Iran: Five Minutes to Zero Hour

by crescentandcross in Uncategorized

Tehran in the crosshairs

by Justin Raimondo

If you wade through the International  Atomic Energy Agency’s much-awaited report [.pdf] on Iran’s alleged pursuit of nuclear  weapons technology – a fate I wouldn’t wish on anyone – what you’ll  find is a studious ambiguity. “May,” “might,” and “could” are words that  modify practically every assertion of Iranian perfidy:

“The information indicates  that prior to the end of 2003 the above activities took place under  a structured program. There are also indications that some activities relevant to the development  of a nuclear explosive device continued after 2003, and that some may still be ongoing.”

Or – since “indications” are not evidence – maybe not.

“The Agency has information  from a Member State that Iran has undertaken work to manufacture small  capsules suitable for use as containers of a component containing nuclear  material. The Agency was also informed by a different Member State that  Iran may also have experimented with such components  in order to assess their performance in generating neutrons. Such components,  if placed in the center of a nuclear core of an implosion type nuclear  device and compressed, could produce a burst of neutrons suitable for initiating  a fission chain reaction. The location where the experiments were conducted  was said to have been cleaned of contamination after the experiments  had taken place.”

Notice how unverifiable this  is: if the evidence has been “cleaned” by those perfidious Iranians,  then we’ll never know for sure, now will we? How very convenient.

Buried amidst all the technical  jargon, interpolated with ambiguous conditional phrases, we have a story  of a “clandestine nuclear network” – presumably the one set up  by A.Q. Khan – which supposedly helped the Iranians set up their  alleged weapons program. Or, rather, may have done so:

“In an interview in 2007  with a member of the clandestine nuclear supply network, the Agency  was told that Iran had been provided with nuclear explosive design information. > From information provided to the Agency during that interview, the Agency  is concerned that Iran may have obtained more advanced design information than the information  identified in 2004 as having been provided to Libya by the nuclear supply  network.”

In short: maybe – maybe  not. 

“Mainstream” media accounts of this farrago of half-truths and insinuations lead the unsuspecting  reader to believe the Iranians are physically constructing a nuclear  arsenal, which will shortly be aimed directly at Brooklyn, New York.  The fact is that the only “illegal” activities Iran has carried  out, in actual reality, are computer simulations. This is what they  mean when they accuse Iran of engaging in “nuclear testing.” No  one alleges Tehran has produced an actual physical bomb, or managed  to put together a nuclear armed missile, and is hiding them underneath  the Supreme Leader’s palace – this time around, the War Party is  at least trying to be a bit more subtle. But subtlety, as we know, is  not their forte.

What jumps out at the careful  reader of the IAEA report is that there is nothing concrete involved  in this nefarious plot: only hearsay descriptions of blueprints and  computer models, including various publicly available scientific studies  authored by Iranian scientists. According to Khan, what was transferred  to the Iranians was know-how: theoretical knowledge and contacts  with suppliers. Yet throughout the IAEA report, although there are plenty  of instances where Iran is alleged to have sought this or that dual  use component, we are never told if they actually succeeded in procuring  the item. While the report attributes its information to “Member States,” why will I not be surprised if this “intelligence” comes from the  same  folks who brought us the Niger uranium forgeries?

Although there is no smoking  gun, the injection of the A.Q. Khan network into the propaganda mix  at this level is a relatively new development, one that links the latest  Enemy of the Moment (Pakistan) with longtime-favorite Iran. Why not  kill two birds with one stone?

After the big  build-up,  the actual content  of the IAEA report is a major let-down: the  movie is nothing like the previews. That isn’t stopping the “mainstream” media from running screaming headlines. NPR declared “Some of Iran’s Work is ‘Specific’ to Nuclear Weapons,” a claim echoed almost word for word by the tabloid Daily Mail. In a declarative phrase preceded only by the word “Report” and a semicolon, CNN stated flatly: Iran  Developing  Nuclear Bombs.” Yet the report nowhere said anything this definitive: examined under a microscope – which is how we should look at any and all pretexts for war – the  whole tissue of suppositions and “secret” information is revealed  in all its embarrassing flimsiness.

There’s another headline   related to this that popped up in my Internet search for examples of   journalistic war hysteria, and it is this: Oil Rises on     Iran Nuclear Concerns.”   We are headed for a perfect storm of oil shock, economic turmoil, and   the looming  prospect of war with Iran.

This fits right in with the War Party’s agenda: wars are a great way to   mask the effects of economic failure – and simultaneously divert attention   away from its real authors. Instead of accusing “obstructionist”   Republicans of being the cause  of our increasing poverty – a   narrative even the President’s most devoted cultists must admit   is getting threadbare – Obama can blame those obstinate Iranians for   the economic chaos to come.

Now it’s clear why US officials   were ecstatic at the appointment of Yukiya Amano as the new IAEA chief,   replacing the troublesome Mohammed el-Baradei. As revealed by WikiLeaks, US diplomats came away from their   first encounter with Amano convinced it “illustrate[d] the very high   degree of convergence between his priorities and our own agenda at the   IAEA.”

The American government’s  agenda has never been in doubt, not since the days of George W. Bush,  and that is “regime change” in Iran by any means necessary. The  War Party has been building up to this climactic moment the way a composer  slowly but surely works his way up to a crescendo – and we are nearly  at the crest of the wave with the release of this report.

All we need now, to provoke  World War III, is a proper Sarajevo, an incident that will spark a regional  war, and eventually a global conflagration.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6 ….

In the context of the long  propaganda war the neocons have been faithfully waging over the pastdecade or so, we’re five minutes to zero hour.

The key to understanding the fraud at the heart of the IAEA report is the first paragraph of the summary:

“While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of   declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and LOFs declared by   Iran under its Safeguards Agreement, as Iran is not providing the   necessary cooperation, including by not implementing its Additional   Protocol, the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the   absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and   therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful   activities.”

Translation:  the Iranians have no suitably enriched fissile material   – but because they won’t surrender their sovereignty and allow us to   occupy their nuclear facilities at will, there is no “credible   assurance” of this. Iran is guilty, and must prove its innocence: that’s   what the justice of the West means in the context of its relations with   Iran.

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