Iran, the IAEA, and American Power II
By David Peterson at Apr 29, 2006
As best I can tell, the International Atomic Energy Agency has yet to post a copy of Friday&undefined;s report on the Iranian nuclear program to its website. (See In Focus: IAEA and Iran.)
However, this morning&undefined;s Guardian (to cite one high-profile example) published a report about the IAEA&undefined;s report that bears the ridiculous, yet nonetheless representative, title: "Scathing nuclear report as US brands Iran enemy No 1" (April 29).
This is worse than I had expected, to say the least. Not because I see any evidence within The Guardian&undefined;s account that the Iranian nuclear activities are worthy of such bitter and severe denunciation. But because none of the IAEA&undefined;s 17 previous written reports to its Board of Governors could rightly be characterized as scathing. So why then would the 18th report in the same series suddenly become scathing? Unless, of course, an hysteric and bitterly denouncing Guardian is here following a turn taken by the IAEA itself, which in turn is following the always-already hysteric and bitterly denouncing lead of the Americans (and everyone they manage to drag after them) in engineering a "crisis" out of nothing but hysteria, nothing but bitter denunciations of the Iranians&undefined; exercise of their right under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to participate in the nuclear fuel cycle for peaceful purposes?
And speaking of hysteria and bitter denunciations, how about the annual exercise in the same released by the United States Department of State on Friday?
Country Reports on Terrorism 2005, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State, April, 2006. (For the PDF version of the complete report.)
"Special Briefing on Release on Country Reports on Terrorism 2005," U.S. Department of State, April 28, 2006
My goodness. As one shameless American, bearing the ludicrous, Made-in-America title Ambassador for Counterterrorism, explained at a news conference in Washington:
Again in 2005, Iran remained the most active sponsor of terrorism. Tehran has repeatedly refused to bring to justice, publicly identify or share information about detained senior al-Qaida members who murdered Americans and others in the &undefined;98 East Africa Embassy bombings. Iran encouraged anti-Israeli terrorist activity, rhetorically, operationally and financially. Iran provided Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist groups with extensive funding, training and weapons.
In addition, Iran has provided assistance to anti-coalition forces in Iraq. As the President said earlier this year, some of the most powerful IEDs we&undefined;re seeing in Iraq today include components that came from Iran. Regarding a WMD terrorism threat, Iran presents a particular concern given its act of sponsorship of terrorism and its continued development of a nuclear program.
Is commentary on fare as fraudulent as this even necessary? This is almost as bad as calling Casey Sheehan a "hero" for having been shot to death in U.S.-occupied Baghdad before he could shoot the other guy to death. For what the American Ambassador for Counterterrorism (please hold your laughs until the very end) is saying is that the resistance to the military occupiers of Iraq is "terrorism." That is to say, that the right of peoples to resist colonial and alien domination and foreign military occupation ceases to be their right when the colonial, alien, and foreign dominator is American (or an ally of the Americans). Under which circumstances, resistance becomes terrorism instead.
If you&undefined;ll indulge me, here are the paragraphs devoted to Iran in Country Reports on Terrorism 2005 (p. 173/191):
Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism. Its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) were directly involved in the planning and support of terrorist acts and continued to exhort a variety of groups, especially Palestinian groups with leadership cadres in Syria and Lebanese Hizballah, to use terrorism in pursuit of their goals. In addition, the IRGC was increasingly involved in supplying lethal assistance to Iraqi militant groups, which destabilizes Iraq.
Iran continues to be unwilling to bring to justice senior al-Qaida members it detained in 2003. Iran has refused to identify publicly these senior members in its custody on “security grounds.” Iran has also resisted numerous calls to transfer custody of its al-Qaida detainees to their countries of origin or to third countries for interrogation and/or trial.
Iran maintained a high-profile role in encouraging anti-Israeli terrorist activity -- rhetorically, operationally, and financially. Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Ahmadi-Nejad praised Palestinian terrorist operations, and Iran provided Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist groups -- notably HAMAS, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command -- with extensive funding, training, and weapons.
Iran pursued a variety of policies in Iraq, some of which appeared to be inconsistent with its stated objectives regarding stability in Iraq and with the objectives of the Iraqi Transitional Government and the Multi-national Forces in Iraq. Senior Iraqi officials have publicly expressed concern over Iranian interference in Iraq, and there were reports that Iran provided funding, safe passage, and arms to insurgent elements.
