International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

October 24, 2003

October 24, 2003





**  Tehran's agreement to full disclosure is a major victory for European diplomacy.


**  Iran still must show "concrete" measures of compliance.


**  Analysts are divided on the U.S. contribution to the nuclear accord.


**  Muslim commentators praise Iran's "cunning" in deflecting U.S. pressure.




Iran agreement 'may be the greatest success for European diplomacy'--  Centrist and liberal European commentators hailed the EU three's "political miracle" in Iran as a demonstration of the superiority of European diplomacy over American threats to use force in settling international disputes.  Italy's influential La Stampa asserted that "Old Europe" got its "diplomatic revenge" in Tehran.  Analysts also viewed the agreement as a major milestone for European unity.  A British outlet concluded that the agreement "shows what can be achieved when the European powers work together." 


'The EU three should hold the champagne'--  Observers cautioned that the diplomatic "victory" must be followed by "concrete action" towards compliance.  A right-of-center French weekly asserted that, "like good chess players," the Tehran regime bought itself room to maneuver with the agreement.  Israeli, Japanese and Indian papers averred that Iran's "pragmatic decision" merely "shelved" its nuclear program.  Israel's independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz stated that the "Iranian file" will "remain open"; Austria's centrist Die Presse warned that "the bomb will go on ticking."  Observers judged that a nuclear Iran would "sound the death knell" of the NPT and lead to an arms race in the region.


A repudiation of U.S. 'pressure' or a 'division of work'?--  Many characterized the nuclear agreement as an Iranian "snub" of the U.S.' "high-handed" pressure.  A Turkish writer concluded that Europe's "carrot" worked where America's "stick" failed.  A Norwegian broadsheet countered, praising the U.S.-EU "division of work" in defusing a possibly "grave international crisis."  Echoing sentiment common in Asia, South Korea's government-owned Daehan Maeil urged the U.S. to use Iran as a model for "flexible diplomacy" with the DPRK. 


'Iranian cunning' triumphed over 'American recklessness'--  Arab and Iranian outlets praised the Tehran regime's success in "thwarting American attempts to mobilize world opinion against Iran" and implied that Iran had made "no concessions."  Saudi Arabia's moderate al-Watan billed Iran the "only winner" in the nuclear accord.  Pakistani dailies, however, lamented that the agreement was a "sad day" for Iranian diplomacy and faulted Tehran for failing to take "a principled stand" in defense of its nuclear program.


EDITOR: Andrew Borda

EDITOR'S NOTE: This analysis is based on 43 reports from 22 countries, October 22-24, 2003.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.


BRITAIN:  "Iran Has Made Its Promises.  Now The West Must, Too"


Martin Woolacott editorialized in the liberal Guardian (10/24):  "Unless Iran’s needs for both development and security are met in other ways, the nuclear option is unlikely to be abandoned.  Even if they are met, it may be that the best that can be hoped for is that Iran will stay this side of the nuclear weapons threshold rather than retreat from it completely....  The Iranian commitment is best interpreted as an engagement to go more slowly or at least to stop for a period, while assessing European, and above all, American, reactions.  If the Iranians have to demonstrate compliance, the Europeans have to demonstrate that the benefits they have promised materialise.  These include the transfer of civil nuclear technology, but more important is a general opening up of trade and investment flows to Iran.  More vital still is to keep the Americans from demanding a total stripping down of Iranian nuclear industry, or worse, threatening strikes on suspect facilities....  While still using various arms control instruments when they are useful to it, the Bush administration has knocked the rules sideways....  Until the US grasps that it must consider not only threats to America but the threats others see to their own countries, it will not be able to effectively counter proliferation.”


"Europe's Success In Iran Has A Hollow Ring"


The independent Financial Times editorialized (10/23):  "The Iran question has all the makings of an international crisis.  Iran going nuclear would probably sound the death knell of the NPT, which has already been weakened by the Pakistani and North Korean nuclear programmes.  It could prompt Saudi Arabia and Egypt to consider similar steps, leading to a nuclear arms race in the region.  It would also raise questions--certainly in Tel Aviv, probably in Washington--about pre-emptive military strikes.  Few security commentators believe that Tehran will live up to its commitments and relinquish a long-sought strategic option that is closely connected with its regional security concerns.  Iran's latest move, an IAEA official has told us, may well be an attempt at buying time and putting a wedge between the EU, the IAEA and the U.S....  The more weapons technologies proliferate, the easier it becomes for weapons of mass destruction to proliferate further.  In such a situation, prudent, well thought-out and rigorously adopted standards are indispensable.  If the EU ends up deadlocked over Iran and its nuclear programme--an issue at the heart of the Union's security strategy--its credibility as a global security force will have been seriously weakened."


