In his latest report, Seymor Hersh of the New Yorker [“Plan B“] suggests the strong possibility of either an American or Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Both CIA and Israeli intelligence officials, Hersh writes, have little doubt that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, there has only been one voice coming out of Iran and it only belongs to those who have already decided to develop nukes. But the key question that can really affect what the world would take into account in respect to its approach to this issue is missing: What does Iranian public think of achieving nuclear weaponry?
Depending on how you ask this question, Iranians inside or outside Iran may answer in different ways. True that the Shah of Iran had the same ambitious plans and people have been generally supporting the idea of a strong and technologically advanced military — it may embody the old spirit of the Great Persian Empire, as Joe Katzman once suggested. However, the answer to a yes-or-no question on having nuclear weapons, can not represent the real attitude of Iranians towards it.
The right question, which has rarely been asked [Aug 2003 poll], is that whether Iranian people would like nuclear weapons in the hands of hard-line Revolutionary Guards who have recently shown their great appetite to control every aspect of the political power in Iran. (Last month they aggressively shut down the International Airport on the same day it was opened, and they captured the British sailors and paraded them blindfolded in front of their TV station, Al-Alam, last week.)
Whereas the National Security Council has effectively prevented Iranian media from any form of debate, Iranian expatriates all around the world have failed to discuss the issue, themselves. Thus the world would not be wrong to take this silence as a sign of the nation's satisfaction with the direction the Iranian regime is going — or in fact, rushing.
The entire world is participating in the debate about the fate of Iranian nukes and the only voice missing is in fact the most important one: What Iranian people think about it. This is where we, as Iranian expatriates, should quickly and aggressively take action.
Author Hossein Derakhshan, aka hoder, is a blogger [i.Hoder.com], journalist and multimedia developer who emigrated to Canada in 2000. He lives in Toronto.