Iran before the Security Council

Forty-five months into their savage destruction of Iraq, it is amazing to watch how successful the Americans remain at imposing their agenda on the "international community."  (A phrase by which I mean the multilateral institutions, however multilaterally they really function — or do not.  Rather than, say, the reflexive way that the phrase tends to be used by the intelligentsia and the news media as a synonym for whatever Washington does or wants to do.)   

Just yesterday, the U.S. Security Council (not a type-error) adopted Resolution 1737, an artifact of the onging American effort to undermine the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1970 -), and to keep Iran's nuclear program on the agenda of the "international community," where the Americans have managed to keep it now for something like 45 months in a row.  (See the June 6, 2003 Report to the IAEA Board of Governors on Iran's implementation of its NPT Safeguards Agreement.  Though the exact date when the IAEA began to harass Iran and to impel it further into a defiant stance with respect to its nuclear program may go back as far as 2002.)

Citing Chapter VII, Article 41 of the UN Charter, Resolution 1737 imposes both financial and material sanctions on the Iranian nuclear program.  It instructs the IAEA to continue to help Iran "build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of its nuclear programme and to resolve outstanding questions."  And in closing, it affirms (Operative Par. 24): 

(a)   that it shall suspend the implementation of measures if and for so long as Iran suspends all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, as verified by the IAEA, to allow for negotiations;
(b)   that it shall terminate the measures specified in paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 and 12 of this resolution as soon as it determines that Iran has fully complied with its obligations under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and met the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors, as confirmed by the IAEA Board;
(c)   that it shall, in the event that the report in paragraph 23 above shows that Iran has not complied with this resolution, adopt further appropriate measures under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations to persuade Iran to comply with this resolution and the requirements of the IAEA, and underlines that further decisions will be required should such additional measures be necessary….

Among the major problems with all of this, readers should understand that Chapter VII of the UN Charter is devoted to "threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression."  That is to say, it is where the UN Charter delegates to the Security Council the functions and powers related to the maintenance of international peace and security.  (See Chapter V, Article 24.)

But neither has Iran committed nor even threatened to commit any of these. 

What is more, as Chapter VII, Article 39 states, "The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security." 

So Resolution 1737 alleges that Iran's nuclear program — but specifically its nuclear-enrichment-related activities — activities which are very real, and among Iran's "inalienable" rights under Article IV.1 of the NPT – falls under one or more of Article 39's threat to the peace-, breach of the peace-, and act of aggression-clauses. 

This is truly remarkable, to say the least.  For it is the American and the Israeli states that clearly and repeatedly have threatened Iran with possible aerial strikes upon its nuclear program-related installations.  And yet it is neither the Americans nor the Israelis but rather Iran that the UN Security Council's latest resolution treats as the threat to peace.   

Moreover, Resolution 1737's allegations about Iran's "proliferation sensitive nuclear activities," and the "outstanding issues and concerns on Iran’s nuclear programme, including topics which could have a military nuclear dimension, and that the IAEA is unable to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran" need to be understood for what they really mean.  Establishing in the eyes of the Washington-driven IAEA that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran is the kind of condition that Iran can never meet.  It is therefore the ultimate canard.  Iran must meet a condition that is political in nature.   

In contrast to Iran's nuclear program (i.e., there being no evidence of weapons), simply ask how many times the very real and very ominous American nuclear weapons program and existing stockpile have wound up before the Security Council and the IAEA? Or ask whether the IAEA has ever determined beyond a reasonable doubt that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in the United States?  (And elsewhere, too.  Because unlike Iran, the United States maintains nuclear weapons on nuclear submarines at sea, in bombers at various bases around the globe, and maybe even in outer space — at least it wants to.)

Also, we might ask whether this peerless American nuclear weapon program and stockpile should not count as a proliferation sensitive nuclear activity?  And whether the reason that they are not treated this way before the Security Council, by the IAEA, and by the "international community" turns on the simple fact that they belong to the Americans — and not to some other power, like Iran?  

In the final analysis, I am not sure what is the most remarkable facet of Resolution 1737 and everything presumed by it.  The fact that the world's leading aggressor state, which also happens to be the most nuclear-weaponized state on the planet, has succeeded for the past three or four years in dragging Iran's nuclear program before the eyes of the world?  Or the fact that this very same state just managed to get a resolution unanimously adopted by the Security Council punishing Iran under Chapter VII -type principles that relate to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression?

