Jeffrey LewisIran News Online

Some of you may be regular readers of Managing the Atom’s Iran News—a daily e-mail compilation of news stories related to Iran and the nuclear fuel cycle.

We’ve moved the service online, supplemented by a weekly e-mail summary.

The site focuses on providing short news summaries and the odd opinion piece.

The whole thing was developed by Greg Broquard at hexive. Greg will be treated to a very nice dinner when he visits Boston.


  1. Hass (History)


    “By threaning to nuke Iran, not only has Bush committed a crime under international law for which he must be held accountable, but he’s violated Security Council Resolution 984, which states:

    ”[I]n case of aggression with nuclear weapons or the threat of such aggression against a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, any State may bring the matter immediately to the attention of the Security Council to enable the Council to take urgent action to provide assistance, in accordance with the Charter, to the State victim of an act of, or object of a threat of, such aggression; and recognizes also that the nuclear-weapon State permanent members of the Security Council will bring the matter immediately to the attention of the Council and seek Council action to provide, in accordance with the Charter, the necessary assistance to the State victim”

    Iran, acting along with other members of the international community who are concerned about Bush’s insanity, should immediately demand that the UN Security Council implement this provision of Resolution 984. Some may complain that since the US is a veto-wielding Permanent Member of the Security Council, Iran’s complaint will not result in a condemnation. Even so, Iran should force the Council to take sides on the issue of nuclear first strikes. If the Council fails to act, it will only discredit itself, along with any future resolutions it may pass against Iran. Invoking Resolution 984 will also put the Bush administration’s blatant nuclear hypocricy on open display.

  2. John Field (History)

    I think so too.

    By 2050, it seems nuclear energy is going to supply 20%+ or the world’s energy. That works out to something like 100 million SWU depending on the assumptions and no breeder cycle. So, we start brandishing the nukes at Iran over 120,000 SWU? The world needs to demand a more progressive attitude on the part of the US.

  3. J (History)

    I’m sorry, but anonymous quotes from background sources in a magazine article do not comprise a “threat” as UNSCR 984 would define that term.

  4. Haninah

    I agree with J; I’m as worried as anyone about the situation, but let’s not get carried away. There has been no official threat of nuclear attack. The official expressions of the US government to this point can at best be described as strategically ambiguous (and at worst as pointlessly blustery, but that’s another matter).

  5. Ali

    When Bush is asked about the possibility of using nukes against Iran, and he says that All Options are on the Table – That is a nuclear attack threat, plain and simple.

  6. Yale Simkin (History)

    John Field wrote:
    “By 2050, it seems nuclear energy is going to supply 20%+ or the world’s energy.”

    That does not seem likely. Atomic energy supplies only 6% of CURRENT energy consumption. That is the equivalent of ~360 one gigawatt reactors.

    The D.O.E. reference case forecast for 2025 energy consumption requires an additional 1,400 reactors for 20% of supply. A multibillion dollar reactor must be started every 3.5 days just to reach that level.

    If DOE’s 2%/year energy growth is extended to 2050, then 2,900 reactors must be built, along with all the associated fuel cycle components, costing trillions of dollars, and flooding the world in a sea of fissiles.


  7. Max Postman (History)

    Ali and Haninah-

    I think this is an interesting issue, and I think the right answer lies somewhere between your two points. On one hand, it seems to me that in accordance with the NPT the Bush administration ought to have foresworn the use of nuclear weapons against Iran, since that state is at least formally a party to the NPT. However, before we send this apparent US violation of the NPT to the security council, I think there are two important mitigating factors that need to be considered.

    1) Contrary to what Ali says, I do think there is a substantive difference between declaring one’s specific intent to use nuclear weapons and, on the other hand, stating that, “I may use any option a through z.” This is not to say that Bush’s “all options” rhetoric is necesarily NPT-compliant. The point, rather, is that we shouldn’t blur the distinction between an explicit threat and a refusal to take an option off the table.

    2) Iran’s status as a party to NPT, and their entitlement to the protections granted therein, is somewhat dubious. Lets remember that both the Iranian government and the head of the IAEA are on record saying that Iran has attempted to deceive the agency. This is a situation similar to that faced by Israel w/r/t to the Iraqi nuclear program in the 70s and early 80s. On one hand, the program was theoretically being overseen by the IAEA. On the other hand, there seemed to be a strong intent on the part of state leaders to violate the terms of the NPT by developing nuclear weapons. Now, just as the Israelis had good reasons to believe that the IAEA inspections regime would fare poorly against the Iraqis apparent planned path to nuclear weapons (the irradiation of uranium targets) (Feldman 119-121), the US may believe, with some accuracy, that Iran’s formal diplomatic status w/r/t to the NPT will not keep pace with its very real violations of that treaty. At that point, the US is compelled to decide unilaterally whether Iran is owed the protections given to NPT-compliant signatories.

    Now, I’m not saying that the US would necesarily be justified in concluding that Iran is not due NPT status. What I am saying is that when considering whether the US has violated rights granted to Iran by the NPT, we should keep in mind that Iran has not necesarily met the obligations that entitle them to the relevant diplomatic protections.

    Shai Feldman. “The Bombing of Osiraq-Revisited.” International Security, Vol. 7, No. 2. (Autumn, 1982), pp. 114-142.