Saturday, May 22, 2010
Actually two sentences are all that is necessary to fully understand the dispute over Iran's nuclear program:
1) Iran is willing and able to answer any questions the West wants if Iran's right to a full nuclear program, like those of Japan and Brazil, which inherently and legally contain technology that could in theory make a weapon is accepted.
2) There are no questions Iran could answer that would make the West comfortable with Iran having a program like Brazil's or Japan's because that would end Israel's regional monopoly on nuclear weapons capability.
These two long sentences are the essential heart of the dispute between the West and Iran on the nuclear issue. Putting aside the bluster, the carefully misleading formulations and the arcane technical and legal details, the non-proliferation structure is being used by the West as a means to an end. The end being protecting the ability of about 5 million Jews, about half of European ancestry, to have a state in the Middle East where they are the dominant majority.
You'll hear, "why will Iran just not answer the questions about the alleged studies found on the US-laptop of death?" The basic answer is that cooperating would give the US information that it could use to attack Iran's program militarily and more importantly, the US can and will always easily produce laptops of death. If presenting questions and demanding further investigation has the effect of postponing Iran's achievement of nuclear capability, the US has no incentive to ever stop.
The question of motivation is really important. The United States does not oppose Iran having a nuclear capability because of the alleged studies. The alleged studies exist because the United States opposes Iran having a nuclear capability. The United States does not oppose Iran having a nuclear capability because there was a Board of Governor's resolution. The United States lobbied very vigorously for a Board of Governor's resolution because the United States opposes Iran having a nuclear capability. The United States does not oppose Iran having a nuclear capability because the UN Security Council deems such a capability illegal. The United States expended a tremendous amount of resources accomplishing the UN Security Council resolutions because the US opposes Iran having a nuclear capability.
The Western press, in sympathy with the biases of Western law and policy-makers generally does a poor job challenging the stated motivations of opponents of Iran's nuclear program. Those motives are pretty transparent. When opponents of Iran's nuclear program are asked if they would accept Iran having a Japan-option if Iran resolved all outstanding questions, after a lot of hemming, hawing and misdirection, the answer turns out to be "no" 100% of the time. The question, "under what circumstances would you accept Iran having a Japan option?" immediately causes opponents of Iran's nuclear program to bring up conditions, such as recognizing Israel, that have nothing to do with any legal or technical nuclear issues.
For the West, this is not primarily a legal or technical dispute. For Iran it is also not primarily a legal or technical issue.
Having a Japan option would have tremendous strategic value for Iran. If Iraq had acquired a Japan option by 2002, there would have been no invasion. One out of 20 Iraqis died as a result of the invasion, one out of eight Iraqis has been maimed by the invasion and one out of six has been displaced from their homes. The cost of not acquiring a Japan option for Iraq was horrible. Attaining a Japan option for Iran is at least a matter of national independence, and fairly can be considered an issue of national survival.
So we're left with a situation that, despite the efforts of misdirection by Iran's opponents, is relatively easy to understand. For the most part, confusion regarding issues around Iran's nuclear program is deliberate where it exists.
Posted by Arnold Evans at 5:22 PM