Unrepresentative UNSC Votes for continuation of Apartheid NPT Regime
The 15-member UN security council unanimously adopted on 24 Sep, 2009, a US-sponsored resolution aimed at reducing nuclear weapons around the world. A US president for the first time attended the UNSC session.
(Obama should first persuade the Congress and pass the Health care bill or regulate the aberrant US financial runaway train sector heading for catastrophe)
In line with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), it comprises the following key points:
State parties to the NPT must comply fully with all their obligations and fulfill their commitments under the treaty.
States that are not parties to the NPT must accede to the treaty as non-nuclear weapons states.
NPT states must pursue negotiations on steps relating to nuclear arms reduction and disarmament and on a treaty on complete disarmament under strict international monitoring.
All other states must join the effort.
NPT states must cooperate to ensure the NPT review conference next year not only bolsters the treaty but sets realistic goals in the areas of non-proliferation, the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and disarmament.
All states must refrain from nuclear test explosions as well as sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The conference on disarmament must negotiate a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or similar devices as soon as possible.
NPT member states must share best practices in order to improve safety standards and aim within four years to secure all nuclear material from the risk of nuclear terrorism.
All states should minimize as much as economically and technically feasible the use of highly enriched uranium for civilian purposes.
They should work to convert research reactors and radioisotope production processes to the use of low enriched uranium fuels.
All states must improve their national capabilities to detect, deter and disrupt illicit trafficking in nuclear materials throughout their territories.
This is an ill thought and not duly deliberated move and unlikely to succeed in its aim of disarmament since as the world knows the nuclear weapons states are the worst culprits. US which is pushing it is fast losing clout all around the world , Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia , Latin America etc .
If the idea is to coerce Iran and North Korea, it will not succeed. Let us hope India would not be coerced into acting against Iran, which Ms Clinton, Nick Burns and others expect from India. Not another Sharm-el Shaikh please!
What about Israel which has up to 200 nukes in its armory and has blackmailed its neighbors since 1973. Israel and Jewish community in USA control the US Congress, media and financial sectors. Any American politician who thinks of standing for an election must first pay obeisance to powerful Jewish AIPAC.
What will India do? Sign NPT as the resolution exhorts. What is India’s status. NPT signed or not NPT signed or nuclear weapon state as PM told the Indian Parliament in 2006. American interlocutors talk as if India has signed NPT. Did India have a well thought out and coherent policy or just depends on US promises, which US is not known to keep.
"The present system for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons is at an end, is bankrupt," said Mohamed El Baradei, head of IAEA said at Davos a few years ago and remains true even now. He described "unworkable" the way of thinking that it is "morally reprehensible for some counties to pursue weapons of mass destruction yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security and indeed to continue to refine their capacities and postulate plans for their use" (NYT Feb 12, 2004) Former president Jimmy Carter summed it up: "The United States is the major culprit in the erosion of the NPT”
UN GA and the ICJ has lambasted NPT and its implementation including general disarmament .The Seventh Review of the NPT in 2005, after futile deliberations lasting 4 months, was an unmitigated disaster with the Conference even failing to agree on a consensus document or adopt a common resolution or a substantive Chairman's statement, fuelling cynicism if the world would ever be free from the fear of nuclear weapons holocaust.
As the Western corporate outlets and poodle BBC will dominate the media along with its subservient, uninformed. For ill-informed or West educated Indian media, I am reproducing my comprehensive and in depth article dated May 11, 2006 which will help you in understanding the complexities and the true nature of the problem.
The Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty Is Dead http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13005.htm
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who are the greatest proliferators of them all!
"The present system for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons is at an end, is bankrupt." Mohamed El Baradei, head of IAEA recently at Davos.
“In most communities it is illegal to cry "fire" in a crowded assembly. Should it not be considered serious international misconduct to manufacture a general war scare in an effort to achieve local political aims?” Dwight D. Eisenhower.
"ICH" -- The Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its apartheid regime is but a carcass now. While the abhorrent South African regime is long gone, the major violators of NPT -an iniquitous, non universal thrust down regime –held in place by the five recognized nuclear weapons powers (NWPs), who also occupy the permanent seats in the UN Security Council want this unethical and immoral regime to continue.
There is an unholy alliance of cover up by the NWPs, against the majority of the nations of the world, the non-nuclear weapon states and others, who watch impotently this dangerous theatre of the absurd and brinkmanship, in trepidation. Something is seriously wrong with the political, economic and environmental health of planet Earth. And something might give in soon, with NWPs carrying out prohibited activities, among others deadly use of depleted uranium weapons. Mother Earth, already damaged could cross the Rubicon beyond redemption.
The US has retched up the present conflict with Tehran, with ill considered support from Europeans (who need Iranian gas as an alternative to Russian monopoly). Russia and China would not allow a UNSC resolution for possible US abuse later for an attack on Iran, as was done in Yugoslavia and Iraq. US efforts for a mandatory UN resolution have been thwarted by Russia and China. UNSC members have agreed to present Tehran with a choice of incentives or sanctions in deciding whether to suspend uranium enrichment.
While Sunni countries Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the region are lukewarm to Shia Iran, Tehran has gained support from the biggest Muslim nation Indonesia.
USA and UK, with France and Germany, not always in unison, are dancing a macabre dance of death over NPT’s carcass against Russia and China, which in tandem with Tehran is countering Western attempts to enter their strategic space.
But, when it comes to their obligations to NPT, the five NWP s close ranks against the rest of the humanity.
