The end of August has seen the deadline of the UN Security Council resolution on Iran pass. Iran has ignored the demand to suspend uranium enrichment for a civilian nuclear technology that it regards as its inalienable right under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not found a shred of evidence of a nuclear weapons programme after unprecedented inspections of Iran’s nuclear plants in the past three years.
Iran has not been found to be in breach of its NPT obligations.
According to the IAEA, there are 45 other countries, including members of the UN Security Council, who are in a similar position as Iran.
For all these countries, like Iran, the director general of the IAEA is not yet in a position to say that all their nuclear activities are peaceful.
Thus, the referral of Iran, under US pressure, to the UN Security Council by the IAEA governing board and the resolution against Iran have no foundation in international law.
The US is intent on constructing a legal pretext for a military attack on Iran.
It has created the absurd situation where the deadline for Iran to comply with the UN Security Council resolution has expired while its five permanent members and Germany are still studying Iran’s 23 page response to their incentive package.
Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief has said, “We have the need to analyse the document that they have given us as a reply to the package.’’
The truth is that Iran is simply exercising its legitimate rights for enrichment of uranium within the framework of a civilian nuclear programme.
In its 22 August response to the incentive package, Iran called for immediate negotiations. It is widely known to have offered to consider suspending its uranium enrichment during the negotiations, but not as a precondition for these negotiations to begin.
The world is now at the brink of an abyss. The spectre of another catastrophic military adventure by the US and its allies in the Middle East is haunting the international community.
Any kind of sanctions, as planned by the US and carried out by a new “coalition of the willing”, would be utterly ineffective in forcing Iran to suspend its enrichment activities.
As in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, such a move could lead to an illegal, pre-emptive military attack by the US or Israel against Iran, causing a conflagration in the Middle East.
The only alternative, which will ensure peace in the region, is for the US and its European allies to enter into immediate negotiations with Iran, without any pre-conditions.
A grand bargain which would establish legitimate security guarantees for Iran could also provide the assurances for Iran’s nuclear programme to remain peaceful.
This is the position of the overwhelming majority of the international community. Iran has the support of the 114 member Non-Aligned Movement.
Iran has also obtained the support of the 57 nations of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). In its foreign ministers’ council meeting in Baku in June this year it demanded negotiations with Iran without any precondition.
The international peace movement around the world should unite in opposing any kind of sanctions and calling on the US and western European countries to enter into immediate talks with Iran without any preconditions.
Don’t attack Iran meeting, 6.30pm, Tue 19 Sep, Room 101, University of London Union, Malet Street, London. Nearest tube Goodge Street. With Hans von Sponeck (former UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq), John Rees, Abbas Edalat and others. Organised by Action Iran and Casmii.
For more on the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran go to www.campaigniran.org/casmii
This article is copyright Casmii