Tuesday, August 21, 2007

George Perkovich on the “Proliferation Trilogy: North Korea, Iran, and India”

The always insightful George Perkovich, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, recently had an interesting interview with Bernard Gwertzman on the “Proliferation Trilogy: North Korea, Iran, and India.”

Gwertzman asks, “There are three major issues on questions of nuclear proliferation right now: the agreement reached in February for North Korea to give up its nuclear program in return for, essentially, help from the outside world; secondly is the continuing defiance by Iran to the Security Council which has been trying to get it to suspend its enrichment activities; thirdly is the U.S.-India agreement on peaceful uses of nuclear energy. On these issues which is the most important right now?”

Click here for Perkovich’s full answers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perkovich's characterization of Iran's nuclear program is false, because:

1- Perkovich claims that Iran seeks a nuclear weapns "capability" but a "nuclear weapons capability" is a nonsense phrase: any country with a modicum of technology could theoretically develop the "capability" to build a bomb. This capability is inherent in the nuclear technology. It can just as easily be said that Brazil and Argentina too have obtained a "nuclear weapons capability"

2- Perkovich says that the Iranians haven't yet decided whether they're going to make nukes, but in fact Iranian authorities have repeatedly stated that they do not want nor need a nuclear bomb. Rather than keeping their options open, they have offered to place significant internationally-monitored limits on their nuclear program to ensure that it cannot be diverted to a nuclear weapons program

3- Perkovich claims that Iran's facilities at Natanz and Arak were a "secret" but in fact Iran was not legally required to disclose the yet-to-be built nuclear facilities at Natanz or Arak and in fact Iran's efforts and plans to engage in uranium enrichment were never a secret.

4- Despite Perkovich's claim that Iran was reaching for a bomb when it was "caught", the IAEA has certified that Iran's previously undisclosed activities had no relationship to any weapons program, and indeed no evidence of a weapons program has been found in Iran after years of the most intensive inspections carried out in any country.

Perkovich also ignores the fact that Iran's nuclear program was started with the encouragement and support of the United States, among other things.