Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 18, 2007

IAEA: Iran Has No Nuke Program

Heathlander at Eurotrib, Professor Farideh Farhi at Juan Cole's blog and Jim Herring at Col. Pat Lang's place explain the content of the recent IAEA report (pfd) on Iran's nuclear energy program.

They conclude that the characterizing of that report in the 'western' mainstream media was severely distorting and did not reflect the central findings of the IAEA report.

These are:

  • IAEA inspections and information requests are continuing and Iran is cooperating and answering to such as it is obliged to do.
  • The inspections and investigations, done intrusively over years, have not unearthed any piece of evidence that the legitimate nuclear program Iran persues has any military aspect.
  • Iran is within its full contractual international legal obligations in persuing civil Uranium enrichment. It does do so and the process is under full IAEA control.

Still the above authors and the IAEA miss to highlight one aspect I find important.

The Supreme Leader of Iran, the eminent legal and religious authority of the country, in 2005 released a binding ruling (Fatwa) that pursuing any nuclear weapon program would be against the law and religious doctrine of Iran. The president of Iran has recently again confirmed this position.

These are serious declarations by state leaders which can not be simply withdrawn within the system they are operating in. There would have to be revolutionary events to make these statements obsolete. Such events are unlikely.

Posted by b on November 18, 2007 at 23:18 UTC | Permalink


I have seen this Fatwa mentioned a couple of times in the media, but only in passing, buried deep in a report and with no comment.

As I understand it, it is the acquisition of Weapons of Mass Immolation the ruling interdicts. How many major religious authorities have unequivocally even spoken out against the use of death weapons?

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Nov 19 2007 7:31 utc | 1

I agree with b, that the fatwa, coming as it does from the highest religious (and political!) authority has to carry exceptional weight. It isn't characteristic of this level of authority to issue such things capriciously. As by in comparison, to the president of the United States when he states emphatically "we do not torture". Which probably accounts for the skepticism here where ALL (and I mean ALL) such proclamations don't mean shit, including the constitution itself. If the U.S. had any sense (or integrity) and sought world opinion to its side on this issue, they would make a big deal over the fatwa and hold the Iranians accountable and frame it as a matter of world trust. But that would never happen, because it would probably work and its never really been about that anyway - as its always been about manufacturing mistrust, at the expense of cementing actual trust.

Posted by: anna missed | Nov 19 2007 8:30 utc | 2

I also suggest the site - great information.

Posted by: hass | Nov 19 2007 18:18 utc | 3

If there was an Iranian "fatwa" declaring that a nuclear attack on Israel is religiously OK, some parties would seize on that as evidence worthy of being taken at face value.

If there was a fatwa saying that nuclear bombs are NOT allowed, suddenly everyone acts suspicious of the fatwa.

Posted by: hass | Nov 19 2007 18:26 utc | 4

Laura Rozen at Mother Jones
Freedom's Watch Focus Groups War with Iran

Laura Sonnenmark is a focus group regular. (...)After joining a half dozen other women in a conference room, she found, to her surprise, that she had been called in to help some of the country's most prominent hawks test-market language that could be used to sell a war against Iran to the American public. "The whole basis of the whole thing was, 'we're going to go into Iran and what do we have to do to get you guys to along with it,'" Sonnenmark, 49, tells Mother Jones.

The client paying for the focus group session, according to Sonnemark, was Freedom's Watch, a high-powered, well-connected advocacy group that launched a $15 million ad campaign this summer in support of the surge of American troops in Iraq. Among the group's leadership: former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer and Bradley A. Blakeman, a former deputy assistant to President Bush. The focus group session suggests that Freedom's Watch may be looking beyond Iraq and expanding its mission to building support for military action against Iran.

Also at Mother Jones, for future reference since he keeps popping out of his cuckoo clock every chance he gets
The Amir Taheri Story

Posted by: Alamet | Nov 19 2007 23:41 utc | 5

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