2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Council won't hear about Iran yet NEWS IN BRIEF
VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Wash-
ington and its European allies will
forgo pushing for Iran's referral to the
U.N. Security Council later this week,
giving Russia more time in persuad-
ing Tehran to give up technology that
could make nuclear arms, diplomats
and officials told The Associated
For the Americans and the Euro-
pean Union, the plan holds the prom-
ise of success even if Iran continues
to reject the proposal that would move
its uranium enrichment program to
The acceptance of that plan, in the-
ory, would deprive the Iranians of the
chance to enrich uranium to weapons
grade, suitable for use in the core of
But if the Russians fail to win over
the Iranians, Washington and the
Europeans hope Moscow and other
key board members of the Interna-
tional Atomic Energy Agency now
opposed to Security Council referral
will moderate their opposition.
The comments by the diplomats and
U.S. and European government offi-
cials came three days before the IAEA
board meets to ponder options on Iran
that at least formally still included a
decision on Security Council action.
But the diplomats and officials,
who spoke on condition of anonymity
because the strategy on Iran is confi-
dential, said referral was now off the
table at the meeting.
Instead, they said Washington as
well as Britain, France and Germany
- representing the European Union
- would probably settle for a state-
ment critical of recent IAEA findings
showing the Iranians in possession
of what appeared to be drawings of
the core of an atomic warhead and of
other worrying nuclear activities.
In Washington, State Department
spokesman Sean McCormack also
suggested the focus had shifted from
an all-out push for referral, saying:
"We're encouraging Iran to get back
to the negotiating table with the EU-3
at this point."
Iran says it only wants to enrich to
lower levels to generate energy. Still,
it has resisted the plan to move enrich-
ment to Russia since it was floated
several weeks ago, insisting it has the
right to all aspects of the nuclear fuel
Iran in August resumed uranium
reprocessing, which is one step before
European Union foreign minis-
ters urged Iran yesterday to live up
to "clear obligations" to allow U.N.
inspectors to see its nuclear facilities.
On Sunday, Iran's parliament voted to
require the government to block any
in-depth U.N. inspections of its nucle-
ar facilities if Iran is referred to the
EU foreign policy chief Javier Sola-
na said he hoped to avoid a showdown
with Tehran. "We still have time to
The EU ministers were working on
a common position before Thursday's
meeting at the IAEA headquarters.
Russia, Iran's key partner in build-
ing Tehran's first nuclear power plant,
has considerable clout with Tehran,
but the officials and diplomats said
other considerations also went into the
decision to postpone a showdown on
"We're encouraging Iran to get back to the
negotiating table with the EU-3 at this point."
- Sean McCormack
State Department spokesman
referral at the board meeting opening
Belarus, Cuba and Syria joined
Venezuela on the IAEA board in Sep-
tember. With those anti-U.S. nations
on board, any vote on referral would
be more strongly opposed than the
resolution passed at the last board
meeting two months ago that cleared
the path for hauling Iran before the
council by declaring its past activi-
ties in violation of the Nuclear Non-
A vote with less nations in support
of referral than in September "would
look like a step backward," the U.S.
With President Bush under grow-
ing criticism from the war in Iraq,
his administration was ready to wait
and build international consensus
over what to do about Iran rather
than settle for the negative implica-
tion of a narrow board vote on refer-
ral, he suggested.
A European diplomat in Brussels
also suggested the U.S.-European
coalition was willing to wait to see
the Russian plan succeed - or if it
failed, to hope for extra support for
referral from key board nations such
as Russia, China, India, Brazil and
South Africa and others that now
oppose such a move.
"They're trying to build a wider
coalition," she said of the waiting
Moscow's support is particu-
larly important. It and China wield
vetoes on the Security Council, and
as such could cripple any attempt to
pressure Iran to compromise on its
nuclear activities through sanctions
or political pressure.
