The Nuclear Hypocrisy

The world was looking on Lausanne, a small city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. A significant deal was expected and the announced deadline was coming closer. Iran and the P5+1 group (the 5 permanent members of the security council of the UN: France, Britain, Russia and China as well as Germany) were aiming to sign a deal to rein in Tehran´s nuclear program, ending more than 12 years of confrontations and threats. Why is there a fear that Iran is trying to develop mass destructive weapons?  A brief explanation given by the New York Times:

“An atomic bomb can be made from two types of radioactive materials: uranium or plutonium. The talks aim at curbing Iran’s ability to turn these two elements into weapons. In each case, the manufacturing starts with uranium ore.

Uranium mined from the earth contains less than 1 percent of U-235, the isotope that can be used to fuel reactors and make bombs. Centrifuges are needed to separate the U-235 from the rest of the uranium, in a process called enrichment. The other fuel that can be used to make a bomb, plutonium, is made by irradiating uranium in a nuclear reactor. The process transforms some of the uranium into plutonium.”

Source: The New York Times http://nyti.ms/1NZtgPy

According to Iran, the accusations that its country has pursued a secret program to enrich uranium despite ratifing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1970 are false. President Hassan Rouhani has repeated in several occasions that their “great, self-sacrificing and unified nation” doesn´t need an atomic bomb. Reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) affirmed that Iran “has not been enriching uranium above a fissile concentration of 5 percent, far below the 90 percent level needed for atomic arms” and, that it “had not made any further advances to its activities at two enrichment facilities”. But heavy sanctions have been imposed on Theran that started in 1984 when the U.S. Department of State added Iran to the list of state sponsors of terrorism. If Cuba is removed from the list due to the current approach between Havana and Washington, only Iran, Sudan and Syria will remain.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Britain's FM Philip Hammond, Russian FM Sergei Lavrov, Iranian FM Javad Zarif, German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier, French FM Laurent Fabius, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Chinese FM Wang Yi. Vienna, Nov. 24,2014 Copyright: Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Britain’s FM Philip Hammond, Russian FM Sergei Lavrov, Iranian FM Javad Zarif, German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier, French FM Laurent Fabius, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Chinese FM Wang Yi.               Vienna, Nov. 24,2014. © Reuters

According to Reuters news agency, imposed sanctions by the U.S. and the EU “have choked off nearly 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian exports since early 2012, reducing its oil exports by 60 percent to around 1 million barrels a day”. No wonder that Tehran is demanding a total and imminent lift of economic sanctions to sign the agreement by June 30 and opposes gradual sanctions relief as suggested by the U.S.

Taking a look at the following chart and the video it´s quite difficult to comprehend why the country in Western Africa is for some world leaders like Israel´s PM Netanyahu an even “bigger threat than the Islamic State”.

world nuclear forcesAll international efforts that aim to guarantee world peace and destroy weapons should have our support, especially if we are talking about weapons of mass destruction like nuclear bombs. The eight days Lausanne “marathon” talks were a good step in the right direction and as well as the Minsk talks on the Ukraine war show us that diplomacy is always the best solution.

“They tell us: ‘We don’t want Iran to make atomic bombs’, you who have made atomic bombs.” Iran´s President Hassan Rouhani. ©AFP

But the hypocrisy of the world powers is enormous. How can countries that are in possesion of nuclear and atomic bombs point at another country and impose sanctions for allegedly developing something they already have even used, like in Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings in the Second World War?

It´s easier pointing at a common “enemy” and define it as a “world threat”.Talks will resume and hopefully an agreement will be reached. People all around the country celebrated on the streets after hearing that a framework agreement had been reached. The isolation from the international banking system has caused their currency to lose two-third of its value compared to the US dollar added to an inflation rise of 40% and a rise of fuel and basic foodstuff prices. They´re hoping a final agreement will help their economy to rise again and Lausanne gives them hope.

Benjamin Alvarez

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