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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/10/19

US Media Keep Saying Iran is 'In Violation' of a Nuclear Agreement the US Withdrew From

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By Dave Lindorff

Iran fills heavy water nuclear reactor core with cement Iran has reportedly removed the core of its Arak heavy water nuclear reactor, and filled it with cement as required under a nuclear deal signed with world powers ...
Iran fills heavy water nuclear reactor core with cement Iran has reportedly removed the core of its Arak heavy water nuclear reactor, and filled it with cement as required under a nuclear deal signed with world powers ...
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Yes, Iran is increasing the number of centrifuges it is using to refine nuclear fuel, and yes, it is refining that fuel to a higher percentage of U-235, the isotope that allows the uranium to begin a chain reaction necessary for both fueling a nuclear reactor and for creating an atomic bomb.

But in taking these steps, Iran is not, and indeed cannot be "in violation" of the agreement on its nuclear program that was negotiated by the Obama administration and the Iranian government in 2015, with the backing of 5 other nations (France, the UK, China, Russia and Germany).

That's because the Trump administration, acting on its own, foolishly pulled out unilaterally from that agreement, and has been imposing sanctions on Iran, all of which has been in violation of the agreement, and which, by violating its terms, effectively terminates the agreement.

One can debate the merits of such an agreement, and whether the Trump administration was right or wrong in pulling out of it (I think it was either a deliberately provocative act intended to steer the country into what would be a disastrous war with Iran, or a stupid decision designed to pressure Iran into reaching a much more restrictive deal with the US), but that doesn't mean that the mainstream media should be falsely reporting that Iran is "violating" the terms of the agreement, as for example, NPR did in its Saturday "Morning Edition" program.

The New York Times, in its latest report on Iran's decision to expand its refining of Uranium fuel, did marginally better. In a Saturday article headlined "Iran Breaks With More Limits in Nuclear Deal as It Pushes for European Aid," the paper makes the point that while Iran, four months ago, had been "continuing to comply" with the limits on nuclear fuel refining imposed under the deal that the US had violated by reimposing sanctions lifted under that agreement, but that the Tehran was now saying it would "no longer abide by" an agreement that the US was violating.

But Politico, that same day, ran an AP article using a headline saying "Iran now using advanced centrifuges, violating nuclear deal." The article, no doubt picked up by dozens or more US news organizations, states in its lead paragraph, " Iran has begun using arrays of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium in violation of its 2015 nuclear deal, a spokesman said Saturday, warning that Europe has little time left to offer new terms to save the accord."

The Washington Post wasn't any better, screaming that Iran had "breached" the agreement and was pursuing more intensive refining of uranium fuel. How can one breach an agreement that the other key party, the US, had already pronounced dead, pulling out and reimposing sanctions whose lifting had been part of the deal, despite outside inspectors and other nations party to the agreement insisting that Iran has been adhering to the agreement?

A poorly informed US reader of or listener to such slanted coverage could be forgiven for assuming that Iran was aggressively in breach of an agreement between the itself and the US and the group of other UN Security Council permanent members as well as Germany, when in fact it is the US that has crashed out of the accord and reimposed stiff economic sanctions on Iran.

This kind of slanted coverage of a critical international story is worse than just poor journalism. It is rank propaganda in support of increased tension between Washington and Tehran tension that could easily erupt into a military conflict.

Speaking in terms of the people of the world, it is clearly in nobody's interest for the US and Iran, a sovereign nation of 70 million, to be at war. We know how poorly US wars have gone against much smaller and less developed nations like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan have gone. And Iran is a country with a powerful historical sense of national pride and identity, not a stitched-together collection of feuding tribes and religions that is twice as big as any of those other countries one that, as well, is one of the largest oil producers in the world.

What US journalists should be doing, instead of mindlessly backing an administration that appears to be stoking hostility and war against Iran and its people, is to be analyzing and questioning why the US is so unwilling to continue with a diplomatic agreement that, by all accounts, was working to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. They should also be asking why the US, which reportedly is today producing more oil and gas than it uses domestically, even cares about what nations in the Middle East are doing with their oil and gas.

And Americans should be asking why their country's news media organizations are being so conspicuously pro-war in their reporting on the US-Iran dispute. It is clearly the Trump administration that has been sabotaging the Obama administration's successfully reached nuclear agreement with Iran.

