Deconstructing Liebermanâs Iran Resolution
By Muhammad Sahimi
The US can not say what the Iranians can that they have not been in a war for 100 years. In fact they started on their own indigenous the Indians and eventually slaughtered in excess of 10 million of their men women and children. Then of course it got personal as they killed one another in the North-South war as practice for future events.
Then they either directly or indirectly had wars with the entire South American continent, by actual participation to promoting and installing war machine tyrannies to suit the USÂ purposes. Then came WW1, WW11 Korea Vietnam the list is a shocking display of blind senseless savagery to promote US interests regardless of the consequences to others.
Lying is part of the game, take Iraq for instance. It is not a matter of if they will start another war but when. Where does not matter except to mean wherever there is an economic, political or social advantage to the warmongering US. Obama is the present’s most deadly and probably the worst ever example of the combination of lies lies and more lies with promoting imerialism and the interests of the capitalist elites. George Ikners Â ikners.com
February 29, 2012 “Antiwar” – - Sen. Joseph Isadore âJoeâ Lieberman, the âindependent Democratâ from Connecticut, has been one of the most hawkish members of the Senate for years. He is in fact a turncoat who campaigned for John McCain in 2008, and in many ways he has been more Republican than Republicans. He supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and he has blindly supported and defended Israel to the point thatÂ he has been given an awardÂ for his support.
Most importantly, Lieberman has consistently advocated tough economic sanctions and even military attacks on Iran. In a conference of Christian Zionists in 2009,Â Lieberman declared, âThe chief obstacle to peace in the Middle East is not Israelis living on the West Bank but the regime in Tehran.â He has been a sponsor or co-sponsor ofÂ many anti-Iran Senate resolutions, including those that directly intervene in Iranâs internal affairs and impose economic sanctions on the country.
In January 2011 Lieberman announced that he will retire from the Senate when his term expires this year. He is now using his last months in the Senate to provoke a war with Iran. Earlier this month, Lieberman, together with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the manÂ who has declared, âI want to destroy Iran,â and Robert Casey (D-Pa.), introducedÂ Senate Resolution 380Â to give President Obama a blank check to go to war with Iran and prevent diplomacy. In effect,Â it declares thatÂ it should be the policy of the United States to prevent Iran âfrom acquiring a nuclear weapons capabilityâ and it ârejects any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran.â As recently reiterated by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the U.S. policy has been preventing Iran fromÂ having nuclear weapons, but Resolution 380 declares that Iran cannot even have theÂ know-how. The resolution is replete with lies, exaggerations and half truths. Letâs begin:
Whereas since at least the late 1980s, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has engaged in a sustained and well-documented pattern of illicit and deceptive activities to acquire a nuclear capabilityâŚ
False: What Iran has set up is a complete cycle for producing nuclear fuel. The same facilities can be used to produce high-enriched uranium for nuclear weapons, but there is no evidence, as certified time and again by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), that Iran has diverted its nuclear facilities and materials to production of nuclear weapons.
Whereas the United Nations Security Council has adopted multiple resolutions since 2006demanding the full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities by the Iranian government and its full cooperation with the IAEA on all outstanding issues related to its nuclear activities, particularly those concerning the possible military dimensions of its nuclear programâŚ
Half-truth: True, the Security Council has demanded suspension of Iranâs nuclear program, but sending Iranâs nuclear dossier to the CouncilÂ was an illegal act takenÂ by the Board of Directors of the IAEA in the first place.
Whereas on November 8, 2011, the IAEA issued an extensive report documenting âserious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iranâs nuclear programâ and stating that âIran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear deviceâ and that these efforts may be ongoingâŚ
Half-truth: The activities that the IAEA pointed out, if they have taken place, are allÂ research, notÂ developmentÂ of any particular nuclear device; they all have a variety of civilian applications; and in many cases, the results of the research have been published in open source journals. In addition, the IAEA is not even sure whether all the activities have taken place, as its report is replete with âperhaps,â âmay,â âmight,â âpossible,â etc.
Whereas as of November 2008, Iran had produced approximately 630 kilograms of uranium-235 enriched to 3.5% and no uranium-235 enriched to 20%, according to the IAEA;
Whereas as of November 2011, Iran had produced nearly 5,000 kilograms of uranium-235 enriched to 3.5% and 79.7 kilograms of uranium-235 enriched to 20%, according to the IAEAâŚ
Half-truths: True, Iran has produced low-enriched and 20% enriched uranium, but they are all sealed and safeguarded by the IAEA. So long as they are, Iran will not be able to use them for any purpose other than fuel for nuclear reactors. In addition, Iran began producing the 20% enriched uranium only after the IAEA and the West refused to supply nuclear fuel for Tehran Research Reactor that produces medical isotopes for 850,000 Iranian patients every year, in which the 20% enriched uranium will be spent.
Whereas on January 9, 2011, IAEA inspectors confirmed that the Iranian government had begun enrichment activities at the Fordow site, including possibly enrichment of uranium-235 to 20%âŚ
Insinuation: The Fordow facility is monitored and safeguarded by the IAEA inspectors. Nothing is going on there that can be hidden from them.
Whereas if Iran were successful in acquiring a nuclear weapon capability, it would likely spur other countries in the region to consider developing their own nuclear weapons capabilitiesâŚ
False: There is no evidence of that. But, if that is going to happen, who is going to supply the nuclear technology to these countries? Clearly, it will be the United States and France, which alreadyÂ have signed agreementsÂ with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. So, if there are concerns, the West can simply deny them the technology and offer them security guarantees.
