Deal and no deal
U.S. threatens sanctions against Iran while signing nuclear deals with India and China
December 19, 2006
“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.”
It should come as no surprise that President Bush has put one of the worst disasters in American history on the back burner. Having disregarded the Iraq Study Group findings, and mindless of the dead-count both at home and in Iraq, he is busy outdoing himself by making deals that would affect not only America, but effectively deprive world citizens of their trust and dependence in international institutions.
In December 2006, Congress overwhelmingly signed a controversial bill to expand the sale of civilian nuclear technology to India, a deal that Mr. Bush had proposed to India in exchange for its vote against Iran. Not only is this bill in violation of Article III of the non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) given that India is not a member state of the NPT, but the irony is that the catalyst for the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG)) in 1976 was India’s nuclear test. This group (first called the London Group) met to restrain the transfer of uranium-enrichment and plutonium-extraction equipment and technology.
Experts say India has already produced about 50 nuclear weapons and plans to reach up to 400 in a decade. Selling India U.S.-origin fuel for civilian energy use will free up New Delhi's indigenous uranium stocks for weapons. Regardless, upon Mr. Bush signing the bill into law, Nicholas Burns had the audacity to undermine the American public’s intelligence and mock the world by announcing that “after 30 years we have realized that the NPT is ineffective, therefore we are going to reward India for non-proliferation [*] . In response to a reporter who quizzed him about Iran, he said we plan to punish Iran for violating the NPT!” (CNN – Monday, December 18, 2006). The very NPT that he announced is effective and therefore inapplicable should be applied to punish Iran. Not only are the public being lied to since India has had dealings with Israel, but they are bluntly being told to be dim-witted.
Eager to play power-broker in Southeast Asia, China offered nuclear know-how to both India and Pakistan. Not only have these two rivals been engaged in conflict for decades, but the growing fundamentalism in Pakistan is alarming. The special relationship between the Taliban and Pakistan’s ISI pre 9/11, and the re-emergence of the Taliban along Pakistan’s border is fear-provoking. Vying for regional influences, China, in violation of the NPT, will provide nuclear technology to Pakistan, in violation of the NPT; the funding for these nukes will come from the generous aid of the US taxpayers.
The icing on the cake of all this, is the US-China deal.
In spite of sanctions imposed on several firms by the Bush administration, on December 16, 2006, a multi-billion dollar civilian nuclear deal was concluded with China. While the US-China deal may well be a sweetener to nudge China into signing the Iran-sanctions bill, much like the 800-page WTO agreement signed in Hanoi between Bush and Putin, one must wonder if the nuclear technology that the US will hand over to China will end up in the hands of the Taliban or Bin-Laden!
It is clear that Mr. Bush must heed Prime Minister Olmert’s wishes. How far will this administration go in bribing UN Security Council members in order to sanction Iran? More importantly, this morning it was announced on CNN that Pentagon has dispatched a second US vessel to the Persian Gulf as warning to Iran – Let us hope that this administration understands that naval blockade of Iran needs UN authorization and without a UN resolution, such an act will be recognized as an act of war by the [biased and impotent] UN.
Can the world sit by passively and accept the irrationality of the United States imposing sanctions on Iran citing the NPT while at the same time it calls the NPT ineffective in order to reward those states that do not abide by it? Can sanctions be imposed on firms or nations for the transfer of dual usage technology while the United States violates the NSG agreement? And can the United States justify its naval buildup in the Persian Gulf to ‘enforce sanctions on Iran’ and allegedly to stop the possible transfer of material for missiles and WMD to Iran while itself has invalidated both the NPT and the NSG?
Institutions and laws have been implemented to protect individuals and collectively the nation-state. Should the citizenry fail to place its trust in institutions, there will be chaos, destruction, and death. Mr. Bush has already demonstrated this in Iraq. It must be understood that under the law, all nations are equal regardless of their size or might. It is the right of the citizenry that I am defending. It is not only Iran that has been stripped of her right, but each one of us has been individually violated by desecrating the international laws set up to protect us. Nuclear armed, non-NPT states are rewarded with nuclear technology. Israel not only receives technology but $6 billion in annual aid for conducting the US foreign policy; whereas NPT states acting within the NPT framework are being punished.
No doubt insanity has prevailed for too long; its rule must come to an end. Lest we are ruled by law, believe in equality for everyone, we will live to regret our inaction and watch the demise of civilization; it is for the sake of civilization that we must all speak with one voice. As Mark Twain said: “The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession.”. The demand for the implementation of international law cannot be denied in the face of universal unity. Comment
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich has lived and studied in Iran, the UK, France, and the US. She obtained her Bachelors Degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She is currently pursuing her education in Middle East studies. Soraya has done extensive research on US foreign policy towards Iran and Iran’s nuclear program.
[*] By the year 2000, Israel’s nuclear commerce with India reportedly reached $500 million per year – this is two non-NPT members trading in violation of international law, and proliferating – (Yossi Melman, "India's Visiting strongman Wants to Expand Nuclear Cooperation with Israel," Ha'aretz, June 16, 2000.)