What do you think?

Update (January 1, 2007): On the webpage "Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle," the International Atomic Energy Agency archives some very important material on how best to provide enriched uranium and other nuclear fuels for peaceful purposes, while also preventing any one state or group of states from monopolizing fuel production and denying other states access to it — the crux of the issue over Iran's uranium-enrichment and reprocessing program, the American position being that no indigenous enrichment program is to be permitted within Iran's territory.

Included therein is the IAEA "expert" proposal that Tehran likes to cite — and indeed has become one of the world's top advocates for — most recently before UN Security Council (S/PV.5612, pp. 8 – 13) — but which was dead-on-arrival as far as the American NPT – killers were concerned: See "Expert Group Releases Findings on Multilateral Nuclear Approaches" and the additional weblinks this page provides.

Specifically Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (INFCIRC/640), Expert Group Report, February 22, 2005.

Update (January 3, 2007): You will all get a kick out of this.  Excerpted from the confirmation hearings of Robert Gates to be the Washington regime's latest Secretary of Defense, held before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on December 5, 2006 (Congressional Quarterly Transcriptions). — The questioner is Senator Lindsey Graham (Rep. -S.C.). 


 GRAHAM: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to add my voice to many others who have praised you for your leadership. I've really enjoyed being on this committee and you've made it a real pleasure to serve here.

Dr. Gates, thank you for your willingness to serve. It looks like we're going to be working together for at least a couple more years. Things are going pretty well for you right now.

Iran: Do you believe the Iranians are trying to acquire lethal weapons capability?

GATES: Yes, sir, I do.

GRAHAM: Do you think the president of Iran is laying when he says he's not?

GATES: Yes, sir.

GRAHAM: Do you believe the Iranians would consider using that nuclear weapons capability against the nation of Israel?

GATES: I don't know that they would do that, Senator. I think that the risks for them, obviously, are enormously high. I think that they see value.

GRAHAM: If I may?

GATES: Yes, sir.

GRAHAM: The president of Iran has publicly disavowed the existence of the Holocaust, has publicly stated that he would like to wipe Israel off the map. Do you think he's kidding?

GATES: No, I don't think he's kidding, but I think there are, in fact, higher powers in Iran than he, than the president. And I think that, while they are certainly pressing, in my opinion, for nuclear capability, I think that they would see it in the first instance as a deterrent.

They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons: Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf.

GRAHAM: Can you assure the Israelis that they will not attack Israel with a nuclear weapon if they acquire one?

GATES: No, sir, I don't think that anybody can provide that assurance.

The Jerusalem Post greeted Gates's comments with an editorial titled "Gates's shocking thinking on Iran" (Dec. 7, 2006): "Gates's first instinct when asked about Iran's potential nuclear capability is not to explain why he views such a prospect as inimical to US interests but why it might not be such a dangerous thing….Gates has now made the case for tolerating an Iranian nuclear weapon and against taking military action to prevent that eventuality. In doing so he elicited no discernible alarm from his Senatorial inquisitors. We wish one of them had pointed out that an Iranian nuclear weapon would dramatically increase both Teheran's capability to inflict increasing damage against US interests and the likelihood of Iran doing just that. Now it falls to President Bush to reveal whether Gates's thinking reflects his own or whether he is still committed to preventing the world's most dangerous regime from obtaining the world's most dangerous weapons."  The New York Times didn't bother to report Gates's comments until one week later, and then only on account of comments made by the Israeli Prime Minister while in Germany, when he "appeared to acknowledge inadvertently during a TV interview shown Monday that Israel has nuclear weapons, an issue on which the Jewish state has sought to maintain ambiguity for decades."  ("In a Slip, Israel's Leader Seems To Confirm Its Nuclear Arsenal," Greg Myre, Dec. 12, 2006.)