Before the board meeting, the
Americans have begun to draft a res-
olution setting a timetable for Iran
to accept the plan involving enrich-
ment on Russian soil and related
issues - and threatening with Secu-
rity Council referral unless those
conditions were met, the diplomats
and officials said.
Still, that document was unlikely
to see the light of day, they said,
with the meeting likely agreeing on a
statement criticizing Iran on a broad
range of suspect nuclear issues.
Sharon quits Likud to pursue peace
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Monday he gambled and broke away from his
hardline Likud Party because he did not want to squander peacemaking opportu-
nities created by Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip or waste time with political
Sharon, whose split from Likud electrified Israeli politics and set the stage for
likely March elections, ruled out unilateral withdrawals from the West Bank, how-
ever. He also said he remains committed to the internationally backed "road map"
plan, which calls for a negotiated peace deal culminating in a Palestinian state.
"There is no additional disengagement plan," he told a televised news confer-
ence, referring to the summer's Gaza withdrawal. "There is the road map."
Sharon's decision to form a new party he described as "liberal" cemented his
transformation from the hawkish patron of Israel's settler movement to a moderate
peacemaker reconciled to the inevitability of a Palestinian state.
Weekend polls indicated Sharon, Israel's most popular politician, could marshal
enough support to return to the prime minister's office for a third term at the head
of a moderate coalition.
Palestinians said the developments created new prospects for peacemaking,
which ground to a halt during five years of violence.
"I believe this is an eruption of an Israeli political volcano, and I hope that.when
the dust settles, we will have a partner in Israel to go toward .. a final arrangement,"
said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
U.S. soldiers mistakenly kill civilians
U.S. forces mistakenly fired on a civilian vehicle outside an American base in a city
north of Baghdad yesterday, killing three people, including a child, the military said.
Iraq's foreign minister was quoted as saying that tests were under way to determine
whether the leader of al-Qaida's wing in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in a
weekend raid in Mosul. The U.S. ambassador, however, said it appeared al-Zarqawi
was not among the dead.
In the largely Shiite southern city of Basra, insurgents killed a Sunni cleric, Khalil
Ibrahim, outside his home, police Capt. Mushtaq Talib said. Ibrahim was a member of
the Association of Muslim Scholars, a group of influential Sunni clerics that has been
sharply critical of the Shiite-led government.
In the shooting of the three civilians, a U.S. soldier thought the vehicle was moving
erratically outside the base in Baqouba and fired warning shots, said Maj.;Steven War-
ren, a U.S. spokesman.
U.N.: HIV prevention investments paying off
C e e
WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Dick
Cheney accused critics yesterday of "corrupt and
shameless" revisionism in suggesting the White House
misled the nation in a rush to war, the latest salvo in
an increasingly acrimonious debate over prewar intel-
Cheney also denounced proposals for a quick U.S.
withdrawal from Iraq as "a dangerous illusion" and
shrugged off the failure to find weapons of mass
destruction. "We never had the burden of proof," he
said, adding that it had been up to Iraqi President Sad-
dam Hussein to prove to the world that he'didn't have
Following President Bush's lead, Cheney praised
the character of Rep. John Murtha even as he voiced
strong disagreement with the Pennsylvania Democrat's
proposal last week to pull out all U.S. troops.
"He's a good man, a Marine, a patriot - and he's
taking a clear stand in an entirely legitimate discus-
sion," Cheney told the American Enterprise Institute,
a conservative think tank. Cheney, who represented
Wyoming in the House of Representatives in the 1980s,
called Murtha "my friend and former colleague."
A key Democrat on military issues with close ties
to the Pentagon, Murtha set off a firestorm last week
when he proposed all of the some 160,000 U.S. troops
now in Iraq be pulled out over the next six months.
Congressional Republicans denounced him and
White House spokesman Scott McClellan, traveling
with the president in Asia, branded him as an ultra-
liberal comparable to activist filmmaker Michael
Later, Bush and other administration officials toned
down their criticism, fearful of a backlash in support
of Murtha. Bush on Sunday called Murtha "a fine
man" and longtime supporter of the military.
