Quote: Originally Posted by Goober
The IAEA ia still waiting for information that clarifies the differing stories, submissions, evidence that is contradictory.
And as you are 100 % sure that Iran does not have a covert Nuke Wpns Program, I suggest that you provide this evidence to the IAEA. I am sure they would be interested as to how you arrived at that conclusion.
You could even let us in on that big secret.
You seem to not understand two points of logic.
1) To avoid convicting innocent people, the burden of proof must be on the accuser to prove guilt,
rather than the accused to prove innocence. If the onus is on the accused to prove innocence, then anyone sleeping by themselves could be convicted for any murder which occurs in the middle of the night.
Accuser to the Accused: "Where were you last night at 3AM when the murder occurred?"
Accused to the Accuser: "I was home in bed sleeping."
Accuser: "Can you prove this? Do you have any witnesses?
Accused: "I was alone. No one can verify I was alone at home sleeping."
Accuser: "Can you prove you did not
commit the murder?"
Accused: "No I cannot even prove I was alone in bed sleeping when the murder occurred, which is where I was at the time of the murder"
Accuser: "Since you can't prove your innocence, you must be guilty"
The problem with placing the burden of proof on the accused is that innocent people can be easily convicted of crimes they did not commit. Therefore the burden of proof must always be on the accuser to prove guilt and never on the accused to prove innocence.
The US, Israel and their allies have accused Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons. But they have no proof to support their allegations. You erroneously believe that Iran has to prove they aren't building nukes, when its the Americans and Israelis who have to prove Iran is making nuclear weapons.
If you still don't understand my point, then try assuming for a moment that its a fact that Iran isn't building nukes. OK, so how do the Iranians prove they aren't making nuclear weapons. What proof exists that they aren't building nukes? As we saw in the case of Iraq's alleged WMD stockpiles, not finding anything after searching Iraq from one end to the other only meant that the Iraqis were hiding their WMD stockpiles and being dishonest rather than proving that Iraq's WMDs stockpiles did not exist.
Iran could also let the IAEA search the Iran from one end to the other and not finding anything would still prove nothing. The US and Israel would still allege Iran has a covert nuclear weapon program and are not cooperating with UN inspectors, just like they did regarding Iraq's alleged WMD stockpiles.
Another potential problem with UN inspections, is that their objectivity can be compromised. In 1998, US and other western spies infiltrated UNSCOM and abused their access to Iraq to spy on Iraq's legal defense systems. Later, the US and UK used that illegally collected intel to destroy Iraq's legal defenses during Desert Fox.
Unlike the allegations against Iran regarding their nuclear program, these allegations of US spies in UNSCOM are supported by evidence:
UN 'spied on Iraq' | World news | The Guardian (external - login to view)
Washingtonpost.com: U.S. Spied on Iraq Via U.N. (external - login to view)
UN 'kept in dark' about US spying in Iraq | World news | guardian.co.uk (external - login to view)
2) Proving a negative is a logical impossibility
. The US invaded and occupied Iraq, because they could not prove they did not have WMD stockpiles. As we all know, Iraq didn't have any WMD stockpiles and yet they attacked anyway. Iraq could no more prove they did not have WMDs than they could prove they weren't hiding aliens, Sasquatch, Ogo Pogo and God... Proving the non-existence of anything is logically impossible and it would be ridiculous to insist someone do this.
Recently the IAEA has made statements indicating that they also expect Iran to prove a negative:
“The Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.”
Of course the IAEA can't do this. Proving a negative is a logical impossibility and the IAEA making such a statement may indicate that IAEA objectivity has been compromised, just like UNSCOM was back in 1998.
Quote: Originally Posted by ironsides
Another threat? They will never learn.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has begun uranium enrichment at a new underground site well protected from possible airstrikes, a leading hardline newspaper reported Sunday in another show of defiance against Western pressure to rein in Tehran's nuclear program....
http://news.yahoo.com/report-iran-begins-uranium-enrichment-082830683.html (external - login to view)
At a site that Iran declared over a year ago, in compliance with one of the additional voluntary confidence building NPT protocols that Iran did ratify.
I suggest you get an informed opinion based on critical thought. This interview might be helpful:
Iran, Israel and the US: who’s threatening who?
by David J. Franco and Shirin Shafaie
(source: InPEC (external - login to view)
) Wednesday, December 28, 2011
InPEC has conducted this interview with Shirin Shafaie at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Shirin Shafaie is an Iranian researcher and PhD candidate at SOAS. She was educated in Iran (BA in Philosophy and MA in Philosophy of Art) and in the UK (MSc in Middle East Politics). The core of her research is critical war studies in general and the Iran-Iraq War in particular.The links in the answers are added by Shafaie.
