Jim Herring has written from Oklahoma to provide the following analysis and rich trove of documents concerning atomic events in Iran. pl
"Remember how the bush-cheney cabal was quite critical of this agreement with iran and has declared that even iran’s full compliance with this agreement won’t suffice. that seems to be the reason that we have seen so much el-baradei bashing recently.
Iran IS cooperating with the iaea as requested, and the info that iran has/is providing IS consistant with the iaea findings. in short, a positive report which also makes no mention of any nuclear weapons programs or any such stuff.
four points to keep in mind with the report:
- IRAN IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH NPT
- ‘UNDECLARED ACTIVITIES’ AND THE ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL — the iaea has found NO EVIDENCE of a nuclear weapons program, the iaea can’t say that iran’s nuclear activities are exclusively peaceful since the iaea can’t verify the absence of undeclared nuclear activities in iran. the report requests that iran once again implement the additional protocol. keep in mind:
- the iaea doesn’t veirty the absence of undeclared nuclear activities for any nation unless they have signed and ratified the additional protocol. according to the iaea there are currently 40 other nations for which the iaea can’t similary verify the absence of undeclared nuclear activities. i.e. egypt (which rice recently lauded as a ‘model’ nuclear program) have refused to even sign the additional protocol, unlike iran.
- iran voluntarily implemented the additional protocol by allowing more stringent inspections for 2 years during the course of the paris agreement negotiations with the eu3 (even though iran wasn’t legally obligated to do so) — and still no evidence of nuclear weapons was found in iran. the ‘stuff’ the bush-cheney cabal a.k.a. admin. has given the iaea of ‘secret’ iranian nuclear facilities had been BOGUS [ see: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/02/25/MNGGKOAR681.DTL&feed=rss.news ]. iran has stopped providing that additional level of cooperation and stopped voluntarily implementing the additional protocol when THE EU TRIED TO CHEAT IRAN in the the paris agreement negotiations. iran has repeatedly stated its willingness to ratify and implement the additional protocol once its nuclear rights are recognized.
- issues resolved — the issue of iran’s experiments with plutonium has been resolved. this particular isn’t mentioned in the nov 07 report. but the modalities agreement of aug 07 stated that such had been resolved.
- outstanding issues — traces of highly enriched uranium where were found in iran, but to date iran’s statements about those ‘traces’ have been verified by the iaea to be accurate [ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/22/AR2005082201447_pf.html ] the traces in question were attributable to contamination from imported centrifuge parts. iran doesn’t have the capacity to make highly enriched uranium, it barely manages to make low level uranium.
- no suspension of enrichment. iran’s enrichment process is fully monitored by the iaea and determined fully legal on iran’s part." Jim Herring
I told you guys before: “This ain’t about hunting!”
with instability in Lebanon, the slide of the dollar, and worry that the REAL EXISTING, DELIVERIBLE Nukes & Ballistic Missiles of Pakistan may fall into the hands of the Takfiri Salafists, it becomes increasingly harder to maintain
that America should be obssessing about the potentialites of Persico Nuclear weapons.
Good one, but one issue missing.
Iran’s leader have several times publicly declared not to want nukes. There is supposed to be a Fatwa against nukes AND against any work on nukes by the Supreme leader.
I take these declarations seriously but will of course defer to Pat’s knowledge if he thinks these are just a sham.
But if a Cardinal in Poland would declare nukes to be against catholic belief, I am quite sure that this would prevent Poland from ever trying to get such.
The same applies to Iran. Why should we NOT believe them?
A resource you might find useful is this fellow:
“Name: Andrew Foland
Until recently I was a physics professor at Harvard, where I taught the nuclear and particle physics course, among others. I’ve recently left that position to work as an R&D physicist in security applications. I have never done classified weapons work.”
His blog is here:
He describes its purpose as follows:
“This blog is intended to provide reliable technical analysis of nuclear issues with non-state actors and nuclear beginner states. Some technical issues have important policy implications that citizens in a democracy should be able to make informed decisions about. The motivation for the blog has been the incredible amount of lies & hyperbole on the Iran situation of early 2006. The blog title is to remind you constantly of the quality of minds in charge of our nuclear security today.”
