Grasping at Straws

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 1:06 AM

The wholesale, transparent dishonesty of Washington's Iran policy, although not surprising, is still breathtaking to witness. Granted, most people are ignorant of the facts. Who can blame them? This is to be expected. That aside, it seems to me that those members of the American "foreign policy elite"  as well as members of the UN Security Council who know the reality of the situation are play-acting in going along with the Barack/Hillary/Gates scenario, because they must feel there is little hope of challenging it. That this scenario has been mandated by Tel Aviv and by the U.S. Israel Lobby is important; it has plenty to do with the calculations of those in the know. Without that mandate, which pre-dates 9/11, Barack/Hillary/Gates would be singing a different tune. Washington would be free to act rationally and honestly, in the interests of the U.S. and of humanity as a whole. 

Below is a straightforward report from Reuters about Tehran's own nuclear conference. Here is a country, Iran, whose supreme leader has renounced nuclear weapons, forbidden their development in a religious decree. Here is a country, Iran, which has joined the International Atomic Energy Agency's protocol for the development of nuclear power for peaceful purposes. Here is a country, Iran, which is being threatened by Israel, an entity that is not a signatory to the IAEA, and which has developed a considerable arsenal of nuclear weapons, and possesses the means to deliver them, thanks to Washington and Berlin. Here is a non-nuclear country, Iran, which, at the instigation of Tel Aviv and its agents in America, has been singled out as a potential target for a nuclear attack by the United States, in the event the White House feels it may want to do that. This is mind-boggling and repulsive. All this is being done under the authority and presumably at the direction of a U.S. President who is the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize.

There was an article over the weekend in the Financial Times entitled "Clinton raises prospect of 'regional conflict' over Iran". Hillary is working on various approaches to getting a big vote in the UN Security Council for crippling economic sanctions against Iran. Sanctions on Iran are unjustified. It is an altogether stupid and counterproductive policy for the United States to be pursuing, but such are the political realities in Ex America that there is no other choice for the unfortunate politicians who remain in charge there. Sanctions are an act of war and very difficult to explain when there is no rational explanation. So what does Hillary proclaim to try to make sense of it all and provide some kind of plausible cover story?

To quote the FT article: "Mrs Clinton called for sanctions 'as soon as feasible' in the face of skepticism from China, Turkey and Brazil. "What's the alternative?" she asked. "The alternative is to permit them [the Iranians] to continue pursuing nuclear weapons, either actual production or full capacity, which will trigger an arms race among their neighbours and would put one of the most volatile regions in the world at risk and could even trigger a conflict. And I don't believe that that's a chance worth taking." Again, I have to use the word mind-boggling.

Just a few questions and observations:

(a) Who says that Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons? The 16 spy agencies of the U.S. government have stated that Tehran is not. Why should we believe a hack politician like Hillary Clinton, who has prostituted herself many times in appearances before AIPAC's annual conferences, instead of the intelligence professionals?

(b) What  pray tell does "actual production or full capacity" of nuclear weaponry mean? Especially, when no such production is under way or contemplated. Is Hillary talking out of her head? Does she have any idea what she is saying? 

(c) Why would the hypothetical production of nuclear weapons in Iran trigger "an arms race" in the region? Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons, and that has not triggered an arms race with the Arabs. All of a sudden, the Arabs are going to feel threatened by Tehran, and start an arms race?

(d) Why is the Middle East "one of the most volatile regions in the world"?  Could U.S. and Israeli policy have something to do with that? Maybe a big something? Maybe a very, very big, big something?

(e) Hillary suggests that a nuclear weapon in Iran could, in and by itself, "even trigger a conflict"? And why would that be?  Hillary seems to be hinting here (to China, Russia, whomever) that Washington is powerless to prevent Tel Aviv from bombing Iran and starting a war--which event would cause oil prices to skyrocket--so we've got to decimate Iran with sanctions now to stop that from happening. Does this make any sense? I conclude that Hillary is out of her depth and grasping at straws.

 [Update Link: May 18th, 2010, France 24 International News: “El Baradei: Iran nuclear swap ‘a good agreement’.”]


Iran, at nuclear conference, hits out at "bullies"


Saturday, April 17 2010 // By Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said China and Russia were represented at its own disarmament conference on Saturday, held in response to a summit in Washington to which it was not invited and intended to hit back at nuclear-armed "bullies."

Iran said 60 countries were represented, including "seven or eight" foreign ministers and the deputy foreign ministers of China and Russia -- the two major powers the West is pushing to accept new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to the leaders of both countries at his Washington summit on Monday and Tuesday where Iran's nuclear program was not on the official agenda but dominated talks on the sidelines.

With new sanctions looking ever more likely, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used his address to the conference to hit back at the "bullies" who were trying to prevent Iran gaining the nuclear knowhow it says is for purely peaceful purposes.

"Unfortunately, the American government has both used nuclear weapons and has also officially threatened to use nuclear weapons," Ahmadinejad told delegates gathered at the conference center of the state broadcaster IRIB.

"When those who possess nuclear weapons and use those weapons have the unequal veto right in the highest body responsible for international security, does this not mean encouraging others to proliferate nuclear weapons in order to provide their national security?" he asked.

The foreign ministers of Iraq, Lebanon and Syria supported Iran's nuclear work, calling for Israel to be stripped off its nuclear arsenal. Israel is believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal. Iran refuses to recognize Israel.

"Israel should let U.N. inspectors to visit its nuclear facilities," Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari told the conference, state TV reported.

A U.S. sanctions draft proposes new curbs on Iranian banking, a full arms embargo, tougher measures against Iranian shipping, moves against members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and firms they control, and a ban on new investments in Iran's energy sector.


While Washington hopes the U.N. Security Council will approve the sanctions in the coming weeks, Ahmadinejad has said he will not beg to avoid them and that they did not pose a huge risk to the economy of the world's fifth largest oil exporter. "The Security Council has openly turned into a tool for the implementation of the policies of a few bullying governments," Ahmadinejad told the conference.

He called for changes to its structure and to that of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which had become "a political lever" to use against non-nuclear countries. The IAEA said in February Iran might be working on a nuclear weapon. Ahmadinejad said a new U.N. body should oversee global disarmament and that states that possess or threaten to use nuclear weapons should be suspended from the IAEA.

While Iran remains defiant in the face of new sanctions -- saying its nuclear program is "irreversible" -- Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast it said it remained open to a deal with the West.

Mehmanparast restated that Iran was prepared to swap its low-level enriched uranium for higher-grade fuel enriched abroad, a move which would help address fears about Iran's enrichment activities, but this must happen on Iranian soil.

"We want to exchange 3.5 percent enriched uranium, 1 tonne, for 100 kg (220 lb) of 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel inside Iran under the supervision of the IAEA and we are ready for interaction," Mehmanparast told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference.

Iran would continue cooperation with the IAEA even if a new round of sanctions were imposed, its envoy to the Vienna-based body said. "We continued our cooperation with the IAEA in the past despite three imposed (U.N.) resolutions. This is our clear policy, even in that case (of new sanctions) we will continue our cooperation," Ali Asghar Soltanieh told Reuters.

© Thomson Reuters 2010.