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No War in Iran | 16.08.2004 01:31 | Analysis | Anti-militarism | World

There has been a lot of talk about Iran lately: lies, threats, distortions, foreshadowings. The antiwar movement must take note.

After the brutal conquest of Iraq, we should be very suspicious of any trends in U.S. foreign policy, and of what key players are saying about things. In the past few months there has been a frightening amount of talk about Iran; lies, distortions, and seemingly innocuous hints that when put together provide a glimpse of what may come.

In May, a resolution ( was passed in the House, which "calls upon all State Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), including the United States, to use all appropriate means to deter, dissuade, and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons..." The phrase “all appropriate means” appeared in similar legislation before the invasion of Iraq.

There is no evidence that Iran is, at present, developing a nuclear weapons program, or that it has the intention of doing so. Of course, there was also no evidence in the case of Iraq, and also, no nuclear weapons to be found. An International Atomic Energy Agency report in 2003 ( says that the Agency: “Welcomes Iran’s offer of active cooperation and openness and its positive response to the demands of the Board...” The U.S response was to insist that despite this new found candor, Iran's past violations somehow imply that they are currently, and actively, developing nuclear weapons. Indeed, Iran has been developing nuclear energy for 25 years, but this is permitted under international nuclear weapons agreements. The U.S. Insists that Iran is lying about nuclear energy, that such an “oil rich” country could produce energy by other means, and that of course, they're really building “weapons of mass destruction” (which makes you wonder, who are the real “conspiracy theorists” here?).

Another point being brought up is Iran's supposed links to Al-Qaeda, based on the fact that some Al-Qaeda “operatives” “may” have “passed through” Iran in the months before 9/11. Now, they also “passed through” the United States; does this imply that the Bush government was responsible for 9/11? Maybe some would say yes, but in any case, that's a very big stretch, and that seems to be the only tangible evidence of an Iran-Al-Qaeda link. Now, remember, the only tangible Iraq – Al-Qaeda link was the fact that an Al-Qaeda member received medical treatment in Iraq before 9/11; again, an absurd thing to base a “link” upon, but around the time of the Iraq War, the majority of the American population was led to believe that the “link” was very real. Bush and Cheney still insist that it is. With this as precedent, it's not unrealistic to believe that a link between Iran and Al-Qaeda could be fabricated, trumped up, regurgitated by the media, and quickly accepted as truth by the American population.

There have been some Iran-related rumblings in Israel, as well, which is important. Ariel Sharon declared that “We cannot allow Iranians to move forward in their efforts to develop nuclear weapons.” Chomsky writes, on July 26th: “Not reported but quite important is the dispatch to Israel of 100 F16-I's, advanced jet bombers, with the very specific announcement that they can reach Iran and return...” This, of course, is tantamount to Israel declaring that it will, if necessary, bomb Iran; it may or may not happen, but imagine what the Iranian government and public will make of that statement? Well, Iran, through public relations official Seyed Masood Jazayeri, made quite clear what it thought: “[Israel] will not hesitate to strike Iran if they are capable of it. However, their threats to attack Iran's nuclear facilities cannot be realised. They are aware Teheran's reaction will be so harsh that Israel will be wiped off the face of the earth and US interests will be easily damaged." This spirit of mutual provocation obviously leads to an increase of hostility, which could be used as a pretext for aggression by both sides (of course, the U.S-Israel-UK-etc side is more likely to actually go through with its threats).

In Iraq, the Allawi government continues to put forth unfounded claims regarding Iraq, without comment from the U.S (Indeed, the U.S gave “protection status” to a group of “Anti-Iranian” militants in Iraq, which reveals much). Allawi's Minister of Defense referred to Iran as “Iraq's number one enemy,” despite the fact that the “Iraq” he is referring to is about a month old and has had no relations with Iran, and that any dispute between the nations would be a dispute between Iran and the United States. Iraq's Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib has spoken of “an Iranian conspiracy against Iraq,” without citing any evidence. Recently, members of the Allawi government have claimed an Iranian link to al-Sadr's army, stating that his army receives weapons from the Iranian government; again, without evidence.

The Bush administration has, indeed, already gone on record saying it will intervene in Iran if Bush is reelected: “THE US will mount a concerted attempt to overturn the regime in Iran if President Bush is elected for a second term. It would work strenuously to foment a revolt against the ruling theocracy by Iran's "hugely dissatisfied" population, a senior official has told The Times. The United States would not use military force, as in Iraq, but "if Bush is re-elected there will be much more intervention in the internal affairs of Iran", declared the official, who is determined that there should be no let-up in the Administration's War on Terror.” The convenient statement that there will be no use of “military force” should be taken with a grain of salt; it allows them to look like the “good guys” and later declare war “reluctantly,” putting all the blame on Iran, again, exactly what happened in Iraq.

Others have been banging the drums of war, also: the chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee recommended that the U.S get "very tough" against Iran, to prevent it from making nuclear weapons. What he meant by “very tough” is unclear, but can be inferred by looking at the context of American foreign policy.

Even if John Kerry is elected, the chances of U.S intervention in Iran remain high, if not higher. Kerry has said that he will continue the “War on Terror,” even saying that he'll do it “better” than Bush; Kerry's criticisms of the Bush wars are reduced to debates over execution, he wholly agrees with the underlying principle of imperialism (which, by any other word, still smells as rotten). He also does not have a history of failure to tarnish his rhetoric; Bush would have to fool the public for a second time, despite the fact that he was lying about everything the first time, with horrific results. Kerry's promise to "explore areas of mutual interest with Iran” probably should not be taken seriously, as with everything he says; as of now, he's desperately trying to win the election on the basis that he is a viable alternative to the Bush administration.

There has also been talk of sanctions against Iran, and other warnings and foreshadowings from various sources. The anti-war movement should be very aware of what is happening here. We must meet preemptive war with preemptive anti-war, we must be one step ahead of them at all times. The lives of tens of thousands of people (or many more, if the “War on Terror” explodes into something much bigger, as it is likely to do) could depend on global opinion and action, provided that force exists.
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