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Thursday, June 08, 2006


"Negotiations" with Iran

I wrote below about how the U.S. "offer" to "negotiate" with Iran was little more than a ploy to justify eventual war (or sanctions - war by economic means). The New York Times article on the subject makes the nature of this "offer" even clearer:
In addition to suspending its enrichment of uranium indefinitely, Iran would have to receive a seal of approval from the International Atomic Energy Agency confirming that it had no undeclared nuclear facilities or secret nuclear programs, and that it had answered a long list of outstanding questions, European diplomats and senior Bush administration officials said. Such criteria alone in recent years took Japan five years to accomplish.

In addition, the package calls for Iran to prove economic justification for its nuclear program, a complicated process that would probably take more than 10 years. [Ed. note - huh?]

That formula was designed to give the six powers -- the United States, Britain, Russia, France and China, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany -- complete control over any decision to allow Iran to proceed with some enrichment. "The package does not say that if the I.A.E.A. gives Iran a clean bill of health that it will be the end of the moratorium," said one senior European official. "It simply means we will re-examine it."

Asked whether the United States had softened its position, the official said, "This is a small conceptual step because they accept the notion that someday in some circumstances -- maybe in 30 years when the mullahs disappear -- there could be the end of a moratorium."
It's worth recalling this is precisely the ploy used with respect to the sanctions on Iraq which led to the deaths of more than a million Iraqis. Sanctions were supposedly imposed until Iraq could prove it had disarmed itself (of WMD). But the sanctions didn't have to be regularly renewed, they were in effect indefinitely until the Security Council voted to remove them. Which meant that the United States (and Britain) had veto power over their removal. Which in turn allowed Bill Clinton to vow that sanctions would remain in place until Saddam Hussein was no longer in office, regardless of the existence (or non-existence) of WMD. Which in effect meant that, whatever the original justification, the U.S. was effectively allowed to rewrite the justification. Kind of like one of those George Bush "signing statements." The intentions of the people (or countries) who actually voted for something in the first place? Of no consequence to those in power.

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