The West escalates anti-Iran campaign

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If George Bush is a confirmed Moron-in-Chief, US President Barack Obama is rapidly carving for himself the title of Hypocrite-in-Chief. This smooth-talking son of a Kenyan cattle-herder and a white American mother has been on a charm offensive disarming Muslims with his rhetoric and toothy smile but there is little to distinguish him from his moronic predecessor when it comes to US policies. It would be naïve to assume otherwise. American presidents and politicians are slaves of the corporate elite. They must do what are they commanded by the elite at whose pleasure they serve in office.

Obama’s hypocrisy was on full display at the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh on September 25 when flanked by his British and French cronies, Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy, he attempted to squeeze propaganda mileage out of an announcement of the “discovery” of another nuclear facility in Iran. The pliant media, taking cue from the terrible Western trio immediately started drumbeating about Iran’s alleged violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

Iran had already notified the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a letter on September 21 about its new experimental facility near Qum. IAEA officials promptly briefed the Americans, confirming yet again that the nuclear agency is a tool of the Americans and works to advance the West’s agenda. The manner in which Obama and his cohorts from UK and France attempted to dramatize the announcement showed that kufr powers are united in their enmity of Islam and Muslims. The not-so-articulate British Prime Minister Brown, who is going blind, thundered, “The international community has no choice today but to draw a line in the sand.” The putative French president, son of Hungarian immigrants and an ardent Zionist, gave Iran two months to “meet international demands”.What arrogance! Who exactly constitutes the “international community,” the US, Britain and France? These warmongers and outlaws have arrogated to themselves the right to decide how the rest of the world should conduct itself. Obama intoned the secret plant “…represents a direct challenge to the basic foundation of the nonproliferation regime.” It does not.

Yet there was not even a whisper about Israel’s massive nuclear arsenal believed to comprise at least 200 nuclear bombs, its refusal to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or allow IAEA inspectors to examine its nuclear facilities. On September 18, the IAEA General Conference passed an Iranian-sponsored resolution demanding Israel sign the NPT and open its nuclear facilities to IAEA inspections. The resolution was passed by 49 to 45 votes despite strenuous efforts by Western governments to protect their Zionist protégé by derailing it. Western media outlets failed to report this, again in an effort to protect the Zionist entity. Only Chinese, Arab and Iranian media reported the story.

This was the first time in 20 years that such a resolution had been passed by the IAEA against Israel. Israel’s delegate David Danieli said his country would not cooperate with this resolution. There was no condemnation of Israeli intransigence by Western officials or the media that continue to harp on Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons program. Instead, chief US delegate Glyn Davies said, “Such an approach [demanding Israel sign the NPT and open its nuclear facilities for inspections] is highly politicized and does not truly address the complexities at play regarding crucial nuclear-related issues in the Middle East.” So, why is it all right to target Iran through a campaign of lies and threats?

So scared are Western officials of talking about Israel’s nuclear weapons that at his first press conference after being sworn in as president, Obama refused to answer a question about it. Asked by the veteran American journalist, Helen Thomas to name any Middle East country that may have nuclear weapons, Obama said, “Helen, I do not wish to indulge in speculation.” Yet Obama and his European allies not only indulge in wild speculation about Iran’s peaceful nuclear program but also issue threats. There could hardly be greater evidence of Western hypocrisy than what was witnessed, yet again, at Pittsburgh where an economic summit was underway but Obama tried to upstage that by dramatizing his announcement about the “discovery” of another “secret” Iranian plant. Incidentally, more than 2,500 US National Guardsmen and Marines were deployed attacking people protesting the economic summit. Many called this a declaration of martial law. People were protesting the elite’s speculative policies that have impoverished ordinary people and caused massive job losses while the big corporations got hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout money.

At a news conference in New York on September 25, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country had done nothing wrong and Obama would regret his actions. “What we did was completely legal, according to the law. We have informed the agency [IAEA], the agency will come and take a look and produce a report and it’s nothing new,” he said. He further stated that the plant wouldn’t be operational for 18 months. Two days later (September 26) Iranian officials made clear the plant was a “semi-industrial fuel enrichment facility” and that they had voluntarily made its existence public. At his New York press conference President Ahmadinejad shot back when Western reporters asked why the West had not been notified, “What business is it of yours to tell us what to do or not?” Similarly he dismissed Obama’s claims that the new plant posed a threat to world peace. “I don’t think Mr. Obama is a nuclear expert,” he said.

It is evident that the US and its European allies are using the latest ploy to exert pressure on Iran during the forthcoming talks scheduled for October 1 (after Crescent press time). This became clear from statements by American officials that they were looking for leverage in negotiations with Iran and that the “exposure” of the new plant offered such leverage. “They probably thought they had some winning card here,” President Ahmadinejad said at his New York news conference. With the new accusations, the outside powers thought that with their winning card “they could kind of make some noise and start commanding, ‘Iran must do this and that,’ ” he said.

Tehran insists that it is fully compliant with IAEA regulations. For two decades, the agency required Iran to report only when nuclear material was introduced into any facility. In 2003, Iran temporarily halted enrichment activity, accepted the additional protocol of intrusive inspections of its facilities for a limited period with the specific promise that Western countries would negotiate in good faith to lift economic sanctions, unfreeze Iranian assets and stop blocking Iran’s legitimate activities in the nuclear field. The West dragged this affair for more than two years without negotiating seriously. When Ahmadinejad became president in 2005, he served notice that either the West should negotiate in earnest or it would withdraw from the additional protocol. Western officials went ballistic; they threatened Iran with sanctions if it resumed uranium enrichment. In January 2006, Tehran did but not without first notifying the IAEA to send its inspectors. It also announced that the old agreement was still in place under which Iran would notify the agency only when nuclear fuel was introduced into any facility, not when construction began. The agency never declared Iran out of compliance yet Western officials stubbornly maintain otherwise, making their own rules as they go along. This applies equally to Iran’s rights under the NPT.

Western governments make preposterous allegations against Iran accusing it of violating its NPT obligations but no proof is offered. Under the NPT, member states are not only entitled to enrich uranium but other members are obliged to assist them. This is the whole idea of getting countries to sign on to the NPT whereby they open their facilities for international inspection in return for assistance with their legitimate activity. In Iran’s case, the West adopts a completely hypocritical stand.

After two days of Western bluster and President Ahmadinejad’s firm stand, Obama announced on September 26 that he was offering Iran “a serious, meaningful dialogue” over its nuclear program, while warning of grave consequences from a united global front. “Iran’s leaders must now choose –” they can live up to their responsibilities and achieve integration with the community of nations. Or they will face increased pressure and isolation, and deny opportunity to their own people,” Obama said in his radio and internet address. Within hours, Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi told state TV that his country would allow the IAEA to inspect Iran’s newly revealed and still unfinished uranium enrichment facility. He said the timing of IAEA inspectors’ visit would be worked out with the agency.

Despite claims by Obama that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had agreed to additional sanctions against Iran, the Russian leader at his own news conference in New York on September 25 merely urged Iran to co-operate, as did Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei. The Chinese official, however, did not endorse penalties against Tehran. So much for Obama’s claim to speak on behalf of the international community.

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