We note that, even though he is leaving the U.S. Congress in just a few months, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) continues to fight the good fight on Iran-related issues. Last week, Paul was one of the few to speak out, clearly and forthrightly, against the latest congressional resolution “expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the importance of preventing the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.” Dr. Paul’s statement bears reading, see here. We want to highlight some of its passages:
“Once again we see on the “suspension” calendar, which is customarily reserved for non-controversial legislation, a resolution designed to move the US toward a military conflict with Iran. Sadly, it has become non-controversial for Congress to call for US attacks on foreign countries that have neither attacked nor threatened the United States.
We should not fool ourselves about the timing of this legislation. Next week, high-level talks between Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany (P5+1) will resume. Those who seek US military action against Iran must fear that successful diplomacy will undermine their calls for war.”
Dr. Paul then turns to the heart of the matter, which is an ongoing effort, in effect, to criminalize—or at least make militarily actionable—the pursuit of nuclear fuel cycle capabilities by calling it the pursuit of a “a ‘capability’ to develop nuclear weapons.” On this point, we were gratified that he cited Flynt:
“Iranian efforts to develop a ‘nuclear weapons capability’…may make American and Israeli elites uncomfortable. But it is not a violation of the NPT…While the NPT prohibits non-nuclear-weapon states from building atomic bombs, developing a nuclear weapons capability is [allowed] under the NPT…It is certainly not a justification—strategically, legally, or morally—for armed aggression against Iran.”
Noting that the resolution leaves the concept of “nuclear weapons capability” undefined—thus “leaving it open to very broad interpretations by this and future administrations”—he concludes: “Mr. Speaker, this is incredibly dangerous legislation. I urge my colleagues in the strongest manner to reject this stealth authorization for war on Iran.”
–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett