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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Friday, November 17, 2006


From China Confidential:
Any international agreement with North Korea about its nuclear weapons must include a solid verification scheme, according to former United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix.

Visiting Tokyo, Blix said negotiating an agreement without total verification could result in 'very unpleasant surprises,' because the world could be lulled into a false state of confidence.

He told reporters Friday that North Korea has demonstrated it cannot be trusted to abide by agreements on paper, thus on-site verifications are vital for any workable accord.

But the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency acknowledged it will be 'a hard nut to crack' to convince Pyongyang to allow inspections in a country he says has traditionally been hermetically sealed.

North Korea, after boycotting talks for more than one year, has agreed to return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, but no date has been set. The secretive Stalinist state conducted its first-ever nuclear test on October 9.

Comparing North Korea to Iran, Blix called North Korea an acute case requiring urgent negotiations.

Quoting CIA estimates, Blix said Iran appears to be five to 10 years away from producing a viable atomic weapon.

Said Blix: 'I'm sure that Iran watches very carefully what is happening in the Korean case, and if North Korea continues intransigence, then the Iranians might, perhaps, also tell themselves [to] stand fast and just go on, and eventually they might be forgotten.'

Blix added that it would be a mistake for Tehran to take that attitude."


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