July 18, 2024

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IAEA Report – Iran not a serious nuclear threat 2011.11.8

The IAEA report not released today regarding Iran’s nuclear programme is the strongest suggestion yet that Iran is nowhere near to having a nuclear weapon.

The Independent carries a nice article sexing up the “possibilities” that Iran might have a nuclear weapon at some point in the future is a prime example, in my view, of the pre-determined agenda of the mainstream media and western political powers.

Despite some extremely strong language relating to circumstantial evidence it is clear than Iran does not posses a nuclear weapon and it is clear than Iran will not be in possession of a nuclear weapon for a good time yet.

The means to deliver such a weapon is yet another thing that Iran does not have.

The IAEA report bears striking resemblance to Hans Blix prior to the invasion of Iraq where despite enormous pressure from the international media as well as the USA and Great Britain, the scientists on the ground refused to buckle and refused to put their principles of honest reporting to one side.

To give you some example f the kind of fervour that surround Iraq and its alleged weapons of massive destruction, this is an article from the Wall Street Journal from 2003

Hans the Irrelevant

By Gary Milhollin

The Wall Street Journal
January 28, 2003, p. A16.

Imagine this: Hans Blix, the 74-year-old Swedish lawyer who now serves as chief U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, after drawing himself up to his full height, declares: “I’m not taking it anymore.”

After being fooled in the 1980s (when Saddam ran a secret A-bomb program under the noses of Mr. Blix’s inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency) and fooled again in the 1990s (when Saddam destroyed entire buildings to hide evidence of bomb making) and then brushed off last month when Saddam’s minions handed Mr. Blix a 12,000-page report in which none of his questions were answered – it would be normal to be upset and even, maybe, to reach for Saddam’s throat.

Yet, Mr. Blix, an infinitely patient international civil servant, could never bring himself to do so – at least consciously. But yesterday, in an extraordinary report to the United Nations, he did so unconsciously. In the most careful, lawyerly fashion, Mr. Blix unwittingly demonstrated that his efforts are leading nowhere, and that his mission is essentially over.

He did not, of course, say that in so many words. At first, he congratulated the Iraqis for their cooperation on “process”: “It would appear from our experience so far that Iraq has decided in principle to provide cooperation on process, notably access. A similar decision is indispensable to provide cooperation on substance in order to bring the disarmament task to completion, through the peaceful process of inspection, and to bring the monitoring task on a firm course.”

All lawyers (Mr. Blix is a lawyer) know the difference between process and substance. By “process” he meant letting U.N. inspectors tour some 230 suspected weapon sites, almost all of which had been visited already by previous groups of inspectors. By “substance” he meant real disarmament, toward which he had to admit that the Iraqis still have done virtually nothing.

“One might have expected,” Mr. Blix wrote, that Iraq would have explained the following:

– Evidence that it had tried to put VX, the deadliest form of nerve gas, into weapon-usable form.

– One thousand tons of poison gas contained in 6,500 missing chemical bombs.

– Several thousand missing rocket warheads for carrying poison gas.

– Some 8,500 missing liters of anthrax and enough growth media to produce 5,000 liters more.

– The illegal import of 300 rocket engines and other components for ballistic missiles.

– Illegal tests of long-range missiles that Iraq is not supposed to possess.

– Three-thousand pages of undeclared documents on the enrichment of uranium at the home of an Iraqi nuclear-weapon scientist.

This is a terrifying list of destructive potential to leave in the hands of someone like Saddam Hussein. Failing to account for it is a lack of cooperation on “substance,” and surely a material breach of Iraq’s obligations. But Mr. Blix is unable to say so. The report deliberately avoids taking any position on this point. The implication, however, is clear: With no progress on substance – that is, disarmament – the cooperation on process is irrelevant.

Mr. Blix’s only prescription for solving this problem is to give the inspections more time. But that makes no sense in light of what he has reported. It is, the U.N. chief inspector says, the lack of a decision by the Iraqi government to disarm that is the stumbling block. “Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it.”

Making a decision doesn’t take long, especially in a dictatorship. Giving the inspectors more time has nothing to do with complying with U.N. Resolution 1441. The truth is that Mr. Blix’s mission so far has not produced any progress toward disarmament, and is not likely to do so in the future.

