Bolton Really Is Bonkers

“This is a real test for the Security Council. There’s just no doubt that for close to 20 years, the Iranians have been pursuing nuclear weapons through a clandestine program that we’ve uncovered.

“If the U.N. Security Council can’t deal with the proliferation of nuclear weapons, can’t deal with the greatest threat we have with a country like Iran – that’s one of the leading state sponsors of terrorism – if the Security Council can’t deal with that, you have a real question of what it can deal with.”

Thus spake Bonkers Bolton, Bush’s Ambassador to the United Nations, on the eve of UN Security Council debate on what to do with the “Iranian Dossier” the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency had forwarded them at the request of the IAEA Board of Governors.

As required by the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Iran concluded in 1974 a Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency wherein Iran agreed to allow IAEA inspectors to satisfy themselves that no “source or special nuclear materials” are being used or have been used in furtherance of a nuclear weapons program.

Director-General ElBaradei reported to the IAEA Board just last month [.pdf] that no declared source or special nuclear materials had been used in furtherance of a nuclear weapons program, but that “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.”

Contrary to Bonkers Bolton, the Iranian dossier makes it clear that the IAEA has never uncovered any evidence whatsoever that Iran is now pursuing or has ever pursued a nuclear weapons program.

And, of course, whether Iran is – or is not – a leading state sponsor of terrorism is none of the IAEA’s beeswax.

So, how did the Security Council deal with a report whose principal conclusion was that the IAEA would need more time before finally concluding that there is no evidence to uncover?

Well, they noted with “serious concern” that after more than two years of intrusive inspections the Agency was still not in a position to conclude that Iran had declared all its activities that should have been declared.

Now, that’s obviously not what Bolton wanted or expected.

No Security Council resolution.

Not even a Presidential Statement declaring Iran “in violation of its NPT obligations.”

No suggestion that Iranian behavior “constituted a threat to international peace and security.”

In fact, the only concrete action the Council took was to “call on” Iran to resume cooperating with ElBaradei, as before.

Moreover, by emphasizing “the necessity of the IAEA continuing its work to clarify all outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear programme,” the Council even implied that the dossier was not properly a subject for Security Council consideration.

However, they did call on ElBaradei to produce another report in 30 days on how things were going and to send them a copy.

So, Bolton emerged from the final negotiating session to claim the Council was sending an unmistakable message to Iran that

“This is simply a statement that says to Iran, you have consistently disobeyed resolutions of the International Atomic Energy Agency, violated your safeguards agreements, you’ve violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, you must now come into compliance, and if in 30 days that hasn’t happened, and we expect a report from the IAEA director general, in 30 days the Security Council will be competent and ready to act.”

Now, the Presidential Statement, which was agreed to by both Russia and China, doesn’t say any of those things.

If it did, neither Russia or China would have agreed to it.

So, why does Bolton keep making such outrageous claims that are so obviously untrue and so easily determined – by anyone who doesn’t have a reading comprehension problem – to be without foundation?

And more to the point, why don’t the domestic and international news “reporters” challenge Bolton when he makes such obviously untrue claims?

Well, at least they’re reporting that the Bush-Cheney administration, which has repeatedly called Iran the biggest single threat to American security, intends to use this month to raise the consciousness about the nature of that threat.

In particular, Condi has reportedly urged the other permanent council members and Germany to take into account at next month’s Security Council meeting Iran’s calls for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” as well as its support for Syria and Hizbollah in Lebanon.

Now, why does that not surprise us?

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.