Dispelling the Iranian Bomb Myth

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bleating  on Sunday’s talk shows about Iran being months away from having a nuclear weapon, there is no hard evidence that Iran is even seeking to build one. I’ve written three articles since January dispelling this myth, yet here we are again. The right wing war hawks and Bibi are at it propagate this fairy tail. Even Israel’s own intelligence community has agreed with the International Atomic Energy Agency and U.S. defense and intelligence officials who have said that they believe that Iran has not made a decision on whether to acquire nuclear weapons. So once more here are the facts from historian of the modern Middle East and South Asia Juan Cole:

1. ..] Netanyahu’s own Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, who admitted that [Iran has not decided to initiate a nuclear weapons program. Israel’s chief of staff, Benny Gantz, has also admitted that Iran has not decided to build a bomb.

2.  It is often argued that Iran does not need nuclear power. But it uses some petroleum for power generation, and Iranians are driving more and more. [..] Iran’s energy exports provide a crucial financial cushion, allowing the country to remain independent. Other oil giants, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are also building nuclear power plants. There is nothing illogical or unusual about Iran going in this direction.

3. It is alleged that Iran has threatened to annihilate Israel. It has done no such thing. Iran has a ‘no first strike’ policy, repeatedly enunciated by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has expressed the hope that the ‘Zionist regime over Jerusalem” would ‘vanish from the page of time.’ But he didn’t threaten to roll tanks or missiles against Israel, and compared his hopes for the collapse of Zionism to the collapse of Communism in Russia. [..]

4. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has given a formal ruling or fatwa against nuclear weapons.

I skipped to 6

6. No, the International Atomic Energy Agency, on inspecting Iran, did not alleged evidence for bomb-making. It certified that no uranium has been diverted to a weapons program.

The last time that Iran launched a war of aggression was in 1826 when it attacked Russia over disputed territory. Iran, like the United States is a signatory of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Israel is not.

Mr. Netanyahu has been beating this drum since 1992. Iran is no closer now than it was then to having, or wanting, nuclear weapons. Yet, he and the right wing war hawks who took us into the Iraq misadventure, would have the world believe this fantasy. Pushing for another war in the Middle East would have very seriously negative consequences for the entire world.


    • TMC on September 19, 2012 at 03:04
    • banger on September 19, 2012 at 20:48

    Why is Iran a threat? This is a big question that I admit I have no idea how to answer except to get really simple. Who are the actors in the drama? Ok, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. oppose any powerful actor in the region for different reasons. The Saudis hate Shiites and are fueling all fundamentalist activities in the region. Israel seeks to expand its borders and there is no force blocking it other than Iran, Syria and Hezbollah so naturally Iran is the enemy for the hyper-nationalist-greater Israel coalition. The U.S. is the dog that Israel wags in some ways in others it seeks (that is Wall Street) to punish any regime that tries to exist outside the current casino economy whose chief feature is to re-colonize the “underdeveloped” world such that all government bow to the neo-liberal regime of the chief finance-dominated economies, particularly the U.S. and Britain.

    I’ve always doubted any military adventure in Iran because, frankly, Wall Street believes it is bad for business. Israel’s gesticulating is mainly to keep its population in fear (thus ensuring the Likud gov’t a perpetual monopoly on power) and to pursue the goal of greater Israel expansionism which Romney as good as declared his goal in the region. But Wall Street calls the shots and I think the agreement is that Israel won’t bomb Iran in exchange the “great” powers agree to ignore Israeli apartheid and expansionist policies.

    It’s all a done deal–all that remains is for Obama, should he be elected as seems likely, to completely agree that Israel has a legal and moral right to the West Bank.

    That’s as near as I can get to the situation. Mind you, the region is full of double-dealing, criminality, human-trafficking and so on. People play both sides or three sides of the game. The Saudis, for example, are allies to the U.S., secret allies to the Israelis and active enemies of both yet….? Who knows… are they calling the shots? Are the Saudis just an outpost for CIA black-ops? It’s anybodies guess.

    The wild card is, of course, that the oligarchs may sense that the financial system will collapse and will, instead of promoting business, may support a descent into general war, war-lordism, and neo-feudalism and allow Israel to attack Iran starting not a World War but a period of general war where people with guns will generally rule everywhere from Shanghai to Omaha.  

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