Stephen Lendman is a writer, syndicated columnist, activist, News TV personality, and radio show host. He currently writes for and and hosts, since 2007, a progressive radio show at The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network.

Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA, raised in a modest middle income family, attended public schools, received a Harvard BA in 1956 and a Wharton MBA in 1960. After six years as a marketing research analyst, Lendman became part of a new small family business in 1967, remaining there until retiring in 1999.

Since then, he has devoted his time to progressive causes, extensive reading, and since summer 2005 writing on vital world and national topics, including war and peace, American imperialism, corporate dominance, political persecutions, and a range of other social, economic and political issues.

He is also author of the celebrated books "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity" and "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War".

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Iran’s Legal Right to Enrich Uranium Unchallenged

by Stephen Lendman


It’s been that way for years. Iran fully complies with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions. Its nuclear program is peaceful. US intelligence says so. Annually it repeats earlier assessments.

Washington, other Western countries, and Israel know what they won’t admit publicly. So do media scoundrels. They target Iran unfairly.

They report what’s not true. They hype fear. They spread Big Lies. They claim non-existent existential threats. They do it for political, not security reasons.

Iran threatens no one. It hasn’t attacked another country in centuries. Its neighbors have no reasons for concern.

Israel points fingers the wrong way. It’s the region’s only nuclear power. It’s heavily armed and dangerous. It’s got sophisticated chemical and biological weapons. It threatens to use its arsenal if endangered.

On January 31, Iran announced plans to enhance uranium enrichment. It told IAEA officials it intends to use new IR2m centrifuges.

An agency communication said:

“The Secretariat of the Agency received a letter from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) dated 23 January 2013 informing the Agency that ‘centrifuge machines type IR2m will be used in Unit A-22’ at the Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz.”

It’s Tehran’s main enrichment facility. It’s used to enrich uranium to 5%. Faster enrichment runs counter to Western demands. They want Iran to abandon its legitimate rights altogether.

Dozens of other nations have similar nuclear operations. Demands to suspend activities don’t follow. Tehran alone is targeted. It’s solely for political reasons.

On January 29, IAEA officials asked Iran to provide technical and other information about its plans. The unit Tehran plans to upgrade can house over 3,000 centrifuges.

International Institute for Strategic Studies nuclear expert Mark Fitzpatrick said upgraded centrifuges could be “a most unfortunate game changer.”

It depends on the number installed. “If Iran introduces them in a large scale, the timeline for being able to produce fissile material for nuclear material would be significantly reduced,” he said.

Tehran does so for power generation and medical research. Its program is peaceful. Claiming otherwise is false.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov calls Iran’s enhanced enrichment plans acceptable. They’re within legal limits. It’s “doing everything in line with (its) commitment under the Safeguards Agreement,” he said.

In 1974, Tehran and IAEA agreed on terms. Iran enriches uranium to 20%. It’s enough for commercial power and medical research. It’s far below levels needed for nuclear weapons.

Lavrov added:

“The IAEA has been notified, and (it) will be there (to) supervise this, but I’d like to repeat that this is a legal aspect of the matter, while the political aspect is that we, along with the other Security Council members, have called on Iran to freeze enrichment operations during the negotiations.”

New centrifuges are being installed shortly after new negotiations failed. It’s not for lack of trying. It’s not because Iran doesn’t negotiate in good faith. It’s because Washington (and Israel behind the scenes) obstruct legitimate talks.

Both countries want Iran’s legal rights denied. Its nuclear program is red herring cover for regime change. Unreasonable demands are made. Non-existent violations are claimed.

On January 31, Washington called Tehran’s enhanced enrichment plans “provocative.” Saying so overstepped. Iran’s within its rights. It pursues what NPT permits. Challenging its legitimate program is out of line.

Iran’s the world’s most heavily inspected nuclear power. It’s done daily round-the-clock. Israel and Washington tolerate no inspections. IAEA doesn’t ask. Iran alone is unfairly targeted.

