New Pieces by Friends

Just wanted to call attention to a few new pieces by friends that make important contributions.

First, a new piece by Peter Jenkins over at Lobelog on the recently released IAEA DG report on Iran’s safeguards compliance.  Peter states very clearly and correctly that:

The latest IAEA report suggests that Iran is in full compliance with its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards obligations, and states unequivocally that “the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at nuclear facilities…declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement.

Second, a new piece by Yousaf Butt in Reuters, offering a thorough and insightful critique of the IAEA’s politicization and failings under current DG Yukiya Amano.

Third, a very important new piece by Robert Kelley, detailing the history of Iran’s nuclear program and disputes surrounding it. Bob does an excellent job of being rigorous, honest and balanced in his assessment.

I recommend all three pieces highly to readers.

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13 Comments on “New Pieces by Friends”

  1. Fiorangela says:

    Thanks for this.
    I’m trying to convince a nearby public library to sponsor a workshop and book discussions to explore NPT; history of Iranian compliance/noncompliance vis a vis claims of noncompliance, etc.

    You made my job easy– I’ll just send a link to Arms Control Law and ask for questions.

    • Fiorangela says:

      Changed my mind after reading the Kelly article.

      Part of my purpose in communicating with the librarians is to persuade them to acquire and discuss “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.” Gareth Porter peels back the layers to reveal the fraud, deception, and unabashed ill-will (on the part of the Reagan administration, Bob Gates and others) that is the basis for USG- (and Israel-) sourced, media echoed misconstructions.

      Kelly, on the other hand, without citing sources other than “many states around the world, reverberates the echo, summarizes that it is

      “abundantly clear that Iran has had an interest in nuclear weapons since the 1990s when it was directly threatened by Iraq. Indications of such interest date from this period and are confirmed by investigations made by many states around the world.”

      Peter Jenkins came to a different conclusion in his review of “Manufactured Crisis” —

      “There has never been conclusive evidence that Iran’s Islamic leaders want to have or to use nuclear weapons. All talk of an “Iranian nuclear threat” is therefore premature.”

      Kelly implicitly holds up Israel as a legitimate interlocutor on Iran’s nuclear file, while Porter identifies Israel as a source for fraudulent and even forged documents.

      Jenkins takes a more judicious approach, followed by an unambiguous judgment:

      “No doubt some readers will prefer to continue believing in the authenticity of this Israeli intelligence material. That may or may not turn out to be the right call. One inference, though, from Manufactured Crisis looks inescapable. There has never been conclusive evidence that Iran’s Islamic leaders want to have or to use nuclear weapons.Consequently, the draconian measures implemented by the US and its allies to avert that threat are unreasonable and unwarranted.”

      • Don Bacon says:

        The US/Israel goal is regime change, supported by bogus charges on nuclear, terrorism and human rights. There is no “threat.” The Arabs who actually live in the Middle East fear the US and Israel, who have nukes, and not Iran which doesn’t, according to several polls.

    • yousaf says:

      I’ll let Bob speak for himself but I think what is meant by an “interest” in nuclear weapons is possibly doing nuclear weapons relevant research — such research would not be in violation of the CSA or NPT necessarily unless some diversion to a weapons manufacturing program or military application was discovered. This has never been done.

      Many university students can do such “research”.

  2. yousaf says:

    Just a couple of comments on Bob’s piece: One thing I would add by way of clarification for public is that it may be that much of the weapons _research_ mentioned would be consistent with letter of NPT and CSA. i.e. just to make clear to public that e.g. running a neutron transport code is not against the CSA/NPT. Doing conventional explosive tests also is not technically against the CSA. Some things may well have been in violation of CSA, but even some of the things in the PMD could be consistent with CSA — even if a huge “concern”.

    Many in the media confuse a nuclear weapons research effort with a bomb factory.

    Much of nuclear weapons research is perfectly consistent with the NPT and CSAs. In fact, a full-on nuclear weapons capability is completely consistent with the NPT & CSA also.

    The fundamental “weakness” (from P5+1 perspective) is in the NPT/CSA. (If one wants to talk of violating the spirit of the NPT then one also needs to talk about the lack of disarmament.) Iran just took advantage of this weakness to build enrichment & heavy water reactor facilities legally, if clandestinely.

