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The Race for Iran

IS THE WASHINGTON POST HYPING THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR “THREAT” ONCE AGAIN?

Yet again, in today’s edition, The Washington Post has another highly inflammatory article on Iranian nuclear developments, “Iran’s advances in nuclear technology spark new concerns about weapons”, by Joby Warrick. As we wrote last week, Warrick co-authored another recent story for The Washington Post on Iran’s nuclear program that “could easily have been run about Iraq back in 2002”. That piece relied “almost entirely on unnamed U.S. officials and a known terrorist organization to make the Iraq-redux argument that Iranian ‘defectors’ are providing the U.S. government with critical information that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons”. We pointed out several factual errors and omissions in the story and identified four major factual and/or logical weaknesses in it as well—including the claim that an Iranian physicist who reportedly defected when he was 31 years old had “been associated with sensitive nuclear programs for at least a decade”, which means that he would have to have started working on these sensitive programs when he was not older than 20 years of age.

Joby Warrick has now followed that piece with today’s article, which presents alarmist assessments of the development of Iran’s uranium enrichment capabilities from unnamed “U.S. and European intelligence officials and diplomats”, without attempting any serious critical evaluation of what those sources told him. The article opens,

“Iran is poised to make a significant leap in its ability to enrich uranium, with more sophisticated centrifuge technology that is being assembled in secret to advance the country’s nuclear efforts…Iran’s apparent gains in centrifuge technology have heightened concerns that the government is working clandestinely on a uranium-enrichment plant capable of producing more nuclear fuel at a much faster pace, the officials said. U.N. nuclear monitors have not been allowed to examine the new centrifuge, which Iranian officials briefly put on display at a news conference last month. But an expert group’s analysis of the machine—based on photos—suggests that it could be up to five times as productive as the balky centrifuges Iran currently uses to enrich uranium.”

Iran does indeed seem poised to make significant leaps in its ability to enrich uranium, in part through the introduction of more sophisticated centrifuges. Currently, the vast majority of the centrifuges operating in relatively long cascades at Iran’s principal uranium enrichment facility at Natanz are first-generation, “IR-1” machines. The Iranians have tested several second-generation centrifuge prototypes—the “IR-2”, the “IR-3”, and the “IR-4”—but have so far not deployed any of these on an “industrial” scale.

Warrick’s story focuses on Iran’s development of a new, third-generation centrifuge—described by one diplomat as “probably an IR-5”. However, the “news conference” at which this new centrifuge was “briefly put on display last month” was hardly a marginal or obscure event. The new machine was unveiled on one of Ahmadinejad’s regular visits to the Islamic Republic’s enrichment center at Natanz, this one on Iran’s National Nuclear Technology Day (April 9); like his other visits to Natanz, Ahamdinejad’s trip to Natanz last month was extensively covered in the Iranian and international media. The photos on which the expert group cited by Warrick based their technical analysis of the new centrifuge—David Albright’s Institute for Science and International Security—were obtained from Iranian state media, not from a clandestine source.

We have no quarrel with the purely technical aspects of the ISIS analysis of the new machine’s technical capabilities. It is hardly surprising that, as the Iranians accumulate more experience with enriching uranium, they get better at it—and develop more sophisticated and capable equipment for the purpose. This reality is what defines the fundamental policy problem facing the Obama Administration with regard to the Iranian nuclear issue: Iran is going to continue enriching uranium, and will continue becoming progressively more accomplished at doing so. What international monitoring arrangements is the Administration prepared to negotiate with the Islamic Republic to control the proliferation risks that are inevitably associated with any country’s efforts at enriching uranium, and what is the Administration prepared to put on the table—in terms of an improved U.S.-Iranian strategic relationship—to make accepting these monitoring arrangements an attractive proposition for Tehran?

Getting back to Warrick’s story, it would seem that the Iranians have not yet shown their new centrifuge to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors because, as the director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, said publicly, uranium gas has not yet been introduced into a third-generation prototype—which means that the Iranians are not yet required to show that prototype to the IAEA. Iran has allowed IAEA inspectors access to its various second-generation centrifuges when uranium gas was initially introduced into each second-generation prototype. On the basis of the historical record, there is no reason to anticipate that Tehran would not grant the IAEA access to third-generation centrifuges when uranium gas is introduced into them. (On this point, Salehi says that “we may need a year of time before we can arrange a cascade [of third-generation centrifuges] for testing”.)

With regard to concerns that the Iranians are working “clandestinely” on a new uranium-enrichment plant, Warrick notes that “Iran’s progress on a new centrifuge coincides with a marked decline in activity at its two known uranium-enrichment plants, sources said, spurring speculation that it plans to use the machine at a still-unknown facility”. That ominous-sounding sentence seems to have little hard evidence behind it.

Straightforwardly put, the relevant facts are these: Ahmadinejad has publicly declared Iran’s intentions to build new uranium enrichment facilities. The Islamic Republic has not declared any new sites to the IAEA since last September, but there is a legal dispute between the IAEA and several national governments (including the United States), on the one hand, and Iran, on the other, about precisely when Tehran is required to declare new nuclear facilities. In an interview with CBS News—which we wrote about last week—Dr. Salehi indicated that Iran would declare any new enrichment facility to the IAEA at least six months prior to the introduction of nuclear materials into that facility.

