By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
It is extraordinary to what lengths
this Administration will go to halt Iran's
progress. Its paranoia at
Iran becoming independent
lends one to believe that Iran is a far greater adversary than
common sense dictates. A developing nation striving to meet the energy demands
of 70 million.
Yet, Mr. Bush, having violated
Article III of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in which he offered civilian nuclear
aid to India in exchange for
its vote against Iran, is now
bribing the Russians into a lucrative nuclear energy accord in exchange for not
vetoing the sanctions resolution against Iran.
Given that the American's biggest
fear is the Chinese expansion of their military, one must question what they
will be tempted with?
Although they have been offered nuclear technology for building plants,
China is a hungry cub that will
demand far more.
Sanctions, a war declaration on the
Iranian people - for we are being denied our inalienable right, robbed of the
chance for progress and advancement into the twenty-first century, shackles
threateningly dangling in front of us; yet it is said that history never repeats
itself, while we are being forced to relive it, the perpetrators stubbornly
refusing to learn from it.
These perpetrators also know that
sanctions will prove to be ineffective - and a full scale war will ensue; A war
that will leave its mark on several countries.
India dug her own grave when she betrayed
Iran. The Bill that is required of
India to sign in exchange for
nuclear cooperation with the US would include not only isolation but support
of sanctions on Iran. This would include the gas pipeline from
Iran to Pakistan and India. Nothing could be more accurate than
these words spoken by Homi J. Bhabha, father of India's nuclear energy, now betrayed by the
ambitious politicians in India:
Knowledge is perhaps the most
important possession of Man. It is
the accumulated knowledge of centuries which differentiates modern Man from his
ancestor in the dawn of civilization.
"All the basic discoveries upon
which atomic energy is based were made before the second world war by scientists
of many nations working in free and full collaboration. The war put an end to this free exchange
of knowledge, and most of the technical developments concerning atomic energy
were made subsequently by a few nations, each working in isolation behind a wall
of secrecy." (1955
- United Nations Presidential speech).
Yet, by condemning Iran and paving
the way for sanctions, the first steps to war, a war in which the US has
reiterated its options are on the table, including nuclear bunker busters, India
would pay heavily for her decision.
The Union of Concerned Scientists report that the kind of bunker-buster
the administration wants to use on Iran's nuclear facilities, would only
penetrate a few feet into the ground, too shallow to contain the massive
radiation fallout that could spread over 1000 miles. If the US dropped a single 1.2 kiloton bomb on Isfahan, the kind it is planning on using, 3 million people
will be killed within 2 weeks of the explosion around Isfahan, and 35 million people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India
will be at high risk of cancer due to radiation.
Should Russia fall in
the same trap, it would have to forgo its chances of climbing the superpower
platform once again. Or perhaps be
obliged to deal with retaliatory measures if the winds shift and they have to
deal with the radiation.
Why the collective punishment? Why focus on Iran when clearly there is more danger facing the
United States from the
The main thrust of their argument
for denying the Iranian nation of their lawful and legal right to a peaceful
energy program, which the Americans promoted during the Shah's regime, is the
'intelligence' claiming Iran to be a state sponsor of
terrorists. Frankly, it is hard to
give credit to 'intelligence' these days even with all the groundbreaking
methods are being applied.
As the death toll piles up to
'defend our freedom' and 'establish democracy' in the Middle-East, we see our
own democracy erode. No doubt
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is unusually burdened fighting for our
constitutional rights. Hardly have
we had a chance to recover from the last shocking revelation of the unlawful NSA
eavesdropping spy scandal before it comes to light that for the past five years,
the Bush Administration has been secretly tracking international money
transactions as a part of its 'war on terror".
