According to the highly influential "experts"
Heritage Foundation – who have apparently never bothered to read the Iranian
Note Verbale [.pdf] to the International Atomic Energy Agency of Aug. 1,
2005 – "Iran remains a dangerous revolutionary power determined to acquire
nuclear weapons. No policy short of war is guaranteed to halt the Iranian nuclear
In order to avoid another Bush-Cheney preemptive war, Iran must agree to:
- Terminate permanently its pursuit of a full nuclear fuel cycle.
- Terminate permanently all programs to enrich uranium and produce uranium
hexafluoride and its precursors.
- Terminate permanently all programs to extract plutonium.
- Terminate permanently its pursuit of a heavy-water nuclear reactor.
- Allow an intrusive inspections regime (utilizing real-time monitoring equipment)
at the Bushehr reactor and associated spent-fuel storage pond and at any other
site that the U.S. and the EU-3 deem suspicious.
If the Heritage experts had read that Note Verbale, they would know that Iran
had already offered (on March 23, 2005) a package of "objective guarantees"
(developed by an international panel of experts) that met most of Heritage's
In October 2003, Iran had entered into negotiations with the Europeans with
the explicit expectation of obtaining "transparent cooperative access" to European
As a "confidence-building measure," Iran voluntarily signed and voluntarily
began to adhere to an additional protocol to its IAEA Safeguards Agreement,
pending its ratification by the Iranian parliament.
Iran also extended its voluntary suspension of all uranium-enrichment-related
activities taken a year previously to include uranium-conversion activities.
Since all those activities were already subject to Iran's Safeguards
Agreement [.pdf], Iran invited the IAEA to monitor the suspensions.
In the Note Verbale, Iran explained why it had been seeking "objective
guarantees" from the Europeans.
"Since the early 1980s, Iran's peaceful nuclear program and its inalienable
right to nuclear technology have been the subject of the most extensive and
intensive campaign of denial, obstruction, intervention, and misinformation.
- Valid and binding contracts to build nuclear power plants were unilaterally
- Nuclear material rightfully purchased and owned by Iran were illegally
- Exercise of Iran's shareholder's right in several national and multinational
nuclear power corporations were obstructed;
- Unjustified and coercive interventions were routinely made in order to
undermine, impede, and delay the implementation of Iran's nuclear agreements
with third parties; and
- Unfounded accusations against Iran's exclusively peaceful nuclear program
were systematically publicized."
In their offer, Iran offered to voluntarily forego a complete fuel cycle –
to which the Europeans had already agreed Iran had an "inalienable right"
– if the Europeans would get the United States to reverse the campaign of denial,
obstruction, intervention, and misinformation.
In particular, the Iranians offered to forego reprocessing of spent fuel and
extraction of plutonium. To limit uranium-enrichment to the levels and quantities
needed to meet "contingency" requirements of Iran's power reactors.
To immediately convert all enriched-uranium into fuel rods to "preclude
even the technical possibility of further enrichment."
This Iranian offer of March 23 – which met most of the Heritage Foundation's
present demands – has yet to even be acknowledged by the Europeans. And
since being made public on Aug. 1, its substance has not yet been reported by
the likes of Reuters, the Associated Press, and United Press International.
But at the beginning of the Iran-EU negotiations and in every public pronouncement
since, the Iranians have made it clear that they will develop a uranium-enrichment
capability, all the while remaining subject to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation
of Nuclear Weapons, and complying with their original IAEA Safeguards Agreement.
Faced with this defiance, the Heritage experts conclude that Iran "now
apparently believes that it is in a much stronger negotiating position due to
the continued need for U.S. military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, greater
bargaining leverage with oil importers because of higher oil prices, and its
diplomatic cultivation of China and Russia, which can dilute or veto resolutions
brought before the Security Council."
Whether the mullahs believe that or not, it's true.
Just this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki met with his Pakistani
counterpart, Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, in Islamabad "to bolster defense,
trade, and cultural ties," focusing on the Iran-Pakistan-India natural
gas pipeline, which the U.S. vigorously opposes. Russia's Gazprom, the world's
largest producer of natural gas, has told the Indians that it is ready "to
share the construction risks" of the pipeline.
Incidentally, Kasuri made it clear that nuke-armed Pakistan would oppose the
use of force to destroy Iran's safeguarded uranium-enrichment program.