Well, according to Reuters, France-Britain-Germany
"warned" Iran that they will "break off talks and join Washington
in seeking UN Security Council action if Tehran makes good on its threats to
resume atomic work."
Poodle Blair promptly announced, "We certainly will support referral to the
UN Security Council if Iran breaches its undertakings and obligations."
What talks? What Iranian threats? What breaches? What Iranian undertakings?
What Iranian obligations?
Well, the French-Brit-German and Iranian foreign ministers met in Tehran back
in October of 2003, emerging to announce that the Iranian government had been
persuaded to sign an additional protocol to its Safeguards Agreement with the
International Atomic Energy Agency and to immediately commence ratification
procedures. In the meantime, as a "confirmation of its good intentions,"
the Iranian government volunteered to cooperate with the IAEA
in accordance with the additional protocol.
Furthermore, even though Iran had the "inalienable right" as a signatory
to the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons to develop nuclear energy
for peaceful purposes, Iran announced that as a further "confidence-building
measure" it would temporarily suspend all uranium enrichment
and processing activities already planned or underway
Last November, the French-Brit-German foreign ministers acting as agents
for the European Union began "talks" with Iran on "a mutually acceptable
To build further confidence, Iran decided to voluntarily continue
its temporary suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities,
the manufacture and import of gas centrifuges and their components;
the assembly, installation, testing, or operation of gas centrifuges;
work to undertake any plutonium separation, or to construct or operate
any plutonium separation installation; and
all tests or production at any uranium conversion installation.
The IAEA was officially notified of this voluntary suspension
and invited to verify and monitor it.
The IAEA Board of Governors was officially notified that the voluntary
suspension by Iran was not a legal obligation and would be sustained
only so long as the EU-Iranian talks continued.
What did the Europeans hope to gain from these "talks"?
Essentially, a normalization of diplomatic and economic relations with oil-gas-rich
What did Iran hope to gain from these "talks"?
They, too, wanted normalization: the lifting of economic sanctions that have
been imposed and threatened for more than 20 years by the U.S. on Russian, Chinese,
South American, and European companies that do business with Iran.
But more than that, Iran wanted tangible recognition by the EU of their inalienable
right under the NPT to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Finally, Iran sought firm guarantees from the EU that Iranian peaceful "nuclear"
activities and facilities would be secure from attack or destruction.
So even though Reuters "reports" that the EU is breaking off the
"talks" because the Iranians have "threatened" to resume
subject to their IAEA Safeguards Agreement converting uranium-tetrafluoride
to uranium-hexafluoride, it is more likely that it is Iran breaking off the
talks because the EU has been unable to overcome U.S. objections to establishing
normal diplomatic and trade relations with Iran, much less providing the Iranians
guarantees against U.S. or Israeli preemptive strikes.
What happens next?
Well, the Iranians will probably turn to Russia and China to secure tangible
recognition of their inalienable rights, as well as protection against U.S.
or Israeli preemptive strikes.
How about the EU?
Well, President Bush (who wasn't even a party to the "talks") says
he's going to take the decision by Iran to resume certain safeguarded activities
voluntarily suspended, temporarily to the UN Security Council. And poodle
Blair says he'll support that referral.
That's nuttier than when Bush and Bolton were demanding that the IAEA Board
refer to the UN Security Council the "nuclear weapons program" they
claimed Iran was pursuing that Director General ElBaradei had spent two years
searching Iran for, and could find absolutely no evidence of.
At least there's a provision in the IAEA Statute reaffirmed at the 2000 NPT
Review Conference for Bush-Bolton doing that.
"The Conference reaffirms that the IAEA is the competent authority
responsible to verify and assure in accordance with the statute of the IAEA
and the IAEA's safeguards system compliance with its safeguards agreements
with states parties
"States parties that have concerns regarding noncompliance with the
safeguards agreements of the treaty by the states parties should direct such
concerns, along with supporting evidence and information, to the IAEA to consider,
investigate, draw conclusions, and decide on necessary actions in accordance
with its mandate."