Iran – Yellow Cake, Green Salt and Red Herrings

IAEA secret report: Iran worked on nuclear warhead”

one_ring

It is a sad day when even The Guardian is spreading cheap PR (propaganda) to influence public opinion: (Cui bono? Israel, the state of eternal impunity…)

“The urgency of dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat was underscored today when a leaked report revealed that the UN inspection agency believes the Islamic republic has “sufficient information” to make a nuclear weapon and has “probably tested” a key component.

The incendiary and misleading rhetoric in the introduction of this paragraph clearly demonstrates the bias behind it because it uses unproven premises to suggest  that they are proven facts:

Premise 1: Iran seeks nuclear weapons

Premise 2: Iran has a secret programme for developing nuclear warheads

Premise 3: (built on the other two): This represents a “threat” to world peace.

The deduction is made from accepted opinions not from first and true sentences in other words a foregone conclusion: there is an “urgency” to deal with a threat whose existence is only imputed, not proven.

For comparison: Here is an excerpt from a REUTERS article which does not violate the principle of  “balanced” reporting:

“The West suspects Iran wants to develop a nuclear weapons capability under the guise of a declared civilian atomic energy program. Tehran rejects the charge, saying its uranium enrichment program is a peaceful way to generate electricity.”

Source: Iran nuclear “threat” hyped: IAEA’s ElBaradei

“Managing Perceptions” Not Reporting Facts

“A secret annexe” has been found – give me a break, after the “Yellow Cake” scam and the “Green Salt” scare what it is now – the “Red Herring” (distract attention from the devastating Goldstone report on war crimes in Gaza which has just been released) – or just lie and distort till you are blue in the face?

As I mentioned in my previous post about the Goldstone report, the JTA laments the “bad timing” of the report just as Israel is trying “to convey the impression in Washington that Israel is more open to negotiations than the Palestinians and that the principal threat to the region is Iran” so it is about time we focus media attention on “evil” Iran….. and the guardian obliges with this shabby piece of journalism?

Western diplomats confirmed that the annexe was authentic”.

“Its absolutely accurate,” one official said. “It shows the agency’s thinking, which is that Iran is a lot further along on this than most people think. It suggests the Iranians have done a lot of work.”

The annexe said Iranian scientists had engaged in “probable testing” of explosives arranged in a hemisphere, which is how an implosion-type nuclear warhead is triggered.

There was also evidence, the report says, that Iran had worked on developing a chamber to carry a warhead on top of one of its missiles “that is quite likely to be nuclear”.

Why are the “”Western diplomats” and  the “official” not identified? How did (could) they verify the authenticity of the document? What kind of  journalism is this? Has Julian Borger actually seen the “secret annexe” or is he just “reporting” hearsay? Does it not occur to journalists these days that they might be used for “psyops”- presented to the world as “ independent media reports”? If there is evidence, then show it to the world and publish the document.

Believes”, “Probable “, “quite likely”- what is this – an insinuation exercise? An illustration of Aristotelian and Schopenhauer’s lessons on rhetoric and dialectic?

Why was the IAEA not given a chance to respond to the allegations in the article?  For comparison the AFP reported recently:

IAEA denies report it is sure Iran is seeking bomb

El baradeiVIENNA The UN atomic watchdog said Thursday it has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapons programme in Iran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency rejected a US media report which claimed its experts believed Tehran had the ability to make a nuclear bomb and was on the way to developing a missile system able to carry an atomic warhead.

“With respect to a recent media report, the IAEA reiterates that it has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapon programme in Iran,” a statement said.

According to the media report, the proof was contained in a so-called “secret annex” to the IAEA’s latest report on Iran, but was deliberately being withheld by the agency’s director general Mohamed ElBaradei.

“At the board of governors meeting on September 9, Director General ElBaradei warned that continuing allegations that the IAEA was withholding information on Iran are politically motivated and totally baseless,” it said.

Back to the Guardian:

“Attention will now focus on the United Nations in New York next week, where Obama takes the rare step of chairing a security council session in order to generate momentum towards nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and consensus over Iran.”

The US “generating momentum towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation” – are you kidding?

Kofi Annan (from a speech at Princeton, November 28, 2006):

“All of the NPT nuclear-weapon states are modernizing their nuclear arsenals or their delivery systems. They should not imagine that this will be accepted as compatible with the npt.

Everyone will see it for what it is: a euphemism for nuclear rearmament . . . By clinging to and modernizing their own arsenals, even when there is no obvious threat to their national security that nuclear weapons could deter, nuclear-weapon States encourage others—particularly those that do face real threats in their own region—to regard nuclear weapons as essential, both to their security and to their status. It would be much easier to confront proliferators, if the very existence of nuclear weapons were universally acknowledged as dangerous and ultimately illegitimate.”

After the invasion of Iraq, the world must have reached the conclusion that striving for nuclear weapons is the only safeguard against US aggression, that it is  far more protective for states (with valuable resources or “strategic” importance) to have nuclear weapons than to renounce them.

The Iraq War has demonstrated that a state without weapons of mass destruction is vulnerable to invasion and occupation. It would be perfectly logical to conclude that Iraq was attacked not because it had weapons of mass destruction but because it had none. This pathological logic will be further confirmed if the United States continues to pursue diplomacy with North Korea but demonizes Iran  and threatens it with sanctions for which there is no legal base.

The estimated number of casualties from the Iraq-Iran war is  one million Iranians. Many were victims of Saddam’s use of chemical weapons (both civilian and military targets). The Iranian nuclear-weapon programme began in the 1980s, perhaps as a response to Iraq’s use of these weapons.

Neither uranium enrichment nor plutonium reprocessing is prohibited under NPT rules, as long as they are under IAEA safeguards. According to a legal adviser[1] to the Foreign Office ‘safeguards are designed to detect diversion of materials for military or unknown purposes. Nothing in the NPT or safeguards agreements legally prevents a state party to them from acquiring nuclear-weapon capability, for example by enriching uranium to high grades, reprocessing spent fuel and so on’.

Iran was a signatory to the NPT from its inception (1-July 1968) but Israel never signed the NPT, nor even admitted that it has nuclear weapons  let  alone let anyone from the IAEA inspect its nuclear facilities. However, as we all must understand:  it’s not the weapons, it’s who has them..

The Bush administration has tried to smear El Baradei and get rid of him but did not succeed (remember the Yellow Cake scam) . Perhaps he was too decent for the job and even had the audacity to point out the double standards of the “international community”?

“We must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries 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.”

Mohamed ElBaradei, NYT, 12 February, 2004

The smear campaign against institutions that do not comply with Israels policies and plans is pretty obvious (see also my last post regarding UNHRC) and the IAEA has been targeted because it did not produce the desired “proof” that Iran is a “threat”( Why do I have a feeling of Dèja Vu? Just remember the accusations against the UN weapons inspectors in Iraq who did not oblige with finding non-existent WMDs…)

Here is an interesting article by Gareth Porter about the latest development in “The laptop of Mass Destruction”-case….

More Sources:

US Iran report branded dishonest (BBC)

Letter from IAEA refuting false allegations in Congressional report

Iran in the Crosshairs (FPIF)

IAEA – Focus Iran – Latest Reports

IAEA Report September 2008


Last words …

As soon as certain topics are raised. the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: Prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse.”

George Orwell


[1] D. M. Edwards, ‘International Legal Aspects of Safeguards and the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons’, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 33, no. 1, 1984.

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