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Iran is Doing Nothing Wrong" (Independent)

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
Transmitted below is an eminently sensible analysis by Adrian Hamilton,
published in THE INDEPENDENT (London), of which he is an editor.
There is a psychedelic quality to the current hype and hullabaloo over
Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions, suggesting a severe case of collective
amnesia. Once again, *reasons* and *excuses* are being confused. This
confusion cuts both ways in the ongoing war against truth. Western
political leaders and media frequently assert that "terrorists" use the
occupations of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan as "*excuses*" to recruit
people to carry out evil deeds (including suicide bombings). However, as
any rational person recognizes, very few people look for *excuses* to
strike a blow against evil (as they perceive it) at the cost of
sacrificing their own lives. People are driven to such extreme acts by
genuine *reasons*.


On the other hand, most people recognize now (as many did before the
invasion of Iraq) that Iraq's alleged nuclear ambitions were not the*
reason* why America wanted to attack Iraq. They were the *excuse* chosen
for marketing purposes. Those running the US Government since 2001 had
wanted to attack Iraq, Iran and Syria (the only three countries
percieved in Israel as posing any potential military threat to that
country) well before they took power, publicly advocating such attacks
in published policy papers.
Notwithstanding this very recent history, both Western governments and
Western media appear to miss the obvious point that Iran's alleged
nuclear ambitions (even if real -- and, given all the nuclear-armed
potential enemies on or near Iran's borders, the quest for an adequate
deterrent against attack would be understandable) are not the *reason*
why America has forced Iran (like Iraq before it) to the top of the
world's list of "threats" facing mankind that must be dealt with. They
are the *excuse* for the long-sought neutering of Iran.
Once Iran has been dealt with (if not sooner), it will be the turn of
Syria, for which non-nuclear excuses have been actively promoted over
the past year.
Once all three of Israel's potential enemies of concern have been
reduced to chaos and/or impotence, as has already been achieved in the
case of Iraq, then even the most paranoid of Israelis should finally
feel safe -- indeed, safe enough to carry the Zionist project through to
its logical conclusion by completing the ethnic cleansing of the
Palestinian people, without fear of any effective restraint or retribution.
It is no surprise that Britain is playing the Israeli/American game. Why
France and Germany have been doing so is a mystery. Perhaps they simply
feel a need to make amends to America for their having been *right*
about Iraq. The world would be a safer place if they felt no such need
-- or simply recognized that they are being used and abused to provide
respectability to objectives which they do not share.

* *

**http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_a_l/adrian_hamilton/article337971.ece**

**Face the facts - Iran is doing nothing wrong**

**The Independent, January 12, 2006******

** **

****

**Adrian Hamilton, **

** **


   */The Iranians feel entitled to resume development on a small scale
   and under inspection /*

** **

**Anyone who knows Iran knows two things. One is that there is nothing
which excites Iranians as much as getting locked into hard bargaining
over something they sense the other party wants. The second is that, of
all Middle Eastern countries, Iran is the most nationalistic. Challenge
them over what they regard as their sovereign rights and you will get
head-on collision.**

** **

**The international community has managed to get sucked into the former
and locked into the latter. There was no need for this. Nor is there any
need for the confrontation to spiral out of control now, with dire
warnings of referral to the UN Security Council, the imposition of
sanctions and the scarcely veiled threat of military action, if not by
the US then Israel. All this will do is to stiffen the resolve of the
Iranians, undermine the authority of the United Nations and offer proof
to those within Iran who argue the need for a mightier military to face
down a sea of enemies. What it won’t do is to get the Iranians to back
down on their present course of enriching uranium.**

** **

**And why shouldn’t they? Before President Bush, together with Chirac
and Jack Straw and even the Russians, get too sanctimonious and before
the international community gets too carried away with implicit threats
it is worth asking: Just what is it that Iran is doing wrong?.**

** **

**Tehran’s case is that, as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty, it is perfectly entitled to pursue an active program of nuclear
power. It is equally entitled, with inspection by the UN, to develop
uranium enrichment so long as it is for peaceful purposes. The US and
the European case is not so much that they quarrel with Iran’s rights,
although they believe that Iran deliberately disguised its uranium
enrichment ambitions for years in breach of its treaty obligations. **

** **

**It is Iran’s intentions that arouse the outside world’s deepest
suspicions. Uranium enrichment can be used for peaceful power purposes
or, scaled up, it can be used for nuclear weaponry. Washington, together
with its allies on this, Britain, France and Germany, believes that
Iran’s true purpose is to develop the bomb. Hence it doesn’t want it to
go down the path of uranium enrichment at all.**

** **

**The trouble with this is that it is based on fear of intention not on
fact. Two years ago, Tehran agreed to suspend all further enrichment
activity as a “temporary” goodwill measure while talks with the
Europeans proceeded. Those talks came to nothing so the Iranian
government feels perfectly entitled to break the seals and resume
development on a small scale and under inspection. The West however,
regards this as a clear declaration of intent, proof that Tehran is
determined to press ahead for nefarious purposes, despite offers to
supply it with enriched fuel via Russia or give it alternative power
technologies. If it really just wanted a new energy form (and why should
it, given its oil and gas resources) why not accept the uranium from
elsewhere? No, say the Iranians. What they want is the full technology
of nuclear power. It is what they are entitled to and as a sophisticated
technologically minded society with an eye on the long-term energy
future, they have every reason to go after it. They have no intention,
they say, of using it to produce bombs — an anathema under certain
religious rulings — but to stop short of the full power cycle would be
demeaning and against their national interest.**

** **

**You can make of this what you will, depending on your feelings toward
the Tehran regime at the moment.**

** **

**Iran**** will go down the enrichment route. Of that the international
community needs to be clear. It won’t accept anything less, certainly
not after what it regards as the half-hearted offers of the Europeans to
make it give up. It also needs to face up to how little it can do to
stop it. Iran is too important an energy supplier to be isolated and too
proud to be bullied. Invade them and you will create a xenophobic
uprising, drive them into a corner and they will double their efforts to
gain military might.**

** **

**The international community has a lever in that Iran is prepared for
stringent inspections to make sure of its peaceful purposes. It should
pursue that control for all it is worth. At the same time we should do
what we should have done from the start, and have so singularly failed
to do at the urgings of Washington and Jerusalem, and that is to treat
it as a regional power of individual strength and worth. You may not
like the regime (indeed it is pretty dislikeable) but Iran is a player
in the Middle East. And in the wreckage of President Bush’s wider Iraq
policy, it’s time we engaged with it as such. **

** **

** **
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