Iran’s Challenge to Nuclear Apartheid

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Contrary to the impression created by Javier Solana, EU foreign policy chief, and Joschka Fischer, Philippe Douste-Blazy and Jack Straw, the foreign ministers of Germany, France and the UK, respectively (EU/E3), the crisis between the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and Iran is not due entirely to Tehran’s defiance and non-cooperation.

The IAEA’s hard line, claim Solana et al, is because “For nearly two decades Iran hid enrichment-related and reprocessing activities which, if successful, would enable it to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon.” The fact is that Tehran does not possess nuclear weapons, but has a nuclear energy program that it insists is for civilian purposes.

Iran counters that its inalienable right to acquire nuclear technology has been subjected to an extensive and intensive campaign of denial, obstruction, intervention and misinformation, mostly by or at the behest of the United States and Israel.

Dr Gordon Prather, a nuclear weapons physicist based in California, confirms that valid and binding contracts to build nuclear power plants were unilaterally abrogated; and nuclear material rightfully purchased and owned by Iran was illegally withheld.

Further, unjustified and coercive interventions were routinely made in order to undermine, impede and delay the implementation of Iran’s nuclear agreements with third parties. Thus, Iran justifiably began keeping secret the details of its nuclear-related programs.

It is this selective targeting of Iran, with fanatical fervour, which brings up the question of Western hypocrisy and double standards. Countries that do not possess nuclear know-how must be denied its use because it is alleged that this would lead to their making nuclear weapons. Those that have mastered the techniques must be prevented from advancing further if they are Muslims because they might challenge the West’s hegemony.

Whilst Washington, the EU/E3 and the IAEA has been insisting Iran abandon any future plans they might have for acquiring nuclear weapons, it has not said a word against Israel’s nuclear arsenal. On the contrary, since 1952 these very countries have, clandestinely, aided and abetted Tel Aviv in developing its nuclear muscle.

It was on October 5, 1986, the Sunday Times of London sensationally reported that Israel was a nuclear power. A disaffected Israeli nuclear technician, Mordechai Vanunu, who worked at Dimona for ten years, gave compelling and incontrovertible evidence that Israel had “at least 100 and as many as 200 nuclear weapons.”

This, however, was not news to the CIA or Western leaders, as they were complicit in the development of Israel’s nuclear industry. Israel, instead, drew Washington into its strategic web and warned the United States of America of Iran’s potential threat and urged it to contain this by adopting a tougher policy.

Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, identified Iran as a "centre of world terror" and “advocated a military strike against the country as soon as the US and Britain had completed their proposed attack on Iraq."(Guardian 5 November 2002). AIPAC, a Zionist lobby group, was mobilized to trumpet this cause.

Why Sharon is so keen on action against Iran is not difficult to fathom. He believes –” whatever the facts on the ground –” that it is Iran’s alleged sponsorship of the Hizbullah and Palestinian Islamic movements that enables them to offer such spirited resistance to Israel’s hegemonic designs in the Middle East.

Pressure on Iran remains part of the neocon Zionist plan to subjugate Muslim nations and force them to submit them to their political agenda; most importantly to acquiesce in the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Muslim nations pursuing the policy of non-proliferation of nuclear technology would only increase the relative power of the US, Israel and its allies, whilst weakening their own position even further.

The EU/E3 claim that Iranian President Ahmadinejad “gave no hint of flexibility, talking of a ‘nuclear apartheid’ and insisting that Iran would exercise its right to develop fuel cycle technology, regardless of the concerns of the international community”, is disingenuous.

The IAEA cannot be trusted. Its inspection teams, in 1992/3, sought instructions from, and reported back to, the US administration rather than the United Nations. Thus, Tehran justifiably believes that the IAEA is thoroughly influenced, and so dependent upon the US, that it should raise serious doubts about its integrity.

South Africa, Venezuela, Brazil and other NAM countries support for Iran is to be commended. There is a perception that the UN, as currently constituted, is totally incapable of achieving genuine, comprehensive global nuclear disarmament for the simple reason that the US, Israel and EU/E3 do not want a nuclear-free world.

The West does not seek the elimination of nuclear weapons, but rather the establishment of nuclear monopoly, or as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says, “Nuclear apartheid”. Only the West and its selected allies should own, control and develop the nuclear arsenals of the world. This is an obvious travesty of justice that can never lead to a peaceful world.

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