Imperialism and the Iranian 'nuclear threat'

Those sinister Iranians are at it again. Reuters is today reporting:

“ Iran has started moving nuclear material to an underground facility for the pursuit of sensitive atomic activities, a U.N. nuclear agency report showed, a development likely to add to Western suspicions Tehran is trying to build a weapon.

“The International Atomic Energy Agency document also said Iran had continued to stockpile low-enriched uranium (LEU) and one prominent U.S. think-tank said it had enough of the material for four nuclear weapons if it refines it further.” 1

Meanwhile, in truly duplicitous and hysterical fashion the Daily Telegraph has reported:

“Iran ‘will not budge an iota’ from its nuclear path, [Iranian] President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday, a day after a UN report affirmed credible evidence suggested Tehran was pursuing atomic weapons.” 2

Ahmadinejad’s statement appears to be confirmation of the (imperialist) West’s worst fears regarding Iranian nuclear ambitions – except, of course (!), if you read the rest of the quote from the Iranian President:

We don’t need an atom bomb […] We will not build two bombs in the face of your 20,000. We will develop something that you cannot respond to, which is ethics, humanity, solidarity and justice.”

It’s not surprising that the Daily Telegraph chooses to bury the rest of this quote under scare-mongering headlines like: “Iran ‘will not budge’ from Nuclear Path, says Mahmoud Ahmadinjead” or that other news agencies, like the BBC, have chosen to (thus far) exclude it from their coverage entirely. Quoting the Iranian President in context, after all, has a nasty habit of detracting from the image of Iran as a failed state, run by religious fanatics, who are hell-bent on building nuclear weapons to destroy the world – the image that Western imperialism and its media-flunkies have been peddling for years.

The nuclear issue is just one prong in the multi-faceted propaganda offensive being mounted against the Iranian government by the West. Other popular slanders include Iran’s “human rights record” – on which topic the British Foreign Secretary William Hague recently spoke, at the “Imprisoned in Iran” event organized by the Murdoch-owned Times newspaper, as part of its continuing role in the aforementioned propaganda offensive 3 – and Iran’s alleged involvement in “international terrorism” – see, for example, the recently “uncovered” assassination plot organised by members of the Iranian regime, for which not a shred of concrete evidence has yet been produced. In true Whack-a-Mole fashion, every time the Iranian regime squashes one outrageous slander against it, imperialist governments and media outlets pop up with a new one on a different topic!

This week it’s the nuclear issue that is dominating, with many now openly stating that it’s time to “deal with Iran” giving encouragement to the most dangerous elements in Israel who brazenly threaten military action. This time, even the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) has jumped on the bandwagon, despite previously stating (in 2007) that there was “no credible evidence” that Iran was seeking to establish a nuclear weapons programme, it now seems to allege that Iran has come leaps and bounds in its nuclear weapons capacity in just four years (a more than impressive feat) – and all this in spite of recent sustained attempts by Israeli intelligence agencies to sabotage Iran’s civilian nuclear development programmes, including the devastating Stuxnet cyber-attack last year 4, which the Jerusalem Post described as, “as effective as a military strike” 5. Clearly, if Iran really is developing a nuclear weapons programme then it is doing so with more determination and more success than almost any other nation since the end of the Cold War. And all this, despite being subject to some of the heaviest economic sanctions in the world.

And what if Iran were developing a nuclear weapons programme? As Noam Chomsky has pointed out 6, if this were the case, it would only be “as a deterrent” to overt imperialist aggression. Prior to the recent uprisings in Egypt, for example, the Egyptian regime was granting Israel access to the Suez Canal for the purpose of positioning nuclear submarines within striking distance of Iran. Chomsky quotes Israeli military historian, Martin van Creveld, who says of Iran, “if they’re not developing a nuclear deterrent, they’re crazy”. Indeed, anti-imperialist states, such as Iran, will surely have learned the lesson of the Iraq War – if you don’t have weapons of mass destruction, the imperialists will claim you do and invade you anyway! As Madeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state to Bill Clinton, explained 7, the primary reason why Iraq was invaded was because it was the only enemy of western imperialism which definitely didn’t have weapons of mass destruction.

More to the point, what right does the United States, Great Britain, Israel or any other nation have to tell Iran that it cannot develop its own nuclear capacity? All three of the above mentioned nations have extensive nuclear arsenals, which they have repeatedly threatened to use to further their own foreign policy goals. Indeed history records that the only nation to use the terrible destructive force of nuclear weapons was the United States; the great hypocritical preacher of pacifism and disarmament!

Red Youth supports the right of all sovereign nations to develop their technological capabilities in all spheres. This includes any nuclear capacity, both civilian and military, especially in the current climate where nations are forced to exist under conditions of imperialist aggression!

Non-proliferation will not bring about world peace; this can only be achieved with the overthrow of imperialism!