To sum up: If there is “news” about the first public display of Iran’s third-generation gas centrifuge technology, it is three-week-old news. Even the ISIS technical assessment of the new centrifuge is two and a half weeks old. Likewise, there is nothing really newsworthy about the Iranians not yet having shown the new centrifuge to the IAEA. And, the Iranians are on the hook to declare any new enrichment site to the IAEA at least six months before they introduce nuclear material into it. This raises what is for us the most important question of all: why is Warrick being handed this “no news” story now?

It seems highly likely to us that the willingness of “U.S. and European intelligence officials and diplomats” to talk with Warrick about the state of Iran’s centrifuge capabilities now—again, three full weeks after the Iranians first publicly displayed a prototype of their newest centrifuge—is not coincidental. With the NPT Review Conference opening tomorrow and President Ahmadinejad bringing a high-level delegation to New York to help him push back against efforts to demonize Iran’s nuclear activities, the United States and its European partners have a clear tactical interest in putting out the most alarmist assessments possible about the status of Iran’s nuclear program. As Jerry Seinfeld would say, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”—but it should raise red flags for any analyst worth his salt that U.S. and European governments are putting out information about Iranian nuclear activities not to further the disinterested pursuit of objective truth but as part of what is, in effect, an information warfare campaign. At a minimum, this campaign is designed to muster international and domestic support for U.S. diplomatic goals regarding the Iranian nuclear issue.

An analyst, however, is supposed to prioritize the disinterested pursuit of objective truth over other ends. In this regard, what exactly is the job of an American journalist covering U.S. national security and foreign policy when he or she is reporting on a “hot” topic like the Iranian nuclear issue? Is it simply to report, as accurately as possible, what U.S. government officials say about that topic? Or should a journalist work to be an analyst as well as a reporter—that is, should a journalist consider it part of his essential mission to “fact check” and otherwise scrutinize what government officials are telling him?

To be sure, the first view—that journalists should simply report what U.S. government officials say—has its defenders. But these are not defenders that Warrick and his superiors at The Washington Post should find attractive. In 2004, as it was becoming increasingly apparent that most of her pre- and post-invasion reporting on the state of Iraq’s WMD programs was wildly inaccurate, as a result of an uncritical approach to official statements and officially sanctioned sources (including the notorious Ahmad Chalabi), Judith Miller of The New York Times argued that

”[M]y job isn’t to assess the government’s information and be an independent intelligence analyst myself. My job is to tell readers of The New York Times what the government thought about Iraq’s arsenal”.

We do not agree with this view. And, in the end, Miller’s editors at The New York Times did not seem to agree with it, either—as they indicated in their May 26, 2004 “From the Editors” statement acknowledging that the paper’s coverage of Iraqi WMD issues had relied too heavily on “information from a circle of Iraqi informants, defectors and exiles bent on ‘regime change’” (including Chalabi) and that “information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged”. The editors wrote that “looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged—or failed to emerge”. But, by then, the damage had already been done.

We do not want to accuse Joby Warrick of becoming The Washington Post’s Judith Miller—but he is starting to display similar characteristics in his coverage of the Iranian nuclear issue that Miller displayed with regard to Iraqi WMD. This is truly ironic, because in the months before the 2003 invasion of Iraq Warrick wrote stories for The Washington Post casting doubt on the George W. Bush Administration’s claims—initially reported by Judith Miller and her colleague, Michael Gordon, in The New York Times—that the United States had intercepted shipments of high-strength aluminum tubes which Saddam Husayn’s government was trying to import for installation in gas centrifuges. Even more ironically, Warrick’s stories on this subject were driven, to a large extent, by another David Albright report from ISIS questioning the intercepted tubes’ suitability for use in centrifuges. Additionally, Warrick wrote an excellent story in 2006 detailing how the George W. Bush Administration had deliberately suppressed a military intelligence assessment categorically demonstrating that two small trailers captured by U.S. forces in Iraq after Saddam’s overthrow in 2003 were not mobile biological weapons labs, as Administration officials had claimed—and Miller had dutifully reported.

We hope that those sorts of genuinely analytic qualities will be reflected in the Post’s future reporting on the Iranian nuclear issue.

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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26 Responses to “IS THE WASHINGTON POST HYPING THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR “THREAT” ONCE AGAIN?”

  1. James Canning says:

    Alan,

    One might add to your May 4th (7:30am) comments on Israel/Palestine problem, that given the nature of Israeli politics, the definition of Palestine’s borders needs to be the starting point, not the end game. A unilateral declaration of independence, on the “pre-1967″ borders, might be the best way forward. Then the focus can shift to valuations of various parcels, and possible exchanges. I see the Iran issue as virtually entirely a “red herring” intended to defect the attention of the American people from the sheer idiocy of Israel’s continuing enlargement of the illegal colonies in the West Bank.