"Nuclear Diplomacy"


The independent Financial Times observed (10/22):  "The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany did not waste their trip to Tehran yesterday....  Whatever Iran's ultimate intentions, it is a relief that is is showing greater subtlety in pursuing them than North Korea with its constant nuclear brinkmanship.  Iran may one day follow North Korea.  But for the moment Tehran clearly has decided to work within the treaty....  This could just be Iran's clever way of buying itself time to hone its bomb-making skills.  But delay could also help in the design of a more sophisticated response to Iran's nuclear plans....  But it is odd indeed that Washington is ready to talk to North Korea, a proven nuclear rogue, but refuses any real contact with Iran, still only a nuclear suspect."


"Under Pressure"


An editorial in the conservative Times held (10/22):  "Iran's statement at yesterday's meetings with the three European foreign ministers could, if speedily implemented, allow headway to be made....  Iran must learn to play ball fast....  The EU three should, meantime, hold the champagne (and their offers of nuclear fuel and technology) until they are convinced that Iran's volte-face commits the entire regime.  Beyond that, they must address the flaws....  Proliferation-resistant nuclear energy technology exists.  Its use should be built into the treaty; without that safeguard, the time margin for detecting and stopping nuclear proliferators has become dangerously and unacceptably limited."


"Allied Advance"


The left-of-center Guardian editorialized (10/22):  "Iran's agreement to allow unlimited UN inspections of its nuclear facilities and to suspend its uranium enrichment program marks a tremendous success for European diplomacy.  It shows just what can be achieved when the European powers work together, rather than in opposition....  It is a symbolic reassertion of the efficacy of diplomacy and dialogue over the use of force in international disputes....  It is only on this basis that the reciprocal European offer to assist the development of Iran's civil nuclear industry can proceed.  Factions within the Bush administration will be sceptical that any deal struck without direct U.S. involvement will stick.  U.S. concerns about Iran's links to terrorism will not be affected by this agreement.  Iran will doubtless remain an axis-of-evil rogue state in George Bush's florid lexicon.  But Washington must not try to undermine this accord."


FRANCE:  “Europe In Favor of a Diplomatic Strike Force”


Patrick Sabatier wrote in left-of-center Liberation (10/23): “For FM de Villepin the agreement reached in Iran is an important achievement for the fight against nuclear proliferation but also ‘for Europe.’  Seen from Paris, the diplomatic efforts that helped to reach an agreement with Tehran must serve as a diplomatic strike force to seek political negotiated solutions in other regions of the world....  The European troika should, according to Paris, intervene to save the Middle East process....  The same ‘informal cooperation’ that worked for Iran has already worked at the UN.  In de Villepin’s opinion, ‘The Iraqi crisis has reinforced Europe…’  French diplomats explain that in the Middle East the position adopted by the Europeans about Hamas and Syria’s ambivalence proves that the U.S. has nothing to lose from a strong commitment from the Europeans.  Especially since the Iraqi experience, which was supposed to serve as a lever for democracy, has, according to a French official, ‘clearly failed.’”


“Europe-Iran: A Nuclear Challenge”


Pierre Beylau commented in right-of-center weekly Le Point (10/23): “Like good chess players, the Iranians are giving themselves room to maneuver....  The success of the European troika must be confirmed with concrete action from Iran.  But the agreement may nevertheless work as a founding element and serve as precedent in the delicate area of nuclear proliferation....  Tehran chose to work with Europe rather than the U.S.  But without America’s threats, taken very seriously because of the Iraqi precedent, Iran would probably not have complied.”


“An Agreement with Tehran”


Bernard Guetta asserted in right-of-center weekly L’Express (10/23): “Europe has achieved its first major diplomatic success....  Not only has an additional regional tragedy been avoided in the Middle East, but Europe’s credibility has been enhanced.  It is now evident that Europe can have a common foreign policy.  In spite of disagreements over their relationship with the U.S., it is clear that the French, Germans and British have much more in common that otherwise believed.”


"Tehran Gives Guarantees"


Right-of-center Le Figaro commented (10/22):  “Iran has finally accepted giving the foreign ministers from France, Germany and Great Britain guarantees that its nuclear program is exclusively commercial in nature....  After this unprecedented EU diplomatic initiative, Tehran has agreed to the AIEA’s demands in writing.”


"Iran’s First Step"


Veronique Soule wrote in left-of-center Liberation (10/22):  “Iran has finally accepted providing that its nuclear program is exclusively a commercial program.  For the EU this is a success, especially since the Iraqi crisis had raised the question of whether the EU was capable of having a joint foreign policy....  Tehran, which was threatened with isolation, has decided to give in to Europe rather than to the U.S.  But questions remain about the practical implementation of the agreement....  The Americans are skeptical and as the State Department reiterated, ‘this is a first step, only a first step.’”


