Iran – P5+1 Nuke Talks: No Rush, What’s the Fuzz about?

In-depth Report:

 The Iran – P5+1 nuclear talks in the Austrian capital Vienna will continue on expert level – again. Russian FM Lavrov would note that there was no need for an artificial deadline. US Secretary of State John Kerry rightfully noted that “we are closer than ever before, but”, and Iranian diplomats were as “optimistic” as they were ten years ago. One may recall media headlines from 10 years ago, announcing that a deal on Iran’s nuclear energy program and  the lifting of sanctions was as close as never before. So what is the fuzz about?

The geopolitics of the global nuclear nexus.

Anencephalic child. Anencephaly is strongly correlated to exposure to radioactive isotopes.

Anencephalic child. Anencephaly is strongly correlated to exposure to radioactive isotopes.

The United States. Countless reports by predominant U.S. American think tanks as well as declared U.S. military doctrine make it clear; The USA would, after the breakdown of the Soviet Union, aim at global, full-spectrum dominance. Of particular importance for the USA is the resource-rich underbelly of Russia and China and the Middle East that holds about one-third of known, recoverable oil and gas reserves.

Climate change, accessibility of resources in the Arctic and new discoveries of gas reserves in countries like Mozambique slightly change the parameters but they do not change general U.S. doctrine.

U.S. sanctions against Iran are part of the same destabilizing policies that have been used against Iraq. Moreover, U.S. negotiation strategy has generally aimed at demanding negative proof.

In the case of Iraq it was the demand to provide proof that there were no weapons of mass destruction. In the case of Iran it is the demand to provide proof that Iran does not have “intentions” to develop a nuclear weapons program.

Moreover, the United States is one of the world’s leading exporters in nuclear reactors, rivaled only by Russia and China, and to some degree France. Germany was a competitor in that market until Germany re-positioned its energy policy subsequent to the three catastrophic meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP in Japan.

Israel’s lobby in the United States is well-organized, well-financed, and has considerable influence over many, if not most U.S. Senators.  No deal is better than a bad deal would Israeli PM Netanyahu state, over and over again. One of the main functions of Israel’s policy is to distract from Israel’s nuclear program and its estimated 200+ nuclear warheads. Israeli and U.S. geopolitical goals are largely identical and also aim at a destabilization of Iran.

Russia, is still struggling to reassert its geopolitical position, including its position as exporter of nuclear technology. Latest Russian export contracts include Turkey, Egypt and India. Russia considers Iran as strategic depth. A destabilization of Iran would exacerbate the already volatile Caucasus and guarantee the spread of low-intensity conflicts and insurgencies along its “soft, resource-rich underbelly” as Pakistani Major (r) Agha H. Amin would call it.  Russia is however, neither interested in a nuclear armed Iran nor in Iran as long-term competitor in the nuclear energy market.

China, for its part, is not interested in an Iran that competes with its emerging nuclear energy nexus. China is investing heavily in the development of thorium reactor technology that is largely (and falsely) being touted as safe, friendly to the environment and so forth. China’s foreign policy on the Iran issue is largely consistent with that of Russia.

Iran, for its part, is stating that it has no nuclear weapons ambitions. The Israeli intelligence service Mossad, allegedly, concurs in that regard. So much to media for consumption in Russia, China and “the West (English). Reading Parsi media, however, reveals boasting statements about how latest Iranian missile technology could be used for nuclear weapons and deterrent against Israel. (National Guard).

Sanctions against Iran do, in fact, violate international law. Iran does also have the “right” to develop nuclear energy and it has, contrary to Israel, signed the non-proliferation treaty. One of the latest issues of contention is that Iran disallows the installation of CCTV cameras at the Araqchi heavy water reactorand inspections of military sites.