What, then, can we expect to happen next? If the inspectors find more evidence that Saddam is lying – more evidence of hidden warheads or illegal imports, for example – it will only prove more clearly that disarmament isn’t taking place. Obviously, this has nothing to do with achieving the peaceful disarmament Mr. Blix hopes to achieve. On the other hand, if the inspectors fail to find more evidence, that will not prove that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction as long as Saddam refused to account for the frightening list of missing items.

The only hope for inspections now is the last-minute conversion of Saddam Hussein. If troops begin massing on his border, there is a slim chance that Saddam will start answering Mr. Blix’s questions. There is even less of a chance that Saddam will then begin to transparently disarm. But if he does, the “process” will be unmistakable. The world would then see Iraq behaving like South Africa when it revealed its entire nuclear-weapons program after its government changed; and as Argentina and Brazil did when they decided to become part of the solution to the proliferation problem rather than part of the cause; and as Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan did when they decided that nuclear weapons were not worth the cost of their keeping.

If that time should ever come, Mr. Blix may have a useful role to play. Then he could verify that disarmament was happening, as inspections are supposed to do, rather than trying to create disarmament, which inspections cannot do. In the meantime, however, he should admit what he has so ably proved in his report: His mission has been completed.

Mr. Milhollin directs the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control in Washington.

Of course Blix was proved to be 100% correct of his assessment of Iraq’s weapons.

Wikipedia also carries a nice summary of the Iraq war propaganda

During the lead-up to war in March 2003, Hans Blix had found no stockpiles of WMD and had made significant progress toward resolving open issues of disarmament noting “proactive” but not always the “immediate” Iraqi cooperation as called for by UN Security Council Resolution 1441. He concluded that it would take “but months” to resolve the key remaining disarmament tasks.[4] The United States asserted this was a breach of Resolution 1441 but failed to convince the UN Security Council to pass a new resolution authorizing the use of force due to lack of evidence.[5][6][7] Despite being unable to get a new resolution authorizing force and citing section 3 of the Joint Resolution passed by the U.S. Congress,[8] President George W. Bush asserted peaceful measures could not disarm Iraq of the weapons he alleged it to have and launched a second Gulf War,[9] despite multiple dissenting opinions[10] and questions of integrity[11][12][13] about the underlying intelligence.[14] Later U.S.-led inspections agreed that Iraq had earlier abandoned its WMD programs, but asserted Iraq had an intention to pursue those programs if UN sanctions were ever lifted.[15] Bush later said that the biggest regret of his presidency was “the intelligence failure” in Iraq,[16] while the Senate Intelligence Committee found in 2008 that his administration “misrepresented the intelligence and the threat from Iraq”.[17] A key CIA informant in Iraq admitted that he lied about his allegations, “then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war”.[18]

And if there was any doubt of the lengths the British and US government will go to to start a war

In an interview on BBC TV on 8 February 2004, Dr. Blix accused the US and British governments of dramatising the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the regime of Saddam Hussein. Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were found. [6]

To me at least the latest IAEA report of Iran’s nuclear programme is the most obvious evidence yet that the scientists compiling this report are under extreme pressure and possible duress to say that Iran is a nuclear threat.

What is equally obvious is that the scientists who have put together the Iran nuclear program report have been as accommodating as possible to the pressure they have been put under, but one thing is crystal clear from the IAEA report and that is Iran does not have a nuclear weapon and is not close to possessing a nuclear weapon and Iran may not even be planning to build a nuclear weapon.

The IAEA report says as much as it can, it has bent the interpretations of its findings as much as possible but the facts of the report still remain.

There is no direct evidence that Iran is researching nuclear weapons and there is no evidence that Iran will have a nuclear weapon in the forseeable future.

One thing that is extremely clear though is that Iran is under threat from Israel, the USA and the UK. Iran has been threatened with pre-emptive strikes and for no other reason that it desires a peaceful nuclear program.

And given the ongoing Fukushima situation it would be extremely embarrassing if Iran were to abandon its peaceful nuclear program due to safety concerns. I mean what excuse could be made up to invade Iran then?