GERMANY:  "Three In Tehran"


Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger judged in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/22):  "If the powers-that-be in Tehran are really willing to suspend the enrichment of uranium and the reprocessing of used fuel rods, if they, in addition, really allow unrestricted access to Iranian nuclear facilities, then this would really be the progress for which the German foreign minister has congratulated himself.  The latest statements from Tehran allow the assumption that the last word on Iran's nuclear policy, and especially its nuclear variant, has not yet been spoken, since the domestic power struggle is also being waged in this field.  But if Iran sticks to its promise...this would contribute to brightening the horizon of international security policy.  How much depends mainly on Tehran, which carefully studied the case of Iraq....  The joint activities of the three foreign ministers shows that the intra-European division with respect to Iraq's disarmament is not a pattern that is valid for other conflicts...and it also shows that European security policy functions once Berlin, London, and Paris read from the same piece of paper.  Their cooperation is indispensable.  It is self-evident that France and Germany will present the method of a dialogue as superior over the U.S.-British model of disarmament.  But the three would have to find out how far their common positions coincide, and where they would have a latitude in case the Iranian moratorium was only a mock action."




Rudolph Chimelli judged in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (10/22):  "The EU is moving....  The Europeans have leaped forward.  We owe it mainly to the cohesive position of the European Community.  Joschka Fischer and Dominique de Villepin did not have to shed old skins, since their policy has always aimed at showing Iran the path to progress and reforms by offering cooperation.  Even the British have shared this position...but for them it was probably not that easy to dismantle one wheel on President Bush's 'axis of evil.'…  Such agreements that are in the interests of both partners will hold the best.  But even better will be prospects if the political context is right, too.  Because of their burden in Iraq, the Americans are hardly interested in the development of new trouble spots.  Next to the U.S. giant, the Europeans have grown enormously overnight with their success in Tehran."


"EU Mediation On Nuclear Program"


Peter Metzger commented on ARD-TV's (national channel one) late evening newscast "Tagesthemen" (10/22):  "The Mullahs have always been 'poker champions.'  With their concessions, they have now confirmed that Iran was working on the bomb.  And unlike Saddam Hussein's alleged chemical weapons, the Iranian nuclear weapons...would have been a threat not only for Israel but also for Europe and the United States....  After the Iranians realized that the Europeans, unlike in Iraq, were determined together with the United States for a showdown, they gave up their hide-and-seek game....  Trade agreements with the EU will honor this step, and Iran's right to the peaceful use of its nuclear facilities will explicitly be acknowledged, even though nobody can really explain the reason for nuclear power plants in a country that swims on natural gas and crude oil.  Nevertheless, with a uniform position that was rarely seen before, the West achieved an encouraging breakthrough in Tehran and defused a dangerous development for the time being, even though the Mullahs will certainly continue to play their poker game."


ITALY:  "Tehran’s Ayatollahs Bow Their Heads, But Only ‘Ad Interim’"


A commentary in elite, classical liberal daily Il Foglio read (10/22):  “Mission accomplished.  It took one morning of talks to calm the bellicose summit of the Islamic Republic.  It’s a political miracle of the Anglo-French-German engagement: Iran has agreed to the AIEA inspectors’ incursions without ifs and buts and it has even given up on uranium enrichment....  Iran has yielded to the politics of persuasion and in return it only asks for cooperation from London, Paris and Berlin for the legitimate strengthening of its nuclear energy program, naturally for civil use.  The happy ending served its purpose and it doesn’t matter if the usual ifs and buts are lurking between the lines....  Some in Washington have confessed bewilderment and caution, like the American Enterprise Institute.  Others, like Colin Powell and the State Department have no prejudices towards negotiations with Iran.”


"Iran Bows To EU Envoys"


Cesare Martinetti opined in centrist, influential daily La Stampa (10/22):  “Defeated in Baghdad, ‘old Europe’ got its diplomatic revenge in Tehran where yesterday morning the Islamic Republic agreed to sign the adjunctive protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  In other words, Iran declares it is not working on the nuclear bomb, is commiting itself to suspending all uranium enrichment activities (even for civil use) and has opened up to inspections by the AIEA, the UN agency for the control of nuclear energy.  President Mohammed Khatami made the commitment to Dominique de Villepin, Joschka Fischer and Jack Straw, the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Great Britain.  The U.S. welcomed the announcement with caution....  It’s safe to say that this is the first time a European initiative has defused a possible grave international crisis.”


