In a joint press conference held this week with
the head of the European Commission, Mohamed ElBaradei, Director-General of
the International Atomic Energy Agency reported
that the talks with Iran that began on April 21 to "clarify" certain
"alleged studies of weaponization" have resulted in "good progress."
What "alleged studies" is ElBaradei talking about?
Well, scroll back to the summer of 2005.
Since February, 2003, ElBaradei and his IAEA inspectors had been conducting intrusive investigations into Iran’s Safeguarded nuclear programs.
And since December, 2003, Iran had been voluntarily adhering to an (as yet) unratified Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement.
Iran had searched for and provided ElBaradei documentation of its past procurement
activities for nuclear programs, going back two decades – documentation that
Iran had been under no obligation to provide the IAEA at the time, much less
obligated to preserve for later inspection.
In that summer of 2005, ElBaradei again reported that he had found no indication
that (a) there were any undeclared "source or special nuclear materials" in
Iran nor that (b) "source or special nuclear materials" were being or had ever
been "used in furtherance of a military purpose." Hence, Iran was in compliance
with the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
However, ElBaradei, personally, still had some "concerns" that Iran had been unwilling to address.
So, in mid-July, our intelligence officials rushed to Vienna to brief ElBaradei
and senior staff on some of the sensitive "intelligence" they had gleaned from
a laptop computer, allegedly stolen from a deceased Iranian engineer and obtained
by our intelligence agencies from another intelligence agency sometime in 2004.
ElBaradei and staff were reportedly "unimpressed" with the documents
contained on the "smoking laptop," most of which were about "studies"
involving missiles and high-explosives, which were unrelated to ElBaradei’s
mission and, hence, unrelated to his "concerns."
Nevertheless, Bonkers Bolton, the Likudniks and other neo-crazies – in and
out of government – kept up the pressure on the IAEA Board of Governors and
upon the UN Security Council, with the result that both passed resolutions demanding
that Iran explain any and everything to ElBaradei’s satisfaction, including
all the alleged "studies."
Well, on 25 February, 2008, Olli Heinonen, IAEA Deputy Director-General for
Safeguards, finally got around to showing the Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA
(as well as other IAEA Ambassadors assembled) for the first time exactly
what it was the Iranians were being required to explain!
It was supposed to be a confidential
briefing, not to be discussed outside the IAEA, but several brief-ees promptly
gave their versions of the Heinonen briefing to neo-crazy
According to nuclear fuel-cycle student David Albright, who had been shown the smoking laptop documents years before, the Iranians were being asked to explain four projects which were alleged to have been pursued as part of a secret military program directed an Iranian General named Mohsen Fakrizadeh.
Only one of the alleged four projects would clearly have been within the IAEA’s
purview; the activities of a small Iranian private sector firm, Kimeya Madon,
who, beginning in the spring of 2001 and ending in May 2003, allegedly developed
a set of technical drawings for a small "bench scale" plant for converting
Uranium Oxide "yellowcake" to Uranium Tetrafluoride "green salt."
The Iranians deny that Kimeya Madon had been involved in a uranium-conversion design project. But even if it was, Iran would not have been required under its existing Safeguards Agreement to have informed the IAEA about it until six months before the plant actually began operations.
Hence, as far as ElBaradei is concerned, the real issue is whether the Iranians
are truth-tellers or inveterate liars – liars who lie when there is no reason
ElBaradei already knows that virtually all intelligence provided the IAEA by our "intelligence community" has been – to put it politely – wrong.
At Deputy Heinonen’s February 2008 briefing, the Iranians were reportedly excitedly
photographing everything being presented with camera phones. And a few weeks
later the Iranians sent a Note Verbale to ElBaradei, incorporating a letter
sent the day before to UN Secretary General regarding the Security Council’s
1803 of March 3, 2008.
UNSCR 1803 begins with the Security Council –
"Reaffirming its commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation
of Nuclear Weapons, the need for all States Party to that Treaty to comply
fully with all their obligations, and recalling the right of States Party,
in conformity with Articles I and II of that Treaty, to develop research,
production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination."
The Security Council then proceeds to discriminate, to deny Iran the "inalienable
rights" it has just "reaffirmed."
So, Iran’s letter
to Secretary General begins by noting – correctly – that Iran "has consistently
complied with its obligations" under the NPT and the IAEA Statute.
It then notes the "irrational opposition" of the United States and
the Brits-Germans-French to Iran’s exercising its "inalienable rights"
as affirmed in the NPT and IAEA Statute, and charges that their "instrumental
manipulation" of the IAEA Board and Security Council have resulted in international
law and the UN Charter being "seriously violated."
Iran goes on to charge that the U.S.-Brits-Germans-French have provided "erroneous
information" with the result that the IAEA has been prevented from fulfilling
"its real tasks on important issues such as the prevention of actual [nuke]
proliferation, disarmament and developing a mechanism to effectively verify
the nuclear activities of the non-parties to the NPT, particularly the Zionist
regime that is continuing to develop nuclear weapons in the [Mid-East] region."
Iran then reminds the Secretary General of the substantive and procedural legal requirements set out in the IAEA Safeguards Agreements, the IAEA Statute and the UN Charter for involving the Security Council in issues related to Iran’s Safeguarded nuclear programs.
In particular, Iran correctly notes that "there has never been any reference
in the Agency’s reports to any non-compliance by Iran or and diversion in its
peaceful nuclear activities. On the contrary, "the IAEA Director-General
has repeatedly stressed that there has been no diversion of the declared nuclear
materials." And the IAEA Statute requires the IAEA Board to "find"
that the Director-General has not been able to verify there
has been no diversion before referring the matter to the Security Council.
Hence, Iran finds it "necessary to stress that the engagement of the Security
Council in this issue – and also the resolutions adopted in this regard – have
In conclusion, Iran notes that "the maintenance and strengthening of international
peace and security requires, as a first step, our endeavor to ensure a safer
world through developing equitable international rules, and through their evenhanded
And so say all of us.