Mohamed El Baradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has described as "unworkable" the way of thinking that it is "morally reprehensible for some counties to pursue weapons of mass destruction yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security and indeed to continue to refine their capacities and postulate plans for their use" (NYT Feb 12, 2004)
Former president Jimmy Carter summed it up: "The United States is the major culprit in the erosion of the NPT. While claiming to be protecting the world from proliferation threats in Iraq, Libya, Iran and North Korea ... they also have abandoned past pledges and now threaten first use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states."
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the international community on 10 May to pay attention to the fact that the arms race has reached a new technological level with U.S. defense spending 25 times higher than Russia's. He said "It is too early to speak about an end to the arms race. In fact, it is unfolding, and has reached a new technological level, thus posing a threat of the appearance of an arsenal of so-called destabilizing weapons,"
Obligations and responsibilities of Nuclear Weapons States;
Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons" which came into force on March 5, 1970 says;
"Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."
The NPT signed in 1968 , based on a covenant between NPW s and non-NPW s is now subscribed to by 187 states , the four very notable exceptions being Israel ,India and Pakistan (north Korea left NPT in 2003), which possess nuclear weapons and Cuba, which does not. India has always criticized NPT as discriminatory and unequal. In 1995, NPT’s initial validity of 25 years was extended indefinitely, with a review conference to be held after every five years. The last dismal review was held in 2005.
"It is nonetheless the case that states not endowed with nuclear weapons and signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) have always had a basis for considering that the international cooperation provided for in that treaty to develop civilian applications for the atom has stayed a dead letter, as has the compensation promised in exchange for their renunciation of nuclear weapons."
NPT is dead;
The Seventh Review of the NPT in 2005, after futile deliberations lasting 4 months, was an unmitigated disaster with the Conference even failing to agree on a consensus document or adopt a common resolution or a substantive Chairman's statement, fuelling cynicism if the world would ever be free from the fear of nuclear weapons holocaust. Any hopes to transform the existing international proliferation control regime and reduce, if not eliminate, the global nuclear danger promised in the 2000 review were just shattered. [USA and others in the West now use 911 as an excuse].
The review proved that on the point of disarmament and reduction of arsenals of nuclear weapons, the gang of five stick together aggressively led by USA– No concessions. Period.
While the 5 NWP s could be jointly held responsible for the ignominious end of the review, USA, specially under the Bush administration has been staunchly opposed to arms control and nuclear-arms reduction. Indeed it went back from the commitments made in 2000, whereby they had agreed to 13 "Practical Steps" which would put some flesh on their "unequivocal undertaking" to fulfill their obligation towards complete nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the NPT.
Instead "USA argued in 2005 that the problem with the NPT regime lies not in the nuclear weapons-states' inaction over disarmament, but in the lack of compliance with it by states such as North Korea and Iran. The other four NWS s too colluded with the US in trying to shift attention away from their failure to begin negotiations on nuclear weapons reduction and ultimate abolition".
The US is now developing "usable low yield" mini-nukes and would redesign earlier bombs for bunker-busting of targets buried deep underground. Both US and UK are into further research on Hydrogen bombs and to place nukes and other new lethal weapons in space. In 1998 a Commission under Donald Rumsfeld had produced the pro-"Star Wars" (Missile Defense) Report of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States.
After Bush's election in 2000," Washington has walked out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and 'unsigned' the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The 2001 "Nuclear Posture Review" recommended the revitalization of US nuclear forces, and all the elements that support them, within a new triad of conventional and nuclear capabilities.
In 2006 USA adopted a production schedule of 250 nuclear warheads per year and promises to extend its nuclear hegemony over the earth to space. Under the cover of USA's never ending so called war on terror all kinds of lethal weapons are being developed.
UK has modernized its nuclear forces and assigned tactical missions to its Trident. Paris said that its security "is now and will be guaranteed above all by our nuclear deterrent."
So Russia and China are responding .President Putin said Russia was "carrying out research and missile tests of state-of-the-art nuclear missile systems" and that Moscow would "continue to build up firmly and insistently our armed forces, including the nuclear components". Moscow is also reportedly developing unique new-generation nuclear weapons "not possessed by any country in the world," while China has diluted its no-first-use policy and is "upgrading" and modernizing its missiles.
And after September 11, 2001, all of the 5 NWP have become even more addicted to nuclear weapons for 'security'."
El Baradei warned ,"In recent years, three phenomena—the emergence of a nuclear black market, the determined efforts by additional countries to acquire the technology to produce the fissile material useable to nuclear weapons, and the clearly expressed desired of terrorists to acquire weapons of mass destruction—have radically altered the security landscape."
A peace activist Praful Bidwai moaned after the failed 2005 review, "The bargain is simple. The bulk of the world's states would foreswear nuclear weapons and accept a regime of inspections to ensure that nuclear materials are not diverted to military programs. In return, the NWPs-5 would earnestly initiate negotiations to eliminate them, and meanwhile transfer no material/know how to allies such as Israel."
Rebecca Johnson, an independent expert and director of the Acronyn Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, an NGO commented: "From start to finish, this conference did little more than go through the motions, and was one of the most shameful exhibitions of cynical time-wasting seen outside the Geneva Conference on Disarmament."
International legal position;
The non NWPs have tried all forums to make NWP s to implement their obligations under NPT.
International Court of Justice; Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, July 8, 1996:
"There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control." Para. 105(2) (F).