I’m unsurprised. I have followed the little games the US played over the IAEA and the Iranians for a while. What this is is the US hawks fishing for a casus belli, or at least isolation of Iran for the end of regime change.
For illustrations, just listen to Miss Condi speaking at them. Not to mention John Bonkers Bolton’s current writs and utterancances. He must be off his medication again.
A good source on this is Gordon Prather in his collumns, who does a good job explaining the intricacies of nuclear weapons, non-proliferation, the NPT, additional protocols and US politics about these issues.
He also offers a good explanation as for why the Iranians might want to have control over the fuel cycle. Their efforts to aquire any on the open market have thus far been thwarted. They signed contracts, paid money, and got nothing. The stuff they bought quietly they then reported to the IAEA in the mandated time frame. Which is in full compliance with the NPT.
What scary and sad is that as far as Iran’s compliance with the NPT is concerned US diplomats and serving policymakers are flat out lying about Iran’s compliance because the official policy is to maintain the fiction that Iran has a nuclear program, and is hiding something. Booh. Despite their utterances US policy makers and diplomats know perfectly well that it is a fiction, discounting the true believers. They mostly aren’t dumb.
And for the hawks the demolition of that insufferable El Baradei and his IAEA and their annoying inspectors undermining patiently weaved fictions is an added bonus. And now these IAEA inspectors started to pop up in Syria as well! A bloody nuisance. Withous independent bodies like that the world would have to take US utterances at face value – which their allies form what I know are quite often willing to do in face of the US edge in information gathering and strategic reconnaissance.
All these legalistic limitations, inalienable rights and questions of compliance, yuck, worse than entangling alliances! Treaties, begone! You impede the righteous exercise of US power!
As a sidenote: From Hillary Mann’s testimony I found interesting, and illuminating, the notion that the neo-cons were happy when Ahmedinejad was elected, because that would prevent some half-assed reform that would only make acceptable the moderates in Iran. The theocrats were evil, period. They had to go, period. Ahmedinejad’s victory was regarded as *good news* because for them the regime had to change altogether. Internal reform wasn’t enough. It had to be a total makeover a la Iraq. And that’s still what the US policy toward Iran is. The only difference is that the more ‘reality based’ Bushies are willing to exercise less force towards that end than the pure breed neo-cons.
El Baradei is about to be Hans Blicked by the Neocons, Christian right and the media which needs another melodrama for ratings.
Facts? facts? we don’t need no stinking facts.
Iran is a bogeyman, conjured up to find another enemy and to divert the U.S. polity from asking some very hard questions about the Bush Administration.
The Iran “crisis” is a made-up crisis, all part of the scare tactics employed by the Bush Adminstration since 9/11.
Iran poses no threat to the United States.
Thanks for sharing this highly relevant information. Appears consistent with Gareth Porter’s screeds.
No evidence exists that proves an attack on Iran would promote US national security interests. All evidence appears to the contrary: among other things, an attack on Iran would place the USM in Iraq in much greater peril.
If this assumption is true, then at least two conclusions can be drawn. First, the USG, including those in the Pentagon, should take affirmative steps to ensure that neither Israel nor the US launches a pre-emptive strike against Iran.
Second, the Wurmser option increasingly appears suggestive of treason, either de facto or perhaps even de jure.
Now I don’t feel so much like the lonely, homely, buck-toothed girl at the dance.
I believe I have quoted Article IV, paragraph 1 of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty before, which the U.S. ratified, that states that Iran has the “inalienable right” to do do exactly what it is doing, “without discrimination”.
In fact, here it is again:
“1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful
purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this treaty.”
This means that the IAEA’s “resolution” of 4 February 2006 (GOV/2006/14) that Iran had to “suspend” its activities was illegal and violated the NPT.
Why would the IAEA violate the treaty it is to uphold in its 4 February 2006 resolution?
The rumor was that the price for ElBaradei to be reappointed as Director General of the IAEA was for the illegal resolution to be passed and the “issue” to be sent to the UN Security Council.
And why would the UN Security Council adopt the blatantly illegal sanctions resolution 1747 on 14 March 2007, conditioned that Iran suspend “all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development …”, while hypocritically saying in the second paragraph of 1747 that it was “reaffirming” its commitment to the NPT and was “recalling” the “right of States Party … to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination”?