RUSSIA:  "Europe Saves Washington's Face"


Dmitriy Suslov commented in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (10/22):  "Tehran's consent to allow full-scale inspections by the IAEA and guarantee a peaceful nuclear program will ease tension over Iran.  It also (at least temporarily) deprives the United States of the possibility of calling the Tehran regime a threat.  But the Americans may well take advantage of the IAEA-discovered enriched uranium remaining a moot issue.  As they were formally acting on their own, London, Paris, and Berlin constantly kept in touch with Washington.  Observers note that, mired in Iraq and hoping for Europe's support, Washington has decided to review its interest in international sanctions against Tehran.  For the United States, which has no direct contact with Tehran, the success of the European mission is a welcome chance to save face."


"Impasse Broken"


Andrey Zlobin wrote in reformist Vremya Novostey (10/22):  "Yesterday's success is quite indicative.  Not only have the Europeans developed a common position on an acute international problem (something they have been unable to do on the war in Iraq), but they have made good their mission.  The EU diplomatic effort is a testament that you can achieve positive results by means other than the use of crude force....  The United States may not be pleased.  America hates to see pariah states having their own nuclear programs, peaceful or not.  As for Russia, it may now take a breath and proceed with its Bushehr project."


"Europe's Influence On The Line"


Reformist business-oriented Kommersant ran a comment by Gennadiy Sysoyev (10/22):  "The Tehran mission by the foreign ministers of three leading European powers was not just an attempt (probably their last) to save Iran from what befell Iraq and avoid another serious crisis in the world.  It was much more important than that.  It was Europe having its role and influence in world politics on the line.  But the European's victory on the Iranian front is not final.  Now that the IAEA comes into the picture, the United States has a chance to recoup itself."


AUSTRIA:  "The Bomb Will Go On Ticking"


Security affairs writer Burkhard Bischof contended in centrist daily Die Presse (10/22):  “Recently, Iran has been under immense international pressure....  Tehran only had two options:  to break off all contacts with the outside world, like North Korea, and to go ahead with its nuclear weapons program.  However, this would have meant risking the destruction of its nuclear plants from outside. The other option was to show willingness to compromise, to agree with unannounced IAEA inspections, and freeze its uranium enrichment program.  Iran has opted for the latter, and skillfully dealt with the EU representatives to send the world a message:  if you talk to us reasonably, without brandishing a gun, we can be reasonable too.  It remains to be seen what the Iranian cooperation will mean in concrete terms, and whether the country has once and for all decided against using nuclear power for military purposes.  After all, the Middle East remains a high-risk region, where some regime or other will always be tempted  to reach for the Bomb.”


"Success For The EU In Tehran"


Foreign affairs writer Markus Bernath opined in liberal daily Der Standard (10/22):  “Ten days before the end of the ultimatum set by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran made a declaration together with three European Foreign Ministers, which states that Iran will fulfill practically all of the requirements of the nuclear inspectors.  Has the second country on the 'axis of evil' capitulated, after Iraq?  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The Tehran declaration was the best possible solution for the mullah regime to get out of the corner into which Iran had maneuvered itself by ignoring the control injunctions of the IAEA.  However, it must also be said that the declaration--if the Iranian regime will indeed stick to its requirements--is maybe the greatest success for European diplomacy in ten years of political union, since the Maastricht treaty.“


BELGIUM: “The Victory Of European Diplomacy Is Not Proven”


Serge Vandaele commented in financial L’Echo (10/23):  "According to some, Europe has achieved its first diplomatic success....  European diplomacy, which had gone through quite difficult times...during the Iraqi crisis, achieved a success, but only a theoretical one.  Indeed, under threats with UN sanctions, it seemed that Tehran had already decided, well before the visit of the three European Ministers, to yield anyway.  The visit of the European troika was just an opportunity for Iran to show its sudden good resolutions while symbolically excluding the American ‘Great Satan.’  But nothing indicates that these agreements will be implemented.  Just after the announcement that Iran agreed to cooperate, the Iranian official who had negotiated with the European Ministers added fuel to the fire and said that it was unacceptable for Iran to stop enriching uranium.  Was it a way of reassuring the most conservative members of the regime who did not swallow the agreement or was it double-dealing?  In doubt, the Americans remain very skeptical.  That is probably the reason why they so far have not deigned to salute European efforts toward the region’s stabilization.”


CZECH REPUBLIC:  "Pledge From Iran Is Only The First Step"


Jan Eichler wrote in center-left Pravo (10/22):  "Iran is one of the two countries of  'the axis of evil' that is developing its nuclear program...a program launched in cooperation with the U.S...Germany...and France in 1978....  The country has gone through turbulent political developments since then, but its energy needs have not changed....  And if Iran were to use its oil and natural gas reserves to cover these needs, it would be at the cost of environment pollution as well as the supply of these resources to Europe and Asia....  Currently, Iran is criticized for not giving up its nuclear arms development program....  The Iranian unwillingness to stop its defense program is understandable, especially in view of the possible threat posed by Israel, which bombed a similar target [a nuclear reactor] in Iraq....  An escalation of pressure on Iran and threats of military attacks will hardly be successful.  The new initiative of technical cooperation proposed by Britain, Germany and France, on the other hand, is much more hopeful...but it is still only the first step...which would have to be followed by a credible and reliable international guarantee that [if Iran fulfills all its obligations] its nuclear facilities will not be attacked.  Such a guarantee would provide nothing less than preventing a situation in which the first Arab country joins the nuclear club."


