Iran in Wonderland

In the Alice-in-Wonderland — and by now reflexive — formula of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s assessments of Iran’s nuclear program for its Board of Governors (the current report, released Friday, February 22, at least the 21st in a series dating all the way back to June 6, 2003 (GOV/2003/40)): 

Confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme requires that the Agency be able to provide assurances not only regarding declared nuclear material, but, equally importantly, regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran. Although the Agency has no concrete information, other than that addressed through the work plan, about possible current undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, the Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurances about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran without full implementation of the Additional Protocol. (GOV/2007/58, para. 43)

The IAEA’s current report hasn’t been published yet. But if history is a reliable guide — and in this case it most certainly is — the current report will rehash some "outstanding issues," dismiss some, state that others remain unresolved — and conclude with a "Summary" of the scope and nature of the IAEA’s knowledge about Iran’s nuclear program. Within this Summary there will be sentences exactly like those that I’ve just quoted from the IAEA’s November 2007 report. So in the days and weeks ahead, with every allegation you read or hear about Iran’s nuclear weapons program, please keep this logically impossible condition in mind. Neither Iran nor Allah have the power to prove that the absence of evidence of an undeclared nuclear weapons program in Iran really does mean the absence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran.  But as with everything else the Americans touch, impossible-to-fulfill conditions such as these are political in nature, not scientific –which explains why the Americans resort to them in the first place, and work hard to impose them upon others.
As long as the Americans insist that Iran has not proven its innocence of charges that are logically impossible for Iran to confute, the Americans will use this wedge-issue to exploit multilateral agencies such as the IAEA and more recently the UN Security Council to harass Iran. —
Or worse. 

UN Security Council Presidential Statement (S/PRST/2006/15), March 29, 2006
UN Security Council Resolution 1696 (S/RES/1696), July 31, 2006
UN Security Council Resolution 1737 (S/RES/1737), December 23, 2006
UN Security Council Resolution 1747 (S/RES/1747), March 24, 2007 
Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities, U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, November, 2007
"Iran Rejects US Weapons Evidence, UN Agency Says," Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers, February 22, 2008
Iran vows reprisals against any new UN sanctions," Agence France Presse, February 23, 2008
Ahmadinejad calls on U.S. to ‘apologize’ to Iran over nuclear claims," Associated Press, February 23, 2008
"Iran: UN Security Council has taken illegal action," IRNA, February 23, 2008 
"Iran says more sanctins won’t halt nuclear plan," Reuters, February 23, 2008
Iran says no question remains for IAEA about its nuclear program," RIA Novosti, February 23, 2008
Iranian vice president says keeping Iran’s nuclear case in UNSC not justifiable," Xinhua, February 23, 2008  
"Nuclear Agency Says Iran Has Used New Technology," David E. Sanger, New York Times, February 23, 2008 
"U.S. Seeks Support For Sanctioning Iran: Nuclear Issues Unresolved, IAEA Says," Joby Warrick and Robin Wright, 
Washington Post, February 23, 2008

"The UN is escalating the Iran nuclear crisis," Siddharth Varadarajan, The Hindu, March 5, 2008

"The U.S. Aggression Process and Its Collaborators: From Guatemala (1950-1954) to Iran (2002-)," Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, Electric Politics, November 26, 2007


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