by August Wagele
This week Congress will vote on a resolution (Senate RES. 580, House RES. 362) ramping up the pressure on Iran, bringing us one step closer to attacking them and sending the American economy plummeting into the abyss.
These grave threats against Iran are the culmination of 29 years of the American War Partyâ€™s resentment at the revolution of 1979 when religious Shiâ€™ites overthrew the brutal American puppet, the Shah Reza Pahlavi. The White House is continually asserting that Iran is a threat to America, a threat to its neighbors, harming Americans in Iraq, supporting terrorism and illegally pursuing nuclear weapons. Just as in the case of the Iraq invasion, none of these accusations have substantial or concrete evidence to back them up. They are using the same tactics that worked so well for the Nazis to rally their citizens and excuse their war crimes: If you tell a big enough lie, often enough, the people will eventually believe it.
Below is the text of the resolution, which is, in effect, a declaration of war â€“ beginning with a full scale blockade of all refined petroleum imports and wide-scale travel restrictions. Debunking in [bold]. (Italics added for emphasis):
SRES 580 110th CONGRESS 2d Session Senate RES. 580: Expressing the sense of the Senate on preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES June 2, 2008 Mr. BAYH (for himself, Mr. THUNE, and Mr. SMITH) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations RESOLUTION Expressing the sense of the Senate on preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
Whereas Iran is a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, done at Washington, London, and Moscow July 1, 1968, and entered into force March 5, 1970 (commonly referred to as the “Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty”) and, by ratifying the Treaty, has forsworn the acquisition of nuclear weapons;
[Here is the critical language of the NPT- Article IV section 1, which emphatically states Iranâ€™s rights to pursue nuclear power. “Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.” ]
Whereas Iran is legally bound to declare all its nuclear activity to the International Atomic Energy Agency and to place such activity under the constant monitoring of the Agency;
[The IAEA has â€œcontinued to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material to any military or other special purposeâ€ as recently as early June. The Iraniansâ€™ current program is enriching to a measly 3.6% U-235, while better than 90% purity is required to make a nuclear weapon.
[In order for Iran to enrich U-235 to weapons grade, they would have to withdraw from the NPT, kick out the IAEA inspectors from their Safeguarded facilities and then begin trying to enrich to weapons grade. They would need at least 120 pounds of HEU to make one bomb and that would take time and great skill.]
Whereas for nearly 20 years Iran had a covert nuclear program, until the program was revealed by an opposition group in Iran in 2002;
[The covert program in no way violated the NPT or Iranâ€™s Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA (see below). The â€œopposition groupâ€ is the NCRI, political wing of the American-allied terrorist group Mujahedeen e Khalq and front for Israeli intelligence.]
Whereas the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that the Government of Iran has engaged in such covert nuclear activities as the illicit importation of uranium hexafluoride, the construction of a uranium enrichment facility, experimentation with plutonium, the importation of centrifuge technology and the construction of centrifuges, and the importation of the design to convert highly enriched uranium gas into a metal and to shape it into the core of a nuclear weapon, as well as significant additional covert nuclear activities;
[The only reason the Iranians went to the black market for their nuclear technology was because the U.S. twisted every arm to prevent legitimate transfers. Though they may have been pursuing the option of an eventual nuclear weapon, whatever idea they had of doing so was abandoned no later than 2003.]
[Antiwar.comâ€™s in-house nuclear physicist Gordon Prather notes:
[â€œUnder its existing Safeguards Agreement, the IAEA has concluded that there were certain activities â€“ including the importation from China of small quantities of Uranium Hexafluoride â€“ that ought to have been â€œdeclared,â€ but weren’t, and other activities â€“ including laboratory-scale production of plutonium â€“ that ought to have been “reported” but weren’t.
[â€œHowever, the IAEA has not concluded that Iran was under any obligation to “declare” or “report” the acquisition or construction of gas-centrifuges, much less the construction of facilities intended to house such centrifuges. Under the basic Safeguards Agreement required of Iran by the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Iran is not required to make such *reports or* declarations until 6 months before actually introducing NPT-proscribed materials into that equipment or those facilities.
