To: F14 Pilot
Why Iran might be wise to build the nuclear bomb
by Iqbal Siddiqui
Tuesday 09 December 2003
"Although they are classified as weapons of mass destruction, and the US makes much of their terrorist potential, history suggests that the real value of nuclear weapons is in having them as a deterrent. Certainly the Cold War was much cooler than it might have been had one of the two side had an advanage in terms of nuclear weapons."
The tortuous saga of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)s inspection of Irans nuclear program finally reached a conclusion of sorts on November 25, when it was announced that the powers represented on the body and of the UN Security Council had agreed the text of a new resolution accepting the conclusions of an IAEA report on Irans nuclear program. The resolution is due to be considered at a meeting of the IAEAs board of governors on November 26. Reports suggest, however, that a compromise has been reached by which any Iranian breaches of the resolution would be referred to the IAEA for consideration. The original draft apparently did not threaten any specific action in case of an Iranian breach of the resolution.
The controversy over the resolution had arisen a week earlier, when the IAEA finalised their report, based on months of investigations and talks with Iranian officials, concluding that although Iran had had a covert nuclear program for 18 years, there was no evidence of a nuclear weapons programme. This conclusion, based on intense scientific scrutiny of Irans nuclear facilities, was immediately rejected by the US, whose top arms control official, John Bolton, said on November 13 that the IAEAs conclusions were "impossible to believe". Totally ignoring the detailed findings of the investigation, he went on to say that "a massive and covert Iranian effort to acquire sensitive nuclear capabilities only makes sense as part of a nuclear weapons program."
The US, which had originally demanded the investigation into Irans nuclear programme in order to put political pressure on Iran, had apparently been demanding that any suspected breaches referred to the UN Security Council, which it dominates. This possibility was strongly rejected by Iran, which knows that the US wants to manipulate and exploit the issue, as well as by Britain, France, Germany and other Western powers, nervous of the US deciding on war and forcing its will on the international community, as happened over Iraq. Iran has always insisted its nuclear programme is only for peaceful power-generation, but has been wary of the IAEA investigation, both because it represents a gross invasion of Iranian sovereignty, and because of the USs proven ability to manipulate international organisations.
The question that arises, however, is whether it might be wiser for Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Although they are classified as weapons of mass destruction, and the US makes much of their terrorist potential, history suggests that the real value of nuclear weapons is in having them as a deterrent. Certainly the Cold War was much cooler than it might have been had one of the two side had an advanage in terms of nuclear weapons.
This, of course, is what the US is eager to avoid. At the moment it feels free to act as a global bully, exploiting its massive military and political hegemony to impose its will on international institutions, other western powers and other countries alike. The last thing it wants is for a country such as Iran to be able to defend itself, and therefore feel free to defy the US writ. It can be argued that not only did the US not attack Iraq because it had weapons of mass destruction, but in fact the US only attacked because Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction.
Although Iran is strong compared to Saddam Husseins Iraq and other Muslim countries, its determination to maintain its independence and avoid being subverted, infiltrated or undermined by a hegemonic foreign power makes it a major target for an aggressive, out-of-control superpower like the US. Some people argue that Iran would be foolish to try to develop nuclear weapons under the beady eyes of the US and its subordinate international bodies. But we have seen, in the very recent and high-profile case of Iraq, that not developing weapons of mass destruction, and attempting to cooperate with the international bodies as far as possible, is no defence once the US decides it wants a war and is determined to find excuses for one. That is not, of course, to advocate that Iran should develop nuclear weapons; that is not for us to say. But certainly no-one should be surprised if, under the circumstances, some in Islamic Iran do feel that that might indeed be the wisest thing to do. http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/2817/
posted on 12/10/2003 4:32:13 AM PST
by Pan_Yans Wife
("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
To: Pan_Yans Wife
Iran to sign nuclear protocol
Wed 10 December, 2003
Iran's government has given the go-ahead for the country to sign an international protocol binding it to tough, snap inspections of its nuclear facilities.
"The Foreign Ministry was given permission by the government to sign the Additional Protocol" to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi told reporters on Wednesday after a weekly cabinet meeting.
Abtahi and government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh declined to say exactly when Iran would sign the protocol.
Iran agreed to sign up to tougher nuclear inspections in October after concerted international pressure for it to dispel U.S.-led concerns it may be developing nuclear arms.
Implementation of the protocol could still face other government hurdles, but these are widely expected to be cleared and Iran has promised to put it into effect.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last month strongly condemned Iran for an 18-year cover-up of sensitive nuclear research and warned it that no further breaches of its non-proliferation obligations would be tolerated.
Iran, which has also agreed to suspend uranium enrichment in a confidence-building measure, insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful and not geared to weapons production.
Ramazanzadeh said the protocol would be signed in Vienna by Iran's representative to the IAEA.
After the signature, "the government will send it to parliament as a bill," he said.
If approved by lawmakers, the majority of whom are allies of President Mohammad Khatami, the bill would then need to be sent to the Guardian Council, a 12-member body dominated by conservative clerics who decide whether proposed legislation is in accordance with the constitution and Islamic Sharia law.
The Guardian Council has been a thorn in the side of Khatami and his allies in recent years, rejecting many reformist proposals. Several of its members spoke out strongly against signing up to tougher nuclear inspections earlier this year.
Nevertheless, dissenting voices among Iran's hardliners towards the protocol have been virtually absent in recent weeks and Iran has promised to implement the protocol even before it is ratified by parliament.
The European Union said on Monday it would wait for the IAEA's next report on Iran early next year before resuming talks with Tehran on a potentially lucrative trade pact. http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=419323§ion=news
posted on 12/10/2003 4:42:59 AM PST
by Pan_Yans Wife
("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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