It goes out of its way to cooperate. Its government isn’t extremist. It doesn’t seek Israel’s destruction. It pursues peace, not war. Claiming otherwise is provocative and false.

Israel represents the only regional danger. It menaces neighbors. They have reason to fear. Friendly relations await them in Tehran. Some openly welcome them.

Iran opens all its nuclear facilities to inspection. Parchin is unrelated to nuclear development. It’s a military complex. No evidence suggests nuclear related tests are conducted there.

IAEA’s been there before. It took environmental samples. They were negative. Parchin manufactures and tests conventional explosives.

IAEA found nothing consistent with nuclear weapons research and development. False claims are made anyway.

Iran’s not obligated to permit Parchin inspections. It’s willing anyway on one condition. It demands Israel stop threatening to attack. It’s not too much to ask.

Netanyahu demands red lines, deadlines and timelines. Claims about an existential Iranian threat don’t wash. Bluster substitutes for conflict resolution sincerity. Curbing an alleged Iranian threat is cover for removing Israel’s main regional rival.

Fiction substitutes for fact. Claims are whatever is said at the time. It’s for political advantage. Iran reacts responsibly. It’s ready to do whatever it takes. It won’t sacrifice its legitimate rights in the process.

It wants honest give and take on both sides. It’s ready to meet anyone halfway. It negotiates fairly. In mid-January, it tried again. Two days of talks achieved no breakthroughs.

Iran met with IAEA inspectors. Both sides agreed on follow-up talks. They’re scheduled for February 12. Expect little more then than now. Washington calls the shots. It does so jointly with Israel.

Doing so assures failure. It’s hard achieving breakthroughs. Hardline obstruction prevents them. Iran tries sincerely anyway. For years, it’s sought peaceful conflict resolution. It’s not about to quit now.

Accusations keep coming. Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta took his last shot. He lied. He accused Iran of regional destabilization. He claimed its smuggling anti-aircraft weapons to militant allies.

“There is no question when you start passing manpads around, that becomes a threat – not just to military aircraft but to civilian aircraft,” he said. “This is an escalation.”

MANPADS (MPADS) are shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). They threaten helicopters and other low-flying aircraft. Many countries use them. They’ve been around for decades.

Panetta claims Yemen and Washington jointly intercepted a boat carrying MANPADS, military grade explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, and bomb-making equipment. “It’s one of the first times we have seen it,” he said.

They were heading for Yemen’s northern-based “Houthi separatists,” he claimed. Iran also stepped up aid to southern-based rebels, he added.

No evidence suggests Iranian involvement. Panetta blamed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp. anyway. Washington is increasing efforts to counter its threat, he stressed.

America, Israel, key NATO partners, and rogue Arab states are the region’s only threats. Iran denies interfering in Yemeni affairs. Washington piles on charges anyway.

Defense Secretary designee Chuck Hagel promises no letup. He left no ambiguity. He capitulated to imperial lawlessness.

He promised to be a reliable spear-carrier. He pledged support for Israel. He vowed to continue America’s “war on terror.” He affirmed Washington’s permanent war policy.

During his January 31 confirmation hearing he said:

“My overall world view has never changed: that America has and must maintain the strongest military in the world, that we must lead the international community to confront threats and challenges together, and take advantage of opportunities together; that we must use all our tools of American power to protect our citizens and our interests.”

Make no mistake. Obama prioritizes war. Current ones continue. New ones are planned. At issue is advancing Washington’s global footprint.

America glorifies wars in the name of peace. Might justifies right. Imperial wars are called liberating ones. Democracy is a figure of speech.

Unchallenged imperial dominance is policy. Warmaking is prioritized. Today is the most perilous time in world history. Daily events should scare everyone. Obama menaces humanity. It may not survive another four years.

