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ElBaradei Steps Over the “Red Line”

By Michael Spies,

The US and the EU3 have said that Iran’s resumption of uranium enrichment activities amounted to crossing a “red line”. But a story run by Reuters on Sunday indicates that IAEA Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei may also be stepping over that line. Reuters quotes a diplomat close to the IAEA who said ElBaradei “told diplomats that Natanz (pilot enrichment plant) is Iran’s bottom line, a sovereignty issue, a reality we may have to deal with.” In any deal involving the pilot plant, Iran would be expected to foreswear proceeding with plans to establish a commercial scale enrichment facility.

Iran and the Security Council: Points and Recommendations

Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy

On 4 February 2006 the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a resolution on Iran requesting the Director-General “to report to the Security Council all IAEA reports and resolutions, as adopted, relating to this issue.” The resolution further requests that the Director-General provide a report on Iran’s implementation of IAEA resolutions to the Council immediately after the next meeting of the Board in March, together with any additional resolution. The response of the Security Council will be crucial in halting further escalation of the situation into crisis and ensuring that the IAEA is able to complete its investigation of Iran’s past nuclear activities and present intentions, allowing it to determine if Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful use. We offer the following points and recommendations for your consideration.

U.S. plans for Iran “options” and the nuclear weapons debate

Andrew Lichterman,

Jeffrey Lewis at responded today to the Seymour Hersh article on U.S. preparations and planning for an attack on Iran. Hersh reports that a debate is raging in the government over use of nuclear weapons against certain hard to destroy targets. Lewis suggests that it is unlikely that use of nuclear weapons is under consideration, arguing that the underground facility built for Iran’s uranium enrichment operations can be destroyed with existing U.S. conventional weapons. But there remain unanswered questions, and Hersh’s report that vigorous debate regarding nuclear weapons use against Iran is going on inside the government is as important as how “practical” such use might be.

“Divine Strake”and the talk of a nuclear attack on Iran

By Andrew Lichterman,

There have been two related sets of news stories in the past week involving nuclear weapons. Seymour Hersh, writing in the New Yorker, and the Washington Post ran stories regarding planning for a possible use of nuclear weapons in an attack on Iran. The reported rationale for considering nuclear weapons use is that some underground Iranian facilities might be difficult to destroy with conventional weapons. A scattering of newspapers have reported that a large conventional test explosion called “Divine Strake,” planned for June at the Nevada Test Site, will simulate nuclear weapons use. One purpose of the program of which that test is a part, according to Department of Defense budget documents, is to “develop a planning tool that will improve the warfighter’s confidence in selecting the smallest proper nuclear yield necessary to destroy underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage.”

Ignoring the U.S.'s "Bad Atoms"

For the New York Times, Washington is NPT's enforcer, not a violator
By Steve Rendall,

The U.S. is violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

That view, far from exotic or extreme, was expressed repeatedly by arms control experts and international officials at the month-long NPT review conference held at the U.N. in May. It is embraced by U.S. establishment figures such as former President Jimmy Carter and Kennedy-era Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.

Peace Action Official Statement on Iran: Renewing the Call for a Nuclear-Free Middle East

Today we are renewing the call for a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East. Re-opening negotiations toward achieving that goal is the best way—perhaps the only way—to halt without violence the prospect of a nuclear arms race in that deeply troubled part of the world. Additionally, achieving a Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East would bring the world one step closer to eliminating both the problem of nuclear proliferation and the threat of nuclear war and could serve as a model solution for resolving similar tensions in other regions of the world.

The Peace Movement's Plan For Iran

By Tad Daley and Jodie Evans and Mimi Kennedy

Three years ago last month, in more than 600 cities around the world, as many as 14 million people marched in their streets to prevent the United States from launching a unilateral, preemptive, illegal, unprovoked, and unwise invasion of Iraq. The "Guinness Book of World Records" has identified Feb. 15, 2003 as the largest global antiwar mobilization in history. Now this same peace and progressive community (which the New York Times has called "the other superpower") is slowly beginning to turn its attention from the last war to the next war -- a looming military showdown between the West and Iran.