IRELAND:  "Iran's Nuclear Policy"


The center-left Irish Times held (10/22):  “The German foreign minister, Mr Joschka Fischer, correctly described the announcement yesterday that Iran is to suspend all enrichment of uranium and co-operate with snap United Nations inspections as an ‘important day’ for its relations with the international community....  It symbolizes a more co-ordinated EU foreign policy approach to a crucial problem in a neighboring region, in which Germany, France and Britain have a material as well as a political interest, having helped supply Iran with nuclear technology in the past and expecting to do so in the future.  They have also taken a different approach towards Iran (along with Russia) than the United States.  President Bush and his administration include Iran in their ‘axis of evil’, states which should not be engaged but opposed, isolated and forced to comply if necessary.  It follows that whoever is successful in convincing Iran to co-operate has won a larger argument about the superiority of engagement and diplomatic pressure.  Iran's announcement yesterday that it will sign an additional IAEA protocol, co-operate fully with the agency inspections and suspend all enrichment is a clear gesture towards the EU's approach.  It represents a tactical victory by the secular reformers within the regime grouped around President Mohammad Khatami....  There is increasingly convincing evidence that Iran has been accumulating technologies and material which could allow it to make nuclear weapons, but not that it has as yet reached this point.  Whether it should do so is a major matter of contention between reformist and clerical fundamentalists.  The unanimous IAEA decision last month to set a deadline for compliance was based on such evidence.  Iran would be wiser to comply than face isolation.”


NORWAY: "Iran Says 'Yes' To EU’s Nuclear Dialogue"


Newspaper-of-record Aftenposten remarked (10/22):  "While a near-guerilla war continues in Iraq, and the battle for North Korea’s nuclear weapons continue, we receive encouraging news from Iran....  Against this backdrop it is positive that the Iranian government and President Mohammad Khatami are united in a dialogue with Ministers of Foreign Affairs Dominique de Villepin, Jack Straw and Joscha Fischer.  Their journey to Tehran proves that a dialogue may succeed, whereas the confrontational policy of the U.S. so far has not given any results--even though it may have been working behind the scenes during the talks yesterday.  We are witnessing both a division of work between EU and the U.S, as well as a Europe with increased self-conceit and ability to act....  The three great European powers have bought valuable time through negotiations.  Time that should be used by all parties, also the U.S., to improve a broad international cooperation based on international law."


TURKEY: “A Chance For Diplomacy”  


Sami Kohen wrote in mass-appeal Milliyet (10/23): “The diplomatic move initiated by the French, German and British Foreign Ministers concerning Iran is an important event in itself.  Their goal is to persuade the Iranian government to stop its nuclear program and open its doors to international inspection.  It is very interesting to see the British FM included in this diplomatic initiative despite the UK’s traditional pro-American policy line.  The Bush administration has pursued a policy of pressure and threats, and has placed Iran on its list of ‘rouge states.’  This hasn’t worked very well.  It remains to be seen if Europe will be able to persuade Iran with a ‘carrot’ where America failed with the ‘stick.’...  There is already a certain degree of compromise in the Iranian regime on this issue.  Yet the main question is whether or not Iran is going to fulfill its pledge not to produce nuclear weapons.”




ISRAEL:  "The Iranian Dossier Will Remain Open"


Zeev Schiff wrote in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (10/24): "Even assuming that a nuclear turnaround is beginning in Iran, which is still doubtful, the Iranian file is far from being closed.  Apart from the nuclear issue there are two other sensitive issues pending in this file.  One is the development of long-range ground-to-ground missiles that will threaten not only Israel or Saudi Arabia, but also Europe.  The second issue has to do with Tehran's involvement with terror....  This is direct terrorist activity against Israel.  As is their wont, the Iranians were prepared to 'do business' to put an end to terror on condition that they are not disturbed in their nuclear development.  Those who negotiated with them did not fall into this trap and it is to be hoped that the pressure on Tehran will be kept up on the issues of terror and missiles as well."


