Under an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran was required to cease "all uranium enrichment-related activities". Under the IAEA plan, Iran would receive enriched uranium from Russia, which would ensure the uranium was only enriched to levels where it could be used to generate electricity and not to make nuclear bombs. However, Iran has now confirmed its intention to enrich uranium at home. Although they have stated clearly that they plan on developing nuclear fuel, not nuclear bombs, it is clear that their enemies do not believe this. To make matters worse, the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stated his opinion that there was no point in negotiating with the EU and denied that the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis actually happened!
Mohamed ElBaradei (Nobel peace prize winner and head of the International Atomic Energy Agency), warned that people were "running out of patience" with Iran and Condolezza Rice helpfully stated that "There is a resolution sitting there for referral. We´ll vote it. That´s not sabre rattling, that´s diplomacy". Yes, Ms Rice, but your form of "diplomacy" usually ends up with an illegal invasion, fabricated intelligence, "regime change", and huge numbers of civilian casualties. Unsurprisingly, neither party made any comment on the involvement of the IAEA or the CIA in the Iranian decision to (and ability to) develop nuclear power and/or weapons.
As ever, when you look a little closer at the situation, you see the grubby fingerprints of the most dangerous rogue state in the world - The USA.
1: The US happily invited Pakistan and India into the Nuclear Club in direct violation of their own non-proliferation treaties, and apparently has absolutely no problem with the secret Nuclear Programme of Iran´s biggest enemy - Israel.
So while the 35-nation board of the IAEA found Iran in non-compliance of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty for keeping its uranium enrichment program secret for decades and conducting other work that could be used for a nuclear weapons program, they have made no comment about the fully working Nukes which were secretly developed by Israel (and which they still deny exists despite an impressive weight of evidence). Incidentally, Israel has already warned that they are considering a pre-emptive strike against both Iran and Syria, but the Security Council did not consider that that warranted a warning (although even if they had the US can always be counted on to vetoe any statements which were critical of Israel).
2: The US has even breached its own non-proliferation treaties to develop new types of nuclear weapon, and of course they own the vast majority of Nukes and have been open about their intention to develop a system which lets them bomb anyone, anywhere, at any time.
In 2005 Congress (thankfully) rejected Bush´s request for funding for "bunker-buster" nukes (approximately 100-200 times more devastating that the nukes dropped at the end of WWII). Although the name suggests the weapons were for dealing with small deeply buried bunkers, it has been noted that they are also great for wiping cities from the face of the earth. This was only one of a number of repeated attempts to get Congress to fund a nuclear build-up; Bush also withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, opposed U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, applied pressure to Congress to allow the resumption of U.S. nuclear testing, and dropped further negotiations for nuclear disarmament. At present the US has over 10,000 nukes.
3: In a mission known as "Operation Merlin" the CIA allegedly provided Iran with numerous documents on the making of Nukes through members of the IAEA (who are supposed to discourage the spread of Nukes). Apparently, the documents included a number of mistakes which were supposed to send the Iranians off on the wrong track, but the rest of the info was good.
When questioned on this last point, the US government spokesman noted "The author´s reliance on anonymous sources begs the reader to trust that these are knowledgeable people. As this book demonstrates, anonymous sources are often unreliable". It is a shame that they did not treat information from Saddam´s enemies claiming he had WMD with such cynicism. The CIA are in no position to preach about information gathering techniques. The reason that many of the sources were anonymous is that they were speaking from inside the CIA and didn´t want to be fired.
Unfortunately, the UK is also clearly implicated in the spread of Nuclear weapons. While Blair criticises Iran for wanting to develop nuclear power, he plans to spend £25 billion of our money on the replacements for Trident Nuclear Submarines and pushes nuclear power as the best method to combat global warming. Meanwhile, we are busy profiting from selling radioactive materials (zirconium silicate) to, amongst others, Iran. Our government argued that they did not need an export licence in order to sell the materials because it was tricky to use! An independent nuclear consultant advised the Guardian "it is not a very sophisticated process to extract the zirconium from such material.... Zirconium is used for two purposes: one for cladding nuclear fuel rods inside a reactor and as material for a nuclear weapon. If Iran wanted this material for any illicit purposes, this would be one way it could get its hands on it".
Yet again we are acting out our favourite role - the hypocrite. There is no evidence that Iran is developing weapons, but I am sure the US will be able to fabricate a dossier if it suits them. If they are only developing nuclear power, they are being eco-friendly (at least according to Blair) and moving away from a dangerous relaince on oil - which seems sensible. If they are indeed developing weapons that would only bring them level with Israel. In this case they could reasonably argue that they are simply obtaining the same nuclear deterent that we claim to need. The difference is that (unlike either the US or UK) Iran actually does have an aggressive neighbour who is in possession of Nukes and has stated bluntly that they would like to launch a pre-emptive strike against them.