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There is no Iranian "crisis"
by Ron Forthofer    The Daily Camera
Entered into the database on Sunday, February 26th, 2006 @ 13:15:41 MST


Untitled Document

The leaders of the former Soviet Union would have been envious of how the U.S. mainstream media fall into line on international issues. In their coverage of the current concocted "crisis" with Iran, the U.S. corporate media have committed two major sins: 1) failure to put events into a historical and political context, and 2) unquestioning parroting of the U.S. government line. The second is particularly egregious given the media's shameful record in the run-up to the attack on Iraq.

U.S. support for an Iranian nuclear program

If people rely on the U.S. mainstream media, they probably do not realize that the U.S. was a major backer of the Iranian nuclear program in the 1960s and 1970s. The U.S. even supplied Iran with a nuclear reactor in the 1960s. The on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia includes information from "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration," by James Risen on U.S. support for the Iranian nuclear program.

According to the article, by 1975 Henry Kissinger, the U.S. Secretary of State, "had signed National Security Decision Memorandum 292, titled 'U.S.-Iran Nuclear Cooperation,' which laid out the details of the sale of nuclear energy equipment to Iran. At the time, Iran was pumping as much as 6 million barrels of oil a day, compared with about 4 million barrels daily today."

The article added: "President Gerald R. Ford even signed a directive in 1976 offering Tehran the chance to buy and operate a U.S.-built reprocessing facility for extracting plutonium from nuclear-reactor fuel. The deal was for a complete 'nuclear fuel cycle.'" The Ford strategy paper also said the "introduction of nuclear power will both provide for the growing needs of Iran's economy and free remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to petrochemicals."

Iran's need for additional sources of energy is certainly far greater today than it was in 1975, when the U.S. was encouraging it to go nuclear. The U.S. claim that Iran has no need for additional energy sources is hypocritical and clearly political.

The U.S., not Iran, is in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

In a Jan. 11 Financial Times article, a senior U.S. official is quoted as saying: "The time has come to blow the whistle on a country that is in non-compliance with the non-proliferation treaty," Hallelujah! Someone is finally going to blow the whistle on U.S. violations of the treaty.

Oops — the official was talking about Iran. And the official was wrong — Iran is not in violation of the treaty. It is the U.S. and the other nuclear powers on the U.N. Security Council that are in non-compliance with the complete disarmament requirement of the treaty.

U.S. media again falling for and spreading lies

The U.S. is hyping a case against Iran based on many of the same lies it used to build the case for attacking Iraq. And the mainstream U.S. media have essentially ignored the fact that the Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a fatwa forbidding the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons.

The date of his fatwa was Aug. 9, 2005, the 60th anniversary of the U.S. dropping an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. But the U.S. claims Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Does this sound familiar? Given the Bush administration's lack of credibility, we should be very wary of this claim. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Israel and Iran

Besides the U.S. role with Iran's nuclear program, the other unmentionable topic in the U.S. media is Israel's role in this "crisis." Israel would love to see the U.S. take out all its enemies, in particular, Iraq, Iran and Syria. On April 13, 2003, shortly after the fall of Baghdad, Aluf Benn reported in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz on an upcoming visit to the U.S. by officials in the Sharon regime: "Israel will suggest that the United States also take care of Iran and Syria."

No one wants to see any further spread of nuclear weapons, and most want to see the nuclear powers live up to their promise to completely disarm. Iran claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, and there is no evidence to the contrary. Even if Iran were trying to produce nuclear weapons, leading experts claim that Iran is probably five years away from producing them.

In a Jan. 23, 2005, op-ed in the Financial Times, Norman Lamont, a former British chancellor of the exchequer, made a strong case for discussions and the dropping of all the Iranian sanctions other than those involving military technology. Unfortunately the U.S. is unlikely to heed this sage advice. Instead, it is likely that either the U.S. or Israel will bomb several Iranian sites, greatly exacerbating an already explosive situation. To prevent this disastrous outcome, we need to tell our government that we won't stand for any more unwarranted and illegal attacks against other nations.

Ron Forthofer is a Longmont resident.