The head of the UN nuclear monitoring agency on Friday criticized the US for not giving his organization intelligence information sooner on what Washington says was a nuclear reactor in Syria being built secretly by North Korea.
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei also chastised Israel for bombing the site seven months ago, in a statement whose strong language reflected his anger at being kept out of the picture for so long. — Jerusalem Post
Had the UN been ‘in the picture’, the result would have been that the regime that is the Mideast’s greatest terrorist hotel, whose mischief in the region — done for its own purposes and Iran’s — is unparalleled in recent history, would soon have the material to build a nuclear or radiological weapon.
Israel’s bombing the reactor may have saved countless lives, while ElBaradei’s activities have done no more than provide a cover for Iran to move its own nuclear program forward.
“[T]he director general views the unilateral use of force by Israel as undermining the due process of verification that is at the heart of the nonproliferation regime”, said the UN agency.
Actually, the unilateral use of force was the safest and most effective way to deal with the threat, and — like the Israeli attack on the Iraqi reactor in 1981 — was doubtless quietly appreciated in foreign ministries around the world. But the question of Iran’s nuclear development is more complicated.
If the major powers, including the US, have decided that the better part of valor will be to accept Iran as a nuclear power, then the stage is set for a confrontation between Israel and Iran. But it would be of an entirely different character than a unilateral surgical strike; it would involve widespread destruction and loss of life on both sides.
Such an outcome is still preventable; but if it is allowed to happen it wouldn’t be the first time that the cowardice of the Western democracies and the narrow self-interest of the Russians has given birth to a catastrophe of historic proportions.