At the time of writing the article the IAEA have not officially released their report but it is obviously that the global press has been leaked copies.

The fact that no media outlets seem to be wanting to play down the report or even show a modicum of neutrality regarding the reports contents speaks volumes with regards to the pre-determined agenda that the West has with regards to Iran.


Hans Blix speech to the UN in March of 2003


Oral introduction of the 12th quarterly report of UNMOVIC

Executive Chairman Dr. Hans Blix

Mr. President,

For nearly three years, I have been coming to the Security Council presenting the quarterly reports of UNMOVIC.  They have described our many preparations for the resumption of inspections in Iraq.  The 12th quarterly report is the first that describes three months of inspections.  They come after four years without inspections.  The report was finalized ten days ago and a number of relevant events have taken place since then.  Today’s statement will supplement the circulated report on these points to bring the Council up-to-date.

Inspection process

Inspections in Iraq resumed on 27 November 2002.  In matters relating to process, notably prompt access to sites, we have faced relatively few difficulties and certainly much less than those that were faced by UNSCOM in the period 1991 to 1998.  This may well be due to the strong outside pressure.

Some practical matters, which were not settled by the talks, Dr. ElBaradei and I had with the Iraqi side in Vienna prior to inspections or in resolution 1441 (2002), have been resolved at meetings, which we have had in Baghdad.  Initial difficulties raised by the Iraqi side about helicopters and aerial surveillance planes operating in the no-fly zones were overcome.  This is not to say that the operation of inspections is free from frictions, but at this juncture we are able to perform professional no-notice inspections all over Iraq and to increase aerial surveillance.

American U-2 and French Mirage surveillance aircraft already give us valuable imagery, supplementing satellite pictures and we would expect soon to be able to add night vision capability through an aircraft offered to us by the Russian Federation.  We also expect to add low-level, close area surveillance through drones provided by Germany.  We are grateful not only to the countries, which place these valuable tools at our disposal, but also to the States, most recently Cyprus, which has agreed to the stationing of aircraft on their territory.

Documents and interviews

Iraq, with a highly developed administrative system, should be able to provide more documentary evidence about its proscribed weapons programmes.  Only a few new such documents have come to light so far and been handed over since we began inspections.  It was a disappointment that Iraq’s Declaration of 7 December did not bring new documentary evidence.  I hope that efforts in this respect, including the appointment of a governmental commission, will give significant results. When proscribed items are deemed unaccounted for it is above all credible accounts that is needed – or the proscribed items, if they exist.

Where authentic documents do not become available, interviews with persons, who may have relevant knowledge and experience, may be another way of obtaining evidence.  UNMOVIC has names of such persons in its records and they are among the people whom we seek to interview.  In the last month, Iraq has provided us with the names of many persons, who may be relevant sources of information, in particular, persons who took part in various phases of the unilateral destruction of biological and chemical weapons, and proscribed missiles in 1991.  The provision of names prompts two reflections:

The first is that with such detailed information existing regarding those who took part in the unilateral destruction, surely there must also remain records regarding the quantities and other data concerning the various items destroyed.

The second reflection is that with relevant witnesses available it becomes even more important to be able to conduct interviews in modes and locations, which allow us to be confident that the testimony is given without outside influence.  While the Iraqi side seems to have encouraged interviewees not to request the presence of Iraqi officials (so-called minders) or the taping of the interviews, conditions ensuring the absence of undue influences are difficult to attain inside Iraq.  Interviews outside the country might provide such assurance.  It is our intention to request such interviews shortly.  Nevertheless, despite remaining shortcomings, interviews are useful.  Since we started requesting interviews, 38 individuals were asked for private interviews, of which 10 accepted under our terms, 7 of these during the last week.

As I noted on 14 February, intelligence authorities have claimed that weapons of mass destruction are moved around Iraq by trucks and, in particular, that there are mobile production units for biological weapons.  The Iraqi side states that such activities do not exist.  Several inspections have taken place at declared and undeclared sites in relation to mobile production facilities.  Food testing mobile laboratories and mobile workshops have been seen, as well as large containers with seed processing equipment.  No evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found.  Iraq is expected to assist in the development of credible ways to conduct random checks of ground transportation.

