(December 19, 1997) Remember all the fuss about Iraq refusing entry to the US-members of a UN-inspection team? And the US threatening war, with the result that Iraq gave in? Remember? Now listen to this!
(483/4.4791) WISE Amsterdam On December 1, a group of four IAEA inspectors arrived at a uranium enrichment facility at Portsmouth Ohio, United States. It was the first time inspectors were allowed at the facility, but as we know, all inspections in the US are voluntary; only a very small number of those facilities are under scrutiny of the IAEA. This is because all the nuclear weapons states (United States, Russia -being the successor of the Soviet Union-, China, France and United Kingdom) are not obliged under provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to allow inspections.
Meanwhile Iraq, a signatory of the NPT but not a nuclear weapons state, has to accept inspections, which shows that the treaty is discriminatory. Iraq should also have the right to be part of the team inspecting US facilities, at least theoretically, shouldn't they? Wrong! According to a spokesman of the IAEA a 'host nation has certain rights to veto a limited number of inspectors'. And, as another excuse:'Iraq had been suspended for nonpayment of dues'. I wonder, should that mean that the IAEA also has no right to conduct inspections there? Or, isn't it time to suspend the US from the United Nations 'for non-payment of dues'?