Monday, November 28, 2005

We want the Russians to do what?

An op-ed piece in today's Wall Street Journal makes an interesting point about Russia's offer to enrich uranium for the Iranians. According to the Volcker Report, Russia was the largest recipient of kickbacks coming from the oil for food program; Russian institutions from the Kremlin, to academia, to the military received funds, contracts, etc., all in exchange for Russia's veto in the UNSC. The question is, therefore, why should we trust the Russians this time? I think this argument has some purchase, though France also benefited from Iraqi largesse, and yet we publicly suported their involvement in negotiations with the Iranians. Still, corruption is, supposedly, a way of life in Russia, and Moscow would supply Iran with uranium for its declared nuclear sites.

Unfortunately, I think the signifiance of the Russian proposal extends beyond the parameters of our national security and puts into question the effectiveness (some would argue sanity) of the IAEA. Then again, the IAEA has been in hot water since 1998. Any thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated.

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