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Confidence Building or Building Confidence for Regime Change?

Nader Bagherzadeh and Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich


While the US and Iran have numerous disagreements, indisputably, Iran’s desire to have a nascent enrichment facility in Natanz is at the forefront of these discords.  Should Iran master this technology, it will profoundly impact America’s pursuit of global hegemony – or as some believe, global imperialism.  Given the US’s desires for ideological expansion, indications are that Iran’s inflexibility to exercise its right under established international agreements, has given the US fertile ground to embark on yet another illegal and immoral war in the Middle East.


The Bush Administration’s decision to make suspension of enrichment activity as a precondition for any future diplomatic discussions with Iran speaks to the importance of this issue.  It is usually remarked that suspension of enrichment activity is for confidence building.  The aim of this article is to evaluate the logic and consequences associated with this suspension demand as well as the refusal to remove the preemptive attack from the list of available options.


There are several major logical problems with the suspension demand.  First, the length of time Iran is required to suspend its enrichment activities for confidence building is never publicly discussed, as such, it could be for a month, a year, or infinite.  The US has always wanted a permanent suspension but due to legal considerations it has not been explicitly mentioned of late.  It could be that the demand for the suspension period is directly related to the time needed for identifying the so called hidden nuclear sites that are not on the IAEA’s list of Iran’s nuclear facilities, where Iran is allegedly busy making bombs.


Here is the fallacy of such reasoning.  Should this be the reason for the suspension, it would have to be permanent for if Iran is being forthright about Natanz being the only enrichment facility, then the US demand is similar to proving a negative, which means one could never succeed in convincing others about the absence of any clandestine facilities.


The second illogical related issue is that if there are any clandestine facilities, it begs the question why Iran would insist on its rights under the NPT to defend it’s only declared enrichment site in Natanz in the face of sanctions or worse still, amidst military threats from the mightiest force on the planet?  If there was another hidden site, it would make sense for Iran to yield to the suspension demand of Natanz immediately while working on the secret site taking the pressure off of its sanctioned riddled economy and make peace with countries threatening its territorial integrity with covert and overt operations.


The third problem with a temporary suspension demand is that US will have a hard time agreeing to a restart of enrichment, even if all the IAEA ambiguities are addressed.  The amount of criticism the Administration would receive from far right and pro-Israeli groups will make that decision a death wish for the current members of the Bush Administration or any member of the congress up for election in 2008.  Therefore, once the suspension has commenced, US will not acquiesce to restart of enrichment any time soon.  US could always bring up the existence of undeclared enrichment sites, and demand an intractable argument for proving a negative.


Finally, if the US Administration decides on following through with its threats and engage in an aerial bombardment of Iranian targets, the outcome can be anything but a simple in and out of the battlefield after annihilation of Iran’s nuclear facilities.  The US policy must be ready to initiate regime change activities following the aerial attacks, because it is inconceivable for the current regime in Iran to have face to face meetings with any adversaries after such an attack, judging from their current and past anti US slogans.  It is even possible that if a regime change occurs the new one will be very critical of US destruction of the country’s facilities and opt for further isolation with the US government.


In conclusion, the current policy of US with respect to nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) has been effectively rewritten and approved by the UNSC, specifically Article IV of this treaty which defends the inalienable rights of member states to enjoy all aspect of nuclear energy.  The upshot of this unilateral policy is that a country can maintain its inalienable right as long as it yields its sovereignty to the hegemonic demands of the US.   Should a government fail to understand the NPT provisions as imposed by the United States; the NPT will be used to effect regime change, or, failing that, wage an illegal and immoral war.  



... Payvand News - 3/2/07 ... --

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