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September 23, 2006

More Bush Diplomacy


by Gordon Prather

Is it true that President Bush’s recent speech to the UN General Assembly means he no longer intends to use Iran’s "defiance" of a resolution by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a resolution by the UN Security Council – which violate the IAEA Statute, the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the UN Charter, itself – as an excuse to do unto Iran what Israel recently did unto Lebanon?

Well, shortly after Bush appointed Condi Rice Secretary of State, she informed the conferees at the 2005 NPT Review Conference that.

"Britain, France and Germany, with our support, are seeking to reach a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear problem, a solution that given the history of clandestine nuclear weapons work in that country, must include permanent cessation of Iran's enrichment and reprocessing efforts, as well as dismantlement of equipment and facilities related to such activity."

Now the previous November, Britain, France and Germany (E3) – allegedly on behalf of the European Union – had entered into the Paris Accord with Iran.

The Paris Accord begins with the E3/EU recognizing "Iran’s rights under the NPT."

Iran offered to continue voluntarily adhering to an Additional Protocol to its IAEA NPT Safeguards Agreement, in advance of its ratification.

Iran also offered to extend its voluntary suspension of all uranium-enrichment and spent-fuel reprocessing related activities. The E3/EU recognized that "this suspension is a voluntary confidence-building measure and not a legal obligation."

So how come Condi's munchkin told the NPT conferees that the outcome of the EU-Iranian negotiations "must include permanent cessation of Iran’s enrichment and reprocessing efforts, as well as dismantlement of equipment and facilities related to such activity"?

Worse, we now know that on March 23, 2005 – more than a month before Condi's munchkin made public her ultimatum – the Iranians had made a confidential offer of "objective guarantees suggested by various independent scientists and observers from the United States and Europe." The package included:

  • Restriction on Iran's uranium-enrichment program, to include (a) a verifiable LEU reactor-fuel ceiling on enrichment level, (b) a verifiable ceiling on LEU reactor-fuel enrichment quantity to that needed to meet contingency requirement of Iran’s power reactors, (c) immediate conversion of all enriched-uranium to reactor-fuel rods,

  • Iran’s foregoing the NPT right to reprocess spent fuel

  • Legislative and regulatory measures to include (a) ratification of the Additional Protocol, (b) a permanent ban on the development, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons through binding national legislation; (c) enhancement of Iran's export control regulations

  • Continuous on-site presence of IAEA inspectors at uranium conversion and enrichment facilities above and beyond that required by the Additional Protocol

It now seems that Condi had essentially prevented the E3/EU from accepting this magnanimous offer.

Nor did she allow the E3/EU to submit their proposal by the agreed-upon July deadline.

So, on August 1, 2005, the Iranians informed [.pdf] the IAEA Director-General – who had agreed to verify the voluntary suspension of certain IAEA Safeguarded activities for the duration of the Paris Accord negotiations – that they intended to resume some of those Safeguarded activities, which had now been suspended for almost two years.

"Against all its sincere efforts and maximum flexibility, Iran has not received a proposal as of today, and all public and diplomatic information, particularly the letter of 29 July 2005 of the E3 Ministers, indicate that the content of the eventual proposal will be totally unacceptable.

"We have been informed that the proposal not only fails to address Iran's rights for peaceful development of nuclear technology, but even falls far short of correcting the illegal and unjustified restrictions placed on Iran's economic and technological development, let alone providing firm guarantees for economic, technological and nuclear cooperation and firm commitments on security issues.

"While we had made it crystal clear that no incentive would be sufficient to compromise Iran's inalienable right to all aspects of peaceful nuclear technology, such offers of incentives are in and of themselves demeaning and totally incommensurate with Iran and its vast capabilities, potentials and requirements.

"It must be underlined that all States party to the NPT, without discrimination, have an inalienable right to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. As this right is "inalienable," it cannot be undermined or curtailed under any pretext. Any attempt to do so, would be an attempt to undermine a pillar of the Treaty and indeed the Treaty itself."

And to undermine the IAEA. And the Security Council.

And the Mullahs? No, Bush still [.pdf] intends to nuke them.


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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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