An Advanced Nuclear Weapons Program Behind Irans Sham Cooperation
As the EU big three - France, Britain, and Germany - are playing footsy with Tehran over its nuclear program, new revelations last week confirmed that Irans military is now running the mullahs secret nuclear weapons program.
A U.S. official told the Associated Press in Vienna last Tuesday that new intelligence on Iran's nuclear activities was strengthening suspicions of two programs -- one that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have access to and another, run by the military and geared toward making nuclear weapons.
And another official expressed "explicit concerns" that the Iranian military was controlling nuclear programs aimed at making weapons.
The same Iranian opposition group which shed lights on Irans secret nuclear sites in August of 2002, concurred with those accounts.
At a news conference in Brussels last Wednesday, the Paris-based National Council of Resistance said Tehran is aiming to develop a nuclear bomb within the next two years, using secret military facilities in parallel to the civilian program open to international scrutiny, the Associated Press reported. Up to 400 nuclear experts and researchers were working on the secret military programs which answered directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the group added.
These revelations come as Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton warned last week that Iran was using the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty "as cover for the development of nuclear weapons."
Late last year, after 18 years of deception and double talk, Iran was forced to acknowledge it had been secretly developing a nuclear capability, in violation of relevant non-proliferation protocols. The IAEAs report last year chronicled staggering breaches of Irans obligations to its international commitments. The details of Irans secret activities provided a stunning picture of a strategic and sophisticated program which began in the mid-80s.
Tehrans past conduct and its attempts to exert its dominance in the Gulf region, leaves no doubt that it has strategic goals in developing nuclear arms. In the mid-1980s, Tehrans leaders came to the conclusion that they needed a non-conventional arsenal to gain the upper hand in the region and fulfill their hegemonic desires. They adopted asymmetric warfare as the cornerstone of their military doctrine. It would be naïve to suggest that Iran's rulers have since had a change of heart.
Last March the EU gave Iran yet another chance to buy time; it rejected a U.S. push to refer Irans nuclear file to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions. The EU-3 has hijacked the process," one U.S. official told Reuters, adding there are countries out there who are always going to give Iran the benefit of the doubt. So it seems the clerics will continue to deceive and lie while the EU continues to appease and pat the mullahs on the back.
Irans nuclear hide and seek and with the IAEA is primarily designed to prolong the IAEAs off-and-on inspection process by giving the anxious world community this false feeling of relief that inspections are really working.
The fact is that Tehran does not care much about the stunning discoveries the IAEA makes as long as these findings dont impede its one and only goal: to get to the nuclear point of no return. They know full well that their regime is already synonymous with tyranny, terrorism, and export of fundamentalism. They are not cooperating to rebuild their image; they want the bomb.
The EU-3 love to boast about how their nuclear dialogue with the mullahs is working. But conducting inspections just for the sake of having inspections, as time is fast running, is a recipe for disaster.
The mid-April European tour by Irans Foreign Minister was indeed intended to convince the EU-3 that they should reject any attempt by Washington to refer Irans systematic nuclear breaches to the United Nations Security Council.
As Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was wrapping up his trip in London, Irans official news agency pressed home the point that Trade between Iran and the European Union reached a record $20 bn last year. The latest figures show a consolidation in Irans position as the EUs third largest trading partner in the Middle East, it added.
Given their lucrative business dealings with Tehran and geopolitical jockeying in the region, the EU-3 have reason for conciliation with Tehran. However, the specter of a nuclear armed Iran the most active state sponsor of terrorism is far too ominous to let appeasers in the EU dictate the policy toward Tehran.
While the United States must meet Tehrans challenge in Iraq head-on, it should also demonstrate firm leadership to stop the mullahs in their nuclear tracks.
For now, Irans breach of its nuclear obligations must be referred to the United Nations. In the long term, however, only a regime change will ensure that Iran will be free of weapons of mass destruction. To this end, Washington should embrace democratic opposition forces that are working to unseat the ruling mullahs.
USADI Dispatch is a commentary by the US Alliance for Democratic Iran http://www.americandaily.com/item/5566