Sunday, September 18, 2005

The U.S.-Iran chess game

I don't really know who's winning. My ongoing fear is that at any time the U.S. can just go ahead and bomb Iran and its ex post facto justifications will enrage the world but be explained away by the mainstream media.

As an antidote to the Times' account of Ahmadinejad's speech at the UN on Saturday, which takes as its premise that Iran is a defiant pariah country, a "problem" to be solved by the western world led by the U.S. (when in fact Iran has always complied with its obligations under the NPT and the U.S. has not), I'd suggest this strangely titled article ("Neocrazies foiled") by Gordon Prather, who points out the following basic facts which seem to have slipped the notice of the Times and the rest of the mainstream media:

Iran (for example) has an inalienable right to buy a turn-key uranium enrichment facility and, if the financial details can be worked out, Russia (for example) "shall" sell it to them.

But, since the early 1980s, Iran claims its inalienable right to acquire nuclear technology has been subjected to an "extensive and intensive campaign of denial, obstruction, intervention and misinformation."

Mostly by – or at the behest of – the United States.

1. Valid and binding contracts to build nuclear power plants were unilaterally abrogated;

2. Nuclear material rightfully purchased and owned by Iran was illegally withheld;

3. Unjustified and coercive interventions were routinely made in order to undermine, impede and delay the implementation of Iran's nuclear agreements with third parties; and

4. Unfounded accusations against Iran's exclusively peaceful nuclear program were systematically publicized.

So Iran began keeping secret the details of its nuclear-related programs, which, in nearly all cases, were not required to be disclosed under its Safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

In particular, Iran was not obliged to report to the IAEA the acquisition or manufacture of any number of gas-centrifuges, nor the construction of associated facilities, until shortly before introducing "special nuclear materials" into them.

But, in October 2003, after seeing what Bush and Blair did to Iraq on the pretext of destroying Iraq's non-existent nuke programs, Iran began negotiations with France, Germany and the United Kingdom [EU/E3] with the explicit expectation of obtaining – at a minimum – assurances from the Europeans that Bush and Blair would not do unto them what they had done unto Iraq.

Iran signed and immediately began full implementation of an Additional Protocol to its IAEA Safeguards Agreement, providing a detailed account of its previously secret nuclear activities, virtually all of which had been carried out in full conformity with its rights and obligations under the NPT.

Iran also began a voluntary temporary suspension of its Safeguarded uranium-enrichment activities as "a confidence building measure."

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