"The legal import of [the NPT Article VI] obligation goes beyond that of a mere obligation of conduct; the obligation involved here is an obligation to achieve a precise result — nuclear disarmament in all its aspects — by adopting a particular course of conduct, namely, the pursuit of negotiations on the matter in good faith." Para. 99.
"States must never make civilians the object of attack and must consequently never use weapons that are incapable of distinguishing between civilian and military targets". Para. 78 (emphasis added). This "cardinal" rule of humanitarian law is "fundamental" and "intransgressible". Paras. 78, 79.
"[T]he threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law. However, in view of the current state of international law, and of the elements of fact at its disposal, the Court cannot conclude definitely whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defense, in which the very survival of a State would be at stake." Para. 105(2) (E).
After the ICJ 1996 opinion the obligation to negotiate elimination of nuclear arsenals applies to all states, especially those with massive arsenals.
The "Principles and Objectives" after the 1995 review, reaffirmed the NPT disarmament obligations and showed a road map. It called for negotiation of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by 1996, "immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiation" of a ban on production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons use, and "the determined pursuit by the nuclear-weapon States of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the ultimate goals of eliminating those weapons, and by all States of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."
“Since 1995, support for compliance with the NPT disarmament obligation has been expressed in forums of every kind and at every level, from organizations to professional associations to towns to cities to national parliaments to the European Parliament to the United Nations."
UN General Assembly resolutions:
Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court Justice, res. 54/54 Q (1 December 1999, yes 114, no 28, abstain 22): "2. Calls once again upon all States to immediately fulfill [the nuclear disarmament obligation affirmed by the ICJ] by commencing multilateral negotiations in 2000 leading to an early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination."
Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: the need for a new agenda, res. 54/54 G (1 December 1999, yes 111, no 13, abstain 39): "1. Calls upon the Nuclear-Weapon States to make an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the speedy and total elimination of their nuclear arsenals and to engage without delay in an accelerated process of negotiations, thus achieving nuclear disarmament, to which they are committed under article VI of the NPT."
Declaration on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear and Thermonuclear Weapons, res. 1653 (1961, yes 55, no 20, abstain 26): Use of nuclear weapons is "contrary to the spirit, letter and aims of the United Nations and, as such, a direct violation of the Charter of the United Nations," "contrary to the rules of international law and to the laws of humanity," and "a crime against mankind and civilization".
According to journalist Seymour Hersh US is even planning to use tactical nuclear weapons against Iran. Tehran has not flouted NPT and is asserting its right to enrich Uranium up to 4% as fuel for power generation which is allowed under the Treaty. For experimental reactors 6% purity is advised. But for making a nuclear bomb over 80% purity is required.
So Americans with corporate media 'manufactured consent' when polled recently favored attack on Iran (to destroy its US media presumed Nuclear weapons program), even as a majority are against handling of US war on Iraq, with President Bush's approval ratings plummeting to 31%. Even the US experts give 3 to 10 years period for Iran to manufacture a bomb. The technical preparations, including power requirements cannot be hidden.
But barring corporate media soaked US public and some Europeans , few now believe Western leaders because of their and media's blatant spins, half truths and lies on Iraq's WMDs, its nuclear bomb manufacture program and Iraq's relationship with Al Qaeda, with all lies now exposed.
The Germans were blamed for what the Nazis did to Jews, Gypsies and so called other inferior races .There is a similarity in the western discourse about their cultural superiority over non-Europeans. West claims to derive its civilization and culture from the Greeks and hence the Cretian civilization, which itself was derived from Egyptian and Phoenician. Both are indebted to Mesopotamian, verily the mother of all civilizations, which evolved mostly in Iraq and southeast Turkey.
A North- South and racial divide on NPT has emerged. Like the rich Japanese, who were accepted as 'honorary whites' by South African apartheid regime, white Christian nations had to gulp China's entry in NWP s club. But China signed NPT after having violated NPT spirit and norms. Its role in proliferation to North Korea and Pakistan and of Western countries among themselves and to Pakistan needs an unbiased inquiry. Both Iran and Libya bought nuclear technology and material from Dr Khan's black market. But what about Saudi Arabia with its massive assistance to Pakistan in the project and their deep rooted defense ties. There were recently some reports to this effect in the German media.
Origins of the Nuclear Arms;
Scientists theorized that an atom could be broken down into a nucleus of positive protons and neutral neutrons circled by negatively charged electrons .If neutrons bombarded heavy metals like Uranium or Thorium , the latter would split releasing enormous energy according to Einstein's formula of E=MC2. E is energy released, M is the mass and C is speed of light i.e. 186,000 miles per second. It is immense.
Natural uranium is composed of two isotopes, Uranium-238 (99.3%) and Uranium 235 (0.7%) and is the most suitable metal for energy release. When U235 is bombarded by a neutron, it releases on average of 2.5 neutrons and enormous energy .But U238 absorbs neutrons and does not split like U235 thus stopping the chain (continuous) reaction. Hence enriching of U235 isotopes is necessary both for fuel and for Atomic bombs. This is done by using high velocity centrifuges to separate U235 isotopes.
The Manhattan Project during the 2nd world war for US Atomic bomb needed massive investment and was then the largest factory under one roof, employing thousands of persons at its peak. Hitler's march in Europe had led to many scientists to flee Europe and go over to USA and Britain, who helped these countries in their Atomic bomb projects.
