|Ambassador John Bolton – Pressing Reality: Iran Getting Closer to a Nuclear Weapon|
|Sunday, 03 June 2012 12:09|
Washington, May 30, 2012 - In my career as a congressman we would periodically, our office would have to contact somebody over at the State Department. When you wanted to talk to somebody over there in charge for a particular area with a particular country you ask for that desk. You say I'd like to speak to so-and-so on the Canadian desk or Afghan desk.
I used to tell my staff, call over there and ask for somebody on the American desk. And they would say, American desk, there is no American desk. That's the problem. There is a problem.
Some of the very perverse things that come out of the State Department, some of the stuff that seems counterintuitive I never been able to understand it. They also seem incredibly intransigent. And I have the same feelings oftentimes about the United Nations.
Now, our next speaker is someone who can perhaps explain the illogical actions taken by both organizations. Since he served in the belly of both of those beasts. Diplomat lawyer. Spent many years in Public Service  August 2005. U.S. Permanent Representative of United Nations, 2001 to 2005. He was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control International Security. Ambassador Bolton is currently a foreign and national security policy senior fellow in the American Enterprise Institute and his Op Ed articles are regularly featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Times. John Bolton. (Applause.)
MR. BOLTON: Thank you very much. I'm going to decline Tom Tancredo's challenge because there isn't enough time to explain it all. But thank you very much for the invitation to be here today. Thank all of you for coming out and thank all of my fellow panelists for being here as well.
I wanted to touch briefly today on the situation with Iran nuclear weapons program because while we quite rightly focus on the plight of the people at Camp Ashraf and focus on the larger fate of getting refugee status and getting out of Iraq and developments in Iran broadly, I think with respect to the nuclear weapons program we could be coming to a very, very critical point. This has to do not with political or diplomatic hype or spin or speculation. It has to do with the physics and the physics have to do with the continued progress the regime is making toward its long sought objective of a deliverable nuclear weapons capability.
Now it's in connection with the regime's nuclear weapons program I first saw the work that they were doing, the MeK, exposing to the world information about the illicit activity. The activity by the regime that violated their commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Violated their agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Violated the comments that routinely made publicly that their only purpose in pursuing nuclear related research was for civil power purposes and as the evidence accumulated over the years, what I saw that was classified when I was at the State Department often had a chance to compare with what the MeK was releasing 4 publicly and it was really remarkable.
The coincidence of accuracy between what the MeK said publicly and what we knew privately and while there were good and sufficient reasons why the U.S. Government didn't disclose much of this sensitive information, I have to say I was uniformly happy what the MeK did to show how serious this problem is.
You know, people like myself and government can talk about the threat of nuclear proliferation, it sounds very abstract. When you think about it, it's been 50 years since we have had an atmospheric nuclear test.
When I speak to college students and talk about the threat of nuclear proliferation, to them a nuclear explosion is some grainy black and white TV footage  the late '40's or '50's. It's like a different world to them.
I'm not suggesting we resume atmospheric testing for educational purposes, but I'm saying that the reality of nuclear threats is something that's a little bit distant  people's experience.
So to have information about the regime's activities made public I felt was very important. And I think what we're seeing right now is that this 20-year long effort by the regime is getting perilously close to success.
We have had just in the past week yet another report by the International Atomic Energy Agencies based on information that the IAEA has, it's essentially public information. Not based on anything we don't know about. But based on what they see publicly there's already a sufficient stock of low-enriched uranium for the regime to fashion into five or more nuclear devices with a little bit more work the enrichment process.
We had seen, despite all the hype and hoopla about the stuxnet virus and now the flame virus. And I'm in favor of all these viruses. But production rates at Natanz and Fordow facility are now double or triple what their previous high levels were.
The production of enriched uranium, anyone that knows anything about nuclear weapons is the long 6 pole in the tent toward developing weaponization capability are proceeding essentially unhindered. New generations of centrifuges much more efficient with much greater capacity prepared to be introduced. And this progress of building a broad and deep nuclear infrastructure continues.
And in the meantime, while this work proceeds right in front of us, the United States as it has for 20 years is still trying to find ways to negotiate with this regime.
This is a faith that goes beyond religious faith. You can't find empirical reality that justifies the continuation of this negotiation. There simply isn't any evidence for it. Let's look at the current round.
With great fanfare and the five permanent members and Germany met with regime negotiators in Istanbul and had several days of negotiations.
When they finished they declared it was a great success. Much progress made. What was the tangible outcome? They agreed to meet five weeks later in Baghdad. Well let's pop the champagne.
Diplomacy is the only profession on earth where success is defined as having another meeting. Where was that meeting? Baghdad of all places. My goodness, an interesting selection.
So we go to Baghdad and we hear reports that the IAEA is close to reaching agreement over access to the Parchin facility, an armor artillery missile base where the regime has undoubtedly been testing the high explosive component critical to weaponization to taking the enriched uranium with plutonium in the pit of a nuclear weapon, compressing it into critical mass and creating the uncontrolled chain reaction that the nuclear weapon is designed for.
And negotiations at Baghdad then come after this happy news  the IAEA. Of course there's no signed agreement.
Yeah, there are still a few issues unresolved but it's good news. You can count on that.
So the negotiators come to Baghdad. They have two days of negotiation. What do they agree to? They agree to meet again. It's another success. Four weeks later in Moscow. Except this time we find by reports in New York Times -- and you know the New York Times is always right -- but the New York Times reports, this is their word, a frenzy of activities at the end because they couldn't agree on the next city.
They finally compromised on Moscow. (Applause.)
MR. BOLTON: Maybe the fourth meeting will be in Tehran.
What is this doing? Once again buying time for the regime to make progress toward nuclear weapons. Time is not a neutral factor in diplomatic negotiations. Those negotiations are like all other forms of human activity. Cost and benefits. And the cost of negotiation is the time Iran gets to continue to move toward that objective.
People talk about the effective sanctions as having a coercive impact on Iran. The director of national intelligence, the Obama administration's own appointee testified to Congress two months ago that all of the existing sanctions had no affect on Iran's behavior or policy in the nuclear field.
The new sanctions we see coming into effect this summer may have an economic impact but there's simply no evidence they've done anything to slow down the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
In fact, if anything all of the attention to the sanctions, to Stuxnet and flame, to other covert activities against the program simply divert us  the pressing reality that they are getting closer and closer to their objective. Without even knowing whether there are activities inside Iran, inside North Korea, inside Syria we don't know about.
Now, it may be that there will be military action against these facilities. This is a very unfortunate outcome. But one that's predictable given that the threat that the nuclear weapons in the hands of that regime would have
I think the answer here is that this has to be coupled by a declared policy of the United States Government and our friends in Europe. That not only are we opposed to this regime having nuclear weapons, we are opposed to this regime period and it needs to be over thrown. Thank you very much
Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites