Waiting For ElBaradei’s Swan Song

The Egyptian Envoy to the Non-Aligned Movement has sent a formal letter to fellow Egyptian Mohamed ElBaradei – Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Secretariat – urging him to support the inclusion, at next week’s regular session of the IAEA General Conference, an agenda item sponsored by virtually all members of the Non-Aligned Movement entitled "Prohibition of Armed Attack or Threat of Attack Against [IAEA Safeguarded] Nuclear Installations, During Operation or Under Construction."

Now, the IAEA General Conference has already passed such a resolution – entitled almost identically, also introduced by Iran – way back in September 1990.

Why did Iran want such an IAEA resolution back then?

Well, there had been the attack and destruction by Israel of the French-built, French-fueled IAEA-Safeguarded nuclear-research reactor at Osiraq, Iraq in 1981.

Here are excerpts from UN Security Council Resolution 487 condemning that Israeli pre-emptive strike.

"Fully aware of the fact that Iraq has been a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons since it came into force in 1970, that, in accordance with that treaty, Iraq has accepted IAEA safeguards on all its nuclear activities, and that the agency has testified that these safeguards have been satisfactorily applied to date;

"Strongly condemns the military attack by Israel – in clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international conduct;

"Calls upon Israel to refrain in the future from any such acts or threats thereof;

"Further considers that the said attack constitutes a serious threat to the entire IAEA safeguards regime, which is the foundation of the non-proliferation treaty."

That’s the UN Security Council, expressing concern for the effects of the Israeli attack on the efficacy of the NPT-IAEA nuclear-weapon proliferation-prevention regime, and strongly condemning Israel for a clear violation of the UN Charter prohibition against the use of force.

Note that under Chapter VII, the Security Council is empowered to authorize Member Nations to use armed force, if necessary, to see to it that Israel never does – even threatens to do – anything like that ever again.

But, every four years a non-governmental entity – the Washington Institute for Near East Policy – takes it upon itself to convene a Presidential Study Group and to "charge" it with drafting a "blueprint" for guiding the incoming US administration’s Middle East policy.

Four years ago the WINEP study group began by declaring that

"Stopping Iran short of achieving a nuclear weapons capability – by diplomacy if possible; by other means, if necessary – is a vital U.S. interest.

"Coordinating with Israel on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program is crucial. Given the Islamic Republic’s stated position denying Israel’s right to exist, its proven track record of terrorism against Israeli and Jewish interests, its active support of groups that kill Israelis and undermine peace diplomacy, and its development of a long-range capability to strike at Israel (a capability that could reach other U.S. allies as well), Israel understandably views Iran’s nuclear programs with the gravest concern.

"Because the United States and Israel may share a similar – though not identical – calculus about the sense of urgency posed by Iranian proliferation and the options to address it, it is important for Washington and Jerusalem to work together, at the highest levels, to ensure that their analysis and their policies are as complementary and coordinated as possible."

Well, no one can deny that the Bush-Cheney-Bolton administration did its dead-level best to implement that WINEP U.S.-Israeli "coordinated" policy "guidance."

And a "convenor" of that 2005 WINEP Presidential Study Group was Dennis Ross, now the Obama-Biden administration’s National Security Council senior weenie for implementing such "Near East policy."

So, you shouldn’t have been too surprised when VicePresident Biden echoed last month the view VicePresident Cheney expressed at the beginning of the second Bush-Cheney-Bolton administration.

Neither Cheney nor Biden gave Israel a "yellow-caution light" for its continual threats – in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 487 – to bomb Iranian IAEA Safeguarded facilities. Much less did Cheney/Biden give Israel a "red-stop light" to implementing its well developed plans to actually attack and destroy those IAEA Safeguarded facilities "if it chose to do so."

Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani had this to say to reporters during an official visit last month to Persian Gulf neighbor and fellow NAM-member Qatar;

"We will consider the Americans responsible in any adventure launched by the Zionist entity.

"No politician or person in the world can imagine that the Zionist entity can lead an operation without getting the green light from the United States."

So, why appeal to the IAEA General Conference to pass once again another un-enforceable resolution entitled "Prohibition of Armed Attack or Threat of Attack Against [IAEA Safeguarded] Nuclear Installations, During Operation or Under Construction"?

Because, back in February, 2006, as a result of strenuous arm-twisting by Bush-Cheney-Bolton, the thoroughly corrupted IAEA Board of Governors outrageously exceeded its authority [.pdf] under both the IAEA Statute and the UN Charter, "deeming it necessary" for Iran, among other things, to "implement transparency measures" – as "requested by the Director-General" – "which extend beyond the formal requirements of the Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol, and include such access to individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual use equipment, certain military-owned workshops and research and development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations."


Worse, Bush-Cheney-Bolton got the UN Security Council to disregard the outright violations of the IAEA Statute by the Board – obviously not taken with the approbation of the overwhelming majority of the IAEA General Conference – andto disregard the letter and spirit of the articles in Chapter VII governing the authority of the Security Council, requiring Iran to comply with the outrageous, statutorily-illegal demands of the IAEA Board.

As Iranian IAEA representative Ali Asghar Soltanieh put it to reporters last week on a visit to neighboring NAM-member Azerbaijan, while discussing the need for the IAEA General Conference to adopt yet another resolution banning attacks and threats of attacks against IAEA Safeguard facilities;

"I want to bring to your attention that the Iranian nuclear program has been submitted to the UN Security Council for discussions without any legal justification and contrary to international norms.

"Despite this, Iran has demonstrated patience and firmness. Despite attempts by the U.S. and some Western countries to force Iran to go beyond the NPT treaty and breaking ties with the IAEA, Iran is cooperating and will cooperate with the IAEA. I want to assure you that Iran will not abandon its nuclear program and does not impose a limit on its relationship with the IAEA.

"Official Tehran’s permission to the IAEA to control the nuclear facilities demonstrates the good intentions of Iran. The Iranian lawyers and experts in technology study each request of the IAEA. If the IAEA request does not contradict international obligations and does not threaten the national security, this desire is satisfied. At the end of this week or next week, the IAEA will publish its new report, linked to Iran’s nuclear program. I believe that the new report will reflect Iran’s positive activity.

Well, what about the reports by warmongering-sycophants George Jahn and Louis Charbonneau that "western diplomats" will attempt to force ElBaradei to attach as an annex to his last IAEA report as Director-General, an IAEA-Confidential analysis of the IAEA "investigations" into the "alleged information" supplied to the IAEA by the CIA?

Quoth Iranian envoy Soltanieh;

"I must inform you that at all annual meetings of the IAEA, the NAM countries, particularly Iran and Azerbaijan, express their concern over a secret report spread in the media by the IAEA inspectors. The IAEA must maintain the confidentiality of data obtained as a result of secret research.

"The IAEA Secretary-General was sent the [NAM] letter with the request that the secretariat and other structures will take measures to preserve the confidentiality of secret information. Any country cooperates with the IAEA inspectors and provides them with all the information that appears in the press even before it is announced in the report of the Director of the organization. The emergence of confidential report in the media is one of disturbing problems we face. For example, some countries intend to use the data for political purposes."

Since, the outrageous illegal resolutions of the IAEA Board and of the UN Security Council – requiring that the concerns of the IAEA "Secretary-General" be satisfied – are the basis for these "confidential-secret" investigations, it will be more than interesting to hear what ElBaradei has to say about that in his swan song to the Board and the General Conference.

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.