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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at


Published Wednesday, August 17, 2005

According to Reuters' Louis Charbonneau – a neo-crazy media sycophant if ever there was one – those despicable Iranians "broke UN seals at a uranium processing plant" last week.

According to Charbonneau, the International Atomic Energy Agency "put on the seals after Tehran agreed with the European Union's biggest powers to halt all nuclear fuel work last November to ease tensions after the IAEA found Iran had hidden weapons-grade highly enriched uranium."

All of that "reporting" is – at best – misleading. And deliberately so

"Tehran defied EU warnings [that] it could now be referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions for having kept its uranium enrichment work secret for years – until it was found out in 2002 – breaking the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty."

Now, all of that "reporting" is – at best – misleading. And deliberately so.

Charbonneau is deliberately misleading you about (a) what the IAEA "found" back in 2002, (b) why the IAEA seals were in place, (c) what the Iranians did last week, and last – but most important – (d) what constitutes a "breaking" of the NPT.

Bush-Cheney officials have repeatedly charged that the Iranians have broken the NPT and that they are seeking to manufacture or "otherwise acquire" nuclear weapons.

But if the Iranians were breaking the NPT, who would be in the best position to know? The Bush-Cheney officials who made similar charges about Iraq?

Neo-crazy media sycophants like Charbonneau?

No. It does you no good to have a nuclear weapons program if you can't beg, borrow, or steal the tens of kilograms of fissile material that are absolutely required to make a nuke. So the NPT requires no-nuke states like Iran to subject all "source or special fissionable materials" and all activities involving such materials to an IAEA safeguards agreement.


The IAEA Statute – not the NPT – provides a mechanism for ensuring "compliance with the undertaking against use [of safeguarded materials and activities] in furtherance of any military purpose."

The IAEA Statute – not the NPT – requires the IAEA Board of Governors to report any use "in furtherance of any military purpose" to all IAEA members, to the UN General Assembly, and to the Security Council.

If, as Charbonneau charges, IAEA inspectors had found "hidden weapons-grade highly enriched uranium" in Iran, they would have been required to report that to the Board, and the Board would have been required to report that to the Security Council.

But they didn't. In fact, Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei has reported to the Board on numerous occasions that IAEA inspectors have found no "indication" that Iran now has, ever had, or intends to have a nuclear weapons program.

So what did the IAEA "find" back in 2002?

In the process of negotiating an additional protocol to the existing Iranian safeguards agreement, Iran voluntarily told the IAEA back in 2002 that, as a result of the United States forcing Russia to cancel the sale of a turnkey gas-centrifuge plant – which the Iranians had an "inalienable right" to acquire and operate under the NPT – the Iranians had been attempting to construct gas centrifuges of similar design. Furthermore, once they had constructed several thousand and got them to work, they planned to construct a uranium-enrichment pilot plant and, eventually, construct a commercial scale uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz.

According to Iranian nuclear negotiators, same observations can be made for most other major Western media.

But contrary to Charbonneau and the neo-crazies, under the Iranian safeguards agreement as it then existed, the Iranians were not obligated to tell the IAEA about any of that activity until they began processing "source or special nuclear materials" for introduction into those gas centrifuges.

So why were there IAEA "seals" on those uranium-conversion facilities? Well, the Iranians had volunteered to suspend all such activities for the duration of the EU-Iranian negotiations. Since the facilities were all already safeguarded, the IAEA was "invited" to verify the suspension.

But the IAEA is not a party to the EU-Iranian talks.

So what could the Board possibly report to the Security Council? That the EU and Iran hoped to conclude an agreement that "will provide objective guarantees" that "Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes" and that it "will equally provide firm guarantees" to Iran "on nuclear, technological, and economic cooperation and firm commitments on security issues"?

That on March 23, Iran offered a package of "objective guarantees" to the EU that included voluntary “confinement” of Iran’s nuclear programs? That the EU never responded to the Iranian offer? That the EU never offered Iran "firm commitments on security issues"?

That the Iranians decided to end their voluntary suspension of safeguarded activities and had so informed the IAEA?

None of that is any of the IAEA's business. So why report it? ENDS IRAN NUCLEAR 17805

Editor’s note: According to Iranian nuclear negotiators, same observations can be made for most other major Western media, particularly the two other international wires rival of Reuters, covering the International Atomic Energy Agency’s debates on Iranian nuclear issue.

“They get their briefings from the same European sources at the IAEA and report it without ever checking it with other sources, leave aside the Iranians”, one Iranian negotiator told Iran Press Service, adding that the “European source” of anti-Iranian disinformation is well known to them.

The above article was published by Antiwar website on 16 August 2005

Highlights are from IPS.


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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at

Most Western media covering Iran's nuclear issue at the IAEA get their news from same European source



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