The Green Movement and Iran's Nuclear Program
Hamid Assef, Visiting
Lecturer, Department of History,
While domestic Iranian
political scene has been dominated by the post election protests and the
emergence of the Green Movement, the Western Nations remained focused on
nuclear program.. Obama administration has warned that it will wait till
September for Iran
to return to the negotiation table. It stands ready to impose additional
sanctions if Iran is not
cooperative and Israel
is still dedicated to a pre-emptive military strike.
The Green movement and its
supporters, in the meanwhile have remained silent on this issue. Neither the
domestic leaders of the movement nor the thousands of Iranian diasporas who have
come to the streets in support of the movement, have commented about the ongoing
nuclear dispute. This silence is perhaps motivated by a desire to gain maximum
international support for the Green movement and maintain the international
pressure on Iran's
leadership. The nuclear program however is a national concern for all Iranians
and this silence will only encourage the nations that are committed to stopping
nuclear program to push forward with their agenda.
Despite the ongoing
international struggle for political freedom, the Green movement must speak out
in defense of the nuclear program and in opposition to the proposed plans for
more sanctions and military strike. Unfortunately no one is challenging the
biased argument that Iran's
nuclear program is an existential threat to Israel
and the United States.
The few people who dare to question this unproven
assumption are harshly criticized.
The Inconvenient truth about
Iran's Nuclear Program
The truth is that
Iran's nuclear program can at most pose a
strategic threat to US and Israeli interests in the region but never an
existential one.. All experts agree that even if
has a hidden agenda to develop nuclear weapons it can only assemble a small
arsenal of less than ten nuclear bombs in the foreseeable future. The fear
mongers claim that as soon as Iran
develops a nuclear weapon it will immediately attack
military installation or the small oil sheikhdoms. Why would
do such a thing when it is fully aware of the massive nuclear power of the
United States and
Israel. The only way that such a scenario can
materialize is that the Iranian government is irrational and suicidal. But the
behavior of Iranian government in recent years shows that it takes rational and
calculated risks. If the Iranian government was suicidal it would have provoked
a direct military confrontation with the
United States in Iran of Afghanistan but has not
done so. The fact is that if
develops a nuclear capability it will only be used for deterrence purposes.
Both Israeli and American
leaders are fully aware of this fact although they will never admit it publicly.
What really worries them is that if Iran
develops its nuclear program it will encourage Arab countries to seek nuclear
weapons and as a result the current military superiority of
will be challenged. Both Israel
and the United States enjoy
absolute military superiority over the entire Middle East
region. This superiority allows
to continue its occupation of the Palestinian territories. The nuclear
empowerment of Iran
or an Arab country would lead to stronger support for forces of Palestinian
can threaten any country that supports Hamas or Hezbollah with military attack.
It can attack Lebanon of Gaza without any significance consequences. If one or
some Middle East countries develop nuclear
capability then they can support the Palestinian resistance without fear of
retaliation. As a result the cost of occupation to
will increase and it might be forced to abandon the Palestinian territories.
This scenario is the main and real motive for
Israel's opposition to
Iran's nuclear program.
is opposed to nuclear empowerment of all and any Middle Eastern state. This is
the inconvenient truth about
Iran's nuclear program that no one talks about.
Iran's nuclear program is not an existential threat to
Israel. At most it can be a strategic threat to
Israel's occupation of the Palestinian
territories. Iran's nuclear
program will not pose a threat to any of its neighbors because they are all
protected by the United
States military might.
What Can the Green Movement
The Green Movement should use
the global attention that it is currently enjoying to expose this inconvenient
truth and by doing so help defuse the current propaganda for sanctions and
military strike. The Iranian communities in Europe and North America have gained
political capital in recent weeks because of the popularity of the
Iran's protest movement in the West. It is time
to spend this political capital to challenge the prevalent propaganda against
Iran's nuclear program. Prominent Iranian
personalities and commentators who have appeared in Western Media such as Afshin
Molavi, Hamoon Majd, Akbar Ganji, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Alireza Nourizadeh and
Trita Parsi must use these media opportunities to question the false perceptions
about Iran's nuclear threat.
Other less prominent members of
the Iranian Diaspora can do their share by contributing comments and feedback to
internet articles that discuss
Iran's nuclear program. Many internet news
websites allow for posting of reader comments in response to an article. When
you read an article that is biased and misleading about
Iran's nuclear program don't just shake your head
and move on. Post an informed comment.
The domestic leadership of
Green Movement can do its share as well. One of the excuses that have regularly
been used by opponents of Iran's
nuclear program is that Iran
pursues a militant anti-Israel, anti-American foreign policy. Some say that if
was a more moderate country perhaps its nuclear ambitions were more tolerable.
The domestic leaders of the Green movement (Mousavi, Karrubi, Khatami,....) can
help defuse the anti-Iran propaganda by offering a moderate alternative to Mr.
Ahmadinejad's style of foreign policy. The course of political developments
in recent weeks has shown that the Green movement is evolving into a durable
political force which can influence both domestic and foreign policy. World
governments are hence closely watching the policies that are being advocated by
the leaders of this movement. If Western governments observe a potential for
moderation in Iran's
foreign policy they might show more flexibility in nuclear negotiations.
... Payvand News - 08/02/09 ... --