Franco: Good morning Miss Shafaie and welcome to a conversation with InPEC. In an interview conceded to Iranicum (external - login to view) (external - login to view) in August 2011 you stated that ‘the IAEA has confirmed time and again that Iran is enriching uranium only to the levels it has stated and more importantly that no declared nuclear material has ever been diverted to military use in Iran’. The latest report released by the IAEA on 8 November 2011 seems to challenge this statement (we will call this the November Report). What is your position following the release of the November Report?
: The IAEA has issued 35 reports on Iran since June 2003. What remains well-founded, credible and accurate in all of these reports, including the November Report, is the fact that “the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and LOFs [Locations Outside Facilities, meaning in hospitals] declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement”. (external - login to view)
This is the most decisive and accurate finding of hundreds of hours of inspection by IAEA inspectors and 24/7 surveillance by IAEA cameras. The allegation remains as always that “the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran”;
while Iran continues to categorically deny any undeclared nuclear sites on its soil. There has never been any evidence of such sites until today.
There are some other, old and new, allegations in the November Report which have become worthy of attention thanks to the media hype, for example the allegations of Research & Development (external - login to view)
for nuclear weapons based on data from a mystery laptop (external - login to view)
. Gareth Porter, the investigative journalist, has best dealt with this issue and discounted the intelligence documents that have been used to indict Iran as plotting to build nuclear weapons as fabrications by a self-interested party, namely Israel’s Mossad. Others have also argued that the US has once again used fake intelligence to build a justification to wage war (external - login to view)
. Muhammad Sahimi, an Iranian professor and commentator, has also provided a critical analysis of the issue which you can listen to here (external - login to view)
. Or you can read Iran’s own assessment of the so-called alleged studies here (external - login to view)
. With regard to the nuclear facilities in Iran near Qom, Daniel Joyner writing for the Jurist (external - login to view)
has explained in legal terms why Iran was not obliged under its Safeguards Agreement to declare a facility which was not yet introduced to nuclear material. Perhaps the newest and most exciting allegation in the November Report is that of the involvement of a former-Soviet “nuclear scientist” in Iran’s nuclear program. The Ukrainian scientist in nanotechnology (external - login to view)
, Danilenko, has rebuffed the manipulation (external - login to view)
of his identity and expertise in the November Report. Porter has also provided a sober analysis of the new allegations here (external - login to view)
Moreover, Iran submitted a 117-page clarification document
to the IAEA in May 2008 clarifying most of the above allegations in full detail. Although the November Report does not add anything new in terms of substance and concern to the issue, Iran has provided the 118 Members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) with answers to twenty key questions (external - login to view)
regarding its nuclear program. Moreover the NAM has issued a statement (external - login to view)
criticising the biased and unprofessional behaviour of the IAEA against Iran.
In a nutshell, there is still no shred of evidence (external - login to view)
indicating that Iran has an intention for developing nuclear weapons, let alone having a military nuclear program already.
Franco: The IAEA claims to have verified most of the evidence provided by member states but some claim that the UN nuclear watchdog is as a much a technical organisation as it is a political body (external - login to view). Is the IAEA as independent as it purports to be? What should we make of their November Report?
The November Report does not contain any evidence of nuclear weaponisation in Iran, only some allegations, both old and new. The corresponding data to these allegations has been fed to the IAEA mainly by one unnamed “Member State”. Experts of all sides agree that the concerned Member State is in fact Israel: a member state to the IAEA (along with 150 other countries), but not a signatory to the NPT (along with only 3 other countries). Therefore, legally speaking, the whole report lacks credibility and legitimacy.
To use a court case analogy, this is what has happened: Iran has been accused of having an intention to develop nuclear weapons (guilty until proven innocent), the Agency (prosecutor and the jury) cannot guarantee that Iran does not have a military nuclear agenda (double negative case), the enemy of Iran, Israel, itself very much guilty of having actually committed the same crime (nuclear weaponisation) provides the jury with the so-called evidence. Important documents and information were withheld (external - login to view)
from the jury (former IAEA head, ElBaradei) and the defendant (Iran). Meanwhile the new head of the jury (current IAEA head, Amano) is himself under the influence (external - login to view)
of another arch enemy of Iran and best friends of Israel, namely the US. The US is itself guilty of not only having the largest number of nuclear arsenal in the world throughout the history, but also guilty of being the only country which has actually used nuclear bombs against civilian population, not once but twice. When the jury-prosecutor receives these readymade allegations and fabricated evidence supporting those allegations, it sends Iran’s nuclear file to the Supreme Court which is the Security Council here. There again you find the US sitting comfortably along with its European allies and opportunist powers to decide if Iran should be punished for a crime it has not committed. It won’t be hard to guess what such a verdict would be, without even having seen or verified the evidence.
