Jeremy Hammond explains why Iran’s New Nuclear Site is “Much Ado About Nothing”

Here we have a masterfull analysis of the mainstream media’s stream of nonsense about Iran’s atomic program.  This is an excerpt, but it deserves to be read in full.

Excerpt from “Iran’s New Nuclear Site: Much Ado About Nothing“, Jeremy R. Hammond, Foreign Policy Journal, 27 September 2009:

The accusations that the site was a violation of Iran’s legal obligation were likewise no great surprise. At least one analysis of the situation (James M. Acton at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) has pointed out that Iran is only required under its safeguards agreement with the IAEA to declare the site at least 6 months before uranium is introduced into it (the IAEA has announced that Iran has said this has not yet occurred, which is plausible enough, given that the site is still under construction). This fact was used to show how “unambiguous” it was that, as the title tells us, “Iran Violated International Obligations on Qom Facility”.

It is “clear”, Acton tells us, that Iran did not declare it soon enough to meet its legal obligations. In short, we may presume either that Iran will be guilty of introducing uranium into the site within 6 months or that Iran would have been guilty of doing so if only reality hadn’t taken this course, which is the same thing as saying that Iran is already guilty of doing so.

The general argument follows logic of a similar nature. As noted, one assumption taken on faith is that Iran only declared the site because its hand was forced. Iran would have kept the site a secret if reality hadn’t taken its present course. Since this is hypothetically true, simply because it’s declared to be so, it’s as good as if it were actually true; which is, of course, impossible to either prove or disprove. But no evidence is required; it’s enough merely to speculate and for media commentators to relay the hypothetical as fact.

Other syllogisms employed by pundits follow suit. The reason Iran would have kept the site a secret, of course, is because it is intended to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb. And we know Iran intended to make a bomb because we know it would have kept the site secret if only it hadn’t declared the site to the IAEA, and we know the only reason to keep the site secret would be to produce a bomb. And so on.

There is pretty much a consensus among analysts that if Iran were to go ahead and produce a nuclear weapon, it would have to first kick out the IAEA to avoid detection, thus projecting their intentions and rendering the action moot anyways. But we’re supposed to believe this was no more an impediment to Iran’s lust for nukes than the watchful eye of U.S. spy satellites that it knows are tracking every inch of the country.

There is a parallel to the revised argument for the invasion of Iraq that although the country had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD), it was enough that Saddam intended to develop them. This is a fact because the U.S. government declared it to be true after first having declared it to be true that Iraq actually had WMD, and we know that we can trust the government.

Similarly, Iran must be condemned because it had intended to make a nuclear bomb, which we know because it had kept the existence of its new uranium enrichment facility undeclared until it didn’t. And we know Iran wouldn’t have declared its existence if it hadn’t known that the U.S. knew about it, which is how we know that Iran knew that the U.S. knew, and which proves that Iran had intended to use the site to make a bomb. We know all of this simply as a matter of faith, of course.

There are other parallels. The absence of evidence for WMD prior to the invasion of Iraq was proof that Saddam was hiding them, just as Iran’s having met the requirement of its safeguards agreement to declare the site is proof that it has been acting in bad faith.

Also a demonstration of Iran’s bad faith is the fact that the site was a secret before it wasn’t, the fact that Iran met its obligation under the NPT notwithstanding. Meeting its obligations to the IAEA are not evidence of good faith on Iran’s part, but rather clearly demonstrate how evil Iran’s intentions are, and so forth.

About the author

Jeremy R. Hammond is the Editor of Foreign Policy Journal, an online source for news, critical analysis, and opinion commentary on U.S. foreign policy. His articles have been featured and cited in numerous other print and online publications around the world. He has appeared in interviews on the GCN radio network, Talk Nation Radio, and Press TV’s Middle East Today program.

Source:  Foreign Policy Journal

This is not Jeremy Hammond (aka xec96), the political activist, anarchist, freegan and convicted felon who has been involved in anti-war and anti-globalization causes as well as digital rights and free software movements.  See Wikipedia for more about that Hammond.


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To read other articles about these things, see the following:

Reference pages about other topics appear on the right side menu bar, including About the FM website page.

Some of the posts on the FM website about information and disinfo regarding Iran:

  1. 4GW at work in a community near you , 19 October 2007 — Propaganda warming us up for war with Iran.
  2. Cable Cut Fever grips the conspiracy-hungry fringes of the web , 7 February 2008
  3. Resolution of the Great Submarine Cable Crisis – and some lessons learned , 8 February 2008
  4. More post-Fallon overheating: “6 signs the US may be headed for war in Iran” , 18 March 2008
  5. Does reading Debkafile make us smarter, or dumber?, 15 June 2008
  6. The most expensive psy-war campaign – ever!, 13 July 2008
  7. More rumors of war: our naval armada has sailed to Iran!, 9 August 2008
  8. Update on the rumored armada sailing to Iran, 13 August 2008
  9. Stop the presses: no naval armada has sailed to blockade Iran!, 20 August 2008
  10. Proposed legislation prepares the way for war with Iran!, 25 August 2008
  11. Is the War on Terror over (because there are no longer two sides)? Part 1, 3 September 2008 — Rumors of covert ops by us against Iran.
  12. Psywar, a core skill of the US Military (used most often on us), 26 November 2008
  13. Iran’s getting the bomb, or so we’re told. Can they fool us twice?, 16 February 2009
  14. Another general advocating war with Iran, 18 August 2009

8 thoughts on “Jeremy Hammond explains why Iran’s New Nuclear Site is “Much Ado About Nothing”

  1. Why is it that the same scrutiny and sanctions applied to Iran are not applied to the violent and aggressive Israel nation? Is it because Israel like the US holds the bulk of the weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and like us are an occupying nation, abusive of the world’s indigenous people?

