(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 26, 2010
IT was a wait that lasted
The IAEA has certified
Bushehr Reactor is entirely for peaceful purposes. The
neo-conservatives in the
Even after the Russian
in to start work at Bushehr in 1998, there were considerable delays,
mainly by political pressure emanating from the West.
Speaking at the inaugural
Bushehr, the head of
As the Iranians were
opening of the Bushehr Plant, the Obama administration was working
A new US government report has listed 22 countries which continue to maintain strong economic links with Iran, despite the UN Security Council sanctions. The US and the EU have imposed more stringent sanctions than the ones already there in the June Security Council resolution. The US report singles out India as being the state that allows companies to do the most business with Iran. The other important countries that have been singled out for criticism in the report are Russia and China. The Indian external affairs minister, S M Krishna, had said the kind of sanctions the Obama administration wants the government to implement would have “a direct and adverse impact on Indian companies and more importantly on our energy security”.
Under American pressure, many Indian companies like Reliance, have already ceased operations in Iran. UN sanctions or American laws are not meant to be automatically obeyed by states. The Indian government’s decision to keep on talking with the Iranians on the gas pipeline deal seems to have irritated the Obama administration. There have been suggestions from Washington that India can give up its hopes of occupying a permanent seat in the UN Security Council if it continues to do business with Teheran. The new American sanctions law gives the American president the authority to open an investigation on the “basis of credible evidence” that a company is investing in Iran’s energy sector. Stuart Levey, the US treasury department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence and the pointman on Iran , said recently that “it is incumbent upon governments to put into place appropriate mechanisms” to implement the UN as well as the even more tougher US/EU sanctions, which prohibit investment in Iran’s oil and gas sectors.
It is unlikely that US arms-twisting will have a significant impact on the policies of important countries. Turkey, which along with Brazil, had made a concerted attempt to block the ill-conceived June UN Security Council resolution, has already conveyed to Washington, that it would not be adhering to the new sanctions regime unilaterally proclaimed by the Obama administration. Turkey in fact stepped in to sell 1.2 million barrels of gasoline to Iran in June. This was at a time when most other countries refused to sell refined petrol to Iran, fearful of repercussions from Washington. Due to sanctions imposed by the West, Iran is woefully lacking in refining capacity and hence the demand for refined petroleum products from other countries.
Meanwhile Iran, buoyed by the commissioning of the Bushehr reactor, has once again renewed its offer for talks on the basis of the “nuclear swap deal” it signed with Brazil and Turkey. Teheran has called on the Vienna Group to start talks expeditiously. The Vienna Group which consists of the US, Russia, France and the IAEA, has now approved of the Turkey-Brazil-Iran Declaration as a basis for negotiations. In the Declaration, Iran had offered to dispatch 2,500 kg of its 3.5 enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for the 20 per cent enriched uranium it would receive from the West to be used as fuel for a scientific reactor situated near Teheran. The US state department spokesman said in the last week of August that Washington is hopeful that talks between the P-5+1 which consists of the five permanent Security Council members along with Germany and Iran would start “in the next few weeks”.
But the “carrot and stick” policy being adopted by the West against Iran continues. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, beating the war drums, warned Teheran that a failure to reach a “credible agreement” on its nuclear program, would force “world powers to mobilise again” to defend the security of Iran’s neighbours. Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an American television network “that allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons is unacceptable” and that the US has contingency plans to attack the country at short notice. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khomeini once again reiterated in the third week of August that any talks with the US will only take place after Washington gives up “on sanctions and threats” against Teheran.