< HOME  Thursday, April 13, 2006

British MP Warns Against 'Another Illegitimate War' in ME

You won't hear about this in the mainstream media.
Iran's successful enrichment of uranium for nuclear fuel . . . does not constitute a violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), said British MP Jeremy Corbyn.

"Iran's announcement is not a breach of international law or regulation. Whatever our views of nuclear energy, Iran is allowed to be in the nuclear club as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," the anti-war Labour MP said.

"It voluntarily halted its uranium enrichment plans to negotiate additional protocols to the NPT. But when negotiations landed them before the Security Council, Iran overturned its voluntary ban and resumed enrichment," he said Thursday.

Corbyn, who is vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary Human Rights Group, expressed caution toward all rhetoric directed against Iran in a joint letter to the Guardian newspaper, with the support of the chairs of two peace groups.
"Saying Iran is a step closer to a nuclear bomb is akin to saying that Britain will invade France due to the breakdown in negotiations over the CAP (the EU's Common Agriculture Policy)"
[said Corbyn] in his letter co-signed by Kate Hudson of CND and Roudabeh Shafie of Action Iran.

"Inherently, the technologies of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons are similar but not necessarily a stepping stone, as nuclear activities can be monitored to ensure they remain peaceful -- the aim of Mohammed ElBaradei's current visit," they said.

Their letter said that "Iran's breakthrough was in its civil nuclear program" and warned that "failure to differentiate paves the way for another illegitimate war in the Middle East."

"We support the need for atomic energy to be monitored; however, monitoring can only take place in an environment where the IAEA is empowered to do its work rather than be hijacked by political agendas," it said.

Their joint letter also warned that the [IAEA] was "further weakened by hypocrisy, as it fails to get adequate backing to bring in line other countries who actually have nuclear weapons."

They pointed out that Israel, India, and Pakistan, all of which have illegally developed nuclear arsenals, had refused to join the NPT and "yet remain unreprimanded by the international community."

2 Comments:

At Friday, April 14, 2006, Anonymous Byrne said...

BBC, Iran and the Bomb

Here, an astute reader challenges the BBC on statements made within BBC News reports:

+++++++++++++

Dear Steve Herrmann, Editor, News Online

I hope you are well.

The BBC News website’s article “Iran urged to stop nuclear work” reads:
“Iran is on course to produce enough fissile nuclear material to make a nuclear bomb within 3 years, according to the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies.”
That statement seems quite strange, since in the same BBC News website there is another article that reads:
“So given these limitations, the IISS [International Institute of Strategic Studies] believes it would take Iran at least a decade to produce enough HEU for a single nuclear weapon.” (Iran 'years from nuclear bomb', By Sarah Buckley and Paul Rincon, BBC News website)
I went to the International Institute of Strategic Studies and I found an article published today by the Daily Telegraph. This article reads:
“Mark Fitzpatrick, a counter-proliferation specialist at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said that even if Iran can operate a basic unit of 164 machines efficiently and for a sustained period of time, it would take 11 years for it to make enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb.” (Has Iran reached nuclear point of no return? By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor, April 12, 2004)
Also, just as another reference, The Washington Post reported on August 2, 2005:
“A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis.” (Iran Is Judged 10 Years From Nuclear Bomb. U.S. Intelligence Review Contrasts With Administration Statements, By Dafna Linzer, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, August 2, 2005)

QUESTION: Where do those “3 years” come from?

Thank you for your time and I look forward for your comments.

Kind regards,
Gabriele Zamparini

***

Dear Ms. Zamparini,
Thank you for noting this and alerting me. I have just spoken to a reporter at reporter at BBC who undertook to have the discrepancy corrected.
A detailed IISS report last September concluded that if Iran threw caution to the wind and ignored international reactions, it could produce enough HEU for one weapon by the end of the decade at the earliest. The clock on that five-year timeline began ticking in January when Iran resumed the enrichment, although it actually resumed enrichment-related work in August. In the past couple weeks, more than one reputable organization has concluded that three years is the shortest timeline. Given the speed at which Iran is moving, it is hard to dispute the three year figure. But these timeline estimates are all a bit of a crapshoot. I have been saying that estimates of 3, 5 and even 10 years are all within the margin of error, because it is unknowable, especially if IAEA inspectors cannot have greater access than they have right now.
The 11-year figure I gave the Guardian was if the Iranians stopped at 164 centrifuges. They plan to go far beyond that.