New War Dangers: Iran, the U.S. and Nukes in the Middle East

UFPJ Talking Points #39
By Phyllis Bennis
Institute for Policy Studies

Escalating rhetoric, continued losses in Iraq, Bush's political problems, and an ideologically-driven pursuit of power make the possibility of a U.S. military attack on Iran - however reckless and however dangerous its consequences - a frighteningly real possibility.
Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has not violated the Treaty. While there appear to be unresolved issues regarding full transparency, its nuclear program, including enriching uranium, is perfectly legal under NPT requirements for non-nuclear weapons states.

What should go without saying

By Andrew Lichterman,

The American Society of International Law adopted the following resolution at its recent annual meeting:

The American Society of International Law, at its centennial annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on March 30, 2006, Resolves:

1. Resort to armed force is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and other international law (jus ad bellum).

Hersh’s Bombshell

By John Burroughs,

In a stunning article, “The Iran Plans,” to appear in the April 17 New Yorker, Seymour Hersh reports that the Bush administration has intensified planning for bombing Iran; that it is giving serious attention to the option of using nuclear weapons to attack buried targets; and that U.S. combat troops are already in Iran preparing for military operations and recruiting local supporters from minority groups. As a whole, the article conveys that the administration is prepared to launch an attack should Iran not accede to U.S. demands, above all not to proceed with uranium enrichment activities. But the potential conflict goes beyond that: the administration seems committed to regime change regardless of whether the nuclear issues are capable of resolution (which they probably are, given any willingness to compromise on Washington’s part).

U.S. Plans on Iran

"There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush's ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change," Seymour Hersh writes in the new issue of The New Yorker. He also reports: "One of the military's initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. ... The Pentagon adviser on the war on terror confirmed that some in the administration were looking seriously at this option, which he linked to a resurgence of interest in tactical nuclear weapons among Pentagon civilians and in policy circles.... He also confirmed that some senior officers and officials were considering resigning over the issue." Full Article


Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?

The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.

Iran: Don't Do It

By Matthew Yglesias, The American Prospect,

Should we go to war with Iran? The short answer is, "No." The long answer is, "Hell no."

As the rumbles of war are heard over the horizon, many feel they've heard this whole story before. But with all due respect to those who correctly ascertained in advance that backing Bush's march on Baghdad was insane, following the neoconservatives to Teheran would be far, far, far more insane.

Envoys Remain Split on Plan Against Iran

By Peter Finn, Washington Post

Degree of sanctions by UN at issue.

Moscow - Senior diplomats from the U.N. Security Council's five permanent members ended two days of talks about Iran's nuclear program Wednesday with consensus for action against the Islamic state, but they continued to be divided as to what form it should take, U.S. Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns said.

"Nearly every country is considering some form of sanctions, and this is a new development," Burns told reporters after the meeting. "Every country said that some type of action had to be taken . . . to, in effect, erect a barrier to Iran's progress. So the challenge for us will be what can we all agree on."


Thirteen of the nation’s most prominent physicists have written a letter to President Bush, calling U.S. plans to reportedly use nuclear weapons against Iran “gravely irresponsible” and warning that such action would have “disastrous consequences for the security of the United States and the world.”

The physicists include five Nobel laureates, a recipient of the National Medal of Science and three past presidents of the American Physical Society, the nation’s preeminent professional society for physicists.

Resolution on Congressional War Powers and Iran

Rep. Peter DeFazio
April 12, 2006

Expressing the Sense of Congress that the President cannot initiate military action against Iran over its nuclear program without first obtaining authorization from Congress.

Whereas Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power "to declare war," to lay and collect taxes to "provide for the common defense" and general welfare of the United States, to "raise and support armies," to "provide and maintain a navy," to "make rules for the regulation for the land and naval forces," to "provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions," to "provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia," and to "make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution...all...powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States";

Congressman DeFazio Letter to Bush

The Honorable George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Bush:

We are concerned by the growing number of stories that your Administration is planning for military action against Iran. We are writing to remind you that you are constitutionally bound to seek congressional authorization before launching any preventive military strikes against Iran.

