Nevertheless, the Tehran gathering may have given Iran's leaders reason for hope that they can muster a sizeable body of sympathy, and votes, for a strategy that, in effect, turns the tables on the West. The meeting ended last night with calls for a complete overhaul of the 40 year old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and for Israel's nuclear weapons arsenal to be brought under a UN inspection regime.Read the whole thing.
This is potentially significant: next month 200 nations will gather in New York to review the NPT. The Iranian strategy will be to force a treaty overhaul which spells out the rights of signatories to run civilian nuclear programmes including the right to enrich uranium, while questioning the failure of the US, France and Britain, to disarm fully.
Setting the terms of the debate ahead of the NPT review has an obvious strategic value. If Iran can at least limit its international isolation, it may ultimately see off the Obama sanctions threat while doing little to allay the fears of those who claim Iran is determined to acquire an atomic weapon. No wonder Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian Foreign Minister, was able to declare last night: "This is a source of hope."
Iran has successfully thumbed its nose at Obama--at both his diplomatic overtures and his threats at sanctions. Next month's meeting on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will bring one more opportunity for Iran to run an end around on the Obama administration, putting both it and other major countries on the defensive.
Not to mention Israel.
Technorati Tag: Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Iran.