Monday, May 26, 2008


The Arab Times reports that 27 EU nations are preparing to freeze the assets of the Bank Melli. The USA has been pushing the EU to take this action. Historically, sanctions have often failed to achieve results because there are economic incentives to cheat. Over the past several years and particularly over the past few weeks, the sanctions against Iran have been honored by more and more nations. In many cases, the financial incentives have been turned around. If better grade, cheaper oil is available from Iraq, Saudi Arabia or Brazil, it becomes easy to go along with sanctions against Iran.

Iran continues to stall the inspections of the IAEA. Even so, progress is being made. There has been common ground found in some of the offers floating back and forth. There is even talk of direct negotiations between the US and Iran. The US has insisted that Iran needs to at least temporarily suspend enrichment of uranium. The US and Israel believe Iran is getting too close to a nuclear bomb for comfort. Neither country deems it wise to spend a lot of time at the negotiating table, while Iran stalls on the one hand and hurries up the production of a bomb on the other hand. It is time for Iran to come clean. It either wants nuclear fuel for peaceful uses or it wants to develop a bomb. In case of the former, the US and Iran have lots to talk about, in the case of the later, it will soon be necessary to use military force to stop the enrichment.

The noose is getting very tight. My guess is that Iran will cease enrichment within a 10 days.