  2. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Great post (May 3rd, 8:25pm). Turkey is also doing its best to mediate between the US and Iran. Syria would like to do the same, but Obama seems too much in thrall to Aipac to act intelligently toward Syria.

  3. Eric A. Brill says:

    Alan,

    Thanks for answering my question, and thanks even more for a very sharp analysis of the Obama/Netanyahu/Israel dynamics. Very helpful.

    Eric

  4. Alan says:

    Eric – 6 months before introduction of fissile material is right. The Iranians still have some distance to go to catch up to “our” centifuges though. By some estimates, ours are 500 (!!) times more efficient than those currently in use at Natanz.

    Also, I notice you asked me a question on a preceding thread about the “political cost” to Israel of doing Obama’s wishes. The political cost, short term, is Netanyahu sacrificing the support of the even bigger monsters in his government, while the medium/long term cost is resetting Israeli public opinion on a course toward acceptance of a Palestinian state on something approaching pre-1967 borders.

    It’s a nonsense that Obama should avoid in any case, as any undertaking he gets from Israel will be jettisoned as soon as Obama adopts an Israel-approved Iran policy. Which he knows very well. What Obama really needs is some bright spark in Israel that can sell a new approach to the electorate, and I don’t think that is feasible until it is clear to Israelis that the US has cut them loose. Also, none of the current crop of politicians from Peres to points right are remotely capable of bringing it about either.

    It’s a tricky time. Israel will not attack Iran, but they certainly seem to be angling to kick something else off somewhere to either lure in the US and Iran, or at the very least consolidate a hardened opinion behind US moves against Iran, thereby staving off the pressure to make any I/P concessions in the first place.

  5. Fiorangela Leone says:

    Robert Naiman wrote an interesting piece about Brazil’s possible role in talking the US and others down from its aggressive posture regarding Iran
    Can Brazil Save the World from War with Iran?.

    Naiman and his small crew work very hard toward informing Americans what a Just Foreign Policy looks like. About a year and a half ago, Naiman, Stephen Kinzer, Trita Parsi, and others from NIAC and CASMII as well as Just Foreign Policy organized and conducted a 50-city book tour featuring Kinzer’s and Parsi’s books. Hats off to them, and to the book shops (especially Busboys and Poets in DC), coffee houses, church groups and university student groups who hosted these dedicated thinkers.

  6. Fiorangela Leone says:

    HilClinton just finished her UN speech. Didn’t hear her mention India or Pakistan. Perhaps the slipped her mind. No mention of the A Q Khan network and the mutual nuclear threats India and Pakistan exchanged a few years ago; nothing about India being outside the NPT, yet developing weapons, AND getting assistance with nuclear technology from the US, which assistance is one of the bargains that NPT signatories earn only by participating in the treaty.

  7. kooshy says:

    Here is the best the US media could do to spin what happened in UN today

    Clinton, Ahmadinejad trade barbs over nukes at UN (AP)

    Trading “barbs” is that what this was about, trading barbs? how about countering his argument and prove he is wrong instead of leaving to hide and forcing a few clients alone , China is a nuclear state why didn’t Chinese leave , maybe because they weren’t ashamed as some were in the assembly hall and could not face the facts spelled out by the man at the podium. Bravo Ahmadinijad. And Bravo to Iranian diplomats, who were seating while the obliterator, was delivering her usual Iran bashing speech.

  8. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Thanks for the link. Abe Foxman of the ADL is one of the most viciously Iranophobic people operating inside the Beltway.

    kooshy,

    Thanks for the text of Ahmadinejad’s speech. Pathetic that British and French UN reps also walked out with US rep, during A’s speech.

  9. Rehmat says:

    ADL is currently holding a two-day conference in Washington DC to where a large number of ‘Israel-First’ American diplomats and policy-makerss would their heads together to find ways to the myth of anti-Semitism and to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/prnewswire/2010/05/03/prnewswire201005030600PR_NEWS_USPR_____DC97244.html

  10. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Bravo. Hillary Clinton is pathetic. A willing stooge of the Iranophobic liars. Paul Wolfowitz, we all should remember, was paid by Netanyahu for advice on how to dupe the American public about the “threat” posed by Iran, Iran, etc., so that the Golan Heights and the West Bank could be kept permanently. Wolfowitz surely knew that Iraq had no WMD, if Dick Cheney knew (from his many sojourns at CIA in Langley).

  11. James Canning says:

    Kyle,

    Good points. Ahmadinejad himself stresses that Iran is protective of the Jews, and that the Iranian people are friends of the Israeli people. The fight is with Zionism, as expressed in continuing insane “Greater Israel” scheme (retention of West Bank and Golan Heights).

  12. Fiorangela Leone says:

    once again the Americans behaved like children — the US delegate to the conference walked out of the room in the middle of Ahmadinejad’s speech.

    How embarrassing to be an American.

    Hillary and the American elite are tone-deaf to the wishes and realizations of the American people; they all think Americans have bought their koolaid again. I see increasing signs that a growing proportion of the US population is not as antagonistic to Iran as the US elites and media want them to be — quite an accomplishment, given the extraordinary propaganda war that has been waged against Iran.

