Iran News ...


2/24/06

Stop War on Iran


"It is unpatriotic not to tell the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt


The neoconservatives and their warmonger allies are preparing the public for a war on Iran.

They are the same people who deceived the public about Iraq, a country that, despite having a terrible regime, was no danger to the US and the rest of the world. It is now clear what has been happening in Iraq:

No weapons of mass destruction was ever found. Whereas Iraq had no links to the terrorists that staged the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, there are now terrorists in Iraq killing innocent people every day, making Iraq a vast training camp for future terrorists. Despite all the exaggerations and half-baked half truths about the progress made in Iraq since its occupation, Iraq is on the verge of a civil war. Despite all the claims about a "democratic path," the government which is emerging in Iraq is dominated by one group, alienating a significant portion of the population. Despite all the claims about an "cakewalk" invasion with little destruction and greeting of the troops with rice and flower, 100,000 civilians have been killed, and more are still being murdered everyday; Iraq's historical and cultural heritage has either been destroyed or looted, and its infrastructure is in far worse shape than it was right before the war. Despite promises that Iraq's oil exports will pay for the cost of Iraq's invasion and reconstruction, its oil production is not even at the pre-war levels. Nearly $300 billion - OUR TAXES - have already been spent on an illegal war, while the good people of New Orleans and elsewhere have been languishing in the aftermath of the Katrina.

In Iran's case, the lies and exaggerations are even worse. One is free to think of President Ahmadinejad and his cohorts anyway one wishes. Most Iranian people are opposed to him, his policies, his supporters, and more generally, whatever that Iran's conservatives and reactionaries have been doing to the good people of Iran. In particular, Mr. Ahmadinejad's statements regarding Jewish people and their historically-documented sufferings must be, and have been, condemned in the strongest possible way, even inside Iran. However, it is unconscionable that a nation that throughout its long and distinguished history has consistently been a friendly and accommodating land for its Jewish citizens (while many European nations systematically discriminated against them), and one of its historical heroes - Cyrus, the Great - was the liberator of the Jews for which he was praised in the Old Testament, is now being labeled as the worst villain against Jews. How can the words of one man wash out the feelings of an entire nation and its glorious history about its Jewish citizens?

The fact is that Mr. Ahmadinejad's statements regarding Israel have been blown way out of proportion in order to develop an excuse for waging war on Iran. First of all, Iran's important foreign policy decisions are made not by Mr. Ahmadinejad, but by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He is the same ayatollah who when he was Iran's president in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war, a confidante of Ayatollah Khomeini, and Chairman of Iran's National Security Council, authorized (together with other clerics) purchase of weapons from Israel. These are the events that ultimately became known as part of the Iran-Contra affair.

Secondly, when Mr. Mohammad Khatami - a reformist and an Islamic thinker - was Iran's president, the neocons constantly mocked him for his lack of power. Last June, when President Bush was asked about Iran's presidential elections, he responded that they had no legitimacy because "Iran's president has no real power." So, what happened over only a few months that transformed Mr. Ahmadinejad from a powerless president to the most frightening menace?

The embedded and obedient US media are repeating what they did during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. They are the same media that gave us Judith Miller of the New York Times and her false stories about Iraq's programs for weapons of mass destruction; the same media that gave us the "curveball," an Iraqi who fabricated lies about Iraq's non-existent mobile biological and chemical labs, and the same media that continue to ignore the realities on the ground in Iraq today.

Now, the same media are helping to propagate lies about Iran. They have gradually changed the subject from Iran's nuclear ENERGY program to Iran's ALLEGED nuclear weapon program. The lies about Niger's "yellow cake" have morphed into Iran's "green salt," oozing out of a laptop that was supposedly obtained so easily from an Iranian IN Iran! They are the same media that even when objective experts (such as Dr. David Albright, a respected expert on Iran's nuclear program) refute their fabrications, they refuse to publish their objections. The Los Angeles Times recently claimed that a large majority of Iranians in the US is opposed to the Mojahedin Khalgh (MK) being listed by the US as a terrorist organization. The MK is a cultist, terrorist group that has been waging war on Iran and Iranians for the past 25 years, and was an accomplice of Saddam's regime in crushing Iraqi people uprising in 1991. The Los Angeles Times refused to publish even a single letter protesting its unsubstantiated claim about the MK, preferring instead to stick to its absurd assertions.

