The propaganda war against Iran

Here’re a few points to keep in mind if you’re both­er­ing to fol­low the cur­rent pro­pa­ganda cam­paign being waged against Iran.…

Mohamed ElBaradei, Dir­ector Gen­eral of the Inter­na­tional Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and last year’s Nobel Peace Laur­eate, pos­ited in 2004 that:

If the world does not change course, we risk self-destruction.

Albert Ein­stein had some thoughts on this:

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

While Noam Chom­sky—described by the New York Times as “argu­ably the most import­ant intel­lec­tual alive” — con­ten­ded in a recent lec­ture that:

Under the cur­rent U.S. policies, a nuc­lear exchange is inevitable.

The U.S., nuc­lear weapons and the Nuc­lear Non-Proliferation Treaty

It’s worth recall­ing that no other nation in his­tory has attacked another coun­try with nuc­lear bombs other than the United States of Amer­ica, killing hun­dreds of thou­sands of Japan­ese civil­ians in the process.

It’s also use­ful to recall the offi­cial reas­ons given for invad­ing Iraq: nuc­lear pro­lif­er­a­tion, ter­ror­ism and human rights abuses. As was widely pre­dicted, the inva­sion of Iraq has increased ter­ror, human rights abuses and nuc­lear pro­lif­er­a­tion. Exponentially.

In short, the United States of Amer­ica is a dan­ger­ous rogue state, plagued by deceit.

While Wash­ing­ton cyn­ic­ally uses the Nuc­lear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) against Iran to fur­ther its agenda of dom­in­a­tion over the oil rich region of the Middle East, it does so hav­ing flag­rantly rejec­ted its own oblig­a­tions under the treaty.

Being a sig­nat­ory to the treaty the U.S. has a bind­ing legal require­ment to move towards “com­plete dis­arm­a­ment under strict and effect­ive inter­na­tional con­trol.” But, as we all know, the United States of Amer­ica is unique in the world in that the sun shine out of its ass and is thus exempt from inter­na­tional law and treaty obligations.

While none of the nuc­lear powers have lived up to their com­mit­ments under the NPT the U.S. is far in the lead in reject­ing them and alone in offi­cially reject­ing them. Not to men­tion its open plans to develop new nuc­lear weapons.

Iran, nuc­lear weapons and the Nuc­lear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Obvi­ously Iran has never attacked another coun­try with nuc­lear weapons (or with any weapons for that mat­ter), nor is it openly dis­cuss­ing plans to attack another coun­try, unlike Israel (which has developed nuc­lear weapons and refuses to sign the NPT) and the U.S., both of which are openly dis­cuss­ing plans to bomb Iran.

By invad­ing Iraq and reject­ing it oblig­a­tions under the NPT the U.S. has effect­ively encour­aged Iran and other coun­tries to develop nuc­lear weapons in an effort to deter the neo-conservative rad­ic­als. As Mar­tin van Crev­eld—an Israeli mil­it­ary his­tor­ian at the Hebrew Uni­ver­sity in Israel—puts it, after the inva­sion of Iraq, “had the Ira­ni­ans not tried to build nuc­lear weapons, they would be crazy.”

On the other hand Moha­mad ElBaradei of the IAEA — the same man who warned that there were no nuc­lear weapons pro­grams in Iraq—says there is “no evid­ence” of nuc­lear weapons pro­grams or “diver­sion of nuc­lear mater­ial to nuc­lear weapons” in Iran.

Iran’s cur­rent activ­it­ies, as far as the evid­ence is con­cerned, fall within its legal rights under the NPT, of which Art­icle IV grants sig­nat­or­ies the “inali­en­able right … to develop research, pro­duc­tion and use of nuc­lear energy for peace­ful purposes.”

Art­icle IV of the Nuc­lear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Wash­ing­ton has deman­ded that Art­icle IV be revised and restric­ted, and a good case can be made for that. The treaty was entered into force in 1970 and these days, with mod­ern tech­no­logy, being able to pro­duce fuel for react­ors is appar­ently just a step away from nuc­lear weapons. So restric­tion of Art­icle IV is a sens­ible move.