Inspectors are also engaged in examining Iraq’s programme for Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs).  A number of sites have been inspected with data being collected to assess the range and other capabilities of the various models found.  Inspections are continuing in this area.

There have been reports, denied from the Iraqi side, that proscribed activities are conducted underground.  Iraq should provide information on any underground structure suitable for the production or storage of WMD.  During inspections of declared or undeclared facilities, inspection teams have examined building structures for any possible underground facilities.  In addition, ground penetrating radar equipment was used in several specific locations.  No underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far.

I should add that, both for the monitoring of ground transportation and for the inspection of underground facilities, we would need to increase our staff in Iraq.  I am not talking about a doubling of the staff.  I would rather have twice the amount of high quality information about sites to inspect than twice the number of expert inspectors to send.

Recent developments

On 14 February, I reported to the Council that the Iraqi side had become more active in taking and proposing steps, which potentially might shed new light on unresolved disarmament issues.  Even a week ago, when the current quarterly report was finalized, there was still relatively little tangible progress to note.  Hence, the cautious formulations in the report before you.

As of today, there is more.  While during our meetings in Baghdad, the Iraqi side tried to persuade us that the Al Samoud 2 missiles they have declared fall within the permissible range set by the Security Council, the calculations of an international panel of experts led us to the opposite conclusion.  Iraq has since accepted that these missiles and associated items be destroyed and has started the process of destruction under our supervision.  The destruction undertaken constitutes a substantial measure of disarmament – indeed, the first since the middle of the 1990s.  We are not watching the breaking of toothpicks.  Lethal weapons are being destroyed. However, I must add that no destruction has happened today.  I hope it’s a temporary break.

To date, 34 Al Samoud 2 missiles, including 4 training missiles, 2 combat warheads, 1 launcher and 5 engines have been destroyed under UNMOVIC supervision.  Work is continuing to identify and inventory the parts and equipment associated with the Al Samoud 2 programme.

Two ‘reconstituted’ casting chambers used in the production of solid propellant missiles have been destroyed and the remnants melted or encased in concrete.

The legality of the Al Fatah missile is still under review, pending further investigation and measurement of various parameters of that missile.

More papers on anthrax, VX and missiles have recently been provided.   Many have been found to restate what Iraq had already declared, some will require further study and discussion.

There is a significant Iraqi effort underway to clarify a major source of uncertainty as to the quantities of biological and chemical weapons, which were unilaterally destroyed in 1991.  A part of this effort concerns a disposal site, which was deemed too dangerous for full investigation in the past.  It is now being re-excavated.  To date, Iraq has unearthed eight complete bombs comprising two liquid-filled intact R-400 bombs and six other complete bombs.  Bomb fragments were also found. Samples have been taken.  The investigation of the destruction site could, in the best case, allow the determination of the number of bombs destroyed at that site.  It should be followed by a serious and credible effort to determine the separate issue of how many R-400 type bombs were produced.  In this, as in other matters, inspection work is moving on and may yield results.

Iraq proposed an investigation using advanced technology to quantify the amount of unilaterally destroyed anthrax dumped at a site.  However, even if the use of advanced technology could quantify the amount of anthrax, said to be dumped at the site, the results would still be open to interpretation.  Defining the quantity of anthrax destroyed must, of course, be followed by efforts to establish what quantity was actually produced.

With respect to VX, Iraq has recently suggested a similar method to quantify a VX precursor stated to have been unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991.

Iraq has also recently informed us that, following the adoption of the presidential decree prohibiting private individuals and mixed companies from engaging in work related to WMD, further legislation on the subject is to be enacted.  This appears to be in response to a letter from UNMOVIC requesting clarification of the issue.

What are we to make of these activities?  One can hardly avoid the impression that, after a period of somewhat reluctant cooperation, there has been an acceleration of initiatives from the Iraqi side since the end of January.

This is welcome, but the value of these measures must be soberly judged by how many question marks they actually succeed in straightening out.  This is not yet clear.

