Monthly Archives: August 2007

More On IAEA-Iran Agreement – Pu Question Resolved?

Following up on “this post”:, it looks like the IAEA and Iran have agreed to resolve each of the various outstanding issues in phases. Although there is a timetable of sorts, it appears as though Tehran is insisting that the agency resolve each question completely before Iran fully cooperates with the IAEA on other outstanding matters.

The questions concerning Tehran’s past plutonium experiments are a good example.

First, a brief aside: the document seems to make some news, asserting that the IAEA has resolved its outstanding concerns:

bq. In order to conclude and close the file of the issue of plutonium (Pu), the Agency provided Iran with the remaining questions on 23 July 2007. During a meeting in Iran between representatives of the Agency and Iran, Iran provided clarifications to the Agency that helped to explain the remaining questions. In addition, on 7 August 2007, Iran sent a letter to the Agency providing additional clarifications to some of the questions. On *20 August 2007 the Agency stated that earlier statements made by Iran are consistent with the Agency’s findings, and thus this matter is resolved.*

The document goes on to say that this resolution “will be communicated officially by the Agency to Iran through a letter.”

Second, the next portion of the agreement has a timetable for Tehran and the IAEA to resolve the outstanding issues concerning its P-1 and P-2 centrifuges. But Iran’s adherence to that timeline

bq. assumes that the Agency *announces the closure of the Pu-experiments outstanding issue by 31 August 2007, and its subsequent reporting in the Director General’s report to the September 2007 Board of Governors.*

This whole deal sounds really complicated, but maybe it’s a way for the world to find out WTF Iran has been up to.

I would point out, though, that Tehran’s adherence to its additional protocol would make the world feel a lot better because it would deal with _current_ enrichment-related R&D.


_AFP_ reports that the IAEA and Iran are on the same page RE: the plutonium issue:

bq. A UN official told AFP the *document reflected both the IAEA’s and Iran’s views* and that the question of whether Iran had experimented with plutonium more recently than it had stated and that there was plutonium unaccounted for had been resolved.

Text of IAEA-Iran Agreement

The IAEA has “released the text”: of the “work plan agreed between Iran and the IAEA.”

I love the title:

bq. Understandings of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA on the Modalities of Resolution of the Outstanding Issues.

Details later.

[ Thanks to _AL_ for the tip. ]


I should point out that the “agreement” is actually a document that Iran sent to the IAEA for circulation. The agency’s interpretation of the agreement may differ.

I Am Weak

Ms. “Oliver and I”: correctly “notes”: that she finished a “63-mile bike ride”: yesterday. As some of you may recall, it was a bit hot – a condition which caused me to drop out at mile 50. I need to get in better shape.

Light Blogging For A While Longer

I am back, but trying to figure out WTF I’m doing in my new job. So this blog will suck some more for a bit. Sorry.

Meantime, Dan Horner has a great story in _Nuclear Fuel_ (sub. req., sorry) about the US-India 123 agreement. After providing a lot of good details, he concludes by saying that the agreement itself may be irrelevant:

But the House aide said the specific provisions of the 123 agreement may turn out to be relatively unimportant. The
“great prize” for India is “unlocking” the Nuclear Suppliers
Group, he said, and the 123 agreement is important because
NSG members said they would not take up India’s case until
the bilateral pact had been negotiated. But once New Delhi
secures the NSG’s approval to trade with the group’s members,
India is more likely to turn to Russia or France for its
nuclear needs, because those countries do not have national
legislation that imposes all the requirements the US Atomic
Energy Act does, the aide said.

Another colleague also pointed this out to me not long after the 123 agreement was concluded. He added that the provisions that, at least in principle, allow India to conduct long-term reprocessing could also help pave the way for New Delhi to get similar concessions from other countries.

Here’s one of Boston’s finest to keep you entertained…

San Fran Blogging

If I weren’t in SF, I would write something more in-depth. (I go on vacation and all QC suffers. Sorry.)

Anyway, this is just an exercise in correcting the record…Michael Cohen “wrote on”: Democracy Arsenal that

bq. Saddam kicked out UN inspectors in 1997 and prevented them from doing their job for more than 5 years.

Actually, the UN withdrew the inspectors in 1998 after Iraq stopped cooperating with them.

bq. It wasn’t just the US that believed Saddam had WMD. Read the UNSCOM reports, they make clear that the United Nations believed Iraq was not being honest about its WMD programs.

The UN certainly detailed the various ways in which Iraq had failed to account for all of its past WMD programs. That’s not the same as saying Iraq had them.

The UN Security Council voted 15-0 in 2002 that Iraq was in “material breach” of UN resolutions regarding their WMD program. Moreover, the Council warned of “serious consequences” for continued Iraqi recalcitrance. (Read the UN resolution here).

