken to the Security Council" if Tehran resumed enrichment activities.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy has repeatedly warned Iran it could face sanctions.
If that is the toughest Jacques Chirac has been, then I'm surprised Germany hasn't invaded again. I also highly doubt the Iranian regime has a "spirit of responsibility to re-establish cooperation and confidence." I also doubt the protestors who have been jailed would agree with Jacques Chirac's assessment!