The US Manhattan Project succeeded and led to the first and so far mercifully the last use of nuclear bombs, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. USSR soon developed its own bomb and soon erstwhile allies against Germany and Japan, retched up the destructive potential to fusion (Hydrogen) bombs, in which an atomic bomb is used to trigger fusion of two heavy hydrogen (helium) nuclei, which releases enormous energy. Soon they were helping out their allies. USSR cut its assistance to China only in late 1950s.
Rockets, missiles and submarines were developed for delivering nuclear bombs and for a second strike back response. Many times the world stared at the onset of the Armageddon. U.S.A threatened to use nuclear weapons, and even went on full nuclear alert, to prevent any "Soviet aggression" in the Middle East, especially to protect Israel in its pre-emptive and defensive wars of 1956, 1958, 1967, 1973, 1979 and 1982. Had there been some sort of technical hardware or software accident, or misinterpretation of evidence, any of those alerts could have resulted in a full scale nuclear war
There have been (at least) four major false alarms, the most recent in 1995, that almost resulted in the US or Russia launching its weapons in retaliation for a supposed attack. Now there is an even more dangerous possibility with the use of nuclear material for a dirty bomb by terrorists. West has threatened to attack presumed 'rogue states' supporting such terrorist attacks! Who will decide and how quickly?
Israel, the Nuclear Elephant in the Room.
In all this international discourse, little notice has been taken of Israel's arsenal of reportedly 200-400 nuclear bombs. Israel did not sign NPT nor has it publicly proclaimed a nuclear explosion. And the West has never discussed this matter seriously in IAEA or UN or placed any sanctions against Israel. Why? And it is the Israeli leaders who make the maximum noise against nuclear bombs.
"Before the 1967 Six-Day War, they (Israel) felt their nuclear facility threatened and reportedly assembled several nuclear devices. By the 1973 Yom Kippur War Israel had a number of sophisticated nuclear bombs, deployed them, and considered using them. The Arabs may have limited their war aims because of their knowledge of the Israeli nuclear weapons. Israel has most probably conducted several nuclear bomb tests."
In 1991 Seymour Hersh wrote a book "The Samson Option ; Israel's nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy" (The Biblical Samson, of course, brought down a temple that killed himself and his enemies.), which derives from Israeli view that once they had the bomb they are in a position to bring it all down on everyone if they felt cornered .Israel used nuclear blackmail to force USA to airlift unlimited military supplies during the 1973 Yom Kippur war. The threat of blackmail continues to distort the US–Israeli relationship.
Reportedly, Israel uses its long-range missiles and nuclear capable aircraft (and, some say, submarines with nuclear armed cruise missiles) to deter both conventional and unconventional attacks, or to launch "the Samson Option", an all-out attack against an adversary should defenses fail and population centers be threatened. In addition, despite Israel's insistence that it "will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East," these systems represent an effective preemptive strike force.
A trigger happy nation , Deputy US Secretary of State Eagleburger had to stay put in Tel Aviv during the 1991 war on Iraq , to rein in the Israelis from joining in which would have quickly unraveled the coalition George Bush's father had assembled .
While the Israeli hawk Ariel Sharon said "Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches," even dovish Shimon Peres feels; "acquiring a superior weapons system (read nuclear) would mean the possibility of using it for compellent purposes - that is forcing the other side to accept Israeli political demands, which presumably include a demand that the traditional status quo be accepted and a peace treaty signed."
Unlike George Bush, Bill Clinton, at least distanced himself from this 'Samson Option’, rightly. Defense analyst Zeev Schiff opined in independent Haaretz: "Too many senior Israeli officials have taken to issuing threatening statements vis-a-vis Iraq .... Off-the-cuff Israeli nuclear threats have become a problem, even before the onset of the Iraqi crisis. [or Iran now]... Washington may decide it wants to distance itself from Israel in order to avoid being accused of having conspired with us on an action we planned exclusively by ourselves."
By late 2002 George Bush evidently approved Israel's nuclear response to an Iraqi attack with biological and nuclear weapons -- before the United States invasion, according to the Scotsman.news, " Sharon eyes Samson's option against Iraq." Israeli president Ezar Weissman said "The nuclear issue is gaining momentum (and the) next war will not be conventional."
At the very least, the unilateral possession of nuclear arsenal by Israel in the region is enormously destabilizing and remains the major problem.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert urged the international community to oppose the Iranian nuclear program, saying Teheran's ambitions threaten not only Israel but all of Western civilization.
"The Iranian nuclear program should concern many countries, especially those with global responsibility." He added that the international front against Iran should include the United States, Europe and other Western countries.
Only this week the head of Israel's Military Intelligence, Major General Amos Yadlin, told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Iran would have acquired nuclear bombs by 2010. Iran had succeeded in enriching uranium to 3.5 percent at the Natanz facility. "In order to manufacture nuclear weapons, they have to be able to produce 25 kilograms of enriched uranium and they are still at the stage of [producing] grams," he said.
Peres, referring to Iranian President Ahmedinejad's so called call for Israel to be "wiped off the map”, retorted this week that he should bear in mind that his own country [Iran] could also be destroyed. [Surely Iran would not dream of taking on Israel with its nuclear arsenal]
West as usual has misquoted and then misused Ahmedinejad's statement, who had actually quoted Imam Khomeini as saying, "This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time," like Khomeini's prediction that the Soviet Union would one day vanish. It wasn't to kill Soviet citizens, but a desire for peaceful regime change, unlike what USA is doing in Iraq. Of course what the Israelis are doing to Palestinians in the latter’s' home land with western support since the 2nd world war is there to see for everyone.