    The basis for this belief is, admittedly, unscientific and anecdotal. This morning Paul Wolfowitz was a guest on C Span Washington Journal. Callers unabashedly expressed their contempt for Wolfowitz and told him in no uncertain terms that they believed he committed war crimes, that he play a key role in embroiling the US in an illegal war in Iraq, that his actions in so doing had harmed America’s economy and sense of morality. Wolfowitz rolled out the same tired weasel-words one would expect: “We ALL were misled;” “it was bad intelligence;” “everybody voted for the resolution….”

    Americans are angry, their sense of having grievously harmed the Iraqi people is real; they feel guilty, and exploited themselves. Americans are not looking for a scapegoat; they know very well that the US will pay for Iraq in many ways for many years to come. It is my impression that Americans DO want those who led the US into this morass to be called to account for their actions.

    Americans will not put up with this a second time.

    Did I mention that Hillary is an embarrassment to the American people and to women?

  13. kooshy says:

    Link and full text of President Ahmadinijad of Iran speech to The 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 5/3/2010, UN, New York

    http://www.un.org/en/conf/npt/2010/statements/statements.shtml

    Islamic Republic of

    IRAN

    Permanent Mission to the United Nations

    Please check against delivery

    Statement

    By

    His Excellency Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
    President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

    Before
    The 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the
    Non-Proliferation of Nuclear weapons (NPT)

    United Nations, New York, 3 May 2010

    In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

    All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, and peace and blessing be upon our
    Master and Prophet, Mohammad, and his pure Household, and his noble
    Companions”

    “Oh, God, hasten the arrival of Imam Al-Mahdi and grant him good health and
    victory and make us hisfollowers and those who attest to his rightfulness”

    Mr. President,
    Distinguished delegates,
    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I thank the Almighty God for granting an opportunity to have a dialogue about
    one of the key global issues of common concern. Undoubtedly, this Review
    Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is one of the most important
    international meetings.

    I also would like to congratulate you Mr. President for your election to preside
    over this important meeting.

    Dear friends,

    The Pursuit of sustainable security is an inherent and instinctive part of human
    being and a historical quest. No country can afford to ignore its security. The Divine
    prophets and the righteous also sought to offer guidelines, in the light of their faith in
    God and Divine teachings, to assure a safe and serene life in both worlds. To them,
    the ideal society is a society of global scale based on the monotheism and justice and
    replete with security, affection and brotherliness, and which is led by the noblest
    servant of God along with the Jesus Christ (P.B.U.H) and other righteous people.

    In the absence of sustainable security, it would be impossible to take
    comprehensive plan for development and welfare.

    Today, although a major part of the nations’ resources are being allocated to
    providing national security, there is hardly any sign of an improvement in the
    circumstances as far as the perceived threats are concerned.

    Regrettably, due to distancing of some States from the teachings of the Divine
    Prophets, the shadow of the threat of nuclear bombs is cast over the whole world, and
    no one feels secured. Some States define in their strategies the nuclear bomb as an
    element of stability and security, and this is one of their big mistakes.

    The production and possession of a nuclear bomb, under whatever pretext be
    done, is a very dangerous act which first and foremost makes the country of
    production and stockpiling exposed. You may recall that how perilous was the
    unintentional transfer of a nuclear-tipped missile with a bomber from a military base
    to another one in the United States and which became a matter of concern for the
    American people. Secondly, the sole function of the nuclear weapons is to annihilate
    all living beings and destroy the environment, and its radiations would affect the
    coming generations and its negative impacts would continue for centuries.

    The nuclear bomb is a fire against humanity rather than a weapon for defense.

    The possession of nuclear bombs is not a source of pride; it is rather disgusting
    and shameful. And even more shameful is the threat to use or to use such weapons,
    which is not even comparable to any crime committed throughout the history.

    Those who committed the first atomic bombardment are considered to be
    among& the most hated in history.

    For over sixty years, the United Nations, in particular the Security Council has
    been unable to establish sustainable security and create the sense of security in
    international relations, and the current international circumstances seem to be far
    more challenging than those of the past decades.

    Wars, aggressions and above all the shadow of threat and stockpiling of
    nuclear armaments, and worse than all, the policies applied by few expansionist
    States, have obscured the prospect of international security for every one. Nowadays,
    the communities’ mindset is largely affected by a sense of intimidation and insecurity.
    Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation have not come true, and the International
    Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not been successful in discharging its mandate.
    During the past four decades, some, including the Zionist regime, have been equipped
    with nuclear arms.

    So, what really is the cause? To answer this question, one should look into the
    policies and practices of certain States as well as the inefficacy of and imbalance in
    the pillars of the NPT, some of which are as following:

    1- Seeking dominance

    From the perspective of the Divine Prophets and the righteous and according
    to all humane concepts, the supremacy, happiness and maturity of mankind is
    measured by his morality, piety, modesty and devotion to fellow human beings.
    Unfortunately, relying on the theory of struggle for survival, some States seek their
    superiority through the power of threatening and suppressing others, and sow the
    seeds of hatred, enmity and arms race in the international relations. Their biggest
    mistake is their assumption that “might” makes “right”.

