Israel overplaying Iran issueby Mohammad Amjad Hossain
IT IS unfortunate but true that American politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, are dancing to the tune of Israeli leaders. In the Republican primaries, all candidates of the Republican Party, except Congressman Ron Paul, have sung to the tune of Israeli rhetoric that Iran is the existential threat to Israel and that it is sacrosanct of Americans to stand behind Israel. All candidates are prepared to fight for Israel, unconcerned with economic meltdown or unemployment and job crisis. It seems that their constituencies are located in Israel. I am not taken aback when Hillary Clinton, secretary of state reportedly said to a questioner in Kolkata that Israel must be protected from Iran, a regime that has a history of aggressive behaviour (USA Today of May 18). She is on the same boat with Republican politicians, as far as Israel is concerned.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been claiming that Iran could develop and use nuclear weapons against Israel. The Israeli lobby has been persuading American administration to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons. Israel is in favour of destroying Iranian nuclear facilities in order to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons.
It has transpired that Israeli Prime Minister has been exaggerating the threat. A number of former Israeli intelligent officers came out with statements criticizing him. In a blistering attack, Yuval Diskin, ex-head of Israeli internal security service Shin Bet, claimed ‘Netanyahu was creating a false impression about Iranian issue and appealing to the stupid public. Bombing Iran would likely push the Iranians to commit to nuclear weapons, a decision they have not yet made’. In March this year, Meir Dagan, former Mossad chief, said ‘attacking Iran was the stupidest idea he ever heard’. A commentator in Haaretz newspaper in Tel Aviv also pointed out in March this year that Netenyahu should not ‘gamble Israel’s security on conspiracies’.
Prime minister Netanyahu has a worse record of defying international law in connivance with the administration of the United States of America. The latest veto on February 18, 2011 by Obama, against a unanimous Security Council resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlements and demanding an immediate halt to all settlements, is a glaring example. Both Israel and America are answerable to the world for recent assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, as claimed by Iranian authorities to be the act of Mossad. Iranian news media termed both Israel and America as sponsors of terrorism against Iran. Iran also accused both Israel and US of assassinating four nuclear Iranian scientists since 2010. US, however, denied any involvement in the assassination plots. No word of condemnation came from American administration for such heinous crimes committed by Israel.
It may be noted that Iran is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty of the United Nations, which Israel has refused to sign. As a signatory to the treaty Iran has the right to enrich uranium for use in domestic purposes like electricity. It has been made clear in the treaty, which came into effect from March 5, 1970, that nothing in it shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all parties to develop, research, produce and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, without discrimination. Articles 1 and 11 of the treaty states that each nuclear weapon state party to the treaty should not undertake to transfer, to any recipient whatsoever, nuclear weapons or other explosives devices, and non-nuclear state party should not undertake to receive the transfer, from any state or whatsoever, of nuclear weapons; not to manufacture or acquire such weapons. It is, therefore, crystal clear that Iran has the inalienable right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Iran has gone beyond its obligations to ensure others’ use for peaceful purposes, reflected in its signing of an additional protocol to its safeguard agreement. It implies that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations could make surprise visits to monitor and inspect nuclear facilities. It would be relevant to quote Dr. Gordon Prather, nuclear scientist under Reagan administration, who said a few years back that Iran has offered to voluntarily forgo a complete fuel cycle if European leaders get the United States to reverse the campaign of denial, obstruction, intervention, and misinformation. It has not happened yet.
Israel, on the other hand, has developed nuclear arsenals, but nobody talks about Israel in America. There should be efforts by the international community to bring Israel under nuclear non-proliferation treaty. This double-standard of the American administration, both Republican and Democrat, will place them on the dock of justice. On May 23 a member of the British Parliament asked the prime minister, David Cameron, whether American president Barack Obama has apologised to the Pakistani president for the killing of 24 innocent soldiers. President Obama has neither apologised nor met with president Asif Zardari of Pakistan, who also attended the NATO summit on Afghanistan, in Chicago from May 21-22. This demonstrates imperialistic behaviour by the American government.
No member of the nuclear club has ever used the nuclear bomb except the United States of America against Japan. Nuclear weapons, as claimed by members, work as a deterrent. Why on earth should Iran not be allowed to develop a nuclear bomb as deterrent against Israeli attacks? The US and Britain backed a coup d’état to dislodge democratically elected nationalist leader Mohammad Musaddeq, prime minister of Iran in 1953, in order to denationalize Iranian oil companies. The Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, became a boot -licker of the American administration. Reza Shah did not have the opportunity to enjoy American hospitality as he was overthrown during the Iranian revolution by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt, gave him asylum.
It is an irony that Baghdad, which fought 8 year war against Tehran over the sovereignty of Shatt AL-Arab (narrow waterway formed by the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq), is hosting 6 party talks with Iran to resolve the impasse. As of now president Obama did not dance to the tune of Israeli leader, but assured them that ‘America will always have Israel’s back’. It is hoped that Iran would come out openly to demonstrate its activities to the inspectors of IAEA and follow the rules of nuclear watchdog. It is hoped that the problem would be resolved peacefully without a threat of strike or further economic sanctions against Iran. American does not want any more war.
The writer, a retired diplomat from Bangladesh and former President of Nova chapter of prestigious Toastmasters International Club, writes from Virginia
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