Tuesday, October 24, 2006

United States' Iran policy

Ritter says the United States' Iran policy is pushed by a nexus of Washington's neo-conservatives and Israel's right-wing Likud politicians

US sends the wrong messages to Iran
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

"The US wants initial sanctions to target Iranian activities related to its suspected weapons program - which Tehran denies.

Indeed, there is no evidence that Iran is proliferating, that it deserves the same punishment as North Korea. This is a point emphasized by the Iranian leadership, as well as others, including the former chief UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, at a recent talk sponsored by the Nation Institute in New York, also featuring veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, who has written extensively on the United States' plans for military strikes on Iran.

According to Ritter, whose new book Target Iran is a powerful jab at the Bush administration's Iran policy, if the US bombed Iran's nuclear facilities today, there would be "no environmental damage" because Iran's facilities are mostly concrete buildings and rudimentary equipment with little actual nuclear material involved. "That is the whole insanity of this thing. Iran has no nuclear-weapons program and its enrichment program is at the lab scale," said Ritter. He added that the United States' Iran policy was pushed by a nexus of Washington's neo-conservatives and Israel's right-wing Likud politicians who have a "faith-based" rather than a "fact-based" approach with regard to Iran, that is, the Israelis have adopted the wrong policy toward Iran by deluding themselves into believing that Iran is proliferating nuclear weapons and is at the advanced stages of this process.

Dangerous consequences
What if there is a military strike on Iran? [ First of all, if such a thing was done it would be a war crime. It is illegal to attack a country that has not attacked you nor is in in the process of attacking you. It is a violation of International Law. Our Constitution makes clear that intonational treaties become law of the land. We can not allow our politicians to continue to violate our Constitution by starting more illegal wars. Kaveh L Afrasiabi really should be pointing this out, after all, we are not the Nazis where attacking other countries is just assumed to be OK. ] According to both Ritter and Hersh, the consequences could be dire and even catastrophic. Ritter, who has visited Iran in the recent past, is convinced that Iran is prepared to inflict pain on the US and its allies in the region in response to any such military strike, inviting more punishing blows by the US. These might include the use of "usable nuclear weapons" sanctioned by President George W Bush's nuclear doctrine and the idea of "preemption". "

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