On the 60th anniversary of the establishment,
within the Mandate
for Palestine, of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state, President Bush told
Israel's legislature, that
"Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's
deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations."
Obviously, Bush does not intend to leave office having unforgivably betrayed
And, presumably, Bush was not referring to Israel, arguably the leading sponsor
of terror in the Middle East.
So, apparently – if one assumes Bush considers a nuclear weapon to be the "world's
deadliest weapon" – betrayal would mean his accepting at face value the
reports of Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy
Agency that virtually all the West's concerns – set forth in an Iran-IAEA "work
plan" signed last August – about Iran's IAEA Safeguarded programs have
now been addressed and resolved.
Iran – as required by the Treaty
on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – entered into a Safeguards Agreement
with the IAEA "for the exclusive purpose" of enabling the IAEA
to "verify" that no "source or special fissionable materials"
had been diverted "from peaceful purposes to nuclear weapons."
The IAEA is routinely – but falsely – described by neo-crazy media sycophants
as being the United Nation's "nuclear watchdog," responsible for determining
whether an NPT signatory is in compliance or noncompliance with the NPT.
In fact, the IAEA has no such responsibility.
The IAEA was established as a UN agency almost twenty before the NPT came along
and took advantage of the IAEA's existing capabilities, and as the IAEA Statute
makes clear, the IAEA's principal mission is to "enlarge the contribution
of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world."
The IAEA Statute
does require the IAEA – in the course of carrying out its primary mission
– to "ensure, so far as it is able" that activities over which it
has some purview are "not used in such a way as to further any military
In the event the IAEA Director-General has reason to believe a country is not
in satisfactory compliance with its Safeguards Agreement – perhaps not implementing
to the Director-General's satisfaction some health or safety regulation – he
is required to report that noncompliance – if not corrected – to the IAEA Board,
and to the UN General Assembly.
However, contrary to reports by various neo-crazy media sycophants – such as
Reuters – noncompliance
with an IAEA Safeguards Agreement is not tantamount to noncompliance
with the NPT. In fact, whether a signatory is complying with the NPT or not
is none of the IAEA's beeswax.
Since 1958, IAEA's principal mission vis a vis Iran is supposed
to have been to assist the Iranians acquire and safely employ atomic energy
for peaceful purposes.
Furthermore, since 1968 the NPT has required that "parties in a
position to do so" – such as the United States – "shall"
contribute "to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy
for peaceful purposes," especially in non-nuclear-weapons NPT signatory
states such as Iran.
So, at least since the early 1990s – following the disintegration of the Warsaw
Pact, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War and Bush the
Elder's ejection of Iraqi invasion forces from Kuwait – the United States and
the IAEA Board of Governors should have been doing everything they could to
help Iran secure its "inalienable rights" under the NPT and IAEA Statute.
Instead, The-Best-Congress-Money-Can-Buy and our Presidents have done everything
they could to prevent Iran's even resuming the peaceful nuclear energy
projects begun with US assistance under the Shah.
ElBaradei included in his
report last November the Iranian-supplied justification for the secretive
manner in which they have pursued the civilian nuclear power fuel-cycle, which
both the IAEA Statute and the NPT assure them is their inalienable right.
"According to Iran, in its early years, the Atomic Energy Organization of
Iran (AEOI) concluded a number of contracts with entities from France, Germany,
the United Kingdom and the United States of America to enable it to acquire
nuclear power and a wide range of related nuclear fuel cycle services, but after
the 1979 revolution, these contracts with a total value of around $10 billion
were not fulfilled.
"Iran noted that one of the contracts, signed in 1976, was for the development
of a pilot plant for laser enrichment.
"Senior Iranian officials said that, in the mid-1980s, Iran started working
with many countries to revitalize its nuclear program to meet the State's growing
energy needs. Taking advantage of investments already made, Iran said it focused
its efforts initially on the completion of the Bushehr nuclear power plant,
working with entities from, inter alia, Argentina, France, Germany and Spain,
but without success.
"At that time, Iran also initiated efforts to acquire research reactors
from Argentina, China, India and the former Soviet Union, but also without success.
"Parallel to the activities related to nuclear power plants, Iran started
to build supporting infrastructure by establishing nuclear technology centers
in Esfahan and Karaj.
"However, apart from uranium conversion technology acquired from an entity
in China, Iran was not able to acquire other nuclear fuel cycle facilities or
technology from abroad."
So, in the mid-1980s Iran embarked upon the secretive – but not illegal under
its existing Safeguards Agreement or under the NPT or international law – peaceful
nuclear program it has been revealing, in confidence, to ElBaradei.
In his most
recent report ElBaradei was "able to continue to verify the non-diversion
of declared nuclear material in Iran."
Even for those nuclear "weaponization" studies that Bush and the
Brits-French-Germans allege that Iran had conducted, ElBaradei 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."
Of course, it's possible that Bush doesn't consider accepting ElBaradei's assurances
that Iran's IAEA Safeguarded nuclear programs are totally peaceful an unforgivable
betrayal to future generations after all. In that case, imagine the Israelis
trying to figure out what the man – adjudged by John McCain to be "dumb
as a stump" – was talking about.