The fact is, Iran has been the target of one of the most humiliating and intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for three years, yet after 3 years the IAEA has not found a shred of evidence that Iran is trying to make a nuclear bomb and, thus, Iran's referral to the UN Security Council is unprecedented, and simply represents bullying the NPT member states by the major powers.

Iran has been found only in "breach" of some of its commitments, but has NOT been found in "violation" of its NPT obligations; there is a fundamental difference between the two, according to the provisions of the NPT itself. Iran has been carrying out the provisions of the Additional Protocol of NPT, without even officially ratifying it. An NPT member state is NOT required by the NPT provisions to inform the IAEA of CONSTRUCTION of nuclear-related facilities. Thus, as has been admitted repeatedly by the IAEA, the fact that the Natanz facility for uranium enrichment was not declared to the IAEA for 18 years was NOT in violation of NPT. NPT provisions require the member states to declare their nuclear facilities to the IAEA only 180 days before introduction of any nuclear material into the facilities which, in Iran's case, happened more than TWO YEARS in advance.

Iran's suspension of its enrichment program was VOLUNTARY; its restart does not represent violation or breach of any agreement, or international obligation. The IAEA was NOT a party to the Paris agreement between Iran, Britain, France, and Germany, which resulted in Iran suspending its uranium enrichment program. Therefore, even if the suspension was mandatory (which was not, as explicitly stipulated in the Paris agreement), its termination has no relevance to Iran's obligations towards the NPT and the IAEA. Iran has satisfied whatever reasonable, unreasonable, and humiliating demands that the imperial powers of France and Britain have made on them. Yet, the demands never end. By targeting Iran, they want to make a single illegal exception to the provisions of the NPT.

There is no "crisis" over Iran's nuclear energy program. According to the latest US National Intelligence Estimate, Iran is at least 6-10 years away from a nuclear bomb (if it is, in fact, trying to make one) under the BEST circumstances; that is, if Iran does not encounter any difficulty in its enrichment program, which is only at preliminary RESEARCH steps. According to Dr. Albright in a recent interview with Radio Free Europe, Iran needs 50,000 centrifuges in order to be able to enrich enough uranium to make a nuclear bomb. Currently, they have 164 - ONE HUNDRED SIXTY FOUR ONLY - and have the parts for another 2000 - TWO THOUSANDS ONLY. Even if Iran makes 70-100 centrifuges A WEEK (a big task), it will still take TEN years to complete the enrichment facility!

It may be reasonable to ask Iran to freeze TEMPORARILY its uranium enrichment program, since the fuel for its single nuclear reactor (which is not yet operational) has been guaranteed by Russia for 10 years. The freeze could last for several years, and the mechanism for continuing the freeze or ending it could be negotiated, but demanding that Iran give up its fundamental right FOREVER is completely unreasonable.

Lacking any credible evidence, the Bush Administration is constantly talking about Iran's "intentions" for developing nuclear weapons. Just having intentions for doing something (which, in Iran's case, its existence has not been proven yet) is good enough for this Administration to start planning to wage war on a country that is no threat to anyone. As Leo Tolstoy said (emphasis with capital letters added):

"What an immense mass of evil must result .... from allowing men to assume the right of ANTICIPATING what may happen."

Iran is no threat to either Israel or the US. Both are armed with massive arsenals of nuclear weapons, and even the most radical nation is well-aware that any attack on these two nations will provoke retaliations that will obliterate the attacking nation.

More generally, Iran is no threat to any country. Iran has not waged war on any nation for at least 200 years. Iran has not attacked and/or invaded any country for at least 200 years, but has been invaded, occupied, damaged greatly, and been given dictatorial regimes by the same invaders in 1921, 1941, and 1953.

Germany's atrocities during World War II, including murder of 6 million innocent Jews, are historical documents. France and Britain committed countless crimes during their colonial years, including looting the natural resources of their colonies, when they were occupying vast areas in Africa and Asia. Millions of people were killed in Algeria, Vietnam, and elsewhere before they gained their independence from France and Britain. Britain helped the 1921 coup in Iran that eventually brought to power the Pahlavi dynasty, and together with the US put Mohammad Reza Shah back in power in 1953 by a CIA-MI6 coup, after Iranian patriots under the leadership of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh nationalized Iran's oil industry and expelled the Shah from Iran. Many believe that those events are the root cause of Iran's revolution in 1979 and the terrorist attacks on the US in 2001.

