Thursday, October 21, 2004

Iran Considers EU's "Last Chance" Nuclear Offer

Iran Considers EU's 'Last Chance' Nuclear Offer By Louis Charbonneau

Part of the nightmarish neocon fantasy dream ( Background material to the second gulf war ) is that the Project for a New American Century has been planning for 10+ years a megalomaniacal takeover of the middle east. They would start with Iraq, then go for either Syria or Iran. In their wake they would install moderate democracies, which would then shift the Middle East to be more complacent to the western powers.

While GW Bush has had us detoured in the Iraq folly, several acts have been happening in the sidelines. One in particular is the "nuclear weapon" question concerning Iran. Are they developing nuclear weapons or not? Does Iran have the right to invoke their sovereignty to resist inspections? What right does the world have to control the spread of nuclear weapons?

In my opinion nuclear weapons are so heinous that the world must act together to control their spread.

At the same time the background material haunts my thinking about the Iran issue. Are the neocons (who are largely in control of the decision making in this administration) being truthful in pressuring Iran about nuclear weapons? Are they making stuff up, again? Or is there a real danger?

A problem with being caught at a lie (the "case" for war ) is that it ruins your reputation. Everything you say later is tainted by the lie, and people have a harder time believing you.

For example, why is Pakistan not being pressured in the same way that Korea and Iran are? Pakistan, after all, was caught red-handed with the head guy of their nuclear weapons development program outright selling nuclear technology on the world market. Why are we coddling Pakistan, then? Would it be the oil pipeline that Michael Moore discusses in Farenheit 9/11? (that is, Uzbekistan has oil but can't get it to the sea, and there's been an oil pipeline proposal working the system for years to route the pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan rather than through Russia or Iran, and remind me again why we invaded Afghanistan and then gave up on the hunt for enemy#1 Osama bin Laden?)

In any case, what we have here is Iran being offered a deal. Scrap the reactors that you, Iran, are building, which have dual purpose. (The reactors they're building can be used to make weapons grade plutonium) Instead we, the west, will build you some other reactors that don't have dual-use capability.

From an anti-proliferation standpoint this is great. Especially if it remove the neocon's justification for invading Iran. The last thing we need is to create yet another war in the Middle East, we can barely fight the ones we're prosecuting right now.

Here's the core of the issue:

President Mohammad Khatami (news - web sites) said on Wednesday if Iran was guaranteed the right to develop peaceful nuclear technology, Tehran would "present everything necessary to prove that Iran will not produce an atomic bomb. But we will not give up our rights."

Influential former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani reinforced the message on Thursday as the talks were beginning, saying: "We have announced our stance repeatedly. It is irreversible."

Some diplomats say Iranian officials have never clearly explained why their oil-rich state needs nuclear energy or why they are so intent on producing nuclear fuel -- years before any Iranian atomic power facilities would be in need of such fuel.

Khatami said on Wednesday: "We cannot rely on other countries to supply our nuclear fuel as they can stop it anytime due to political pressures."

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