Featured image: Tero Varjoranta
Almost universally missing from the UK’s mainstream media coverage of the current Iran crisis is the fact that the UN’s most senior nuclear inspector has unexpectedly ‘resigned.’
AP News 12/05/18: The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog says its top inspector has quit with immediate effect, just as the agency’s work in Iran is once again in focus. The International Atomic Energy Agency didn’t give a reason for the sudden resignation of Tero Varjoranta, stating Saturday that it doesn’t comment on confidential personnel matters. The move comes just days after U.S. President Donald Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord designed to keep Tehran’s atomic weapons program in check.
The significance of this resignation is historical.
It is uncanny just how short the collective memory of political leaders and the mainstream media really is. Iraq was invaded in 2003 by America followed largely by an allied force whose membership was made up of the sycophantic, frightened or coerced.
With Iran, like Iraq, there are some striking features that come from a well-used playbook and the resignation of the most senior weapons inspector to Iran confirms what America wants next.
Like Iraq in 2003, Iran is now being propagandised as a foe with weapons of unimaginable destruction even though they don’t exist.
Like Iraq, international weapons inspectors have continually countered the false claims of America that they exist.
Like Iraq, America’s allies in Europe have continually supported those weapons inspectors as we have recently witnessed.
Like Iraq, France and Germany have specifically warned America in no uncertain terms that inflaming Iran would ignite the Middle East into total chaos.
Like Iraq, America is once again pursuing a policy of confrontation.
Like Iraq, America has sought to discredit the same weapons inspection teams.
Like Iraq, the most senior nuclear weapons inspector was forced to resign.
And Like Iraq, just some of the individuals responsible for setting the Mid-East up in flames first time around was the fake news and propaganda fest created by Benjamin Netanyahu and John Bolton. It was unquestioningly swallowed whole by the Western media. Clearly, nothing has changed. Same two warmongers, same media.
One year before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Israeli government was distrustful of America’s confrontational and aggressive stance. Today, the Israeli government is aggressively lobbying for exactly that – confrontation. Like today, in 2002, Netanyahu was at the centre of creating the invasion of a neighbour.
“There is no question whatsoever that Saddam is seeking and is working and is advancing towards the development of nuclear weapons – no question whatsoever,” Netanyahu, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on September 12, 2002. “And there is no question that once he acquires it, history shifts immediately.”
Today, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel has evidence Iranian officials were “brazenly lying” when they said Iran wasn’t pursuing nuclear weapons and that the Islamic republic is keeping an “atomic archive” at a secret compound. This is in total and repeated contradiction to the weapons and nuclear facility inspectors own reports, who are fully supported by the EU, Russia and China.
John Bolton advocated for another U.S. invasion of Iraq, following the first Gulf War, as far back as the 1990s, when he called on President Clinton to oust Saddam Hussein. Later, as Undersecretary of State for arms control, during President George W. Bush’s first term in office, he told the BBC the U.S. was “confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and production facilities in Iraq.”
Today, says John Bolton,
“Iran had never made a strategic decision to give up its nuclear weapons programme” and then went further to say that Iran’s “ballistic missile program, which continued essentially unchecked, was proof that what they were seeking was delivery systems for the nuclear weapons”
And with some irony Bolton accuses Iran of being the “world’s central banker of international terrorism”, and causing “conventional hostilities across the region.”
Mohamed ElBaradei (image on the right) was the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an intergovernmental organization under the auspices of the United Nations, from 1997 to 2009. He and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. ElBaradei learned that the Bush administration was trying to deny him a third term as head of the Agency in 2003. In its effort to find incriminating information, the United States even tapped ElBaradei’s phone. That effort’s ringleader was none other than – John Bolton.
José Maurício Bustani is a Brazilian diplomat who was the first director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) until he was ousted after falling out with the US government in April 2002 over exactly the same story – WMD in Iraq. It was the first time in history that the head of a major international organization was removed during his/her term of office. Testimony has since emerged that Bustani was removed because he would have “placed a formidable obstacle in the path of the Bush administration’s war plans, by removing their ostensible motive.”
Bustani had a visitor in his office in the Hague who threatened:
“If you don’t there will be consequences, there will be retaliation – we know where your kids are.”
That visitor was – John Bolton.
Tero Varjoranta is a Finnish diplomat who started working as Deputy Director General of the IAEA and Head of the agency’s Inspection and Supervision Department. He had 30 years experience in the industry. He stepped down three days after Donald Trump’s Iran withdrawal announcement. One wonders if Varjoranta has suffered a visit from Bolton too.
On March 5 2003, Germany, France, and Russia issued a joint statement declaring that they “resolutely support Messrs Blix (head of the IAEA) and El Baradei.”
“In these circumstances, we will not let a proposed resolution pass that would authorise the use of force,” said the joint statement.
On March 17, in a primetime speech, George W. Bush told the American people that the inspectors had been “systematically deceived.”
American intelligence, he insisted, “leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”
Much of that intelligence came from Israel’s Netanyahu.
Two days later, America invaded Iraq.
The pretext for war with Iran is coming – we just haven’t been told what it is yet – but it’s coming. Will the EU’s resolve stand firm this time around?