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October 1, 2005

US-Israeli Diplomatic Triumph Over Iran


by Gordon Prather

Last week the United States bullied, blackmailed and/or intimidated members of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency into passing a Resolution that, among other things:

"Finds that Iran's many failures and breaches of its obligations to comply with its NPT Safeguards Agreement, as detailed in GOV/2003/75, constitute "non compliance" in the context of Article XII.C of the Agency's Statute."

Non-Compliance?

That's deep serious, isn't it?

No.

Here's what the Iranian Safeguards Agreement actually says;

"The Government of Iran undertakes, pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article III of the Treaty, to accept safeguards, in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, on all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities within its territory, under its jurisdiction or carried out under its control anywhere, for the exclusive purpose of verifying that such material is not diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."

Exclusive purpose of verifying that source and special fissionable materials are not diverted!

Obviously, "non-compliance" with its Safeguards Agreement occurs when Director-General ElBaradei discovers that Iranian "source or special fissionable material" is being – or has been – diverted to a nuclear weapons program.

But here is what ElBaradei had to say about Iran last week at the IAEA General Conference.

"For the past two and a half years, the Agency has been investigating the nature and extent of Iran's nuclear programme, with a view to assuring ourselves that all past activities have been declared to the Agency, and that all nuclear material and activities in the country are under safeguards.

"Iran has failed in a number of instances over an extended period of time to meet its obligations under its Safeguards Agreement with respect to the reporting of nuclear material, its processing and its use, as well as the declaration of facilities where such material had been processed and stored.

"Since October 2003, however, Iran has made good progress in correcting its past breaches and the Agency has been able to verify certain aspects of Iran's nuclear programme.

"As our report earlier this month made clear, Iran continues to fulfil its obligations under the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol by providing timely access to nuclear material, facilities and other locations."

ElBaradei had already reported to the Board last November that "All the declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and therefore such material is not diverted to prohibited activities."

So Iran is in "compliance" with its Safeguards Agreement.

But, in December, 2003, Iran had signed an Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement and had volunteered to cooperate with the IAEA – pending ratification by the Iranian Parliament – as if the Additional Protocol were actually "in force."

The purpose of the Additional Protocol is to change the IAEA's safeguards regime from a quantitative system focused on accounting for "declared" materials and activities, to a qualitative system focused on developing a comprehensive picture of nuclear and nuclear-related activities, including all nuclear-related imports and exports.

ElBaradei reported last week that even after two years of Iranian cooperation that went beyond what was required under their Safeguards Agreement and its un-ratified Additional Protocol, he was still "not yet in a position to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran."

Who knows? Maybe no one can ever be in a position to conclude that there are no "undeclared" nuclear materials or activities in Iran, or anywhere else.

Nevertheless, Condi and the neo-crazies are all running around in circles of diminishing radius screaming something about the IAEA Board having found Iran to be in ‘non-compliance' with its Safeguards Agreement, and is therefore required by the IAEA Statute to report that "non-compliance" to the UN Security Council "as the organ bearing the main responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security."

Nonsense.

Article XII. C of the IAEA Statute does say that IAEA "inspectors shall report any non-compliance to the Director General who shall thereupon transmit the report to the Board of Governors. The Board shall call upon the recipient State or States to remedy forthwith any non-compliance which it finds to have occurred. The Board shall report the non-compliance to all members and to the Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations."

But, if you read that article carefully, you will realize that "non-compliance" in that "context" could mean that IAEA inspectors had discovered that some Iranians who routinely handled "source materials" were not washing their hands, afterwards, as "prescribed by the Agency."

Report that to the Security Council, Condi.


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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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