DAVE LINDORFF is a member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, seven-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site. His work, and that of colleagues JOHN GRANT, JESS GUH, GARY LINDORFF, ALFREDO LOPEZ, LINN WASHINGTON, JR. and the late CHARLES M. YOUNG, can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net

 

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

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9 people are discussing this page, with 15 comments  Post Comment


Rohn Kenyatta

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Mr. Lindorff, this is a great piece. As a person with some knowledge of contractual law, I am both perplexed and amazed at how anyone can break a non-existent contract. Yet, Iran's aggressive zionist neighbor has nukes, won't abide by the NPT and everybody is cool with that. Absolutely astounding the arrogance and hubris.

If I were Iran, I would get a nuke...yesterday.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019 at 6:12:17 PM

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Dana Clark

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Had the Iranians only looked to all the broken agreements (treaties) with the First Nations here in the US they may have realized that trusting the US government was an exercise in futility. I'm not sure they need a nuke so much as needing to keep up on their arsenal of anti-ship weapons. The US cannot project its power with our navy resting on the bottom of the Persian Gulf.

You are right, the hubris is striking.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019 at 5:26:22 PM

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Jonathan Dickau

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Your analysis is fair Dave...

Once Trump pulled America out of the bargain Obama had struck; Iran continued for months to adhere, but was no longer bound by those terms - at least in not being obligated to honor US concerns when we had withdrawn. So indeed; the mainstream Press and News outlets appear to have put a spin on the story which affirms the storyline of the administration, that Iran is in violation, when what they have really done is to throw down a gauntlet saying they refuse to abide by the agreement any longer, because we have failed to keep up our side of the bargain entirely.

This would only be a violation of our agreement with them if there was still an agreement in place.

Regards,

Jonathan

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019 at 6:47:51 PM

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Mohammad Ala

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What Iran is going to do with one or two nukes? For defensive purpose might be okay but neighbors such as Pakistan has over two hundred. Another rough country in the region has over several hundred. Russia probably has few thousand. USA is estimated to some account to have over 4,000.

One thing to remember is very expensive to maintain nuclear bombs.

Iran has proposed to de-nuclearize West Asia.

People of Iran has suffered because Western countries do NOT abide by their own agreements. This is one example.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019 at 7:14:11 PM

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Rohn Kenyatta

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Mr. Ala, I'm not sure if you are aware of the nature of nuclear warheads for quantity is pretty much moot given today's megatonnage and technoloogy. I do concur that "white man speak with fork-ed tongue", always has, as was stated by the original/real "Americans". Ask yourself, how many countries with nuclear capability has the United States ever shown naked aggression to?

Exactly.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019 at 8:16:38 PM

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Dave Lindorff

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The answer is: very many. Here's a partial list off the top of my head: Vietnam (1960-1975), Cambodia (1960s-75), Laos, (mid-60s to 1975), Dominican Republic (1965 I believe), North Korea, 1950-present), Russia, (1918-21), El Salvador (1980s), Nicaragua (1980), Guatemala (1958), Chile (1973), Cuba, (1960), Iraq (1990), Iraq (2003), Afghanistan (2001), Libya (1986 and 2011), Syria (2018).


Dave LIndorff

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Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019 at 10:52:12 PM

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A thousand pardons, Sir. My query was how many nuclear capable nations has the U.S. ever shown "naked aggression" towards. I am unaware of Cambodia, Laos, Afghanistan, El Salvador, the DR, Guatemala, etc having nuclear weapons. And, in the case of North Korea and Russia, there has been no "naked aggression". Let me define what I mean by "naked aggression". Naked aggression means dropping bombs and missles on your babies and civilians, for the purposes of my comment. Perchance, I misunderstood you; or you me.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019 at 11:58:45 PM

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My bad. I missed your nuclear-capable qualifier.


Yes, if I were a country on the US sh*t list threatened with attack by our "heroes" in uniform, I'd get myself a few nukes immediately.


Dave Lindorff

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Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019 at 2:12:20 PM

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No worries Mr. L, I figured as much.

Congratulations on a damned fine piece of work.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019 at 3:36:31 PM

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I agree that Iran is completely within its rights to increase its enrichment program beyond the specifications of the JCPOA.

