Targeting Iran

Targeting Iran
by Stephen Lendman
America targets Iran. It does so ruthlessly. It’s done it since 1979. It wants its sovereignty destroyed. 
It wants pro-Western puppet leadership instead. It wants its independent government replaced. It wants its oil and gas, stupid. It wants unchallenged regional control.
Hassan Rohani’s election doesn’t matter. He’s Iran’s President-Elect. He’ll be inaugurated on August 3. He combines diplomacy, politics and scholarship. He’s known as the “Diplomat Sheikh.” 
Obama offended him. He didn’t congratulate him. He doesn’t recognize his legitimacy. Failure to do so shows unprincipled contempt.
He urges peace and reconciliation. He pledged “constructive interaction with the world.” He didn’t just promise. He means it.
On June 26, the Tehran Times said his “outlook riles Israeli hardliners.” Netanyahu targeted him straightaway. He did so aggressively. He did it irresponsibly.
He demands ending Iran’s legitimate nuclear enrichment “at all levels.” He’s got no right to dictate anything. He ignores Tehran’s right. 
Israel’s nuclear armed and dangerous. It has chemical and biological arsenals. They’re used against enemies. Netanyahu suppresses truth.
He fears “the emergence of a moderate Iranian president will weaken the world’s resolve.” He warned Western leaders, saying:
“We do not delude ourselves. The international community must not cling to wishful thinking, give in to temptation and ease the pressure on Iran.”
Iran’s program is peaceful. Polls show Iranians overwhelmingly support it. Former Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said:
“No (Iranian) government can relinquish an issue that has gained it national pride.”
Rohani’s clear and unequivocal. It’ll continue unabated on his watch. On June 29, he addressed Tehran’s 32nd Media Horizon Conference, saying:
“Moderation in foreign policy means constructive interaction, not submission and confrontation. (It) means effective and constructive interaction with the world.” 
“This will be done while paying heed to all the rights of the Iranian nation and the entire national will and national dignity.”
It’ll be accomplished “with the support of the people and the guidelines of Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei), God willing.”
He stressed doing so “on an equal position (with) mutual respect, attention and interests.” Detente should follow. Hopefully it’ll prevent confrontation.
At this “present juncture,” Tehran “should play its role correctly, and this needs moderateness,” he stressed. He warned about enemies mischaracterizing Iran as a police state. He wants Iranians to foil enemy plots. He urged they do so through prudence and planning.
His “government will subject to the will of the Iranian people. We respect all those who participated in the presidential election and everyone should respect the views of the majority of the Iranian people that have been shown through the ballot box.”
Iran “is currently living through critical circumstances which must be overcome,” he said. His main challenges lie in Washington and Tel Aviv. 
He’s savvy and experienced. Throughout his political and diplomatic career, he’s held numerous high-level positions. He interacted with Western officials. 
Former UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw dealt with him earlier. He called him a “very experienced diplomat and politician.” He was “tough, but fair to deal with and always on top of his brief.”
Eurasia Group director Cliff Kupchan thinks “(t)he coalition behind sanctions may start to fracture” under his leadership. A nuclear deal is more possible, he believes. 
Whether so remains to be seen. Washington and Israel are vicious. They’re lawless. They’re unrelenting. At issue is Iranian sovereignty. It legitimate nuclear program is red herring cover for long planned regime change.
Expect whatever Rohani does to be twisted. His best efforts will be vilified. He’ll be misjudged and mischaracterized. He’ll be criticized for doing the right thing.
Haaretz showed what he’s up against. It did so disgracefully. It showed a disturbing disrepect for truth. It headlined “Surprise: Benjamin Netanyahu was right about Iran,” saying:
“What the world promised would never happen is happening. What Israel’s defense establishment promised would never happen is happening. Iran is becoming a nuclear power, while Israel stands alone.”
It cited The Economist‘s article titled “Breakout beckons.” More on it below. It’s too late to act, said Haaretz. “(T)he enriched uranium horses have already fled the stables.”
“The international optimists and the Israeli optimists were wrong, big time. Surprise surprise: Benjamin Netanyahu was right.”
He “understood (Tehran’s) nuclear challenge better than others. (T)he world has entered a new and dangerous strategic reality. Wolf? Wolf? Wolf! A strategic wolf with nuclear teeth is now at the gate.”
“Perhaps an immediate, complete diplomatic and economic blockade of Iran could still cause it to suspend its nuclear program in order to preserve its regime.” 
“But anyone who wants to refute the prophecy of disaster diplomatically rather than militarily must act immediately. We’re out of time. We’re really out of time.”
“Waking up at one minute to midnight will be hard. But waking up at one minute after midnight is liable to be catastrophic.”
Haaretz knows better. It doesn’t matter. It features misinformation demanding condemnation. Doing so is irresponsible fear-mongering. It violates core journalistic ethics. 
It’s Israel’s oldest broadsheet. It was founded in 1918. In 1919, Zionist immigrants took control. 
It’s more left of center than otherwise. It calls itself liberal on domestic and international affairs. Increasingly it falls short. It tries having things both ways. It’s Zionist roots matter most. 
The Economist’s an establishment publication. It serves Western interests. Monied ones alone matter. Under Chavez, it urged Venezuelan regime change. It likely still does. 
It supports wealth and power. It deplores democracy. It wants oligarchs running things everywhere. He calls Rohani’s diplomatic flexibility too late. 
