I think much has changed since 2005, especially inside Iran where Ahmadinejad certainly seems to have more power and influence now than he did back
then when he was first elected.
Domestic, regional and world events since then could quite easily have caused a radical change of policy.
Ahmadinejad seems convinced of the imminent return of The Mahdi and the confrontation with non-Islamic forces that heralds etc.
Of course Iran has every right to nuclear power capability and 'the west' should be working with the Iranian government to ensure that their nuclear
programme meets all necessary safety and efficiency requirements etc.
But Iran is a signatory to The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Yet still Iran refuses to fully co-operate with IAEA and it's inspection team.
A senior IAEA expert team is returning from Iran after two days of discussions with Iranian officials held on 20 and 21 February 2012. The meeting
followed previous discussions held on 29 to 31 January 2012.
During both the first and second round of discussions, the Agency team requested access to the military site at Parchin. Iran did not grant permission
for this visit to take place.
Intensive efforts were made to reach agreement on a document facilitating the clarification of unresolved issues in connection with Iran's nuclear
programme, particularly those relating to possible military dimensions. Unfortunately, agreement was not reached on this document.
"It is disappointing that Iran did not accept our request to visit Parchin during the first or second meetings," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano
said. "We engaged in a constructive spirit, but no agreement was reached."
So what is Iran hiding?
Iran is under no immediate nuclear threat from it's neighbours.
And any weapons Iran could realistically develop in the near future could hold no potential threat to any existing nuclear powers.
So why does Iran want nuclear weapons?
I suspect Iran wishes to impose itself upon it's Sunni neighbours and possibly be the focal and rallying point for The Mahdi.
Never discount the strength and influence of religious conviction amongst the overtly religious.
Personally I believe that allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons would pose an increased threat to world peace and stability and should be actively
How we go about achieving that is another matter.
I certainly don't advocate any military confrontation at all and would actively protest against any such action if our government was to propose
And I don't think sanctions work.
Any sanctions taken will not affect the nuclear development programme one little bit.
And they won't affect The Mullahs and their regime.
The only people who will suffer are the ordinary Iranians.
So, what is the answer?
To be honest, I don't know.
But I think we should work harder to ensure a diplomatic solution to the problem and also maybe be more understanding of Iran's apparent cares and
However, Iran also needs to be more understanding of our misgivings and be more accomodating and transparent in their dealing with the IAEA etc.