    2- The policy of producing and using nuclear weapons

    The first atomic weapons were produced and used by the United States. This
    seemed, apparently, to provide the United States and its allies with the upper hand in
    the World War II. However, it became the main source of development and the spread
    of nuclear weapons by the others and brought about nuclear arms race. The
    production, stockpiling, and qualitative improvement of nuclear armaments in a given
    country have served as the best justification for the others to develop their own
    arsenals, a trend that has sustained over the past forty years in violation of the
    commitments set forth in the NPT.

    3- Nuclear Weapon as a means for deterrence

    This policy is the main cause of the escalation of the arms race, since
    deterrence requires having an edge in both quality and quantity of weapons, which
    itself fuels the nuclear race. There are reportedly more than 20,000 nuclear warheads
    worldwide half of which belongs to the United States. The other competing party also
    continues the development of nuclear weapon under the pretext of deterrence. Both of
    them constitute violation of obligations under the NPT.

    4- Threat to use nuclear weapons

    Regrettably, the government of the United States has not only used nuclear
    weapons, but also continues to threaten to use such weapons against other countries,
    including Iran. Another country from the Europe also made a similar nuclear threat
    under a false pretext a few years back. The Zionist regime, too, consistently threatens
    the Middle Eastern countries.


    5- The instrumental exploitation of the Security Council and International
    Atomic Energy Agency

    Enjoying especial privileges in the highest global security decision-making
    bodies and in the IAEA, certain nuclear weapon States widely exploit these platforms
    against the non-nuclear weapon States, contrary to the spirit of the NPT. This unjust

    practice, repeated over and over, has turned into a pattern.
    .
    So far, none of the non-nuclear weapon States has ever been able to exercise
    their inalienable and legal rights for peaceful use of nuclear energy without facing
    pressures and threats. While despite clear provisions of article VI of the Treaty and
    the Statute of the IAEA, no single report has been issued by the IAEA inspectors on
    the nuclear weapons facilities of the United States and its allies, nor is there any plan
    for their disarmament, resolutions have been adopted against non-nuclear weapon
    States under the pressure of the same States and under false pretext and with the clear
    intention of denying them their recognized legal rights.

    6- Using double standards

    While the Zionist regime which has stockpiled hundreds of nuclear warheads,
    has waged many wars in the region and continues to threaten the people and nations
    of the region with terror and invasion, enjoys the unconditional support of the United
    States government and its allies and receives, as well, the necessary assistance to
    develop its nuclear weapon program. The same States impose various kinds of
    pressures on the members of the IAEA on the false pretext of probable diversions in
    their peaceful nuclear activities without providing even a single credible proof to
    substantiate their allegation.

    7- Equating nuclear weapon with nuclear energy

    Nuclear energy is among the cleanest and cheapest sources of energy. Severe
    climate change and environmental pollution caused by fossil fuel has intensified the
    need to expand the use of nuclear energy. Almost 7 million barrels of oil are needed
    for the continual generation of 1000 megawatt of electricity in a year which by
    today’s crude oil price costs over 500 million dollars, while the cost of generating the
    same capacity with nuclear energy is around 60 million dollars. Generally, the
    investment needed to construct and utilize a nuclear power plant is far less than half of
    the cost of a power plant operating with fossil fuels during its lifespan. The nuclear
    technology can be effectively and widely applied in the production of medical
    isotopes for diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseases as well as in industry,
    agriculture and in other fields.

    One of the gravest injustices committed by the nuclear weapon States is
    equating nuclear arms with nuclear energy. As a matter of fact, they want to
    monopolize both the nuclear weapons and the peaceful nuclear energy, and by doing
    so to impose their will on the international community. The aforementioned issues are
    all against the spirit of the NPT and in flagrant violation of its provisions.

    8- Imbalance in the pillars of the NPT and the IAEA mandates

    Although the NPT has as its key mandate the mission for prevention of nuclear
    arms race, nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation as well as inalienable right of the
    member States to use peaceful nuclear energy, however, the most difficult conditions
    have been put in the mechanisms and regulations for the countries seeking peaceful
    use of nuclear energy. On the contrary, no effective mechanism has been devised to
    address the actual threat of nuclear weapons, which must be in fact the most important
    mission of the IAEA. All efforts in this respect have been only limited to talks that
    lack any binding force guarantee and effectiveness. The IAEA has been putting the
    most possible pressures on non-nuclear weapon States under the pretext of
    proliferation risks, whilst those having nuclear bombs continue to enjoy full immunity
    and exclusive rights.

    .

    Dear friends,

    It is now clear that the production and stockpiling of nuclear weapons and
    policies practiced by some nuclear weapon States, along with the weakness of and the
    imbalance in the NPT provisions have been the main causes of insecurity and served
    as an incentive for the development of such weapons.

    Today, nuclear disarmament, elimination of nuclear threat and nonproliferation
    are regarded as the greatest service to establishing sustainable peace and
    security and amity.