[â€œThe IAEA has concluded that there never has been any association of NPT-proscribed materials with any of the â€˜alleged studiesâ€™ or with certain documents found in Iranian files â€“ such as the several page document containing a brief description of how to cast uranium metal (an NPT-proscribed material) into hemispheres.
[â€œAlthough ‘covert’ does not mean illicit or illegal, it frequently is intended to suggest that. What needs to be more than suggested is that all activities â€“ including lab bench-scale activities â€“ involving NPT-proscribed materials are required to be â€˜reportedâ€™ to the IAEA and all ‘significant’ amounts of NPT-proscribed materials â€“ and all activities involving them, including storage â€“ are required to be “declared.â€™”]
Whereas the Government of Iran continues to expand the number of centrifuges at its enrichment facility and to enrich uranium in defiance of 3 binding United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment activities;
[The UN has no authority to demand any such thing.]
Whereas the Government of Iran has announced its intention to begin the installation of 6,000 advanced centrifuges, which, when operational, will dramatically reduce the time it will take Iran to enrich uranium;
[Expanding their number of centrifuges is consistent with a peaceful nuclear program. Again: There is no evidence on earth that they have enriched to 90%+ weapons grade at all, ever. The IAEA has verified this lack of enrichment to weapons grade over and over again.]
Whereas the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate reports that the Government of Iran was secretly working on the design and manufacture of a nuclear warhead until at least 2003 and that Iran could have enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon as early as late 2009;
[The NIE states: â€œâ€¦that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weaponsâ€. This is based on the dubious â€œsmoking laptopâ€ which was obtained by way of the Iranian opposition group NCRI probably by way of Mossad as explained here.
[And â€œâ€¦the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough HEU for a weapon is late 2009, but that this is very unlikelyâ€ and â€œAll agencies recognize the possibility that this capability may not be attained until after 2015.]
Whereas allowing the Government of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability would pose a grave threat to international peace and security;
[Mutually Assured Destruction has prevented nuclear war for almost 60 years. ]
Whereas allowing the Government of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability would fundamentally alter and destabilize the strategic balance of power in the Middle East;
[â€¦the strategic balance of America and Israel being able to dominate the entire region at will.]
Whereas, if it were allowed to obtain a nuclear weapons capability, the Government of Iran could share its nuclear technology, raising the frightening prospect that terrorist groups and rogue regimes might possess nuclear weapons capabilities;
[Such a move would be no less suicidal â€“ and is no more frightening â€“ than the Iranians using them directly.]
Whereas allowing the Government of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability would severely undermine the global nuclear nonproliferation regime that, for more than 4 decades, has contained the spread of nuclear weapons;
[It is the United States which has destroyed the global nonproliferation regime in order to start trouble with the â€œAxis of Evil,â€ Iraq, Iran and North Korea, which were all members in good standing of the NPT when the White House targeted them for regime change in 2002.]
Whereas it is likely that one or more Arab states would respond to Iran obtaining a nuclear weapons capability by following Iran’s example, and several Arab states have already announced their intentions to pursue `peaceful nuclear’ programs;
[Again, it is their right of all NPT signatory states to do so. â€œPeacefulâ€ must always have ironic quotes when used by government.]
Whereas the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities throughout the Middle East would make the proliferation of nuclear weapons elsewhere around the globe much more likely;
[What is actually spreading a global nuclear and conventional arms race is Americaâ€™s belligerent threatening and attacks. The world is learning that America will not attack a country that can actually defend itself.]
Whereas allowing the Government of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability would directly threaten Europe and ultimately the United States because Iran already has missiles that can reach parts of Europe and is seeking to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles;
[They would need â€œboostedâ€ plutonium warheads to fit them on rockets. Iran doesnâ€™t have plutonium or the tritium necessary to â€œboostâ€ anything. Besides, it makes no sense that Iran is trying to obtain nuclear weapon capability to attack anyone. That would be instant mass suicide. It seems reasonable that a country that has many nuclear weapons pointed at it would want to have the deterrent of retaliation. Despite this, Iranâ€™s supreme ruler has said that they do not want a nuclear weapon and there remains no evidence whatsoever that they are pursuing one.]
