"This is a real test for the Security Council.
There's just no doubt that for close to 20 years, the Iranians have been pursuing
nuclear weapons through a clandestine program that we've uncovered.
"If the U.N. Security Council can't deal with the proliferation of nuclear
weapons, can't deal with the greatest threat we have with a country like Iran
– that's one of the leading state sponsors of terrorism – if the Security Council
can't deal with that, you have a real question of what it can deal with."
Bonkers Bolton, Bush’s Ambassador to the United Nations, on the eve of UN Security
Council debate on what to do with the "Iranian Dossier" the Director-General
of the International Atomic Energy Agency had forwarded them at the request
of the IAEA Board of Governors.
As required by the Treaty
on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Iran concluded in 1974 a Safeguards
Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency wherein Iran agreed to
allow IAEA inspectors to satisfy themselves that no "source or special nuclear
materials" are being used or have been used in furtherance of a nuclear weapons
Director-General ElBaradei reported to the IAEA Board just
last month [.pdf] that no declared source or special nuclear materials had
been used in furtherance of a nuclear weapons program, but that "the Agency
is not at this point in time in a position to conclude that there are no undeclared
nuclear materials or activities in Iran."
Contrary to Bonkers Bolton, the Iranian dossier makes it clear that the IAEA
has never uncovered any evidence whatsoever that Iran is now pursuing
or has ever pursued a nuclear weapons program.
And, of course, whether Iran is – or is not – a leading state sponsor of terrorism
is none of the IAEA’s beeswax.
So, how did the Security Council deal with a report whose principal conclusion
was that the IAEA would need more time before finally concluding that there
is no evidence to uncover?
Well, they noted with "serious concern" that after more than two years of intrusive
inspections the Agency was still not in a position to conclude
that Iran had declared all its activities that should have been declared.
Now, that’s obviously not what Bolton wanted or expected.
No Security Council resolution.
Not even a Presidential Statement declaring Iran "in violation of its NPT obligations."
No suggestion that Iranian behavior "constituted a threat to international
peace and security."
In fact, the only concrete action the Council took was to "call on" Iran to
resume cooperating with ElBaradei, as before.
Moreover, by emphasizing "the necessity of the IAEA continuing its work to
clarify all outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear programme," the Council
even implied that the dossier was not properly a subject for Security Council
However, they did call on ElBaradei to produce another report in 30 days on
how things were going and to send them a copy.
So, Bolton emerged from the final negotiating session to claim the Council was
sending an unmistakable message to Iran that
"This is simply a statement that says to Iran, you have consistently disobeyed
resolutions of the International Atomic Energy Agency, violated your safeguards
agreements, you've violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, you must now
come into compliance, and if in 30 days that hasn't happened, and we expect
a report from the IAEA director general, in 30 days the Security Council will
be competent and ready to act."
Now, the Presidential
Statement, which was agreed to by both Russia and China, doesn’t say any
of those things.
If it did, neither Russia or China would have agreed to it.
So, why does Bolton keep making such outrageous claims that are so obviously
untrue and so easily determined – by anyone who doesn’t have a reading comprehension
problem – to be without foundation?
And more to the point, why don’t the domestic and international news "reporters"
challenge Bolton when he makes such obviously untrue claims?
Well, at least they’re reporting that the Bush-Cheney
administration, which has repeatedly called Iran the biggest single
threat to American security, intends to use this month to raise the
consciousness about the nature of that threat.
In particular, Condi has reportedly urged the other permanent council members
and Germany to take into account at next month’s Security Council meeting Iran's
calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map," as well as its support for Syria
and Hizbollah in Lebanon.
Now, why does that not surprise us?