Against this background, the question is now asked whether Iraq has cooperated “immediately, unconditionally and actively” with UNMOVIC, as required under paragraph 9 of resolution 1441 (2002).  The answers can be seen from the factual descriptions I have provided.  However, if more direct answers are desired, I would say the following:

The Iraqi side has tried on occasion to attach conditions, as it did regarding helicopters and U-2 planes.  Iraq has not, however, so far persisted in these or other conditions for the exercise of any of our inspection rights.  If it did, we would report it.

It is obvious that, while the numerous initiatives, which are now taken by the Iraqi side with a view to resolving some long-standing open disarmament issues, can be seen as “active”, or even “proactive”, these initiatives 3-4 months into the new resolution cannot be said to constitute “immediate” cooperation. Nor do they necessarily cover all areas of relevance.  They are nevertheless welcome and UNMOVIC is responding to them in the hope of solving presently unresolved disarmament issues.

Mr. President,

Members of the Council may relate most of what I have said to resolution 1441 (2002), but UNMOVIC is performing work under several resolutions of the Security Council.  The quarterly report before you is submitted in accordance with resolution 1284 (1999), which not only created UNMOVIC but also continues to guide much of our work.  Under the time lines set by the resolution, the results of some of this work is to be reported to the Council before the end of this month.  Let me be more specific.

Resolution 1284 (1999) instructs UNMOVIC to “address unresolved disarmament issues” and to identify “key remaining disarmament tasks” and the latter are to be submitted for approval by the Council in the context of a work programme.  UNMOVIC will be ready to submit a draft work programme this month as required.

UNSCOM and the Amorim Panel did valuable work to identify the disarmament issues, which were still open at the end of 1998. UNMOVIC has used this material as starting points but analysed the data behind it and data and documents post 1998 up to the present time to compile its own list of “unresolved disarmament issues” or, rather, clustered issues.  It is the answers to these issues which we seek through our inspection activities.

It is from the list of these clustered issues that UNMOVIC will identify the “key remaining disarmament tasks”.  As noted in the report before you, this list of clustered issues is ready.

UNMOVIC is only required to submit the work programme with the “key remaining disarmament tasks” to the Council.  As I understand that several Council members are interested in the working document with the complete clusters of disarmament issues, we have declassified it and are ready to make it available to members of the Council on request.  In this working document, which may still be adjusted in the light of new information, members will get a more up-to-date review of the outstanding issues than in the documents of 1999, which members usually refer to.  Each cluster in the working document ends with a number of points indicating what Iraq could do to solve the issue.  Hence, Iraq’s cooperation could be measured against the successful resolution of issues.

I should note that the working document contains much information and discussion about the issues which existed at the end of 1998 – including information which has come to light after 1998.  It contains much less information and discussion about the period after 1998, primarily because of paucity of information. Nevertheless, intelligence agencies have expressed the view that proscribed programmes have continued or restarted in this period.  It is further contended that proscribed programmes and items are located in underground facilities, as I mentioned, and that proscribed items are being moved around Iraq.  The working document contains some suggestions on how these concerns may be tackled.

Mr. President,

Let me conclude by telling you that UNMOVIC is currently drafting the work programme, which resolution 1284 (1999) requires us to submit this month.  It will obviously contain our proposed list of key remaining disarmament tasks; it will describe the reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification that the Council has asked us to implement; it will also describe the various subsystems which constitute the programme, e.g. for aerial surveillance, for information from governments and suppliers, for sampling, for the checking of road traffic, etc.

How much time would it take to resolve the key remaining disarmament tasks?  While cooperation can and is to be immediate, disarmament and at any rate the verification of it cannot be instant.  Even with a proactive Iraqi attitude, induced by continued outside pressure, it would still take some time to verify sites and items, analyse documents, interview relevant persons, and draw conclusions.  It would not take years, nor weeks, but months.  Neither governments nor inspectors would want disarmament inspection to go on forever.  However, it must be remembered that in accordance with the governing resolutions, a sustained inspection and monitoring system is to remain in place after verified disarmament to give confidence and to strike an alarm, if signs were seen of the revival of any proscribed weapons programmes.

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