"Smoke Screen"


Intelligence affairs writer Ronen Bergman judged in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (10/22):  "The statements made by the director of IDF Intelligence Tuesday at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, that Iran would reach the 'point of no return' in the development of the atom bomb, ostensibly contradict Iran's statement, which was made almost concurrently with Maj. Gen. [Aharon Zeevi] Farkash's briefing, that it would cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency and expose all of its installations to supervision, including surprise inspections.  But this contradiction is only ostensible....  There is no doubt with regard to two basic assumptions: Iran is trying to develop a nuclear bomb; Iran long ago reached the conclusion that it is preferable for it to agree to international supervision, which will give it time and room to maneuver until it has the bomb....  Iran is still very, very far from a nuclear bomb.  The 'point of no return' is another stage on the way to the bomb, but it is certainly possible to return from it and obstruct the Iranian efforts."


SAUDI ARABIA:  "Iranian Pragmatism"


Abha's moderate Al-Watan stated (10/22):  "The U.S. administration, and its shadow Israel, has no more excuses to offer in respect to (proliferation) of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East after Iran agreed to open its nuclear facilities for inspection and to end its uranium enrichment program....  The only winner here is Iran because it has won the international community and the big losers are the U.S. and Israel because they failed to drag Iran into their traps.


LEBANON:  "Iranian Cunning Wins"


Talal Salman editorialized in Arab nationalist As-Safir (10/22):  “Iranian cunning, which is a historic Iranian legacy, won over the American recklessness which is trying to justify its imperialism by claiming that it has been chosen to deliver a divine message....  Iran gave the Europeans, not the Americans, the gift of agreeing to snap inspections of its nuclear sites....  The aggressive American campaign against Iran, which was fueled on a daily basis by Israel, failed....  Obviously, Iran did not make any concessions and still has the decision in its own hands; however, it sold Europe this new position regarding its nuclear sites and was able to extract from the U.S. hand any justification for launching a military strike against Iran....  Iran knows that the real aim behind the U.S. campaign against it is to protect its occupation forces in Iraq....  Iran is really lucky because the U.S. has not characterized ‘cunning’ as weapons of mass destruction.”


"Iranian Cunning"


Sahar Baasiri remarked in moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar (10/22):  “Would it be an exaggeration to say that Iran knew how to present concessions without really presenting any concessions?  Its crisis with the American administration was never about nuclear weapons.  Bush included Iran in his axis of evil from the beginning...and from the beginning, Iran always said that its nuclear program serves civilian issues, it does not want a confrontation with the U.S., and does not want to lose its European allies.  Iran dealt with this crisis with a lot of cunning and knew how to change its concessions into a victory instead of a failure.”




CHINA:  "Why Iran Is Agreeing To Treaty”


Zhang Shengping commented in official Communist Youth League China Youth Daily (Zhongguo Qingnianbao) (10/22):  "Even if Iran meets the IAEA’s demand and signs the additional agreement soon, a certain period of time is still needed before a real implementation of stricter inspections....  All in all, Iran and other concerned parties have shown more flexible attitudes towards the nuclear issue.  The results that the IAEA and Iran have achieved gives hope to a final peaceful settlement of Iran’s nuclear issue through negotiation."


JAPAN:  "Iran Must Match Words With Deeds"


Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (10/23): "Iran has agreed to suspend uranium enrichment and sign the NPT Additional Protocol, which would allow tougher IAEA inspections.  It appears that Tehran has made a pragmatic decision to prevent a new nuclear crisis and possible isolation by the international community.  Iran must be fully aware that it has no other choice but to demonstrate through action as well as words that its nuclear program is intended purely for peaceful purposes.  But the political situation in Iran is posing a serious concern.  Efforts by the reformist Khatami administration to seek ways to work out a compromise with the IAEA have been met with attempts by conservatives to thwart the move.  It should be noted that the international community's joint efforts and resolute attitude were instrumental in forcing Iran to make concessions.  These diplomatic moves should also be applied in dealing with the North Korean nuclear dispute."


"Prowess of European Diplomacy"


Liberal Asahi observed (10/23): "It was the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany who joined hands to persuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment and accept tougher IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities.  Although British Foreign Secretary Straw had been sharply at odds with his French and German counterparts over the U.S.-led war on Iraq, his cooperation with the French and German foreign ministers signals a departure from the high-handed U.S. policy on Iran, and offers Tehran a carrot in the form of cooperation toward Iran's peaceful nuclear development.  While Iran has been isolated from the world community, the three EU majors have been trying to prevent Iranian nuclear tension from aggravating the precarious Middle East situation caused by the Iraq war and the Israel-Palestinian conflict.  Britain, France and Germany have been in close contact with the U.S. in negotiating Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment and acceptance of the NPT additional accord.  Although France and Germany are still sharply at odds with the U.S. over Iraq policies, the European nations are well aware that blocking the proliferation of WMD will serve the interests of both Europe and the U.S.  Britain is also trying to promote rapprochement between the U.S., France and Germany.  European diplomacy is, indeed, impressive."