Whereas on December 6, 2011, Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia stated that if international efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons fail, âwe must, as a duty to our country and people, look into all options we are given, including obtaining these weapons ourselvesâŚ
Absurd: This is the same prince who has referred to the Arab Spring as theÂ âArab Troubles.â Since when must one pay attention to such absurd proclamation by one of the most reactionary and corrupt Saudi officials?
Whereas top Iranian leaders have repeatedly threatened the existence of the State of Israel, pledging to âwipe Israel off the mapââŚ
False: What Mahmoud AhmadinejadÂ said was, âThe Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini] said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time,â meaning the government, not the people of Israel, must disappear. Since the 1979 Revolution, Iran has always advocated a democratic state in Palestine in which Jews, Christians, and Muslim can live side by side.
Whereas the U.S. Department of State since 1984 has designated Iran as a âState Sponsor of Terrorismâ and has characterized Iran as âthe most active state sponsor of terrorismââŚ
Double standards: The State Department has also listed the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) organization, an Iranian terrorist cult, as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO), but its agentsÂ have been free to recruit former senior U.S. officialsÂ in order to remove the MEK from the FTO list without any hindrance whatsoever. So the list is purely political and subjective.
Whereas Iran has provided weapons, training, funding, and direction to terrorist groups including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Shiâite militias in Iraq that are responsible for the murders of hundreds of American forces and innocent civiliansâŚ
Half-truth and exaggeration: The Shiâites came to power in Iraq as a result of the U.S. invasion. They are supposedly our allies. Hamas does receive aide from Iran, but follows its own independent path. The Lebanese Hezbollah is Iranâs first line of defense, not offense, against Israel. This is not to say that Hamas and Hezbollah have not committed terrorism in the past. They have, but everything must be put in its proper context.
Whereas on July 28, 2011, the U.S. Department of the Treasury charged that the Government of Iran had forged a âsecret dealâ with al-Qaeda to facilitate the movement of al-Qaeda fighters and funding through Iranian territoryâŚ
False: al-Qaeda is Iranâs bloody enemy. The allegationsÂ have already been rejectedÂ both in the United States and in Europe. To the contrary, Iran offeredÂ to exchange senior al-Qaeda members who are under arrest in Iran for senior members of the MEK, but the United States refused.
Whereas in October 2011, senior leaders of Iranâs Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force were implicated in a terrorist plot to assassinate Saudi Arabiaâs Ambassador to the United States on U.S. soilâŚ
Absurd: The allegationsÂ were so absurdÂ that they were emphatically rejectedÂ even by thoseÂ who have spent a lifetime fighting the Islamic Republic. What happened to the allegations, anyway? The main Iranian-American supposed culprit recanted his confessions, and everything died down quickly after that.
Whereas on December 26, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution denouncing the serious human rights abuses occurring in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including torture, cruel and degrading treatment in detention, the targeting of human rights defenders, violence against women, and âthe systematic and serious restrictions on freedom of peaceful assemblyâ as well as severe restrictions on the rights âto freedom of thought, conscience, religion or beliefââŚ
Crocodile tears: True, the Iranian regime has oppressed its people and has put down peaceful demonstrations by violence. But these are internal matters for Iranians, or at most for credible international organizations for human rights, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. How can a Senate Resolution that âurges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iranâ and in effect advocates war with Iran help the Iranian people? How credible are people such as Lieberman and Graham, who constantly advocate paralyzing economic sanctions and attacking Iran, whenÂ they shed crocodile tears for the Iranian people?
Whereas President Obama, through the P5+1 process, has made repeated efforts to engage the Iranian government in dialogue about Iranâs nuclear program and its international commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation TreatyâŚ
Half-truth: The effort by the president was halfhearted to begin with, and asÂ demonstrated by Trita Parsi, it was derailed quickly by Saudi Arabiaâs and Israelâs lobbies in the U.S. No serious efforts have ever been devoted to diplomacy with Iran, and no serious considerations have ever been given to Iranâs legitimate national security concerns.
Whereas on March 31, 2010, President Obama stated that the âconsequences of a nuclear-armed Iran are unacceptableâ;
Whereas in his State of the Union Address on January 24, 2012, President Obama stated: âLet there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goalâ;
Whereas Secretary of Defense Panetta in December 2011 stated that it was unacceptable for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, reaffirmed that all options were on the table to thwart Iranâs nuclear weapons efforts, and vowed that if the U.S. gets âintelligence that they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon then we will take whatever steps necessary to stop itââŚ
False: The president and the defense secretary were both talking about nuclear weapons, not the nuclear-weapons capability that the resolution emphasizes. The two are vastly different. Any state that uses nuclear technology has the potential for making nuclear weapons. The main point is to keep the potential latent, and in Iranâs case it has remained so.
Once again, we have a Senate resolution based on lies, exaggerations, and half-truths. Once again, warmonger wolves in sheepâs clothes are trying to bring about an unnecessary war against a nation that has not attacked any other country for hundreds of years, a nation that poses no threat against anyone, least of all Israel and the United States, which are armed with thousands of nuclear warheads. Once again, supporting Israel and ignoring the United Statesâ true national interests will bring destruction and misery to another nation in the Middle East.
Muhammad Sahimi, Professor of chemical engineering & materials science and the National Iranian Oil Company chair in petroleum engineering at the University of Southern California, has published extensively on Iranâs political development and its nuclear program. He is the lead political columnist for the web site PBS/Frontline/Tehran Bureau, blogs at The Huffington Post, and contributes regularly to antiwar.com and National Public Radio on issues related to Iran.
- Robert Naiman: Does AIPAC Want War? Lieberman “Capability” Red Line May Tip AIPAC’s Hand (huffingtonpost.com)
- How the Media Got the Iran/IAEA Access Story Wrong. A must read Gareth Porter article (ikners.com)
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