[Mb-civic] Iran: Where do we go from here?
ean at sbcglobal.net
ean at sbcglobal.net
Thu Mar 16 20:52:17 PST 2006
Iran: Where do we go from here?
By Mike Whitney
03/14/06 "ICH" -- -- The Bush administration has run into a rock wall at
the Security Council. Neither Russia nor China will agree to any
resolution that condemns Iran for "noncompliance" with its treaty
obligations. In fact, there is general agreement that Iran has not
violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) so the point is moot.
This eliminates any chance that punitive action will be taken against Iran
or that sanctions will be applied.
So why did the Bush administration take the case this far if they knew
that there was no possibility for consensus on the main issue?
The administration knew from the beginning that the world body would not
support sanctions or military action. The intention was simply to increase
suspicion about Iran's nuclear programs and mobilize public support for a
In fact, the United States is not at all concerned with Iran's nuclear
programs. It is merely a hoax that is being used to conceal Washington's
Presently, the administration is trying to coerce the Security Council to
issue a strongly-worded "presidential statement" laying out what Iran
needs to do to ease concerns that it is using its civilian programs to
hide a nuclear weapons program.
Since there is "no evidence" of such programs (according to the UN
watchdog agency IAEA) the Security Council should not become involved in
process that can only strengthen the administrations plans to attack Iran.
The "presidential statement" does not have the power of a Security Council
"resolution". It cannot be used to apply sanctions or to take military
action. It is purely a formal reprimand that makes constructive
suggestions for changing behavior. It is designed to allay fears that Iran
may be secretly building nukes. Unfortunately, the statement is utterly
meaningless since Iran has already allowed the most extensive inspection
regime to rummage through every aspect of its nuclear program for 2 years
without producing any proof of wrongdoing.
The Bush administration would never waste its time on diplomatic
maneuvering unless it had a goal in mind. The strategy for using the
presidential statement as a pretext for war is evident in the way the
wording is being negotiated. Rather than simply saying that the Security
Council hopes that Iran will guarantee that its program is "exclusively
peaceful purposes"; the US wants to add that, "continued
enrichment-related activity would add to the importance and urgency of
further action by the Council".
This phrasing provides the US with a pretext for intervention if Iran
continues to enrich uranium.
The statement also contains a demand that Iran accept an "additional
protocol" that gives IAEA inspectors "exceptional access to plants". It
asks for "additional 'transparency measures,' including access to
individuals, documents, and research laboratories".
In essence, the statement insists that Iran forgo its "inalienable right"
to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes and accept an intrusive
inspection-regime that can ferret through every armory, barracks,
conventional-weapons site, communications facility, ammunition-dump,
palace, and research laboratory in the country. This is the same rule that
was applied to Saddam before the war in Iraq.
But, why should Iran agree to this public humiliation if it has done
nothing wrong? Should they sacrifice their sovereign rights just to
Iran will never accept these conditions nor would the United States if the
situation was reversed. Iran must continue to defend its right to enrich
uranium and, thus, vindicate the principle that underscores international
treaties. The Bush administration has no authority to repeal treaties nor
does it have the right to create the conditions whereby the terms of those
treaties are rescinded.
The "presidential statement" will be used in the media to demonize Iran
for its alleged "defiance" and to convince the public that there is
universal agreement on Iran's imaginary nuclear weapons programs. Although
the statement does not authorize the US to take unilateral action, it will
be used to do just that. John Bolton has already admitted that if the
Security Council does not meet the administrations expectations, the US
may act on its own and look for partners in applying sanctions or taking
So, where do we go from here?
There's a good chance that the logistical groundwork for war with Iran has
already been laid. This would explain the earnestness of American
diplomats at the State Dept. and the UN.
The Security Council needs to realize the gravity of the situation and
take positive steps to diffuse the crisis. The Council should forgo the
issuing of the "presidential statement" and buttress Iran's rights under
the NPT to enrich uranium under the strict supervision of the IAEA. They
should also condemn any unilateral action by member states as a violation
to the UN Charter which confers sole authority to the UN Security Council
for sanctions or military action.
Most of all, the United Nations must defend its own credibility as a
viable institution for world peace by ensuring that it is not used to mask
the war-mongering objectives of other nations.
Posted on Mar. 14, 2006
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