Franco: Talking of Israel, the Economist published on November 12th that ‘The Israelis’ anxiety is understandable. They fear a theocratic regime that embraces the Shia tradition of martyrdom may not be deterred by a nuclear balance of terror (external - login to view)’. Is this what the West truly fears or is there something else at stake?
: I don’t fully understand why Israel fears Iran so much, yet I don’t think that their fear is unreal. Israel has been active in acts of sabotage and terror against Iran ranging from cyber attacks and most notoriously assassination of Iranian scientists. So it may be the case that Israel really thinks that Iran wants to make nuclear bombs. But the Israeli fear is not proof for an Iranian crime. There is a Persian expression which says that master thieves always have many locks on their own doors.
Some argue that the source of Israeli paranoia against Iran is the antagonistic language of Iranian leaders, most notably the current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and also the late leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini. They both said that Zionism will disappear from the page of time (external - login to view)
and I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t. The Apartheid regime vanished from the page of time without South Africa being wiped off the map (external - login to view)
. The problem may be that Israeli leaders see the existence of their political party and particular ideology as identical with the existence of the Jewish people and their country. This is a false portrayal of reality. Israel and the Jewish people do not need Zionism but the other way round. Moreover, Iran’s military doctrine is fundamentally defensive and it has been like that for more than two centuries. Unlike Israel or the US, Iran does not follow its political aspirations through aggressive military means. With regard to Israel, Iran insists that it is up to the people of the Occupied Territories to decide their own future.
I agree with Avner Cohen (external - login to view)
, an expert on Israeli nuclear arsenal and a professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, who said that “Ultimately this is a fight over the Israeli nuclear monopoly in the region”; meaning that Israel, but also the US and the IAEA, are not really concerned with the nature of Iranian nuclear program, but more so with Israel’s status as the sole nuclear-armed state in the region. Keeping the Israeli nuclear weapons monopoly has become the most important issue on the IAEA and Security Council agenda, whereas it should be really the issue of creating a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East.
Franco: Let’s now move to the issue of sanctions. In your interview with Iranicum (external - login to view) you stated that sanctions are counter-productive and a direct attack on Iran’s population. You also claimed that diplomacy and negotiation are the only way forward. On the other hand, many believe Iran is just buying time to develop a break-out capability and the US and the EU have strengthened sanctions against Tehran. Against this background, how can diplomacy continue to serve international and regional peace and security?
Sanctions are confrontational and destructive. The question is what have they achieved anywhere in the world at any point in time? What did a decade of sanctions against Iraq (external - login to view)
achieve? Did it help the oppressed people of Iraq? No, more than 500,000 Iraqi children died as a direct result of sanctions. What did sanctions achieve in Libya? Did they bring about democracy, prosperity or a bright future? What about Syria? Why should anyone think that Iran is or will be any different? Sanctions are not just a prelude to war, but in fact they are an act of war because like wars they destroy economies and lead to death and destruction. Sanctions are proving to be detrimental not only for the enemy’s economy (or the receiving people) but also for the sending countries. Moreover such sanctions in the case of Iran also “impact companies from third countries cooperating with Iran in the oil and oil-refining industry, and in the banking sector”, a fact reiterated by Russia which “views such extra-territorial measures as unacceptable and against international law (external - login to view)
” and as “a tool for regime change (external - login to view)
The current system imposed on international relations by the West creates lose-lose situations. Even lose-win situations should be considered obsolete in our globalised world. The West should drop its extra-legal demand for suspension of nuclear enrichment in Iran. Negotiations should instead take place in order to expand cooperation in the field of nuclear energy production and research. An interesting option would be the revival of the nuclear deal involving Russia, Iran, France and the IAEA (originally devised in October 2009 (external - login to view)
). Based on this deal Iran would ship most of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Russia for further enrichment and then to France for processing into fuel rods which are needed for medical purposes in Tehran Research Reactor. There is also the Iran-Brazil-Turkey deal (external - login to view)
which was concluded with initial support from the Obama Administration (external - login to view)
but later dismissed by the US (external - login to view)
in the Security Council.
I think that the revival of the Russian deal is a better option at the moment because Turkey seems to have slightly tilted towards the West, especially through its NATO membership. Turkey (external - login to view)
’s decision to host American anti-missile shields has bothered Iran (external - login to view)
and Russia (external - login to view)
alike, while pleasing Israel. Now it may be time that Iran reconsiders the Russian proposal of 2009. This will be a win-win situation for all the parties who choose to be involved.
Franco: Let’s talk a bit more about nuclear deals. In a September 2011 interview with the Washington Post (external - login to view) (later reproduced in similar terms with the New York Times (external - login to view)) President Ahmadinejad reiterated his offer to stop enriching Uranium to 20% level in exchange for fuel rods. Why has the offer fallen on deaf ears and do you think the November Report is having any influence in the US decision not to consider Ahmadinejad’s offer seriously?