"The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy"
As for a symbiotic relationship between USA and Israel, commenting on the furor caused by an article by two respected US professors, Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago on the "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”, a well known Israeli journalist Uri Avnery commented - "If the Israeli government wanted a law tomorrow annulling the Ten Commandments, 95 [US] senators (at least) would sign the bill forthwith."
He related how his press conferences in USA, one on two state solution for Palestine, 27 years ago, were widely attended with questions and answers by the media for hours, but there was not a word in the US media next day. Obviously the Israeli lobby had sent a word around. It shows pathetic US subservience to Israeli lobby and exposes the so called freedom of media in USA. But Uri Avnery said that the conclusion as to whether the tail wags the dog or the reverse may be less straightforward. "The US uses Israel to dominate the Middle East, Israel uses the US to dominate Palestine" [Why, the whole region! Iran and beyond!]
The author has experience of successful Israeli attempts to blackout his articles in media in many countries, but my voice cannot be silenced .It only confirms what has been called the long hand of the Jewish lobby .But it has done incalculable harm to Israel and credibility of the Jews, who are losing friends and supporters fast. Watch for this space!
Another US ally has also profited from this nuclear blackmail. Pakistan provides open support to Jihadis and terrorists, who regularly carry out terrorist acts in Indian cities including one against Indian Parliament in 2001 and in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan feels secure against any retaliation because of its nuclear bombs. Its open blackmail has not been condemned by NWPs. In fact West uses such blackmail to pressurize India for concessions.
Robert Scheer wrote in Creators Syndicate last month. "The grim irony in all this is that Pakistan never has been held accountable by the United States for Khan's black-market nuclear proliferation racket, even though such a bold scheme could not have thrived without significant support from Pakistan's powerful military leaders. Of course, Khan, who was pardoned by Pakistan's military dictator, doesn't have to worry that Bush is going to order the CIA to spirit him to Guantanamo Bay for some rough Dick Cheney-approved interrogations. Pakistan, like Saudi Arabia, is a tight ally of the White House, despite having previously supported bin Laden's old Afghan friends, the Taliban. Indeed, the Bush administration was so eager to secure the friendship of Pakistan after the Sept. 11 attacks; it perversely ended the boycott imposed on that country in response to its development of a nuclear weapon."
Iran's nuclear program;
Iran's nuclear program was started in the 1970s under the Shah with U.SA co-operation. But after the Shah's overthrow following the 1979 Islamic revolution, the Nuclear Suppliers' Group, a 45-nation cartel, ceased any relationship with Iran, although Imam Khomeini had declared that making of atomic bombs was haram, (illegal) and issued a Fatwa .This position has been reiterated by his successor Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
During the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88, Iran was reportedly in touch with intermediaries of the nuclear parts black market run by Dr AQ Khan. At a meeting with a Khan representative, Iran received a written offer for the delivery of the makings of a nuclear weapons program. Iran bought P-1 gas centrifuge designs to enrich uranium and a starter kit for uranium enrichment.
But Iran told the IAEA in 2003 that it decided not to pursue the offer of parts for the core of a bomb. (Documents concerning the 1987 offer were made available to the UN inspectors later). In 1992-94 Iran bought a duplicate set of P-1 centrifuge designs, components for 500 used P-1 centrifuges and took delivery of a design for the advanced P-2
At the same time in 1992, Iran and Russia signed a nuclear co-operation agreement followed by a 1995 deal for the Russians to construct a light-water civil reactor at Bushehr which is yet come on stream.
However, when Iran's deals with Dr AQ Khan became public, Tehran put its enrichment of uranium program under international inspection in 2003, and started negotiations with EU team; Britain, Germany and France, in an attempt to end the US-led Western freeze on technological transfers, including spare parts for civilian planes to Iran.
But the US nuclear Ayatollahs had little intention of an agreed solution, except total surrender by Iran. So Tehran removed the seals on nuclear material this year to resume low-level enrichment in the presence of the IAEA inspectors.
There might be some area of darkness about progress in its enrichment program prior to 2003 but US approach appears like that on Iraq, asking for more intrusive inspections, then for stricter monitoring, and then create conditions for an attack. The Russian Foreign Minister described it as déjà vu. Remember US and UK had declared that whatever Saddam Hussein might do, the UN sanctions would not be lifted .They also ensured that medicines and other health equipment did not reach Iraq. According to UN reports between half to a million Iraqis, mostly children and women died as a result. The two UN directors of this genocide like program resigned in sheer disgust.
Iran maintains that it is in fact fulfilling its obligations under the NPT. The IAEA found no smoking gun in its report to UNSC after the latest visit to Iran.
Conclusion of the April, 2006 IAEA inspection report:
Under a Safeguards Agreement concluded with the IAEA – as required under NPT, Iran agreed to allow IAEA inspectors to "verify" that no "source or special nuclear materials" are being used in furtherance of a nuclear weapons program. During the last three years, every report El Baradei has made to the IAEA Board concluded that – as best as he can determine – no proscribed materials have been so used. Both NPT and the IAEA Statute and the Iranian Safeguards Agreement all guarantee Iran's "inalienable" right to conduct research into – and to enjoy all the benefits of the peaceful use of – nuclear energy.
