Jonathan Freedland shows his own deep prejudices when he states: "artfully keeping each option - carrots, sticks and sharper sticks - in play."
Is Iran a donkey? Of course not, it is a civilised nation, in fact their civilisation is older than ours...the constant treatment of sovereign nations as donkeys that have to be prodded with a stick or rewarded with a carrot is deeply insulting, prejudiced and possibly even racist.
Freedland also plays dumb when he wants to: "why, if civil nuclear power is all the Iranians want, they don't simply import enriched uranium from abroad."
Well as Freedland, well knows, Iran sits on top of not only natural gas and oil but also natural uranium and mines it, why should they not enrich their own - it is after all described as an an "inalienable right" in the NPT? Why should they have to buy from privatised western corporations?
How does Freedland know what people in power are thinking? Or does he just take their statements at face value without comparing them to actual deeds instead...otherwise what are we to make of this: "These signals, and several others, have persuaded governments - and not only those in Washington and Jerusalem - that, even if there is not definitive, fizzing-fuse proof of an Iranian bomb, this is the direction in which the Iranians are heading".
These rhetorical acrobatics are becoming more and more transparent for their falseness; "It is this record of evasion, "of lying and cheating to the International Atomic Energy Agency", according to Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform, that has persuaded many otherwise doveish European governments that Tehran is up to something."
This twisting of meanings has now been rebutted by CASMII in their letter published in todays Guardian:
"Rather than being a theory dreamt up by bloggers, the absence of evidence of a nuclear weapons programme in Iran is a fact (Jonathan Freedland, November 14). The IAEA, the only international body qualified to monitor Iran's nuclear plans, has repeatedly said there's no proof whatsoever that Iran's uranium enrichment is for anything other than its civilian nuclear programme. While Iran's earlier concealment of its nuclear programme might give cause for suspicion, this took place against a backdrop of a US trade embargo aimed at preventing civilian nuclear technology from reaching Iran.Stefan SimanowitzCampaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention Against Iran"
Other rubbish from Freedland - the existential threat to Isreal. This is of course complete rubbish and has been discredited by the Guardians own Jonathan Steele. Doesn't Freedland read his own colleagues? Or did he just 'forget' it?
Iran would never launch an unprovoked attack on Israel, it would defeat any object - they would be immediatey wiped off the map themselves by both Israel and the US, they would also wipe Palestine off the map, and kill millions of fellow Muslims in the surrounding countries. What has happened to common sense with media commentarists these days? Do they willfully play the 3 monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil) when it suits them? No, the wiped off the map accusation has been well and truly discredited by Farsi scholars, ah so we better find another reason - oh sure - why not 'proliferation', that's always a good one.
Well a better start would be for the 5 'official' nuclear powers (also - what a coincidence! - the veto wielding members of the Security Council) to comply with their own oblgations under the NPT. Yet, what about the the Pakistani and Indian nuclear programmes? These have been virtually sanctioned by the international community and they're not even signatories to the NPT. What amazing double standards.
Curious isn't it that in all his analysis of the sticks, Freedland forgets the elephant in the room.: Israel. No mention of any possible attack by Israel. I wonder why considering all the threats coming from that militarised occupier of others, who recently launched a war of aggression on Lebanon, and left over a million 'presents' in Lebanon in the last days of the war (cluster bombs)...and who have consistently used collective punishment against civilians.
Pathetic effort Freedland. And the biggest joke is that you get paid for this crap...