John Kerry has declared nuke proliferation to be the single most serious threat to our national security and has essentially accused Bush of making that threat worse by his actions with respect to North Korea, Iraq and Iran and by his undermining of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The NPT entered into force in 1970, and at the 1995 Review Conference the parties to the NPT decided that the treaty would remain in force indefinitely.
As of Bush’s inauguration, of the 182 signatories to the NPT that had foresworn nukes, perhaps 30 were actually deemed technologically capable of producing nukes within a short time after withdrawing from the NPT.
That’s because, in return for their forbearance, the NPT recognizes their "inalienable right" to enjoy all the benefits of "nuclear energy" applied for peaceful purposes.
To prevent non-peaceful applications of those shared benefits, the NPT established a "safeguards" regime to be administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA.
Iran began exercising its "inalienable right" while the Shah was in power. However, since his fall, the United States in violation of its NPT commitments has been attempting to keep all other NPT signatories from honoring theirs.
Now that Iran has signed an Additional Protocol to their Safeguards Agreement, the IAEA has the authority to go anywhere and inspect any activity to ensure that Iran has actually made all NPT-proscribed materials, equipment and activities subject to their Safeguards Agreement.
Were the IAEA inspectors to report to the IAEA Board of Governors that they had evidence that Iran was employing as the neo-crazies allege certain proscribed materials and equipment in non-peaceful applications, then the IAEA board could deem that employment to be a violation of the NPT and refer the matter to the U.N. Security Council for possible action.
To the dismay of the neo-crazies, the IAEA inspectors have found no such evidence and have made no such reports. In fact, the IAEA inspectors have reported to the IAEA board that several alleged NPT "violations" have been resolved in Iran’s favor, including the laser enrichment experiments, the uranium conversation experiments and the sources of the trace amounts of enriched uranium found on imported equipment.
Drat! No evidence, no report to the IAEA board. No report, no IAEA referral to the Security Council. No referral, no Security Council sanctions or worse applied to Iran.
What’s a poor neo-crazy to do?
Well, how about "end-running" the NPT?
You see, irrespective of any treaty, the U.N. Charter empowers the Security Council to determine whether a nation-state’s actions or activities pose a threat to international peace or constitutes an act of aggression and to decide what measures should be taken including military action by member states to maintain or restore international peace and security.
In 1991, Bush the Elder got the Security Council to determine that Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait constituted an act of aggression and to authorize Kuwait and other member states such as the United States to employ "all necessary means" to restore peace and security to the Persian Gulf region.
In 2002, Bush the Younger tried to get the Security Council to determine that Iraq had or soon would have nukes and, therefore, posed a threat to international peace. Bush failed to get a Security Council resolution to employ "all necessary means" to maintain the peace because the U.N. inspectors reported directly to the Security Council that they could find no evidence that Saddam was a threat and that he had made no effort since 1991 to even develop a capability to produce nukes or chembio weapons.
Now, in 2004, having failed to get the IAEA board to refer Iran’s alleged "violations" of the NPT to the Security Council for possible action, Bush the Younger intends to bring Iran’s alleged nuke programs before the Security Council directly, hoping for a determination that Iran poses a threat to international peace, authorizing Iraq and other member states such as Israel to employ "all necessary means" to maintain peace in the region.
Before determining that Iran’s safeguarded nuclear programs pose a threat to peace in the Persian Gulf region, the Security Council is much more likely to determine that Israel’s unsafeguarded nuclear programs pose a far greater threat.
China has promised to veto any Security Council resolution imposing even sanctions on Iran, much less one authorizing military action.
Of course, the U.S. under Bush or Kerry would veto a Security Council resolution involving Israel. We always do.
October 25, 2004