August 08, 2005
NYC Letter: "Crise Internationale" ! Tout Le Monde Court !
Once upon a time three European nations (Britain, France, and Germany or "the EU3") clubbed up to be the multipolar arbiter of European interests here and there. The EU3 thought themselves a magical bunch whose magical words would always gin up storybook endings.
IRAN DEMANDS RIGHT TO NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY
Petition surprises Europe, could bolster U.S. stand
August 9, 2004 (AP)
EU WARNS IRAN OF 'SERIOUS SITUATION' ON NUCLEAR PLANS
September 3, 2004 (AFP)
IRAN DEMANDS EU NUCLEAR PROPOSALS BY MONDAY
TEHRAN July 30, 2005 (AFP)
Blah blah blah.
IRAN DEFIES EU TO RESUME NUCLEAR ACTIVITY
August 1, 2005 (Guardian)
Ah, the don't-make-me-cry blah blah blah from France:
FRANCE 'CONCERNED' AS IRAN ENDS SUSPENSION
PARIS August 1, 2005 (AFP)
'INTERNATIONAL CRISIS' IF IRAN REJECTS EU PROPOSALS: FRANCE
PARIS August 5, 2005 (AFP)
Blah blah blah.
EUROPE OFFERS IRAN DEAL TO END NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN
August 6, 2005 (Guardian)
Alas, for our fabulous EU3, the world is not a fairy tale.
EU WON'T INTIMIDATE US OVER URANIUM, SAYS IRANIAN LEADER
August 7, 2005 (Telegraph)
IRAN TO RESUME NUCLEAR WORK AFTER REJECTING EU OFFER
August 8, 2005 (IHT)
Now, the Iranian nuclear botch is too much story for a single post, but it is instructive to look at the headlines epitomizing the Iranian rejection of the EU offer:
IRAN TURNS DOWN EU NUCLEAR OFFER
August 6, 2005 (BBC)
Well, this sounds civil, a gentlemanly "Thank you, chaps, but no thank you". "Turn down", so much nicer than "reject" or "flout".
IRAN DISCOUNTS LATEST NUCLEAR PROPOSAL
Official Calls 'Absurd' A European Offer Meant
To Halt Fuel-Enrichment Steps
August 6, 2005 (WP)
The WP then goes on to report:
Iranian officials strongly criticized a European proposal they received yesterday that called on Tehran to dismantle much of the country's nuclear infrastructure. ... But Iranian officials said the proposal, which includes more than a dozen conditional and sometimes ambiguous incentives, was insulting. "Maybe the Europeans are willing to sell out their own rights at a cheap price, but Iran is not," said M. Javad Zarif, the country's ambassador to the United Nations. In an interview, he called the offer "absurd, demeaning and self-congratulatory" and said it was not enough to stop Iran's plans to resume next week some of the same nuclear work the Europeans want it to give up.
Well, where we come from this is not "discounting". We call this "folding it twice and shoving it where the moon don't shine".
Such polite sleepy headlines have helped the Iranian nuclear threat glide through our days. Why worry, the EU3 was on the job.
Just for the record, Iran is a non-nuclear-weapon state signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. (Hey! So were the Norks!) Article II of which enjoins signatories:
Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
How then to account for this string of headlines?:
OUR MAN SOLD SECRETS TO IRAN, ADMITS PAKISTAN
ISLAMABAD February 2, 2005 (Telegraph)
IRAN 'GIVEN PAKISTAN CENTRIFUGES'
March 10, 2005 (BBC)
IRAN PLANS SECRET "NUCLEAR UNIVERSITY" TO TRAIN SCIENTISTS
March 20, 2005 (Telegraph)
NORTH KOREA TO HELP IRAN DIG SECRET [NUCLEAR] MISSILE BUNKERS
June 12, 2005 (Telegraph)
Perhaps it is time to labor the obvious, that peaceful nuclear programs have an economic rationale:
In 1995, Iran signed $940m in contracts with the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy to complete a commercial nuclear power plant, and instantly became part of the nuclear weapons proliferation puzzle. Why, the experts began to ask, would Iran, a nation with huge supplies of natural gas, commit itself to an expensive nuclear power programme that could not possibly generate electricity as cheaply as its natural gas programme - unless of course the real plan was to gain the capability to make its own nuclear weapons.
"If you have a nuclear power programme, you have the fissile materials. You have to reprocess, but that's a chemical step. Once you start a peaceful programme, it becomes indistinguishable from a military one," [Dr. Frank Barnaby, former Aldermaston scien tist and once director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute] said.
And while crazy nations go about jerry-building nuclear bombs, America is counseled to disarm:
ANNAN CALLS FOR CALM AS THREATS OVERSHADOW NUCLEAR TALKS
WASHINGTON May 3, 2005 (Telegraph)
Mr Annan also chided the biggest nuclear powers for failing to pursue atomic disarmament with greater vigour, as they has promised at the last review in 2000.Posted by Damian at August 8, 2005 04:45 AM
He called on America and Russia to commit themselves irreversibly to much deeper cuts in arsenals.