Alternative Insight

Enriching the Discussion on Iran

By not challenging spurious remarks that constantly demonize the lslamic Republic of Iran, discussions are steered to futile debates -- how to prevent "terroristIran" (one word) from obtaining nuclear weapons -- instead of conducting the proper debate -- why does the nation of Iran covet the nuclear option and what will impel its leaders to change direction? Meaningful discussions on Iran's nuclear ambitions imply that the Islamic Republic's characterization has been stripped of rumor and conjecture and placed in correct perspective.

Granted the Iran bashers have the upper hand in their rash and provocative assessment of the Islamic Republic -- terrorizing actions during the Khomeni era (1979-1989), a near decade of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's inflammatory and revolutionary rhetoric, and State Department annual reports that portray Iran as a leader in international terrorism. Nevertheless, Iran's contributions to worldwide terrorism is exaggerated and the intentional demonization of Iran is well documented. Despite scarce evidence that Iranian treachery exceeds most other nations, interlocutors approach Iran as the poster child for international terrorism and skew the discussions, which go nowhere. When will this ever end?

An optimistic note: Although adhering to the obsessive renditions of Iran's malfeasance, the U.S. State Department is finally engaging Iran and departing from its known path of failed U.S. foreign policies, all of which have been promoted by falsehoods - from waging a counterproductive war in Vietnam, to assisting in the birth of Al Qaeda during the Soviet/Afghan war, to enabling the Taliban to gain control of Afghanistan after departure of Soviet forces, to failing to achieve Middle East peace, and to destroying Iraq - littering the world with broken nations and broken bodies.

The State Department's annual report on international terrorism lags behind the subtle diplomatic changes and reveals its usual selection and exaggeration of facts to fit a pre-conceived agenda. Similar to other dubious information that have provoked U.S. foreign policy failures, these distortions serve those who condition the public into aggressive attitudes toward the Islamic Republic. Examined and re-examined, shown and re-shown, the demonizing of Iran should be examined until it no longer prevails. The State Department's annual report on international terrorism claims:

Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran increased its terrorist-related activity, including attacks or attempted attacks in India, Thailand, Georgia, and Kenya. Iran provided financial, material, and logistical support for terrorist and militant groups in the Middle East and Central Asia. Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and militant groups to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and stir up instability in the Middle East. The IRGC-QF is the regime's primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.

Capture this from a different perspective ; all of the mentioned attacks were directed against officials of one nation, Israel, and were undoubtedly a product of tit-for-tat operations, revenge for killing of Iranian nationals, and carried a warning -- harm our nationals and we will harm your nationals.

Some of the attacks on Iranians of the many that do not appear (none appear) in the State Department reports are:

University professor Massoud Ali Mohammadi - assassinated in a bomb attack in January 2010.
University professor, Majid Shahriari - killed in a bombing in November 2010.
Later head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Fereidoun Abbassi Davani, - survived the November 2010 attack.
Electronics expert Darioush Rezaeinejad - shot dead outside his daughter's nursery in July, 2011.
Deputy Head of Iran's uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan - a magnetic bomb attached to his car door in January 2012 killed him and his driver.

By not including the terrorist attacks on Iranian citizens and Iranian officials, the State Department reports are compromised and prejudiced, but of course -- including them would reveal that suspects in the attacks are the U.S and Israel intelligence agencies

Because firm evidence has not been made available to conclude Israel was involved in these terrorist attacks against Iranian citizens, the conclusion is that Iran is using revenge for an excuse to commit...commit what? What would Iran accomplish, except to gain worldwide enmity and give Israel excuses for rash actions. Spies Against Armageddon, Levant Books, Sea Cliff, New York, 2012, authored by CBS reporter Dan Raviv and Ha’aretz correspondent Yossi Melman, two respected and accomplished newsmen, set the record straight; they show how the killings are the work of Mossad agents, designating them as “blue and white operations” -- the colors of Israel’s flag.

