June Aggression Against Iran

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"This
notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is
simply ridiculous," President Bush said as he emerged from
talks with European Union leaders.

Ridiculous?

Let’s
hope so.

For,
according to Sirus Naseri, a senior member of Iran’s delegation
to the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose Board of Governors
meets next week in Vienna:

"To
even imply that a nuclear weapon state would attack [IAEA] Safeguarded
facilities of a non-nuclear weapon state pokes a hole right in the
heart of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and it deserves to
be rejected severely."

And
of course, Naseri is right. It was bad enough back in 1981 when
the Israelis – not a "party" to the NPT – attacked
and destroyed Osiraq, a French-supplied Safeguarded research reactor
in Iraq.

The
United Nations Security Council strongly condemned the military
attack by Israel, which it considered to be "in clear violation
of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international
conduct." Furthermore, the attack was "a serious threat
to the entire safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, which is the foundation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation
of Nuclear Weapons."

You
see, the IAEA was made the international "safeguards"
inspectorate by Article III of the NPT.

The
key to preventing nuke proliferation is the international control
of the production, processing, transformation and disposition of
certain "nuclear" materials. In return for a promise not
to acquire or seek to acquire nukes, the NPT recognizes the "inalienable
right" of all signatories to enjoy the peaceful benefits of
nuclear energy. But all NPT-proscribed "nuclear" materials
– as well as the facilities in which they are stored, processed,
transformed or consumed – have to be made subject to an IAEA
Safeguards Agreement.

In
the event the IAEA discovers "nuclear" materials and/or
activities that should have been "declared" but were not,
it reports that failure to the IAEA Board of Governors. In the event
the IAEA discovers the "diversion" of nuclear materials
– a violation of the NPT, itself – the IAEA Board may
refer the matter to the U.N. Security Council for possible action.

More
than a year ago, Iran voluntarily signed an Additional Protocol
to its Safeguards Agreement, vastly expanding the authority of IAEA
inspectors to go anywhere and see anything. Director General Mohamed
ElBaradei reported to the IAEA Board of Governors at their last
meeting that after a year-long exhaustive and intrusive inspection,
he has found no evidence that Iran has ever attempted to acquire
nukes or the makings thereof.

Hence,
there are no violations of the NPT to report to the Security Council.

Well,
the neo-crazies have gone ballistic. That’s twice – first Iraq
and now Iran – ElBaradei has given the lie to their charges
that Islamic states had clandestine nuclear weapons programs in
violation the NPT.

But,
Bush is determined to get the "nuclear crisis" in Iran
before the Security Council, somehow, so that he can get another
ambiguous resolution that he could then use to justify an attack
– by the U.S. or Israel – on Iran’s Safeguarded facilities.

So
what conceivable rationale could Bush manufacture?

Well,
later in the U.S.-EU news conference Bush made this claim:

"The
reason we’re having these discussions is because [the Iranians]
were caught enriching uranium after they had signed a treaty saying
they wouldn’t enrich uranium. These discussions are occurring because
they have breached a contract with the international community.
They’re the party that needs to be held to account, not any of us."

Bush
manufactured all that. The EU-Iran agreement – which is being
"monitored" by the IAEA – is not a "treaty."
In any case, the Iranians were not "caught" enriching
uranium. As best the IAEA can determine, the Iranians have yet to
enrich any uranium. The Iranians merely agreed to suspend for six
months or so any attempt to do so. They did not – initially
– agree to suspend the manufacture of gas-centrifuges for enriching
uranium. However, as a "confidence-building measure,"
they voluntarily agreed a few months ago to suspend those activities,
too.

But,
if the Europeans don’t live up to their end of the agreement –
and Bush is determined to see that they won’t or can’t – the
Iranians have announced that they intend to resume – probably
in June – all the IAEA Safeguarded activities they have currently
suspended.

Maybe
that’s why the worst-kept secret in Washington is that we –
in cahoots with our "ally" Israel – are planning
to "take out" those Safeguarded facilities in June.

So,
bye-bye, NPT. Hello, mushroom-shaped clouds.

February
28, 2005

Physicist
James Gordon Prather [send
him mail
] has served as a policy-implementing official for national
security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency,
the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department
of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department
of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for
national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. –
ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the
Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather
had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory
in New Mexico.

Gordon
Prather Archives

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