New York: On June 21st, 2006 Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) hosted a panel discussion in New York City: The Iran Crisis: Facts vs. Fiction.
The intention of this event was to enable the audience to decipher between the propagandas, rhetoric and misinformation that is being trumpeted by the Bush Administration on a daily basis and the media who unfortunately learned so little from the last major round of warmongering instead of news casting back in 2002-2003, and is again reporting the Iran crisis within the bounds of what the Administration cares to have debated.
The panelists included a number of distinguished professors of Middle Eastern History, scholars, nuclear physicists, nuclear engineers, and peace activists –Dr. Ervand Abrahamian, Professor of Middle East History, at the City University of New York (CUNY), Dr. Behrad Nakhai, a prominent Nuclear Engineer, Dr. Tom O’Donnell, Nuclear Physicist and Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the Science, Technology and Science Program (STS) and Ms. Virginia Baron, who was on the first Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) peace delegation to Iran.
The event attracted over 150 individuals from all ages and walks of life .Ms. Virginia Baron from FOR discussed her trip to Iran and her interaction with ordinary people and NGOs as she traveled to many cities .Ms. Baron indicated that she found the Iranians most welcoming and warm, unlike what she was told prior to her arrival. For example when she arrived at the airport her Iranian guides were waiting for the American group and shook hands with their guests. Ms. Baron was surprised, as she was told that Iranians do not shake hands .
explained that people discussed the political and economic issues of
Ms. Baron visited synagogues, and churches and spoke to people from different faiths. Her impression was they did not feel as an outcast in a country whose majority is of the Muslim faith. They are allowed to practice their own beliefs, have their own celebrations, and drink alcohol and hold public office.
Dr. Nakhai discussed the hypocrisy and double standards of the Bush Administration. It was the U.S. Government during President Ford’s Administration who encouraged, assisted, and pushed for the Iranian nuclear program. In fact, the same individuals who under President Ford, namely Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Wolfowitz, insisted that Iran needs to have nuclear energy for its growing population are the same individuals who under the Bush Administration are stating that Iran should not even be allowed to obtain the “knowledge” let alone develop nuclear energy.
Dr.Nakhai indicated that after 2000 man-hours of inspection by the IAEA, and
some with only two hours of advance notice, the IAEA has found absolutely no
evidence of diversion of any material towards a nuclear weapons program.
Dr .Nakhaii explained that A crucial factor in extracting weapons grade plutonium is the type of reactor and the mode that it operates. The Israeli plant can be refueled on line, without shutting down. Therefore, high-grade plutonium can be obtained covertly and continuously. In the Iranian plant, the entire reactor will have to be shut down – a step, which cannot be concealed from satellites, airplanes and other sources.
respect to the question that the Islamic Republic has been clandestinely
developing its nuclear program for over 18 years without notifying the IAEA. Dr.
Nakhai indicated that this is another false statement. As one of the earliest
signatories to the NPT,
Dr. Tom O’Donnell indicated that “Oil hegemony, not nukes, is the real issue.”
O’Donnell indicated that just as the true reasons for the U.S. – British
invasion of Iraq were not “weapons of mass destruction” nor “links to Al Qaeda,”
so too, the true reason for the present U.S.- Iran crisis is not about the
ostensible “nuclear threat” posted by Iran. Rather the American push against
to Dr. O’Donnell, the Iranians are nowhere near developing highly enriched
uranium for nuclear weapons, in fact, they appear to be far from even producing
sufficient low-level enriched uranium to use in fuel rods for their
Russian-built nuclear power plants. And even if they were, this is not why
O’Donnell asserted, that according to the IAEA, about 60% of the world’s oil
reserves are in essentially five countries. Whoever has predominant influence in
this region has their hand on “the global oil spigot” – a prize which brings
enormous power and leverage far beyond the region itself, reaching over every
country and enterprise that needs the region’s oil.
Abrahamian agreed with both Dr. Nakhai and Dr. O’Donnell regarding the fact that
this is not about
important factor that must be taken into consideration is the role of
Abrahamian indicated that these reasons together make
indicated that as the saying goes in the White house, “Ordinary men want to go
... Payvand News - 6/29/06 ... --