Regards,
Mark Fitzpatrick


***

Read Mr. Fitzpatrick's bio here

***

MY REPLY TO MR. FITZPATRICK

Dear Mr. Fitzpatrick,

Thank you for your reply.

Original BBC’s article: “Iran is on course to produce enough fissile nuclear material to make a nuclear bomb within 3 years, according to the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies.”

After my email and after you contacted the BBC, the article now reads: “Iran could be in a position to produce enough fissile nuclear material to make a nuclear bomb within 3-5 years, according to the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies.”

So, “is on course” became “could be” and “3 years” became “within 3-5 years”.

Well, considering that this may be the reason for a possible nuclear bombing of that country by the US government, this correction has its importance indeed.

Please, forgive my ignorance. In your email you also write: “I have been saying that estimates of 3, 5 and even 10 years are all within the margin of error, because it is unknowable...”

But in the BBC’s article there is no mention of this and it doesn’t seem a detail to me. Don’t you think that the BBC (and the media in general) should be more careful about the words they use and the way they present all this issue. Iraq’s precedent on the WMD should teach us something after all.

Please, I would be very interested in your opinion and also don’t you think that the readers of that BBC article could still be mislead since in that article there is no mention of “that estimates of 3, 5 and even 10 years are all within the margin of error” ?

Thank you very much for your time and kindness.

Kind regards,
Gabriele Zamparini

***

Dear Ms. Zamparini,

I appreciate your deep interest in this matter. There is much more that can be said about it, but the corrected article on the BBC website is accurate, in terms of what I said to the reporter who interviewed me.

Regards,
Mark


Mark Fitzpatrick
Senior Fellow for Non-Proliferation
International Institute for Strategic Studies
Arundel House, 13-15 Arundel Street
Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX

Switchboard: +44(020) 7379 7676
Fax: + 44(0)20 7836 31 08
E-mail: Fitzpatrick@iiss.org
web site: www.iiss.org

***

Dear Mr. Fitzpatrick,

Thank you for your reply.

Since you get responsibility for what that BBC’s article states - “Iran could be in a position to produce enough fissile nuclear material to make a nuclear bomb within 3-5 years, according to the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies.” - I will ask you those questions and those remarks.

In the BBC’s article there is no mention of what you wrote me in your previous email: “I have been saying that estimates of 3, 5 and even 10 years are all within the margin of error, because it is unknowable...”. Did you tell the BBC’s reporter about this? If yes, how can you write that “the corrected article on the BBC website is accurate, in terms of what I said to the reporter who interviewed me.” ?

If you didn’t tell this paramount element to the BBC’s reporter, could you tell me why?

Having in mind what happened regarding Iraq and WMD, should we wait other hundreds of thousands of civilians deaths to know “that estimates of 3, 5 and even 10 years are all within the margin of error, because it is unknowable...” ?

Don’t you feel the responsibility of your knowledge and for the consequences of what you say to the media?

Yesterday a Bloomberg’s reporter wrote:
April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Iran, defying United Nations Security Council demands to halt its nuclear program, may be capable of making a nuclear bomb within 16 days, a U.S. State Department official said. (...) Using those 50,000 centrifuges they could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in 16 days,'' Stephen Rademaker, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, told reporters today in Moscow.” (“Iran Could Produce Nuclear Bomb in 16 Days, U.S. Says (Update2)”)

You may want to inform Mr. Stephen Rademaker, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, “that three years is the shortest timeline... [and] that estimates of 3, 5 and even 10 years are all within the margin of error, because it is unknowable...”.

Since your bio reads “Mr Fitzpatrick comes to IISS from a distinguished 26-year career in the US Department of State, where for the last ten years he focused on non-proliferation issues.” I am sure you will find Mr. Rademaker’s number.

Kind regards,
Gabriele Zamparini
posted by The Cat's Dream at 7:20 PM

1 Comments:
Anonymous said...
I was curious also about Mr. Fitzpatrick's comments alluding to Iran not being supportive in providing access to the IAEA. The IAEA's own comments state;

"This is evidenced, in particular, by Iran’s granting to the Agency unrestricted access to all locations the Agency requested to visit; by the provision of information and clarifications in relation to the origin of imported equipment and components; and by making individuals available for interviews. This is a welcome development"

 
At Friday, April 14, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

Outstanding! The problem is these sly little bastards always keep these comments tucked away in small print where they hope that no one will see them.

I think there is hope, that people are more vigilant today. But, the question is, do these crazies give a crap what the world thinks? Who is going to stop them?

 

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