Rachel Marsden

Remember when you were a kid and you would open a full refrigerator right after mom's latest grocery-shopping trip, only to complain that there was nothing to eat and that she was starving you to death? Well, that's Iran right now. Iran has enough energy to light up the entire planet several times over -- 138 billion exploitable barrels of oil and more than 28 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) -- yet it constantly whines that it's starving for desperately needed nuclear energy.

America and its allies have just pulled off the diplomatic equivalent of agreeing to take Iran to the McDonald's drive-thru -- an unspoken nod to the understanding that Iran is somehow going to end up scoring that Big Mac anyway, and that the smart strategy isn't to prevent it from going there, but rather to prevent it from wanting to.

It would be fair to assume that the latest lip-service "deal" is more about America looking to get out of an interminable babysitting gig than anything else. Unless current international legislation governing nuclear capabilities can be changed, there is little more that can pragmatically be accomplished.

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that an interim agreement reached in Geneva between America, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany will provide Iran with "modest relief" from sanctions over the next six-months -- including access to billions in withheld revenue from its oil sales -- in exchange for Iran agreeing to roll back its nuclear program and allow new IAEA inspections. Not that Iran doesn't already have a long history of circumventing sanctions through front companies, ship reflagging, and the assistance of allies. And, of course, the IAEA can only inspect the operations that it knows about.

International nuclear law can't effectively police intent, which is exactly what would be required in Iran's case. It's already a problem that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty permits uranium enrichment by default and is therefore the nuclear equivalent of the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment right to bear arms: You get to own one right up to the point where you kill a bunch of people and prove yourself definitively incompetent to possess and use such a weapon. Under international law on nuclear weapons, you pretty much have to bomb something to be in violation. "They're totally insane" isn't a viable argument for disarming either your gun-loving neighbor or Iran.


Rachel Marsden

Rachel Marsden is a columnist with Human Events Magazine, and Editor-In-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate.
 
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