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 Sunday, April 30, 2006

Iran Crisis: The SAME Dirty Tactics and Spin by the Bush Administration Spread by the US Media

  Read here full article "President's tactics echo buildup to invasion of Iraq in Toronto Star"

Set aside the American spin — dutifully disseminated by the media — regarding the latest report of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran's nuclear program.

Rather than augment America's case, it proves how counterproductive George W. Bush's bullying tactics have been.

Bush's tactics bear eerie parallels to his 2002-03 buildup to the invasion of Iraq.

The ostensible issue then (in Iraq) was the hidden weapons of mass destruction.

Now, it is the Iranian intention to develop a nuclear bomb.

Iran's nuclear program is NOT new.

It began in the 1970s under the Shah, with U.S. co-operation.

But following the 1979 Islamic revolution, the Nuclear Suppliers' Group, a 45-nation cartel, wouldn't sell Iran nuclear technology. So it went to the black market.

What it bought there is a matter of debate.

But Iran is NOT in violation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

Its enrichment of uranium, under international inspection since 2003, is legal. (What transpired before that we do not fully know).

Iran even opened up some military installations, where the inspectors found no nuclear activity. Two years ago, Iran voluntarily agreed to suspend enrichment.

It did so while negotiating with Britain, Germany and France in an attempt to end the U.S.-led Western freeze on technological transfers, including spare parts for civilian planes.

When those talks failed, Iran removed the seals on nuclear material to resume low-level enrichment. That, too, was legal. The IAEA inspectors were present when the seals came off.
So, what is Iran guilty of?

  • It has not been fully forthcoming on what enrichment equipment it bought pre-2003.

  • It is yet to prove that its work is solely for peaceful purposes.
But the IAEA has NOT found a smoking gun.

Hence its conclusion: The glass is half-full and half-empty.

On Friday, the agency added what Iran has already said: the enrichment program continues.

Along the way, Iran had made two offers: set up a consortium to let other nations partially own and operate its commercial enrichment facility, thereby removing the secrecy around it, or, alternatively, ditch that facility in return for a small experimental facility (which would pose little threat of nuclear proliferation), along with an ensured supply of nuclear fuel, plus security assurances that it won't be whacked (by the U.S. or Israel).

But the U.S. would NOT agree. It says Iran might make a bomb.

But there's NO way the IAEA can measure intentions.

That Iran has an unsavoury regime does NOT mean that Bush can have carte blanche to start a war.

Bush says he does not plan to. But that's what he said on Iraq.

The more he drags Iran into the Security Council, the greater control he has over what he really wants: regime change.

That, in turn, drives Iran even more toward the bomb.

The more debate and resolutions he can generate in the council, the better for Bush, even if Russia and China don't fully go along.

The media hysteria would help ratchet up the fear factor and keep the spotlight off the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also all his troubles at home.

Secondly, it would let him turn the Iran case into "a test of the credibility of the Security Council," the same way he did on Iraq.

Condoleezza Rice is already using that phrase.

None of this is to say that Iran's nuclear program should not be curbed.

But one cannot think of a worse way than Bush's way.

He is pushing Iran to take the North Korean path: pull out of the Non-proliferation Treaty altogether to shield itself from any international inspection and develop the bomb.

It is this dangerous game of chicken that Stephen Harper is getting Canada into, by supporting Bush holus bolus on Iran.

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