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Iran's Response to the "Deadline"

By Ardeshir Ommani


Iran, on August 26, 2006, announced its decision that it does not intend to suspend its uranium enrichment activities, but proposes resolving the nuclear dispute through dialogue and hopefully, continued negotiations.  It maintains the position that the United Nations Security Council’s deadline of August 31, 2006 is not the “end of diplomacy”, and must not be the beginning of another war.  Iran also reiterated that it could not depend on the West for provision of nuclear fuel, because the West has reneged too many times on its promises, and even contractual commercial agreements with Iran.


Ardeshir Ommani

During the dictatorial reign of Mohammed Reza Shah, the majority of the countries who today oppose Iran’s nuclear technology and are ready to slam it with sanctions and undermine its progress were deeply involved in promoting, constructing and particularly managing Iran’s profitable nuclear start-ups, back in the early 1970’s.


For instance, the U.S., today’s archenemy of Iran’s nuclear enrichment technology constructed the first atomic reactor in Tehran.  Germany, with a $4 billion contract was busy constructing a large nuclear reactor in Iran’s Bushehr Province, and at a cost of $1 billion in 1975 purchasing power, Iran was made a major shareholder in the famous French nuclear enrichment plant then under construction. 


But in the aftermath of the downfall of the Shah and his undemocratic regime propped up by Washington, the United States, not so surprisingly, breached all commercial agreements with Iran, and furthermore, dissuaded Germany, France, and all other countries from assisting in the completion of the partly-finished nuclear projects.  This history is only one reason for Iran’s lack of trust in its relation to the U.S.  The Iranian people have not forgotten that it was the United States that provided arms and chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein to pursue its devastating eight-year war with Iran.  


The Islamic Republic of Iran has on many occasions particularly stated that its nuclear program is for the development of civilian nuclear energy and that it has no interest in developing nuclear weapons, a position underscored by Mohamed El Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who has numerously stated that there is no evidence of the transfer of nuclear material for any other purpose except the civilian program.  Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary, Ali Larijani, stressed that nuclear weapons have “no place in our national security doctrine,” because any attempt on our part to acquire such weapons will lead other countries in the region to enter into “a horrific arms race” whose end result would be lack of security and trust among the nations of the Middle East. 


Facing the tenacious resistant forces in Iraq, and the tenuous military condition in Afghanistan, not to mention the recent set back in Lebanon, Vice President Cheney has a hard time to convince the State Department of the necessity of confronting Iran militarily. The ultra-conservatives in the Bush Administration are fond of recalling appeasement and Munich in reference to Iran, with the intention of involving the U.S. in another war of aggression, with the hopes of recovering their losses in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Motivated by their thirst for power, the neo-conservatives are blinded to the fact that Iran lacks the industrial power of Germany before the war and is not a threat to its neighbors, let alone being a “menace” to Europe or the U.S.


Parallel Track


The U.S. not only breaks its agreements with other countries, it even disregards the decisions of the other members of the United Nations Security Council.  For example, in the absence of a unified agreement within the Security Council on a regime of broad sanctions against Iran, officials of the Bush Administration have threatened to form an independent coalition, as in Iraq, to freeze Iranian financial and real assets and restrict trade.  U.S. ambassador John Bolton said that facing such a possibility, the U.S. will work outside of the U.N., ramping up its own sanctions and getting other countries to follow suit. So much for respect for international law and institutions, what G.W. Bush calls “the international community”.


More than half a century of U.S. foreign policy towards Iran shows that the U.S. enmity is not confined to the development of nuclear energy.  Rather, the current discord is a symptom of much deeper virulent needs of a system based on unbridled power and monopoly control over the resources of developing countries, specifically the oil wealth of the Middle East. 


The United States at the center of the so-called ‘free world’ is determined, by hook or crook, to thwart Iran’s progress in the critical fields of science and technology, and impose hegemonic restrictions on this sovereign nation.  But as we all know, for every action there is a reaction.  Today, more than ever before in the contemporary history of Iran, the Iranian people stand ready to defend their right to nuclear technology and economic and social progress.


Ardeshir Ommani’s Bio


Ardeshir Ommani, an activist in the anti-war and anti-imperialist struggle for over 40 years, including against the Vietnam War, is a co-founder of the American-Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC).  He has written a number of articles documenting the U.S. foreign policy toward Iran.  He has translated many articles into Farsi, which have been published inside Iran in the progressive press.  In the 1960's, he was a co-founder of the Iranian Students Association (ISA), which contributed to the struggle against the Shah of Iran, a U.S. puppet.  Mr. Ommani returned to Iran in 1979, at the dawn of the revolution and participated in the revolutionary surge of that period.  Since returning to the U.S. in 1980, he has been very active in the anti-war movement and in the struggle against the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq. 



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