Iran steps into the danger zone

…. by threatening the US “harm and pain.” Via AP:

VIENNA, Austria (AP) — Iran threatened the United States with “harm and pain” Wednesday for its role in hauling Tehran before the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear program.

But the United States and its European allies said Iran’s nuclear intransigence left the world no choice but to seek Security Council action. The council could impose economic and political sanctions on Iran.

The statements were delivered to the 35-member board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is meeting to focus on Tehran’s refusal to freeze uranium enrichment.

The White House dismissed the rhetoric out of Tehran.

“I think that provocative statements and actions only further isolate Iran from the rest of the world,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters traveling with President Bush to hurricane-affected states in the Gulf Coast. “And the international community has spelled out to Iran what it needs to do.”

John Bolton, America’s ambassador to the United Nations, said Iran’s comments showed how much of a menace it was.

“Their threats show why leaving a country like that with a nuclear weapon is so dangerous,” he told The Associated Press in a phone call from Washington.


Yesterday, VP Cheney issued a stern warning to Iran, saying that the international community would impose “meaningful consequences” if it continued on its present course:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Dick Cheney said Tuesday that Iran will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon and warned “the United States is keeping all options on the table in addressing the irresponsible conduct of the regime.”

Cheney said the Iranian government “continues to defy the world with its nuclear ambitions” and that the issue may soon go before the U.N. Security Council.

“The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose meaningful consequences,” Cheney said in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential pro-Israel lobbying group.

He said the United States joins “other nations in sending that regime a clear message: we will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

Let’s not forget that Iran has offered to help finance the Hamas-majority Palestinian Parliament if the west decides to cut off aid to the Palestinians.

Israel has said they will act on Iran, if the usually toothless UN fails to:

BERLIN (Reuters) – If the U.N. Security Council is incapable of taking action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Israel will have no choice but to defend itself, Israel’s defense minister said on Wednesday.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz was asked whether Israel was ready to use military action if the Security Council proved unable to act against what Israel and the West believe is a covert Iranian nuclear weapons program.

“My answer to this question is that the state of Israel has the right give all the security that is needed to the people in Israel. We have to defend ourselves,” Mofaz told Reuters after a meeting with his German counterpart Franz Josef Jung.

What happens next is anybody’s guess, but the situation between Iran and the west continues to get more tense each week. Don’t be surprised if, in the coming months, Israel delivers on that vow to defend themselves against a potentially nuclear-armed Iran, especially considering that Israel is public enemy number one to Iran and not only that, but if this is any indication, the UN may very well be the toothless piranha they’ve always been as it relates to initiating any of those ‘meaningful consequences’ in Iran. Isreal would be well within their rights to strike at Iran – but I have little doubt that in response, the usual suspects would go into their typical tirades about how Israel and the west (read: the US, who would act in a supporting role) are ‘oppressive warmongering illegal-war aggressors’ who ‘provoked’ and therefore gave Iran little choice but to develop nuclear weapons, etc etc.

Just some food for thought.

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