Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 07, 2013

Arabs Join Iran In Fight For "Inalienable Rights"

Iran's Khamenei does not yet trust the "west" on the nuclear negotiations:
"Western nations did not accomplish anything that can be construed as a concession, and instead they admitted Iran's rights only to a degree," Khamenei said in an address reported on his official website.

"To assess their integrity, we must wait until the next round of talks," he added.

For Iran it is all about the right to nuclear research and production which is an "inalienable right" under the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty but which the "west" wants to unilaterally restrict without renegotiating the treaty.

Khamenei's quest for Iran's right now gets support from a rather unsuspected direction. The states at the other side of the Persian Gulf also need nuclear energy to provide for their growing populations. The UAE and Jordan want to build nuclear reactors in their countries and are cooperating. The UAE has money from oil and gas while Jordan has little money and no oil and gas but has nuclear engineers and some other valuable stuff: Uranium. Jordan naturally wants to use and enrich its Uranium to feed its reactors and to pay back for the loans the UAE will put forward. The U.S. wants to block that. Here is Jordan's reaction:

Amman has declined to sign an accord with Washington that, like a similar document agreed between the UAE and the United States, would commit it to not enriching uranium as part of its nuclear plan.

Toukan said while Amman had signed international commitments on nuclear nonproliferation, it would not ink a bilateral deal with the United States on enrichment.

“We can’t accept this,” [Khaled] Toukan[, chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission,] said. “We will not agree to sign any agreement that infringes on our sovereign rights or our international rights under any treaties.”

Jordan has the same stand on their rights under the NPT that Iran has. The UAE, if it wants its loans paid back by Jordan, will likely have to support that right. The Saudis want to build 16 nuclear reactors. Probably not coincidentally that is the breakeven number where fuel production by local enrichment is cheaper than buying fuel from the U.S., European, Russian oligopoly. The U.S. will try to divert the Saudis from enrichment, but while it has the ability to apply pressure against Jordan it has less so with the Saudis.

The situation now coming into view is the Arab Gulf countries haggling with the U.S. over their right to enrich just as Iran has been doing for the last decade. That is a great chance for an alliance against the U.S. plans of changing the rules under the NPT.

The U.S. "concerns" about enrichment are anyway not so much about nuclear proliferation. Plutonium, not Uranium, is the way to go for a bomb. But the U.S. has commercial reasons to keep the technology under its control. Reactors and their fuel are expensive stuff which is what the U.S. wants to sell:

Washington also wants the accord because it would open up opportunities for U.S. companies, which Jordan would otherwise be forbidden from hiring.
Iran would be well advised to talk to the Arab countries about their enrichment plans. It has the technology and know how to help them along their way. Cooperation on their nuclear development would help with otherwise sometimes frosty relations and would be good business for both sides. The issue of "inalienable rights" to nuclear technology and its use is a good starting point for such talks.

Posted by b on March 7, 2013 at 18:46 UTC | Permalink


"Iran would be well advised to talk to the Arab countries about their enrichment plans..."

It's not Iran, but the "Arab" countries that are the stumbling point. Iran has been open to cooperation with its neighbors all along, but unfortunately, Iran's neighbors have a "higher calling" to follow what the west does. Which means no cooperation with Iran, only sanctions, regime change, and war.

Posted by: вот так | Mar 7 2013 19:03 utc | 1

These are interesting possibilities. Unfortunately, I don't think that Jordan has sufficient independence from the US, Israel and the Gulf emirates to pursue what could be in its own national interests. Of course, Israel would have to give its permission which it won't. And if Israel is defied on this they will just blow up any plant that Jordan tries to build.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 7 2013 22:29 utc | 2

I entirely agree with you. Iran should offer unconditional support and provide unrestricted technical assistance to ANY Arab country - regardless of whether Iran has political disagreements with it's leadership - in order to establish an extensive nuclear electricity grid in the Middle East. Even if the individual Arab countries come under pressure not to collaborate with Iran, this will provide them with leverage to get more "stuff" from US thus Iran would be helping them regardless of the outcome.

Posted by: Amir | Mar 7 2013 23:13 utc | 3

Almaty Negotiations: Result of Iran - US War of Strategic Calculations
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Mahdi Mohammadi
Expert on Strategic Issues

a good analysis and a better question by Mr. Mohammadi

“That equation was reversed in Almaty. While everybody expected Iran to first change its strategic calculations and then its proposal, it was the West which finally changed its proposal. If Robert Gates’ formula which states that proposals do not change unless calculations change, is taken to be correct, it follows that the change in the P5+1’s proposal in Almaty has been made possible through a change in the group’s strategic calculations. This means that in a matter of almost a year since the two sides negotiated in the Iraqi capital, Bagdad, Iran has been able to change the United States’ strategic calculations as a result of which the change in the West’s proposal followed.”