State sponsors of terrorism pose a grave WMD terrorism threat. A WMD program in a state sponsor of terrorism could enable a terrorist organization to acquire a sophisticated WMD. State sponsors of terrorism and nations that fail to live up to their international obligations deserve special attention as potential facilitators of WMD terrorism. Iran presents a particular concern, given its active sponsorship of terrorism and its continued development of a nuclear program. Iran is also capable of producing biological and chemical agents or weapons. Like other state sponsors of terrorism with WMD programs, Iran could support terrorist organizations seeking to acquire WMD.
Again, commentary on fare as fraudulent as this is superfluous. Either you see through it. Or you don&undefined;t.
I also notice that in Chapter 8, "Foreign Terrorist Organizations," the State Department still lists (just as it has been, ever since 1997) the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization among its officially-designated FTOs. (See pp. 212/230 - 213/231.) Among its a.k.a.s (i.e., its "also-known-ases," its aliases), the Mujahedin-e Khalq includes the National Council for Resistance of Iran---yet another outfit that the State Department first added to its officially-designated FTOs in August, 2003.
"The MEK conducted anti-Western attacks prior to the Islamic Revolution," Country Reports on Terrorism 2005 explains on one page. "Since then, it has conducted terrorist attacks against the interests of the clerical regime in Iran and abroad” (p. 132/150).
How the MEK can carry out attacks against the Iranian Government and civilians and still remain on the State Department&undefined;s list of officially-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations is beyond me. I would have thought that murdering civilians within an officially-designated member of the "Axis of Evil" makes you a Freedom Fighter and a Hero within the American pantheon of worldly causes. At least until the Americans invade.
But what do I know?
In Focus: IAEA and Iran (Homepage)
“IAEA confirms Iran&undefined;s uranium claim,” Stephen Fidler, Financial Times, April 29, 2006
“Scathing nuclear report as US brands Iran enemy No 1,” Ian Traynor Zagreb Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian, April 29, 2006
“There can be a nuclear bargain,” Editorial, The Guardian, April 29, 2006
“Iran &undefined;stepping up its nuclear programme&undefined;,” Anne Penketh, The Independent, April 29, 2006
“U.N. Nuclear Agency Takes Step Toward Sanctions on Iran,” Maggie Farley and Alissa J. Rubin, Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2006
“U.N. Agency Says Iran Falls Short on Nuclear Data,” Elaine Sciolino et al., New York Times, April 29, 2006
“West to seek UN action on Iranian bomb threat,” James Bone, The Times, April 29, 2006
“Old-time battle puts Putin on the spot,” Richard Beeston, The Times, April 29, 2006
“Report Sets Stage For Action on Iran,” Molly Moore and Dafna Linzer, Washington Post, April 29, 2006
Postscript (April 29): This cartoon derives from the website of The Times of London. Haven&undefined;t a
clue who created it. Or whether it first appeared on the pages of The Times or elsewhere. But these concerns are beside the point anyway. That point being: The scene depicted by the cartoon is false. The President of Iran does not have the fate of a country of some 70 million people in his hands. At least not where Iran&undefined;s Article IV.1 rights under the NPT are concerned. Nor is it--contrary to the scene depicted at left--the President of Iran whose actions are placing his country at risk--just one "snip" of his scissors away from plummeting into the void below. Rather, these are the attributes of the American-led Neocolonial Community, projected onto the President of Iran by the anonymous cartoonist. There can be no doubt but that the primary threat that Iran faces today is from the American and the Israeli regimes in their clear and unrelenting drive to deny Iran its right to develop nuclear energy. The longer the world waits to confront the threat that the American and the Israeli regimes pose to Iran, the harder and more intractable their treat will become to counter.Postscript (April 30): In light of the American-engineered hysterics over the Iranian nuclear program (about which there is zero evidence that the program has been undertaken for any other than peaceful purposes), it would do us all well to compare the saga of an earlier generation of nuclear-weapon proliferators---and their appeasers and, ultimately, sponsors on-high:
"Israel Crosses the Threshold," Avner Cohen and William Burr, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Vol. 62, No. 3), May/June, 2006
"Israel Crosses the Nuclear Threshold," National Security Archive Update, April 28, 2006
"The Untold Story of Israel&undefined;s Bomb," Avner Cohen and William Burr, Washington Post, April 30, 2006
Let us face the facts: Israel already crossed this threshold four decades ago.