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Sanctions as a form of war
Stop sanctions and war against Iran



Ardeshir Ommani
August 29, 2006

On July 31, 2006, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 1696, demanding Iran suspend all uranium enrichment related and reprocessing activities, including research and development by August 30, 2006. 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 August 22, 2006. The resolution states that either Iran complies with the provisions of 1626 and suspends uranium enrichment or will face the possibility of economic and diplomatic sanctions by the powers that sponsored the draft of the resolution.

For the UNSC 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, to be lawful, just and fair is another. The UNSC resolution flagrantly violates the provisions of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and neglects the fact that more than 2000 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 + 1 (five members of the UN Security Council, along with Germany), the Islamic Republic of Iran made its position clear that: firstly, 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; secondly, it considers its civilian nuclear energy program as an inalienable right of a sovereign state under the provisions of the NPT and thirdly, Iran would not exchange its nuclear enrichment program for a package of promises such as membership in the WTO possibly in ten years or future construction of light-water reactors. Similar promises were given to the People's Democratic Republic of Korea by the United States, and they were never honored. Should Iran try the United States a second time?

But this is not the first time that the UNSC under pressure of the U.S. has suggested sanctions against a country at odds with the U.S. Before the U.S. illegal war on Iraq, the UNSC passed a resolution that imposed harsh and broad sanctions on Iraq for more than a decade; sanctions that resulted in the deaths of half a million Iraqi children. It is not a secret that the Security Council with the U.S., UK and France on one side tip permanently the balance of power in the interests of the developed capitalist states. Furthermore, the above-mentioned countries with less than 10% of the world population have veto power over the remaining 90%. This composition of the world order in the United Nations is unjust and hence unsustainable.

Since the start of George Bush's presidency in 2001, which was soon followed by the catastrophic event of September 11, U.S. foreign policy orientation has taken more than ever a psychopathic turn: instigate wars of aggression, directly invade Iraq, set up a puppet government in Afghanistan, and currently promote, fund and fully back Israel's invasion of Lebanon. But all the while G.W. Bush & Co. blames Iran and Syria for 'instability' in the region! 

This pattern of illicit conduct could be observed clearly when President G.W. Bush at the G-8 Summit in St. Petersburg on July 16th, described Iran and Syria as the "root causes of instability", destruction and death in Lebanon and Palestine. We unabashedly agree with President Bush that the world is witnessing a "new Middle East" in the aftermath of Israel's invasion of Lebanon: a Middle East in which the credibility of the U.S. as an impartial broker, even among the middle classes, is seriously challenged. 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 Ahmadinejad, has been recognized and admired by the Arab, Muslim and world-wide oppressed masses as a reliable and formidable force challenging the American dream of domination in the Middle East, and lastly, Syria has emerged as a necessary and logical ally of the Lebanese people. 

According to Seymour Hersh's Watching Lebanon article in the August 12, 2006 issue of The New Yorker magazine, based on statements, policies and practices of the U.S. government, 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 United States 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 not something new, and secondly, "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 produce 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.

The main purpose of sanctions, as an instrument of particularly U.S. foreign policy, is to damage the backbone of the Iranian economy and drown the masses of people into poverty by the way of unemployment and lack of sanitation, transportation, education facilities and health services.

By doing so, the United States 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 proven 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 suspend endlessly its uranium enrichment process for a package of walnuts. 

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 American-Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC, and the StopWarOnIran campaign, strongly believe that war with Iran could be halted in its inception by opposing the senseless imposition of any form of sanctions against the Iranian people. Differences between the West and Iran on the nuclear issue can be solved through negotiations, continuation of inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and furthermore, by the U.S. offering Iran a non-aggression pact.

It is essential that all voices opposed to the devastation of a new war in the Middle East speak out now. Urge an immediate end to Washington's campaign of sanctions, hostility, and falsehood against the people of Iran. Oppose any new U.S. aggression against Iran. Please go to: and sign the petition and vote against sanctions and war on Iran. Comment

Ardeshir Ommani, an activist in the anti-war and anti-imperialist struggle for over 40 years, including against the Vietnam War, is a co-founder of the American-Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC). He has written a number of articles documenting the U.S. foreign policy toward Iran. He has translated many articles into Farsi, which have been published inside Iran in the progressive press. In the 1960's, he was a co-founder of the Iranian Students Association (ISA), which contributed to the struggle against the Shah of Iran, a U.S. puppet. Mr. Ommani returned to Iran in 1979, at the dawn of the revolution and participated in the revolutionary surge of that period. Since returning to the U.S. in 1980, he has been very active in the anti-war movement and in the struggle against the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq.

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Ardeshir Ommani

American-Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC)


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