Intelligence Report: Another Psychological Warfare?
By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
05 December, 2007
‘To subdue an enemy
without fighting is the acme of skill…’ - Sun
the current administration, it is increasingly difficult to know who
the enemy is, but what is certain is that the latest National Intelligence
Estimate (NIE) is a brilliantly executed psychological warfare by way
of misinformation. This dastardly plan is so devious that even the anti-war
groups are jubilant at its release, and they are naively sharing its
contents. Perhaps non are as enthusiastic about the report as the most
powerful lobby group in America hostile to Iran.
The AIPAC was quick to announce:
"Far from acquitting Iran, the NIE reveals that Tehran continues
to violate the international community's calls to end the pursuit of
the fuel cycle and the ability to make highly enriched uranium, concludes
that Iran has utilized and has at its disposal a hidden, secret second
unacknowledged, unmonitored track for enriching bomb fuel, and has engaged
in a nuclear weaponization program, an assessment never before made
public by the American intelligence community". "All in all,
it's a clarion call for additional and continued effort to pressure
Iran economically and politically to end its illicit nuclear programs”
(source JTA http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/
The NIE claims that ‘Iran
halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003’. This report now in
circulation, and being repeated by every media outlet, and as importantly,
by way of word of mouth, is giving credibility to the warmongers that
Iran actually had a nuclear weapons program, with the idea that ‘repetition
begets belief’. Drumming home a false message, the White House
will get the justification it needs to impose further sanctions, with
the idea of escalating into a war.
In December 2002, an Iranian
terrorist group, the Mojahedeen-e Khalg (MEK), listed on the State Department’s
list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, informed the U.S. government
of the existence of two nuclear sites in Iran. Sy Hersh later revealed
in *The New Yorker* that Israel had provided them with this information.
It must also be pointed out that as a member of the Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT), Iran is not under any obligations to inform the IAEA of
construction sites. However, members must inform the Atomic Agency 180
days prior to introducing uranium processing equipment and material
to the site. Once the United States confirmed the existence of the sites
by satellite, it accused Tehran of "across-the-board pursuit of
weapons of mass destruction." To dispel such accusations, Iran
agreed to intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
This accusation was false.
Iran was late in reporting
which is a Safeguard issue. In a spirit of cooperation, and in an attempt
to demonstrate its in October 2003, after meeting French, German and
British foreign ministers, Tehran voluntarily stopped the process of
enriched uranium; it also allowed the IAEA to carry out intrusive, spot
inspections. No country has allowed as many inspection hours as Iran.
In the meanwhile, it proposed to operate Iran’s enrichment program
as joint ventures with private and public sector firms from other countries;
this would ensure that the program remained transparent and could not
be secretly diverted for military purposes, at the same time it would
maintain Iran’s sovereignty by having an indigenously enriched
uranium cycle (source: IAEA Bulletin Online, vol 46, no 2, 2004 “Nuclear
fuel cycle: which way forward for multilateral approaches?”) .
Although this was rejected, Iran continued to cooperate.
Iran suspended its enrichment
activities for two and half years, but each time under pressure from
the U.S., the burden of proof was transferred to Iran knowing the negative
could not be proved. Instead of Iran getting the full cooperation of
the IAEA for the development of nuclear technology, it was ordered to
stop preparations for large-scale uranium enrichment. In 2005 U.S. Secretary
of State Colin Powell labeled Iran a growing danger and called for the
UN Security Council to impose sanctions.
According to Article 19 of
Iran’s safeguards agreement with the IAEA, the Agency may refer
Iran to the UN Security Council if it is “unable to verify that
there has been no diversion of nuclear material required to be safeguarded
under this agreement, to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive
devices”. The IAEA had reported that all declared fissile material
in Iran had been accounted for, and none has been diverted. (source:
In December 2006, Congress
overwhelmingly signed a controversial bill to expand the sale of civilian
nuclear technology to India. Not only is this bill in violation of Article
III of the NPT given that India is not a member state of the NPT, but
the irony is that the catalyst for the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG))
in 1976 was India’s nuclear test. This group (first called the
London Group) met to restrain the transfer of uranium-enrichment and
plutonium-extraction equipment and technology. What added to the Iranian
grievance was the speech given by undersecretary of State, Nicholas
Burns, as he announced the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation: “after
30 years we have realized that the NPT is ineffective, therefore we
are going to reward India for non-proliferation . In response to a reporter
who quizzed him about Iran, he said we plan to punish Iran for violating
the NPT. Iran was sent to the UNSC, however, later it was revealed by
(former) undersecretary for arms control Radermaker that the U.S. had
coerced India into voting against Iran.
