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November 1, 2008

Ghosties, Ghoulies and Iran's Nuclear Program


by Gordon Prather

"From Ghosties and Ghoulies and Long-Legged Beasties and Things that Go Bump in the Night, Good Lord deliver Us." So goes an old Scottish bedtime prayer. But, this Halloween – if various neo-crazies, fellow travelers and their media sycophants are to be believed – children ought to include Iran's nuclear programs in that list.

Just over a month ago, the Grand Pooh-Bahs of the Bipartisan Policy Center released a report that concluded Iran's refusal to suspend, indefinitely, its IAEA Safeguarded programs "may pose the most significant strategic threat to the United States during the next administration."

Never mind that last year's National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear programs conclude that Iran had "suspended" way back in 2003 whatever "nuclear warhead" work they may have been doing.

According to the Bipartisan Grand Pooh-Bahs –

"Its [the NIE's] artificial separation between military and civilian technology contradicts a reality where such distinction cannot be made. Despite Tehran's protestations, we do not believe its program is inherently peaceful in nature."

Last week the Washington Post published a summary by the Co-Chairmen of the Bipartisan Policy Center "task force" that produced the scary report. Among other things;

"We believe the only acceptable end state is the complete cessation of enrichment activities inside Iran. We foresee no combination of international inspections or co-ownership of enrichment facilities that would provide sufficient assurances that Iran is not producing weapons-grade fissile material."

Now, the NPT reaffirms the "inalienable" rights of all signatories (which includes Iran, but does not include Israel) to that enjoyment; subject, of course, to a specially negotiated Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, entered into for the "exclusive purpose" of ensuring that no "special nuclear materials" are diverted to a military purpose.

Contrary to the claims of the BPC Grand Pooh-Bahs, the BPC Task Force Chairmen, the neo-crazies (and their various fellow travelers) and their media sycophants, the IAEA Director-General has never even suggested that any such materials may have been diverted to a military purpose.

In fact, as a result of having successfully undergone years of such unprecedented discriminatory scrutiny, the Islamic regime has emerged as the most vocal defender of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and its nuke proliferation-prevention regime, and as the most vocal critic of the way it has been violated. To the dismay of the Israeli Ambassador, the Iranians were "hugged" and "cheered," primarily for that defense and criticism, at the September meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York City.

In contrast, here is what the UN Security Council had to say in UNSCR 487, which was passed in the immediate aftermath of the Israeli attack on Iraq's IAEA Safeguarded facilities at Tuwaitha back in 1981;

"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;

"Noting furthermore that Israel has not adhered to the non-proliferation Treaty,

"Deeply concerned about the danger to international peace and security created by the premeditated Israeli air attack on Iraqi nuclear installations on 7 June 1981, which could at any time explode the situation in the area, with grave consequences for the vital interests of all States,

"Considering that, under the terms of Article 2, paragraph 4, of the Charter of the United Nations: "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations,"

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

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

"3. 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."

Back then, we and the rest of the world "strongly" condemned the Israeli attack on IAEA Safeguarded facilities.

However, the Israelis (and the neo-crazies, fellow travelers and media sycophants) continue to claim they had no choice but to remove the Iraqi threat to Israel's existence.

Now, that same paranoid crowd is claiming they have no choice but to remove the Iranian threat to Israel's existence.

Just this week, George Jahn, a neo-crazy media sycophant if there ever was one, published an inflammatory article, based upon a three-page "intelligence assessment," provided by "an IAEA member," alleging that Iran had just completed "tests" allegedly involving the recovery of "highly enriched uranium" from spent fuel.

"'Procedures were evaluated for recycling fuel by dissolving fuel rods' for irradiated waste and then reprocessing the material into uranium metal, says the intelligence assessment. ..."

"'Sufficient data was collected for planning production lines for recovering the fuel,' says the assessment, which gave Tehran's Jaber ibn Hayan Laboratories, run by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as the location for the experiment."

What Jahn doesn't mention is that – as was the case with Iraq – all Iranian nuclear facilities, NPT-proscribed materials and activities involving the chemical or physical transformation of them are subject to Iran's Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA.

Jahn goes on to "report" that

"The alleged tests loosely replicate Saddam Hussein's attempts to build the bomb nearly two decades ago."

Jahn is apparently referring to the Israeli (now-discredited) belief – which formed the basis for their "preventive" attack on Iraq's IAEA Safeguarded facilities back in 1981 – that Saddam intended to somehow recover the highly-enriched (but not weapons-grade) uranium from the IAEA Safeguarded fuel provided him by the French, for the French-built, IAEA Safeguarded, Osiraq reactor.

So, doesn't that suggest to you the paranoid "source" of Jahn's 3-page "intelligence" report?

Hint; the same paranoid "source" apparently also told Israel Insider that two recent earthquakes in Iran were, in fact, underground tests of Iranian nuclear weapons. Talk about "Things that Go Bump in the Night."


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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.

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