Last week, the Secretariat of the International
Atomic Energy Agency formally protested "outrageous and dishonest"
accusations made by members of the Cheney Cabal about Iran’s Safeguarded nuclear
Interestingly, the "radioactive fallout" from a previous IAEA refutation
– of the "Niger-Iraq yellowcake" documents
– is still causing trouble for the Cabal and its sycophants.
Last year our intelligence community produced – at the request of Congress
– a National Intelligence Estimate which, inter allia, addressed Iran’s
nuclear programs. Although that 2005 NIE was highly classified, Dafna Linzer
"A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about
a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon,
roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government
sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis."
Then, two weeks ago, the House Select Committee on Intelligence made public
report [.pdf] – essentially criticizing
the 2005 NIE and the American intelligence community that produced it – that
the IAEA Secretariat has now formally
protested [.pdf] as being "outrageous
According to the protested Intelligence Committee report "America’s intelligence
agencies" have – apparently secretly – "assessed" that "Iran
has conducted a clandestine uranium enrichment program for nearly two decades
in violation of its IAEA safeguards agreement" and that "despite its
claims to the contrary, Iran is seeking nuclear weapons."
In his cover letter, Sub-Committee Chairman Rodgers assured us that the report
reflected "Committee staff" reviews of "classified and unclassified
material" and consultations "with experts both in the United States
However, there is no support for either of these accusations in IAEA reports on Iran.
In all his reports, the IAEA Director-General provides – as he is charged with
doing – an update on the implementation of the Iranian NPT safeguards agreement,
which as a no-nuke signatory to the
Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Iran undertook to comply
with "for the exclusive purpose" of "preventing diversion of
nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive
"Procedures for the safeguards required by this article shall be followed
with respect to source or special fissionable material whether it is being
produced, processed or used in any principal nuclear facility or is outside
any such facility."
And, insofar as Iran’s basic Safeguards Agreement is concerned, Iran
was under no obligation to tell the IAEA about activity – such as
buying or trying to produce gas-centrifuges – until six months before
those activities actually involved the chemical or physical
transformation of certain proscribed materials.
However, since November, 2003, Director-General ElBaradei has also been reporting
on his activities with respect to several other related – but not NPT
associated – sets of investigations.
Not NPT associated!
First, there is the Additional Protocol to the Iran’s NPT-IAEA
Safeguards Agreement, which Iran voluntarily signed in December, 2003,
and immediately began to adhere to in advance of its ratification.
"The essence of the additional protocol is to reshape the IAEA's safeguards
regime from a quantitative system focused on accounting for known quantities
of materials and monitoring declared activities to a qualitative system
gathering a comprehensive picture of a state's nuclear and nuclear-related
activities, including nuclear-related imports and exports. "
Then, there are additional "confidence-building measures" that go
beyond even the Additional Protocol, voluntarily taken by Iran for the duration
of the 2004 Paris Accord negotiations with the Gang of Three [Brits, French,
Germans], ostensibly acting on behalf of the European Union.
Although the IAEA was asked under the Paris Accord to verify Iranian compliance
with some of these measures – such as the voluntary suspension of uranium-enrichment
activities – the Paris Accord negotiations themselves were
none of the IAEA’s business.
Unfortunately, Bonkers Bolton strong-armed the IAEA Board into making the "failed"
Paris Accord negotiations the Board’s business. In an IAEA
resolution [.pdf] of 4 February, 2006, the Board not only "required"
Iran to resume its "confidence-building measures" but demanded that
Iran’s Parliament immediately ratify the Additional Protocol.
Then, a few months later, Bolton finally succeeded in making the failed Paris
Accord negotiations and the "failure" of the Iranian Parliament to
ratify the Additional Protocol – neither of which were any of the IAEA Board’s
business – the UN Security Council’s business.
Believe it or not, smack dab in the middle of Israel’s war of aggression against
Lebanon, Bonkers Bolton got the Security Council to delay passage of a cease-fire
resolution in order to pass UNSC
Resolution 1696, which among other odious things, demanded that Iran resume
– as the IAEA Board had demanded – the confidence-building measures voluntarily
adopted by Iran for the duration of the Paris Accord negotiations!
But the bottom line is that in none of the IAEA reports on (a) Iran’s
Safeguards Agreement, (b) its voluntary adherence to the Additional Protocol
and (c) its voluntary adherence to the "confidence-building" measures
of the Paris Accord is there any suggestion that Iran now has – or ever has
had – a nuclear weapons program.