i'll post up the whole article, but there's one quote that really struck me..
By Alissa J. Rubin
Los Angeles Times
VIENNA, Austria The sharp statement, which followed a warning this week by Vice President Dick Cheney that Iran could face "meaningful consequences," came on a day when the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency concluded a series of meetings on Iran and forwarded its report to the Security Council.With the stage now set for a high-stakes U.N. Security Council debate next week on possible sanctions for Iran's nuclear program, Iran on Wednesday warned the United States that it, too, can inflict "harm and pain" and hinted its weapon could be oil.
The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency's director general Mohamed ElBaradei found that after nearly three years of inspections, the nuclear agency remains unable to rule out the possibility that Iran still has secret nuclear activities, which could include work related to uranium enrichment and efforts to adapt weapons to carry a nuclear bomb.
Enrichment is the refining process that produces uranium fuel for power plants. But the same technology can be used to produce more highly enriched fuel for nuclear warheads, and the United States has said that it believes Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons under the guise of civilian nuclear power.
The IAEA board of governors last month reported Iran to the Security Council pending ElBaradei's report. The IAEA demanded, among other things, that Iran cease all nuclear enrichment activities, answer all outstanding questions about its nuclear program and ratify a protocol that allows more wide-ranging inspections. But Iran ignored the demands.
Separate initiatives involving Russia and the European Union have failed to persuade Iran to give up enrichment work, and the IAEA board adjourned without changing its Feb. 4 resolution. That means the Security Council could begin considering the issue as early as next week.
Economic actions are unlikely in the near term from the Security Council. And on Wednesday, the foreign minister of Russia, which has veto power, disparaged their use as a diplomatic tool. Iranian officials have warned repeatedly that they may feel forced to respond aggressively if the Security Council takes action against them, but their strongest words were reserved for the United States.
Asked if Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil supplier, would use its oil exports as a weapon to punish the West, Javad Vaeedi, deputy head of Iran's National Security Council said: "We will not do so now, but if the situation changes we will have to review our oil policies."A.H. Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the gathered ambassadors in Vienna on Wednesday: "The United States has the power to cause harm and pain, but the United States is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if that is the path that the U.S. wishes to choose, let the ball roll out."
"Our nation has made its decision to fully use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and all have to give in to this decision made by the Iranian nation," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in Iran. Asked Wednesday at a congressional hearing whether the administration was prepared to launch a military effort against Iran, Robert Joseph, undersecretary of State for arms control and international security, replied that President Bush "has made clear that there are no options off the table."
Iran may be more willing to use force including chemical and biological weapons if it believes its nuclear weapons protected it from retaliation, Joseph said. And it could use nuclear weapons "as a powerful tool of intimidation and blackmail," he added. Analysts said that Iran has an array of options, including attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and pushing oil prices higher by cutting exports. Iran has heavy influence with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and the Islamic militant group Hamas, which won Palestinian elections in January. Another militant Palestinian group, Islamic Jihad, is believed to be funded in part by Iran. All could cause new turmoil in the Middle East. The United States also has said Iran has sent elements of its Revolutionary Guard to Iraq and believes Iran has sway over some of Iraq's most powerful Shiite groups.
Earlier in the week, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said there would be no attempt to call for sanctions at this point.
As a first step, U.S. officials say they will push to have the Security Council issue a statement by the council's president a rotating post urging Iran to cooperate with the IAEA.
Article posted on Thursday, March 9, 2006.
that quote is just adding salt to the wound. the problem keeps escalating and it seems like diplomatic means of solving it are gonna fail..