May 25th, 2006


NPT, The Rules, and Who They Apply To

When a rule is laid out, that rule needs to apply to everyone equally. This is the cornerstone of a free society, but it's also key in international relationships. Iran, some time ago, signed on with the NPT, a treaty that forbids the development of nuclear weapons. However, the treaty also explicitly states that it is every nation's right to investigate nuclear technology for civilian purposes.

The Bush Administration and the International Community are trying to convince Iran that they should abandon their enrichment program. The concern, of course, is that the same infrastructure that would create fissible uranium for use in a nuclear reactor, when modified, could also create fissible uranium for use in a nuclear bomb. The levels of purification are quite different, and it is a non-trivial task to "scale up" to bomb-worthy production, but the fact of the matter is that it could be done. Inspectors have even discovered traces of uranium that was too pure for a reactor, but not pure enough for a bomb, which could be a first sign of potential trouble.

The US is at least making a show of diplomatic efforts, but I can tell you now that it is only a show. We are demanding that Iran cease enrichment efforts. Iran is guaranteed the right to enrich uranium under the NPT. They don't have to give it up. What we should be doing is working in conjunction with Iran to perform enrichment. Helping them build the facilities. Having a hand, a gentle, cooperative hand, in every step of the process. Inspectors at all levels, audits, etc.

Iran will not give up enrichment. They can't, because to do so would be to cower to the US. By generating a conflict with the US, they've taken advantage of the upswing in mistrust after our invasion of Iraq. Prior to that, the citizenry were extremely pro-USA. We lost some ground in Iran with the invasion of Iraq, and the power structure is capitalizing on that with FUD- Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. By pursuing a technology that is their right under international law, they put the world community in an awkward place, and most specifically, the USA. By making the USA the "bad guy" here, they're tightening a grip on a populace that they've never had a great hold on. If they cave to the US, then they lose all that ground, and they can't let that happen. Instead, they have to play a careful game of brinkmanship until the US takes a diplomatic action that allows them to come out the "victor" in the eyes of their people.

In conclusion: "Glass Parking Lot" people. That is not a euphemism for a nuclear attack. It is a euphemism for a nuclear attack in an area where the soil has a high degree of silicon-dioxide, which can be melted down into glass. This would mean sand, which implies a desert. Iran, while arid in places, is hardly a desert. You're already an idiot, but don't expand on that idiocy with poor geography.