The answer is that this is the same setup that was used before the attack on Yugoslavia/Serbia and on Iraq.
You make the other side an offer it has to refuse!
And of course, since the U.S. promised in the NPT that Iran can do what it is doing under Article IV of the NPT, and under Article IV the Security Council cannot tell Iran to “suspend” its nuclear activities or sanction it for failing to do so, Iran will refuse to abide by or submit to those so-called resolutions.
The setup is in place, but other countries, after having been fooled by this technique before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, put some limiting language in resolution 1747 so that it could not be “interpreted” as allowing an attack on Iran.
This was another mistake by the other members of the Security Council because the U.S., Britain, and now France are using the language of resolution 1747 for propaganda purposes, to try to smear Iran for “defying” the Security Council. This propaganda is being repeated by the U.S. media, which is not quoting the language I have above, in order to keep the public in the dark and to inhibit resistance to an attack on Iran.
Mr. Herring has added useful details to this issue.
The relevant documents are on the IAEA’s Internet website–
If you take a few minutes to read them carefully, you can see the fraud being advanced about Iran’s nuclear program and the IAEA, and how it is being used as a propaganda device.
I think some people here are confused about the NPT and how the IAEA monitors nation’s nuclear program.
The monitoring regime authorized by the NPT and implemented by the IAEA and negotiated safeguards agreements is designed to operate like a chain-of-custody for criminal evidence. The IAEA begins monitoring a country’s nuclear program from it’s infancy. Through continuous monitoring as the program develops in sophistication, it can provide reasonable assurance that a nation is not diverting resources or material toward military use – just like criminal evidence can be reasonably assured to be free from tampering through continuous monitoring. The IAEA has confidence that a country has not engaged in nefarious activities because it has closely watch those activities continuously.
With Iran, the situation is much different. Iran, for whatever reason, legitimate or not, decided to begin a clandestine program. For almost two decades, there was no monitoring. When Iran’s activities were finally revealed in 2003, and after a series of lies and denials when confronted with the evidence, only then did the IAEA begin monitoring.
Since that time the IAEA has worked to verify that Iran’s newly-declared activities are in accordance with the NPT. So far they have been, and the remaining issues will likely be worked out in the coming months.
However, the remaining problem for the IAEA is determining the nature and scope of activities that occurred during the almost 2-decade long clandestine period. The IAEA was not able to monitor these activities from their infancy, so cannot determine with certainty that Iran has made a full and complete declaration, nor can it determine the scope of what went on over the last 20 years. This issue is not trivial (although Iran wishes it were so) and the IAEA recognizes it as a serious problem that must be addressed. It’s why the IAEA categorically states that Iran must ratify and implement the additional protocol. The IAEA, not the so-called “Bush cabal” says this step is necessary, along with other transparency measures, to make up for years of Iranian deception.
So what we see today is Iran focusing heavily on its currently compliance while ignoring past noncompliance and the gaps in monitoring and knowledge thus created. It’s why the IAEA has tried (unsuccessfully) to interview AQ Khan and other members of his network. The IAEA is trying to figure out exactly what happened with Iran’s program during that 20-year gap to ensure that no military activity took place or that a clandestine military program was not spun-off.
So while Mr. Herring is correct about the current state of Iran’s declared activities and IAEA monitoring, he’s completely missed THE major issue of paramount importance to the IAEA. This is the difference between the example he provides – Egypt – or any number of countries with nuclear programs.
Confusedponderer goes on to say:
I hear the “access to fuel” argument quite frequently, but it’s not really valid. First of all, Iran has a longstanding agreement with Argentina that recored and fueled it’s Tehran University research reactor. The reactor uses 20% enriched uranium and an agreement which the US did not oppose. Additionally, in recent years, Iran has been offered guaranteed access to fuel many times, which it has refused.
Secondly, the “contracts” referred to above were actually penned under the Shah and unilaterally canceled by Iran after the revolution during an anti-western purge. Europeans were reluctant to provide Iran assistance after these incidents and Iran’s assassination of dissidents in Europe, exporting its revolution, and even murder European nationals did not engender much desire to help Iran with a nuclear program or anything else. Then there was the war with Iraq – no one had much desire to engage in commercial contracts of any sort in a war zone. Even so, a German firm contracted to finish Bushehr but frequent Iraqi attacks made it impossible.
