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May 23, 2007

Pigs Fly: 'France to join US in complaint filed against el-Bardadei'

Topics: Iran

PigsFly.jpgIran apologist and Secretary General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei publicly stated over the weekend that it was too late to force Tehran to halt its uranium enrichment plans as demanded by the United Nations Security Council, and argued instead that the world should adapt to Iran's nuclear advances and use inspection measures to prevent a further expansion of the Iranian nuclear program.

Following his remarks the United States, which has consistently pressed for harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic over fears it will build a nuclear bomb, said it would lodge a complaint against ElBaradei, citing concerns that his comments could undermine UN Security Council efforts. This is the same Mohamed ElBaradei that stated clearly and publicly in 2004 that "Iran has no nuclear weapons program, ... there is no danger from Iran, and we should make use of political and diplomatic means before thinking of resorting to other alternatives."

So much for ElBaradei's credibility.

Now, in what Atlas Shrugs calls a "pig flying moment," and as Iran continues to defy the UN over uranium enrichment, we learn the French foreign ministry has announced that France intends to join in on the complaint filed by the US against the International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed el-Baradei. Has sanity and reason suddenly prevailed in France with the arrival of Sarkozy? Hearing from a French leader that Iran must decide whether it wants to cooperate with the international community over its nuclear program or face harsher sanctions is like fresh air to a coal mine:

France rebuffed the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Wednesday over comments he made about Iran's nuclear program, saying Paris would back U.S. complaints against him for suggesting that Tehran could retain some parts of its uranium enrichment program.

American officials urged allies Tuesday to back a formal protest against Mohamed ElBaradei, saying his comments could hurt U.N. Security Council efforts to pressure Tehran over its enrichment program.

"We were indeed surprised by several comments from Mr. ElBaradei over the weekend," said French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei. "We share the gist of concerns expressed by our American partners -- along with several other partners, for that matter."

Over the past two weeks, ElBaradei has publicly said he believes it is too late to force Tehran to scrap its enrichment program as demanded by the Security Council, and argued instead for implementing inspection safeguards to prevent an expansion of the program.

"I can confirm that our permanent representative in Vienna will take part in the American initiative," Mattei said, referring to the Austrian capital where the International Atomic Energy Agency is based.

Mattei also took issue with ElBaradei's recent reference to French intelligence about the speed of Iran's nuclear program, without providing details.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is staging its latest show of military force off the Iranian coastline, sending two aircraft carriers and landing ships packed with 17,000 U.S. Marines and sailors to carry out unannounced exercises in the Persian Gulf.

Posted by Richard at May 23, 2007 11:45 AM

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