SINGAPORE:  "The U.S. Must Cooperate With, Not Threaten, Iran"


The pro-government, English-language Straits Times contended (10/23):  "No country in the Middle East is monitoring post-war events in Iraq more closely than Iran.  Geographical proximity, an intense and bloody history of conflict with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, religious and emotional connections to Shi'ite Iraq and concerns about the United States and its policies in the region are all threads that tie Iran to its western neighbour.  Given ongoing tensions with America, Iran is particularly concerned with the likelihood of a continuing U.S. presence next door, as well as with America's dominant role in shaping Iraq's post-Saddam future....  Three general approaches are recognisable in the evolving Iranian debate on post-Saddam Iraq.  Iranian pragmatists argue that Iran must inevitably cooperate with the U.S. in post-Saddam Iraq, if only to ensure the rights of Iraq's Shi'ite population.  For this reason, Iran should win assurances that a new leadership in Iraq will not be hostile to it, and will seek friendly bilateral relations....  Most importantly, Iran ought to press for an American assurance that its cooperation will be reciprocated by an American guarantee that Iran will not be a target of American military action in the future....  Overthrowing Saddam's regime was the easy part of the Iraqi crisis. Now comes the hard part: establishing peace and security, winning the war on terrorism and convincing the Muslim masses that America is not intent on occupying Iraq, siphoning off its oil, and reshaping the Middle East in its image....  Iran is destined to remain a major regional player because its political dynamism and Muslim identity resonate widely in the Muslim world.  What happens in Iraq has major implications for Iran, and the U.S. is well advised to find ways of recognising this fact.  American threats, or talk of another war, fuel the fires of resentment and frustration in Iran, strengthening the most radical forces.  If the U.S. wishes to avoid this outcome, it must consider limiting the influence of its own radicals, recognising that America's interests in Iraq are best served by greater cooperation with Iran."


SOUTH KOREA: "U.S., North Korea Should Draw Lessons from Iran’s Peaceful Abandonment of Nuclear Weapons"


Government-owned Daehan Maeil editorialized (10/24):  “It is fortunate for world peace that Iran has chosen to give up developing nuclear weapons.  In particular, such a decision is a good example for peacefully resolving nuclear problems through negotiations....  North Korea, following Iran’s example, needs to take a pragmatic approach [to its nuclear problem.]  Of course, it will be difficult for Pyongyang to immediately declare its abandonment of nuclear weapons, considering its different situation from Iran.  However, Pyongyang should at least show a forward-looking attitude, in order to revive the stalemated six-nation talks.  Washington should also learn from Iran’s case.  Considering that Europe’s flexible diplomacy, not unilateral American pressure, brought about the peaceful resolution of the Iranian problem; Washington should not simply apply unilateral pressure on Pyongyang, but also come up with a reasonable proposal for negotiations with the North.”




INDIA: "Controlled Reaction"


The nationalist Hindustan Times remarked (10/23):  “So pressure cooker diplomacy has paid off with Iran finally giving in to pressure to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) demands on increased inspections of its nuclear program.  Tehran probably doesn’t want to be seen to be bowing to Washington’s demands, the way it conveyed its decision to the British, French and German foreign ministers, rather than to the IAEA where the U.S. is represented.  This is pointed snub to the Bush administration that famously labeled Iran a member of the ‘the axis of evil’.  The problem with Iran, as Washington and the international community see it, is that its huge oil and gas reserves make a civilian nuclear power program appear superfluous.  Still, its latest step will be widely welcomed by a world already on tenterhooks every time the N-world is mentioned.  Having said that, it may be too early to conclude that Iran’s atomic ambitions are history now that it has agreed to let IAEA inspectors freely poke around its nuclear facilities....  Any country with enrichment capabilities of the level achieved by Iran could merely shelve its program temporarily, only to walk away from the NPT when it suits it to weaponize its nuclear program.” 


IRAN:  "Realism!"


Reformist Aftab-e Yazd noted (10/23):  "In recent years, certain people have publicized the idea that attention to global opinion on our part would be akin to surrendering to the wishes of our enemies.  Or they have given the impression that world public opinion is so much under the influence of enemy propaganda that we could never make an impact on it.  The result of these two interpretations of public opinion around the world has been an increasing negligence of certain matters that have provoked the sensitivity of governments and nations.  Yesterday, Mr. Khatami justified the acceptance of the additional protocol [to the NPT] and a suspension of uranium enrichment activities by saying these were a way of thwarting American attempts to mobilize world opinion against Iran.  If this seems to be a departure in the way we deal with other governments and nations, it may prove a great achievement that may even make up for the opportunities we have destroyed in the past.  So we must wait and see this initiative penetrate the activities and measures of all state institutions."