Another State Department partiality in its annual report classifies attacks by rebels in Bahrain as terrorist actions and disregards periodic attacks by Sunni insurgent groups in Iran. Even if these rebellious attacks are warranted, just as the rebel attacks in Bahrain may be justified, is not the State Department guilty of selective reporting?

Formed in 2012, Jaish ul-Adl (Army of Justice) has claimed responsibility for several killings and kidnappings of Iranian border guards, In one episode, fourteen guards were killed on October 25, 2013 on the border with Pakistan. Jundullah, a Sunni resistance force based in Pakistan, committed a suicide bombing in October 2009 near the Pakistani border, where six senior Revolution Guard (IRGC) commanders died. Jundallah also murdered 27 people in an attack on a Shi'a mosque in Zahedan during July 2010. An ABC News Exclusive: The Secret War Against Iran, Apr 3, 2007, claims that Jundullah has been "responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran [and] has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005." From where did the news network obtain its information? ABC cites U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources as their source.

Another omission from the annual State Department report is the activity of Israeli intelligence. If Iran is considered a "State sponsor of International terrorism," how should Israel be considered?

During the last decades, Israel's Mossad has committed multitudes of assassinations of Palestinians and other nationals, Egyptians, British, Lebanese, Iranian -- nuclear scientists, mistaken identities, resistance fighters, and alleged terrorists -- throughout Europe, Gulf States, Lebanon, Tunisia, Iran, and the Palestinian territories. These victims of assassinations are often fitted with spurious biographies that characterize them as leading commanders of Hamas or Hezbollah, when they are often lesser lights who interfere with Israel's plans.

Going beyond its borders, the Israeli military has conducted targeted operations in Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the Palestinian territories, which have destroyed facilities and killed innocent people. These operations include seizing ships and fishing boats in international waters.

Notable differences between the two nations in operations of targeted killings are (1) Israel's intelligence agencies have committed magnitudes more killings han those attributed to Iran and (2) Israel intelligence has a more extensive worldwide organization. Investigation into the assassination in Dubai of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, a Hamas operative, exposed an intricate Israeli worldwide network of passport forgers, transportation arrangers, weapons suppliers and asylum providers.

Other charges have Iran as an aggressor nation, greatest menace to peace in the Middle East, and causing instability in its region, possibly partly true but greatly exaggerated.

Cited are links between the Mullahs and the Taliban, which are obviously contradicted by President Hamid Karzai's December 2013 agreement to a cooperation pact with Iran, which occurred at the same time that the Afghan leader refused to sign a long-term security agreement with the United States. Apparently the president of Afghanistan is a covert Taliban agent. Iran is also accused, with debatable proof, of supplying guns and bullets to the rebels in Bahrain. Nothing said about Saudi Arabia sending its military to the island kingdom, and indirectly assisting in suppressing the rebellion from Bahrain's Shi'a majority, Despite the contradictions, Iran is the guilty party in actively supporting the Taliban and Bahrain's rebels.

Unable to show definite proof for any of these charges, the Iran bashers accuse the Islamic Republic of controlling Hamas and Hezbollah ( and now Iraq, according to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius) as surrogates for Iran's ambitions, without explaining what benefits Iran receives by having these proxies. Hamas and Hezbollah have definite grievances against Israel, with sufficient burials of their relatives to display these grievances. Do they need Iran to prod them to counter Israel? Iraq's government has the United States' support. Do they need to cower to Iran?

David Ignatius even has Iran responsible for instigating the ISIS resurgence in Iraq - not Saudi Arabia, Libya and Yemen, who are the mother nations and training grounds for these world terrorists.

Can Tehran be providing much military equipment to a hapless Hamas, which has few apparent weapons, except homemade rockets and possibly some Iranian supplied and ineffective Fajr 3 (43 kilometers) and Fajr 5 (72 kilometers) rockets with which to combat Israel? Information from Wikipedia, which is compiled from authoritative sources, indicates that Hezbollah has mostly Russian made armaments and Katyusha rockets, Syrian supplied Scud missiles, and supposedly some long range Iranian Zelzal-2 rockets. How much weaponry is supplied by Iran has not been clarified.

