More Media Lies About Iran
by Gordon Prather
August 16, 2005
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According to Reuters' Louis Charbonneau – a neo-crazy media sycophant
if ever there was one – those despicable Iranians "broke UN seals at
a uranium processing plant" last week.
According to Charbonneau, the International Atomic Energy Agency
"put on the seals after Tehran agreed with the European Union's
biggest powers to halt all nuclear fuel work last November to ease
tensions after the IAEA found Iran had hidden weapons-grade highly
"Tehran defied EU warnings [that] it could now be referred to the UN
Security Council for possible sanctions for having kept its uranium
enrichment work secret for years – until it was found out in 2002 –
breaking the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty."
Now, all of that "reporting" is – at best – misleading.
And deliberately so.
Charbonneau is deliberately misleading you about (a) what the IAEA
"found" back in 2002, (b) why the IAEA seals were in place, (c)
what the Iranians did last week, and last – but most important – (d)
what constitutes a "breaking" of the NPT.
Bush-Cheney officials have repeatedly charged that the Iranians have
broken the NPT and that they are seeking to manufacture or "otherwise
acquire" nuclear weapons.
But if the Iranians were breaking the NPT, who would be in the best
position to know? The Bush-Cheney officials who made similar charges
Neo-crazy media sycophants like Charbonneau?
No. It does you no good to have a nuclear weapons program if you can't
beg, borrow, or steal the tens of kilograms of fissile material that
are absolutely required to make a nuke. So the NPT requires no-nuke
states like Iran to subject all "source or special fissionable
materials" and all activities involving such materials to an IAEA
The IAEA Statute – not the NPT – provides a mechanism for ensuring
"compliance with the undertaking against use [of safeguarded materials
and activities] in furtherance of any military purpose."
The IAEA Statute – not the NPT – requires the IAEA Board of Governors
to report any use "in furtherance of any military purpose" to all
IAEA members, to the UN General Assembly, and to the Security Council.
If, as Charbonneau charges, IAEA inspectors had found "hidden
weapons-grade highly enriched uranium" in Iran, they would have been
required to report that to the Board, and the Board would have been
required to report that to the Security Council.
But they didn't. In fact, Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei has
reported to the Board on numerous occasions that IAEA inspectors have
found no "indication" that Iran now has, ever had, or intends to have
a nuclear weapons program.
So what did the IAEA "find" back in 2002?
In the process of negotiating an additional protocol to the existing
Iranian safeguards agreement, Iran voluntarily told the IAEA back in
2002 that, as a result of the United States forcing Russia to cancel
the sale of a turnkey gas-centrifuge plant – which the Iranians had
an "inalienable right" to acquire and operate under the NPT – the
Iranians had been attempting to construct gas centrifuges of similar
design. Furthermore, once they had constructed several thousand and
got them to work, they planned to construct a uranium-enrichment pilot
plant and, eventually, construct a commercial scale uranium-enrichment
plant at Natanz.
But contrary to Charbonneau and the neo-crazies, under the Iranian
safeguards agreement as it then existed, the Iranians were not
obligated to tell the IAEA about any of that activity until they began
processing "source or special nuclear materials" for introduction
into those gas centrifuges.
So why were there IAEA "seals" on those uranium-conversion
facilities? Well, the Iranians had volunteered to suspend all such
activities for the duration of the EU-Iranian negotiations. Since
the facilities were all already safeguarded, the IAEA was "invited"
to verify the suspension.
But the IAEA is not a party to the EU-Iranian talks.
So what could the Board possibly report to the Security Council? That
the EU and Iran hoped to conclude an agreement that "will provide
objective guarantees" that "Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for
peaceful purposes" and that it "will equally provide firm guarantees"
to Iran "on nuclear, technological, and economic cooperation and firm
commitments on security issues"?
That on March 23, Iran offered a package of "objective guarantees"
to the EU that included a voluntary "confinement" of Iran's nuclear
programs? That the EU never responded to the Iranian offer? That the
EU never offered Iran "firm commitments on security issues"?
That the Iranians decided to end their voluntary suspension of
safeguarded activities and had so informed the IAEA?
None of that is any of the IAEA's business. So why report it?