About the Author: Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


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10 Responses to "Iran’s Legal Right to Enrich Uranium Unchallenged"

  1. blakehamilton  February 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Rodney Shakespeare interviewed on RT said the following (paraphrased):

    Washington is losing the argument so it wants to be seen to be doing something but in fact it is acting in incredibly bad faith. Pres Obama made a written demand to the Brazilian Pres Lula that Iran should send it’s uranium out of the country to be enriched at 20% and then it can be taken back who negotiated it in a straight forward way with Iran and Turkey. In other words they gave America exactly what they demanded and then Obama torpedoed it immediately. Americans have no intention of negotiating in good faith with Iran. It’s a ploy , a play on words, stalling for time. The essence is the US does not wish to have any country which is independent (politically or culturally) and it always thinks it can bully and browbeat and indeed attack when a country offends it it goes on like a spoilt child forever. Sanctions have been on Cuba since 1959. There is nothing Iran can give it has given everything it has acted in good faith

    • blakehamilton  February 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Apologies that should be PressTV, not RT

  2. K7KTR  February 4, 2013 at 3:34 am

    No where will you see the statement “Wipe Israel off the map”. That is propaganda from Israel.
    Israel repeats that mantra over and over as they had a GREAT TEACHER.

    -Joseph Goebbels-

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    In fact, the REAL message was that “The Zionist Regime should be erased from the pages of time.” As Ahmadinejad has said, How does one wipe a COUNTRY off a map? Iran’s Military also repeats the same message that it is the Zionist’s Regime that needs to GO!

    If Iran today didn’t send weapon’s to Hezbollah you could be assured that the People of Palestine would have been slaughtered in a modern day Holocaust™

    This is more in line as there used to be well over 100,000 Jew’s who lived at peace in IRAN. Recently that number was near 40,000 Jew’s but has been dropping as Israel’s constant building of Illegal Settlements and the paying of Jew’s to move to Israel to live in Settlements Illegally built with U.S. Dollars.

    Iranian’s have no problem with Jew’s. Only the horrible Apartheid Zionist Regime who demands Security by murdering Palestinians and other neighbors for decades now. The REAL JEW’S are tired of the Zionist’s who use their NAME to achieve their goals.

    Source: *******

    The old saying of “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch” comes into play. Last year 430,000 Jew’s and Arab’s marched in many cities in Israel protesting the horrid conditions of a Failed State where many said of this countries woe’s.. That Netenyahu was building home in the Occupied Territories™ when those badly needed monies should be made available for unemployment and other social needs. Like the USA, a Country at constant WAR will eventually collapse. (Russia Economy during Cold War)
    Source: *****

    These stories were NOT carried in the US Media as it would damage support for the Racist Apartheid State of Israel™

    Many American’s are unhappy with OUR Government. But like the REAL JEW’S they too are unhappy with their Government. It doesn’t make the PEOPLE as a whole evil just their government’s who have other agendas and a People who are powerless to change it… For Now!

    • johnsholtes  February 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Hitler was not advocating the Big Lie, he was complaining about it.

      Wikipedia also gives us this alleged quotation by Goebbels:

      “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” — Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels

      Please note that Wikipedia does not give a citation for this. Nobody ever does, because there is no source for it. Nevertheless everybody keeps repeating it over and over.

      What Goebbels actually said can be found, in great detail, on the Nazi and East German Propaganda Guide Page of the Calvin College website. If you do a Google search for “tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it” you get more than 20,000 results. But if you do this search:

      “tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it”

      you get zero results. In other words, that expression is not found in any of the documents collected in their Propaganda Guide Page. Of course it is possible that the statement occurs in some document that is not included in the Propaganda Guide Page. I cannot be absolutely certain that he never said any such thing. However, judging by what I know about Goebbels, the statement is totally out of character, and I would bet 100-to-1 that he never said it.

      [Note added years later: Now the expression “tell a lie big enough” can be found on the Calvin site. It is on a page of false quotations. Randall Bytwerk, the author of the Calvin site, is honest enough to have such a page. I am impressed.]

