Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Soft power turns to sludge

In a piece not unlike in tone the scathing comment from Bangladesh's The Nation yesterday, today it is the turn of the Tehran Times.

Headed, "time's up for EU", the paper declares that, "Iranians finally became tired of the European Union’s blackmail, and the Islamic Republic of Iran announced the end of its deadline for the EU to submit its final proposal on the country’s nuclear program on Monday at 5:00 p.m. Tehran time."

"Iran's decision to set a deadline for the EU was in fact a sign of Iranians' strong determination to make use of their inalienable and legal right to make efforts to develop nuclear technology meant for peaceful purposes," it says, continuing:

During the two-year nuclear negotiations between Iran and the EU troika of Germany, Britain, and France, the Europeans proved that they are not honest negotiators and that their main objectives are to kill time and blackmail the Iranian nation. Over the past two years, the Iranian nuclear negotiators took every kind of measure to prove the country's goodwill, but it seems that the Europeans are not interested in finding a legal, reasonable solution that can guarantee the legal rights of the Iranian nation.

The holding of numerous meetings, the visit of the EU 3 foreign ministers to Iran and the conclusion of an agreement in October 2003, the constant inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors, and finally Iran’s voluntary decision to temporarily suspend uranium enrichment activities were among the measures which could have finalized Iran’s nuclear dossier, but, unfortunately, the prolongation of the nuclear talks and the EU’s lack of cooperation led to an impasse in the negotiations.

Europeans' acquisitiveness and their efforts to deprive the Iranian nation of civilian nuclear technology were not acceptable for the Iranians under any circumstances, so the Iranian government was obliged to put an end to the current conditions of negotiations. On the other hand, the Europeans proved that they lack the necessary political will to finalize Iran's nuclear dossier. This is the reason they tried to impose their own conditions on Iran, under the influence of the political viewpoints of the United States and the Zionist regime.
And so on it goes. The "colleagues" must at the very least feel a tad disappointed: all that trouble they have gone to, distancing themselves from the US and Israel, and they still get accused of being "under the influence of the political viewpoints of the United States and the Zionist regime."

Unlike the US, which has wanted from the start to refer Iran to the UN for breach of the non-poliferation treaty, the EU has paraded its "soft power" as the way forwards. And look where it has got them. "Time is over for Europe's political manoeuvres," says the Tehran Times:

The Europeans must now review their policies toward regional countries because their current situation is such that they can not even maintain their own domestic security and therefore are in dire need of the cooperation of influential Middle Eastern countries like Iran. Therefore, under the current circumstances and in light of the fact that negotiations have dragged on for two years with no results, Iran's clear message to the EU 3 is: "Time's up kids! Hand in your papers!"
It now looks like a bit of good ol' US-style ass-kicking is now needed. The EU's "soft power" has turned to sludge.

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