As for the covert operations
Iran is accused of, again, it is worthwhile examining the facts versus
the mainstream media propaganda.
In 1982 Iranian officials
announced that they planned to build a reactor powered by their own
uranium at the Isfahan nuclear technology centre after the Iraqis destroyed
the one almost completed under the Shah. The IAEA inspected that and
other facilities in Iran in 1983, and planned to assist Iran in converting
yellowcake into reactor fuel. The IAEA report stated clearly that its
aim was to “contribute to the formation of local expertise and
manpower needed to sustain an ambitious program in the field of nuclear
power reactor technology and fuel cycle technology” – the
inalienable right of an NPT signatory under Article IV, but the agency’s
assistance program was terminated under US pressure (source: Mark Hibbs,
“US in 1983 stopped IAEA from helping Iran make UF6", Nuclear
Fuel, 4 August 2003).
Undeterred, Iran searched
for alternatives sources of uranium and in 1984 Iranian radio announced
that negotiations with Niger on the purchase of uranium were nearing
conclusion. In 1985 another broadcast openly discussed the discovery
of uranium deposits in Iran with the director of Iran’s atomic
energy organization. [In 1992, an IAEA spokesperson, Melissa Flemming,
confirmed that its inspectors had visited the mines and Iran had announced
plans to develop the full nuclear fuel cycle. Source: Associated Press,
10 February 2003 and “Front End nuclear capability being developed”,
Nuclear Engineering International, 31 March 2003.
Tehran had openly entered
into negotiations with several nations, including Brazil, Russia, India,
Argentina, Germany, Ukraine and Spain, for the purchase of nuclear energy
facilities and components. Almost all of these deals ultimately fell
through after pressure from Washington. Iran finally turned to the Soviet
Union( later Russia) and concluded a deal in .
Despite economic ties with
Iran and a foothold into the Moslem world, under pressure from the U.S.,
Russian officials expelled Iranians studying nuclear physics and missile
science from Russian schools in late 1997 (Iran Times, August 22, 1997).
They also halted all vocational training of Iranian students in fields
that may have had applications for nuclear weapons and missiles. In
addition to this, the power stations that Iran bought from Russia and
China are peaceful nuclear technology. President Yeltsin assured Washington
that Iran would not be able to make weapons-grade plutonium and that
he had canceled the "military components" of two nuclear reactors
bound for Iran. Under U.S. pressure, both Ukraine and China have made
some adjustments. China also suspended the sale of a plant for the conversion
of uranium hexafluoride, which is required for making fuel rod.
Non of this points to a covert
For readers who feel some
relief that the prospect of an imminent war has somewhat faded, let
us be reminded of the report’s ‘findings’, its implications,
and of recent history.
Word is being circulated that sanctions were effective in curbing Iran’s
nuclear weapons program. First, as discussed above, Iran did not have
a nuclear weapons program, and second, Iran voluntarily halted its enrichment
program two years BEFORE sanctions wre imposed on it.
The international community
must put pressure on world leaders to lift current sanctions on Iran.
It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that sanctions are a form of
long warfare. How can we forget the 500,000 Iraqi children who died
as a result of our sanctions? We shamelessly overlook the other Iraqis
whose lives we took with our sanctions. As citizens of the country we
live in and as members of a global community, each one of us must be
reminded of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”
and act on it:
Whereas recognition of the
inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members
of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace
in the world,Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly
relations between nations,Whereas the peoples of the United Nations
have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights,
in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights
of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and
better standards of life in larger freedom, Whereas Member States have
pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations,
the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights
and fundamental freedoms.
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