Araqchi. One of the primary differences between a water reactor like the General Electric Mach I reactors that exploded in Fukushima and a heavy water reactor is this:

One can change fuel assemblies while the reactor operates. Producing a surplus of plutonium “off the books” in a heavy water reactor becomes relatively easy. CCTV cameras can be circumvented by “looping” a recording. The entire debate “boils down” to trust, and it would be naive to assume that Iran would not have its own, at least regional geopolitical ambitions which do not exactly converge with those of Israel and the United States, or to a lesser extend Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc..

The omitted factors. Does anyone see the elephant in the room? What’s the fuzz all about?

What is being omitted from the discourse is that all of the negotiating parties largely subscribe to the IAEA. An organization that has the explicit purpose to “promote nuclear energy” while keeping the nuclear energy issue out of the hands of the World Health Organization WHO).

All geopolitical factors set aside, the non-issue is that all of the negotiating parties are part of the global nuclear energy nexus. There is as much competition as there is unanimity with regard to promoting nuclear energy.

When was the last time that you have been reading a headline about the inherent environmental and health risks associated with nuclear energy in any major media in the USA, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, France….

Questions about the presence of – contacts to Iranian anti-nuclear lobbies, styled to Iranian press agencies and to Iranian journalists who are touting themselves as independent remain unanswered. The great taboo.

How about a nuclear-skeptic movement in Russia? One has to look long and hard to find one. The once very active European anti-nuclear energy movement has fallen apart since the end of the cold war. The anti-nuclear energy lobby in the United States has likewise fallen apart and is largely being omitted by major U.S. media.

Human fallacy. Ignorance is not bliss.

The “talks” about Iran’s nuclear energy program could continue – forever. And forever may just be the key word. Try to recall how many years ago Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed were born? When were the pyramids of Egypt built? How did the geography of Asia Minor, Europe, Asia or Europe look during the last ice age, the little ice age or the medieval warm period?

Human beings are uniquely adapted to recognizing short-term patterns and changes but we have not evolved to comprehend the time spans that are required to safely dispose of nuclear waste. So far, non of the negotiating parties has even come close to solving the issue how to safely dispose of nuclear waste for a time period that our cognitive faculties would perceive as a vague construct like “forever”.

Adding a little measure of actual science is, of course, a difficult undertaking when an issue is being touted along sectarian divides, a clashes of civilization narrative, and so forth.

Without wanting to insult anybody, consider this. Whether Moses parted the Red Sea, whether Jesus arose from the dead, or whether Gabriel dictated the verses of the Koran to Mohammed is a question of belief. The detrimental impact of nuclear isotopes on the environment and health are measurable, quantifiable and well-documented.

Mako Oshidori_Tepco_Fukushima_japanReligious books are being promoted – studies about the detrimental impact of nuclear energy and weapons are not. Why? Journalists like Mako Oshidori in Japan, who covered the detrimental impact of radiation and isotopes on the Fukushima disaster clean-up workers are being intimidated and threatened.

To provide but one brief impression of what the consequences of the international nuclear nexus are one only has to look at the 400% above national average spike in anencephaly in the tri-county region around the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Washington State, USA.

Ukraine_Chernobyl_2_Apr 2015Parents in the regions of Iraq that were most heavily affected by the use of depleted uranium no longer ask if it is a boy or a girl but whether “it is normal or not”.

The Russian Federation has its very own pendant to Hanford, not to mention the currently ongoing brush and forest firesaround the crippled Chernobyl NPP in Ukraine. A Japanese study showed how cesium accumulated in forests and biomass around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi NPP.

Isotopes that were concentrated in the biomass around the crippled power plant become airborne again. The people who are living downwind of the forest fires in Ukraine – have they been warned to stay indoors, especially during and after rainfall?

Iran has, of course, the “right” to nuclear energy. But having the right to do something does not necessarily imply that it is a wise thing to do it – like shooting itself and its people in the foot like it has been done by its negotiation partners Russia, China, the UK, France and in part the EU in Vienna.

Articles by: Dr. Christof Lehmann

About the author:

Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at [email protected]

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