Three years ago, in deciding to adhere to an Additional
Protocol to their Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy
Agency in advance of its ratification, the Iranians voluntarily "declared"
certain activities many months before they were obligated to do so under their
existing Safeguards Agreement.
And, on 27 April, 2006, the Iranians informed the IAEA that it was "fully
prepared" to continue voluntarily adhering to the Additional Protocol
in advance of its ratification "provided" Iran’s IAEA "dossier"
remained "within the framework" of the IAEA.
The IAEA Board ignored the Iranian warning, and directed IAEA’s Director-General,
Mohamed ElBaradei, to report the entire Iranian
dossier [.pdf] to the UN Security Council, with the expectation that the
Council would "determine" under Article 39 of the UN Charter that
Iran’s Safeguarded programs somehow constituted "a threat to peace in the
Of course, the Security Council has thus far declined to make such a ridiculous determination.
But, as threatened, the Iranians promptly reduced their cooperation
with the IAEA to levels not much greater than required by their
existing Safeguards Agreement.
It is to that Agreement and nothing more that the Treaty
on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons requires Iran to adhere and looks
to the IAEA to verify compliance!
If you carefully read ElBaradei’s quarterly reports to the IAEA Board, you
can determine for yourself that for at least the past three years the IAEA has
verified total compliance by Iran with that Safeguards Agreement.
Nevertheless, Bonkers Bolton managed to strong-arm the Security Council into
passing Resolution 1696 which, inter alia, "demanded" that
– in order to satisfy certain IAEA Board members – Iran "suspend"
all enrichment-related activities.
Well, ElBaradei has just made his next quarterly
report [.pdf] to the IAEA Board and to the Security Council.
ElBaradei once again confirmed that Iran remained in total compliance with
its original NPT-required Safeguards Agreement. And that Iran continues to provide
cooperation on certain matters beyond that required.
But, ElBaradei reported that Iran has not re-suspended uranium-enrichment
activities as improperly "demanded" by the Security Council on behalf
of the IAEA Board of Governors, nor was Iran continuing to act in accordance
with the un-ratified Additional Protocol.
Now, so long as those activities Iran has refused to re-suspend remain subject
to IAEA Safeguards – which they will, so long as Iran doesn’t withdraw from
the NPT – those activities can never constitute a threat to the peace.
So, why, for the past three years, have Bolton and his Gang of Three (the Brits,
French and Germans) been threatening to do unto Iran what the Israelis have
just done unto Lebanon, unless Iran suspends – indefinitely – its pursuit of
a uranium-enrichment capability?
And even more puzzling, why have the Iranians stubbornly refused to
cease pursuit of a hopelessly obsolescent Pakistani-castoff
uranium-enrichment capability, risking thereby a pre-emptive attack by
the United States, perhaps involving nukes?
Maybe it’s because, as Iran’s UN representative – Javad Zarif – told
the Council in the aftermath of their passage of Resolution 1696:
"This is not the first time that Iran’s endeavors to stand on its
own feet and make technological advances have faced the stiff
resistance and concerted pressure of some powers permanently
represented in the Security Council.
"More recently, Saddam Hussein's aggression against the Islamic
Republic of Iran on 22 September 1980, and his swift advancement to
occupy 30000 sq. kilometers of Iranian territory, did not trouble the
same permanent members of the Security Council enough to consider it a
threat against international peace and security, or even to make the
routine call for a cease-fire and withdrawal.
"Nor did they find it necessary to even adopt a resolution for seven
long days after the aggression, hoping that their generally-held utter
miscalculation that Saddam could put an end to the Islamic Republic
within a week would be realized.
"Even then, and for the following two long years, they did not deem [it] fit to call for a withdrawal of the invading forces.
"Iran's peaceful nuclear program poses no threat to international
peace and security, and therefore dealing with this issue in the
Security Council is unwarranted and void of any legal basis or
"Far from reflecting – as advertised – the concerns of the international
community, the approach of the sponsors flouts the stated position of the overwhelming
majority of the international community, clearly reflected in the most recent
statements by Foreign Ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement and of the OIC (Organization
of the Islamic Conference), and partly reflected in the June 2006 IAEA Board
"The Non-Aligned Movement, comprising an overwhelming majority of
this Organization, in the recent statement of its Ministers in
Putrajaya ‘stressed that there should be no undue pressure or
interference in the Agency's activities, especially its verification
process, which would jeopardize the efficiency and credibility of the
Agency’, and ‘nothing should be interpreted in a way as inhibiting or
restricting this right of States to develop atomic energy for peaceful
purposes’ and ‘reaffirmed that States' choices and decisions in the
field of peaceful uses of nuclear technology and its fuel cycle
policies must be respected.’
So there you have it. This is where Iran has chosen to make its
stand. Defending the NPT, the IAEA-NPT nuke proliferation prevention
regime, the IAEA Board of Governors, the UN Security Council and the UN
Charter, itself, against assaults by Bonkers Bolton and his Gang of
On the basis of the initial reaction of the Italians, Russians, Chinese and
even the Brits to ElBaradei’s latest report, the Iranians have made a good choice.