    The question is, however, whether granting extraordinary authority in the IAEA to the
    nuclear weapon States and entrusting them with the critical issue of nuclear
    disarmament is appropriate? It would be nai’ve and irrational to expect an effective
    voluntary initiative towards disarmament and non-proliferation, simply because they
    consider nuclear weapons an element of superiority.

    As an Iranian saying reads: “A knife never cuts its own handle”

    Expecting the major arms dealers to work for the establishment of security is
    an illogical expectation.

    The government of the United States which is the main suspect in the
    production, stockpiling and use and threat of the use of nuclear weapons, insists to
    assume the leadership role in reviewing the NPT. The U.S. administration, in its
    recently released Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), has announced that it will neither
    produce new nuclear weapons nor will it attack non-nuclear weapon States by nuclear
    weapons.

    The United States has never respected any of its commitments. One may ask
    how much could nations possibly trust the US to implement its commitments? What
    are the guarantees for living up to such commitments? And what are the tools for its
    independent verification? It should be bom in mind that in the past decades the United
    States has had most of its wars and conflicts with those who were once its friends.
    Furthermore, under the same NPR, some member States of the IAEA which are also
    committed members of the NPT have been threatened to be the target of a pre

    emptive nuclear strike. The United States government has always tried to divert the
    public opinion’s attention from its noncompliance and unlawful actions by bringing
    into focus some misleading issues. They have recently raised the issue of nuclear
    terrorism as part of their efforts to maintain and upgrade their nuclear arsenals on one
    hand, and divert world public opinion from the issue of disarmament and direct them
    toward phony matters, on the other, while arming the terrorists with nuclear weapons
    are only conceivable by those States which posses such weapons and have used them
    and also have a long record of supporting terrorists.

    In its NPR, the U.S. has kept silent regarding nuclear strike against certain
    nuclear weapon States in order to concentrate the propaganda pressure on certain
    independent nations.

    This is while certain major terrorist networks are supported by the U.S.
    intelligence agencies and the Zionist regime. Credible evidence is available in this
    connection that will be publicized, if needed, during the forthcoming conference on
    global fight against terrorism in Tehran.

    In the NPR, it is noted that the U.S. will not develop new nuclear weapons, but
    they will continue to improve them qualitatively. The qualitative improvement of
    nuclear weapons is tantamount to increase in lethality and destructive power of such
    weapons, which itself signifies the vertical proliferation. In addition, these policies are
    not verifiable, because there is no supervision by any independent authoritative body
    on nuclear programs of the United States and its allies.

    Comparing the Washington Nuclear Security Summit with the Tehran Nuclear
    Disarmament and Non-proliferation Conference, the efforts of the host of the former
    were aimed at preserving the monopoly over the nuclear weapons and superiority on
    other countries, while in the latter Conference all participants were seeking a world
    free from nuclear weapons. The motto of the Tehran Conference was, “Nuclear
    Energy for all, Nuclear Weapons for no one”.

    Mr. President,

    Distinguished delegates,

    To realize the humane aspiration for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation
    as well as the peaceful use of nuclear energy, I would like to offer the
    following proposals:

    1- Review and accomplishment of the NPT:

    The NPT should be evolved to Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
    Treaty (D.N.P.T) and the nuclear disarmament must be put at the core of its
    mandates through transparent, binding, and effective mechanisms buttressed with
    solid international guarantees.

    2- Establishment of an independent international group with full authority from the
    Conference to prepare a set of guidelines to operationalize the provisions of article
    VI of the NPT, including planning and fully supervising nuclear disarmament and
    preventing proliferation.

    The group should conduct its work with effective participation of all
    independent countries, by setting a deadline for complete elimination of all
    nuclear weapons, within a specified timetable.

    3- Introduction of legally-binding comprehensive security guarantees without
    discrimination or precondition until the achievement of a complete nuclear
    disarmament on the part of the nuclear weapon States.

    4- Immediate termination of all types of research, development or improvement of
    nuclear weapons and their related facilities, as well as introduction of a
    verification mechanism by the above-mentioned group.

    5- Adoption of a legally binding instrument on the full prohibition of production,
    stockpiling, improvement, proliferation, maintaining and use of nuclear weapons.

    6- Suspension of membership in the Board of Governors of the IAEA for those
    States which use or threat to use nuclear weapons.

    The presence and political influence of these States has so far prevented the
    IAEA from performing its mandates, particularly with regard to articles IV and VI
    of the Treaty, and has caused the Agency to deviate from conducting its
    authorized missions. In particular, how could the government of the United States
    be a member of the Board of Governors while it has not only used nuclear bomb
    against Japan but also used depleted uranium weaponries in Iraq war?

    7- Cessation of all kinds of nuclear cooperation with non-member States of NPT and
    adoption of effective punitive measures against all those States which continue
    their cooperation with such non-member States.

    8- Considering any threat to use nuclear weapons or attack against peaceful nuclear
    facilities as a breach of international peace and security, and swift reaction from
    the United Nations and termination of all cooperation of NPT member States with
    the threatening/aggressor State.

