Americans increasingly realize – despite a dearth
of reporting by the mainstream media – that there is a widening gulf between
reality and President Bush’s characterization of it. And what’s scary is that
Bush may actually believe his mischaracterizations and act upon them, perhaps
even nuking Iran, a signatory to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation Weapons, and
practically certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency not to
possess nukes or the makings, thereof.
So scary is that prospect that last week, Agence
France-Presse, until now a consistent neo-crazy media sycophant, uncharacteristically
began its report of a news conference held by President Bush and Afghan President
Hamid Karsai thusly;
"U.S. President George W. Bush charged Monday that Iran has openly
declared that it seeks nuclear weapons – an inaccurate accusation at a time
of sharp tensions between Washington and Tehran."
Bush made an inaccurate accusation?
What was it?
AFP quotes Bush thusly;
"It's up to Iran to prove to the world that they're a stabilizing force
as opposed to a destabilizing force. After all, this is a government that has
proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon."
But AFP reporters well knew that the Mullahs running Iran have proclaimed over
and over that they have no desire to acquire nukes and that even desiring
them, much less using them on their fellow men, would be seriously contrary
to Islamic law.
So, in an effort to find out whether Bush was a dimwit or simply flat-out lying
to them, the AFP reporters accosted White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe, who
claimed Bush had been referring to "Iran’s defiance of international calls
to freeze sensitive nuclear work."
Now, if Bush truly believes that Iran’s refusal to suspend, indefinitely, programs
– which the NPT recognizes to be Iran’s "inalienable," God-given,
right to conduct – constitutes a proclamation of "its desire to build a
nuclear weapon," then he certainly qualifies as a dimwit.
Johndroe’s explication of Bush’s charge continues;
"After keeping their nuclear program secret for a decade, the Iranian
government has refused the offers of the international community to provide
[them] nuclear energy and continues to flout the inspectors of the IAEA."
Three more "inaccurate accusations," proving that Bush’s spokesman
– if not Bush, himself – is either truly ignorant or a bald-faced liar.
Agreement – which gave the IAEA the "right and the obligation" to ensure
that safeguards are applied on "all source or special fissionable material"
in all peaceful nuclear activities "for the exclusive purpose of verifying
that such material is not diverted to nuclear weapons" – entered into force
In the early 1990s, Russia had agreed, inter alia, to complete the nuclear power plants at Bushehr, whose construction had begun under the Shah, and build a gas-centrifuge uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz.
Also in the early 1990s, China had agreed, inter alia, to provide Iran two 300 MW nuclear power plants and a uranium-conversion plant at Isfahan.
But, in 1995, as a result of intense Clinton-Gore pressure on Russia and China
– and on European suppliers of auxiliary equipment – Russia canceled the gas-centrifuge
facility contract and China canceled the power plant contract. In 1997, China
also canceled the uranium-conversion plant contract.
The Russians have continued to honor their contract to complete at least one of the 1,000 MW power plants at Bushehr.
Then, in 2002, at the 46th IAEA General Conference, Reza Aghazadeh, president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran announced that Iran planned to construct within two decades nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 6,000 MW:
"I take this opportunity to invite all the technologically advanced
member states to participate in my country's ambitious plan for the construction
of nuclear power plants and the associated technologies such as fuel cycle,
safety and waste management techniques."
It is important to note that under the existing safeguards agreement, the Iranians
were then – and are, now – under no obligation to inform the IAEA about any
activity unless and until it involves – or will involve within 90 days – the
chemical or physical transformation of safeguarded materials.
In August 2002, the Iranians subjected the uranium-enrichment pilot plant they had under construction at Natanz to IAEA safeguards. They had already subjected the uranium-conversion facility at Isfahan.
Then, in December, 2003, Iran signed the IAEA Additional Protocol and announced it would "cooperate with the Agency in accordance with the [Additional] Protocol in advance of its ratification."
In November, 2004, under the so-called Paris
Accords, Iran entered into negotiations with the Brits-French-Germans in
the hope they could obtain "objective guarantees" the Europeans would defy the
United States, would reestablish normal diplomatic and trade relations, and
would, inter alia, respect both Iran's "inalienable" rights and
European obligations under the NPT.
Iran reaffirmed that "it does not and will not seek to acquire nuclear weapons."
And, in order to "build further confidence" Iran "decided – on a voluntary
basis – to continue and extend its suspension to include all enrichment and
Since all these activities were already subject to IAEA Safeguards, the IAEA Board of Governors was notified of this voluntary suspension and the IAEA Secretariat asked to "verify and monitor" it.
On March 23, 2005, the Iranians made a confidential proposal
to the Brits-French-Germans to voluntarily "confine" Iran’s nuclear programs.
In particular, the Iranians offered to forego indefinitely the chemical processing of spent fuel to recover unspent uranium and plutonium, and to limit their uranium-enrichment activities to meeting contingency refueling requirements for Iranian nuclear power plants, planned and under construction.
The Iranians also offered to submit to "continuous on-site presence of IAEA inspectors at the conversion and enrichment facilities to provide unprecedented added guarantees."
As a result of extreme pressure by Bush on the Brits-French-Germans, they never even acknowledged the Iranian offer.
So, in July, 2005, the Iranians resumed – subject to IAEA Safeguards – some
of the activities they had voluntarily suspended.
Now, Iran’s offer of March 23, 2005, made to obtain "objective guarantees"
that the Brits-French-Germans would prevent Bush’s nuking them, is essentially
compliant with UN Security Council
So, the reality is that Iran voluntarily offered to do in 2005 what Bush strong-armed the Security Council into requiring them to do in 2007.