Saturday, January 14, 2006

Why The Europeans Won't Act On Iran

As well as being militarily very weak, the big European powers lack the will to deal with the problem. Here's a snip from an excellent piece by Mark Steyn that illuminates this (UK Spectator, free subscription required):
There was a hilarious interview in Der Spiegel a few weeks back with Don Rumsfeld, in which the Germans seemed to have forgotten that they’re supposed to be running the show on Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The US defence secretary observed that ‘all of us have to be concerned when a country that important, large and wealthy is disconnected from the normal interactions with the rest of the world’.

‘The US is trying to make the case in the United Nations Security Council?’ inquired the chap from Der Spiegel.

‘I would not say that,’ said Rumsfeld, mischievously. ‘I thought France, Germany and the UK were working on that problem.’

‘What kind of sanctions are we talking about?’

‘I’m not talking about sanctions. I thought you and the UK and France were.’

‘You aren’t?’

‘I’m not talking about sanctions,’ repeated Rumsfeld. ‘You’ve got the lead. Well, lead!’

‘You mean the Europeans?’ said the bewildered German, still not getting it.

‘Sure. My goodness, Iran is your neighbour,’ said Rumsfeld. ‘We don’t have to do everything!’

‘We are in the middle of regime change in Germany,’ spluttered the Spiegel editor.

‘That’s hardly the phrase I would have selected,’ remarked Rummy.

Well, we didn’t go the unilateral cowboy illegal warmongering route with Tehran. Instead we left it to the European Union and, as a result, Iran will be a nuclear power by the end of the year.