Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Iran War: Russia and China still say no to sanctions

"God may smile on us, but I don't think so." - anonymous Pentagon adviser quoted by Seymour Hersh April 2006

Russia and China are still refusing the idea of sanctions on Iran if they continue enriching uranium: Rusia y China rechazan imponer sanciones a Irán por su plan nuclear El País 19.04.06.

So if the leaked and public threats of war and of using nukes were meant to pressure other members of the Security Council into going along with sanctions, they don't seem to be working that way, so far.

Also, this item popped up in an article on fatwas (Egypt's grand mufti issues fatwa: no sculpture by Ursula Lindsey Christian Science Monitor 04/18/06):

Aug. 9, 2005: Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issues a fatwa against the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons. The fatwa is published in a press release from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Say what?  The highest religious and political authority in Iran issued a religious ruling against the "production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons"?

Shouldn't this at least be part of the public discussion about the war against Iran that may already be in its preliminary stages?

This site World War 4 Report has the text of the statement, which says among other things:

The Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has issued the Fatwa that the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that the Islamic Republic of Iran shall never acquire these weapons. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who took office just recently, in his inaugural address reiterated that his government is against weapons of mass destruction and will only pursue nuclear activities in the peaceful domain. The leadership of Iran has pledged at the highest level that Iran will remain a non-nuclear-weapon state party to the NPT and has placed the entire scope of its nuclear activities under IAEA safeguards and additional protocol, in addition to undertaking voluntary transparency measures with the agency that have even gone beyond the requirements of the agency's safeguard system.

Obviously, effective nuclear non-proliferations means more than taking a country's assurances at face value.  But it is a fact, for whatever it's worth, that Iran's highest religious and political authority has formally ruled against his country's acquiring nuclear weapons because they are contrary to Islam.

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