"Nuclear Notebook," Robert S. Norris and Hans Kristensen et al., maintained jointly by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (with continual updates) 

"U.S. Nuclear Forces 2006," Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January/February, 2006
Current Active-Duty U.S. Nuclear Forces," The Nuclear Weapon Archive, updated December 15, 2006
U.S. Nuclear Weapon Enduring Stockpile," The Nuclear Weapon Archive, updated December 13, 2006 
"Complete List of All U.S. Nuclear Weapons," The Nuclear Weapon Archive, updated October 14, 2006  

UN Security Council Resolution 1696 (S/RES/1696), "Non-Proliferation," July 31, 2006
Non-Proliferation" (S/PV.5500), Security Council Verbatim Record, July 31, 2006
"Security Council Demands Iran Suspend Uranium Enrichment by 31 August, or Face Possible Economic, Diplomatic Sanctions" (
SC/8792), July 31, 2006

UN Security Council Resolution 1737 (S/RES/1737), "Non-Proliferation," December 23, 2006
Non-Proliferation" (S/PV.5612), Security Council Verbatim Record, December 23, 2006
"Security Council Imposes Sanctions on Iran for Failure To Halt Uranium Enrichment, Unamimously Adopting Resolution 1737" (SC/8928), December 23, 2006
"Security Council imposes sanctions on Iran over uranium enrichment," UN News Center, December 23, 2006 

Presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Homepage)
Islamic Republic News Agency (Homepage) 
Iranian Students News Agency (Homepage)  
FARS News Agency (Homepage)

For some of the relevant documents pertaining to the Americans' success at driving how the Security Council and the IAEA act with respect to Iran's nuclear program — and certainly all of the relevant documents dating back to November 2005, insofar as the IAEA is concerned – see the next ten that follow.  Note that we need to distinguish between IAEA determinations with respect to Iran's nuclear program, and IAEA Board of Governor resolutions with respect to the same.  The former expresses what the IAEA knows about the program (incuding its persistent and politically useful claim that it knows that it can't know everything); the latter what the world's political powers are saying about it.

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran (GOV/2003/40), June 6, 2003
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran (GOV/2005/87), November 15, 2005
Update Brief by the Deputy Director General for Safeguards, January 31, 2006
Communication dated 2 February 2006 received from the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Agency (INFCIRC/666), February 2, 2006
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran — U.S. Statement, February 4, 2006
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran (GOV/2006/15), February 27, 2006
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran (GOV/2006/27), April 28, 2006
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran (GOV/2006/38), June 8, 2006
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran (GOV/2006/53), August 31, 2006
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran (GOV/2006/64), November 14, 2006

"Security Council puts sanctions on Iran," John Donnelly and Farah Stockman, Boston Globe, December 24, 2006 
"UN votes for trade sanctions on Iran over nuclear fears," David Usborne, The Independent, December 24, 2006 
"UN Security Council votes to impose sanctions on Iran," Maggie Farley, Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2006
"Security Council Approves Sanctions Against Iran Over Nuclear Program," Elissa Gootman, New York Times, December 24, 2006
"UN sanctions hit Iran after call by Bush," Peter Beaumont and Robert Tait, The Observer, December 24, 2006
Blair was dangerously off target in his condemnation of Iran," Peter Beaumont, The Observer, December 24, 2006
"UN imposes nuclear sanctions on angry Iran," Sarah Baxter, The Times, December 24, 2006 
"UN Approves Iran Sanctions," Colum Lynch, Washington Post, December 24, 2006 
"'Nyet' on Iran," Editorial, Washington Post, December 24, 2006 

"Iran's nuclear drive linked to loomingoil crisis: U.S. study," Agence France Presse, December 25, 2006
"Report: Iran's oil exports may disappear," Barry Schweid, Associated Press, December 25, 2006
"Iranian citizens yearning for US to start a dialogue," Anne Barnard and James F. Smith, Boston Globe, December 25, 2006 
"Iran Is Defiant, Vowing to U.N. It Will Continue Nuclear Efforts," Nazila Fathi, New York Times, December 25, 2006
"A small step towards international unity," Editorial, The Independent, December 26, 2006
"'Iran may still be stopped peacefully'," Herb Keinon, Jeruslalem Post, December 26, 2006
"Iran may need nuclear power, study says," Jim Wolf, Reuters, December 26, 2006

"The Fourth 'Supreme International Crime' in Seven Years is Already Underway, with the Support of the Free Press and the 'International Community'," Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, ElectricPolitics.com, May 16, 2006
'Weapons of Terror'," ZNet, June 2, 2006 
"Iran before the Security Council," ZNet, December 24, 2006


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