Sisyphus was a character in Greek mythology, condemned
to roll a huge rock to the top of a steep hill, with said accursed rock rolling
back down again the moment Sisyphus thought he had accomplished his task.
In the modern version of this Greek tragedy, G. Aghazadeh, Vice-President of
Iran and President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, has been cast
The tragedy has its origin in the 1974
between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the
application of "safeguards" – in accordance with the IAEA
– on certain materials and activities proscribed by the Treaty
on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
The Safeguards Agreement was agreed to by Iran "for the exclusive purpose
of verification" by the IAEA "with a view of preventing
diversion" of any "source or special fissionable
material" to a military purpose.
IAEA Safeguards were to be applied to all Iranian source or special
fissionable materials, whether being stored or chemically/physically produced,
processed, transformed, utilized or disposed of as waste.
Last week Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA Director-General, made his most recent report
to the IAEA Board of Governors, entitled "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards
Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 and 1747
in the Islamic Republic of Iran."
So, what does ElBaradei have to say about the Iranian NPT Safeguards Agreement?
"The Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion
of declared nuclear material in Iran.
"Iran has provided the Agency with access to declared nuclear material
and has provided the required nuclear material accountancy reports in connection
with declared nuclear material and activities."
Okay, that’s that. The huge rock has been pushed to the top. Iran continues
to be in full compliance with all its obligations assumed as a NPT signatory.
But ElBaradei goes on.
"Iran has also responded to questions and provided clarifications
and amplifications on the issues raised in the context of the work plan,
with the exception of the alleged studies."
Work plan? Alleged studies?
What is ElBaradei talking about?
Well, on August 21, 2007, ElBaradei came to an "understanding" with Iran on
plan" for resolving outstanding "issues" – many of them originally
raised in the summer of 2005, by the Cheney Cabal, based upon studies allegedly
contained on an stolen laptop computer, said to belong to an Iranian engineer
(by then supposedly deceased) tangentially related to the implementation of
Iran’s Safeguards Agreement.
But, according to ElBaradei:
"The Agency has been able to conclude that answers provided by Iran,
in accordance with the work plan, are consistent with its findings — in
the case of the polonium-210 experiments and the Gchine mine — or are not
inconsistent with its findings — in the case of the contamination at the
technical university and the procurement activities of the former Head of
Okay, not only is Iran in full compliance with its NPT Safeguards Agreement,
but has provided accurate or not-inaccurate explanations for a dozen or so "issues"
– some of them related to activities in the 1980s and 1990s, many unrelated
or that are only tangentially related to its compliance with its Safeguards
"The one major remaining issue relevant to the nature of Iran’s nuclear
program is the alleged studies on the "green salt" project, high
explosives testing and the missile re-entry vehicle."
Then ElBaradei reminds the Board:
"However, it should be noted that the Agency has not detected the
use of nuclear material in connection with the alleged studies, nor does
it have credible information in this regard."
So, no need to push the rock to the top again; the alleged studies are evidently
none of the IAEA Board’s business.
The principal mission of the IAEA is to "enlarge the contribution of atomic
energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world." In accomplishing
its principal mission, the IAEA "shall ensure, so far as it is able"
that any such contribution under its control "is not used in such a way
as to further any military purpose."
But, you see, back in November, 2003, Iran signed an Additional Protocol to
its Safeguards Agreement, and immediately began cooperating with ElBaradei in
advance of its entering into force, legally.
Under the Additional Protocol, ElBaradei would be justified in making
the following statements about the "alleged studies":
"This is a matter of serious concern and critical to an assessment
of a possible military dimension to Iran’s nuclear program.
"The Agency was able to show some relevant documentation to Iran on 3–5
February 2008 and is still examining the allegations made and the statements
provided by Iran in response.
"Iran has maintained that these allegations are baseless and that the
data have been fabricated.
"The Agency’s overall assessment requires, inter alia, an understanding
of the role of the uranium metal document, and clarifications concerning the
procurement activities of some military related institutions still not provided
But, ElBaradei’s report makes clear that "an understanding" of the
"uranium metal document" requires a response to his questions by Pakistan,
ElBaradei’s report also makes it clear that Iran has provided explanations
of virtually all "procurement activities" involving "military-related
institutions" that can only be described as "dual-use" equipment,
such as vacuum pumps.
Finally, ElBaradei notes that;
"The Agency only received authorization to show some further material
to Iran on 15 February 2008. Iran has not yet responded to the Agency’s request
of that same date for Iran to view this additional documentation on the alleged
Incredible. On the eve of what was expected to be ElBaradei’s standard report
on the total compliance of Iran with its Safeguards Agreement, also containing
his final report on resolution of the issues addressed in the "work plan,"
Council of Resistance on Iran – the "political arm" of a U.S. State Department
designated "terrorist organization" – went public with highly inflammatory and
basically irrelevant charges to the IAEA that Iran (a) had recently established
a "new command and control center" at a military site at Mojdeh, a suburb
of Tehran, for a program code-named Lavizan-2, and (b) was actively pursuing
"production of nuclear warheads" at a military site at Khojir, code-named
to ElBaradei, he didn’t even get permission from the Cheney Cabal to reveal
to the Iranians the latest "terrorist organization" charges until
a week before he finished his final report on the "work plan," and,
as of the date of his report to the IAEA Board, Iran had not yet even had a
chance to learn what allegations had been made.
"In an interview concerning his latest report, ElBaradei attempted
to explain why his verification of the non-diversion of Iranian NPT proscribed
materials – thereby concluding his NPT-enabled mission – was not the end of
it. In light of the above, the Agency is not yet in a position to determine
the full nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
"In addition to our work, to clarify Iran´s past nuclear activities, we
have to make sure, naturally, that Iran´s current activities are also exclusively
for peace purposes and for that we have been asking Iran to conclude the so
called Additional Protocol, which gives us the additional authority to visit
places, additional authority to have additional documents, to be able to provide
assurance, not only that Iran´s declared activities are for peaceful purposes
but that there are no undeclared nuclear activities."
What ElBaradei should have said was, if and only if the Iranian Parliament
had ratified the Additional Protocol, then he would have been authorized
to "clarify Iran’s past nuclear activities" and to attempt to provide
assurance that there are no "undeclared nuclear activities."
But, thanks to the Cheney Cabal’s "smoking laptop" accusations, beginning
in the summer of 2005, the Iranian Parliament declined to ratify the Additional
Protocol and two years ago and directed their Atomic Energy Organization to
stop complying with any of its provisions.
So, ElBaradei isn’t so authorized. And, as far as the Iranians are concerned,
Sisyphus can cease perputally rolling the Cheney Cabal’s giant rock to the top
of the hill.