Pressure Points; U.N. Must Urge Iran to Comply with Treaty

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 10, 2004 | Go to article overview

Pressure Points; U.N. Must Urge Iran to Comply with Treaty


Byline: Dianne Feinstein and Jon Kyl, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In the year since it acknowledged construction of two facilities that could be used to develop fissile material for a nuclear weapon, Iran has done little to comply with its obligations as a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

This is in marked contrast with Libya, which has chosen full disclosure and active cooperation. In December, the regime of Moammar Gadhafi admitted it had been seeking nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons for more than 20 years and agreed to let International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors dismantle these programs. In addition, the Libyans have since provided the IAEA with information on the nuclear-arms black market and the activities of A. Q. Khan, the Pakistani scientist who reportedly supplied components and designs for nuclear weapons programs to Libya, North Korea and Iran.

This week, the IAEA Board of Governors is meeting to discuss the progress made by these two countries in coming clean about their nuclear-weapons programs. The discussion will serve as a case study of the difference between cooperation and obstruction.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has praised Libya for its "complete openness and transparency" and predicted that Libya could be declared free of all aspects of its nuclear weapons program by this June - six months after its initial decision to come forward.

Following meetings with the foreign ministers of Germany, France and the United Kingdom - and in the face of an IAEA deadline - Iran said it would cooperate fully with IAEA inspectors, allow snap inspections of its nuclear facilities and suspend its uranium enrichment program.

In October, Iran provided the IAEA with what it described as "a complete and final" declaration about its past nuclear activities. It turns out to have been a fraud. Since then, IAEA inspectors have uncovered designs and equipment that could produce enriched uranium in great quantities, traces of highly enriched uranium at two facilities and traces of polonium, a chemical used to start chain reactions in nuclear explosions.

Further, Iran asserts that its decision to suspend uranium enrichment is only temporary. It continues to buy components, assemble centrifuges and test equipment for uranium enrichment. And it intends to sell nuclear fuel internationally.

Leaders in Tehran hide these efforts behind the claim that its nuclear program exists solely for energy development, but such an assertion is ludicrous given its plentiful oil and gas reserves.

While it continues its nuclear weapons development, Iran directly supports terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, and calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. …

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