The basic facts omitted included.
- – That US intelligence assesses that Iran has no active nuclear weapons programme today and hasn’t had one for a decade.
- – That, according to President Bush, the emergence of this assessment in 2007 made it impossible for him to justify taking military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
- – That Israel largely agrees with the US intelligence assessment that Iran has no active nuclear weapons programme.
- – That Russia agrees with the US intelligence assessment that Iran has no active nuclear weapons programme.
- – That Iran’s leaders have repeatedly denied that they intend to develop nuclear weapons and the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has declared the possession of such weapons a “grave sin”.
- – That all of the nuclear sites declared by Iran to the IAEA (including its two enrichment plants) are operating under IAEA supervision and according to the relevant design specifications supplied by Iran to the IAEA.
- – That the IAEA has never detected any diversion of nuclear material from Iran’s declared nuclear facilities for possible military use.
- – That US intelligence assesses that Iran could not produce enough highly enriched uranium in its enrichment plants for one bomb (assuming it wished to do so) before this activity was discovered by the IAEA.
- – That there is no evidence that Iran has other nuclear sites, which it has not declared to the IAEA.
- – That the US refused to assist the Islamic Republic acquire nuclear technology after 1979 (as it had done for the Shah’s regime prior to 1979) and did its utmost to prevent other states from doing so, forcing Iran to turn to AQ Khan to develop a nuclear power programme.
- – That by refusing to assist the Islamic Republic in acquiring nuclear technology the US and its allies were in breach of Article IV(2) of the NPT.
- – That Iran did not breach its agreement with the IAEA by not declaring its Natanz enrichment plant to the IAEA prior to its existence being “revealed” to the world by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) in August 2002.
- – That, under Article IV(1) of the NPT, Iran has a right to uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes providing it is under IAEA supervision.
- – That, in negotiations with Britain, France and Germany in 2005, a settlement could have been arrived at, a settlement with enhanced safeguards against the diversion of nuclear material for military purposes, had the EU states been prepared to accept that Iran has a right to enrichment on its own soil.
- – That in early 2005, according to the IAEA Director General at the time, there were “only a few remaining inspection issues” with regards to Iran.
- – That in an agreement, brokered by Turkey and Brazil in 2011, Iran agreed to swap nearly 50% of its stockpile of low enriched uranium for 20% enriched fuel for its Tehran Research Reactor, only for the US to block the implementation of this agreement.
- – That Iran could, if it wished, legitimately withdraw from the NPT and be free to develop nuclear weapons (like non-member Israel), legitimately because its near neighbour Israel has acquired a nuclear arsenal since Iran signed the NPT in 1968.
This does throw up a lot of questions. Is that a media led drumbeat of war I hear? Surely not…