'Bonkers' Bolton

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As a signatory
to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Iran is required
to subject all "source or special fissionable material"
being produced, processed or used in any principal facility to verification
– "in accordance with the Statute of the International
Atomic Energy Agency" – that none is diverted from peaceful
uses, to use in nuclear weapons.

All of it.

Although Pakistan
and India are not NPT signatories, each have some materials and
activities that are subject to Safeguards.

Why make a
point of this?

Because, according
to the IAEA Statute, it ought to make no difference whatsoever to
the IAEA Board of Governors whether all source and fissionable materials
and activities involving them are subject to an IAEA Safeguards
Agreement or not.

It is the NPT
– not the IAEA Statute – that requires Iran to subject
all source and fissionable materials and all activities involving
them to an IAEA Safeguards Agreement.

Hence, it is
the NPT-required Safeguards Agreement that empowers the IAEA to
a) verify that all Iranian source and fissionable materials
– and all activities involving their physical or chemical transformation
– have been "declared," and that b) there has not
been any diversion of nuclear material to nuclear weapons
or other nuclear explosive devices.

According to
all Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei’s reports made since November
2004, there is no indication that there are now any "undeclared"
source or special nuclear materials in Iran; nor is there any
indication of any diversion of nuclear materials.

What if India
produces nuclear weapons with source or special nuclear materials
it has not made subject to Safeguards?

Hey, according
to Bonkers Bolton, that’s no problem.

Since India
isn’t a NPT signatory, what it does with source or special nuclear
materials it hasn’t made subject to an IAEA Safeguards Agreement
is none of the IAEA’s business.

But, suppose
the IAEA discovers that India has used "declared" materials
in furtherance of some military purpose. Making armor-piecing bullets
with "depleted uranium" produced by a Safeguarded uranium-enrichment
facility, for example.

Well, that
would certainly be a violation of India’s Safeguards Agreement.

And if –
in connection with the activities of the agency – there should
arise "questions that are within the competence of the Security
Council":

The agency
shall notify the Security Council as the organ bearing the main
responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and
security.

Now, would
the discovery of such a violation by India be a serious threat to
international peace and security?

Hardly.

Nevertheless,
despite ElBaradei’s many reports that Iran is not in "violation"
or in "non-compliance" with its NPT-required Safeguards
Agreement, Condi Rice has seized on these words in ElBaradei’s most
recent report – "the agency is not at this point in time
in a position to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials
or activities in Iran" – and declared them to be "questions
that are within the competence of the Security Council."

It’s doubtful
that ElBaradei would ever be in a position – no matter how
much more Iran cooperated or how much additional authority the U.N.
Security Council gave him – to make such a conclusion.

Besides, no
one asked him.

The truly important
part of all ElBaradei’s recent reports is that as best he can tell,
after more than two years of go-anywhere see-anything inspections,
Iran is in compliance with its NPT-required IAEA Safeguards Agreement.

Nevertheless,
at Condi’s insistence, the IAEA Board has reported to the Security
Council the entire Iranian dossier, which not only documents Iran’s
voluntary cooperation with IAEA inspections that far exceed anything
required by their Safeguards Agreement (beyond even that required
by an Additional Protocol), but documents numerous serious violations
by the Board and individual members of Iran’s "inalienable"
rights under the IAEA Statute, as well as the NPT, itself.

Why?

Well, Rice
reportedly told ElBaradei she wanted Iran’s "case" before
the Security Council as soon as possible so she could seek a "Presidential
Statement" noting Iran’s "past failures to comply with
its international commitments."

Presidential
Statements are the product of informal consultations between the
Council’s president and its members and do not enjoy the status
of Security Council resolutions.

But as President
Bush demonstrated three years ago when he attacked Iraq, "We
don’t need no stinking resolutions!"

Last month,
Bonkers Bolton was president and Rice could probably have gotten
a Presidential Statement specifically authorizing council members
– individually or collectively – "to take appropriate
measures" against Iran.

But, someone
should tell Condi that Ambassador César Mayoral of Argentina
is president this month.

March
13, 2006

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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