Commissioner Condi?

You probably saw where Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ruled out applying for the job of NFL commissioner after Paul Tagliabue retires:

Unfortunately, it came open at the wrong time.

Obviously, I’m very busy as secretary of state, and I intend to continue to be secretary of state as long as the president of the United States will have me.

That might not be for “long.”

You probably saw where Japan’s vice trade minister, Hideji Sugiyama, confirmed that a multi-billion dollar deal to develop the Azadegan oil fields in southwestern Iran, near the Iraq border, would go ahead despite pressure by Condi to cancel it.

And where Foreign Ministry spokesman Desra Percaya revealed that Indonesia had “firmly rejected” Condi’s request made during her trip to Southeast Asia that Indonesia “join” Bush’s Proliferation Security Initiative.

And Condi’s principal assignment last year and this — to “set up” Iran “diplomatically” for invasion the same way Colin Powell set up Iraq three years ago — hasn’t been going so well.

Condi claims she has finally gotten the Iranian dossier “referred” or transferred to the U.N. Security Council for action.

But, according to the Russians and Chinese, that isn’t true.

What they agreed to was for the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency to merely “report” the Iranian dossier to the UNSC.

What will the UNSC do with the report?

Well, if right and reason prevail, the UNSC will send the dossier back to the IAEA with a stern warning that the IAEA Board of Governors has vastly exceeded its statutory authority — indeed, has acted contrary to the IAEA Statute — by demanding that Iran sign and ratify an Additional Protocol to its existing Safeguards Agreement and submit to intrusive inspections going far beyond those required even by the Additional Protocol.

Of course, that won’t happen. But Condi knows she can’t get the Security Council Resolution she needs for Bush and his Proliferation Security Initiative vigilantes to misuse. Russia and/or China would veto it.

She may not even get a Council president’s statement, which is basically a summary of what the Council members talked about and can’t be used as the justification for anyone doing anything.

Nevertheless, according to Condi:

There is no time for delay in taking up this issue.

We need to have this [presidential] statement and to make clear to the Iranians that the international community is united in demanding that Iran return to a posture that is consistent with its NPT obligations and consistent with the international community’s need to know that Iran is, indeed, conducting a peaceful nuclear program.

There shouldn’t be any delay.

There can’t be any stalling.

The international community has got to act.

People are looking to the international community to show that this can, indeed, be dealt with diplomatically. And we are committed to a diplomatic solution, but it has to be dealt with.

Condi reportedly wants a presidential statement “ordering” Iran to restore a freeze on its uranium enrichment activities within a fortnight.

Why? Because, according to Condi’s draft statement, Iran’s safeguarded uranium-enrichment related programs — certified by the IAEA to be “for peaceful purposes” — constitute “a threat to international peace and security.”

The Russians and Chinese will never agree to such a presidential statement. Russia’s foreign minister even objects to Condi’s claim that by “reporting” the Iranian dossier to the Security Council, the IAEA Board had actually handed over the “Iranian nuclear problem.”

In Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s view, the Iranian nuclear dossier should be considered “exclusively” by the IAEA.

Lavrov stressed that “the main thing is to prevent the violation of the nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime, and the international community’s efforts should be focused on this.”

Continued the foreign minister: “There are possibilities for strengthening of the nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime not only in the solution of the Iranian nuclear problem and North Korean nuclear issue, but also along the path of modernization of the non-proliferation regime itself.”

Lavrov told journalists that he had in mind the Russian president’s initiative on creating international uranium enrichment centers that “will be certified by the IAEA and meet the demand of all countries.”

The stances of Moscow and Beijing on Iran are laid down in the joint declaration signed by the two countries’ leaders last week in Beijing, whereby Russia and China “oppose attempts to use the situation around the Iranian nuclear program to solve certain political issues on someone’s unilateral agenda.”

So, look for President Bush to invoke his authority as commander in chief of the War on Terror to appoint Condi NFL commissioner. And soon.

March 27, 2006