Friday, November 18, 2005
The Iranians say they neither requested the data from AQ Khan nor used it.
What "data," you ask? The reference to A.Q. Khan should have been your first clue.
Iran has passed on to United Nations inspectors documents on how to build a crucial part of a nuclear bomb, the UN's atomic agency says.
Tehran says it got the information from the nuclear smuggling network run by disgraced Pakistani scientist AQ Khan, according to an agency report.
Iran expects us to believe that a man who sold nuclear secrets throughout the world gave them to Shiite Iran, Pakistan's immediate neighbor and strategic rival? And then, having enjoyed this entirely unsolicited windfall, they didn't "use" the information? OK. But did they read it, understand it, remember it, or copy it? What, pray tell, is our newest Nobel laureate going to do about this?
Iran is building a bomb, and the West is losing its opportunity to do something about it. Eventually, we will foreclose all policy options save deterrance. While the Iranians have proven themselves to be somewhat more rational in their brinksmanship -- and therefore theoretically deterrable -- than Saddam ever was, one has to wonder whether deterrance alone is sufficient protection against a regime that deploys suicide bombers to geopolitical advantage.
The interesting question, of course, is what motivated the Iranians to cough up the A.Q. Khan documents? The Pakistanis, who cannot want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, probably ratted out Tehran, figuring that it is better to take the heat now for having allowed Khan to leak the information than suffer the consequences of a resurgent Shiite rival with a deployable atomic bomb.
You aren't really buying that polite diplomatic fiction that A.Q. Khan fooled the Pakistani government are you? I live in Florida now. I no longer sell ocean front property in Phoenix, but I do have a lovely wetlands property you might be interesed in.