'Coalition of the Willing'?
by Gordon Prather
last week's Conference on Disarmament, Stephen Rademaker, acting
assistant secretary, International Security and Nonproliferation,
submitted a draft Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty that would be
acceptable to the Bush-Cheney administration.
September 1993, President Bill Clinton had called for a "multilateral"
convention banning the production of "fissile materials" for use
in nuclear weapons, and in March 1995 the Conference on Disarmament
established a committee to begin drafting such a treaty.
the 2000 Review Conference of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons approved an "action agenda" for "systematic and
progressive efforts" to implement disarmament requirements of Article
VI of the NPT.
supported by Clinton, two action steps on that agenda – early entry
into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and negotiation
of a multilateral, international and "effectively verifiable" fissile
material cutoff treaty (FMCT) – have not been supported by his successor.
fact, Secretary of State Condi Rice declined to even address the
2005 NPT Review Conference and prevented the final report of the
2000 NPT Review Conference from even being mentioned – especially
the "13 steps" to nuke disarmament – much less endorsed.
it was something of a surprise that Rademaker used his introduction
of the U.S.-supported FMCT draft to make the following remarks
to the Conference on Disarmament:
Sept. 24 of last year, the Board of Governors of the International
Atomic Energy Agency adopted a resolution formally determining that
Iran was in noncompliance with its safeguards obligations due to
its "many failures and breaches."
a result of this finding by the IAEA Board, as well as a separate
finding by the Board in that same resolution that Iran's nuclear
program raises questions that are within the competence of the
U.N. Security Council as the organ bearing main responsibility
for international peace and security, Iran was formally reported
to the Security Council in February of this year.
March 29, the Security Council, acting by consensus, adopted a
Presidential Statement calling on Iran to suspend its uranium
enrichment-related activities, cooperate fully with the IAEA's
ongoing investigations, and enter into good faith negotiations
on measures to restore international confidence in Iran's nuclear
United States expects the Security Council to fulfill its responsibility
under the U.N. Charter to address the threat to international
peace and security posed by Iran's illegal nuclear weapons program,
and it will be a defeat for effective multilateralism should the
Council fail to live up to this responsibility.
Rademaker's remarks are outrageously misleading. Moreover, what
has the Iran-IAEA issue got to do with the FMCT?
particular, since Bush launched his war of aggression against Iraq
– allegedly to destroy a nuclear program IAEA inspectors had been
unable to detect – Iran has been a principal advocate of the NPT,
CTBT and the FMCT.
to Bush – the problem is that the NPT "has a loophole which
has been exploited by nations such as North Korea and Iran. These
regimes are allowed to produce nuclear material that can be used
to build bombs under the cover of civilian nuclear programs."
fact, all NPT-signatories not already having nukes – such as Iran
– are required to enter into a Safeguards Agreement with
the IAEA for the "exclusive purpose" of verifying to other
NPT-signatories that no "source or special nuclear materials" are
used in furtherance of any military purpose.
best the IAEA could determine, up and until the time North Korea
withdrew from the NPT, no NPT-proscribed materials had been so used.
as best the IAEA can determine, no Iranian NPT-proscribed material
has ever been so used.
to Rademaker, according to IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei,
Iran is in complete compliance with its safeguards agreement.
the FMCT – even as drafted by Bush – is intended to prevent countries
that are outside the NPT – such as India, Pakistan, Israel
and North Korea – from producing any more fissile material for use
in nuclear weapons.
wonder Iran's delegate to the Disarmament Conference – Hamid Eslamizad
– noted that Rademaker's call for "effective multilateralism" by
signatories to the FMCT to deal with "the threat to international
peace and security posed by Iran's illegal nuclear weapons program,"
which the Security Council has so far declined to so characterize,
is strikingly similar to Bush's appeal back in 2003 for effective
multilateralism "by a coalition of the willing" to deal with what
Bush claimed was the threat to international peace and security
posed by Iraq's (non-existent) nuclear weapons program.
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.
© 2006 Gordon Prather