However, this was never about "a diplomatic agreement...to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons". That is a complete red herring.

As far as anyone knows, the IAEA and US intelligence agencies agree, Iran has not had a nuclear weapons program since 2003---if they had one then.

Iran considers nuclear, biological and chemical weapons to be un-Islamic. It is even written into their constitution. Nor did Iran use chemical weapons in retaliation during the Iran-Iraq war (i.e. Iraq aggression backed by the US). I believe them.

The JCPOA was all about Iran enriching uranium on their own soil for nuclear energy, medical and research. All the talk about break-out, etc is complete nonsense and propaganda by US and Israel, which the gullible public has fallen for---along with repetition by the prestitutes.

Please. Stop talking about Iran developing a nuclear weapon. You are playing into the hands of Zionists by doing so.

P.S. Iran has developed a sufficient deterrent to US and Israel aggression with their massive conventional missile program. That does not mean that the US and Israel will not do something completely irrational.

Anyone interested in my thorough analysis of the JCPOA, and all the nuances can read:

Iran Should Never Trust a US Promise Again; nor should anybody else!

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019 at 11:57:29 PM

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Here, here! With the educational algorithm per capita, the emphasis on STEM in the national conciousness, if Iran wanted a nuke, they would have had one long ago. I still say get one because that appears to be a very effective means of getting the "Westerners" to show some modicum of respect; although Iran has many, many weapons other than nuclear to deploy and activate. And, those weapons are economic, paramilitary and military.

Luckily, I don't govern Iranian policy.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019 at 12:02:53 AM

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I hear you Rohn.

We have to keep focused.

The US does not care about Iran's nuclear program. This is not about nuclear weapons. This is about the US wanting to overthrow the Islamic Republic since 1979. The US will settle for nothing less. No matter what Iran does or does not do, the US goal will never change.

Talk of Iran having a "nuclear weapons program, breakout time, etc" is just a smoke screen. It gives Netanyahu, zionists and neocons something to distract the public with, and they fall for WMD everytime.

Regards,

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019 at 1:32:09 AM

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Just the Presstitute Media Propagandists (PMP) providing their service to their master the MIC in keeping the war drums sounding. In their quest to make Iran a villain they falsely tell the public Iran is in violation of the "agreement" which doesn't exist since Trump backed out of it.

Next, we will be hearing how Iran's leaders are starving their own people and even gassing them (that always plays well) and ow in the name of humanitarianism we must get them out of power. Then they may even have the United Nations' Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet, do a report justifying how the people of Iran are being violated by their own leaders as she has done in Venezuela, absolutely ignoring the effect the sanctions are having on the nation.

The PMP scenario is constant with the bottom line being in all cases a lie. The real tragedy is the American people have grown complacent and have merely accepted these lies. Our nation has been turned into such a war state that people like Tulsi Gabbard (a combat veteran of 16 years) and Marianne Williamson are portrayed as traitors because they advocate peace rather than war.

The people need to wake up, soon!

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019 at 9:56:27 AM

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The American idiots will believe everything they're told to believe, without question. Just look at 9/11.

Religion and all the manic patriotism since the false flag event of 9/11 ensures it.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019 at 6:14:12 PM

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Great and important article - thanks!


Even prior to the implementation of the nuclear agreement, Iran was not anywhere close to having a nuclear bomb. In all probability, Iran does not want a nuclear bomb. In 1992 Israel and Netanyahu were warning the world that Iran was very close to having a nuclear bomb. That was over a quarter century ago!


The reason Israel lies about Iran building nuclear bombs is the same reason the Jewish state lied about Iraq having nuclear bombs: a Greater Israel of Biblical proportions. Israel is based on the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament the ancient Jewish clergy wrote. The Hebrew Bible claims Israel will rule the world and God will destroy any Gentile nation that will not serve Israel (Isaiah 60:12).


Since this is all based on religion, it's time we take the advice of the American and French revolutionary and Deist Thomas Paine. In The Age of Reason (http://deism.com/theageofreason.htm) Paine called for a revolution in religion based on our innate God-given reason and Deism. This will do much to help move us away from religious inspired violence and war.


Progress! Bob Johnson

www.deism.com

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 12, 2019 at 5:18:24 PM

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