On February 15, the US House of Representatives adopted a resolution by 404 to 4 votes condemning "the government of Iran for violating its international nuclear non-proliferation obligations and expressing support for efforts to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council".
The resolution, already passed by the Senate, was welcomed by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "The world will see the US is united", she told members of the House International Relations Committee.
Indeed, the resolution, while non-binding, rallies US legislators behind the Bush administration's attempt to prepare the ground for future Iraq-style "regime change" in oil-rich Iran.
The congressional resolution condemned Iran for allegedly being in "non-compliance" with "its obligations under the agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency ... as reported by the director general of the IAEA to the IAEA board of governors since 2003".
The agreement referred to is presumably Iran's 1974 nuclear safeguards agreement with the IAEA. However, IAEA director-general Mohammed ElBaradei has never "reported" Iran to be in "non-compliance" with this agreement.
In 2003 and 2004, ElBaradei did report that Iran had failed to provide full disclosure of nuclear research activities it had engaged in between 1974 and 2003. Yet such disclosure was not required by Iran's legally binding safeguards agreement, but by the additional protocol to the agreement that the IAEA had recommended Iran ratify, which it had only voluntarily agreed to observe.
The US congressional resolution further claimed that ElBaradei had "reported in November 2003 that Iran had been developing an undeclared nuclear enrichment program for 18 years and had covertly imported nuclear material and equipment, carried out over 110 unreported experiments to produce uranium metal, separated plutonium, and concealed many other aspects of its nuclear facilities and activities".
Indeed, he did. But only after Iran voluntarily reported these activities to the IAEA — none of which it was legally obligated to do under either the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or its safeguards agreement. Having done so, Iran was in full compliance with the additional protocol.
The US legislators' resolution went on to declare that on "February 4, 2006, the IAEA Board of Governors reported Iran's noncompliance with its IAEA safeguards obligations to the Security Council". The IAEA board did no such thing. Rather, it requested ElBaradei to report to the UN Security Council Iran's response to a series of highly discriminatory measures that are not being applied to any other IAEA member-country.
These measures include Iran indefinitely "suspending" research into enriching uranium as a nuclear fuel and "transparency measures" going well beyond the requirements of the NPT, Iran's safeguards agreement and even the additional protocol. Among these is a demand that Iran allow IAEA inspectors to interrogate any Iranian citizen.
That the vast majority of US legislators could vote for a resolution containing such gross distortions of the facts should not come as a surprise. After all, in October 2002 they voted by 373 to 156 for a resolution entitled "Authorization to Use Military Force Against Iraq". That resolution stated: "Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations."
Everyone now knows that this was a complete pack of lies — lies deliberately concocted by the US capitalist rulers to justify their "pre-emptive" war to conquer Iraq and seize its vast oil resources.
From Green Left Weekly, March 1, 2006.
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