So the UN Security Council did in fact determine that their [sic] was a “defensible case” for war in Iraq – it wasn’t just Will Marshall.

Bzzzt. The resolution made it clear that the Security Council wanted to convene again to decide if force should be used. Here are two of the relevant paragraphs from the resolution:

12. Decides to convene immediately upon receipt of a report in accordance with paragraphs 4 or 11 above, in order *to consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all of the relevant Council resolutions in order to secure international peace and security;*

13. Recalls, in that context, that the Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations;

Moreover, there was still a serious debate regarding the proper interpretation of the resolution, even after its adoption. Read “this piece”: I wrote back in the day.

In any case, the notion that the UNSC “determine[d] that their [sic] was a ‘defensible case’ for war in Iraq” is utterly wrong.

Clinton, Obama And Nukes

I don’t want to get into the 2K8 race dynamics, but “this”: reminded me that, after “the recent Clinton-Obama nuclear flap”: I thought that someone should ask the candidates if they think it is _ever_ appropriate to use nuclear weapons against NNWS or non-state actors. That might help prevent candidates from using the “take nothing off the table” dodge.

M Whelan on the FoPo Community

My friend (a FoKerr) and former co-worker Moira Whelan has a “good post”: [via “Atrios”: ] about blogging and the US FoPo Community. It reflects some of my own frustrations with that community, but I’ll spare you those details for now.

That said, I should have mentioned “in this post”: that, based on my impression (which is itself based on very casual empiricism), the progressive blogging community also could and should have said a lot more about the US-India nuclear deal. (That’s not a slam on Democracy Arsenal; I don’t know what, if anything, those folks said about the deal.)

N Burns on Khan Network

During Mark Hibbs’ presentation at the Carnegie conference, he was asked about the status of the Khan network.

According to my “summary,”: he said:

bq. *The network is still operating, or at least something like it.* When asked by Joe if the proliferation networks out there are the same as the Khan network, *Hibbs pointed out that the network members disappear and reappear, change the companies’ names, etc.* Even if they’re convicted, business people can later go underground and restart their enterprises.

Anyway, Nick Burns supplied some more information about the network’s status during a 25 July hearing before the SFRC.

Senator Isakson asked about the network’s status:

bq. Do you have reason to believe that the remnants of that network of nuclear proliferation still exist?

To which Burns replied:

bq. That’s a very good question. *I cannot assert that no part of that network exists, but it’s my understanding based on our conversations with the Pakistanis that the network has been fundamentally dismantled.* But *to say that there are no elements in Pakistan, I’m not sure I could say that.*

Senator Casey also asked about the matter. Burns essentially said that we are, at least in large measure, relying on the Pakistanis to keep Khan in his box, so to speak:

bq. *we have made it a point to tell the Pakistani government it’s their responsibility to have fully dismantled the network and to keep it dismantled* — and any similar networks — their responsibility.

But he also acknowledged that

bq. as I understand it, *we haven’t had the type of personal, consistent access [to Khan] that otherwise might have been — would have been of interest to us.* But again, I don’t have all the details of everything we’ve done, and some of it may be better conveyed to you in classified form as well.

Casey also asked about the most recent US-Paksitani conversation about the matter:

CASEY: …are you aware of any engagement recently, say, in the last six months?

MR. BURNS: I will get you an answer on that, to that question.

I’d also be interested in the answer to that question.

India 123 Agreement Text

I haven’t gone through it in much detail yet, mainly because I don’t want to spoil my vacation. But “here it is”: in all its horror. The whole thing is in comments. [Via “Lacacis.”: ]

Here’s a fun game – do a search for the word “test” and see what you find. Yeah.

Daryl Kimball and Fred McGoldrick expressed their thoughts on the agreement “here.”: Essentially, India got the store.

I’m glad they pointed out that India’s record regarding even its past meager non-pro commitments has been pretty poor:

bq. India has been outside the international nuclear mainstream since it *violated the peaceful use commitments it made to Canada and U.S. by using a Canadian-supplied reactor and U.S.-supplied heavy water to conduct its 1974 nuclear bomb test,* refused to sign the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and conducted additional nuclear tests in 1998.

Lastly, I would just like to add something to what Matt Yglesias/Steve Clemons “said”: (“via Atrios.”: The pre-war performance of a lot of the DC FoPo establishment Iraq debacle was obviously horrible, but the US-India deal is also a prime example of that establishment being pretty pathetic…more Prominent People and Organizations could have said and done a lot more to raise awareness about this catastrophe but didn’t.

One anecdote: I know for a fact that one Important Foreign Policy Dude, just days after defending the nuclear deal on television, said at an off-the-record event that the deal would put a serious hurt on the NPT.

To the river…


FAS has “some analysis here.”: