US hawk warns Iran threat must be eliminated
Friday October 10, 2003
An American official warned yesterday that the potential threat posed by Iran's nuclear programme had to be "eliminated" and predicted Tehran would try to "throw sand" in the eyes of the world to avoid a confrontation at the UN.
John Bolton, deputy under secretary of state for arms control, who is regarded as the state department's chief hawk, was speaking to journalists in London where he reaffirmed the Bush administration's notion of "rogue states" which threatened US interests.
Top of the list were Iran and North Korea, he said. "There is awareness of the threat posed by Iran and consensus that threat has to be eliminated," he said referring to the Iranian nuclear reactor at Bushehr.
Iran "will try and throw sand in our eyes" mixing cooperation and obfuscation "to conceal as much as they can, to delay and to avoid having the issue referred to the security council," said Mr Bolton.
The UN international atomic energy agency has given Iran until October 31 to prove it does not have a nuclear weapons programme. Mohammad Khatami, the Iranian president, said on Wednesday that Tehran would offer whatever cooperation was needed to show its nuclear programme was to produce electricity.
Mr Bolton yesterday questioned the need for Iran to produce nuclear power, given the size of its natural gas and oil reserves. He said the existing non-proliferation treaty needed to be strengthened to deal with Iran which, he speculated, could have a nuclear weapons capability "probably towards the end of the decade".
He said North Korea was being dealt with by multilateral talks conducted by China, and that Pakistan had denied trading in nuclear materials with North Korea. "We take them at their word," he said. Asked about Israel's nuclear weapons capability, he replied: "The issue for the US is what poses a threat to the US."
On Iraq, Mr Bolton said "the purpose of military action was to eliminate the regime ... The real security risk was the regime". He implied it was not weapons of mass destruction that was the issue but whose hands they were in.
Mr Bolton described the "level of cooperation" from Syria - which Washington accuses of manufacturing chemical weapons and harbouring terrorists - as "not satisfactory".
He did not specify what action the US might take against Iran and Syria beyond pointing out that the US already imposes sanctions against Iran and that Congress was poised to adopt a law applying them to Syria.
He said Libya, a country with which Britain is now developing closer ties, had "increased efforts to acquire biological, chemical, and nuclear, weapons".
Mr Bolton was in London for meetings on US plans to intercept ships and aircraft suspected of trafficking weapons of mass destruction. http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,12858,1060030,00.html
U.N. nuclear agency warns Iran 'time is running out'
By Roula Khalaf in Vienna
Published: October 9, 2003
The chief United Nations nuclear inspector on Thursday called on Iran to accelerate its co-operation with his agency. He warned that time was running out for Tehran to comply with an end of October deadline and provide full transparency to allay international concerns over its nuclear programme.
Tehran insists its nuclear programme is aimed at peaceful energy production, but the US maintains it is a front for developing nuclear weapons.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, said teams of inspectors sent last week were given access to sites they had requested and received fresh information from the Iranian authorities.
But he stressed that the amount and flow of information remained inadequate.
The IAEA's governing board last month set a deadline of the end of October for Iran to provide inspectors with assurances that it had not diverted nuclear material to weapons use. Failure to meet the deadline would escalate the dispute by sending it to the UN Security Council, where the US would seek a statement that increased diplomatic pressure on Iran and countries that had assisted its nuclear programme.
The IAEA board's pressure on Iran appears to have intensified the debate between hardliners and reformists within the Tehran regime over the merits of co-operation.
Mohamed Khatami, the president, this week said Iran would provide all necessary co-operation to prove it was not developing nuclear weapons.
"They've promised information will be forthcoming but it has not yet been provided," Mr ElBaradei said. "The central question is whether Iran has any [uranium] enrichment activities that we have not been informed about. On that question I haven't got satisfactory information."
Iran has also said it would provide a list of all imported components to address an important sticking point with the IAEA and convince inspectors that traces of weapons-grade uranium found at two sites were the result of contaminated equipment purchased from abroad.
Mr ElBaradei, however, stressed that he needed to know the origin of the components to verify Iranian assertions.
Iran has insisted that it would continue enriching uranium despite the IAEA governing board's call for it to suspend such activities. Mr ElBaradei said the suspension of uranium enrichment was demanded as a confidence-building measure and failure to comply with the request would not constitute a violation of Iran's Safeguards Agreement.
Iran has also given conflicting signals as to whether it would sign an agreement, known as the additional protocol, to allow more intrusive inspections of nuclear sites. Mr ElBaradei said the agreement was essential for the future, but was not his immediate priority.
Speaking in London on Thursday, John Bolton, US undersecretary of state for arms control, predicted Iran would "co-operate a little" with the IAEA, to buy time.
He said Iran would be capable of producing nuclear weapons "towards the end of the decade". http://www.nytimes.com/financialtimes/business/FT1059480478752.html
posted on 10/10/2003 9:32:39 AM PDT
by Pan_Yans Wife
("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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