Cheney has tapped Iranian expatriate, arms dealer to surveil discussions with Iran, officials say

By Larisa Alexandrovna

The Department of Defense and Vice President Dick Cheney have retained the services of Iran-Contra arms dealer and discredited intelligence asset Manucher Ghorbanifar as their “man on the ground,” in order to report on any interaction and attempts at negotiations between Iranian officials and US ambassador to Iraq, Zelmay Khalilzad, current and former intelligence officials say.

Prominent U.S. Physicists Send Letter to President Bush

By Kim McDonald, UC-San Diego

Thirteen of the nation’s most prominent physicists have written a letter to President Bush, calling U.S. plans to reportedly use nuclear weapons against Iran “gravely irresponsible” and warning that such action would have “disastrous consequences for the security of the United States and the world.”

Negroponte: Iran Nuclear Claims Exaggerated

WASHINGTON -- Despite the wild and threatening claims of its hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran may not be as close to building nuclear weapons as the world may think.

So says John Negroponte, U.S. National Intelligence Director, who thinks Iran would likely obtain nuclear weapons long before they had the ability to create their own.

Negroponte, in an interview with NBC News, shared his opinion of Iran's nuclear threat and an assessment of what it would take to neutralize an escalating threat in that region.

Iran Through the Media

By David Swanson

An AP article on Tuesday begins: "President Bush bats away talk of bombing Iran's disputed nuclear sites as 'wild speculation.' But plodding diplomacy hasn't borne fruit so far, and the administration is facing a hard truth: There may be no way to stop Iran from getting the bomb."

Here we have encapsulated the most warmongering position to be found in the U.S. media. The reporter who wrote this, Anne Gearan, believes that Bush is lying when he says that talk of attacking Iran is wild speculation, because in reality, she tells us, his administration is considering just that. But the fact that Bush is lying is not worth mentioning. Rather, it is important to praise him for "facing" the possibility of war.

Iran was not ordered to Stop Enrichment

By Mike Whitney,

Here we go again.

It’s easy to get confused about developments in Iran because the media does everything in its power to obfuscate the facts and then spin the details in way that advances American policy objectives. But, let’s be clear; the Security Council did NOT order Iran to stop enriching uranium. It may not even be in their power to do so since enrichment is guaranteed under the NPT (Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty). For the Security Council to forbid Iran to continue with enrichment activities would be tantamount to repealing the treaty itself. They didn’t do that.

Larisa: Bad Leaks and Good Leaks

This is the third installment of my interview with Larisa Alexandrovna, Managing Editor of Raw Story.

In the first installment, All Roads Lead to Iran, we discussed the criminal & corporate power factions - both inside and outside of governments that led to the Iraq invasion, and are angling toward Iran, amongst other things.

In the second installment, All Roads Lead to Iran, Again, we discussed Brewster Jennings and Valerie Plame, Brewster Jennings and Sibel Edmonds, the 911 cover-up, and the corruption of Dennis Hastert.

Retired Colonel Sam Gardiner on Iran War Plans

"The Issue is Not Whether the Military Option Would Be Used But Who Approved the Start of Operations Already"

Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner says a military operation has already begun inside Iran. Gardiner says, "It's a very serious question about the constitutional framework under which we are now conducting military operations in Iran." We also speak with Gardiner about what he calls the "unprecedented" revolt against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld within the military. [includes rush transcript]

Iran: Iraq replayed?

For those who think that Iraq is the worst that can happen in the region, wait till Iran retaliates against possible air strikes by Israel or the U.S. Wait till the Jewish state and America decide in return to launch an unprecedented retaliatory attack, inflicting an unexpected extent of damage upon the entire Middle East.

However, some experts expect that the current U.S.-Iran standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program to end with a diplomatic settlement, given the struggle the U.S. Army is facing in post- Iraq war.

Iran News

From Cindy Sheehan:

Just got off the phone with a person.
Got some intel from a person that does contracting at Travis, AFB near Vacaville.
They have some special stuff going on there because George is flying into there Friday.

This contractor says that he heard that all the Charlie companies will be deployed to Kuwait in September to go into Iran.
Just before the elections.

That's all I know, but we are working on getting more info.

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