And the news does not look promising:
Iran has turned away U.N. inspectors wanting to examine its underground nuclear site in an apparent violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, diplomats and U.N. officials said Monday.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the information, told The Associated Press that Iran's unprecedented refusal to allow access to the facility at Natanz could seriously hamper international efforts to ensure that Tehran is not trying to make nuclear weapons.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has made its own decision and in the nuclear case, God willing, with patience and power, will continue its path," said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to state television.
His declaration came on the eve of Iran's self-imposed Tuesday deadline to respond to a Western incentives package for it to roll back its nuclear program.
Meanwhile, the UN works frantically to see if they can come up with just the right combination of pleading, groveling, and self-debasement that will please the Iranians and make them think about deferring their ambition to form a global caliphate under the bomb:
Ahead of the latest flurry of statements from Tehran, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he was to open "further contacts" with Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani about Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
"We both agreed on our openness, under the right circumstances, to further contacts with the aim of re-establishing confidence in the purely civilian nature of the Iranian nuclear program," he said after a phone call with Larijani.
President Bush, at least, understands... from today's press conference:
QUESTION: Mr. President, as you mentioned, we're just 10 days from the U.N. Security Council deadline on Iran. Judging by the public comments from the Iranians, it appears, at least, highly unlikely that they're going to stop or suspend their enrichment program.
Are you confident that the U.N. Security Council will move quickly on sanctions if Iran thumbs its nose at the world again?
BUSH: Certainly hope so. In order for the U.N. to be effective, there must be consequences if people thumb their nose at the United Nations Security Council. And we will work with people on the Security Council to achieve that objective. And the objective is that there's got to be a consequence basically ignoring what the Security Council has suggested through resolution.
Let's see what develops; I fear it can be nothing good...