Standing High


    By Haya Zaidi

    Remember the last time a US congressman made an amateur presentation in the UN General Assembly? It was the 5th February 2003, only two years after 9/11 .America had already waged a war and sent its forces along with its allies to Afghanistan. Colin Powell gave a speech which laid the foundation of the epitome of hypocrisy and exaggeration. The world was being told the tale of Iraq’s ‘Weapons of Mass Destructions’. That presentation led the beginning of the Iraq war – A war which does not seem to end.

    When Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu stood at the UN General Assembly that year, he told the World that Iran was close to making a nuclear bomb. Going back to 1992 as the member of Knesset, Netanyahu made a confident prediction that Iran was “three to five years” from being in possession of a nuclear weapon.
    The nuclear program of Iran was launched in the 1950s with the help of the United States as part of the Atoms for Peace program. The participation of the United States and Western European governments in Iran’s nuclear program continued until the 1979 Iranian Revolution which toppled the Shah of Iran. The Shah of Iran was instated within the Iranian government by the American CIA. In 1970’s, the US installed Shah stated that his government will construct 23 Nuclear Power plants capable of generating cheap and viable electricity. “Petroleum is much too valuable to burn. We envision producing, as soon as possible, 23,000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear plants,” the Shah said. However, the Western media seems to have forgotten this. Shah Pehlavi’s loyalty to Washington was such, that the White House had no qualms sharing US nuclear knowledge with Iran.
    With the blessings of the United States, Iran acquired technical support from American nuclear energy companies while simultaneously managing to establish close connections with European companies. German firms, Erlangen/Frankfurt along with Kraftwerk Union AG who aided Iran to facilitate the construction of its first plants while making significant profits in the deal.
    In 1974, Eurodif a European conglomerate multinational sold a uranium enrichment plant to Tehran. By the year 1975, a joint venture between Siemens AG and AEG was signed that entailed the construction of a massive $6 billion pressurized water reactor nuclear power plant. In 1976, President of US Gerald Ford signed on a directive which offered Tehran to buy a complete nuclear fuel cycle to operate a US built reprocessing facility that would aid in the extraction of plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel. Interestingly, the US interest in providing Iran with Nuclear technology was also in their own words to “provide for the growing needs of Iran’s economy and free remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to petrochemicals.”
    A smart move back then. The US calculated Iran as a supportive ally in the long run by assisting it to meet its petroleum needs. However, little could they predict the sudden turnaround initiated by the Iranian revolution. The pro-western tilt of Iran all of a sudden faded with the advent of Ayatollah Khamenei. They denounced the legitimacy of Israel, while fiercely rejecting western ideology.  This tilt meant that America had grossly miscalculated their foreign policy as Iran would no longer succumb to Western powers for oil sharing.
    However, statements that came from the new spiritual leadership of Iran strongly condemned the use of nuclear arsenal and also eradicated it from Iran’s foreign as well as military policy. Iranian statements on the use of nuclear technology have never wavered from their initial objective. While in 1992, Irans Deputy Foreign Minister stated that ‘Iran has no need for nuclear weapons’, similar statements along the same lines followed. The Iranian President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami stated in 1998 that ‘We are not planning on building nuclear weapons and only aim to employ nuclear energy for peaceful purposes…We are not a nuclear [-armed] power and do not intend to become one.”. In 2005, President Mehmud Ahmadenijjad stated that in accordance to Iran’s religious principles, the pursuit of nuclear weapons is prohibited’.
    The moral ground from which America and Israel demand Iran to be sanctioned on the basis of its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons is highly hypocritical given how both these countries not only possess nuclear weapons but have also not resisted from the urge to use it on civilians. Israel has repeatedly invaded/attacked Lebanon and occupied the Palestinian land for well over five decades. Given their poor track record  with regards to upholding the Geneva conventions and the record number of countries America has been at war with, along with the transgressions of the Israeli’s and their annihilation of refugee camps killing thousands of people it seems rather odd for them to be telling Iran not to pursue nuclear weapons. Had any other member of the UN done so, the rest of the Nation states would have passed resolutions against the said state threatening action against it; including military if need be, under Chapter VII of the UN charter.

    American Bases at Risk:

    Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh who commands the country’s aerospace, believes that the likelihood of Israel striking Iran alone is little, it would not do so without the aid of United States and that would then, make all US bases in the area a legitimate retaliation target for Iran. The US fifth fleet is based in Bahrain while Afghanistan has a very heavy penetration of US army. The sensitivity of the United States to the welfare of its bases is evident by the panic that was created in the US foreign office when Pakistan decided to cut off the Nato supply lines after an ungrounded attack on its Salala base killing 24 officers.

    Strike on Iran could trigger World War III:
    In June 1981, Israel carried out a surprise strike against the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iran. The attack was rebuked by the United Nations especially since the facility was designed in a way that did not allow for the manufacture of any form of nuclear arsenal. Israel, however remained unapologetic and its obsession in eradicating any nuclear capability that a Muslim state in the region may possess, made it go for another preemptive strike on Pakistan’s nuclear reactors in 1984. The Pakistan Air force responded and shot down all planes that annexed within the air boundaries of the state giving Israel the hint that its undue interference would not be appreciated.
    While Israeli Zionists refuse to give in to their obsession with regards to Muslim countries in the region, the mere thought of a preemptive strike from them has been responded by Iran as an outright declaration of war where Iran would attack all the US bases within the Middle East and surrounding areas. Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh from Iran told the media that in case of such an action, nothing will be predictable. It would be the beginning of a World War III. The statement of the general is not void. While the Persian Gulf serves as the main channel for oil transport out from the region threatening the security of the main oil route is going to send a lot of other big powers into frenzy. While China remains one of Pakistan’s strongest allies and continues development of the Gawadar port to offer shorter trade routes to the gulf, Russia is also aiming to build relationships for the same purpose. If Israel carries out a strike with or without the involvement of the United States, both China and Russia would be under the economic survival pressure to intervene and Iran has already stated its intention in how it plans to retaliate by targeting US bases.
    Pakistan and Turkey are two countries in the Muslim region with both the military muscle and the increasing anti-Israel sentiment to take up the war banter keeping in mind the Muslim solidarity in the region. While pressure on the United States is building to pack up from the war in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey are building their armies while forming allies with Asian hegemons just in case Israel makes a move to threaten the very survival of the states in the Middle East region.

    George Orwell, did predict the future of the Human race in the following words, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”  One can now understand how Nations have done so, by ruthlessly misusing propaganda as a tool for subjugation and aggression.


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