“They expected Iran to change, but in practice, it was the United States which changed. I believe that an important mental shift has occurred in the minds of the US statesmen about the definition of a nuclear Iran. As a result of that change, the definition of the red line which should not be crossed by Iran, and the definition of “Iran's nuclear energy program” in a way that the United States would be able to accept it in a face-saving manner, have also changed. The only reason which caused the Baghdad proposal to change in Almaty was a change in the strategic calculations of the United States during the past year.”

“What are Washington’s new calculations? Will such a change in calculation and proposal be translated into a parallel change in policies? These are major questions which will not be answered here. However, until the second round of negotiations [between Iran and the P5+1 group are held] in Almaty, these questions will continue to occupy the curious minds of those who want to know whether the United States is serious about the new process or not.”

Posted by: kooshy | Mar 8 2013 2:45 utc | 4


Your logic is flawless, unfortunately, this is not about rights. This is about control, and the only threat is anything that undermines that control.

Posted by: OAB | Mar 8 2013 4:44 utc | 5

While other Arabs ... seize U.N. peacekeepers near Golan Heights.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 8 2013 6:23 utc | 6

Hans Blix agrees: Link

Posted by: biklett | Mar 8 2013 9:19 utc | 7

Arab League gives go ahead to arm Syria rebels

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 8 2013 9:29 utc | 8

A couple of thoughts. Iran can only improve their lot by being magnanimous towards the US, till we overcome our madness. That totally explains Ahmadinejad's funny smirk all the time.

The other relates to something I seized upon about 8 months ago. Richard Haass accidentally said, "Saudi Arabia has nukes" meaning either Pakistan or Iran, my memory fades. But, his saying that prompted me to realize that if Saudi Arabia has nukes, we wouldn't say squat. It wouldn't benefit the Saudis to publicly admit to having nuclear power, or nuclear weapons. We would know, the Israelis would know, as would all the powers of interest in the region; but it wouldn't help any of them to try to vilify the Saudis; no one's ready for that fight, the oil price spikes that would cause.

I wouldn't dismiss Jordan getting nuclear power. We gave nuclear power to the Shah of Iran in the 70's. King Abdullah holds some clout in suppressing his people, he could demand some assistance, though his program would certainly be open to American scrutiny. We would indeed do this for the same reasons we do so many tech transfers, to benefit our industries. And, I don't see much wrong with that. How the programs are run may well be problematic, but the programs in their essence, like free trade and so many other things is a good policy tool.

Posted by: scottindallas | Mar 8 2013 15:53 utc | 9

Forget about Nuclear in Jordan. The midget king of Jordan will be the next victim of the Zionist spring. Jordan must be destroyed. The Zionist sharks will never stop.

Sadly, most Palestinians living in Jordan & Syria have fell for this Zionist trap. Oh Well, the Palestinians always seem to choose the wrong side. When will they learn? Maybe, the Qatar money & the muslim brotherhood was more profitable than Damascus-Tehran-Hizballah axis.

Posted by: Hilmi Hakim | Mar 8 2013 16:42 utc | 10

biklet @ 7 -- Uh oh. Since Hans Blix was correct about Iraq not having WMD, I figure the War Party in the US (of which Obomber is a member...?) will ignore any intelligence which does not fit their plans to control Iran.

Amazingly, those who were dead wrong about Iraq are still considered Very Serious People in Washington and the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media). Those were right are still ignored or given small notice.

Same with economic advisers.

And the US Supreme Court under John Roberts sees corporations as more worthy of personhood and rights than actual people....

It's one crazy world right now. And in the US it's a rich man's game.

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 8 2013 22:35 utc | 11

Hi b,

Thoughtfull post, but the region's name is the Persian Gulf.

Posted by: masoud | Mar 9 2013 2:35 utc | 12

China is building nuclear power plants like there was no tomorrow.

This interactive map from the New Scientist shows all nuke plants by place, type, production. Incl. those under construction.

As is evident, they are all over the developed world. Africa is not even listed.

Some oil or fossil fuel rich countries - like Iran, Nigeria, KSA, are supposed to burn (waste) and export and not attempt other means of energy production.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 9 2013 20:50 utc | 13

The comments to this entry are closed.