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February 4, 2006

President Bonkers Bolton


by Gordon Prather

Why is President Bush hell-bent on getting Iran’s alleged violations referred to the UN Security Council before March? Perhaps it’s because John Bolton is President of the Security Council this month.

Bonkers Bolton has been point man in Bush’s campaign to undermine the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Security Council and the UN Charter, itself.

Why? Because the neo-crazies came to power, determined to effect regime change in both Iraq and Iran, by force if necessary. They concluded, immediately after 9-11, that the only excuse red-blooded Americans would accept for the use of force would be proof that the Iraqis-Iranians had nukes and intended to give them terrorists for use against us.

But Iran and Iraq were then NPT signatories in good standing. Obviously, if Bush was to impose regime change on Iraq and Iran on the pretext they had nuke programs, the IAEA nuke proliferation-prevention regime had to be discredited – or superseded.

So, Bush announced his own National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction in late 2002, and Bolton developed from it the Proliferation Security Initiative, whose stated objective was to create a web of international "counter-proliferation partnerships" to prevent proliferators from "carrying out their trade in WMD and missile-related technology."

Bolton claimed that Bush's PSI was justified by Security Council Resolution 1540 of 2004, which reaffirms UNSC President's Statement of Jan. 31, 1992, which says – among other things –

"The proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The members of the Council commit themselves to working to prevent the spread of technology related to the research for – or production of – such weapons and to take appropriate action to that end."

Whoa! Members of the Council individually commit themselves to take appropriate action to prevent the spread of technology related to research?

Now, UNSC Presidential Statements are the product of informal consultations between the Council's president and its members and do not enjoy the status of resolutions. However, having now been cited in UNSCR-1540, that particular Presidential Statement carries considerable weight.

It goes on to say,

"On nuclear proliferation, they [members] note the importance of the decision of many countries to adhere to the Nonproliferation Treaty and emphasize the integral role in the implementation of that Treaty of fully effective IAEA safeguards, as well as the importance of effective export controls.

"The members of the Council will take appropriate measures in the case of any violations notified to them by the IAEA."

So, perhaps the reason Bush is hell-bent on getting the Board to refer Iran’s "violations" to the Security Council while Bolton is still President, is so Bolton can direct individual members of the Council that are also members of PSI counter-proliferation partnerships to take appropriate PSI-measures against Iran for said "violations."

However, there is a problem. Director-General ElBaradei is expected to report to the board at its March meeting that Iran has long ago remedied any and all violations of its existing Safeguards Agreement, and is even effectively in full compliance with an Additional Protocol to that agreement to which Iran is not yet required to be in compliance.

So, Bush called an emergency meeting of the Board to meet while Bolton was still UNSC President to consider an "update brief" on the implementation of the Iranian Safeguards Agreement produced by ElBaradei’s deputy for safeguards.

According to Elaine Sciolino – another New York Times reporter who apparently has a reading comprehension problem:

"The International Atomic Energy Agency says it has evidence that suggests links between Iran's ostensibly peaceful nuclear program and its military work on high explosives and missiles, according to a report from the agency that was released to member countries on Tuesday."

Now, if the IAEA had found such evidence, then Iran would be in violation of its Safeguards Agreement and the IAEA would be required to refer the matter to the Security Council for possible action.

But the IAEA update never mentions "evidence." Rather, it cites "information that had been made available to the Agency" [by the US] that contains "allegations" that the Iranians claim (and can perhaps demonstrate) are "baseless."

In fact, according the to the IAEA report being debated at the emergency meeting:

"Iran has continued to facilitate access under its Safeguards Agreement as requested by the Agency, and to act as if the Additional Protocol is in force, including by providing in a timely manner the requisite declarations and access to locations."

Chew on that, President Bolton.


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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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