FACTS about Iran's "nukes"
Among the smoke-and-mirror and fear-mongering innuendo, these are some facts about Iran's nuclear program that aren't being mentioned in the US press:
1- The Bushehr reactor--which was started under the Shah with US support--is not a weapons proliferation threat since it is a lightwater reactor which is under IAEA safeguard. Even the IAEA itself admits that much.
Proof: UN clears Iran nuclear facility The head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency has said Russia's nuclear co-operation with Iran is no longer a matter of concern. (SOURCE: BBC Online Tuesday, 29 June, 2004)
2- Note how the articles confuse a nuclear "weapons" program with a plain "nuclear program". In fact according to Article 4 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has an "INALIENABLE RIGHT" to possess nuclear technology, as does any othe country. Several other nations use the same technology too, such as Brazil and Holland and Japan. So a nuclear program is not the same as a nuclear weapons program.
3- A common refrain is that Iran's nuclear program can't possibly be for anything except weapons because Iran has so much oil and natural gas. In fact Iran needs nuclear energy despite possessing extensive oil and gas because of rising domestic consumption and the reliance on the sale oil and gas for earning hard currency. The Stanford Research Institute advised the Shah's government that Iran could not rely on oil and gas for energy way back in the mid 1970's. Other nations which have extensive oil and gas resources also have nuclear energy - such as Russia and the USA. Iran has also been experimenting with geothermal energy and wind-turbines, as well as building its largest hydroengery dam.
4- There is in fact no evidence of an actual nuclear WEAPONS program in Iran, as admitted by the IAEA itself - there is only the INFERENCE that Iran COULD ONE DAY POSSIBLY use the legitimate technology to build a weapon of POSSIBLY desires to do so. Needless to say, ANY TECHNOLOGY "could" be used to make nukes, and so could any country. And the reason why Iran would want to build nukes is to DEFEND ITSELF.
Proof: "IAEA: No evidence of Iran nukes VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has found 'no evidence' Iran is trying to make nuclear weapons... SOURCE: AP Monday, November 10, 2003
" 'The United States has no concrete evidence of a nuclear-weapons program,' Albright told me. 'It's just an inference. There's no smoking gun.' " SOURCE: New Yorker by SEYMOUR M. HERSH Issue of 2004-06-28
5- Iran can't be compared to Iraq: The bombing of Iraq's Osirak reactor did not signficantly affect Iraq's nuclear program, since the centrifuge sites were not bombed. If anything, it encouraged them to speed up the process. But in any case, Iran has signed the Additional Protocol which permits IAEA inspections anywhere-anytime, and Iraq had not. Iraq also used chemical weapons and invaded its neighbors- with the blessing and support of the USA, by the way.
6- In fact, according to the NonProliferation Treaty, not only is Iran entitled to have nuclear technology, but other countries are required to share their nuclear technology. That was the quid-pro-quo that the nuclear-haves and have-nots agreed upon when they signed the NPT. However, the nuclear-haves are not living up to their side of the Non-Proliferation Treaty bargain.
7- Don't mix up Iran and North Korea either: Currently, Iran has signed the Nonproliferation Treaty and its nuclear installations are all under IAEA safeguards - unlike North Korea.
7.5- Kerry has said that he'll offer nuclear reactor fuel to Iran, and if Iran refuses to accept the stuff and continues the program to makes its own nuclear reactor fuel, that's proof that Iran is secretly building a bomb. This of course is total bullshit. Lots of countries make their own nuclear reactor fuel, that doesn't mean they're secretly building nuclear weapons. Iran has the natural uranium deposits and the know-how to makes its own fuel, why would it want to become reliant on a foreign source of fuel? How can Iran be guaranteed that the fuel won't be "sanctioned" some time in the future? Asking Iran to be reliant on Kerry's good will is a lot like Asking the USA to not use any of its own oil and become solely reliant on King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.
8- If Iran is attacked, Iran will withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (as it is legally do pursuant to Article X) and will start working on a nuclear weapons program in earnest. Centrifuge sites will pop up like mushrooms all over the country - too many to be bombed - and the IAEA inspectors will not be around to check them. Within 6 mos. the first nuclear test will occur, and within a year Iran's missiles will be armed with nuclear warheads.
9- The people of Iran will rally to support their government if Iran is attacked, as their nationalism is stirred by such an act. Iran's decision to develop nuclear deterrence will occur with the full support of the people of the government too, so changing governments will not change the decision to build nukes. Iranians know that their country has a right to nuclear technology, they are proud of their nuclear accomplishments, and have a long history of resenting foreign superpowers trying to deprive them of their rights.
10- Attacking Iran's nuclear installations will prove once and for all to the people of Iran the necessity of obtaining nuclear weapons as a deterrence. There are already many Iranians who believe that Iran should withdraw from the NonProliferation Treaty since the US has failed to abide by ITS OWN obligations under the same treaty (to share nuclear technology, and to get rid of its own nuclear weapons) Furthermore, Iran is surrounded by nuclear-armed or nuclear-capable states that threaten Iran's security.
So yes, by all means, go ahead and bomb or try to invade Iran and see what happens.
11- The people of Iran support their government's nuclear development and are proud to defend it.
Unlike U.S., Iranians believe Tehran needs nuclear ability
By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson Knight Ridder 19 November 2004 San Jose Mercury News (c) Copyright 2004, San Jose Mercury News. All Rights Reserved.
Electrical engineering student Roozbeh Rahimi reflects a common sentiment among Iranians when he expresses hope that this famous tourist city will gain fame soon for its nuclear technology.
``We need nuclear power. And if it's used for military purposes, all the better,'' said Rahimi, 22.
12- Iran's nuclear program started under the Shah, with the encouragement and support of the USA.
US offered uranium enrichment, reprocessing to Iran: documents Islamabad, Nov 1, Kyodo/OANA/IRNA -- The United States offered uranium enrichment and reprocessing plant facilities to Iran in the mid-1970s if it bought nuclear power plants from US companies, invested in an enrichment plant in United States and shared plutonium reprocessing plant with Pakistan, recently declassified US documents reveal. The documents were found on the website of the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Two documents in particular, dated April 22, 1975 and April 20, 1976, show that the United States and Iran held negotiations for cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the United States was willing to help Iran by setting up uranium enrichment and fuel reprocessing facilities.
LINKS: National Security Decision Memorandum 292 US-Iran Nuclear Cooperation April 22 1975
Page 1: http://www.ford.utexas.edu/library/document/nsdmnssm/nsdm292a.htm
Page 2: http://www.ford.utexas.edu/library/document/nsdmnssm/nsdm292b.htm
National Security Memorandum 324 Negotiation of a Nuclear Agreement with Iran April 20 1976
(Addendum: among the various innuendo against Iran, one was that that traces of enriched uranium found on centrifuges in Iran was proof that Iran had illegally engaged in enriching uranium specfically for making bombs. This was repeated so often as to turn into conventional wisdom. Yet recently the IAEA itself concluded that the presence of traces of the staff was indeed attributable to contamination, just as Iran had claimed all along - now do you think the media will set the record straight and take back all of their innuendo?)