Ardeshir Ommani / Workers World – 2006-08-26 23:37:18
(August 22, 2006) — On July 31 the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 1696, which demands that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, by Aug. 30.
This resolution was passed before Iran had an opportunity to study and respond to the package of incentives, which Iran had said it would respond to by Aug. 22.
The resolution states that Iran must comply with its provisions and suspend uranium enrichment or it will face the possibility of economic and diplomatic sanctions by the powers that sponsored the draft of the resolution.
For the Security Council to issue a resolution that orders a nation, which has suffered greatly at the hands of the U.S., to indefinitely suspend its nuclear energy program is one thing; for this to be lawful, just and fair is another. The resolution flagrantly violates the provisions of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and neglects the fact that more than 2,000 inspection days of Iran’s nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found no transgressions from the NPT.
Prior to the offer of the incentives package presented by the “5 plus 1”—five members of the Security Council plus Germany—the Islamic Republic of Iran made its position clear. First, it would not accept a precondition of suspending its uranium enrichment program, which was the very issue that was supposed to be the subject of negotiations. Second, it considers its civilian nuclear energy program as an inalienable right of a sovereign state under the provisions of the Non-Prolifer ation Treaty. And third, Iran would not exchange its nuclear enrichment program for a package of promises, such as possible membership in the World Trade Organization in 10 years or the future construction of light-water reactors. Similar promises were given to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea by the United States and they were never honored.
But this is not the first time that the Security Council, under pressure of the U.S., has suggested sanctions against a country at odds with Washington. Before the U.S. illegal war on Iraq, the council passed a resolution that imposed harsh and broad sanctions on Iraq for more than a decade. These sanctions resulted in the deaths of half a million Iraqi children.
It is not a secret that the Security Council, with the U.S., Britain and France on one side, has permanently tipped the balance of power in the interests of the developed capitalist states. Furthermore, the above-mentioned countries, with less than 10 percent of the world’s population, have veto power over the remaining 90 percent. This composition of the world order in the UN is unjust and hence unsustainable.
Since the start of George W. Bush’s presidency in 2001, which was soon followed by the catastrophic events of Sept. 11, U.S. foreign policy orientation has taken more than ever an adventurous turn, instigating wars of aggression, directly invading Iraq, setting up a puppet government in Afghan istan, and currently promoting, funding and fully backing Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. But all the while Bush & Co. blame Iran and Syria for “instability” in the region.
This pattern of illicit conduct could be observed clearly when Bush, at the G-8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on July 16, described Iran and Syria as the “root causes” of instability, destruction and death in Lebanon and Palestine. Yes, Bush was right when he said that the world is witnessing a “new Middle East” in the aftermath of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon —but it is a Middle East in which the credibility of the U.S. as an impartial broker is seriously challenged, even among the middle classes. The myth that no army in the region can stand up to Israel has been badly shattered.
As for the “root causes of instability,” Iran, under the leadership of President Mahmoud Ahmadi nejad, has been recognized and admired by the Arab, Muslim and world-wide oppressed masses as a reliable and formidable force challenging the U.S. dream of domination in the Middle East. And Syria has emerged as a necessary and logical ally of the Lebanese people.
Seymour Hersh, in his “Watching Leba non” article in the Aug. 12 issue of the New Yorker magazine, cites statements, policies and practices of the U.S. government showing that Israel’s war on Lebanon could “serve as a prelude to a potential American attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations.”
Strangely enough, the current U.S. administration, followed slavishly by the British government, turns every opportunity for peace and progress into war and regression. Remaining true to its illegitimate ambition, at the end of every unsuccessful attempt at subjugating the people of the Middle East, the Bush administration’s drive and appetite for widening the arena of war, from Lebanon to the borders of Pakistan, has intensified.
This passionate affection and adoration for war has reached such a height that Newt Gingrich, former Republican House speaker and a current Fox news analyst, in two separate interviews recently concluded that the U.S. strategy in Iraq “has failed,” which is nothing new, but added that “America is in World War III and President Bush should say so.”
Some U.S. figures admit that Israel’s invasion of Lebanon was a tactical preparation in the U.S.-Israel strategy of war against Iran. This prelude to the upcoming war with Iran will undoubtedly take the form of containment on financial, commercial, cultural, political and diplomatic exchanges, the relics of the cold war era.
Iran has the world’s second-biggest proven oil reserves, after Saudi Arabia, and is the world’s fourth-largest producer of oil. As long as the world is in need of Iranian oil and gas, the West cannot freeze the Iranian financial assets used to finance the imports of industrial, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical and electrical products.
Sanctions as a form
The main purpose of sanctions, used particularly as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy, is to damage the backbone of the Iranian economy and drown the masses of people in poverty by way of unemployment and lack of sanitation, transportation, education facilities and health services.
By doing so, Washington expects that these shortages of goods and services imposed through sanctions will lead the population to rise up against their own government and carry out the Bush order of “regime change.” But as the case of Cuba has proved to the world, this is clearly wishful thinking on the part of the instigators in Washington.
The U.S.-E.U. pretense for such cruel policies toward the Iranian people has been packaged in their fabricated claim that Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program is a cover for the production of nuclear weapons and therefore Iran must permanently suspend its uranium enrichment process in exchange for a handful of peanuts.
No doubt, the imposition of sanctions by the West through the United Nations Security Council is a declaration of hostility towards Iran. Already the United States has imposed sanctions against a dozen Chinese and Russian state enterprises that have had commercial transactions with some sectors of the Iranian industries.
The growing threats against Iran are an extension of the U.S. war in Iraq and U.S.-backed Israeli war on Lebanon and Pales tine. The anti-war movement that stood up in solidarity with those struggles should also stand up in solidarity with Iran.
• For more information, go to: www.StopWarOnIran.org and www.progressiveportals.com/aifc
The writer is a founder of the American-Iranian Friendship Committee.
This article is copyright under a Creative Commons License.
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