Thursday, May 25, 2006

Iran has the right to self-defence By Ghali Hassan

"While claiming to be protecting the world from proliferation threats in Iraq, Libya, Iran and North Korea, American leaders not only have abandoned existing treaty restraints but also have asserted plans to test and develop new weapons, including anti-ballistic missiles, the earth-penetrating "bunker buster" and perhaps some new "small" bombs. They also have abandoned past pledges and now threaten first use of nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states." Former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter. [1]
The U.S. and Israel are in the process of manufacturing a "crisis" to justify a war of aggression against Iran in flagrant violations of international law and norms. The current crisis is reminiscent to the crisis which was manufactured to justify the illegal war of aggression against a defenceless Iraq.

On its part, Iran poses no threat to other nations. Nor is Iran in violation of international law and norms. Therefore, Iran has an inalienable right to self-defence against aggression.

Contrary to media reports and distortions, Iran is not engaged in the development of nuclear weapons and Iran is not threatening other nations. Like many other nations, Iran is pursuing legitimate peaceful nuclear research. Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran has the right to enrich uranium for peaceful uses. There is absolutely no evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. The accusations that Iran has "nuclear weapon ambitions" are ridiculous at best.

Without any justification, the U.S. and Israel have threatened to attack Iran with nuclear weapons if Iran continues its nuclear program. Three members of the European Union, Britain, France and Germany, are being coerced by the U.S. to act against their interests and against the wishes of the vast majority of EU citizens.

Although Iran tried to negotiate a peaceful solution to the crisis, the U.S. has consistently rejected Iran’s offers and showed that it is not interested in a peaceful solution. Iran has stated publicly that it is seeking a "security guarantee" and Iran is willing to participate in the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. Instead of pursuing peaceful dialogue, the U.S. continues to follow Israel’s ideology of war and expansion. Israeli leaders are publicly pushing the U.S. to attack Iran. The U.S. is acting as if the U.S. Army is Israel’s proxy army and many young Americans are dying for Israel’s Zionist ideology.

Israel has illegally attacked and invaded other nations. Israel is still occupying land in Lebanon and Syria in contravention of UN resolutions. Israel is currently arming and training Kurdish militias in northern Iraq and the Iranian Mujahideen el-Khalq (MEK) -- until recently listed as terrorist group by the U.S. State Department -- to carry out clandestine terror operations and surveillance inside Iran.

The U.S. goal is to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran, enforce U.S. imperialist domination over the oil resources of the Middle East and support Israel's Zionist policy. It is important to bear in mind that during the murderous dictatorial regime of the shah, the U.S. and Israel supported Iran in its pursuit of developing nuclear weapons technology. The current Iranian program is a peaceful nuclear technology to produce energy.

Furthermore, Iran is not guilty of violations of international law. Iran has voluntarily signed the Additional Protocol. As stated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report of 8 March, "Iran has continued to facilitate access under its Safeguards Agreement as requested by the Agency and, until 06 February 2006, implemented the Additional Protocol as if it were in force, including by providing, in a timely manner, the requisite declarations and access to locations."

The Director-General of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, has pointed out several times in the past that Iran is not in violation of the NPT or any agreement with the IAEA. However, Mr. ElBaradei has since been rewarded (with a Nobel Prize) by his masters and proves to be good at following orders. ElBaradei is making misleading statements accusing Iran of "non-compliance." As usual, the IAEA continues to politicise the situation, forcing Iran into the impossible. The statement that the IAEA is "unable to confirm the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities inside Iran" is the same misleading statement used by Hans Blix -- the UN accomplice -- to demonise Iraq and prepare the public for the illegal war of aggression that destroyed a vibrant nation and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. Now ElBaradei's role is “to keep providing the U.S. the ammunition for charges of 'non-compliance.' With time, the public will be prepared and persuaded to support a war on Iran.

Iran has stated publicly that it is willing to enter into dialogue with the U.S. to discuss all issues, including "security guarantees" -- assurance of non-aggression -- and demanded that the U.S. and Israel stop their threats and interference in Iran's affairs. The U.S. and its allies are using the nuclear issue as a pretext to justify war on Iran in the same way they used the discredited pretext of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) for illegal war on Iraq.

The U.S. has demanded that Iran abandons all it nuclear research, including the mining of its own uranium, and instead buy the enriched uranium fuel for the generation of electricity. This is unacceptable as many countries around the world do just the opposite. Like any country would do, Iran rejected the unfair U.S. demands, which would leave Iran dependent on outside technology and resources. On 16 May, the EU-3 demanded that Iran "suspend all enrichment related and reprocessing activity, including research and development." Iran responded by stating that; "No incentives are better than implementing the NPT and the IAEA rules without discrimination." The EU-3 demands are unrealistic and designed for propaganda purposes to enforce the case for war. By demanding the impossible, the U.S. and the EU-3 are increasing the possibility of conflict and aggression.

The U.S. and Israel's threat to Iran is alarming the civilised world. In anticipation of an attack on Iran and, in addition to Israel’s own arsenal of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, the U.S. supplied Israel with F-15 and F-16 aircraft capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Writing in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Avner Cohen and William Burr show that; "A U.S. nuclear attack [on Iran] would cause severe physical, social, economic, and political damage." Cohen and Burr added, "Five to ten nuclear explosions of 10 kilotons each a few meters below ground would destroy most buildings within 1-2 kilometres of each explosion; force prompt evacuation to save lives within about a hundred square kilometres of each explosion; contaminate buildings, grounds, livestock, and crops over thousands of square kilometres; and depending on wind and rain, cause fallout sufficient to cause evacuation and/or sheltering as far as thousands of kilometres downwind. Measurable radioactivity would be detected around the world." [2]

Given that most of Iran's research plants and facilities are situated in urban areas and near population centres, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians would be killed. American citizens should think carefully before their government commits new crimes against humanity in their name.

Rather than working to eliminate the use of nuclear weapons, the U.S. is continuing to refine its own nuclear weapons, and considers them an integral part of its military forces. In violation of the NPT, the U.S. is pursuing more nuclear armaments and is encouraging other nations to develop nuclear weapons. In reality, the U.S. is in the process of making the use of the monstrous nuclear weapons more acceptable in future wars against nations with no nuclear weapons. We should not forget that the U.S. is the only nation to have ever used nuclear weapons against humanity.

If there is a country that constitutes a classic threat to international peace and security, it is the U.S. The U.S. has been involved in many conflicts and wars that resulted in unnecessary killings of millions of innocent people. From Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia to Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq, millions of innocent people have been massacred by U.S. forces.

No nation will surrender its rights and national independence in the face of the threats posed by the U.S. and Israel to Iran. If Iran is attacked without provacation, Iran has the right to retaliate in self-defence. Self-defence against aggression is Iran's inalienable right and deserves the support of people wordwide. Like North Korea, Iran has the right to pursue a self-defence policy of deterring a future U.S. attack.


[1] Jimmy Carter, 'Saving Nonproliferation,' Washington Post, 28 March, 2005.

[2] Avner Cohen & William Burr, 'Dangerous Doctrine' the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, vol. 61(2), March/April 2005.

Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia.