Condi and Her Gangs

On 26, November, 2004, the Brit-French-German-Iran ambassadors notified Mohamed ElBaradei – Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency – of the terms of the Paris Accord, whereby the Brits-French-Germans and Iranians undertook to negotiate an agreement that “will provide objective guarantees that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes. It will equally provide firm guarantees on nuclear, technological and economic cooperation and firm commitments on security issues.”

Why were they telling ElBaradei all this?

Well, under the Paris Accord the Iranians had voluntarily offered to suspend – for the duration of the negotiations – activities that were currently subject to IAEA Safeguards.

On March 23, 2005, Iran offered (in confidence) a package of “objective guarantees” that included a voluntary “confinement” of Iran’s nuclear programs, including forgoing the production of plutonium and reprocessing of spent reactor fuel.

On August 1, 2005, having had no response to their offer, the Iranian IAEA ambassador notified ElBaradei they were beginning implementation of the “confined” program.

Why were the Iranians telling ElBaradei all this?

To alert him that the implementation involved the resumption of certain voluntarily suspended Safeguarded activities.

Well, almost immediately Condi strong-armed the Brits-French-Germans into involving the IAEA Board in something that was absolutely none of the Board’s business.

First they got the IAEA Board – which had no authority to do so – to “require” Iran to re-suspend the resumed Safeguarded activities and return to the Paris Accord negotiations.

Well, that didn’t work, so Condi and Brits-French-Germans got the IAEA Board to “report” the Iranian “dossier” to the UN Security Council for “possible sanctions.”

Well, that didn’t work, either,

You see, Article 39 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter says:

“The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

[Article 41 provides for measures “not including the use of armed forces,’’ while Article 42 includes the use of armed forces.]

But Article 40 of Chapter VII says:

In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable.”

So, all that Condi and the Brits-French-Germans got out of the Security Council was a non-binding Presidential Statement that basically remanded the dispute.

Well, Condi has now assembled a new gang [Brits-French-Germans-Russians-Chinese] and the French Foreign Minister issued a statement this week on their behalf.

“On the 1st of June, we met in Vienna and agreed [to] a set of far reaching proposals as a basis for negotiation with Iran, stressing however that, should Iran decide not to engage, further steps would have to be taken in the Security Council.

“Today, five weeks later, we reviewed the situation, on the basis of a report by [EU High Representative] Javier Solana who has met three times with Dr Larijani [Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council].

“The Iranians have given no indication at all that they are ready to engage seriously on the substance of our proposals. Iran has failed to take the steps needed to allow negotiations to begin, specifically the suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities, as required by the IAEA. We express profound disappointment over this situation.

“In this context, we have no choice but to return to the United Nations Security Council and take forward the process that was suspended two months ago.

“We have agreed to seek a United Nations Security Council Resolution which would make the IAEA-required suspension mandatory.

“Should Iran refuse to comply, then we will work for the adoption of measures under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter.”

Well, since the IAEA Board obviously exceeded its authority when it required, inter allia, Iran to suspend certain Safeguarded activities, it will be hard for Condi’s new gang to get the Council to determine under Article 39 that Iran’s refusal to obey an illegal requirement to suspend legal Safeguarded programs constitutes “a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression.”

As the Iranians correctly noted on August 1, 2005;

“Iran, like any other Non-Nuclear-Weapon State, has no obligation to negotiate and seek agreement for the exercise of its ‘inalienable’ right, nor can it be obligated to suspend it.”

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.