ElBaradei condemns Israel; Mossad and CIA find smoking gunThe feckless Mohamed ElBaradei - whose IAEA has not prevented a single instance of nuclear proliferation - condemned Israel today for its September strike against Syria's nuclear reactor (Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs). Meanwhile, DEBKA reports that the Mossad and the CIA have 'smoking gun' evidence implicating Assad personally in the attempt to obtain nuclear weapons (Hat Tip: Pajamas Media). Here's ElBaradei:
Neither Israel nor the United States has furnished "any evidence at all" to prove that the Syrian site bombed last month was a secret nuclear facility, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency told CNN.Israel bombed first and asked questions later because of the Iran experience where despite years of evidence as to what is going on, the IAEA and the international community have done nothing to stop the mullahs.
"That, to me, is very distressful because we have a system; if countries have information that the country is working on a nuclear-related program, they should come to us. We have the authority to go out and investigate," he said.
"But to bomb first and then ask questions later, I think it undermines the system and it doesn't lead to any solution to any suspicion, because we are the eyes and ears of the international community."
ElBaradei said he had been told by Syria that the site was a military facility and "has nothing to do with nuclear."And of course ElBaradei believes everything he's told (by an Arab or Muslim country anyway) - every single solitary word.
"I would hope if anybody has information, before they take the law into their own hands, to come and pass the information on," he said.
Meanwhile, DEBKA is telling a very different story:
The following sequence of events unfolds from the garnered documents:'Stuff' indeed. But most telling, says DEBKA, is Syria's silence since pictures of how it has cleaned out the site started appearing on the Internet at the end of last week.
Damascus and Pyongyang settled between them that the nuclear transaction would be masked as a joint venture to build a cement factory in northern Syria; meanwhile, North Korea would sell Syria cement for its development projects.
According to DEBKAfile’s sources, North Korean freighters, which began putting in at Syria’s Latakia and Tartus ports in January 2007, unloaded cargoes of cement in which nuclear reactor components and materials were concealed.
The North Korean traffic at these ports and the Durham wheat transaction attracted the attention of US and Israeli secret services.
During the next eight months – up until the Israeli attack on Syria’s North Korean installation - wheat prices shot up on international markets. Indeed the price of Durham wheat doubled. Had this been a normal commercial transaction, Syria would have claimed additional North Korean goods in compensation. In fact, when import-export officials in Damascus, who knew nothing of the nuclear reactor tradeoff, pointed Assad’s office to the price fluctuations on the wheat market, they were told that the contracts signed by the president in person must go through without changes.
When later, the Syrian wheat crop fell short of expectations, Syrian officials were again told to fill the North Korean orders in full.
On Sept. 3, the North Korean “cement ship” Al Hamed docked at Tartus. The freight it unloaded was trucked directly to the “cement factory” at Al Tibnah in the Syrian Desert, east of the Euphrates River. The Israeli attack took place three days later.
Last Tuesday, Oct. 23, the Syrian ambassador to Washington Imad Mustapha was invited to address the prestigious Institute on Religion and Public Policy. In answer to a question, he acknowledged, “Syria gives North Korea wheat, oil and other products.”
He declined to disclose what Syria got in return. When pressed on this point, Mustapha said in exasperation: “Stuff. We get stuff.”
Thursday, Oct. 25, a number of leading American media simultaneously ran satellite images of a nuclear installation standing at Al Tibnah in August 2007 and the same site in the second half of September, after it had been cleared of the debris left by the Israeli attack.So why does ElBaradei continue to defend the Syrians? Consider how the UN has handled the Iranian attempt to obtain nuclear arms, and the answer becomes obvious: For the IAEA, nuclear proliferation is okay when it results in an Arab or Muslim country obtaining nuclear weapons.
This time, Damascus found nothing to say – although Syrian officials had commented on former leaks related to the episode. DEBKAfile’s Syrian sources report that this and other symptoms indicate that Assad finds himself in a tight corner. He is at a loss to explain to the Syrian public and, worse, to most of his colleagues in the political and military leadership who were kept ignorant of the nuclear transaction with North Korea, how he came to entangle the country in this ill-fated adventure.
In the view of DEBKAfile’s Western intelligence source, the Syrian president’s internal and international plight is more acute than that of the Iranian regime or Saddam Hussein in the days leading up to the 2003 US invasion. No incontrovertible proof has so far been shown to demonstrate that Iran has attained the capacity to produce nuclear or radioactive weapons, any more than the Iraqi ruler was positively shown to have weapons of mass destruction. Assad’s case is more unfortunate; it is now supported by solid evidence in American and Israeli hands.
The IAEA first reported that Tehran had failed to comply with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003.Is it any wonder why Israel cannot rely on the UN for anything?
980 days later, on March 29, 2006, the Security Council finally became seized of the matter of Iran's nuclear ambitions. Since then we have watched how long it will take the Security Council to live up to its UN Charter obligations to (a) determine Iran's behavior constitutes a threat to international peace and security, and (b) take serious action to maintain peace and security.
On July 31, 2006, the Security Council adopted a resolution under the Charter's Chapter VII, by implication connecting Iranian misdeeds to a threat to international peace and security. But the only action the Council could muster was another time extension and report due in August 2006. The IAEA reported Iran's continued non-compliance and August came and went.
On December 23, 2006, the Security Council adopted a resolution under Article 41 of Chapter VII - this time involving a sanction scheme so weak that even Iran's reaction has been muted. In order to gain Chinese and Russian votes on the Council, the scheme gutted earlier European and American drafts. The resolution gave Iran this ultimatum for continued non-compliance of UN pronouncements and resolutions about Iran's nuclear program: "further decisions will be required."
On March 24, 2007 the further decision date rolled around. The slap on the wrist with this latest Security Council resolution: (a) introduces an Israel diversion in the form of a reference to "a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction," (b) fails to adopt a mandatory travel ban and instead merely "calls upon all states to exercise vigilance and restraint regarding the entry into or transit" of a limited list of individuals, (c) refuses to ban items and technology and instead merely "calls upon all states to exercise vigilance and restraint in the supply"of these items, and (d) fails to impose a mandatory asset freeze but instead "calls upon all states and international financial institutions not to enter new commitments for grants, financial assistance, and concessional loans, to...Iran, except for humanitarian and developmental purposes." In its one "shall not" it bans only the country's arms exports - refusing to impose an arms embargo prohibiting the sale of weapons to Iran.
So the clock keeps ticking while Iran pursues nuclear weapons and the UN has yet to get serious about sanctions that pose any prospect of stopping them before it's too late.