“(T)he change in Iran’s top civilian office (won’t) end (the) interminable Iranian nuclear crisis….The die is already cast: nothing is likely to stop Iran getting the bomb if and when it decides it wants one.”
Multiple P5 + 1 talks failed, it said. Why wasn’t explained. Nor was Tehran’s peaceful program. Claiming otherwise reflects targeting Iran irresponsibly. Its nuclear program is legal and non-threatening.
Don’t expect establishment publications to explain. Economist editors lied. They said Western nations softened their position. Washington remains hardline. So does Israel. They wield considerable behind the scenes influence. They bully allies to comply.
Netanyahu and Obama remain firm. Their anti-Iranian policy’s unchanged. It’s all take and no give. Demands substitute for conciliation. Negotiations are pretense.
“Mr. Rohani’s election means the next round of negotiations will be conducted in a better atmosphere. But to what end,” Economist editors asked?
They believe both sides benefit by kicking the can down the road. Diplomacy delays confrontation. America will decide when, how and to what extent. Rohani’s no fool. He understands realpolitik. 
He knows US duplicity. He’s seen it firsthand. He mistrusts leaders saying thing and doing another. Washington and Israel are rogue states. Their word isn’t their bond.
Economist editors turned truth on its head. Iran nears “critical capability,” they said. They call it “the inconvenient truth.” It’s at a “point at which it could make a mad dash to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one or more bombs.”
It could do it “before the IAEA or Western intelligence agencies would even know it had done so.”
“….Iran’s strategic calculus has not shifted. The nuclear programme is worth almost any sacrifice because it guarantees the regime’s survival against external threats…”
Economist editors say UK and US intelligence think Tehran’s about a year away from being able to make one or more bombs. It needs more time to “make a nuclear warhead small enough to fit onto (a) Shabab-3 ballistic missile.” 
It needs testing time to determine feasibility. It calls Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) head David Albright a “respected independent analyst.”
He’s a a pro-Western flack. He’s a fraud. He impersonates a nuclear expert. He’s a former pseudo-UN weapons inspector. Former Iraq chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter called him a “nuclear expert who never was.”
His “track record (reveals) half-baked analyses derived from questionable sources….He breathes false legitimacy into these factually challenged stories.” He does it by claiming fake credentials.
He founded ISIS. It’s self-serving. It shuns truth. He fronts for power, privilege, and war profiteers. He’s part of Washington’s anti-Iranian agenda. In Iraq, he played the same role. He’s a pro-imperial opportunist. 
Last year, he said Iran could produce five bombs. He claimed it intends to do so. He spoke based on no evidence. He substitutes anti-Iranian rhetoric for facts.
Relying on his so-called expertise shames Economist editors. They now claim Iran’s able to produce one bomb by mid-2014. Gregory Jones is another Economist expert. 
He’s a University of Chicago Rand Corporation defense policy analyst. It’s a Pentagon-backed think tank. It’s involved prominently in US military strategy. 
He says time’s running out quickly on Iran. He claims it’s about 14 weeks from enough fissile material for five bombs.
He and Albright cite no evidence. They don’t because they have none. Uncorroborated claims are duplicitous. They’re scare talk. They say Iran continues at a “relentless pace.” Albright calls it “a fissile-material dash.”
Tehran’s Arak heavy water reactor heads toward completion. It’s able to produce plutonium. It’s “an alternative route to a bomb (by) end of next year.”
Obama and Netanyahu have their own red lines. They’re moving targets. They keep shifting. What’s said today, changes tomorrow. “Israeli red lines have come and gone” before, said Economist editors.
Months ago, Netanyahu said Iran faced attack if it reached nuclear weapons capability. Obama suggests the same thing. In March 2012, he said:
“Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment. I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” A “military effort” might be needed to enforce it.
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said if information suggests Tehran’s “proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon, (America will) take the necessary action to stop” it.
Obama’s red line rests on three assumptions:
(1) Evidence that Iran decided to nuclearize. 
(2) Time enough between decision-making and capability to let Washington take deterrent action.
(3) One of more strikes are enough to prevent Iran from achieving its alleged aims.
If Iran wanted a bomb, it could have had one years ago. Economist editors claim Tehran approaches “critical capability.” Almost there crosses Obama’s threshold.
Weaponization’s more complicated. It includes having enough highly enriched weapons grade uranium (HEU), producing a reliable detonator, and creating a warhead small enough to fit atop a ballistic missile.
No evidence suggests Iran’s heading in that direction. Claiming it is hype. It’s fear-mongering. It’s unsubstantiated propaganda.
At the same time, if so-called critical capability’s close, Obama may decide it’s “not worth trying” to stop it, say Economist editors. Regime change is planned. If measures short of conflict fail, bombs away may follow. It’s longstanding US policy.
Rohani may or may not pursue weaponization, Economist editors say. It sanction relief’s not achieved, he may bring things to a head more quickly, they suggest.
“What is increasingly hard to believe is that (Tehran) can be dissuaded or prevented from getting the bomb by force.” 
“The challenge for Western policymakers may be less about stopping Iran than managing the consequences of it having a nuclear weapon, which include the unravelling of the entire non-proliferation system.”
Economist editors mimic likeminded fear-mongers. They stop short of verifiable facts. Inflammatory hype discredits them. It puts a lie to what they claim. Once a liar, always one. Nothing they say has credibility.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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