    9- Immediate and unconditional implementation of the resolution adopted by 1995
    Review Conference on the establishment of a nuclear free zone in the Middle
    East.

    10- Dismantling of nuclear weapons stationed in the military bases of the United
    States and its allies in other countries, including Germany, Italy, Japan, and the
    Netherlands.

    11- Collective effort to reform the structure of the Security Council.

    The current structure of the Security Council is extremely unfair and
    inefficient and mainly serves the interests of the nuclear weapon States. Reforming
    the structure of the Council along with reviewing and accomplishing the NPT are
    interrelated and essential for realization of the IAEA’s objectives.

    Distinguished Delegates,

    Representing a great, civilized and rich-in-culture nation of Iran, who has
    always been the herald of worshiping God, justice and peace in the world, I announce
    the readiness of the Islamic republic of Iran to partake in the materialization of those
    proposals and just plans on disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as peaceful use
    of clean nuclear energy.

    I pronounce that a nation which has bread great pesonalities such as Ferdousi,
    Hafez, Sanaee, Vahsh Bafghee, Avicenna, Aboureihan, Shahriar, and other
    independent and freedom-seeker, intellectual and wise personalities like Imam
    Khomeini, and bestowed them to the humanity; a nation which has always called for
    love, compassionate, and peace for mankind; a nation the poem of whose great poet
    Saadi is glaring in the United Nations which: “Of one Essence is the human race,
    Thusly has Creation put the Base”; a nation which abolished slavery 2500 years ago, I
    mean the great nation of Iran, is not in need of nuclear bombs for its development and
    dose not regard it a source of honor and dignity.

    The logic and will of the Iranian nation is a reflection of the logic and will of
    all nations.

    All nations love peace, brotherhood, and monotheism and suffer from
    discrimination and injustice. Many of my colleagues, the heads of States, and many of
    sympathetic and justice-seeker dignitaries and commentators, in their talks with me,
    have shared this view that there is a dire need for global disarmament and expansion
    of peaceful use of clean nuclear energy and breaking the monopoly imposed in these
    fields, as contained in the foregoing proposals. This is the heartfelt demand of all
    independent nations and States that: “Nuclear energy for every one, Nuclear weapon
    for no one.” Accordingly, my presence and the essence of my statement here in this
    very Conference is only a representation of their presence and demands.

    Distinguished Colleagues,

    Now, may I say a few words to those who still maintain that production and
    stockpiling of nuclear weapons are sources of their power and dignity.

    They must realize that the era of reliance on nuclear bomb has already passed.
    Production, stockpiling and the threat to use weapon, in particular nuclear weapon, is
    for people characterized by lack of consistent logic and wise behavior. Using threat
    against the strong logic belongs to the past and is not viable anymore. Current era is
    the age of nations, thoughts and cultures. Relying on weapons in international
    relations is the legacy of unwise and anachronic States.

    It is crystal clear that the hegemonic policy has failed and the dreams for
    establishing new empires are vain hopes and will never come true.

    Rather than continuing with the failed policy of the predecessors, It would be
    better to join the wide and transparent ocean of nations, independent states and human
    wisdom and culture. This would be in their best interest. The future belongs to the
    nations. Security, peace and justice would be established by righteous people and
    perfect man throughout the world. The power of logic would prevail over the logic of
    power. There will be no room in the future for bullying and the arrogant. Common
    movement of the nations throughout the world for fundamental reforms based on
    monotheism and justice has already begun in international relations.

    I invite Mr. Obama, the President of the United States to join this humane
    movement, if he is still committed to his motto of “change”, since tomorrow would be
    too late for this. I would like to appreciate the efforts of the President of the
    Conference, distinguished audience and all those who strive for the establishment of
    peace and justice in the world.

    Dear friends,

    Through cooperation and solidarity and harmony, our aspiration for
    establishing a world blessed with justice and peace is achievable, and the motto of
    “nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for none” is the basis for interaction among
    human beings as well as between human and nature.

    Let’s hope for a day on which through realization of justice, no one will be
    infuriated, and even if so happened, let’s hope again no weapon would be found to
    satisfy it.

    Greeting to justice and liberty,

    Greeting to love and affection,

    Greeting to followers of the school of compassionate, and human who loves
    human,

    I wish you all, success and prosperity.

  14. Fiorangela Leone says:

    Hakimeh – a second to your thanks to Drs. Leverett for their work in “swimming counterflow” to the media/elite combine.

    Dr. Bennett’s theory is interesting, but how does he account for interest groups? It is my impression that interest groups such as UJF, ZOA, AIPAC, the Israel Project, WINEP, shape or bully or intimidate the media and that, thus cowed by media, policy makers can be made to fall in line. Media thus becomes the instrument, or another instrument, by which interest groups exert their will on policy makers. What every politician knows: DO NOT cross someone who buys ink by the barrel.

    As Castellio said, the readership here is limited, but it is growing; we are an interest group, too, and we must not sell ourselves short, we must explore all avenues to deploy our strengths and sound our voices in effective ways, together.

