United States Tiptoeing Toward Iranian Conflict
February 23, 2012 by Sam Rolley
Western pressure on Iran is mounting as mainstream media continue to ready Americans for a likely armed conflict with the Islamic Republic, following a failed two-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visit to the country during which the agency requested access to a military site at Parchin — a request that was denied.
The IAEA said that intensive efforts were made to reach agreement facilitating the clarification of unresolved issues in connection with any military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program. No agreement was reached.
“It is disappointing that Iran did not accept our request to visit Parchin during the first or second meetings,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said. “We engaged in a constructive spirit, but no agreement was reached.”
Top Iranian officials cast the visit in a positive light, saying that the country’s cooperation with the IAEA remains at its highest levels. But foreign policy experts cite the failed trip as further proof of Iran’s unwillingness to back off of nuclear ambitions, despite international pressure.
According to Reuters, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov warned U.S. ally Israel on Wednesday that despite Iranian unwillingness to cooperate with international demands, any military offensive on the country would be “catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations.” The Russians contend that while Iran must be more open to dialogue regarding its nuclear ambitions, there is still much room for diplomacy from Russia, China, the United States, Britain, France and Germany.
Amid mounting tensions, the Israeli Jerusalem Post has given hawks fodder for their war cannons with a report that the Iranians not only wish to pose a threat to Israel, but are currently in the process of developing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the United States and Europe.
Since 2009, the Administration of Barack Obama has imposed numerous sanctions on Iran, but the President has most recently taken a backseat approach regarding relations with the Islamic Republic, instead leaving the toughest measures to be levied by members of Congress and European allies, according to The Sacramento Bee.
The Administration likely fears that leading into an election season, any actions against Iran will result in soaring fuel prices that will be blamed on the President by detractors in the Republican Party. The price of oil is already on the rise as a result of the conflict, hovering around $106 a barrel in Asian markets on Wednesday.