PAKISTAN:  "Utility Of Latest Iranian Decision"


Leading mass-circulation Urdu Jang held (10/23):  "In the wake of recent decision by Iran, the international community must take cognizance of the fact that running the world affairs only at the whims of the United States was not possible.  Allowing one big and powerful nation to build and use atomic bomb destroying two cities and to pile up all sorts of nuclear weapons while depriving the other smaller countries of their basic requirements of defense would give rise to some human tragedies that would have no limits.  Nuclear proliferation is definitely not a good thing but these dangers are posed foremost to the world from the United States itself.  This is a very positive and good decision by Iran to allow the strict surveillance of its nuclear program." 


"Agreement Of Iran And European Alliance"


Right-wing pro-Islamic unity Urdu Jasarat noted (10/23):  "Iran is an independent country and the Muslims were expecting its revolutionary and non-revolutionary leadership that it would openly announce its principled stand on its nuclear program.  Nuclear proliferations is not a local or regional issue, it is an international problem.  In principle, either nobody should have nuclear weapons or every country should have the right to secure these armaments.  It is regrettable that despite all its independence, Iran did not find the courage to highlight its principled stand in this regard.  But sooner or later, Iran would have to adopt the path of resistance." 


"A Crisis Averted"


The centrist national English-language News contended (10/23):  "In a dramatic development, which apparently caps intense backdoor diplomacy, Iran has agreed to prove that it is indeed not developing nuclear weapons....  As an additional gesture of good faith, it will also suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities and, instead, sign an agreement to ship back the spent-fuel to Russia....  That crisis seems now to have been averted by the full compliance promised by Tehran, and its guarded welcome by the U.S. as a "positive step."  The development is of immediate relevance to Pakistan because it ought to obviate another American misadventure in its immediate neighborhood and the inevitable instability and fallout resulting there-from."


"Iran's Nuclear Restraint"


The center-right national English-language Nation (10/23):  "After persuasion by three European Foreign Ministers, Iran has agreed to restrain its nuclear enrichment program, and to accept unannounced IAEA inspections.  The pressure was actually American, which has named Iran as a member of the 'Axis of Evil.'...  Leaving Iran to twist in the wind alone, as Iraq was left, would not be sensible for the international community, while Pakistan, not just as a neighbor, but as a declared nuclear power outside the NPT regime (to which Iran has reaffirmed its commitment), has lessons to learn from this episode.  Nonproliferation remains a major Western concern, and cooperating with the so-called war on terror is no guarantee that the issue will not be revived.  Pakistan must coordinate closely with Iran on this specific issue, and ensure that there is no victimization." 


"Iran Yields to West"


The Islamabad rightist English-language Pakistan Observer asserted (10/23):  "Iran has been forced to yield to the Western pressure at the U.S. behest to abandon its nuclear program....  EU Foreign Ministers have succeeded in depriving a Muslim nation of its right to acquire nuclear capability for self-security, but it's certainly a sad day for Iran as its submission to their demands has rendered her vulnerable to external aggression especially in view of President Bush's equation of Iran with Iraq and North Korea in the so-called axis of evil."


"Levy’s Attacks On Pakistan"


Anwar Kemal wrote in the liberal English-language Daily Times (10/23):  "In the case of Iran, it would surely make no sense for Pakistan to provide that country with nuclear weapons technology, thereby adding to its own woes and incurring American wrath to boot."




BRAZIL: "Open Window"


Right-of-center O Globo opined (10/24):  "It's a great irony, but President Bush has a good reason to be grateful to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.  Thanks to the efforts of Khatami and his moderate wing--and strong international pressure--Tehran has announced it will give up its enriched uranium plan and will once for all clear up all doubts on its nuclear program.  The Iranian decision eliminates the White House excuse to repeat in Iran the unsuccessful preventive war pattern tested and disapproved in Iraq.  As we know President Bush, influenced by the less moderate wing of his government, could make another threat to invade Iran, part of what he calls 'the axis of evil.'  One cannot swear that the Ayatollahs were acting in good faith on the nuclear issue...but one may for sure applaud the Iranian decision as a victory of diplomacy, particularly European diplomacy....  The fact Iran might be as bad as it seems is another reason to insist in diplomacy.  The offer by Germany, France and England proved to be difficult to be refused.  The Iranians ended up by giving in to pressure, but in exchange they have won the promise access cutting-edge technology.  The accord also has the welcomed effect of strengthening Tehran's moderates--always running the risk to being politically suffocated by Ayatollah Khamenei's conservatives.  With its hostile regime, Iran may really be an a stray sheep, but not a lost case."



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