Pincus: Israel Blazed the Trail for Iran in Developing a Nuclear Program

This article by Walter Pincus in the Washington Post is a must-read.  It’s a very timely takedown of Netanyahu’s criticism of Iran in his speech to Congress last week. Basically, Pincus calls Netanyahu out as a hypocrite, on the basis that Israel has in the past been guilty of much of what Netanyahu now argues Iran is doing.

This isn’t new information or anything, but I respect Pincus for having the guts to say it so directly.

Frankly, this narrative is exactly what I’m thinking of when I go to conferences and hear Israeli officials criticizing Iran for its deceitful, clandestine, and evil development of nuclear weapons. I’ve written about this before here.


3 Comments on “Pincus: Israel Blazed the Trail for Iran in Developing a Nuclear Program”

  1. yousaf says:

    Yes, it’s always amusing to hear a Non-NPT state that weaponized be critical of an NPT-state that had a non-compliance finding — which was resolved in 2008.

    But there is an actual legal issue that goes beyond mere amusement — UN Chapter 7 Sanctions have nothing to do with NPT status. If Iran is a “threat to the peace” for non-compliance then certainly so are Israel, Pakistan and India FOR ACTUALLY MAKING NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

    No-one has been able to explain this legal point to me.

    I tried to explain it in a Reuters piece:

    Iran has never been accused of manufacturing nuclear weapons. The IAEA did determine that Iran was in “non-compliance” with its safeguards agreement in 2005. But this had to do with technical nuclear material accountancy matters — “non-compliance” does not mean Iran was making nuclear weapons. Back then Iran did not have the fissile material needed to make bombs — even if it wanted to.

    Because of this technical non-compliance finding, however, the IAEA referred Iran’s nuclear “file” to the U.N. Security Council. In an unorthodox and controversial application of international law the Western faction of the Security Council then pressed — and succeeded — in applying Chapter 7 sanctions on Iran. Normally such a step is reserved for situations when there is a “threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.” Such a finding was never made here.

    The states that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and have covertly developed nuclear weapons — such as Israel, India and Pakistan — could be viewed by some as far larger “threats to the peace.” But their cases have never percolated up to the Security Council. So NPT member nations with nuclear material accountancy errors have been treated more harshly by the Security Council than non-members that actually manufacture nukes.

    This practice could be a disincentive for nations to remain in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It might even discourage countries from signing on to future non-proliferation pacts.

    I would welcome someone explain the UN legalese that squares this circle.

  2. Cyrus says:

    Regarding the recent Sanger and Broad piece in the NY Times: They claim that the Iran- IAEA Modalities Agreement “lay in ruins” but in fact the IAEA lauded Irans cooperation and closed the book on all of the past issues including polonium experiments and traces of HEU which until then the media had presented of proof of Iranian nukes. Under the terms if the work plan, Iran was only obligated to reply to these Alleged Studies upon receipt of the full documentation, which never happened, but Iran filed a 117 page reply anyway. ELbaradei noted in his book that Iran was expected to debunk allegations it was not allowed to see. The IAEA welcomed the NIEs conclusion that the was no weapons program, but never endorsed the idea that there had EVER been one in existence. In fact in 2009, when Elbaradei was being accused of “censoring” the Alleged Studies annex, the IAEA issued a press release stating they had no concrete proof of a weapons program ever existing. Broad and Sanger totally misrepresent the Workplan. It vindicated Iran.

  3. Cyrus says:

    “Iran I simply following Israel’s path to nuclear arms capability.”

    What utter rubbish. Iran has the same “capability” as many other nations, which is the inevitable result of having a nuclear energy program, and not because Iran is following Israel. This I pure hogwash. The deliberately refuse to acknowledge that framing the issue in terms on capabilities is simply nonsense.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s