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Bush’s Roadblock at the Security Council

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Mike Whitney
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Surveys were conducted months before the war on Iraq which showed that the American people would only support the conflict if there was a danger that Saddam was developing nuclear weapons. Other questions in the poll addressed the issues of humanitarian intervention, Saddam's abysmal human rights record, and the prospect that Iraq had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.

None of these other potential threats mattered to the American people. The only issue that gained majority support for war was whether Saddam had nukes. It's obvious now that the findings of that poll became the cornerstone of the administration's public relations strategy.

Bottom line: The Bush-Cheney plans for shaping public opinion will continue to depend on bogus claims about nuclear weapons programs. This explains why the administration and their agents in the MSM are intentionally misleading the public about the true nature of Iran's nuclear program; it is the only way to elicit support for another war of aggression.

This also explains the furor over the Niger uranium fabrication which discredited the administration and resulted in the "outing" of Valerie Plame and the "swift-boating" of Joe Wilson. Cheney knew that the nuclear-link was crucial to hoodwinking the American people and could not allow Wilson to expose his lies.

The very same strategy is being used to demonize Iran. The IAEA has repeatedly said that there is "no evidence of a nuclear weapons program", and yet, the administration continues to mislead public without a shred of proof to the contrary.

In the last week, the United States has had at least two opportunities to resolve the standoff through peaceful means. Instead, they torpedoed both deals and intensified the belligerence.


It was astonishing to watch Condi Rice hit the panic-button as soon as Iran's foreign-minister offered to give up "industrial enrichment" of uranium if the IAEA would refrain from bringing the case before the Security Council. This was a "huge" concession on the part of Iran. They were giving up their legal rights under the treaty (NPT) and asking for nothing in return.

Condi's reaction?

She called IAEA chief ElBaradei straight away insisting that," The US cannot support this!"

Cannot support what? Negotiation? Deliberation? Peace?

The State Dept made no attempt to explore the Iranian offer or see whether it would lead to greater concessions. It was simply dismissed outright.

It's not hard to figure out what that means as far as the chances for peace.

The State Dept reacted the same way earlier in the week when Russia and Iran were working out the details for enriching uranium outside of the country as a "confidence building" measure. Once again, State Dept. officials immediately rejected the "good faith" offer without pursuing further negotiations.

The obvious implication is that Washington wants another war and will subvert any attempt at negotiation or diplomacy.

What else could it mean?

Today's headlines are reiterating the same hogwash: "Iran Spurns Russian Proposal" (SF Chronicle) or "Iran Ruling out Russia in Nuclear Plan" (CNN) or "Iran Rejects Russian offer to Diffuse Nuclear Dispute" (NY Times). This is how the media uses the corporate-bullhorn to create the impression that Iran is being "defiant".


True, Iran has consistently maintained that it would not concede its rights under the treaty (NPT) but they have limited their demands to small amounts of uranium in a research and development program to be overseen by the IAEA inspection team.

Who could object to that?

The media has deliberately misled the public about the Russian negotiations as well as who was responsible for their ultimate failure. The New York Times admits this in their March 13 article by Nazila Fathi:

"Russia had offered to enrich uranium for Iran for use for energy purposes if Iran would refrain from doing so. It made a last minute face-saving offer to allow Iran to continue some enrichment for research purposes but withdrew the offer under Western pressure."

"Western pressure"?

What the Times means is that Russia "withdrew the offer under United States pressure", because Bush and company have no intention of allowing ANY settlement to take place no matter how conciliatory or personally-compromising.

But didn't Iran's foreign minister say that "The Russian deal is no longer on the agenda"?

Yes and no.

Iran said that it wants to see what the Security Council does before they make any more decisions. As for the precise statement by Iran's foreign minister:

"As for the Russian proposal, if it considers Iran's right to conduct research in Iran on its own soil, it can be a topic of negotiation, because the right to conduct research in Iran is the Islamic Republic's right that we neither want to give up nor will give up".

Hamid Reza Asefi's statement is a straightforward defense of the basic terms of the treaty (NPT) a treaty to which the United States is also a signatory and has clear obligations. Should Asefi simply toss the "internationally-approved" treaty on the burn-pile because it no longer fits within the Bush administration's foreign policy strategy?

Yes, according to Bush.

The media's role in demonizing Iran cannot be overstated, nor can we really appreciate the extent of US recalcitrance without following the minutia of daily statements and demands. The United States has elevated the issue of Iran's imaginary nuclear weapons program to crisis level. We must assume that its part of the broader scheme to incite violence and spread the Iraq war throughout the region.

Total war?

Isn't that where all this bluster and harassment is headed?

But will the Bush administration be able to win UN Security Council approval for their war plans? Will there be sanctions?

No! No sanctions and no resolution condemning Iran's program.

The New York Times reported on Friday that, "A draft document, which the Council members have indicated they hope to issue next week as a nonbinding presidential statement, says the Council continues to hope for a negotiated solution 'that guarantees Iran's nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes."

"A nonbinding presidential statement"?

This is what we have been saying here for months and now the NY Times is reluctantly confirming it. There are no grounds for "punitive action" because Iran is not in "noncompliance". The entire matter has only reached this level of attention because the inordinate amount of raw power and arm-twisting the US can bring to bear in foreign affairs.

"A nonbinding presidential statement" is the equivalent of saying, "We have no proof that you are doing anything illegal, but we will scold you anyway".

It is an empty statement which has no legal precedent or authority and infers nothing about violations to the NPT. It is strictly a gratuitous proclamation designed to placate the war-mongering occupants of the Bush White House.

The Bush administration has no proof that Iran has violated the terms of its treaty.

The IAEA has no proof that Iran has violated the terms of its treaty.

The UN Security Council has no proof that Iran has violated the terms of its treaty.

The whole fiasco has been orchestrated to deceive the public and pave the way for war.
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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.

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