Many suspect that the U.S. has been holding fire on its anti-Iran PR campaign pending a vote on John Bolton in the U.S. Senate.  --  As prospects for Bolton's confirmation continue to dim, U.S. neoconservatives itching to begin the campaign spoke up Thursday, even before the installation in the U.S. ambassadorship to the U.N. of Bolton.  --  Bolton's agenda is widely believed to be an attempt at further discrediting of the United Nations by blaming the international body for refusing to condemn Iran for pursuing activities that it has a right to pursue under international law.[1]  --  Another indicator of the anti-U.N. campaign to come was today's announcement that the U.S. would not send high officials to a ceremony in San Francisco marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Charter of the world's premier international body, a charter that dedicates it "1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace; 2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace; 3. To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and 4. To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends."[2] ...


By Stephen Fidler

Financial Times (UK)
June 16, 2005

The U.S. said on Thursday it was troubled by new disclosures indicating Iran conducted experiments to create plutonium as late as 1998, five years after it previously claimed it had abandoned such work.

But it said the discoveries would not alter its full support for European efforts to negotiate an end to Iranian efforts to produce nuclear materials.

The disclosures about the small-scale plutonium reprocessing experiments conducted in 1995 and 1998 were contained in a report by Pierre Goldschmidt, deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, delivered to the agency's board in Vienna on Thursday.

The agency concluded from plutonium samples brought back from Iran in 2003 that Iran the country had conducted these later experiments and Iran admitted to them in a letter to the agency last month.

Mr. Goldschmidt's report also said he was seeking shipping documentation to resolve discrepancies in Iranian statements about when components for enriching uranium arrived in the country in the 1990s. There are signs some parts arrived earlier than Tehran had previously indicated.

He also sought more information about the initial contacts by Iranian officials with Abdul-Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani scientist whose network provided substantial help to Iran's efforts to enrich uranium. So far Iran has produced only a single page report of a supposed first meeting in 1987.

The U.S., which accuses Iran of pursuing a clandestine programme to produce nuclear weapons, said that Iran's misreporting about its nuclear program -- of which this was just the latest example -- was too pervasive to be inadvertent. Iran, which repeatedly asserts its nuclear ambitions are peaceful, denied that the misreporting was significant.

"These continuing contradictions between Iran's declarations and the facts as they are uncovered cannot be explained by inadvertent error. They are simply too numerous and pervasive," Jackie Sanders, U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, told the board. "It is evident that Iran has not come clean about its past or present nuclear activities." she said.

The U.S. called for the complete dismantling of Iran's "fuel cycle" -- under which Iran would be able to manufacture its own nuclear materials -- including all its uranium enrichment activities together with a heavy water research reactor under construction. in the city of Arak. As part of their negotiations talks to end Iran's nuclear production plans, France, Britain and Germany have offered to build in its place a light water reactor -- which is more proliferation-proof than its heavy water equivalent.

But U.S. officials in Vienna said the disclosures, while "greatly troubling", reinforced the need for negotiations with the three EU states. "This only underscores the need for a successful negotiation between the EU3 and Iran," said one.

In a separate development, Reuters reported that the IAEA board unanimously approved Saudi Arabia's request to sign an agreement that curtails the agency's ability to uncover any secret atomic activity. The Saudis signed the "small quantities protocol", where member states declare they have little or no nuclear material and therefore do not need full inspections.

The U.S., EU and Australia had urged the Saudis to withdraw their request to sign the agreement but Riyadh refused.



New York Times
June 16, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO -- Organizers of a celebration here to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations had expressed concern for weeks that the Bush administration would shun the event as a snub to the world body.

On Wednesday, organizers learned that big-name invitees -- among them, President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- would not attend.

In their place, said Nancy L. Peterson, president of the United Nations Association of San Francisco, the administration indicated that it would send Ambassador Sichan Siv, the United States representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

"I am just reading into this that the administration is taking a very dubious stance symbolically toward the importance of the United Nations to the American people," she said.

A State Department spokesman confirmed that Mr. Siv would attend the event, which will be held on June 25 and 26, citing scheduling conflicts for Ms. Rice and for Robert B. Zoellick, the deputy secretary of state.

"Secretary Rice and Deputy Secretary Zoellick have numerous commitments and invitations," the spokesman, Noel Clay, said. "At times, they will conflict, but it is not a slight whatsoever."

On June 26, 1945, delegates from around the world, meeting in San Francisco, signed the founding charter of the United Nations.