Obama and a Nuclear Iran

Obama has articulated what a lot of people have been thinking for some time on the illogic of the US position vis à vis Iran's clear ambition for nuclear technology:


LONDON -- President Barack Obama reiterated that Iran may have some right to nuclear energy - provided it takes steps to prove its aspirations are peaceful.

In a BBC interview broadcast Tuesday, Obama also restated plans to pursue direct diplomacy with Tehran to encourage it to set aside any ambitions for nuclear weapons it might harbor.

Iran has insisted its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity. But the U.S. and other Western governments accuse Tehran of seeking atomic weapons.

"Without going into specifics, what I do believe is that Iran has legitimate energy concerns, legitimate aspirations. On the other hand, the international community has a very real interest in preventing a nuclear arms race in the region," Obama said.

The comments echo remarks Obama made in Prague last month in which he said his administration would "support Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy with rigorous inspections" if Iran proves it is no longer a nuclear threat.

Nancy Zuckerbrod - Obama says Iran's energy concerns legitimate Washington Post (AP) 2 Jun 2009

This somewhat startling admission, contrary to the domestic media narrative, makes excellent sense and is aligned with growing conventional wisdom within the foreign policy establishment on the futility of portraying Iran's nuclear programme as an act of aggression in itself.  The Israelis must not be very pleased, on the other hand Europeans, increasingly seeking access to abundant Iranian reserves to meet their natural gas needs in coming decades, are no doubt relieved.  The speech in Prague was intended for a largely European audience.

Assuming Iran renews it's participation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and accepts International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections there is little the US or Israel can do under international law to prevent them from developing a peaceful nuclear capability under Article IV of the NPT:


The treaty recognizes the inalienable right of sovereign states to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but restricts this right for NPT parties to be exercised "in conformity with Articles I and II" (the basic nonproliferation obligations that constitute the "first pillar" of the Treaty). As the commercially popular light water reactor nuclear power station uses enriched uranium fuel, it follows that states must be able either to enrich uranium or purchase it on an international market.

NPT Third pillar: peaceful use of nuclear energy Wikipedia

The tenor of House Minority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va) remarks that this policy is "dangerous" and "misguided" set the tone for this debate in domestic terms:


"I strongly disagree with President Obama's dangerous suggestion that Iran may have some right to nuclear energy." said Cantor in a statement provided to the Huffington Post. "Iran forfeited any right to nuclear energy when it made the decision to illicitly enrich uranium to levels that can be used for nuclear weapons."

Cantor: Obama Mid-East Policy "Dangerous" And "Misguided" Huffington Post 2 Jun 09

Under international law Cantor is clearly mistaken, though Iran now has 'pariah' status it is likely that it would be accepted back to the NPT, with considerable relief, by the international community.  Obama is making a courageous stand domestically but not internationally, many of our allies have been reluctant to impose severe sanctions on Iran and alarmed at the aggressive rhetoric of the previous administration.

There's more...

A Republican Death Plan for Humanity

David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, which works closely with the U.N. and IAEA, has produced a crystalline summary of the legacy of Reagan, the Bushes, Gingrich, Tom Delay and all the other clowns and psychos who transmogrified the party of Abraham Lincoln into a reactionary mob.

"It was a death plan for humanity."

Mr. Krieger was primarily referring to the promotion of nuclear weapons by George W. Bush and Congressional Republicans for the last eight years, but the same formula also applies to their endorsement and support for every factor that harms the global environment and their opposition to anything that might preserve or restore it.

It was a death plan for humanity, and the rest of the planet along with us.

This defines the Republican Party since 1980, and it's up to the rest of us to make those words its epitaph.

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Christmas Bombs for Iran?

Bill Kristol and John Bolton, in separate interviews, seem to be leaking a Bush plan to take out Iranian nuclear facilities before he leaves office. If it is done before the election, Obama is sunk.

http://patriotroom.com/?p=462

There's more...

McCain at AIPAC: Drumbeats of War?

With all the attention focused on the last primaries in the US, it would seem there isn't a lot of space left for another happening taking place in Washington DC. Yesterday the American Israel Public Affairs Committee began their annual conference.

Republican presidential nominee, John McCain opened the conference to warm reviews from the audience. The Real News Network decided to send a team to the conference to follow what he and other speakers had to say.

The first piece is an analysis by Aijaz Ahmad on McCain's opening address yesterday: McCain at AIPAC: Drumbeats of War?
http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?optio n=com_content&task=view&id=33&am p;Itemid=74&jumival=144

The second episode contains differing viewpoints on the rising tensions between Israel and Iran: "Apocalypse Now" McCain: Two Israelis disagree
http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?optio n=com_content&task=view&id=33&am p;Itemid=74&jumival=146

There's more...

Dennis Kucinich On Weapons

Dennis Kucinich's whole candidacy is centered upon practical policies working towards peace; already introducing legislation for disarmament, banning weapons in space, and establishing the Department of Peace. He is firmly against the use of nuclear weapons and, as President, will finally lift up the U.S. to claim its responsibility as a global leader in working with other countries towards disarmament and the abolishment of nuclear weapons forever. We must claim this responsibility, applying the same principles to ourselves as the rest of the world, if we are to have any credibility in negotiations with the international community.

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