Just last month, Russia Foreign Ministry spokesman
Andrei Nesterenko had this
to say –
"We do not see any sort of 'fire' that requires us to toss everything aside
and meet to discuss Iran's nuclear program in the middle of a packed week at
the United Nations General Assembly.
"On the contrary, there are more urgent questions – for example, the
situation in Afghanistan and along the Afghan-Pakistan border – but our Western
partners for some reason aren't rushing to discuss these."
What was the reaction of the paranoids, here and abroad, who irrationally regard
Iran's nuclear programs – subject for more than thirty years to a Safeguards
Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, from which the IAEA reported
as recently as last
month that there is "no indication" that any Safeguarded materials
have ever been "diverted" from peaceful purposes – to be an
"existential threat" to Israel?
Well, Gabriela Shalev, Israel's UN Ambassador had this to say –
"Time here is of the essence. We know that Iran is developing its nuclear
capabilities, we know that Iran is going to share this capacity with others
and this presents an immediate threat to Israel, from Hamas in the south [and
from] Hizbullah in the north."
When asked about efforts to punish Iran (for refusing to give up IAEA Safeguarded
programs to which, as a signatory to the Treaty
on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Iran is affirmed to have an "inalienable"
right) outside the UN framework, she answered, "We should do whatever we can."
Well, that was last month.
Since then – thanks to the repeal (beginning under President Clinton) of important
regulatory constraints on Wall Street financial institutions and their instruments
of mass destruction by The Best Congress Money Can Buy – the vultures have come
home to roost, all over the world.
Many trillions of dollars of "wealth" have simply disappeared, threatening
the international financial system, itself, to say nothing of the dollar as
its reserve currency.
In particular, in recent weeks the Russian stock market has lost half its value
and is down more than 75% from its high in May.
Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin warned
last month that Russia's 2009 federal budget would have a deficit if the country's
main export blend, Urals crude, dropped below $70.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is holding an extraordinary
meeting next month to discuss the impact of the deepening global recession on
OPEC revenues. Some analysts predict that the group will agree to reduce output
to prevent the price of oil from dropping further.
Of course, there is one sure way to reduce OPEC output and prevent the price
from dropping further: let the Likudnik paranoids "Bomb-Bomb Iran."
According to "a senior Pentagon official," President George W. Bush
gave the Israeli government in July the "amber
light" for future military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.
"Amber means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate
attack and tell us when you're ready."
Might the "amber light" turn green? Yes, "if negotiations with
Tehran break down."
What negotiations? And what constitutes their "breaking down"?
Well, apparently Bush was referring to his attempts to get the Russians and
Chinese to agree to increasingly punitive sanctions being imposed by the UN
Security Council for Iran's refusing to suspend indefinitely its IAEA Safeguarded
If so, then certainly in the opinion of the Likudniks, Russia's refusal last
month to even consider the imposition of such sanctions constitutes "negotiations
Furthermore, the reception the Iranian delegation got at that UN General Assembly
meeting – to put it mildly – dismayed the Israeli Ambassador.
"It was very upsetting, the whole atmosphere – yesterday they [the Iranians]
were hugged and applauded."
And why not? Just a few days before, IAEA Director-General ElBaradei had issued
his most recent report
on Iran's Safeguarded programs and facilities, in which
"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
accounting reports in connection with declared nuclear material and activities."
But what about ElBaradei's six "concerns"?
Understand that these concerns did not relate to those activities and
information required to be subject to Iran's Safeguards Agreement. They didn't
even relate to those activities and information that would have been
required if the Iranian Parliament had ever ratified an Additional Protocol
to Iran's Safeguards Agreement.
No, ElBaradei's concerns arose from the illegal (under the IAEA Statute) commission
by the IAEA Board of Governors for him to develop a "coherent picture"
of Iran's entire nuclear program, requiring Iran to submit to certain "transparency"
measures going far, far beyond anything legally required of Iran. To that end,
the UN Security Council illegally (under the UN Charter) imposed sanctions upon
Iran, requiring the suspension of all Iranian nuclear programs – specifically
those ongoing IAEA Safeguarded activities involving uranium enrichment – pending
ElBaradei's report that his concerns had been satisfied.
In August of 2007, with the objective of satisfying those six concerns, Iran
concluded a "Work Plan" (IAEA
INFCIRC/711) with ElBaradei.
Paragraph 5 of Chapter IV of that Work Plan states;
"The Agency and Iran agreed that, after the implementation of the above
Work Plan and the agreed modalities for resolving the outstanding issues, the
implementation of safeguards in Iran will be conducted in a routine manner."
In his report of February
2008, ElBaradei explicitly stated that all six outstanding issues had been
But what about the "smoking
laptop" and the so-called "alleged studies"?
Well, Chapter III of the Work Plan states;
"As a sign of good will and cooperation with the Agency, upon receiving
all related documents, Iran will review and inform the Agency of its assessment."
Well, none of the actual smoking laptop "documents" have ever been
delivered to Iran by the IAEA, perhaps because the IAEA doesn't have them.
However, the Iranians say they have "carefully examined" all the
Power Point presentations provided them, which they believe were prepared by
the U.S. for the IAEA.
Whereupon, on 28 September 2008 the Iranians sent a Note
Verbale to the IAEA Secretariat to be distributed to all members of the
IAEA General Conference which concludes;
"Taking into account [the fact] that there is no valid and documentary
evidence purporting to show any linkage between such fabricated allegations
and Iran, and no use of any nuclear material in connection to the alleged studies…and
the fact that the Director General has already indicated in his report in June
and September 2008 that the Agency has no information on the actual design or
manufacture by Iran of nuclear components of a nuclear weapon, or of certain
other key components – such as initiators – or on related physics studies, this
subject [of the "alleged studies"] must be closed."
So, has the light turned green for Israel?