Nuke-Free Zone

The Neo-Crazies, in cahoots with the Anti-Nuclear-Whatever crazies, have managed to get Western politicians from across the political spectrum to view-with-alarm the Iranian nuclear weapons “threat.” Of course, as those politicians know, there is no evidence whatsoever that Iran is now a nuke threat.

Know, because until March of this year Iran had voluntarily cooperated with Director-General ElBaradei and staff of the International Atomic Energy Agency as if an unratified Additional Protocol to their 1974 Safeguards Agreement was actually in force.

After more than three years, comprising 1700 man-days of inspections, the IAEA found “no indication” there were “undeclared source or special nuclear materials” in Iran. Furthermore, they found no indication that any declared source or special nuclear materials had been diverted to military purpose.

As for Iran comprising a nuke threat, the IAEA inspectors didn’t even find trace amounts of almost pure Uranium-235, much less the hundreds of pounds that would be needed to make a few first-generation nukes.

But the almost certain knowledge that there is no Iranian nuke threat doesn’t faze Western politicians.

Nor does the knowledge appear to faze them that if George Bush nukes Iran – as he and his henchmen keep threatening – we are all going to be in a heap of trouble.

What’s more puzzling is why the Western media elite do not challenge the oft repeated assertions by Western politicians and government officials that we have “no choice” but to remove the Iranian nuke “threat,” by force “if necessary.”

The Western media elite also repeatedly report that Iran’s alleged nuke program – if not actually on the agenda – is a hotly debated sideline topic at recent meetings of the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the China-Arab Cooperation Forum, the Non-Aligned Movement’s Ministerial Meeting, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the upcoming meeting of the Group of Eight.

But it’s not hotly debated.

On the contrary, Iran is acknowledged to be a principal defender of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear weapons and a principal advocate of a “nuclear-weapon-free” zone in the Middle East. Most notably at the 2005 NPT Review Conference (made disastrous by Condi’s quasi-boycott), but also at the “high-level event” (savaged by Bonkers Bolton) that immediately preceded last year’s 60th Session of the UN General Assembly, by the address of their new President before the General Assembly last September, and in addresses made by high-level Iranian officials at quarterly meetings of the IAEA Board of Governors.

In fact, virtually all meetings of all these organizations end with expressions of strong support for the NPT (and implicitly, Iran) and its “three pillars” – [1] non-proliferation, [2] disarmament and [3] the inalienable right to peacefully use nuclear technology.

Note that for the anti-nuclear-whatever crazies, that third NPT pillar is bad.

And for the neo-crazies, that second NPT pillar is really bad.

Nevertheless, soon after taking office, with the Cold War won, President Clinton began taking positive steps towards compliance with the NPT disarmament provisions.

By 1995 Clinton had gotten all signatories to agree to extend the life of NPT – originally requiring renewal every five years – indefinitely.

The first Review Conference to assess NPT effectiveness – held in 2000 – was considered by the disarmament crowd to be a great success, in spite of the fact that in 1998 both India and Pakistan (neither country an NPT signatory) had detonated their homegrown nukes for the first time.

Why a success?

Because Clinton committed the United States to “an unequivocal undertaking” to accomplish “the total elimination” of our nuke arsenal, as well as to “a reaffirmation” of the commitment in UN Security Council resolution 984 to “give security assurances against the use of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear-weapon States that are Parties” to the NPT.

Wait a minute.

Haven’t the Iranians been insisting that Bush resume taking those steps towards early nuke disarmament agreed to at the 2000 NPT Review Conference?

Haven’t the Iranians been insisting that Bush reaffirm the commitment made as a signatory to the NPT to “cooperate” in contributing to the “applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” especially “in non-nuclear-weapons States”?

Finally, haven’t the Iranians been asking the Brits-French-Germans to hold Bush to the US commitment to never nuke a non-nuclear-weapons State?

Well, maybe there’s hope. The Russians and Chinese – who already have oil, gas and nuclear energy co-development projects in Iran – will join the Brits-French-Germans in the next round of negotiations. Maybe they can explain to Dubya (or McCain or Hillary) why nuking those CO-development projects wouldn’t be a good idea.

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.