Getting rid of Jayson Blair and Judith Miller
was a good beginning, but the "Grey Lady" still has "reporters" publishing
as "facts" neo-crazy (and eco-wacko) propaganda.
Today, for example, Elaine Sciolino began her report from Paris (Paris?) this
"Iran threw negotiations over its nuclear program into disarray on Thursday,
abruptly canceling a high-level meeting with the United Nations' monitoring
agency in Vienna. The leader of Iran's negotiating team was said to be returning
What’s wrong with Sciolino’s report?
Well, Iran didn’t have any "negotiations" scheduled with the International
Atomic Energy Agency.
What the Iranians had scheduled was a discussion with the IAEA of the planned
resumption of certain IAEA Safeguarded research activities that Iran had voluntarily
suspended almost three years earlier.
The Iranian Safeguards Agreement (with which Iran is in complete compliance)
requires Iran to inform the IAEA the nature and scope of any planned Safeguarded
activities in sufficient time and in sufficient detail so that the IAEA
inspectors will be prepared to monitor those activities, once commenced, to
ensure that no Safeguarded materials, equipment or facilities are used in furtherance
of a military purpose.
So, what is Sciolino doing in Paris and what negotiations is she talking about?
Well, back in October 2003, after seeing what Bush and Blair did to Iraq on
the pretext of destroying Iraq's non-existent nuke programs, Iran began negotiations
with France, Germany and the United Kingdom (EU/E3) with the explicit expectation
of obtaining – at a minimum – assurances from the Europeans that Bush and Blair
would not do unto them what they had just done unto Iraq.
Iran also signed and immediately began full implementation of an Additional
Protocol to its IAEA Safeguards Agreement, providing a detailed account of its
previously secret nuclear activities, virtually all of which had been
carried out in full conformity with its rights and obligations under the
Iran also began a voluntary temporary suspension of its Safeguarded uranium-enrichment
activities as "a confidence building measure."
On March 23, 2005, Iran offered the EU/E3 a package of "objective guarantees"
that included a voluntary "confinement" of Iran's nuclear programs, to include:
1. Forgoing the reprocessing of spent fuel and the production of plutonium;
2. Limiting the extent and level of uranium-enrichment to that required for
Iran's power reactors;
3. The immediate conversion of any and all enriched uranium to fuel rods to
preclude even the technical possibility of further enrichment;
The Iranians also proposed that there be an unprecedented "continuous on-site
presence of IAEA inspectors at the conversion and enrichment facilities."
But, under extreme pressure by the United States, the EU/E3 never even acknowledged
receipt of the Iranian offer. Much less did they offer the "security" guarantees
Now, Iranian officials had made
it clear (a) at the IAEA Board of Governors meetings in March and June,
(b) at the Seventh Review Conference of the Treaty in April, and (c) in their
Note Verbale to the IAEA of August 1st that any attempt by the EU/E3
to turn their voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment activities into
a cessation or long term suspension would be "incompatible with the letter and
spirit of the Paris Agreement and therefore unacceptable to Iran."
In other words, as far as the Iranians were concerned, the Paris Agreement
to negotiate is history. The Iranians are not – at present – negotiating with
Sciolino seems not to understand that.
"Certainly Iran's failure to explain its intentions erodes trust in the
country as a reliable negotiating partner.
In its letter to the atomic energy agency two days earlier announcing its
research plans, Iran gave assurances that it intended to carry out the work
under the supervision of agency inspectors, and asked the agency to take the
necessary steps for the research to start again.
That position raised speculation that Iran was trying to test whether it
could proceed with its nuclear program and stay within the boundaries of its
international legal obligations, even if that violated its agreement with the
And in Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice seems not to understand it, either.
She warned Iran not to resume nuclear research, saying, "They shouldn't do
it because it would really be a sign that they are not prepared to actually
make diplomacy work."
According to Sciolino, Rice expressed confidence that the United States would
succeed in taking Iran's case to the Security Council for an unspecified punishment
should negotiations fail.
Both of these women are on another planet.
Don’t bother to stay tuned.