The IAEA Statute ensures – insofar as the IAEA is able – that "source or special nuclear materials" are not used in furtherance of a military purpose as a secondary mission. This what El Baradei has been saying. The crucial points of his 28 April, 2005 report are;’
33. All the nuclear material declared by Iran to the Agency is accounted for. Apart from the small quantities previously reported to the Board, the Agency has found no other undeclared nuclear material in Iran. However, gaps remain in the Agency's knowledge with respect to the scope and content of Iran's centrifuge program. Because of this, and other gaps in the Agency's knowledge, including the role of the military in Iran's nuclear program, the Agency is unable to make progress in its efforts to provide assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.
34. After more than three years of Agency efforts to seek clarity about all aspects of Iran's nuclear program, the existing gaps in knowledge continue to be a matter of concern. '
"This ambiguity is being twisted by the Bush administration to make it seem as though Iran has done something illegal. The report can be read to say that there is no evidence that Iran is doing anything illegal."
The UNSC President's statement which asked IAEA for the report was non-binding but listen to US hawkish Ambassador John Bolton ," This is a real test for the Security Council. There's just no doubt that for close to 20 years, the Iranians have been pursuing nuclear weapons through a clandestine program that we've uncovered."
“If the U.N. Security Council can't deal with the proliferation of nuclear weapons, can't deal with the greatest threat we have with a country like Iran — that's one of the leading state sponsors of terrorism — if the Security Council can't deal with that, you have a real question of what it can deal with." Sounds familiar to what George Bush was saying before US led illegal invasion of Iraq.
Iran has made two offers: set up a consortium to let other nations partially own and operate its commercial enrichment facility, thereby removing the secrecy around it, or, alternatively, a small experimental facility, with little threat of nuclear proliferation, along with an ensured supply of nuclear fuel, plus security assurances that it won't be attacked by the U.S. or Israel.
But the U.S. is Not Agreeable.
The Chinese Ambassador to UN said on 28th April that his country was opposed to a tougher resolution which "would complicate" the situation and lead to "the start of a series of resolutions". Russia also expressed "reservations" about a Chapter VII resolution .Russians, the Chinese and some Europeans, who have played along so far with Washington are worried that US insistence on working under Chapter VII of the U.N. charter, which paves the way later to use sanctions or military force. A re-run of the Iraq war.
Afraid of the direction US was taking French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin told a media conference in Paris on May 4 that "My conviction is that military action is certainly no solution." He added that "You know as I do the situation in the Middle East, in Iraq and the Near East, the idea that by waving the magic wand for a military shortcut we are going to solve the Iranian problem doesn't seem to me today to be something to talk about."
Mohamed ElBaradei has made clear his hope in conversations with diplomats that pragmatism will eventually dictate that Iran be allowed some limited form of enrichment, monitored constantly by his agency.
US, Israel and Iran;
On March 20 in Cleveland, to a question about the influence of apocalyptic Christian theology on his policies, Bush gave a long winded reply and the threat he saw from Iran. He said, "Now that I'm on Iran … the threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel. It's a threat to world peace; it's a threat, in essence, to a strong alliance. I made it clear, I'll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally, Israel."
Bush has made Israel a focus, "because he is not very attuned to the history of the situation and he has some really strange advisers who do not understand the broader implications of this, in terms of the vast majority of the American public."
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-L.I./Queens) said Bush's focus increases the likelihood of a backlash against Jews and Israel if a U.S.-led war on Iran turns sour. "It's a horrible thing to do, it's dangerous," he said. "If something goes wrong, it's a setup to say we did it for Israel and not for America, and to blame the Jews."
Asked if he thought that was President Bush's intent, Ackerman said "I don't believe in accidents and coincidences in this business. They choose their words very carefully. This is not the first time the president has said this, but now it looks like it's their whole program." Some in the Administration have even suggested that strong U.S. action could be necessary to keep Israel from acting on its own.
"One of the concerns people have is that Israel might [attack Iran] without being asked," said Vice President Dick Cheney in a radio interview, "that if, in fact, the Israelis became convinced the Iranians had significant nuclear capability, given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards."
On the day IAEA submitted its report Bush said, "The Iranians should not have a nuclear weapon, the capacity to make a nuclear weapon, or the knowledge as to how to make a nuclear weapon." [What does it mean except to suggest to Americans that Iran is on the way .The same tactics were used against Iraq by spins, half truths and lies?]
After a show of national technical pride and bombast about joining "the nuclear group" i.e. enriching some grams of Uranium to 4%, Iran offered that IAEA could conduct spot inspections of its uranium-enrichment activities, but only if the threat of U.N. sanctions were lifted .But Secretary Rice scoffed at Iran's offer and said on ABC program, "I think they are playing games. But, obviously, if they are not playing games, [then] they should stop the enrichment," she said
"The international community's credibility is at stake here. And we have a choice, too. We can either mean what we say, when we say that Iran must comply," said Rice. "Or we can continue to allow Iran to defy [the international community's will]." Again the presumption to speak on behalf of the world!
In Washington, Robert Joseph, the State Department's top proliferation official, took a very strong line saying that US is determined to ensure that "not one centrifuge spins" in Iran.
General Powell commented: "I don't know that there is a very robust plan, or menu of sanctions. I think that the menu of sanctions would be quite limited ... mean those that could actually get through the Security Council." The Iranians can handle them.
Asked if the US would consider a nuclear strike, he said: "No, nuclear weapons have not been used since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”I think it most unlikely that anybody would seriously contemplate use of a nuclear weapon in the 21st century and especially for such a purpose".
