If you haven’t already read Seymour Hersh’s stunning article, “The Iran Plans,” in the New Yorker magazine about President Bush’s plans to preemptively “take out” what the Israelis claim is an Iranian secret nuke-oriented uranium-enrichment program, you’d better do it soon, because Hersh claims the plans are already in the early stages of implementation.
There are already some US troops and former MEK terrorists operating in Iran.
To set the scene, recall that, as a signatory to the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Iran is required to subject all “source or special fissionable material” being produced, processed, or used in any principal facility to an IAEA Safeguards Agreement for the “exclusive purpose” of verifying that none is diverted from peaceful uses to use in nuclear weapons.
Despite Director-General ElBaradei’s many reports that Iran is not in “violation” or in “noncompliance” with its NPT-required Safeguards Agreement, Condi Rice seized on these words in ElBaradei’s most recent report [.pdf]'”the agency is not at this point in time in a position to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran”‘and declared them to be “questions that are within the competence of the Security Council.”
So, at Condi’s insistence, the IAEA Board had ElBaradei “report” to the Security Council the entire Iranian dossier.
Now, unfortunately for Condi, that dossier not only documents Iran’s voluntary cooperation with IAEA inspections that far exceed anything required by the NPT-required Safeguards Agreement (in fact, far beyond even what would be required by an Additional Protocol, if one were in force), but also documents numerous serious violations by the Board and individual members of Iran’s “inalienable” rights under the IAEA Statute, as well as the NPT itself.
So, Condi tried to get a “Presidential Statement” rather than a binding resolution ‘from the Council noting Iran’s “past failures to comply with its international commitments.”
But Condi wasn’t even able to get that.
On the contrary, after three weeks of acrimonious debate, the Security Council issued a Presidential Statement, which begins as follows:
“The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons and recalls the right of States Party, in conformity with articles I and II of that Treaty, to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.”
Worse still for Condi, the Council essentially remanded the Iranian dossier to the IAEA Board.
“The Security Council strongly supports the role of the IAEA Board of Governors ‘and underlines the necessity of the IAEA continuing its work to clarify all outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear program.”
Nevertheless, the neo-crazies and their media sycophants have been falsely claiming that the Iranian dispute is now in the hands of the Security Council which has “demanded” that Iran immediately suspend all IAEA-Safeguarded activities.
Of course, the Iranians have absolutely refused to comply because they know perfectly well that the issue with Iran’and with Iraq three years ago’is not the nuke-oriented nuclear-enrichment programs that Bush alleges are there, so well hidden that the IAEA can’t find them.
No, the issue is the Iranian regime itself, which Bush and the neocrazies are determined to supplant, by force if necessary.
According to Hersh, our allies’especially the British’are very worried.
“[Prime Minister] Blair’s the wild card in this. He and Bush both have this sense, this messianic sense, I believe, about what they’ve done and what’s needed to be done in the Middle East. I think Blair is every bit as committed into this world of’rapture,’as is the president.”
Hersh decribes a “blustery” meeting in Vienna between ElBaradei and Robert Joseph, the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control,
“The European and American complaint against El Baradei is this: they say, ‘My God, he’s treating this issue as if both sides have some justification, that Iran’s aspirations equal the American and European’s desire not for them to go nuclear.
“So they think he’s unfair. They think he’s being too balanced, too nuanced, and that was the message that Joseph gave, basically, with a significant loss of temper, or let’s put it, ‘intemperate’ behavior, basically saying,’You will desist from saying anything that interferes with us. We view this as our gravest national security threat.'”
Is it any wonder that even our allies have concluded that the neo-crazies are really crazy?