On February 4, 2006, the five powerful gentlemen of the United Nations’ Security Council, among other things, endowed with the legitimacy of the “world community”, decided to hang the Sword of Damocles over the head of the Iranian people and then sat back, playing ‘good cop–bad cop’ and waited to see if before the day of reckoning on March 6, a crack and schism occurs either within the governing body of the Islamic Republic itself or between it and the more affluent strata of the population with greater interests in commerce with the U.S. and the West.
It is worth mentioning that the U.N. monitoring agency has visited the Iranian nuclear facilities innumerable times in the last two and a half years and held meetings with the Iranian authorities in charge of the nuclear energy programs. Throughout this long period, the U.S. has adamantly claimed (without a shred of proof) that Iran has a plan of producing nuclear bombs and therefore must be denied the right of uranium enrichment, a process for production of nuclear fuel used in nuclear reactors. All along the U.S. has brought pressure on the agency and its governing board to pass a resolution stating that Iran is in violation of the NPT (again a charge unsubstantiated by proof), and must be referred to the U. N. Security Council for possible economic sanctions.
And what has been Iran’s response? For the purpose of confidence building, Iran, in addition to allowing the regular inspection by the IAEA, accepted the additional protocol, which permits the nuclear agency to inspect any nuclear site without prior warnings. It is interesting to know that Israel is not a party to the NPT agreement, and has more than 250 nuclear bombs in its ‘secret’ arsenal. In addition to the on-going inspections by the IAEA, Iran held joint meetings with the three major western European powers and for the purpose of “confidence building” it “voluntarily” suspended its operations of nuclear enrichment for almost a year.
After more than a year’s meetings between the three European and the Iranian representatives, Europe extended the period of total suspension without coming up with a resolution that would assure Iran’s right to produce its own fuel for nuclear reactors. On the contrary, they intended to use this period of suspension and set a precedence so that if Iran decided to resume the enrichment process, in the eyes of the so-called international community it would be considered a violation. In other words, the European enthusiasm for meeting with the Iranian government was a set-up, which would have served the U.S. policy of containment and imposition of sanctions, usurping once again like in Iraq, the offices of the U.N. to commit another genocidal crime, this time, against the people of Iran.
Realizing that the Iranian people, with their presence on the streets of many cities of Iran by millions, could not be cowed into accepting the language of force and violence, the U.S.-E.U. coalition of imperialists came up with a new design, for a new day. This fresh mirage, in its appearance, looked like a compromise that Iran cannot afford to reject in the eyes of the so-called international community, another name for the big powers who rule the world. The new plan proposed to grant Iran the right of continuing, as it has done since August of 2005, the conversion process, the technical stage before the enrichment of uranium. But the process of enriching uranium would be done in Russia, which would ship the fuel for energy reactors back to Iran. From the start of this plot, they knew that the Iranian people and its government would not accept such a pseudo solution to its inviolable right of leading its own destiny. Meanwhile, Condoleeza Rice was shuttling between Moscow and Beijing to coerce or grease the palms of the leaders of those countries to bring pressure on Iran to give up its right to a full-fledged nuclear energy program and accept the solutions of ever-dependency on other countries for the future generations to come. According to The New York Times of Nov. 10th, the new proposal–is an effort to give Iran a face-saving way out of its standoff, reflecting the views of the officials from both the U.S. and Europe.
After so many years, as the unequal relations between the U.S.- E.U. and Iran, as a non-nuclear state, show, it is the block of nuclear states who not only violate the principles of the Nuclear-Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in practice, but intend to re-write the text of the treaty altogether. Under such a treaty, no country other than those who have gained the ‘trust’ of the nuclear states can have the privilege of producing their own nuclear fuel. For the rest of the world, according to this new design, the production of nuclear fuel will be concentrated in a few spots and controlled by a handful of superpowers that either sell to the “undesirable” countries at oligopoly prices, or deny them the purchase of enriched uranium, thus keeping them “in the dark.”
ARDESHIR OMMANI is an Iranian political analyst.