The New York Times reports that as the P5+1 talks with Iran forge ahead, “the United States and five other major powers were prepared to offer a package of inducements to obtain a verifiable agreement to suspend its efforts to enrich uranium closer to weapons grade.”
Any uninformed reader would read that statement and conclude that Iran was trying to produce weapons-grade uranium, which is not true. The IAEA has continued to verify that Iran has made no effort to enrich uranium to weapons-grade, about 90% enriched. What the Times is referring to is Iran’s enrichment to 20%, a process that produces medical isotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. This is a legitimate civilian purpose for uranium enrichment.
Further into the article, the Times does acknowledge that Iran is enriching “to 20 percent purity”, but immediately adds that this “is within striking distance of the level needed to fuel a nuclear weapon.” What this really means is that if a nation has the technological capability to enrich uranium to 20%, the capability to enrich uranium to 90% is not a huge technological hurdle. Of course, if Iran ever wanted to actually start enriching to weapons-grade, it would first need to kick out the IAEA, which continues to monitor Iran’s enrichment and verify its non-diversion of nuclear materials to any weapons program. The Times explains none of this.
Nor does the Times explain how Iran, as a member of the nuclear-nonproliferation treaty (NPT; hence the IAEA monitoring its nuclear program), has an “inalienable right” to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes (i.e. to 20%).
As for the U.S. policy going into the talks, it is not one of diplomacy, but of offering Iran a final chance to comply with its ultimatum to surrender this “inalienable right”. As the Times puts it, “American officials insist the United States has not done that [‘endorsed Iran’s right to enrich uranium’] and has been deliberately ambiguous about whether it would ever grant Iran the right to enrichment.”
Notice the assumption there. It is the U.S. which “grants” rights to other nations. The will of Washington trumps international law, international treaties such as the NPT. The U.S. is God. It owns the world, and every other nation must bow down and worship the Beast, from whence national “rights” are derived. Notice the Times relays this assumption of the U.S. government without batting an eyelid, totally unquestioningly. It is simply axiomatic that the U.S. is the Master of the Universe.
The Times continues: “In addition to halting enrichment [i.e. surrending its rights under the NPT], officials said, Iran must agree to ship out its stockpiles of 20 percent uranium and cease operations at an enrichment facility buried in a mountainside near the holy city of Qum, which Israel says could be impregnable to an airstrike.”
So not only must Iran surrender its rights under the NPT, but it must bow down in humiliation and kiss the feet of the Master of the Universe by making sure that its nuclear program is vulnerable to an Israeli airstrike.
Issuing such ultimatums to Iran is what is euphemistically called “diplomacy” by government officials and the mainstream media. This is Obama’s “diplomacy”, ultimatums backed by the threat of the use of force. The Times notes how “the American ambassador to Israel, Daniel B. Shapiro, sought to reassure an Israeli audience that the United States not only was willing to use military force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon [read ‘use military force to punish Iran for not bowing to Washington’s will and surrendering its rights under the NPT’], but had made preparations to do so.”
The threat of the use of force in international relations is itself illegal under international law, a violation of the U.N. Charter of which the U.S. is a member.
The Times, needless to say, would never bother to mention that additional minor detail. It is irrelevant, since the U.S. is God, and may thus make its own rules, which the rest of the world must obey, regardless of what petty international treaties have to say about it.
The result of these talks is already known. Iran will not do obey Washington’s dictats, but will insist on its rights under the NPT. Iran will then be blamed for the failure for its “intransigence”. The failure of talks will place Washington in a predicament where its “credibility” will be called into question and the only way it could reaffirm its position as the Master of the Universe will be to punish Iran severely for its disobedience. If Iran doesn’t learn its lesson through sanctions—one may recall the similar U.S. sanctions regime on Iraq that had the consequence of killing half a million Iraq children, a price Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said was “worth it”—then, also as in the case of Iraq, force will be used. And the U.S. will justify this use of force by declaring that “diplomacy” had been exhausted. And the media will take that absurd claim perfectly serious and report it as a matter of fact, another unquestionable axiom, as the U.S. status as God.