Well, so far this new policy of “engagement” is paying off handsomely with Iran. Here’s how they unclench their fist:
Iran’s government will build 10 new sites to enrich uranium, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday, a dramatic expansion of the country’s nuclear program and one that is bound to fuel fears that it is attempting to produce a nuclear weapon.
Ahmadinejad told state news agency IRNA that construction of at least five nuclear facilities was to begin within two months.
This in the wake of an IAEA censure last Friday which, obviously, intimidated the heck out of the Iranians. The censure called Iran’s activities a “breach of its obligations” under UN treaties. Today’s announcement tells everyone what they think of those obligations. And if that wasn’t clear, Iran’s leaders made it so:
“We are ready to be friendly and kind toward the whole world, but at the same time we won’t allow the smallest violation of the rights of the Iranian nation,” Ahmadinejad said.
The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, standing alongside the president, told reporters that the decisions of the cabinet on Sunday are a strong response to the “unacceptable actions of world powers.”
Or, “stuff your ‘engagement’ in your pocket, we’ve got a plan and we intend to complete it – and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”
UPDATE: Ah. The White House reacts:
But in Washington, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs called the announcement “another example of Iran choosing to isolate itself.”
“The international community has made clear that Iran has rights, but with those rights come responsibilities,” Gibbs said in a written statement. “As the overwhelming IAEA board of governors vote made clear, time is running out for Iran to address the international community’s growing concerns about its nuclear program.”
Maybe Gibbs missed it but it seems to me that Iran has just finished addressing the “international community’s growing concerns about its nuclear program”.