    Bussed-In Basiji: when I’m not busy ogling drop-dead gorgeous pundits of my sons’ generation, I don my Flapper dress and dance the Charleston to the tunes of MY generation:

    You talk about a revolution, well, you know, we all want to change the world.
    You ask me for a contribution? We all doin’ what we can….

    We all doin’ what we can, Basiji.

  15. Kyle says:

    @James Canning, If Ahmadinejad were truly hostile to Jews or Judaism, or harbored genocidal designs against the Jewish people, as the Zionist propaganda machine keeps telling us, he would start with tens of thousands of Iranian Jewish citizens who enjoy religious and civil freedoms and are represented in the Iranian parliament.

  16. Eric A. Brill says:

    I hate to sound a dissonant chord here, but as exaggerated stories about Iran’s nuclear program go, this one by Joby Warrick is pretty tame. He reports that photos suggest Iran appears to be switching to more efficient centrifuges. Surprise? Hardly. We’ve heard for a long time that it’s existing centrifuges are not up to snuff. It would be surprising to learn they were NOT upgrading them.

    I do have a question about one statement in Flynt/Hillary’s piece:

    “[T]he Iranians have not yet shown their new centrifuge to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors because, as the director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, said publicly, uranium gas has not yet been introduced into a third-generation prototype—which means that the Iranians are not yet required to show that prototype to the IAEA.”

    My understanding is that the Iranian’s view of the disclosure deadline is six months before the facility becomes active. Would this not mean six months before uranium gas is introduced into this prototype?

  17. James Canning says:

    Hillary Clinton told CNN that Ahamdinejad is “anti-Semetic”? Is Hillary just another liar pandering to the Israel lobby?

  18. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    The armaments manufacturers (including their numerous stooges in the US Congress), in alliance with the Israel lobby, are doing a fine job of subverting the Republic. The American Republic, that is.

  19. James Canning says:

    Bravo! The Washington Postd and the Wall Street Journal are propaganda organs for the warmongers. In the WSJ May1/2, “US revises tack on Mideast arms”, Jonathan Weisman, Jay Solomon and Joe Lauria state in the first paragraph that “the US seeks to prevent Iran from derailing a monthlong UN conference on nuclear nonproliferation that begins Monday.” In fact, Iran is leading a group of countries seeking to stregthen the NPT! So, this is trying to “derail the conference” in the so-called “thinking” of the WSJ reporters. Truly pathetic.

  20. Rehmat says:

    The Washington Post being a member of Israel Hasbara Committee – cannot be expected to accept the truth – no matter how obvious it may be.

    It is amazing how Israel’s professional propagandists have perfected the art of lying and distortion everything which criticize Israel or tell the truth about about it – may it be a political statement or a piece of art. For example, a few days ago – Zionist Mafia called a map created by a Danish Jew artist – showing Middle East map less Israel – an act of “anti-Semitism”.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/wipe-israel-off-map-by-danish-artist/

  21. Bussed-In Basiji says:

    Dear Americans,
    Wake up and save your nation from these psycho elites in your government, military and media- liberal and conservative, Republican and Democrat, makes no difference. Iran is not like al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or Saddam. If your government decides to attack Iran, what’s left of the American republic will be finished.

  22. b says:

    The value of the Warrick piece can be assessed by this sentence in it:

    “the new machine is made of rare, hard-to-make metals such as carbon fiber ”

    That is a FAIL in highschool level chemistry by the author and the editors. And these folks write about nuclear enrichment?

  23. kooshy says:

    Fiorangela this article could interest you

    A light is cast upon pro-Israel groups
    By Rami G. Khouri
    Commentary by
    Saturday, May 01, 2010

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=5&article_id=114412#axzz0mpylakZQ

  24. Hakimeh says:

    Very true and thought provoking; here we see the stark irony between all the talk about media being the watchdog of the state, the so-called fourth estate – which is precisely the reason freedom of speech and of press is deemed so important – and the reality of the mainstream elitist media mirroring official stances on foreign policy issues. As Professor Lance Bennett of the University of Washington has theorized (his theory of media indexing) the media index the range of issues that are sanctioned by official sources. When there is little elite discord on an issue, the media uniformly support the official policy line. As the differences of opinion become more heated among elites, such as in the eventual years of the Bush administration regarding the War in Iraq, the media debate becomes more differentiated. At times of elite uniformity, the media are better characterized as “lapdogs” and at times of elite discord, as “guard dogs” of competing special interests. Your writings are very much appreciated as you are swimming counterflow. Thank you very much for blowing the whistle. The American people and people around the world deserve to hear about such important foreign policy issues from more than the mainstream media and their unnamed official sources. Your efforts are worthy of praise indeed. Thank you.

  25. Castellio says:

    Thank you for working so hard to get these articles up so quickly. The readership here is limited, but I and others will continue to bring this site to the attention of those who “want to know”. The freedoms of civic America are not yet dead: thinking people sharing thoughts based on real information do make a difference. It is an historical struggle.

  26. Liz says:

    Welcome back and well done.