U.S. threatens military action against Iran
Published Feb 19, 2006 8:42 PM
The Pentagon is actively preparing devastating
bombing raids against Iran, backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile
attacks. The U.S. military’s plans were described in the London Sunday
Tele graph of Feb. 12 and then covered in other media around the world. The
story is based on leaks, which are often part of the psychological warfare
tactics of the Pentagon.
The newspaper wrote that “Central Command
and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads
and working on logistics for an operation.” These commands report directly
to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
The next day the Guardian,
another British newspaper, in a story headlined “Thousands would die in
U.S. strikes on Iran, says study,” summarized a report by the Oxford
Research Group, a think tank that specializes in arms control and
nonproliferation issues. It says civilian casualties would be greater in Iran
than they were in the early days of the Iraq war if the U.S. or Israel launch
surprise attacks on any of the more than 20 Iranian nuclear energy facilities
located in densely populated areas.
In a similar story the same day, the
Asso ciated Press included maps and detailed target lists.
in the U.S. media and major publications around the world citing an Iranian
nuclear threat are part of a war climate being ratcheted up.
administration’s plans to attack Iran—which have been openly
discussed since 2002—are now dangerously escalating on the military,
diplomatic, political and media fronts.
On the political front,
top-ranking members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats from Sen. John
McCain to Sen. Hillary Clinton, are discussing the alleged Iranian nuclear
threat and using “the military option.”
On the diplomatic
front, the U.S. has succeeded in pressuring the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) to report Iran to the UN Security Council. This represents the
most dangerous step. Washington is laying the ground for taking unilateral
military action if the Security Council vote doesn’t go its way.
script of the Iranian nuclear threat is a rehash of the lead-up to the 2003
criminal invasion of Iraq. At that time every arm of the U.S. and British media
gave extensive, daily coverage to charges that Iraq had dangerous weapons of
mass destruction, chemical and nuclear. It was all a fraud. The major corporate
media went along and endlessly hyped every fabrication, as did the leaders of
both political parties. They never admitted what was so obvious after 12 years
of relentless war, sanctions and inspections: Iraq had no WMDs.
basis in fact
The charges that Iran today presents a nuclear threat
have no basis in fact. It is pure war propaganda to justify a possible attack on
a country of 70 million people that is the world’s fourth-largest oil
expor ter. Every U.S. intelligence agency agrees on this issue. On Aug. 2, 2005,
the Wash ington Post reported that, according to the National Intelligence
Estimate (NIE), which represents a consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies,
Iran was a decade away from being able to manufacture the key ingredient for a
Yet the charges continue and are being whipped up to cloud
even the most well-known facts. U.S. Director of National Intelligence John
Negroponte, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan
administration, told the Senate Intel ligence Committee on Feb. 2 that
“Iran conducted a clandestine uranium enrich ment program for nearly two
decades in violation of its IAEA safeguards.”
In fact, Iran has yet
to begin operations of its planned “uranium enrichment program.” It
has only conducted research into how to make low-enriched uranium as a nuclear
fuel, research that it was not required to report to the IAEA under its
safeguards agreement. (Green Left Weekly, Feb. 15)
It is also important to
know that Iran is in full compliance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It has submitted to even the most intrusive and
humiliating inspections, far beyond what is required by the treaty and far
beyond what any other nation has agreed to. After three years of searches and
1,400 inspection hours, the head of the IAEA, Mohammed El Baradei, has reported
there is no proof of any weapons programs in Iran.
It is also essential to remember that Iran has a right, under
international law and as a sovereign country, to develop nuclear
Article IV of the NPT explicitly states: “Nothing in this
Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all parties to
the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for
It is the U.S. government that is in
major breach of the non-proliferation treaty. It has violated every commitment
to disarm its stockpile of more than 10,000 nuclear warheads—the largest
stockpile of wea pons of mass destruction on the planet.
Far more ominous
than its refusal to disarm existing weapons, the Pentagon has for years engaged
in intense efforts of research and development, in violation of the treaty, to
develop a whole new generation of battlefield or tactical nuclear weapons. These
are for use in conventional warfare against a non-nuclear opponent. There is a
great deal of speculation that the Pentagon might actually use these new
tactical nuclear weapons in an attack on Iran.
The U.S., let us never
forget, is the only country that has ever used nuclear wea pons against a
Iran oil market in euros
Iran does have
plans for something that U.S. finance capital considers far more threatening
than beginning the first stages of uranium enrichment.
Iran plans to open
an Iranian Oil Bourse in March. This Oil Bourse will be in direct competition
with the New York Mer cantile Exchange (NYMEX) and London’s International
Petroleum Exchange (IPE). Unlike them, it will do business not in U.S. dollars
but in euros.
In Iran, there is mass popular determination to use its
resources to develop the country industrially, technically and financially. The
Iranians are determined that their country be more than just a source of raw
For decades the U.S. dollar has dominated the world system of
marketing oil and natural gas. The requirement that these products be bought and
sold in dollars is of great benefit to U.S. corporations. To purchase oil and
natural gas on the world market, every country must hold large dollar reserves.
This gives Wall Street dominance in all world trade agreements.
urgency behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq was that country’s decision to
start accepting only euros for its oil. One of the first steps of the occupation
authorities after the U.S. invasion of Iraq was to reverse this policy and again
sell Iraq’s oil in dollars.
Mass resistance to
Today in Iran there is an overwhelming determination to stand
up to the ominous U.S. threats. Past U.S. interventions are well understood.
The 1953 CIA-orchestrated overthrow of the democratically elected
government of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, who had moved to nationalize Iran’s
oil, and the return of the hated Shah to the “peacock throne” was
followed by 25 years of brutal dictatorship. Every Iranian school child today
knows about the hated Shah and his U.S. and British backers. For all his
U.S.-supplied weapons and U.S.-trained SAVAK secret police, millions rose up
against his regime in 1979 in a revolution that broke the U.S. hold. For the
past 27 years, however, U.S. sanctions have impeded Iran’s right to
development at every turn.
In the face of the Pentagon’s growing
threats and war plans, international opposition could become an explosive force.
Recent demonstrations of outrage against the racism of the Western imperialists
show the mass mood throughout the entire region. While the Bush administration
controls weapons of enormous destructive capacity, its arrogant conduct in Iraq
and elsewhere has underestimated the people’s consciousness and ability to
resist. The current threats against Iran will also prove to be a howling
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