Revolution #62, September 24 2006


Bush Pushes for War on Iran,
International Agency Calls U.S. Report “Outrageous and Dishonest”

As we go to press, Bush is heading to the UN to deliver a Sept. 19 speech which will be used as a platform to tell the world to get behind the Bush regime’s offensive against Iran. Just days before this literal “bully pulpit” takes place, some of the lies and disinformation designed to bolster the fabricated basis for war against Iran have been dragged into the light of day.

On September 12, a letter from a high-level official of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the U.S. House of Representatives was leaked to the press in Vienna, Austria. The letter blasted an August 23 report from the House Committee titled “Recognizing Iran as a Strategic Threat: An Intelligence Challenge for the United States.” Three points are made in the IAEA letter:

1) The House Committee report states in a caption to a picture of the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz, that “Iran is currently enriching uranium to weapons grade using a 164-machine centrifuge cascade.”

The IAEA letter responds that the term “weapons grade” cannot be applied unless it refers to “uranium enriched to the order of 90% or more in the isotope of uranium-235.” The IAEA reported in April 2006 that an enrichment level of 3.6% had been achieved by Iran.

2) The House report states that “Iran had covertly produced the short-lived radioactive element polonium-210 (Po-210), a substance with two known uses; a neutron source for a nuclear weapon and satellite batteries.”

The IAEA letter replies that the phrase “covertly produced” is misleading because the production of this substance (Po-210) is not required to be reported to the IAEA under the terms of the agreements Iran has signed with the IAEA.

3) The IAEA condemned the House report’s “incorrect and misleading assertion…that the Director General of the IAEA decided to ‘remove’ Mr. Charlier, a senior safeguards inspector of the IAEA, ‘for allegedly raising concerns about Iranian deception regarding its nuclear program and concluding that the purpose of Iran’s nuclear programme is to construct weapons.’ In addition, the report contains an outrageous and dishonest suggestion that such removal might have been for ‘not having adhered to an unstated IAEA policy barring IAEA officials from telling the whole truth about he Iranian nuclear program.’” The IAEA retorts that in fact, Charlier was removed at the request of Iran, which, according to the agreements that the IAEA signs with every country, has the right to approve all inspectors. The IAEA letter reminds the U.S. House Committee that Iran has approved over 200 IAEA inspectors.

One of the most ominous features of the House report is the complaint that “Intelligence Community managers and analysts must provide their best analytic judgments about Iranian WMD programs and not shy away from provocative conclusions or bury disagreements in consensus assessments.”

In all this, we see a recycling of the way the Bush Regime prepared people to go along with war on Iraq. Both with Iraq, and now Iran, the U.S. instructed its “intelligence community” to produce “analytic judgments” that justified war based on made-up “evidence” of “weapons of mass destruction.” When international agencies didn’t fake reports that exactly fit U.S. war plans, they were attacked—just as now the U.S. is going after the IAEA for not manufacturing the exact case for war the U.S. demands (even though the IAEA has consistently pushed for various kinds of sanctions against Iran for not agreeing to halt its nuclear program—pressure that overall contributes to the U.S. path to war). And, just as the U.S. used sanctions to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and prepare for war, the full-tilt U.S. game plan to bum-rush punishing sanctions against Iran is being used as “proof” of Iran’s unwillingness to negotiate.

We have indeed seen this movie before. Holding illusions that “reason will prevail” on the part of those at the helm in the U.S. today is to profoundly underestimate the intention and velocity of the plans underway to attack Iran and to further the U.S. empire.

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