For at least two years the Bush-Cheney administration has been demanding that the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors judge Iran to be in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Should the IAEA Board make such a judgment, it would then be obliged to report that to the UN Security Council. It would then be up to the Security Council to decide what action if any was appropriate.
If the Council concluded that Iran’s nuclear program constituted a danger to peace in the region, it could pass a resolution that Bush-Cheney could use once reelected as an excuse to do unto Iran in 2005 what they did to Iraq in 2003.
But, first, Bush-Cheney has to get IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei to report that Iran is not fulfilling its NPT obligations.
The IAEA was made the international “Safeguards” inspectorate under Article III of the NPT:
Each non-nuclear-weapon state party to the treaty undertakes to accept Safeguards [as set forth in an agreement to be negotiated and concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency in accordance with the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Agency’s Safeguards system] for the exclusive purpose of verification of the fulfillment of its obligations assumed under the treaty, with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
As it became obvious to Iran and to North Korea that Bush-Cheney intended to invade Iraq purportedly to eradicate Saddam’s illicit nuke program they reacted very differently.
The state-run Korean News Service of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea issued this statement on April 6, 2003, just days after Bush-Cheney invaded Iraq:
The United States is gravely encroaching upon the sovereignty of Iraq for the purpose of removing the present leadership of Iraq in defiance of even the elementary international code of conduct and, furthermore, putting the Mideast region under its control.
The present Iraqi crisis teaches a serious lesson: that the imperialists’ inspection of weapons in sovereign states leads to disarming, it spills into a war and any concession and compromise with the imperialists allow the sovereignty and interests of countries and nations to be encroached upon and, in the long run, they will fall victim to imperialism.
The U.S. intends to force the DPRK to disarm itself.
The Iraqi war shows that to allow disarming through [UN] inspection does not help avert a war but rather sparks it. Neither international public opinion nor the UN Charter could prevent the U.S. from mounting an attack on Iraq.
Only the physical deterrent force tremendous military deterrent force powerful enough to decisively beat back an attack supported by any ultra-modern weapons can avert a war and protect the security of the country and the nation. This is a lesson drawn from the Iraqi war.
However, by the time Bush-Cheney invaded Iraq, Iran was already committed to the UN inspection route so disdained by the DPRK.
As ElBaradei reported to the Board last November, “Iran has committed itself to a policy of full disclosure and has decided, as a confidence-building measure, not only to sign the Additional Protocol making way for more robust and comprehensive inspections but also to take the important step of suspending all enrichment related and reprocessing activities and to accept IAEA verification of this suspension.”
Furthermore, Iran thought it had an agreement with UK-Germany-France that by committing itself to that policy and pursuing it, UK-Germany-France would ensure that the IAEA would never make a report of NPT non-compliance to the Security Council.
So last month Bush-Cheney attempted to take things directly to the Security Council. They got the leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized countries which includes UK-Germany-France to demand that Iran comply with the NPT.
How did Iran react to this Bush-Cheney attempt to end-run the IAEA?
They’ve resumed enrichment-related activities. The Israelis claim they’ll have nukes by 2007.
Bush-Cheney also got the G-8 leaders to call on North Korea to “visibly, verifiably and irreversibly dismantle any nuclear weapons programs.”
How did the DPRK react to the Bush-Cheney attempt to end-run the “six-party” talks? From the Korean News Service:
Do the countries styling themselves “advanced nations” like so much to spark the same miserable crisis as that in Iraq?
The paragraphs related to the DPRK in the document adopted at the G-8 summit only provides it [DPRK] with enough justification to increase its [DPRK] nuclear deterrent force for self-defence with the help of strong catalyst.