Obama to Seek Further Iran Sanctions; Amiri Defected to US, seems to deny active nuclear weapons program

President Obama is pressing for new United Nations Security Council sanctions within weeks. Although Russia and China oppose ‘crippling’ sanctions such as cutting off Iran’s access to imported gasoline, they may agree to the watered-down US plan of imposing restrictions on companies owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (a major economic force in Iran). China is said by Reuters to be weakening in its opposition to new Iran sanctions, but perhaps this is only because it would not be affected by Western measures narrowly targeting the Revolutionary Guards.

On the other hand, the Reuters piece, which appears to be based on interviews with US officials, may be overly optimistic. Russian President Medvedev said just a few days ago that increased sanctions on Iran are “not optimal.” I.e. he does not rule them out but they aren’t his first choice. And China is even more opposed than Russia. Obama still has a hard path ahead.

Iran sanctions are in any case merely symbolic. The regime cannot be forced to change course in this way. Indeed, this regime likes being isolated.

This Reuters article also misinterprets the stance of the International Atomic Energy Agency of the UN, which continues to certify that none of Iran’s nuclear material, being enriched for civilian purposes, has been diverted to military uses. The IAEA has all along said it cannot give 100% assurance that Iran has no weapons program, because it is not being given complete access. But nagging doubt is not the same as an affirmation. We should learn a lesson from the Iraq debacle.

Meanwhile, ABC News’s Brian Ross got the scoop on the defection to the US of Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri. US intelligence continues to maintain that Iran has not committed to having a nuclear weapons program. Presumably this information came from Amiri and is fresh and solid, since he is a consummate insider.

Yet you get headlines like, “Iran moves closer to nukes.”

Somehow American hawks can’t seem to get their minds around the obvious conclusion from the CIA diction, which is that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program at the moment. It can’t move closer to nukes if it doesn’t have a weapons program! Moreover, that it does not have such a program is no longer a considered opinion or educated guess, but is based on the best kind of intelligence. It is the conclusion that the 16 US intelligence agencies came to in 2007, and there is apparently still no evidence that Iran has changed its mind about the undesirability and even evil of nuclear warheads (though there are no doubt hard liners who disagree with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s fatwas against nukes as un-Islamic.)

As long as the US does not object to the actual nuclear weapons of Israel, India and Pakistan (none of which signed the NPT), its obsession with Iran’s civilian energy program will strike people in the region as unfair.

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8 Responses

  1. The two latest US intelligence findings on Iran say that Iran has NOT decided to make nuclear arms.

    Surprised? Yes, you should be. Our media would have you think otherwise. But take two microseconds to read what the DNI has been saying:

    Annual Threat Assessment:

    link to dni.gov

    “We continue to assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that bring it closer to being able to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”

    And the "721" report from a few days ago:

    link to dni.gov

    "…we do not know whether Iran will eventually decide to produce nuclear weapons.”

    Let us re-cap: to the best of the US IC’s knowledge the Iranian government has NOT decided to make nuclear weapons.

    OK?

    Oh, and someone pls pass the msg to AIPAC also.

    What a wonder it would be if our Zionist media pulled its head out of its anus and spoke the truth about Iran, instead of leading us into another war.

  2. Japan, Brazil, S. Korea and some other countries have developed their programs to the point where they can quickly move to making bombs if they wanted too. This is perfectly legal under the treaty, and makes sense to them.

    Iran is trying to get to that same point although it keeps saying that it is for civilian use. This double talk by everyone must stop and rational grown-up negotiations can then start. Alternatively, Iran should be given the same rights as the others.

  3. "As long as the US does not object to the actual nuclear weapons of Israel, India and Pakistan (none of which signed the NPT), its obsession with Iran's civilian energy program will strike people in the region as unfair."

    And by some thinking American citizens as bizarre.

  4. IIRC almost every US offer to negotiate with Iran has been accompanied by an ancillary threat to impose sanctions. Such is designed to keep Iran, or the US for that matter, from undertaking any serious negotiation. Once, having established the "failure" to negotiate, it becomes most easy to persuade the ignorant and inattentive that "good faith" efforts were made, inspections are a failure and Iraq's WMD are 45 minutes away from mushroom clouding some city.

    How many times must we walk down that road until the war-mongers are called the liars they are, including the President of the United States.

  5. Anonymous(s), Brazil, Japan and all those countries have developed their civilian nuclear programs within the framework of the NPT, in that they have allowed open access to their nuclear sites. Iran has not, and it is indisputable that they hid enrichment sites from the public. That is no small difference!

    Iran deserves the right to a civilian nuclera program, but it deserves no special priveleges when it comes to exempting themselves from accountability.

    I also find it odd that Prof. Cole would compare this to the Iraq debacle, given that the UN inspectors essentially gave Iraq's facilities a clean bill of health in the months before the US invaded – there was no "uncertainty" over Iraq. In contrast, the IAEC has been very vocal about Iran's unwillingness to cooperate and meet their obligations.

    The fact that no "decision" has been made to militarize the nuclear program is of little comfort, given that it is the program itself that is under scrutiny. A decision takes a day to make, and is therefore quite irrelevant to the long term nuclear intentions of Iran.

  6. Why does Iran need to import gasoline?

    This is incomprehensible.

    Without knowing anything about this, it seems to be evidence of complete incompetence on the part of their various current and previous governments and rulers. including the shah.

  7. Importation of petrol is Sanctionable;

    Seditious banking is Actionable;

    NO ! to Sanctions. They impair the working-class and circumvent affluent scoundrels.

    Sit and talk with those we fear – America's President has the best approach – and it is functional as you saw with HC.

    Bring the thieving rulers and their antagonists to the international courts.

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