In the latest IAEA report, it states that Iran admits deciding to pursue the covert route in the “mid 1980’s” – right in the middle of the war. This decision was made long before Iran had any need for fuel and there is no evidence that Iran attempted to contract for fuel supplies between 1979 and 1986. Yet Iran decides to go ahead and create a covert enrichment program.
Finally, the “stuff they bought” was not reported to the IAEA in the mandated timeframe – as the IAEA itself states. What Iran did here is abrogate an agreement it made in favor of an older standard – a unilateral abrogation that is not authorized under Iran’s safeguard’s agreement.
Now, before I get accused of being a member of the “Bush cabal” I should point out that almost everything I’ve said here has been said before by el Baradai and the IAEA. Furthermore, I do not support an attack on Iran for a variety of reasons. Still, the fact remains that Iran’s program is still a significant cause for concern and Iran could best guarantee the rights it claims by implementing all the measures the IAEA says are required for it to perform it’s mandated duties.
say, I know a semantics game when I see it. There is a huge difference between full compliance and what the US administration perceives as that. What about the secret programs you didn’t tell us about? Prove to us to our paranoid standards that you don’t have anything else! One can play that game infinitely, or until the point where you can say: “Our patience has expired, we have no choice, Iran brought that on themselves, now we the sword has to decide the matter!”
I found it remarkable when one administration figure said, can’t remember who exactly, that Iran’s regime having knowledge of how to enrich uranium is too much.
I think that US assurances to act in good faith on the nuclear issue ought to be take at least with a grain of salt. To keep in mind the goal of regime change helps as a corrective prism.
Considering that Iran is under US sanctions for a quarter of a century, it is plausible to interpret their secrecy in procuring nuclear technology as a function of necessity, rather than as proof of nefarious intent.
Iran? Well, the Brits are practical about commercial expansion, why aren’t we?
“THE government faces a diplomatic row with America over disclosures that it has provided the Iranian regime with financial support worth about £290m while at the same time calling for sanctions.
The money was offered by the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) to support British firms exporting to Iran, mainly to the country’s petrochemical industry.
Many of the loans were being negotiated while British ministers were threatening sanctions against Iran for creating a nuclear enrichment facility to make atomic weapons….”
If roughly 20,000 American jobs are created by US$1billion of US exports then commercial relations with Iran and Syria, for example, in the hydrocarbon sector should be a practical objective.
But the Bush Administration follows the “dual containment” policy of the Clinton Administration promoted by the Z-Lobby. And Mr. Levey of our Treasury Department, the sanctions zealot, merrily wends his way around the planet denying Americans an export market and jobs…..
At some point, perhaps, John Q Public might connect some dots between the Z-Lobby/Israel, US foreign policy, and their deteriorating economic condition, not to mention the tumbling dollar.
Well Confusedpondered, Iran itself feeds into that administration line with its refusal to fully cooperate with the IAEA on its clandestine history. Perhaps if Iran was fully transparent, ratified and implemented the additional protocol as the IAEA has long demanded, the administration would not be able to argue as you suggest. Iran’s refusal to suspend enrichment (as the UNSC called for with chapter 7 resolutions) while the IAEA does its work to fully investigate and understand the scope of Iranian activity is not simply a neocon-based issue. Again, this is something the IAEA itself says is required.
Furthermore, Iran clearly intends to make the UNSC resolutions and the IAEA’s demands moot. Consider what Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator said back in 2004:
The stupidest mistake the Bush administration did was negotiate the nuclear deal with India. That deal plays right into Iran’s perceptions. For example, Matthew Bunn from Harvard’s Belfer Center said:
WRT enrichment, one might argue that as a dual-use technology whether it is legal or not under the NPT comes down to intent. Just because Iran says it’s peaceful does not make it so. India, for example, claimed “smiling Buddha” was not a weapon but a “peaceful” nuclear explosive. In my view Iran’s statements on its need for an enrichment cycle are not well supported. First, given that the Iranian government spends almost 25% of it’s annual revenue on gasoline subsidies and imports, Iran’s claims that it needs a wholly domestic nuclear fuel supply seem quite strange. The crisis in Iranian energy is gasoline production, not electricity. Secondly, Iran only has uranium reserves to last it a decade or two at which point it will be forced to import in any event. Then there are the economics. And then there is the issue I brought up before about Iran going covert in the midst of the war with Iraq at a time when when it publicly stated it needed nuclear weapons…
You see, although I don’t support an attack on Iran, I also believe there is sufficient concern about Iranian intent that compelling them to comply with the IAEA is important. If Iran does comply, then there is no legal argument left for the US to prevent it from having a fuel cycle and enrichment – to say nothing of guaranteed third-party fuel deliveries.