Yet in spite of its sophistication,
its groundbreaking and lawbreaking efforts, this administration has failed to
track down the money that feeds the Mojahedeen-e Khalg (MEK) in
Iraq; and the transactions
the terrorist group make here in the United States. The Iraqi fiasco, the invasion of a
sovereign nation based on 'poor' intelligence which demanded that we attack Iraq
otherwise their weapons of mass destruction would destroy us, has left me with no faith in the CIA,
FBI, or any other 'intelligence', but I thought with a Czar, Negroponte at that,
things would be shaken up. One must
surely wonder how our finest who can handpick 400-500 'terrorists' among untold
hundreds of thousands and retain them for years in Gitmo, cannot trace money
back and forth between 4000 terrorists (who are given 'protected persons
status') under their very noses.
This lack of intelligence gathering is incomprehensible - dismal at
Yet they maintain with certainty
that Iran is a state sponsor
of terrorists when they have had no ties with Iran for over 25
years. Secretary Rumsfeld
highlighted the poor intelligence gathering when he claimed: ""The absence of
evidence does not necessarily mean evidence of absence."!
The European parliamentarians, who
follow this Administration so sheepishly, ought to be apprehensive about
replacement candidates proposed for Iran, the Mojahedeen-e Khalg (MEK) - a group who
will never be welcomed in Iran. They have not objected to the leader of
the MEK terrorist group, Maryam Rajavi, holding a press conference in their
parliament house. It is
extraordinary that a terrorist leader should be allowed to roam around free, yet
alone set foot in the parliament house of a society of democracies who throw
stones at Iran.
Perhaps the answer lies within the
walls of the US Congress where the Israeli Prime Minister made his case...)
"Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, allow me to
turn to another dark and gathering storm casting its shadow over the
OLMERT: Iran, the world's leading sponsor of terror and
a notorious violator of fundamental human rights, stands on the verge of
acquiring nuclear weapons. With these weapons, the security of the entire world
is put in jeopardy.
We deeply appreciate
America's leadership on this
issue and the strong bipartisan conviction that a nuclear-armed
Iran is an intolerable threat to the
peace and security of the world.
It cannot be permitted to
This Congress has proven its conviction
by initiating the Iran Freedom and Support Act. We
applaud these efforts.
A nuclear Iran means a
terrorist state could achieve the primary mission for which terrorists live and
die: the mass destruction of innocent human life.
This challenge, which I believe is
the test of our time, is one the West cannot afford to
The radical Iranian regime has
declared the United
States its enemy. The president believes it is
his religious duty and his destiny to lead his country in a violent conflict
against the infidels. With pride, he denies the Jewish Holocaust and speaks
brazenly, calling to wipe Israel off the
For us, this is an existential
threat, a threat to which we cannot consent.
But it is not Israel's threat
alone. It is a threat to all those committed to stability in the Middle East and
the well-being of the world at large.
OLMERT: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, our moment
is now. History will judge our generation by the actions we take now, by our
willingness to stand up for peace and security and freedom, and by our courage
to do what is right.
The international community will be
measured not by its intentions but by its results.
The international community will be
judged by its ability to convince nations and peoples to turn their backs on
hatred and zealotry.
If we don't take Iran's bellicose
rhetoric seriously now, we will be forced to take its nuclear aggression
And so they
To classify Iran as the world's foremost sponsors of
terrorists, what is really meant is Iranian support for militant groups opposed
to Israel. And yet we are witnessing what
Israel is capable of. The reality of it is,
Iran has not committed acts
of terrorism whereas the West is openly supporting terrorist organizations and
states, foremost Israel with 2-300 nuclear
Like any other nation who has signed
onto the NPT, Iran deserves to continue with its
peaceful nuclear program and not have to go to war to defend its inalienable
right. Let us hope that when it
comes to the Russians and the Chinese, unlike the Indians, greed and folly are
improbable bedfellows; not only for Iran's sake but for the sake of peace
in the area and beyond.
About the author: Soraya
Sepahpour-Ulrich has studied in Iran, the UK, France, Australia and the US. She obtained her Bachelors Degree in
International Relations from the University of Southern
California, Los Angeles, and she
is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Political Science at the University of Utah concentrating in Middle East
Studies. She has done extensive
research on US foreign policy
towards Iran and
Iran's nuclear program.