There is something in the air those days, something strange, that resembles the climate of fear and agitation which was prevailing back in the beginning of the year 2003 when the American administration’s propaganda reached it’s climax in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. This time the smear campaign is directed against Iraq’s neighbour: Iran.
For over 200 years, Iran has never invaded, attacked or provoked any of its neighbours. Instead, Iran has been occupied and subjugated by the British who deposed a democratically elected prime-minister, Mohammed Mossadeq, and installed the most brutal dictator the region has probably ever seen: the Shah. After the Islamic revolution, Western powers have constantly conspired to undermine the regime in Tehran by fuelling regional tension and sponsoring a proxy war, arming and supporting Saddam Hussein, then the American ally in the region. This terrible war led to the death of millions in both sides and literally destroyed both countries.
The Islamic republic officially announced that it was ready to support the Arab Peace Initiative tabled at Beirut in 2002 and which offers Israel a comprehensive peace with all 22 Arab countries + total integration into the region. Tehran also promised, in the context of the same initiative, to help transforming the Lebanese Hezbollah into a political party (Alain Gresh– Le Monde Diplomatique– June 6, 2007).
Iran HAS THE RIGHT to unrich Uranium under the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). What’s more it has always said it was ready to impose volontary restrictions on that right and to agree to an increase in IAEA’s inspections as a gesture of goodwill. Tehran has also signed the Additional Protocol to the NPT straightening the supervisory powers even further. The Natanz nuclear facility, which the American administration wants to present as the epicenter of what they call “the Iran nuclear weapons program,” was at the center of a controversy back in February 2003 when the IAEA found centrifuge machines and criticized Iran for not having declared the matter (concealment is a common practice, by the way, that all Western nuclear powers have been accused of in the past.) The international agency demanded that more inspections should be allowed in Iranian nuclear sites, to which Tehran acquiesced. Yes, the IAEA did find highly enriched Uranium particles at Natanz (august 2003), but it has since been established and confirmed by the agency itself that the particles were imported with the centrifuges. The inspections have never, to this day, found any evidence for a nuclear weapons program. Even CIA leaked reports, seemed to agree with the agency’s conclusion. Nevertheless, the US administration still uses the centrifuge machine story as an absolute proof for an Iranian nuclear bomb project.
In early 2004, a new harsh tone was glaring out of Washington; the nuclear argument seemed to have been abandoned for a while and the pro-war campaigners invented a new cassus belli: Tehran should be attacked because, as the Washington Times alleged, the Iraqi resistance “is being aided directly by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and by Hezbollah.” A line that has since been sang in unisson by virtually every corporate paper and media in America. Iranian diplomats were detained by American forces on the basis of false and ludicrous accusations, prompting protests from the puppet regime in Baghdad itself. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, part -in principle- of the army of a sovereign country, was declared a “terrorist organization” by an overwhelming majority of the American congress. The goal here is clear: linking Iran to anti-American insurgency and providing an extra basis for a hypothetical attack.
In his yesterday’s visit to New York to attend the UN general assembly, the Iranian president was ridiculed, insulted by the head of Columbia University (which invited the Iranian leader in the first place.) Protests were organized by the very influential pro-Israel lobby in the city. The Iranian president was accused of being anti-Semitic, a holocaust denier and wanting to “wipe Israel off the map.” The basis for the latter accusation is a speech Ahmadinejjad gave in Tehran back in October 2005. The Iranian president quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini said in substance (as translated by Farsi expert Professors): “the occupation of Jerusalem” will be “erased from the page of time” (see Gary Leupp’s: “Iran, a Chronology of Disinformation“). First remark: the Iranian president didn’t utter the words “Wipe off,” Israel” and “Map.” Ahmadinejjad was here clearly talking about a system, an Ideology (Zionism) which ought (as he sees it) to “vanish” from History as was the case for other unjust, and cruel ideologies like Nazism, Fascism and Stalinism and he was not talking about the Jewish people. The speech was of course deliberately mistranslated and misquoted and the phrase “wiping Israel off the map” was incessantly repeated in the western mainstream media, mainly owned by influential pro-Israel advocates. Retired US Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner released recently on his website what follows: “We know there is a national security council staff-led group whose mission is to create outrage in the world against Iran. This media group will begin to release stories to sell a strike against Iran. Watch for the outrage stuff.” Many stories, some frankly grotesque, appeared in the media since then. The modus operandi unveiled by Gardiner is disturbingly similar to that of the Nazi propaganda machine: “If tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State” Joseph Goebbels was quoted to have said.
On the issue of Holocaust denial: One has to understand that Ahmadinejad is frankly a foolish man and I don’t think he has the wisdom or stature of a statesman. Calling for a so-called “conference” to discuss the “real scale” of the holocaust is simply outrageous. Six million Jews have been literally incinerated on an industrial scale, unprecedented in human History, by the racist and fascist Nazi regime for no reason other than they were Jews. The Iranian president, thinking stupidly that he would sabotage the monopoly and political misuse of this horrific human tragedy by Israel, ended up boosting Israel’s propaganda.
Finally, one needs to keep in mind that the power in Iran is collectively managed and that the president on his own has no control on matters of war and peace, something seldom explained. Iran is certainly not the most enviable of regimes. Human Rights abuses and horrific attacks on people’s freedoms are legion. But thinking that the Western powers and their allies are more concerned with the democratic credentials of Iran and are seeking charitably to change the regime for the sake of freedom, amounts to total madness and shortsightedness. Next door to Iran, America supports and arms totalitarian and despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia. Countries who didn’t even signe the NPT and never promised to halt nuclear proliferation, like Pakistan, India and Israel (which has been stock-piling nuclear warheads for over three decades) are promoted as gold star allies and being given protection and support.
There is a blatant fraud unfolding in front of our eyes. Will the world allow, AGAIN a new criminal war for oil?
(Latest update: no early general election will be called by G. Brown in Britain who apparently chickened out from going to the ballot noticing his popularity shrinking on Tabloids’ polls — October 10, 2007)
(picture credit: “armcurl“)