UK Foreign Minister David Miliband before the Iraq Inquiry, 8 March 2010
All of these points are of course entirely false. Miliband conveniently forgets that Iran's nuclear program was set up by the West, with the full assistance and encouragement of the same countries that are now demanded that Iran give up the program. There is zero evidence that Iran is making nuclear bombs, and the fact that Iran's many and repeated compromise offers that would have resolved any real fear on that point - including Iran's offer to operate its nuclear progra as a joint venture -- have been totally ignored (and now, including Iran's offer for a swap of uranium on its soil) only proves that the entire nuclear issue is pretextual, just as "WMDS in Iraq" was pretextual.
In fact, Miliband outright lies when he says "the International Atomic Energy Agency has said that it is unable to verify that Iran’s nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes." In fact the same IAEA has clearly stated -- repeatedly -- that it has no evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran, and no nuclear material in Iran has been diverted for non-peaceful uses. As I have explained before, ad nauseum, the IAEA does not very that ANY country's nuclear program is "excusively peaceful" unless that country has signed and ratified the Additional Protocol -- which places Iran in the same category as most other countries in the world, though Iran (unlike US allies such as Egypt which was caught violating its own nuclear safeguards agreement and found with unexplained traces of highly-enriched uranium) had implemented the Additional Protocol for 2.5 years with no evidence of a weapons program found, and has offered to permanently implement it once its nuclear rights are recognized.
Miliband also outright lies when he says that "Iran offers no credible explanation for producing fissile material with a clear military application" since Iran has not produced such material if by that Miliband means weapons-grade uranium. Thus far Iran has only produced low-enriched uranium, which cannot be used to make bombs. Even the 19% enriched uranium Iran has produced for the medical research reactor at Tehran is still low-enriched uranium that cannot be used to make bombs. And, Iran would not have had to make that stuff either had the US not prevented Iran from acquiring the fuel for the medical research reactor, thus effectively holding hostage the 800,000 Iranian cancer patients who rely on medical isotopes that Iran was hoping to produce using that IAEA-monitored reactor that the US provided to Iran in the first place.
As for Iran's supposed failure to "come clean" on its nuclear program, here are the facts: as I have explained before, in August 2007 the IAEA and Iran came up with a list of outstanding issues that had to be resolved, and by Feb 2008 the IAEA reported that all of the matters on that list had been resolved, with no evidence of a nuclear weapons program found, and that there were no longer any outstanding issues. Regarding the Feb 2008 report, IAEA director ElBaradei specifically said:
[W]e have made quite good progress in clarifying the outstanding issues that had to do with Iran´s past nuclear activities, with the exception of one issue, and that is the alleged weaponization studies that supposedly Iran has conducted in the past. We have managed to clarify all the remaining outstanding issues, including the most important issue, which is the scope and nature of Iran´s enrichment programme.
At this time, the US, just to ensure that Iran can't get a total clean bill of health, finally formally provided the IAEA with some of the "alleged studies" evidence from the "Laptop of death" that it had been shopping around for year -- which no one seriously believes to be anything other than forgeries. Iran has offered to address those "alleged studies" too, upon receiving the documentation it is supposed to refute, but the US refuses to provide it to Iran, again as I have explained before.
As for Israel seeing Iran as an "existential threat" -- two points: first of all, Israeli authorities dispute that point, and many quitely conceed that Iran is not an existential threat that it is made out to be by Israeli officials for their own domestic political purposes. Second, WHO CARES?? Since when has the world had to tippy-toe around and since when have countries had to give up their sovereign rights lest Israel feel "threatened"??? Incidentally, Israel's threats to attack Iran do not constitute "self-defense" by any stretch of the imagination. Lets not forget who has actually threatened whom with nuclear destruction.
As for Iran's non-existent nuclear weapons being a cause for regional proliferation, I have dismissed this fallacious scaremongering before:
There are some very basic problems with this theory. For one thing, it is highly ironic that Iran's mere capability to build nuclear weapons can supposedly spark this uncontrollable cascade of nuclear proliferation, and yet Israel's existing nuclear weapons are not believed to have this effect. Indeed, if we are to accept, as the fallacious argument assumes, that one country's nuclear capability will force other countries to acquire their own nuclear deterrent, then the real regional culprit for proliferation must be the original nuclear power in the region: Israel. Note also that similar predictions of regional arms races have not been made when, for example, Brazil recently acquired the same nuclear technology that Iran is seeking to develop.
Finally, the argument assumes that the other countries in the region aren't already working to develop their own nuclear programmes. There has been speculation about a Saudi-Pakistani nuclear link for many years. Several other nations, including Egypt and South Korea, have been caught conducting secret and potentially weapons-related experiments. In the cases of those two US allies, however, the IAEA settled for delivering a light slap on the wrist, there was no continued speculation about the existence of "secret" nuclear intentions, and there were no demands that they abandon nuclear technology permanently, as is demanded of Iran.