Any revi­sion of Art­icle IV, how­ever, would need to ensure unim­peded access to nuc­lear mater­i­als for non-military use, oth­er­wise Washington’s call for restrict­ing Art­icle IV can be seen as noth­ing more than a “cyn­ical inten­tion to con­vert the NPT into a con­veni­ent instru­ment of U.S. for­eign policy,” as stra­tegic ana­lyst and former NATO plan­ner Michael MccG­wire put it.

With this in mind Mohamed ElBaradei of IAEA made a reas­on­able pro­posal that pro­duc­tion and pro­cessing of weapons-usable mater­ial should be restric­ted “exclus­ively to facil­it­ies under mul­tina­tional con­trol … acom­pan­ied … above all, by an assur­ance that legit­im­ate would-be users could get their supplies.”

Only one coun­try has offi­cially accep­ted ElBaradei’s pro­posal: Iran.

On 16 Feb­ru­ary, 2006, Sec­ret­ary of Iran’s Supreme National Secur­ity Coun­cil (SNSC) Ali Lar­i­jani stated that, “Should a cred­ible inter­na­tional sys­tem for provid­ing nuc­lear fuel be in place, the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran would be ready to pro­cure its nuc­lear fuel from that system.”

As Noam Chom­sky has noted, imple­ment­a­tion of ElBaradei’s pro­posal would “ter­min­ate the crises and be a great advance for­ward in pre­serving the species.”

Unfor­tu­nately that path is being blocked because of Washington’s flat rejec­tion of ElBaradei’s pro­posal. Put­ting weapons-usable nuc­lear mater­i­als under mul­tina­tional con­trol would of course limit Washington’s unique author­ity to do whatever it likes.

And, in more ser­i­ous news, Wash­ing­ton threatens to bomb Iran unless it will pull a rab­bit out of its own ass.


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3 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Davoud Ryazi-Naini,

    Iran is in a rush to pro­duce nuc­lear fuel. Its lead­er­ship has brought the coun­try to the brink of war over this issue. Yet one could ask why such a rush if Iran lacks any power reactor for which enriched uranium is needed. The Bushehr reactor that Rus­si­ans have almost com­pleted but not yet delivered comes with Rus­sian sup­plied nuc­lear fuel. No other power reactor is in the hori­zon within the next dec­ade. At any rate nuc­lear fuel under IAEA safe­guards is com­mer­cially avail­able in inter­na­tional mar­ket. If Iran wor­ries about energy inde­pend­ence, a legit­im­ate con­cern, why it did not work to achieve such inde­pend­ence for pet­ro­leum products which is a vital daily need in Iran and yet up to 40% of the country’s needs are imported.

  2. Dav­oud, as we all know, pet­ro­leum is not a source of sus­tain­able energy. Apart from the fact that extrac­tion is going to become uneco­nom­ical, I’d take a look at James Lovelock’s argu­ments on why nuc­lear power is prob­ably the pre­ferred choice.

    Not con­vinced? How about the fact that the U.S. encour­aged Iran to develop nuc­lear power pre­cisely because Iran will even­tu­ally run out of oil. A declas­si­fied doc­u­ment from Pres­id­ent Ger­ald Ford’s admin­is­tra­tion, for which Kis­singer was Sec­ret­ary of State, sup­por­ted Iran’s push for nuc­lear power. The doc­u­ment noted that Tehran should “pre­pare against the time — about 15 years in the future — when Ira­nian oil pro­duc­tion is expec­ted to decline sharply.” The United States ulti­mately planned to sell bil­lions of dol­lars worth of nuc­lear react­ors, spare parts and nuc­lear fuel to Iran.

    As to Rus­sia sup­ply­ing Iran’s fuel, well that’s not energy inde­pend­ence now is it? There’s already been talk of Rus­sia with­hold­ing this sup­ply. No coun­try wants to rely on another for its energy needs in the com­ing dec­ade now do they? Why should Iran be any different?

    But, regard­less of all this, Iran has already offered that, “Should a cred­ible inter­na­tional sys­tem for provid­ing nuc­lear fuel be in place, the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran would be ready to pro­cure its nuc­lear fuel from that sys­tem.” And ElBaradei has pro­posed such a cred­ible inter­na­tional sys­tem. It’s the U.S. and the U.S. alone that is block­ing this road to peace.

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