@confusedponder: “I found it remarkable when one administration figure said, can’t remember who exactly, that Iran’s regime having knowledge of how to enrich uranium is too much.”
That was some obscure administration figure with the name Bush?
Actually Andy, you’re wrong on several counts. First of all the IAEA has already certified that IRan’s previously undisclosed activities had no relationship to a weapons program. And the latest IAEA report is entirely about the last remaining issues from the past that had to be cleared up – not about Iran’s current activities, which are already entirely monitored.
The IAEA has said that it cannot verify the absence of undeclared activities – for IRan as well as for 40 or so other countries – simply because they haven’t formally ratified the Additional Protocol, not because there’s any actual evidence of any undeclared activities. And, Iran has repeatedly offered to ratify the Additional Protocol – as long as its NPT rights are also recognized.
Incidentally, Iran’s economic case for having nuclear power is well-established, and its strategic reasons to want to be able to use its own energy sources rather than rely on the Russians to power their economy is quite logical.
While you’re right that the IAEA cannot verify the absence of undeclared activities for “40 or so” other countries who have not implemented the AP, you neglect to mention that those other countries, unlike Iran, did not engage in covert activities that resulted in flagrant violations of their comprehensive safeguards agreements. Your position in this and other fora is that Iran’s history of concealment and obstructionism is immaterial and should basically be ignored – that Iran is equivalent to countries in good standing WRT their NPT obligations who have not violated their agreements. Well, the IAEA, its governing council and the UNSC disagree.
Furthermore, I’m not disputing Iran’s case for nuclear power but as I remind you yet again, the issue is not nuclear power, but enrichment and Iran’s concealment, violations and obstructionism. And as I noted above, the reasoning behind obtaining “its own energy sources” is specious when one considers domestic uranium reserves (or lack thereof) and Iran’s gasoline dependency. It’s quite strange for a country to argue on one hand that it not only needs nuclear power, but also a wholly domestic fuel cycle while at the same time almost a quarter of it’s budget is spent importing and subsidizing gasoline. Perhaps you can explain why Iran is so worried about nuclear fuel supplies for its nascent nuclear power program when it’s busy importing 60% of it’s gasoline from those same “unreliable” foreign suppliers?
You note: “While you’re right that the IAEA cannot verify the absence of undeclared activities for “40 or so” other countries who have not implemented the AP, you neglect to mention that those other countries, unlike Iran, did not engage in covert activities that resulted in flagrant violations of their comprehensive safeguards agreements.”
However, who says those countries have not engaged in covert programs? Indeed, by their nature, “covert” programs are not known to outsiders? Maybe they too should be on our hit list for the (already) overstretched military arm of foreign policy? Isn’t the (neo-con) saying “absence of evidence does not equal evidence of absence?” Perhaps on those grounds, we should pursue a dedicated program of coercion against those countries as well?
[/end snark and sarcasm]
Andy: Additional Protocol?
“There’s an old saying in Tennessee, I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee–that says,
‘Fool me once . . . shame on . . . shame on you . . . . . . If ya fool me, I can’t get fooled again!'”
Actually some of those other countries have engaged in undeclared nuclear activities – including Egypt, S. Korea and Taiwan.
Andy – gasoline and nuclear power are unrelated. There are no nuclear powered cars in Iran. The manufacture of uranium fuel for reactors makes perfect sense from a strategic point of view. After all, Dick Cheney himself accused the Russians of engaging in energy blackmail. WOuld the US allow its nuclear program to be totally reliant on foreign imports of fuel? Why should IRan? Iran can point to a string of contracts that were not fulfilled, including from EURODIF, where iran invested millions of dollars and hasn’t received an ounce of nuclear fuel.
