Iran, IAEA and nukes

A group of New York area Jewish newspapers is challenging whether the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can be “trusted to ensure” that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons.

“We think not,” declared an editorial in the Manhattan Jewish Sentinel, Long Island Jewish World and The Jewish Tribune which is appearing this week.

The editorial in the newspapers begins with noting an article I wrote that appeared in them two weeks ago about how the IAEA, set up by the United Nations to promote nuclear power, has been in the lead in a cover-up of the impacts of the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe. My piece cited the IAEA declaring in 2011, “To date no health effects have been reported in any person as a result of radiation exposure from the accident,” a claim it holds to today.

“This leads us to Iran,” said the editorial. “The key agency charged with monitoring whether the purpose of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program is to produce atomic weaponry, and not, as its leaders claim, as a source of energy, is this very same IAEA. And that should be ringing some pretty loud alarm bells.”

It continued: “The IAEA was created by the UN after President Dwight Eisenhower appeared before the General Assembly, in 1953, to tout the value of nuclear technology as an energy source while ensuring that it was not misused. The idea was for the IAEA to promote Eisenhower’s vision worldwide, just as the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was doing here at home.”

But, the editorial related, in 1974 “the AEC was abolished after the U.S. Congress concluded that its dual role of promoting and simultaneously regulating nuclear technology constituted a clear conflict of interest.”

“The IAEA plays that same dual role. Yet it continues to be a critical player on the world scene,” stated the newspapers, their long-time publisher and editor-in-chief Jerome Wm. Lippman.

The editorial spoke of the “nuclear boosters” who have run the IAEA including “Hans Blix, who became the agency’s director general after leading a campaign in his native Sweden against efforts to close nuclear power plants there….Blix’s long-time second-in-command was Morris Rosen, who previously was employed by the defunct AEC and, before that, the nuclear division of General Electric. After the disaster at the nuclear plant in Chernobyl, in the former Soviet Union, Rosen opined, ‘There is very little doubt that nuclear power is a rather benign industrial enterprise, and we may have to expect catastrophic accidents from time to time.’”

The editorial cited the 1981 book, The Islamic Bomb: The Nuclear Threat to Israel and the Middle East by Steven Weissman and Herbert Krosny, and how it “addressed the inherent contradiction of having the IAEA serve as a watchdog to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.” The editorial noted that they wrote: “The conflict is obvious. As major promoters of nuclear power, IAEA officials do not like to hear about the dangers of civilian nuclear technology … IAEA officials often sound as if they are more concerned [with making] the world safe for nuclear power than safe from nuclear weapons.”

“Given these troublesome circumstances and the IAEA’s involvement in covering up the true extent of the Fukushima catastrophe,” the editorial concluded, “can it be trusted to ensure that Iran’s intentions are peaceful? We think not.”

In my article I also described how the IAEA captured another UN-founded agency, the World Health Organization (WHO), when it comes to nuclear issues.

The IAEA and WHO, I wrote, in 1959 entered into an agreement—that continues to this day—providing that IAEA and WHO “act in close co-operation with each other” and “whenever either organization proposes to initiate a program or activity on a subject in which the other organization has or may have a substantial interest, the first party shall consult the other with a view to adjusting the matter by mutual agreement.”

I quoted Alison Katz who for 18 years worked for WHO, speaking on Libbe HaLevy’s “Nuclear Hotseat” podcast last year, that the IAEA-WHO deal has meant that “WHO cannot undertake any research, cannot disseminate any information, cannot come to the assistance of any population without the prior approval of the IAEA…WHO, in practice, in reality, is subservient to the IAEA within the United Nations family.”

On nuclear issues “there has been a very high level, institutional and international cover-up which includes governments, national authorities, but also, regrettably the World Health Organization,” said Katz on the program titled “The WHO/IAEA—Unholy Alliance and Its Lies About Int’l Nuclear Health Stats.”

Katz is now with an organization called IndependentWHO which works for “the complete independence of the WHO from the nuclear lobby and in particular from its mouthpiece which is the International Atomic Energy Agency. We are demanding that independence,” she said, “so that the WHO may fulfill its constitutional mandate in the area of radiation and health.”

“We are absolutely convinced,” said Katz on “Nuclear Hotseat,” “that if the health and environmental consequences of all nuclear activities were known to the public, the debate about nuclear power would end tomorrow. In fact, the public would probably exclude it immediately as an energy option.”

WHO last year issued a report on the impacts of the Fukushima disaster claiming that “for the general population inside and outside of Japan, the predicted risks are low and no observable increases in cancer rates above baseline rates are anticipated.”

It is impossible to know now the health impacts of the Fukushima disaster but considering the gargantuan amount of radioactive poisons that have been discharged and continue to be released at the stricken six-nuclear plant site, the impacts will inevitably be great. The claim of there being no consequences to life and the prediction that there won’t be in the future from the Fukushima catastrophe is, I stated, an outrageous falsehood.

I noted the projection of Dr. Chris Busy, scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, of a death toll of more than a million from the radioactivity released.

Dr. Helen Caldicott, a founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, told a symposium, I reported, on “The Medical Implications of Fukushima” in Japan that: “The accident is enormous in its medical implications. It will induce an epidemic of cancer as people inhale the radioactive elements, eat radioactive vegetables, rice and meat, and drink radioactive milk and teas. As radiation from ocean contamination bio-accumulates up the food chain…radioactive fish will be caught thousands of miles from Japanese shores. As they are consumed, they will continue the the cycle of contamination, proving that no matter where you are, all major nuclear accidents become local.”

I cited the analysis of Arnie Gundersen, a former U.S. nuclear industry senior vice president, that “we’re going to see as many as a million cancers” from the Fukushima releases of radioactivity.

Already an excessive number of cases of thyroid cancers have appeared in Japan, an early sign of the impacts of radioactivity. A study last year determined that radioactive iodine fall-out from Fukushima has damaged the thyroid glands of children in California. And the biggest wave of radioactivity in the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima is slated to hit the west coast of North America in coming months. Meanwhile, every bluefin tuna caught in the waters off California in a Stanford University study was found to contain cesium-137, a radioactive poison emitted on a large scale by Fukushima.

The claim of no health impacts from Fukushima, I said in my article, is an attempted Giant Lie—a suppression of information, an effort at dishonesty of historical dimensions—with the IAEA in the middle of it.

The title of the editorial in the Manhattan Jewish Sentinel, Long Island Jewish World and The Jewish Tribune is: “The IAEA in Iran: Wrong watchdog in the wrong place.” To read it, go to To read my article on Fukushima in these newspapers, go to

About the Author
Karl Grossman is a professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury who has specialized in investigative reporting for 45 years. He is the host of the TV program “Enviro Close-Up,” the writer and presenter of numerous TV documentaries and the author of six books.
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