Political analysts usually enumerate three main problems between Iran and the United States: the nuclear energy program, terrorism, and human rights. All Western media propaganda against Iran revolves around one of these three axes.
The question is “do these issues really constitute the main reasons behind the existing discrepancies between Iran and the West?” Or are they simple excuses and the main concern lies somewhere else?
The US and its European allies have treated these issues in different ways. Their reaction to either of those issues completely depends on the coordinates of their strategic interests. When terrorism, human rights or nuclearization of countries are in line with the strategic balance that the West seeks to create, they are mostly indifferent to such issues or justify them on various grounds. This article will provide historical evidence in favor of this claim.
The history of the Zionist regime in Israel shows that it has never hesitated to use all kinds of terrorism to survive under protection of UK and US. A glance at the historical archives of the past century will reveal that frequent violation of human rights and the use of terror are but ordinary for the Israeli regime. The Western states, on the other hand, have been either indifferent or passed over it on the pretext that “Israel is not a member of the UN Human Rights Council and or even a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).”
As for building unconventional and atomic weapons, official sources in the West have admitted that the Zionist regime has, at least, 200 nuclear warheads in its possession which can be mounted on missiles. It has neither acceded to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), nor signed the NPT. Has any Western state ever bothered to protest to Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons? The West (US and its allies) have been largely indifferent to the behavior of the Zionist regime along all three aforementioned axes.
Both Pakistan and India have been developing nuclear capability in recent years. After they officially tested nuclear weapons, the United States and Europe sufficed to simple diplomatic protests. Both countries were accepted as new members of the world’s nuclear club. In addition to continuing its relations with Pakistan, the United States developed bilateral ties with India. Now, nobody protests to nuclear activities of Pakistan or India.
Another example of double standards applied by the US is in relation to Afghanistan and Taliban terrorist group. Many Western political analysts maintain that Taliban came into being through the support of intelligence and security establishments in Pakistan and the United States and entered power equations of Afghanistan. The United States has thus far used three contradictory and political approaches toward the group. In the first stage, it cooperated with Pakistan’s intelligence agency and allowed it to push Taliban to a position of power and government in Afghanistan. Washington was then indifferent to catastrophic conduct of Taliban in Afghanistan for a long time and remained silent until Taliban formed an alliance with al-Qaeda group led by Osama bin Laden. It was only then that the United States started to protest to Taliban and call it the most dangerous terrorist group in history of Afghanistan which should be annihilated. At present, that policy has been replaced with a new policy of direct talks with Taliban and the United States believes that Taliban should be given its share in the new Afghan government through negotiations. Apart from the suspicious case of Taliban, many books and articles are still being written on al-Qaeda and its late leader, Bin Laden. He hailed form a wealthy and famous family in Saudi Arabia who had lived and studied in Britain and the United States for many years. The support accorded to him by the Americans and their intelligence agency, CIA, started from occupation of Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union. When analyzing terrorism from a historical viewpoint, many American sociologists believe that terrorism is rooted in poverty and injustice. They argue that poverty and injustice, in turn, occur in resource-rich countries whose resources are plundered by hegemonic world powers as a result of the collaboration between the international capitalistic system and racist ideas of Zionism.
As for the issue of human rights, there is no argument against objectification of this concept by the West, especially the United States. A clear example was the compromise of the United States and its Western allies toward the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. The rule of the Baath party in Iraq was based on terror. Saddam Hussein snatched power through a military coup d’etat and established his dictatorship by putting people behind the bars as well as by torturing and killing Iraqis. The cases of human rights violations by Saddam Hussein’s regime were described catastrophic by all international organizations. However, when Iraq’s Baathist regime attacked Iran, it was greatly supported by the Western states which provided it with all kinds of weapons to continue its eight-year war against Iran. At that time, no Western country ever objected to human rights violations of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Following the war, information was released about contribution of Germany and Britain to Saddam’s regime for the production of chemical and microbial weapons. The case was hot for a short time before it was wiped off the media reports by the United States and its Western allies. A review of all cases of terrorism, human rights, and nuclear weapons that mark the track records of the United States in all parts of the world from Latin America to Africa and Asia, the most salient feature will be duality in the West’s policies in the above three areas. Not all of them can be discussed in this article. The conclusion, however, can be reached that for half a century, the issues of terrorism, human rights and, recently, the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction have been used as an excuse by the Western statesmen to achieve their strategic goals.
One may ask “if these are but excuses, then what is the main concern?” The most pressing matter in the Middle East is the issue of balance of power and how it is maintained. Political history of the region, at least in the past few decades, shows that the most urgent goal of the West in this region has been to control power in a way to ensure their strategic goals in the Middle East.
