A Palliative for Neo-Crazy Lies

Because Bush-Bolton and the neo-crazies have legions of sycophants ensconced at all major media outlets, feeding you a daily diet of lies, misrepresentations, and false innuendo about – among other things – Iran’s nuclear programs, you’re probably in need of this palliative.

Recall that Iran

  • has been a member state of the International Atomic Energy Agency since 1958
  • has been a signatory to the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons since 1968
  • has had an IAEA Safeguards Agreement in force since 1974.

In 2003, Iran signed an Additional Protocol to its existing Safeguards Agreement, and has since voluntarily cooperated with the IAEA as though the protocol were actually in force – which it is not.

Furthermore, in order to build further confidence that Iran’s nuclear programs are strictly peaceful, Iran voluntarily suspended all uranium-conversion, uranium-enrichment, and plutonium-separation activities.

Since Iran had already voluntarily made these activities subject to IAEA Safeguards, the IAEA was notified of this voluntary suspension and invited to verify and monitor it.

Okay?

Now, for the last decade, the neo-crazies and their media sycophants have been charging that Iran has been pursuing a nuclear weapons program – right under the multiple sensors of IAEA inspectors – in violation of the NPT.

Recently, Bush-Rice-Bolton have been demanding that Iran’s “violation of the NPT” be brought before the UN Security Council for punitive action.

If that is not done, the neo-crazies have been threatening to preemptively “take out” all facilities they suspect of being associated with that alleged nuclear weapons program, including the IAEA Safeguarded nuclear power plant at Bushehr now nearing completion by the Russians.

Bear in mind that IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and his inspectors have been conducting highly intrusive go-anywhere, see-anything inspections in Iran for the past two years and have yet to find any indication that Iran now has, ever had, or intends to have a nuclear weapons program.

Nor, for that matter, has ElBaradei found any indication that Iran has violated its voluntary suspension of its Safeguarded uranium-conversion, uranium-enrichment, and plutonium-separation activities.

Now, contrary to Bush-Rice-Bolton misrepresentations – if not lies – the NPT has no enforcement provision or mechanism.

For example, suppose Libya sought – or accepted – assistance from Pakistan on how to design or produce a nuclear weapon. Libya would be in violation of Article II of the NPT.

But the NPT doesn’t even suggest what other NPT signatories could have done about it under the NPT.

Ah, but there’s Article III of the NPT, which required Libya and other no-nuke NPT signatories to subject themselves to bilateral IAEA Safeguards agreements “with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons.”

If Libya had refused to conclude an IAEA Safeguards agreement, that would have been a violation of Article III of the NPT.

But Libya didn’t refuse.

So Libya hasn’t violated Article III.

But Article III goes on to say “procedures for the Safeguards required by this article shall be followed.”

Aha!

But who decides whether or not those procedures are followed?

And who decides what action to take if they aren’t?

Well, according to Article XII of the IAEA Statute, IAEA’s staff of inspectors will “determine whether there is compliance with the [statutory] undertaking against use in furtherance of any military purpose.”

The IAEA inspectors “shall report any [statutory] noncompliance to the Director General who shall thereupon transmit the report to the Board of Governors.”

The IAEA Board “shall report the [statutory] noncompliance to all members and to the Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations.”

So by requiring no-nuke NPT-signatories – such as Libya and Iran – to conclude a bilateral Safeguards agreement with the IAEA, the NPT incorporates the already existing IAEA inspection and verification system, as well as its statutory enforcement mechanism.

In 2003, Libya also signed an Additional Protocol, and IAEA inspectors soon discovered that IAEA-proscribed materials and facilities were being “used in furtherance of” a “military purpose,” in violation of the IAEA Statute.

Not the NPT. The IAEA Statute.

But even then, because Libya remedied its statutory noncompliance forthwith, the IAEA Board did not even ask the Security Council to invoke sanctions for violations of the IAEA Statute

So even if Condi succeeds this week in seducing or blackmailing ElBaradei into reporting to the IAEA Board exactly what the neo-crazies dictate, they are unlikely to get UN authorization to “take out” Bushehr and other IAEA-Safeguarded facilities in Iran.

Don’t you feel better already?

Read more by Gordon Prather

Author: Gordon Prather

Physicist James Gordon Prather 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.