UNSG Kofi Annan told a Spanish newspaper, "I think the issue is being handled properly by the International Atomic Energy Agency. I still believe that the best solution is a negotiated one, and I don't see what a military operation would resolve. I hope that a negotiating spirit prevails and that the military option is just a fruit of speculation."
Significantly there have also been warnings from several prominent US politicians. Republican senator Richard Lugar, chairman of the influential senate foreign relations committee, urged less haste in taking action and suggested that direct talks between Washington and Tehran "would be useful". There was a need "to make more headway diplomatically", he added. Former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke argued armed conflict with Iran could backfire and prove even more damaging to US interests than the war with Iraq.
But faithful Tony Blair said in the House of Commons: "It's important we send a signal of strength" against a regime that has "forsaken diplomacy" and is "exporting terrorism" and "flouting its international obligations". A British commentator observed "Coming from one who has exported terrorism to Iran's neighbor, scandalously reneged on Britain's most sacred international obligations and forsaken diplomacy for brute force, these are Alice-through-the-looking-glass words."
The new British Foreign Minister ,Mrs. Margret Beckett , who probably replaced Jack Straw for the latter's statement that a military strike on Iran was "inconceivable", when she was in New York for SC consultation on the Iran question , told the media "it's [military strike on Iran ] not the intention".
In spite of a slap by the British electorate in recent municipal elections, and party pressure Blair refuses to resign .He is trying to improve his legacy. It would be a litany of spins, half truths and blatant lies. Some wannabe Winston Churchill!
President Putin, warned against too great an intervention by the Security Council – a path Moscow feels could lead to confrontation. "We think that the IAEA must continue to play a key role and it must not shrug off its responsibilities to resolve such questions and shift them on to the UN Security Council," he said at a summit with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said, "One can speak of sanctions only after the appearance of concrete facts proving that Iran is not engaged exclusively in peaceful nuclear activities," according to the ITAR-TASS news agency.
Reacting to Dick Cheney's recent accusation that Russia was using oil and gas exports to "intimidate and blackmail" European neighbors, "interfering with democratic movements" in places such as Ukraine and "unfairly and improperly restricting" civil rights, Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, replied, "I believe such statements won't undermine efforts we are making together with the United States ... to build a fair world without conflicts." He added, "Russia expects to be perceived as an equal partner in the world arena without whose involvement it is impossible to solve a single problem." [There is a litany of overt and covert US interference and pressure and use of dollar power around the world which includes even on the US –Indian nuclear agreement.]
The cool response to Cheney's frustrated angst underlines that Russia has become a global player again, whether it is about Syria, Iran or Hamas, global warming or energy security, with its coffers brimming with petro-dollars, a result of high crude prices, following the US entanglement in Iraqi quagmire and resurgent Russian nationalism .Russia is back in the middle east and is supplying arms and missiles to Syria and Iran.
Russian First Deputy Defense Minister Gen Yuri Baluyevsky confirmed that it would implement the contract to supply nearly 30 Tor-M1 complexes to Tehran to defend the key state and military facilities, foremost nuclear facilities in Isfahan, Bushehr, Tehran and in the east of the country. The contract, worth 1.4 billion U.S. dollars, is the biggest arms deal Iran and Russia have ever concluded. Tor-M1 is an all-weather air defense system which is intended to ensure effective protection from cruise missiles, guided bombs, warplanes, helicopters, and pilot less and remotely controlled attack aircraft.
Prominent US Physicists protest at US plans to use nukes against Iran;
Following media reports of US plans to use tactical nuclear weapons against Iran, 13 of USA's most prominent physicists, including 5 Nobel laureates and three past presidents of the American Physical Society, wrote a letter to President Bush, calling U.S. plans to reportedly use nuclear weapons against Iran "gravely irresponsible" and warning that such action would have "disastrous consequences for the security of the United States and the world."
The letter was initiated by physics Prof Jorge Hirsch of the University of California, San Diego, “who last fall put together a petition signed by more than 1,800 physicists that repudiated new U.S. nuclear weapons policies that include preemptive use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear adversaries"
The letter said, "We are members of the profession that brought nuclear weapons into existence, and we feel strongly that it is our professional duty to contribute our efforts to prevent their misuse. Physicists know best about the devastating effects of the weapons they created, and these eminent physicists speak for thousands of our colleagues."
"The fact that the existence of this plan has not been denied by the Administration should be a cause of great alarm, even if it is only one of several plans being considered. The public should join these eminent scientists in demanding that the Administration publicly renounces such a misbegotten option against a non-nuclear country like Iran.”
Even Pope Benedict XVI called for "serious" talks with Iran to reach a solution. The Pope, on his 79th birthday, urged "serious and honest" negotiations with Iran to reach an "honorable" solution for all parties. He also appealed for peace across the world including the Middle East.
Emerging Problems in Far East;
US continues to blow hot and cold on North Korea, which has declared that it has nuclear weapons. North Korea has escaped 'regime change' because Washington is afraid of retaliatory attacks on its 35,000 plus troops stationed in South Korea. When asked why Saddam Hussein was chosen for regime change from among dictatorial regimes , Dick Cheney told Prince Hassan of Jordan that it was "doable" (as if it was USA's divine right). It sums up the US nuclear policy towards non-allies and sends a chilling message around.
Pyongyang has at the back of its mind half a century of US nuclear intimidation, beginning with the Korean War, when ' military commanders Douglas MacArthur and Matthew Ridgway, presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all at one time or other favored a nuclear attack on north Korea and were restrained only by the fear of possible Soviet retaliation.'
