Bushehr Plant 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
WASHINGTON – Iran has complained to top officials at the United Nations about
American threats of military action against the country, declaring that Teheran
will respond to any such attack.
In letters to the heads of the UN
Security Council and General Assembly circulated on Wednesday, Iran’s acting UN
ambassador Eshagh Alehabib slammed US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike
Mullen for having “threatened” to use force against Iran on the “totally false”
grounds that Iran was building nuclear weapons.
US attack on Iran could rise after Gates departure
to build third plant'
Divisions among Iranian hardliners
acknowledged that the US had drawn up plans to attack Iran, though he believes a
military strike would probably be a bad idea.
Iran is also calling on the
UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to help Teheran
in the face of sanctions imposed by the Security Council over the Islamic
Republic’s refusal to stop enriching uranium.
Iran’s IAEA Ambassador Ali
Asghar Soltanieh was quoted as saying Wednesday that the IAEA should defend
Iran, since it knows that the country has been cooperating with the UN agency to
show goodwill and transparency.
IAEA observers are slated to supervise
Saturday’s planned loading of fuel into Iran’s Bushehr reactor, as Russia has
announced it will be providing a long-delayed fuel supply that will allow Iran
to start up its first nuclear reactor.
On Tuesday, former US ambassador
to the UN John Bolton warned that Israel would need to take military action
before the loading of fuel took place, lest it risk dispersing nuclear radiation
in an attack.
“The element of surprise was essentially taken away” with
the Russian announcement about Saturday’s move, Bolton told The Jerusalem Post
He added, “If Israel was right to destroy the Osirak reactor [in Iraq],
is it right to allow this one to continue? You can’t have it both
But Trita Parsi, president of the Washington-based National
Iranian American Council, said Wednesday that he didn’t think an Israeli attack
“I do not foresee, personally, that in the short term –
meaning in the next two years – that there is necessarily a very imminent threat
of military action, including by Israel,” he said during an event at the Middle
East Institute, where he is also an adjunct scholar.
Michael Singh, who,
like Bolton, served in the George W.
Bush administration, agreed that the
situation hadn’t yet reached a point of decision between attacking Iran or
accepting its nuclear posture.
“I do think there is still a window for a
negotiated solution, for diplomacy to work,” said Singh, a former senior
director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council.
Singh, who appeared with Parsi at the MEI, said that for diplomacy to be
effective, there needed to be a credible threat of force on the
“Iranian officials are making a cost-benefit analysis, and they
see that at the end of this process is possible military action, and they reason
backwards from that,” said Singh. “I think that makes it more likely, rather
than less likely, [they’ll] take whatever deal might be on the
Parsi, however, warned that the nature of the debate over the
possibility of military force could make an attack more likely.
described an effort “to frame the issue not as to whether Iran will or will not
be bombed, but frame it as to who will bomb Iran – the US or Israel.” He
concluded, “One of the surest ways of ensuring that the Iranians will do
anything to go for a nuclear bomb is to bomb them.”The Associated Press
contributed to this report.