Yet, the same powers now talk about Iran and Iranians in the worst possible way, and this is an old nation with a glorious history and civilization, the vast majority of whose young and educated population is actually pro-West!

All the propaganda, lies, and exaggerations about Iran's nuclear energy program are being spread with the aid of many so-called Public Affairs Committees, lobbyists, and people who make a living by lying about nations such as Iran. They are aided by the lies that lobbyists for Mojahedin Khalgh and the aspiring Iranian Ahmad Chalabies and Iyad Allavies are supplying them.

An international movement has started to prevent a new war in the Middle East involving Iran. The movement has an official site:

www.stopwaroniran.org

I urge you to visit the site, and sign your name as a supporter. I urge you to ask your friends, colleagues, collaborators, family members, and whomever you know to join this movement. There have been reports on placement of low-yields, bunker-busting nuclear weapons in the Persian Gulf area for use against Iran's nuclear facilities. Attacking a non-nuclear nation which is not at war with our nation with nuclear bombs will be nothing short of crime against humanity.

The war on Iran will be a catastrophe for everyone at the global scale, from the US - our nation - to Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere. If a war on Iran is started, it will not be limited to Iran. It will engulf the entire Middle East, and will bring nothing but misery, poverty, countless number of casualties, and destruction for DECADES to the Middle East, and ruined economies and high unemployment to the Western world. Iran must not have the same fate as Iraq.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said in a speech at Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967,

"This business of burning human beings ......, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of peoples normally humans, of sending men home from dark and bloody battle fields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love."


We are already experiencing what Dr. King described so vividly; we do not need to experience it again in a war against Iran.

While the vast majority of Iranians long for a truly democratic political system, and wish to live in peace and harmony with the rest of the world, they also support Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy and technology. The Bush Administration and its allies are insincere about lack of democracy and violations of human rights in Iran. If they are sincere about democracy for the Middle East, they should first start with the regimes that they have been supporting:

Hosni Mubarak has been Egypt's president for TWENTY FIVE YEARS, effectively a president for life, as he was recently "re-elected." Egypt has been ruled by emergency laws for TWENTY FIVE YEARS. Mubarak's regime produced the number two man in Osama bin-Laden's terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia is ruled by an absolute monarch, a nation that supplied 15 of the 19 terrorists who attacked the US on September 11, 2001. United Arab Emirates produced two of the terrorists and the route for sending money to them. Jordan was an ally of Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Gulf war, and has no democratic institutions. Pakistan is ruled by a military dictatorship and is populated by thousands of Islamic radicals; a nuclear-armed military that literally created the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In Azerbaijan, another ally of the Bush Administration, a son succeeded his father as the "president." Turkmenistan and other Central Asian nations - where the Bush Administration has established military bases - are some of the worst violators of human rights.

The Palestinian people recently voted overwhelmingly, and through democratic elections (monitored by former president Jimmy Carter), for Hamas, an Islamist group, because they were tired of the corrupt, US-supported Fatah group that had dominated Palestinian politics for decades. The Bush Administration is now trying to undermine Hamas. While it is true that Hamas has committed terrorist acts, the fact remains that it is the Palestinian people's choice.

Why is it that the Bush Administration lost interest in freedom and democracy for Libyan people, after Libya surrendered its nuclear facilities? The Libyan regime is still one of the worst violators of human rights and a sponsor of terrorism. It had plans to kill the Saudi king AFTER it had given up its nuclear program, yet the US did not protest it. Why? Because, to the Bush Administration’s democracy and human rights are only sticks to hit nations that are not approved by it.

Please join the movement. As Margaret Meed (Mead), the renowned anthropologist (1901-1978), said:

"Never believe that a small group of people can't change the world; indeed, they are the only ones who do,"

and

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."  


This piece was written by a concerned citizen. The piece represents the author's personal views, not necessarily those of the founders of www.stopwaroniran.org.

 

 

... Payvand News - 2/24/06 ... --



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