Oh, Hass, now you’re being dishonest. You know as well as I do that Iran unilaterally canceled the EURODIF contract, ended payments and then demanded the return of ALL of it’s loaned capital plus interest despite the fact the facility was almost finished. It was Iran that rejected Eurodif, not the other way around. Then Iran had the temerity to use French citizens taken hostage in Lebanon as bargaining chips in the subsequent contractual dispute.
Also, I brought up gasoline because you originally pointed to energy independence even using the term “its own energy sources.” Now you say that only nuclear energy independence matters, and to justify it your point to the Russian “blackmail” of energy supply which was, ironically, fossil,not nuclear. IOW Hass, you seem happy to use energy independence arguments when they support your argument and reject them when they don’t.
And finally, Hass, the ROK gave up it’s ambitions, provided full transparency to the IAEA and ratified and implemented the additional protocol. Taiwan is not a recognized state by the UN or IAEA, but it adheres to the AP as well. The previous problems with these countries have been solved to the IAEA’s satisfaction which is more than can be said for Iran. The IAEA could have closed the case on Iran long ago were it not for Iranian obstructionism.
And again, despite all I’ve said in this thread, I do not support military action against Iran.
you are obviously confused
unlike me, he-he. Let me right your world. You seriously suggest the US would deny a country they sanction essential commodities their national welfare or their economy depend on, and then claim them wanting to have them are unreasonable anyway? I’m shocked! Next, you’re probably going to tell me that the US want to hurt countries they sanction.
It goes without saying that US sanctions are an educational exercise – tough love for the oppressed people under those tyrannical regimes
not to mention that they could easily end those sanctions if they had the balls to dispose of those wicked tyrants of theirs.
It’s as if doubting that the Iraqis during the sanctions regime
which is ancient historycould have wanted chlorine for any other reason than manufacturing obsolete and ineffectivechemical weapons , and of course to satisfy inexplicable pathological urges to hoard chemical weapons just because. Of course the Iraqis, noSaddam, personally, have,has, been lying when they,he claimed to need them for water purification. Preposterous! Especially in a country with a climate like Iraq. 500.000 Iraqis is worth it. No, of course not.Tyrants citing national welfare and economic demands only do so to cynically hide behind their population, take them hostage, and they would serve their people which of course is not really their people because they are wicked tyrantsbest by going away asap and allowing for regime change. Their refusal to do so and to meet reasonable US demands , like to please, commit suicideonly underlines their infinite wickedness! What reasonable means depends on what the definition of reasonable is.
It is then that Condi can tell the press
with that annoying voice of hers: We have been offering Iran theirunconditional surrendertalks for a long time, but they just won’t listen. I don’t see them playing a constructive role.
[/end snark and sarcasm]
@Andy – gasoline – Iran is expanding its refinary capacity and will soon be an exporter of gasoline.
/quote/Iran plans to increase its crude oil distillation capacity by a total of 974,000 barrels per day over the next five years, by expanding existing refineries and building new ones, the Middle East Economic Survey reported Monday./endquote/
India (Essar) has a new 300,000 bpd refinary project in Iran.
There are major upgrades in the work in all other refineries (financed by Japan).
On Eurodif – don’t know your sources but here is what the Arms Control Association published.
/quote/Iran remained an indirect shareholder through Sofidif, a French-Iranian consortium that has a 25 percent interest in Eurodif.
Ironically, the settlement came just as Iran had changed its position vis-à-vis Eurodif and demanded delivery of enriched uranium based on the old contract. Paris maintained that the contract had expired in 1990. By that time, Iran was already subject to Western sanctions. France refused to deliver the fuel even though Tehran still held an indirect share in Eurodif. Iran views this refusal as proof of the unreliability of outside nuclear supplies and uses the Eurodif episode to argue its case for achieving energy independence by supplying all of the elements of the nuclear fuel cycle itself./endquote/
So Iran still owns part of the company but can not buy its products …
Yes, Iran has announced plans and made deals this year – not surprising since the gasoline crisis caused riots around the nation. Iran also does claim it will soon be an exporter of gasoline, but “soon” is a relative term, particularly when Iran’s shortfall is somewhere around 7 million gallons a day currently with demand rising by double-digits every year…
With respect to Eurodif, keep in mind that Iran began working with AQ Khan in the mid-1980’s – well before Iran’s supposed last-minute demand to reinstate the contract it previously abrogated. So Iran had already make a decision to pursue a covert route before the settlement was even finalized and western “unreliability” had yet been determined. In any event, I find it rather strange the Eurodif episode is offered as proof of Western intransigence considering it was Iran that canceled the contract originally, Iran that demanded all its money back, Iran that used hostages for negotiations and then, once negotiations neared finalization, it was Iran that turned around yet again and demanded fulfillment of the contract, presumably in addition to the refund on investment it received.