Murtha was "taking a clear stand in an entirely
legitimate discussion," Cheney said.
However, Cheney said, "It is a dangerous illusion
to suppose that another retreat by the civilized world
would satisfy the appetite of the terrorists and get
them to leave us alone."
"Those who advocate a sudden withdrawal from Iraq
should answer a few simple questions," Cheney said,
such as whether the United States would be "better
off or worse off" with terror leaders such as Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi, Osama bin Laden or Ayman al-
Zawahiri in control of Iraq.
Murtha told CNN, "I'm trying to prevent another
Vietnam" and predicted Cheney would eventually
see it that way, too. "This war cannot be won militar-
ily, ... cannot be won on the ground," Murtha said.
Earlier Monday, in his hometown of Johnstown,
Pa., Murtha defended his call for a pullout, suggest-
ing he was only following shifting American senti-
HIV infection rates are starting to decrease consistently in some countries for
the first time, indicating that prevention programs set up over the last five years are
finally yielding results, the United Nations said.
However, the AIDS virus continues to expand its reach, with the estimated num-
ber of people living with the virus now passing 40 million, according to this year's
AIDS epidemic update report, published yesterday by the United Nations: That's
an increase of some 900,000 cases over the estimate for the previous year.
AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized in
1981, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in history. An estimated 3.1
million people died from AIDS-related illnesses last year, and 4.9 million more
people became infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
An article in Monday's edition of the Daily ('Project' Succeeds amid con-
troversy) stated that the students from the University's Department of Musical
Theater staged "The Laramie Project." It should have stated that these students
were from the University's Department of Theatre and Drama.
The Friday Focus last week (Angels in America) incorrectly stated "The
Laramie Project" cast member James Wolk is a sophomore. The story should
have said James Wolk is a junior.
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Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington yesterday.
Cheney charged that some Senate Democrats were "dishonest and reprehensible" for suggesting
that President Bush lied to the nation about going to war in Iraq.
Letters to the Editor
Office hours:Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m. - 2 a.m
ment as reflected in polls and phone calls and e-mails
to his office.
"The public turned against this war before I said
it," Murtha told reporters after a speech at a civic
center. Murtha, 73, is a decorated Vietnam veteran,
has served in Congress for three decades and is
the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada
called Cheney's speech "yet another missed oppor-
tunity by the vice president to come clean with the
American people and lay out a strategy for success
Meanwhile, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, the
senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Commit-
tee, said he wouldn't go as far as Murtha but would
like to see a gradual transition out of Iraq over the
next two years. "That will require the administration
not to stay the course, but to change course," Biden
told the private, nonpartisan Council on Foreign
Relations in New York.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) told reporters in Bos-
ton that Bush and Cheney have "misled America and
they're still misleading America."
Kenya referendum apears to be failing
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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Kenyans
voted yesterday whether to approve a
new constitution in a referendum offi-
cials said went relatively smoothly,
despite minor clashes in Nairobi's
largest slum and allegations of vote
The draft charter bitterly divided the
nation and caused pre-election violence
action was taken.
Police spokesman Jaspher Ombati
said in a statement late yesterday that
20 people had been arrested in connec-
tion with different election offenses and
police were continuing investigations.
In a country where a third of the citi-
zens can't read, voters marked a banana
for a "yes" vote and an orange for "no"
tial powers because it rejects proposals
to share the executive authority between
the head of state, vice president, prime
minister, the Cabinet and regional gov-
Some are also opposed to a provision
that gives women the right to inherit
family land, which critics say goes
against the practices of some tribes.
supporters of the constitution reportedly
paid people to vote for the charter, said
Koki Muli, spokeswoman for local elec-
tion observers. A reporter for the inde-
pendent Kenya Television Network also
witnessed the vote-buying.
There were other reports of voting
In Nairobi, hundreds were turned