Whereas the Government of Iran has repeatedly called for the elimination of our ally, Israel;
[This is false. Ahmadinejad, who has no authority over the Iranian military, was quoting the old dead Ayatollah Khomeini who said: â€¦”this occupation regime over Jerusalem” will “vanish from the page of time.â€ Thereâ€™s nothing about â€œwiping,â€ â€œIsraelâ€ or â€œmapsâ€ in there at all.]
Whereas the Government of Iran has advocated that the United States withdraw its presence from the Middle East;
[Would we welcome an aggressive foreign military to stay indefinitely that was surrounding us, wanted our resources, supported terrorists against us, and overthrew our next door neighbor while bribing and arming others to the hilt?]
Whereas the United Nations Security Council has passed 3 binding resolutions under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter that impose sanctions on Iran for its failure to comply with the mandatory demand of the Security Council to suspend all uranium enrichment activity; Whereas the United States, the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany have offered to negotiate a significant package of economic, diplomatic, and security incentives if Iran complies with the Security Council’s demands to suspend uranium enrichment;
[Again, completely outside of any supposed â€œlegalâ€ authority to do so.]
Whereas the Government of Iran has consistently refused such offers;
[We accuse them of not negotiating when our version of negotiation is complying to all of our demands first.]
Whereas, as a result of the failure of the Government of Iran to comply with the Security Council resolutions, the international community began taking steps in 2006 that have begun to have an impact on the economy of Iran, but the rapid development of nuclear weapons capabilities by the Government of Iran is outpacing the slowly increasing economic and diplomatic sanctions on Iran;
[There is no evidence of â€œthe rapid [or slow, steady, nimble, halting or any other sort] development of nuclear weapon capabilitiesâ€ that has been presented anywhere. The 2007 NIE shows that all 16 known American intelligence agencies found that the exact opposite was true last November.]
Whereas the Government of Iran has used its banking system, including the Central Bank of Iran, to support its proliferation efforts and to assist terrorist groups; Whereas, as a result of that use of Iran’s banking system, the Secretary of the Treasury has designated 4 large Iranian banks as proliferators and supporters of terrorism and restricted the ability of those banks to conduct international financial transactions in United States dollars; and
Whereas Iran must import around 40 percent of its daily requirements for refined petroleum products: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate–
(1) declares that preventing the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, through all appropriate economic, political, and diplomatic means, is a matter of the highest importance to the national security of the United States and must be dealt with urgently;
(2) urges the President, in the strongest of terms, to immediately use the President’s existing authority to impose sanctions on– (A) the Central Bank of Iran and any other Iranian bank engaged in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups; (B) international banks that continue to conduct financial transactions with sanctioned Iranian banks; (C) energy companies that have invested $20,000,000 or more in the petroleum or national gas sector of the economy of Iran in any given year since the date of the enactment of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-172; 50 U.S.C. 1701 note); and (D) companies that continue to do business with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran;
(3) demands that the President lead an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the pressure on the Government of Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, among other measures, banning the importation of refined petroleum products to Iran; and
[This ban on â€œthe importation of refined petroleum products,â€ the true purpose of this resolution, would require a military blockade â€“ an act of war â€“ to enforce. The next line pretends otherwise.]
(4) asserts that nothing in this resolution shall be construed to authorize the use of force against Iran.
[But any affirmation of this resolution shall be cited as a pretext for military aggression against Iran when the White House requires such an excuse.]
The Congress and the American people must be warned that an attack on Iran will have grave consequences for the region and for the U.S. Any strikes will be catastrophic for the American economy. The drastic increase in the price of oil resulting from Iranian retaliation in the Persian Gulf would cause a severe recession here at home which would hurt us more than our bombs will change Iranâ€™s alleged nuclear ambitions. American soldiers in Iraq would be put at risk from retaliation by the Badr Corps and Mahdi Army, Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon would likely attack Israel, their clandestine services could incite crises across Central Asia, and create â€œa wave of global anti-Americanism.â€
Rather than the threat posed by Iran, America should be concerned by the threat of the hatred created by our own imperial aggression.
As Seymour Hersh reports in his new piece for the New Yorker magazine, the secretary of defense recently explained to some of the very Democratic senators who are pushing this resolution that an American attack on Iran would â€œcreate generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America.â€ If we fight them there, weâ€™ll have to fight them here.
A worthy excercise to destroy a nuclear weapons program that doesnâ€™t exist?