Saturday, February 11, 2012

George Kenny Interviews Ambassador Peter Jenkins @ Electric Politics

Dear Michael,

If, out of fear of what Iran might do with its nuclear program, the U.S. and Israel attack Iran, the Iranians then would have an iron clad case that they were only doing things that they are perfectly well allowed to do under the letter of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In other words, such a war would not be unambiguously legal. Far from it. But you don't have to accept my analysis. That's what Ambassador Peter Jenkins says, and he should know because from 2001 to 2006 he was Britain's Permanent Representative to the IAEA in Vienna. If anyone currently outside government understands the technical complications regarding nonproliferation, and the policy, he does. Moreover, Peter says, back in 2005 the Iranians made us an offer that we should have accepted: in exchange for much more intrusive IAEA safeguards we would agree that Iran can continue to enrich uranium -- again, under the letter of the NPT. Peter remembers thinking at the time that this was a pretty good offer but it wasn't until after he retired from the British Foreign Service that he changed his mind about Iran, began exploring the idea's feasibility, and became a proponent. Which, I should add, took a great deal of courage. In any case, Peter is absolutely right. A compromise within the letter of the NPT is infinitely preferable to going to war!

This one is important. I hope you like it and, if you do, please forward the link.



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