According to Reuters' Louis
Charbonneau a neo-crazy media sycophant if ever there was one
those despicable Iranians "broke UN seals at a uranium processing plant"
According to Charbonneau, the International Atomic Energy Agency "put
on the seals after Tehran agreed with the European Union's biggest powers to
halt all nuclear fuel work last November to ease tensions after the IAEA found
Iran had hidden weapons-grade highly enriched uranium."
"Tehran defied EU warnings [that] it could now be referred to the UN
Security Council for possible sanctions for having kept its uranium enrichment
work secret for years until it was found out in 2002 breaking
the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty."
Now, all of that "reporting" is at best misleading.
And deliberately so.
Charbonneau is deliberately misleading you about (a) what the IAEA "found"
back in 2002, (b) why the IAEA seals were in place, (c) what the Iranians did
last week, and last but most important (d) what constitutes a
"breaking" of the NPT.
Bush-Cheney officials have repeatedly charged that the Iranians have broken
the NPT and that they are seeking to manufacture or "otherwise acquire"
But if the Iranians were breaking the NPT, who would be in the best position
to know? The Bush-Cheney officials who made similar charges about Iraq?
Neo-crazy media sycophants like Charbonneau?
No. It does you no good to have a nuclear weapons program if you can't beg,
borrow, or steal the tens of kilograms of fissile material that are absolutely
required to make a nuke. So the NPT requires no-nuke states like Iran to subject
all "source or special fissionable materials" and all activities involving
such materials to an IAEA safeguards agreement.
The IAEA Statute
not the NPT provides a mechanism for ensuring "compliance
with the undertaking against use [of safeguarded materials and activities] in
furtherance of any military purpose."
The IAEA Statute not the NPT requires the IAEA Board of Governors
to report any use "in furtherance of any military purpose" to all
IAEA members, to the UN General Assembly, and to the Security Council.
If, as Charbonneau charges, IAEA inspectors had found "hidden weapons-grade
highly enriched uranium" in Iran, they would have been required to report
that to the Board, and the Board would have been required to report that to
the Security Council.
But they didn't. In fact, Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei has reported to
the Board on numerous occasions that IAEA inspectors have found no "indication"
that Iran now has, ever had, or intends to have a nuclear weapons program.
So what did the IAEA "find" back in 2002?
In the process of negotiating an additional protocol to the existing Iranian
safeguards agreement, Iran voluntarily told the IAEA back in 2002 that, as a
result of the United States forcing Russia to cancel the sale of a turnkey gas-centrifuge
plant which the Iranians had an "inalienable right" to acquire
and operate under the NPT the Iranians had been attempting to construct
gas centrifuges of similar design. Furthermore, once they had constructed several
thousand and got them to work, they planned to construct a uranium-enrichment
pilot plant and, eventually, construct a commercial scale uranium-enrichment
plant at Natanz.
But contrary to Charbonneau and the neo-crazies, under the Iranian safeguards
agreement as it then existed, the Iranians were not obligated to tell the IAEA
about any of that activity until they began processing "source or special
nuclear materials" for introduction into those gas centrifuges.
So why were there IAEA "seals" on those uranium-conversion facilities?
Well, the Iranians had volunteered to suspend all such activities for the duration
of the EU-Iranian negotiations. Since the facilities were all already safeguarded,
the IAEA was "invited" to verify the suspension.
But the IAEA is not a party to the EU-Iranian talks.
So what could the Board possibly report to the Security Council? That the EU
and Iran hoped to conclude an agreement that "will provide objective guarantees"
that "Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes"
and that it "will equally provide firm guarantees" to Iran "on
nuclear, technological, and economic cooperation and firm commitments on security
That on March 23, Iran offered a package of "objective guarantees"
to the EU that included a voluntary "confinement" of Iran's nuclear
programs? That the EU never responded to the Iranian offer? That the EU never
offered Iran "firm commitments on security issues"?
That the Iranians decided to end their voluntary suspension of safeguarded
activities and had so informed the IAEA?
None of that is any of the IAEA's business. So why report it?