Let’s say I signed a contract with you to build me a house, and provide earnest money. Once the house is almost complete, I decided to cancel the contract and demand my money back plus interest. We then spend a decade in court during which time I take members of your family hostage. In the end, as the final negotiations are taking place, I demand that I get the house after all. In this instance who would you deem “unreliable?”
Finally, it’s not clear that Iran actually made the demand – Iranian newspapers, for example, denied it – though rumors persisted for many months that France and Iran had a secret side agreement to provide enriched uranium – rumors that later proved false.
And all this is besides the point because Iran has been offered guaranteed access to uranium fuel and has refused.
Anyway, this is the last comment from me on the topic. It seems to me too many are buying into Iranian rhetoric and supporting their viewpoint in order to spite GWB. I would argue that one can recognize that GWB is a failure as a President and actively oppose armed action against Iran without giving Iran a pass.
Thanks for a good debate.
you overlook that Iran
as a rogue led by theocratic, wicked tyrantscannot be trusted to responsibly handle nuclear material no matter that they are entitled under the NPT to buy that stuff.
When you imply that the Iranians, chilled by their frustration with Eurodif, want to control the fuel cycle themselves because apparently they have no reason to trust anybody to live up to his contract, you’re suggesting that they have rational motives.
Which can’t possibly be true
because Iranians as wicked tyrants are thoroughly irrational, compulsive liars. Just look at Ahmedinejad – close set eyes – clearly a liar. Now don’t you tell me that Ahmedinejad wasn’t in power when the Eurodif deal led nowhere. He still has those close set eyes.
That means that every contradiction
that may stem from incomplete data or lack of understanding or plain indifference to facts over good fictionis proof of Iranian duplicity.
You make it sound as if current US demands are formulated to fail,
conveniently providing for a casus belli, think of Austria and Serbia 1914, or Iraq 2003. Blasphemy.
Like I said, the fact remains that the US would not rely 100% on Russia to import nuclear fuel – so why should Iran or any other country, especially when they’re perfectly entitled to use their own uranium reserves to create some minimal level of security? That would be stupid.
And for the technically-minded, there is this to consider.
it’s not that I’m buying into Iranian rhetoric. I cannot look into their heads, and maybe they get ideas or have ideas about nuclear weapons, but what I see is that the US policy is not helpful to dissuade them from aquiring nuclear weapons. In fact, it gives them all the reasons why they might want some. The accusation as leveled by the US is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you accuse someone only hostile enough to be hostile, he’ll end up being hostile at you. Quite simple. That doesn’t mean I believe the Iranians every word they say.
I certainly don’t buy the ‘sleight of hand’ arguments that are being leveled against Iran by the current US administration. I especially dislike the reversing of the burden of proof. Normally, when you accuse someone you are expected to back that up with proof. What the US say is that they can’t prove it because the Iranians keep it secret.
As a result, and I think it is deliberate, the US have managed to generate so much innuendo, that it is now up to Iran to prove that they don’t have a secret nuclear program – a proof they logically cannot make without, say, allowing foreign troops to occupy their country to confirm that, indeed, there is no secret nuclear program. And even in that case the true believers would conclude from the absence of evidence for such programs that then the nukes must have been shipped to Syria, Pakistan, Al Quaeda, some old mineshaft or the bottom of a lake, like they do in Iraq. After all, the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, so let’s be better safe than sorry – had it been real, it would have been a helluva threat! What do they say? Paranoids have real enemies, but the ones who bring them down tend to be the imaginary ones.