The reason President Ahmadinejad is offering to halt uranium enrichment (external - login to view)
up to 20% is that Iran urgently needs (external - login to view)
the nuclear fuel rods for its Tehran Research Reactor (TRR). More than 800,000 patients of cancer and other complicated diseases are dependent on medical radioisotopes produced by the TRR for diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately the significant humanitarian aspect of Iran’s nuclear program has been wilfully neglected by the US and the IAEA. Iran’s nuclear program is politicised by the West at the expense of these patients who are turned away from hospitals on a daily basis because the TRR has almost ran out of fuel.
The recent proposal by President Ahmadinejad is not unique in kind. Iran had previously agreed to other deals, such as the Iran-Brazil-Turkey deal that I just mentioned to solve this diplomatic and humanitarian deadlock. In 2008 Iran proposed to establish an international consortium (external - login to view)
to enrich uranium on its soil as a way of defusing tensions over its nuclear program. The proposal was again dismissed by the West because the US and its European allies want Iran to completely abandon its nuclear enrichment program or in other words give up some of its national sovereignty. President Ahmadinejad’s offer to halt uranium enrichment up to 20% indicates efforts towards reaching a win-win solution. Iran refuses to be put in such an immoral position where it has to choose between its national sovereignty and the well-being of its hundreds of thousands of patients. Moreover, there is no guarantee from the West to safeguard either side should Iran choose to pick one.
I think that the West is using the issue of Iranian urgent humanitarian need for nuclear fuel as a bargaining chip and that is why Iran’s continuous offers for suspension of uranium enrichment to 20% seem to be falling upon deaf ears in the West.
Franco: One last question, Miss Shafaie. Recent developments seem to have elevated tensions to levels similar to those experienced in the prelude to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Speaking of Iran’s nuclear program, President Obama’s National Security Adviser Thomas E. Donilon reiterated recently that ‘the United States would take no options off the table in dealing with Tehran’ (external - login to view). Is this mere rhetoric or is it reflective of views in the Obama administration that see war with Iran inevitable?
There is a horrific fact about the now cliché American phrase “All options are on the table” against Iran. All options here include the following measures: extra-legal economic and diplomatic sanctions for example against Iran’s civilian aviation industry, various acts of sabotage including cyber attacks, espionage operations involving anti-Iranian terrorist groups and unmanned drones, assassination of Iranian scientists inside Iran, and most recently sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank and talks of an oil embargo against Iran; but most notoriously this phrase implies the possibility of an unprovoked nuclear attack by the US against Iran. President Obama spelled out this possibility in his 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (external - login to view)
. The gravity of such horrific threat by the US against non-nuclear-armed Iran is reflected in the text of Iran’s complaint to the Security Council (external - login to view)
. However, Iran’s complaint was rather in vain because the aggressor, namely the US is itself dominating the Security Council.
So does this mean that the US will use its nuclear weapons again, this time against Iran? I’m not so sure. Because the Western military-industrial complex is currently benefitting from the status quo that the US and Israel have created in the region through Iranophobia. The American arms sales to the region amount to billions of dollars. Moreover, the US military-industrial complex is benefiting from its European missile shield deals (external - login to view)
. However, there is always the risk of saturation of the arms market in the region and by extension the risk of an all-out war. Yet, there are a number of actors which would by no means benefit from such a scenario and it is possible that they would prevent such a war.
The biggest loser of such a war with Iran would be the people of the world. The anti-war movement has become much stronger in the West than it was in the run-up to the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. Moreover, the global economic crisis has made people rethink the trust and power that they have invested in their regimes. The other actors who would not benefit from yet another American-made war in the Middle East are China
and Russia (external - login to view)
. Unlike the US, Chinese economy is not based on arms sales and China has a lot to lose from rising oil prices. The Russian situation is quite similar, so is the situation of Brazil, India, and South Africa (i.e. BRICS countries). In fact the deputy foreign ministers of the BRICS (external - login to view)
countries stated their deep concerns in a meeting in November 2011 “about security and stability in the Gulf region” and called “for political dialogue in resolving differences” and “rejected the use and threat of force”. In their Joint Communiqué (external - login to view)
“the Participants stressed the necessity to build a system of relations in the Gulf region that would guarantee equal and reliable security for all States of the sub-region.” This is Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa agreeing on an urgent matter, all currently members of the Security Council.
There is a lot of tension and horrific threats of war, but there is also hope that at least some in the international community have maintained their sanity and are increasingly calling for diplomacy and negotiations in place of wars and confrontation.
Franco: Miss Shafaie, thank you very much for finding the time to answer our questions.
Iran, Israel and the US: who (external - login to view)
Last edited by earth_as_one; Jan 8th, 2012 at 10:26 AM..