It has often been suggested that China could bring Pyongyang around to an agreement by simply withholding aid and trade. This is undoubtedly true, but Beijing has said more than once, openly and up front, that it will not so. Nothing two-faced about it! "The Chinese are not particularly worried whether North Korea has an atomic bomb. They don't believe Pyongyang would be stupid enough to drop one on them. Historically, China has not been concerned about nuclear non-proliferation. “As with Pakistan too.
The solitary nuclear bombs victim Tokyo proclaims "three non-nuclear principles" i.e. non-production, non-possession and non-introduction into Japan and has a "peace constitution". But the core of its defense is nuclear weapons, never mind they are American, assuring "that any enemy attacking or threatening it with nuclear weapons would be devastated by American nuclear counter-attack." But it is also in the process of becoming a nuclear superpower, as it has both enrichment and reprocessing facilities, and is developing a fast-breeder reactor." Its stocks of plutonium amount to more than 40 tons, the equivalent of 5,000 Nagasaki-type weapons. Its determined pursuit of a nuclear cycle, giving it the wherewithal to be able quickly to go nuclear should that Rubicon ever be reached,-- is in defiance of the February 2005 appeal from the IAEA director general for a five-year freeze on all enrichment and reprocessing works."
Almost half of Japan's population fears the country could face war again, with north Korea's nuclear program and China's massive military build-up considered major threats to peace, according to the Cabinet Office survey, published recently in all major Japanese newspapers It said that 45 per cent of respondents believed Japan may become caught up in a war with 63.7 per cent of respondents citing north Korea's nuclear threat as a possible cause of regional conflict, followed by terrorist attacks and the rapid modernization of China's military.
How will Japan react , a country totally opposed to nuclear weapons but with technical capability to produce nuclear weapons with delivery vehicles within a short time .Without any satisfactory agreed law and regime on the nuclear question, the situation might get out of hand . Who knows, with their expertise on miniaturization from trees to music systems what the Japanese might come up with?
Phyllis Bennis wrote last month in 'Foreign Policy in Focus'.
“At the end of the day Iran has been pretty clear about what it wants. It doesn't seem to want an actual nuclear weapon (both the late Ayatollah Khomeini and his successor have issued religious prohibitions, or fatwas, against such weapons) although there's little doubt that President Ahmadinejad appears to believe that posturing aggressively about "going nuclear" will help his flagging domestic ratings. (Sounds familiar?) What Iran really wants, and has asked for, are serious negotiations with the U.S., based on equality, not humiliation? And at the end, a security guarantee that neither Europe nor the UN, but only the U.S. itself--the world's "sole super-power" and the only nuclear weapons state threatening to actually use its nuclear arsenal--can provide.
“For all sides, talk is crucial. Nuclear weapons--in anyone's hands--are a nightmare that should be abolished once and for all, as the now-fading Non-Proliferation Treaty anticipated so many years ago. Certainly Iran should abjure any search for nuclear weapons--but that's not going to happen alone. What we need--what we ALL need--is a weapon of mass destruction-free zone throughout the Middle East. So not only no nukes for Iran, but let's be sure Israel signs the NPT and places its unacknowledged but highly provocative Dimona arsenal of 200-400 high-density nuclear bombs under international supervision, and then allows the inspectors to destroy them. Let's be sure no country in the Middle East is running a chemical--or biological-weapons program--the poor countries' nuclear weapons substitute of choice and an unfortunate inevitability as long as Israel has a nuclear monopoly in the region.
"And it's way past time for the U.S. to make good on its own NPT obligations to move towards full and complete nuclear disarmament. As long as Washington laughs off that obligation, and officially rejects it, it is hard to imagine why any other countries should take seriously a U.S. demand that take nuclear weapons off their agenda.
“Ironically enough the U.S. is already on record supporting just such a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. Article 14 of UN Security Resolution 687, that ended the 1991 Gulf War and imposed crippling sanctions on Iraq, states that disarming Iraq should be viewed as part of "establishing in the Middle East a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them.
"The language was written by the U.S. It's time we held Washington accountable to that pledge."
Not with the current US administration. It will remain a pipe dream.
USA's Geopolitical Nightmare;
Calling it "The US's Geopolitical Nightmare", F. William Engdahl wrote in Asia Times this week that "In the space of 12 months, Russia and China have managed to move the pieces on the geopolitical chess board of Eurasia away from what had been an overwhelming US strategic advantage, to the opposite, where the US is increasingly isolated. It's potentially the greatest strategic defeat for the US power projection of the post-World War II period." This is the most apt summing up of US strategic debacles.
Iran has been invited to join Shanghai Cooperation Council as a full member. There are proposals to give the Council military teeth and make it a counterpoise to rampantly spreading NATO. Russia, China and other members from Central Asia carried out the biggest ever joint military maneuvers in August, 2005,along the Russian and Chinese coast to warn off USA after its attempts to usher in 'franchised street revolutions' in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan had misfired.
In the latest maneuver President Ahmadinejad wrote to President Bush proposing "new ways" to resolve their differences. It was the first letter from so high an Iranian leader to a US president since Washington broke off relations after the 1979 hostage crisis. USA has derided the letter. But remember, it was in Persia that the game of Chess was invented – checkmate stands for Shahmat i.e. the king is dead.
USA did not participate in 9 May elections for the UN Human Rights Council