    I did like the comparison Bob made to the Swiss case. There’s a lesson in there if the IAEA would like to avail themselves of it.

    Peters quote that you mention makes it clear the UNSCRs are now invalid and should be removed, as I argue in my Reuters piece.

    • Fiorangela says:

      Thanks for the distinctions, Yousaf.

      For the purposes stated in my first comment, I have to assume that an audience likely to attend a public library-hosted discussion does not know the difference between NPT and NFL, and CSA can only mean that the South shall rise again.

      Black-and-white are the order of the day; Jenkins writes in black-and-white; Kelly does not.

  3. Don Bacon says:

    I don’t get it.
    Iran, as reported in IAEA quarterly reports, has always been in full compliance with its NPT obligations.

    • yousaf says:

      It was found in violation in 2005 but all CSA concerns were resolved by 2008.

      Since then there is just the trumped up PMD — some of which is very likely forged.

      I think Peter Jenkins means that the IAEA makes clear now (in footnote 38 of the latest report, for the first time) that the IAEA derives its authority to require Iranian cooperation on PMD from paras 2 and 3 of UNSC 1929, and NOT from anything legitimate like NPT/CSA mandates.

      Basically, now the IAEA is saying: YES — Iran is in compliance with its CSA….. but we got us this other (partly forged/partly trumped up/partly dual-use) stuff here in this PMD file which has nothing to do with NPT/CSA but UNSCR 1929 says we can do this other extrajudicial stuff.

      • Don Bacon says:

        No.
        The short Jenkins — suddenly Iran is in NPT compliance.

        Ten years ago Western diplomats used to scour IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) reports on Iran’s “implementation of its NPT Safeguards Agreement” for evidence of safeguards failures that could be used to pressurise Iran into abandoning its fledgling uranium enrichment program.

        Today that’s a futile pursuit. The latest IAEA report suggests that Iran is in full compliance with its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards obligations, and states unequivocally that “the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at nuclear facilities…declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement”.

        Jenkins jumps from ten years ago to today, skipping the eventful interim, to paint a false picture that Iran has suddenly seen the light and has decided to comply.

      • yousaf says:

        I *think* Peter is saying that now — ten years later — the IAEA *admits* this.

        I don’t think he is saying what is the real situation is or is not but that In effect, at last, 10 yrs later even the IAEA admits Iran is in compliance.

      • Cyrus says:

        The language Amb. Jenkins quotes about “no diversion” has appeared in every IAeA report ever issued on Iran. Iran has always been in full and complete compliance with the NPT.
        Whatever lack of compliance it had with CSA did not involve any diversion of nuclear material and consisted of failures to report otherwise legal actions, due to US interference, and were all resolved by the IAea to Iran’s favor.

  4. Cyrus says:

    I’m sorry but as a history, Robet kelley’s piece leaves a lot to be desired. He completely skips over the history of the Arak reactor and why it was built (no enrichment required) and the blocking of Iran-IAEa cooperation in 1983. It is not “clear” at all that Iran had done Any weapons research, actually, according to the IAEa director Elbaradei because there is the major question of the authenticity of documents. furthermore the 2011 IaEa report did not disclose anything new.

    Let me put this clearly for everyone: There is NO evidence WHATSOEVER to support the contention that Iran was even researching nukes until 2003. Cooking up some narrative about nuclear research that was supposedly carried out in reaction to Iraqs nuke program and which supposedly stopped in 2003, is not a substitute for facts just because its makes for a nice, book-ended narrative. This narrative is not only factually incorrect and unsupported by evidence, its is being promoted to cover-up the fact that the PMD claims were until now merely promoted and used as a pretext and justification for imposing regime change in iran, and that the sanctions policy actually backfired and encouraged Irans civilian nuclear program by for example forcing Iran to enrich to 20%.

    Such a narrative about supposed Iranian nuclear weapons research cannot and should not be allowed to be turned into conventional wisdom through mindless repetition.

    • Cyrus says:

      “It is abundantly clear that Iran has had an interest in nuclear weapons since the 1990s when it was directly threatened by Iraq.”

      UNMITIGATED RUBBISH.


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