by Dariush Gilani
Checking out the US media recently I have noticed a dramatic downturn in anti-Iran rhetoric. Now that the Israeli leaders got what they wanted from the Obama administration, in terms of more weapons and money and a relief from forced negotiation with Palestinians, the scare tactic about nuclear Iran has died off. Israel was a clear winner and achieved what it wanted without firing a shot. By now more people should come to the point of understanding that all of this brouhaha was about “Mullah’s Blanket”.
I traveled to Iran two years ago and I found the media to be a joke at best. That is expected. But ,when I compare the accuracy of the media Iran with its counterpart in the US, I do not see much difference. That is NOT expected. At the risk of being an apologist for Ahmadinejad I take issue with the “free press” in my adopted country.
Why is there such a hype about Iran’s nuclear program?
Even if Iran WAS after the bomb, would any one blame the fear among the leadership of Iran about being surrounded by the most powerful military in history which could attack it, like Iraq in 2003, at any time without excuse? It would be unwise and politically irresponsible for the leaders of Iran not to, at least, think about having a bomb as only a deterrent to foreign invasion.
We have US secretary of defense Leon Panetta recently saying that Iran is NOT pursuing a nuclear program. Several years ago during George W Bush’s administration all US intelligence services came out with a report with the same conclusion.
If it IS true that Iran is not after a bomb then we must agree that these ever increasing international sanctions against this country, which severely punish the people of Iran, are a violation of international laws.
In an interview with NPR , Noam Chomsky pointed out that the US negotiators have never backed down from their precondition to the negotiation which is Iran’s agreement to “permanent” suspension of uranium enrichment in advance. That is not a serious offer. Any Iranian administration who acquiesces will be committing suicide.
According to Chomsky (and Mohammad Elbaradei), it is the West that keeps throwing a wrench in the negotiation machinery, not Iran. But you will not read it in the American media.
Chomsky goes on to say that, as far as anyone knows, Iran is living and operating within the Non-Proliferation Treaty. He does admit that “they have some secret activities, but it is unknown” However, Iran has repeatedly offered to negotiate on all issues in the Middle East. In 2003 for example, Iran under the leadership of the Khatami’s moderate government and, with the support of all the hardliner clerics, Iran offered to negotiate all outstanding issues, including nuclear issues, including two-state settlement for Israel –Palestinian conflict. Everything. The Bush administration did not respond. It just censured the Swiss diplomat who had brought the offer. These offers have been repeated and they are just ignored. Well, that was a good way to accelerate a conflict.
Commenting on Ahmadinejad’s now infamous quote (it is actually a quote from Ayatollah Khomeini) George Galloway, who was recently re-elected to serve in the British Parliament, says that: “it was a lie that went around the world before the truth could get its boot on it But we know from every professor of Farsi, from Tokyo to Tel Aviv, that Ahmadinejad never said anything of the kind. Galloway ads that” he said exactly what I have been saying “that the ideology of Zionism has to be defeated and be wiped off the map. Not the country, not the people and it was a deliberate falsehood.
Chomsky maintains that the West , in particular the US, love the ravings of Ahmadinejad and they are widely publicized. But the mainstream media here conveniently forgets that Ahmadinejad is NOT the leader of Iran and that he has a superior who is the real commander in chief of Iran. Ayatollah Khamenei has repeatedly proposed to accept the two state solution in Israel offered by the Arab League in 2002. He has declared that he is willing to have full normalization of relations with Israel if it accepts the international consensus. But this is not published anywhere.
As to the argument regarding nuclear Iran attacking Israel there are several answers:
1- As you have heard, it would be an act of suicide on the part of the mullahs ruling Iran since Israel will retaliate heavily. The mullahs want power and good time. They do not want to die. Have you ever seen a mullah suicide bomber?
2- If Iran gives the bomb to a so called “terrorist” group and the group bombs Israel the source of that bomb will certainly be traced back to Tehran and Israel would respond accordingly.
3- People keep forgetting that Jerusalem is a holy site to all Muslims and millions of Muslims live inside and around Israel. Does any sane person believe for a minute that Iran would destroy the holy site of Islam and also kill millions of thousands of fellow Muslims?
Censoring the truth, and worse, falsification of the news by the sycophant media in the West has a dangerous drawback. It gives credit to the badly discredited people like Ahmadinejad. What should an average Iranian, who speaks Farsi and English, think when he or she compares Ahmadinejad’s statements in Farsi and its translations in the American media? I find myself in a very uneasy position to defend the man despised by many thanks to the pandering corporate media of the US.