By PER AHLMARK
Let us focus onthe good guys. The fools of the Iranian nuclear tragedy we alreadyknow. The International Atomic Energy Agency was duped for 18 years.Since its start in 1985, Iran's atomic program has been an ambitious,highly deceptive project. However, the IAEA gave the regime a cleanbill of nuclear health, over and over again. The first 12 of thoseyears, gullible Hans Blix, IAEA director general, believed in almosteverything Tehran told him. He arrogantly dismissed warnings. Thelikely Blix legacy: atomic bombs in the hands of the mullahs. Hissuccessor, Mohamed ElBaradei, inherited the illusions in 1997 andproceeded on a similar path. But disclosures by experts in the West-- confirmed by militant groups within Iran -- made the IAEA denialabsurd. Mr. ElBaradei revealed the truth on Nov. 10, 2003, in astunning report to the IAEA board of governors: Iran had been lyingto the IAEA for almost two decades.
Who, in all this, are the good guys? Did the Norwegian NobelCommittee realize the gathering storm in Iran when it last yeardecided to give its peace prize to the IAEA? Maybe they chose toaward a U.N. agency, which had been a fiasco for so long, hoping theprize would speed up its recovery. If so, a beautiful idea. Myfeeling is different. It's time to express admiration ofpersonalities who have not been cheated by the Iranians. That's why Ihave nominated two Americans for the Nobel peace prize for 2006. Oneis an independent researcher who never gave up his quest to uncoverthe truth, the other a government official. Separately, but onparallel tracks, they have been alerting us that a tremendous threatto peace is in the offing.
Kenneth Timmerman has for 20 years exposed Iran's nuclearintentions. In books, reports, speeches, articles and privatemeetings he has told us of specific detail as well as the big picture-- a full-fledged, official plan to game the system of internationalsafeguards. His latest book, "Countdown to Crisis: The Coming NuclearShowdown with Iran," lays this out in chilling detail; and it was hisreport for the Wiesenthal Center in 1992 that first detailed Iran'sties to Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. [Deleted by WSJeditors: Presenting thatreport the same year, the famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal saidabout the author: “I have spent my life tracking down themurderers of yesterday. Mr. Timmerman is tracking down the murderersof tomorrow”. ]
John Bolton, former undersecretary of state, has with unusualenergy tried to find ways to counter this threat. Friends and foesagree -- he never gives up. He has repeatedly underlined the threatof Iran pursuing two paths to nuclear weapons: One is the use ofhighly enriched uranium, achieved by thousands of centrifuges, whichIran has developed and tested. A large buried facility at Natanz isintended to house up to 50,000 centrifuges. Iran resumed activitiesthere just four weeks ago (in direct defiance of the IAEA). Thesecond is through plutonium. Mr. Bolton knows that a heavy-waterproduction plant and the Bushehr light-water reactor can be exploitedas cover for sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities. He says another"unmistakable indicator" of nuclear intentions is Iran's habit of"repeatedly lying to and providing false reports to the IAEA."
The danger is even more serious as Iran is a leading sponsor ofterrorism. Mr. Bolton, now U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is also afather of the Proliferation Security Initiative, an internationaleffort to interdict shipments of WMD components, materials and theballistic missiles needed to deliver them. Thanks to this PSI, theU.S. and others managed to seize centrifuge components en route toLibya in 2003. This led to the breakup of the network of A.Q. Khan,mastermind of the proliferation business in recent years.
European leaders have become a bit more active than before whensupporting united efforts to prevent Iran from going nuclear. Butthere is still a sense of wishful thinking around them. Don't theyunderstand that Iran's messianic President Ahmadinejad is seriouswhen he says "wipe Israel off the map"? Appeasing fanatics does notwork. We have learned that already in the last century. The work ofJohn Bolton and Kenneth Timmerman provide stark reminders of thatmost important lesson of history.
Mr. Ahlmark is a former deputy prime minister of Sweden and aformer leader of the Swedish Liberal Party.