Down at the bottom of Knight Ridder’s coverage of Iran’s announcement that it has enriched uranium is this optimistic take:
Saeed Laylaz, a political analyst in Tehran, said he expects Tuesday’s political fanfare will soon be followed by another announcement suspending all enrichment activities, as requested by the IAEA. Such a move, Laylaz said, would be a savvy way for all sides to save face and avoid escalating the crisis.
“They wanted this big ceremony to show that nuclear technology is not a goal – it’s an achievement. This is enough, and now we can go back to negotiations,” he said.
Predicting anything when it comes to Iran is a mug’s game, but that’s a hopeful possibility. The UN Security Council has already given Iran 30 days, starting March 29, to suspend its uranium-enrichment program. Perhaps, as Laylaz says, the Iranian government just wanted to make an announcement, get people at home excited, and then comply with the UN to show that it had peaceful intentions all along. Who knows? It’s just as likely, of course, that the situation will only continue to get worse, especially since, according to the Financial Times the Bush administration now seems to be rejecting overtures by Iran to negotiate. (Those reports, naturally, could well be false or mistaken.)
UPDATE: Okay, guess not.