  2. @warren:

    No, it’s just that AIPAC has a lot of money and scares the shit out of Congress, and we have a lot of cowards in Congress. Oh, and Christ died in Israel so the Christian right can’t let the brown people own that territory… or something like that.

  3. #1: because thou shalt not turn over the forbidden stone to question these things ; thy name shall be spat upon like unto a paedophile . Thou shalt be branded racist , and thrown into outer darkness etc.

  4. Hard to say what is really going on in Iran, but it’s difficult to imagine that Ahmadinejad, who had no problem oppressing his opposition in the recent elections, would be able to resist the “prestige” of acquiring nuclear weapons (not to mention the deterrent effect that it would have on his neighbors). I wonder how many apologists Pakistan had when AQK and company were developing their weapon.

    This is NOT to say that there is anything like a case for war against Iran. Obama can hardly even get A to talk to him while the U.S. Army is tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan. The best thing Obama could do to strengthen his hand against Iran would be to announce we were de-emphasizing a military solution in Afghanistan and start a drawdown there. The little dictator would crap his pants.

    And as an aside, evidence “manufactured” for the case for war against Iraq was done so by Saddam himself in order to deter Iran, who he feared much more than the distant U.S. See Gordon and Trainor, “Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq,” Vintage Books, 2006.

  5. Iran has two factions on the street right now, those screaming alternately “death to Israel” and “death to America” and those screaming “death to Russia”. Were the Iranians to put in a government of “death to Russia” types, the embargo would end soon and we would be building pipelines to Iranian ports from the Caspian sea, invalidating Russia’s entire EU strategy to get them hooked on Russian energy as a monopoly source. This would be a tremendous change. Russia must have an Iran that is hostile to the US. The stakes are very high for them. This is likely the genesis of the “death to Russia” chants. The Iranians are pissed about US interference in the 1950s but they are similarly unhappy with Russian interference today for exactly the same reasons. The cheapest fix for Russian interference in Iran would be a nuclear Iran.

    A sane pro-US government that is nuclear would still be a pain in the neck but at least as tolerable as Pakistan. The novel (and toxic) arguments of Khomeni are being eviscerated but the folk in Qom are going to have to do a lot of cleanup. Sistani will be of invaluable help in that as, for his own reasons, he regards Khomeinism to be heretical.

    This, no doubt, is going to give our Israeli friends a lot of pucker factor, justifiably so. It will likely lead to nuclear declarations by the major arab powers. It will be a mess, in short, but it will be a different sort of mess than most think. The sites can be a major problem or a prickly sort of help for us. The key variable is whether Iran has a sane government or the messianic monstrosity that Khomeni ushered in in 1979. It’s a pity that neither side seems focused on that.

  6. The US will not be ABLE to “do something” to/with Iran. It will be a miracle if we’re able to finish the jobs properly in Iraq and Afghanistan. My judgment tells me that the American population is just about tired of foreign interventions when we can’t even manage to balance our own checkbook. We don’t know how to finance our regular military, never mind Iraq or Afghanistan and ESPECIALLY never mind any new adventures.

    I look around the world and see an American military base on every continent, island, or floating piece of debris in the ocean. Why? Of course, it’s best if SOMEBODY police the trade routes and stuff, but why must it be us? At the risk of sounding callous, why must we intervene in every conflict? Of course, we currently mostly limit ourselves to conflicts where oil is involved for lack of another worthy litmus test, but oil is fungible. Any one location save maybe Saudi Arabia (and not even there forever) is not going to make a huge difference.

    I suspect, whether it’s right or wrong, we’re seeing events that will force America into a far more isolationist strategic posture. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will be either finished right or left to their own devices, but either way the troops will come home. Military bases around the world will start to close, and either other world or regional powers will step into the breach or piracy will become a going concern again. We’ll probably eventually lose a lot of our fear of other countries having nukes (we probably won’t have a choice), and I’m guessing our operating doctrine will be “nobody nuke us, and if you do, you won’t have a country anymore” and leave it at that.

    Economic isolationism will probably come back into vogue, too. We’ve seen the tip of that iceberg with the Chinese tire thing, but I think it will expand quite a bit. You can’t keep giving such favorable one-sided trading terms to so many countries forever. You can’t put environmental and fair-pay straitjackets on yourself and expect to compete with sweatshops R us without doing something to level the playing field.

    In short, I get the idea that most people have terrorism fatigue, and don’t much care whether Iran does this or that, so long as they don’t attack us. And it would be a big mistake to attack them first. That’s not what we’re about, and we’ve hopefully learned something from the last time we attacked a country that didn’t attack us first. Or maybe that’s a doomed hope. Sigh.

  7. Waitress: Well, there’s egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and war; egg bacon and war; egg bacon sausage and war; war bacon sausage and war; war egg war war bacon and war; war sausage war war bacon war tomato and war…

    Vikings: (singing)war war war war…

    Waitress: …war war war egg and war; war war war war war war baked beans war war war…

    Vikings: (singing)war! Lovely war! Lovely war!

    Waitress: …or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and war.

    Wife: Have you got anything without war?

    — Monty Python, spam sketch

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