Just remember the pre-revolution Iranian regime concurrent with the presidential term of the former US president, Richard Nixon and his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger. After the British forces left the Persian Gulf in the 1970s and the Americans took over, the United States decided to make the former Shah’s regime the gendarme of the Persian Gulf. The Middle East was divided between two political poles at that time, which were rightist and leftist poles. Tehran was the center of the rightist tendencies while Egypt’s capital city of Cairo was the center of the left. At that time, the then Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, was leader of the Arab nationalism and socialism. In return for receiving Iran's petrodollars, the United States and Europe sold weapons to Iran. Presence of thousands of the American military advisors in Iran to promote US security and military policies in the face of Iran's northern neighbor (the former Soviet Union) was in line with Washington’s policy to turn Iran into the regional gendarme. The main goal of those policies was protection of the West’s regional policies. At the same time, Shah claimed to be in control of the world’s fifth most powerful army. Cairo, however, was a center of Arab nationalism and socialism under the leadership of Nasser with support from the former Soviet Union. Nasser’s failure in war with Israel and his subsequent death changed the regional power equation on the side of Arab nationalism.
The victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran disrupted the power balance in the Middle East in such a way that it concerned both Washington and Moscow.
The author believes that Washington and Russia were unanimous in encouraging Saddam Hussein to start its war against Iran. The main goal of that war was to overthrow the nascent Islamic Republic of Iran and prevent spread of the revolution to other regional countries. In parallel to inciting Iraq’s war against Iran, the Americans have tried since the early days after victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran to form a new Arab front by encouraging reconciliation between Arab states and Israel. The former Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, and the then Israeli prime minister, Menachem Begin, joined hands with the former US president, Jimmy Carter, in Camp David to proclaim the new balance of Middle Eastern power on the basis of the reconciliation between Cairo and Tel Aviv. As such, definition of the main two poles of political influence in the Middle East, that is, Tehran and Cairo, changed again. Tehran became the hub of the Islamic Revolution which tried to empower the Muslim “ummah” by encouraging independence and freedom of the Islamic countries. On the other hand, Cairo, under the rule of Sadat, became the main axis of reconciliation with Israel in the vain hope of institutionalizing the new “Middle East” in the international political scene.
Neither West, nor East could achieve their strategic goals through Saddam’s war against Iran, though two neighboring nations suffered heavy losses of life and property. Following the war, Iran not only refrained from giving up the values of the Islamic Revolution, but also tried to rebuild the country. Its popular power, not only reconstructed the country’s military structures, but also used its power to further promote the Islamic Revolution’s culture among Muslim masses of the region. Saddam was subsequently overthrown and Iraq was liberated. Afghanistan also got rid of its past and entered a new phase. Following those developments, the recent spate of popular uprisings in most Arab countries which aimed to overthrow dependent dictatorships, introduced sudden fundamental changes to the West-sponsored regional balance. The Zionist politicians of Israel called it the second earthquake that has shaken the Middle East subsequent to the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The traditional balance in the Middle East has tipped over. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said in his address to the UN General Assembly that the Arab Spring has led to Israel’s winter. The West has admitted that the Islamic Republic of Iran is now at the peak of its regional power and its role cannot be ignored in any effort aimed at restoring the balance to the Middle East. They have also acknowledged that Iran's behavior and regional standing will be main determinants of any future balance in the region. Although terrorism, human rights and Iran's nuclear energy program are used as excuses, the main thing that has worried the United States and its European allies, even Moscow and Beijing, is how to depict the future balance of power in the Middle East. The Persian Gulf is the beating heart of the global energy flow and all political and economic approaches followed by the Western and Eastern powers in this sensitive region are influenced by that reality. Although the United States and its European allies have been waging a war of nerves and propaganda against Iran under various pretexts of terrorism, human rights and the nuclear case and have resorted to threat of force and international sanctions, both US President Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, have owned up to Iran's power in interviews with Persian-language services of the London-based BBC and the Voice of America. Secondly, they have been pretending that all developments in the Middle East are under their keen eyes. Thirdly, they have clearly announced that after triumph of popular uprisings in the Middle East region, the West, including the US and Europe, cannot continue with its past policy of supporting dictatorships. Fourthly, the most salient feature of Clinton’s interview, which she repeated about five times, was the call on Iran to engage in direct talks with the United States. Both she and the whole US Administration believe that the conditions in the Middle East have changed so drastically that the United States should clearly know “who is with us, and who is against us.” Fifthly, the United States is well aware that establishment of a new regional balance will be impossible without Iran.
The West under the command of the United States is still grappling with three major problems in the Middle East. Firstly, continuation of the past double standards will make regional nations even more distrustful of the West and no regional state will trust in the United States’ policies and promises anymore. Secondly, continued support for the Zionist regime and its racist hegemony has become well-nigh impossible. Thirdly, at a time that regional nations have put an end to their countries’ dictatorships, the West is still using a bullying language. As long as this has not changed, the result will be nothing but continuation of the current psychological war and more inflammation in the region.
About Iran Review: Iran Review (www.iranreview.org) is the leading independent, non-governmental and non-partisan website - organization representing scientific and professional approaches towards Iran's political, economic, social, religious, and cultural affairs, its foreign policy, and regional and international issues within the framework of analysis and articles.
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