Diplomatic Solution à la Condi Rice

According to Bush-Cheney sycophantic "reporter" Glenn Kessler, Bush’s alleged support for the diplomatic "solution" proposed by Secretary of State Condi Rice "suggests he increasingly is determined to put aside a possible military strike" to "end" Iran’s nuclear programs – all currently verifiably "Safeguarded" against diversion to any military purpose by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

And what is Condi’s diplomatic solution? Well, it amounts to the Iranian Mullahs "verifiably" committing suicide.

Shortly after Bush replaced Colin Powell with Condi, she had a munchkin inform the conferees at the 2005 Review Conference on the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, being held at United Nations Headquarters, that –

“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.”

The previous November, Britain, France and Germany (E3) – allegedly on behalf of the European Union – had began negotiations under the so-called Paris Accord, which begins with the E3/EU recognizing “Iran’s rights under the NPT.”

However, for the duration of the negotiations – which were initially expected to last six-months – Iran offered to continue voluntarily adhering to an Additional Protocol to its IAEA NPT Safeguards Agreement, in advance of its ratification.

Iran also offered to extend its voluntary suspension of all uranium-enrichment and spent-fuel reprocessing related activities.

For its part, the E3/EU recognized that these suspensions were "voluntary confidence-building" measures and "not a legal obligation.”

As we now know [.pdf], more than a month before Condi’s ultimatum about what she would consider an acceptable outcome of their negotiations, the Iranians had made a confidential offer to the E3/EU which included:

  • Restrictions on Iran’s nascent uranium-enrichment program

(a) a verifiable ceiling on enrichment level,

(b) immediate conversion of all enriched-uranium to reactor-fuel

(c) a verifiable ceiling on reactor-fuel quantity,

  • Iran’s foregoing its NPT right to reprocess spent fuel
  • Legislative and regulatory measures

(a) ratification by Iran’s Parliament of the Additional Protocol,

(b) a prohibition against development or acquisition of nuclear weapons

  • Continuous on-site presence of IAEA inspectors at uranium conversion and enrichment facilities above and beyond that required by the Additional Protocol

Condi essentially prevented the E3/EU from even acknowledging receipt of this magnanimous offer.

So, on August 1, 2005, the Iranians informed the IAEA Director-General – who had agreed to verify the voluntary suspension of certain IAEA Safeguarded activities for the duration of the Paris Accord negotiations – that they intended to resume some of those Safeguarded activities, which had now been suspended for almost two years.

“Against all its sincere efforts and maximum flexibility, Iran has not received a proposal as of today, and all public and diplomatic information, [particularly the letter of 29 July 2005 of the E3 Ministers] indicate that the content of the eventual proposal will be totally unacceptable.

“We have been informed that the [eventual] proposal not only fails to address Iran’s rights for peaceful development of nuclear technology, but even falls far short of correcting the illegal and unjustified restrictions placed on Iran’s economic and technological development – let alone providing firm guarantees for economic, technological and nuclear cooperation and firm commitments on security issues.

“It must be underlined that all States party to the NPT, without discrimination, have an inalienable right to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. As this right is “inalienable,” it cannot be undermined or curtailed under any pretext. Any attempt to do so, would be an attempt to undermine a pillar of the Treaty and indeed the Treaty itself.”

Subsequent attempts by Condi to reach a "diplomatic" solution to her "Iranian nuclear problem," went on to undermine the IAEA and the UN Security Council, itself.

In particular, Condi effected passage of UNSC Resolution 1747 on 24 March, 2007, which began with the Security Council –

“Reaffirming its commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the need for all States Party to that Treaty to comply fully with all their obligations, and recalling 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,”

but then proceeding to "discriminate," explicitly denying Iran all its NPT rights.

Unbelievably, the resolution even “called” upon all States to deny Iran any items on the UN Register on Conventional Arms!

Here’s what Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had to say when he was finally allowed to address the Security Council, after – of course – UNSCR 1747 had already passed.

“This is the fourth time in the last 12 months that in an unwarranted move, orchestrated by a few of its permanent members, the Security Council is being abused to take an unlawful, unnecessary and unjustifiable action against the peaceful nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which presents no threat to international peace and security and falls therefore outside the Council’s Charter-based mandate.

“In order to give this scheme a semblance of international legitimacy, its initiators first manipulated the IAEA Board of Governor and – as they acknowledged themselves – “coerced” some of its members to vote against Iran in the Board, and then have taken advantage of their substantial economic and political power to pressure and manipulate the Security Council to adopt three unwarranted resolutions within 8 months.

“As an organ of an international Organization created by States, the Security Council is bound by law, and Member States have every right to insist that the Council keep within the powers that they accorded it under the Charter of the United Nations.

“The Security Council must exercise those powers consistently with the purposes and principles of the Charter.

“Equally, the measures it takes must be consistent with the purposes and principles of the United Nations and with other international law. Members of the Security Council do not have the right to undermine the Council’s credibility."

So, what do you think? Will Undersecretary William Burns, Condi’s emissary to the E3/EU talks, which will also include emissaries from China and Russia, be able to persuade Saeed Jalili, Iran’s nuclear negotiator, and the ruling Mullahs to "dismantle" their IAEA Safeguarded programs? Or will Bush the Younger have to "take them out," himself, before leaving office?

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.