Monday, April 17, 2006


Pope's Easter message calls for talks on Iran

Vatican, Apr. 17 ( - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) called for "serious and honest" negotiations to defuse tension over the development of nuclear power by Iran, in Urbi et Orbi message delivered on Easter Sunday.

The Holy Father did not explicitly mention Iran as he addressed the crowd in St. Peter's Square at midday on Easter Sunday. But his reference to "the international crises linked to nuclear power" was unmistakable.

Iran for sure has nuclear materials and facilities. Its president went on TV and declared Iran a member of the Nuclear Club. Aside from regional stability in the Middle East, this nuclear capability would pose no threat to the US directly as Iran does not have any intercontinental ballistic missiles or long-range bombers. However, those things aren't needed to give a terrorist group some material for not even a nuclear bomb but some nuclear fuel that can be blown apart by regular explosives to cause a lot of problems with radiation.

That is why Iran's assertions that it is not producing weapons-grade fuel and that its nuclear program is not for military use ring so hollow. The country is a state-sponsor of terrorism. All it takes is one radiological bomb in Tel Aviv or even someplace like New York City to illustrate that fact.

So the question becomes what should be done about the situation? First of all, negotiations have NOT worked. The EU with US approval has been negotiating and negotiating with Iran since last year. The negotiations have been a sideshow while Iran continues its fuel enrichment. Even before that, the IAEA had been negotiating.

So then what is to be done if negotiations are pretty much worthless at this point? We'll discuss that tomorrow.

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