What The Neo-Crazies Knew

Back in 2003, the Brits, French and Germans entered into negotiations they hoped would result in an agreement providing “objective guarantees” to the European Union that “Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.” This agreement was to equally provide “firm guarantees” to Iran “on nuclear, technological and economic cooperation and firm commitments on security issues.”

As a result of a letter sent on August 1, 2005 by Iran to the Secretariat of the International Atomic Energy Agency, we now know that on March 23, 2005 Iran offered a package of “objective guarantees” to the EU that included a voluntary “confinement” of Iran’s nuclear programs, to include:

  1. forgoing the reprocessing of spent reactor fuel;
  2. forgoing the production of plutonium;
  3. producing only the low-enriched uranium required for Iran’s power reactors;
  4. the immediate conversion of all enriched uranium to fuel rods.

By any measure, the Iranian “confinement” offer is substantial. The Iranians had intended to “close the fuel cycle” – making new fuel from unburned uranium and plutonium recovered from “spent fuel.” They also had a plutonium production reactor under construction.

But now we know that the EU never even acknowledged this substantial offer, much less respond to it.

Worse, as of August 1, the EU had failed to make a substantial offer of their own containing “firm guarantees” on nuclear, technological and economic cooperation and “firm commitments” on security issues.

So as a result of these failures of the EU to negotiate in good faith the Iranians announced they would resume the uranium conversion – subject to IAEA Safeguards – that they had voluntarily suspended.

Of course, we know why the EU never made a substantial offer. And why the EU never responded to the Iranian substantial offer. Bush-Cheney-Bolton wouldn’t let them.

Bush-Cheney-Bolton must have known what was in the Iranian offer shortly after March 23, weeks before the 2005 Review Conference of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (RevCon) held in May.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice didn’t bother to address or even attend the 2005 RevCon. Instead, she sent some mid-level State Department weenie you’ve probably never heard of named Stephen Rademaker to instruct the conferees.

Knowing now, what they knew, then, we need to examine critically every thing Bush, Cheney, Condi, Jackie Sanders, Rademaker and our representatives said in the weeks before, during and after that 2005 RevCon. In particular, examine these excerpted remarks by Rademaker.

“Today, the treaty is facing the most serious challenge in its history due to instances of noncompliance. Although the vast majority of member states have lived up to their NPT nonproliferation obligations that constitute the treaty’s most important contribution to international peace and security, some have not.

“Indeed, Mr. President, some continue to use the pretext of a peaceful nuclear program to pursue the goal of developing nuclear weapons. We must confront this challenge in order to ensure that the treaty remains relevant. This Review Conference provides an opportunity for us to demonstrate our resolve by reaffirming our collective determination that noncompliance with the treaty’s core nonproliferation norms is a clear threat to international peace and security.

“For almost two decades, Iran has conducted a clandestine nuclear weapons program, aided by the illicit network of A. Q. Khan.

“Britain, France, and Germany, with our support, are seeking to reach a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear problem, a solution that given the history of clandestine nuclear weapons work in that country, must include permanent cessation of Iran’s enrichment and reprocessing efforts, as well as dismantlement of equipment and facilities related to such activity.”

Compare that with excerpted remarks by Iran’s Foreign Minister, Kamal Kharrazi:

It is unacceptable that ‘some’ intend to limit the access to peaceful nuclear technology to an exclusive club of technologically advanced states under the pretext of ‘nonproliferation.’ This attitude is in clear violation of the letter and spirit of the treaty and destroys the fundamental balance which exists between the rights and obligations in the treaty.

“Iran, for its part, is determined to pursue all legal areas of nuclear technology, including enrichment, exclusively for peaceful purposes and has been eager to offer assurances and guarantees that they remain permanently peaceful.”

Now we know that the Iranians negotiated in good faith. Now we know the EU didn’t.

They couldn’t.

In any case, the Europeans can’t provide “firm commitments” that the neo-crazies won’t nuke Iran on the slightest pretext – like, for example, the Iranians resuming their Safeguarded uranium-conversion activities.

No one can.

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.