      The alleged Goebbels quotation is itself an example of a lie that has been repeated so many times that everybody believes it.

      In other words, to spell this out as clearly as possible, when people accuse Hitler and Goebbels of advocating the Big Lie, they are lying. They are turning the situation upside down. The alleged Hitler quotation is taken out of context so it appears to mean the opposite of what Hitler intended. They are accusing Hitler and Goebbels of doing what they themselves are doing. This is the kind of lie Hitler was complaining about. It is exactly the kind of falsification of history and destruction of language that Orwell was complaining about. And they put these lies in an article about 1984, of all things.

    • captain obvious  February 5, 2013 at 5:56 am

      yup, am well aware the true statement being the zio-regime should fade from the sands of time, wasnt anything “wipe em off the map!” in a big UN meeting Ahmedinejad spoke out about 911 being an inside job and a gaggle of the “politicians” feigned indignance-outrage then ran away like guilty children.

      I’m not a “fan” or anything like that, but straight looking at DC-Israeli aggression vs Iran over the last two centuries sure says a LOT about what kinda country GOD might “choose” or “favor”..!

  3. K7KTR  February 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Mr. Lendman,
    Thank you for the latest updates. I now how hard it is to filter all the BS from sources that are meant to elude to fiction rather then fact. Like putting BOLD LETTERS over someone’s theory rather then actually highlight THE FACTS!

    Your research is much appreciated [By Millions] who are tired of all the LIES!

  4. Shangrila01  February 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I think the biggest absurdity in all of this is 2 of the main culprits Israel/USA even there combined total of years as known countries,Is dwarfed by thousands of years in Iran/ in effect it’s 2 new kids on the block beating up an old old man but a very wise one it seems.I can see nearly an entire US fleet at the bottom of the ocean going WTF was that!!!

  5. blakehamilton  February 3, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Israel is the one we should be concerned about.

  6. MoT  February 3, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I’m always amazed when some country or other uses the words “legal”. Legal? Says who? Who has the right to “judge” what is “legal” or not in another country on the other side of the globe? It’s absurd! It’s a make-work project for lawyers and politicians. Or do I repeat myself? Whenever the debate devolves into what is or isn’t “legal” then its lost its bearings. The US FedGov doesn’t care what is or isn’t legal because it defines what or what it will not do, to whom it will or will not answer, on the fly without regards to what you or I care to think or say. It is brute dictatorial force in action.

    • K7KTR  February 4, 2013 at 12:08 am

      Here is what ILLEGAL is. A U.S. President that can be quoted time and time again of saying Al Qaeda was behind 9/11. Of which THOUSANDS of U.S. boy’s have been killed fighting these alleged Al Qaeda. Whereas within the NDAA is clearly spells out that ANYONE giving Support to Terrorist is in violation of the NDAA.
      Obama ARMS directly and indirectly via the CIA the very Al Qaeda in Syria that the whole 11 year war on terror is alleged to be about.

      Imagine had you lost a Brother, Father, Uncle or Cousin who was killed fighting these Al Qaeda to find out Your President is arming your relatives KILLERS. While at the same time saying they are fighting Al Qaeda in Mali? This is tantamount to Treason and is…. ILLEGAL

      You recall Obama also did this in Libya too. The CIA agent who was killed at the consulate/CIA safe house who was there to disarm/destroy Man-Pads which under the Lugar-Obama act would also be ILLEGAL to do.

      The Patriot Act is used in England EU to rifle through all peoples files on CLOUD SERVERS and both the Patriot Acts and NDAA has now been turned from use against terrorist’s to use against the People of America. Sadly this according to domestic law IS LEGAL.

      Obama’s DAY IN COURT maybe just around the corner though.
      Source: ******
      Breaking news! Defendant Barack Obama defaulted in Grinols et al v Obama et al. Notice of Default filed

      Is Justice BLIND?

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