Ever since Condi Rice became secretary of state,
she and her lackeys have been running around in circles of diminishing radius,
muttering something about the "necessity" of referring Iran to the
UN Security Council for "action."
Well, according to their statute,
whenever inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency discover "special
nuclear materials" that are – or ought to be – subject to an IAEA Safeguards
Agreement being used "in furtherance of a military purpose," the IAEA
Board of Governors is required to report such use to the Security Council for
Way back in 1991, IAEA inspectors discovered that Iraq – a signatory to the
Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons – had attempted to produce
fissile materials "in furtherance of a military purpose."
Under Iraq's existing Safeguards Agreement, the IAEA had had no authority to
look for special nuclear materials and/or activities involving their physical
or chemical transformation that should have been declared but weren't.
So by 1997, the IAEA Board had developed a Model Additional Protocol – providing
intrusive go-anywhere, see-anything authority similar to that provided the IAEA
in Iraq by the Security Council – which all IAEA members were urged to accept.
In 2003, Iran did sign an Additional Protocol, but the Iranian Parliament has
not ratified it. (And, thanks to Condi, may never.)
existing Safeguards Agreement [.pdf] is virtually the same as Iraq's. Hence,
the IAEA is only authorized to inspect facilities and activities that Iran has
However, pending ratification, the Iranians volunteered to cooperate
with the IAEA as if the Additional Protocol was in force.
But, if Condi wants to refer Iran to the Security Council for noncompliance
with its Safeguards Agreement, it is the original agreement, in force since
1974, that counts.
Under that agreement, the Iranians were not obliged to inform the IAEA about
any of their activities that did not involve the acquisition, disposition, storage,
or physical or chemical transformation of special nuclear materials.
In particular, they were under no obligation to tell the IAEA they were buying
or producing equipment that could be used to physically or chemically
transform special nuclear materials. They were under no obligation to tell the
IAEA about the plant they were building at Natanz, nor about the thousands of
gas centrifuges they had been attempting to manufacture for use in that plant.
Under their existing Safeguards Agreement, the Iranians were obligated to tell
the IAEA about Natanz only in sufficient time so that once special nuclear
materials were introduced into the Natanz plant, the IAEA would be in
a position to determine whether or not those materials were diverted to some
Hence, nearly all the "violations" that Condi and the neo-crazies
are loudly claiming the Iranians were guilty of over the past 20 years were
not violations of their existing Safeguards Agreement at all.
True, when the Iranians began to divulge everything they had done since 1974,
there were some things they should have reported, but hadn't.
For example, their Safeguards Agreement says that "the objective of the
safeguards procedures set forth in this part of the Agreement is the timely
detection of diversion of significant quantities of nuclear material from peaceful
nuclear activities to the manufacture of nuclear weapons."
What is a significant quantity?
For referring Iran to the Security Council, the significant quantity is defined
to be that quantity of material containing "one-kilogram equivalent"
of weapons-grade uranium or plutonium.
However, the IAEA has decreed that the acquisition or production of any
amount of special nuclear materials – even milligram quantities – has to be
Iran is not the only country – South Korea is another – failing to report to
the IAEA at the time the acquisition or production of materials containing less
than "one-kilogram equivalent."
But the Iranians have now made those reports. So, insofar as complying with
their existing Safeguards Agreement is concerned, case closed, Condi.
Furthermore, after two years of go-anywhere, see-anything inspections, ElBaradei
has found no indication that any special nuclear materials or activities
involving them are being – or have been – used in furtherance of a military
Nevertheless, Condi and her lackeys are charging that Iran is in noncompliance
with its Safeguards Agreement, and thus now "within the competence of the
Security Council, as the organ bearing the main responsibility for the maintenance
of international peace and security."
Nonsense. Condi needs to reread – and try real hard to comprehend – the existing
Iranian Safeguards Agreement, the IAEA Statute, and the UN