Iran's trivial contributions to the Hamas and Hezbollah arsenals should be compared to the United States annual donation of 1.2 billion dollars of military assistance to Israel, each year for almost 40 years. The relative values of the military assistance are understood by noting that Hamas and Hezbollah firepower are insignificant to those of Israel, whose nuclear weapons and weapons make that nation one of the world's largest and best equipped military,

Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal has been residing in Qatar, not Tehran but Qatar. In October 2012, Qatar's Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani pledged $400 million to Gaza for several projects. The wealthy Gulf nation has excellent relations with the United States. On the other hand, the U.S. government has charged the U.S. based Holy Land Foundation with illegally sending funds to terrorist Hamas.

Sum it all and compare.

With charges of Iranian gross malfeasance reduced to problematic, its antagonists charge Iran as a great violator of human rights -- all of which is true, but has no relation to Iran's nuclear efforts and is hypocritical.

U.S. based Freedom House annually rates freedom of the world's nations. On a scale of 1-7, with 7 being the worst, Iran is rated 6 for both political rights and civil liberties, not very good, but better than Saudi Arabia, which gets a double 7, and not much worse than the 6,5 for Qatar and Jordan. And Freedom House has been accused of being partial to United States' interests.

Because the latter three nations have friendly relations with the United States, human rights violations cannot be the principal reason for Washington's discord with Tehran. Could the reason be that unlike the "friendly" nations' tolerance of U.S. interference in Middle East life, Iran challenges U.S. hegemony?

Iran must be convinced to stop pursuit of nuclear weapons. That is a given. However, irrational charges cannot bring trust and achieve progress. Presenting Iran's characterization in a realistic manner assures that prejudices do not interfere with thoughtful deliberations. The proper start has "why is Iran developing nuclear weapons," and not with "how to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons." Knowing the reason opens the negotiations to a more clarified vision of the real problems and leads to how to deter Iran from its assumed trajectory to the doomsday weapon..

There can be many reasons for the "why," and two obvious reasons are
(1) To establish a deterrent due to fear of an attack by the United States, and
(2) To neutralize Israel's atomic arsenal.

Continuous U.S. hostility and the observation of several U.S. military attacks against Washington's foes justify Iran's fear that it is next on the list. Just as the gun equalized strong and weak individuals, the atomic bomb equalizes strong and weak nations.

If this is true, then the U.S. strategy to contain Iran becomes simpler, not simple, only simpler -- the U.S. demonstrates that it does not intend to attack Iran. Recent actions by the Obama administration indicate a movement in that direction -- lowering of tensions, more diplomatic initiatives, and recognition that Iran and the U.S. share common pursuits to defeat common enemies and resolve common problems. This strategy also tacitly informs Israel and Saudi Arabia that U.S. policies will not be captive to their problems with Iran, which prods them to resolve their problems with the Mullahs.

Iran and Israel are bitter enemies and for good reasons -- Israel's oppression of the Palestinians, bitter engagements with Hezbollah, and attempt to control entire Jerusalem offend the Islamic authorities, while Iran's support of Hamas and Hezbollah and aggressive rhetoric bother Israel. Similar to the Soviet Union and China obtaining the bomb to offset United States' monopoly, and Pakistan achieving atomic par with India, Iran realizes that if Israel's antagonists could effectively combat Israel with conventional weapons, Israel would seek the "Sampson option," obliterate the enemy with the BOMB. Either Israel discards its nuclear arsenal or Iran develops a deterrent.

Which leads to the question that is the "elephant in the room;" should Israel be forced to relinquish its nuclear arsenal if that action will assure nuclear weapons are not proliferated in the Middle East? After the smoke screen that guides the talks with Iran clears, the brightened atmosphere might reveal that question as being the principal one to be answered. And the United States might learn that the initial development of the Israeli BOMB was as much to deter the U.S. from interfering with Israel's expansion plans, which the U.S. did in the 1956 Suez War, as to give Israel the Sampson option.

january, 2014


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