Iran hasn’t got an active nuclear weapons programme, says US intelligence

The drumbeat of impending war on basis of WMDs is getting louder as the Obama Administration and Congress, on continuing march with Bush policies seeing that “the absence of proof is not the proof of absence“, puts our military on notice for war. Lieberman and McCain and the ilk insist that not getting proof is enough to ensue preemptive economic and  military actions with no regard to sovereignty. History repeats another Iraq-WMD-911 lie? Time will tell ….

November 2011 IAEA report

But surely the November 2011 IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear activities [12] presented evidence that Iran has an active nuclear weapons programme?  The answer is NO.

When the report was published, a White House spokesperson said:

“The IAEA does not assert that Iran has resumed a full scale nuclear weapons program … .”

See White House: IAEA Report Doesn’t Change Assessment Of Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions by Marc Ambinder, National Journal, 8 November 2011 [13].

On 10 November 2011, Professor Paul Pillar wrote of the IAEA report:

“Despite references in the surge of report commentary about new evidence on this or that aspect of the subject, the report told us nothing of importance to policy onIran that was not already well known.” [14]

(Professor Pillar retired from the CIA in 2005 after 28 years service, his last post being National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia).

On 23 January 2012, Peter Jenkins, the UK’s ambassador to the IAEA from 2001 to 2006, wrote of the report’s findings in the Daily Telegraph:

“The IAEA says that prior to 2003 Iran researched some of the know-how needed for a weapon, and that further research may have taken place in the years since. The IAEA has not reported evidence of attempts to produce nuclear weapons, or of a decision to do so.” [15]

On 22 February 2012, Hans Blix, former head of the IAEA, wrote of the reports report’s findings in the New Statesman:

“The IAEA did not … conclude that Iran was making a weapon or had taken a decision to make one.” [16]

Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone

The international community, including the US and the EU, is committed to the creation of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East.

Today, the only impediment to the achievement of this objective is Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons, which it can deliver by aircraft, ballistic missile and submarine to any target in the Middle East.  Some experts believe that Israel may have as many as 400 nuclear warheads [17].  Iran has none.

Yet, the US and the EU are applying ferocious economic sanctions against Iran, and threatening military action against it, but they are applying no sanctions whatsoever against Israel.  Iran could be forgiven for thinking that a double standard is being applied.

And there is more.  Iran’s nuclear facilities are open to IAEA inspection.  By contrast, Israel’s nuclear facilities are not (apart from a 5MW reactor supplied by the US in 1955, located at Nahal Soreq).  Strangely, unlike Iran’s, Israel’s nuclear facilities are never described as “secret”. The Security Council has demanded that Israel open its nuclear facilities to IAEA inspection.  On 19 June 1981, in resolution 487, it called “upon Israel urgently to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards”. [18] Israel has ignored the resolution for over 30 years – and, unlike Iran, it has not been sanctioned.

David Morrison

1 March 2012










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