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IRAN and nuclear weapons
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said that Iran had been honest about its nuclear program and should not be reported to the UN Security Council for potential sanctions.
His comments contradicted the US call for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to declare Tehran in breach of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to report it to the Security Council.
Solana's comments also went beyond the IAEA report, which found no evidence that Iran was developing atomic weapons, but said it had not declared some of its past nuclear activities. Solana said Tehran now had to comply with an agreement it reached with three EU foreign ministers last month to halt uranium enrichment and open all its nuclear facilities to intrusive spot checks by UN inspectors.
Solana's comments came just before a meeting with Hassan Rohani, secretary of Iran's powerful National Security Council and a conservative cleric close to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Rohani also met the foreign ministers of Britain and France, who along with Germany negotiated last month's deal offering the prospect of sharing technology if Iran ends uranium enrichment and accepts tough spot inspections.
EU foreign ministers discussed the bloc's differences with Washington over Iran when they meet US Secretary of State Colin Powell in Brussels. Diplomats said US and European officials were seeking a compromise that would avoid sanctions. Solana said Brussels and Washington shared the same aim, but the Europeans believed engagement was a better way to make Iran comply rather than threats.The IAEA report made clear that the inspection process was far from over, and said it was unclear whether Iran had in the past tried in secret to develop atomic bombs, as Washington says.
"To date, there is no evidence that (Iran's) previously undeclared nuclear material and activities... were related to a nuclear weapons program," the IAEA said.
US Under Secretary of State John Bolton said that finding was "impossible to believe". On the contrary, the report underscored the US contention that "the massive and covert Iranian effort to acquire sensitive nuclear capabilities makes sense only as part of a nuclear weapons program," according to Bolton. (Reuters, 11/18/03).
While Solana's thus displeased Washington, his viewpoint was that of many thoughtful people worldwide. The US is ferreting out any suspicion of nuclear weapons plans in Muslim countries while the US itself is developing new nuclear weapons, and heavens knows what Israel is up to. Moreover, the US is developing weapons which can hit any spot on earth within two hours. Clearly the military-industrial complex is behind this. The world generally views the US as seeking world domination. Whether that would be a good thing is an open question.
Ronald Hilton - 12.01.03