I have seen it before and as a result I lost a great dose of goodwill as far as giving the US the benefit of a doubt is concerned. If you don’t think that it is beyond the US to instrumentalise disarmament or non-proliferation to serve the (incompatible) policy goal of regime change, look at Iraq and think again.
I think Joseph Circione put it well in his new book, when he said that as far as non proliferation was concerned the White House “in effect changed the focus from ‘what’ to ‘who.'”
That way the Bushies could without blinking make nuclear deals with India outside the NPT (India is not a member) while getting all upset and excited about alleged Syrian, Iranian, North Korean non-compliance with the NPT. Something like that doesn’t happen by accident. It was a deliberate step on behalf of the Bush administration, and being deliberation suggests intent, here, intent to undermine the NPT. And as if deeds are not enough, there have been US officials being very open about it, most vocally John Bolton. In my eyes the nuclear issue is just the currently preferred US selling point for regime change.
In face of that their concern about the ‘rogues’ sticking to their obligation under the very NPT, that the US at the very least has been undermining eagerly at the same time, has something profoundly dishonest about it, and that isn’t lost on international observers and allies. Everybody knows it. And everybody notices that US diplomats on these issues are frankly if not outright lying, at least deliberately misleading. It certainly does little to improve US credibility.
Rest assured that allies sharing the concerns of the US do this to a considerable extent to improve relations, and to keep a foot in the door to prevent the US from doing something stupid, again. That might be a miscalculation. I wouldn’t count on the US to care about us in this. They might just rip us off, again, and use our concessions to them, born of goodwill rather than genuine concern, as proof of the Euros agreeing with them on the ‘Iranian threat’. So lighten up, the US still is too important and powerful to be ignored, however whacky they act.
Something lost on many Americans is that the NPT is basically an American treaty. It was a US idea. It serves their interests by checking proliferation, and in fact it does so quite effectively and quietly, ignoring the occasional editorial howling to the contrary. It’s independence gives it a degree of credibility unknown in the US since the Bushies so generously squandered what they had in credibility and goodwill prior and right after 911.
Alas, John Bolton doesn’t think the NPT serves the US, not the way he wishes it would, and so he merely sees it as an entangling obligation, which is much worse than an entangling alliance in that it costs only – in particular freedom of action. The US free hand must not be tied by international law, which is a reflection of power anyway. The US are the most powerful state of them all, so they are righter than them all. He must have held that view well before the unilateral pre-emption doctrine was formulated the second time after 911. I think that is the very simple idea behind him wrecking the NPT. He’s simply an aggressive nationalist trying to enable politics of the free hand.
Regime change as a goal however in my understanding generates a momentum that inevitably leads to confrontation. Ideas like that demanding unconditional surrender is a sign of grandness, that diplomacy is appeasement, that engagement means endorsement and that being in the same room with someone is a reward – are just self aggrandising nonsense that doesn’t work.
So you have a path set on a policy that doesn’t work, and have the proponents ending up with the insight that the desired results don’t manifest, and all they think is ‘Gee, so we’ll have to resort to force after all’. Then these folks hear Air Force briefings about full spectrum dominance and think: ‘Aah, interesting. So they could hold back Iranian retaliation, allowing us to attack their strategic sites (every government and defence related facility) with relative impunity. Sounds feasible. And then the democratic revolution can sweep the tyrannical Theocrats away. Splendid…, so we have options after all.’
That, I gather is the view at Cheney’s office, and it outright scares me.
“The US free hand must not be tied by international law, which is a reflection of power anyway. The US are the most powerful state of them all, so they are righter than them all.”
is 100% right on! From the beginning, this crowd (cabal?) has been overwhelming nationalist and militaristic. The elimination of international law constraints on their action has been, and remains, a chief goal of their policy. Their one true legacy!
What amazes me is that if they are so righteous in their “power” zeal, why they just do not abrogate and withdraw from those “entangling” agreements in toto? Me thinks it is becasue they are afraid it is simply a step too far – even for thier die-hard fans – because it so clearly makes “America!”(TM) nothing more than the USSR of old. That, and the cognitive dissonance induced when the “exceptional” nation (America! TM) acts no differently than every other nation has (or will) – including her enemies could cause even their most fevered supporters to doubt their leadership.
Just think, only a year and 2 months to go…
And that scares me too!