In light of the imposition of new sanctions brought by the United Nations Security Council against Iran, and in the face of a massive U.S.-led military build-up in the Persian Gulf, calls on all peace loving and justice-seeking people to defend Iran’s sovereignty, to demand U.S. withdrawal of its naval forces from the Persian Gulf, and call for the annulment of U.N. Resolution 1737 against the Iranian people.
Under the ongoing pressure and probable offer of economic incentives from the United States and Britain, the United Nations Security Council on December 23, 2006 approved Resolution 1737 that:
Requires Iran to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and to stop work on the construction of a heavy-water research reactor at Arak.
Prohibits all member states from supplying Iran with items including dual-use equipment and prohibits Iran from exporting any related equipment or technology to other countries.
Requires all states to avoid providing Iran with technical assistance, training or financial services that could contribute to a nuclear program advancement.
Requires all states to freeze the assets of a specified list of individuals and entities identified as having a key role in Iran’s nuclear program, and requires all states to notify the sanctions committee of travel by those individuals outside of Iran.
Requires the suspension of Iran’s uranium enrichment as a necessary pre-condition for the resumption of Iran-European Union (EU3) negotiation.
As if all those restrictions were not enough, the U.S. plans for strangulation of Iran go far beyond the formal decisions of the UN Security Council. Immediately after the Council’s votes, U.S. Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns impatiently said, “We’re certainly not going to put all our eggs in the UN basket … We’d like to see countries stop doing business as usual with Iran … We would like countries to stop selling arms to Iran. We would like countries to try to limit export credits to Iran.” On a self-congratulatory note, he boasted that the U.S. already has in place “full-scope sanctions on Iran in every conceivable area” since the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Finally, Mr. Burns showed his hand and clearly stated that the United States’ differences with Iran go far beyond its nuclear issue. “Our beef with the Iranians is threefold,” he said. First is their effort to attain a nuclear capability, second is their support for the Palestinian and Lebanese movements and their interference in Iraq, and third is the system of their governance domestically, according to Mr. Burns. The question is whether there is anything in Iran that the U.S. government does not oppose?
We believe the answer is in the negative. Not so long ago the U.S. government called for “regime change” in Iran and towards that objective the Congress approved more than a $100 million budget to finance covert and overt activities to provoke insecurity and undermine the country’s economic, social and political stability.
It is indisputable that in each and every major nuclear issue confronting the United Nations nuclear non-proliferation regime, the United States and Britain have tried to replace the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with the Security Council in which they can secure a majority vote. In cases of geopolitical discord, as in Iraq, they by-pass the UN and begin a pre-emptive war without the consent of the international community that they are so fond of reciting.
In AIFC, it is our sincere belief that Iran for reasons other than its nuclear energy program, as was acknowledged by R. Nicholas Burns, has been singled out and charged unfairly with violations of the UN nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In essence, UN Resolution 1737 is a flagrant violation of the Treaty (NPT) that Iran has been a signatory to and member of since 1970 and has fulfilled its commitments to the Treaty and has dutifully complied with the NPT governing rules and IAEA regulations.
In this connection, for the purpose of confidence-building and eradication of any misconception of the West with regard to Iranian “intentions”, the government of Iran voluntarily suspended its nuclear enrichment and processing operations for a period as along as 15 months while holding marathon negotiations with EU3, Britain, France, and Germany for close to three years.
After all the good will shown by Iran and months of dialogue, the EU3 not only did not provide a resolution that would entrust Iran to produce its own nuclear fuel (in accord with the provisions of the NPT), but behind the scenes collaborated with the United States and accused Iran of the “intention” of building nuclear weapons. All the while, this was the objective being pursued by the big powers.
1. Whereas Iran has remained a stable and committed member of the NPT for 37 years, it expects to enjoy its legitimate and inalienable rights to research and development of a nuclear industry for peaceful use, as it is stipulated in Article Four of the Treaty.
2. The UN nuclear energy agency (IAEA) has consistently declared that Iran has made no diversion of nuclear materials and equipment for purposes other than the use for civilian nuclear energy. According to veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, in its recent intelligence work, “The CIA found no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program running parallel to the civilian operation that Iran has declared to the IAEA.”
3. To portray Iran as a threat to peace in the Middle East or in the continents of Europe and America is to spread a sheer fallacy, because contrary to the war-like history of the U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan, France, Russia and Italy, the country of Iran has not initiated a single war against any nation on earth in the last 250 years. This cannot be claimed by any member of the list mentioned above. To insist on depicting Iran as a member of the “axis of evil” and as a menace to peace and tranquility in the Middle East is to be in a deep denial as to the true causes of the immense fatalities and destruction in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine.
4. The U.S. anti-Iran foreign policy has its deep roots not in Iran’s future plans for proliferation of military nuclear technology, but in the U.S.’s insatiable thirst for controlling Iran’s present and tangible flow of gas and oil. By extension, it is the U.S. and EU’s crave for absolute control over Iraq’s oil reserves that like pots of honey has attracted tens if not hundreds of thousands of Western troops and armaments to the region and absolutely not for the non-existent presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’S) or the presence of armies of terrorists ready to invade Europe and America. It is not surprising to see that the three members of the Security Council plus Germany are precisely from the same countries whose troops are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
5. Another, but similar, source of the U.S.-Britain anti-Iran policy is the strong opposition of the Iranian government to the presence of the so-called “coalition of the willing” in the region. This could be considered the missing link between the Iraq war and the U.S. anti-Iran foreign policy. It is not hard to see that the U.S.-British cry about the Iranian “danger” and its alleged interference in the internal affairs of Iraq is one more cover for their plan of remaining in the war-torn countries with the self-deceiving and wishful thinking of establishing their uncontestable domination over gas and oil reserves.
6. It is worthy to know that no government in the Middle East, with the exception of Israel, considers Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program a threat to their national security. It must be added that the only country in the Middle East that is armed with more than 200 nuclear bombs, as acknowledged recently by its Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, is the Zionist entity, the very same country that has been at war with all its neighbors for the entirety of its short life span.
7. Iran has consistently placed its entire nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards; furthermore, it adopted and fully implemented the Additional Protocol for over 2 years and announced its readiness for extension of its implementation.
8. Iran permitted over 2000 person days of IAEA inspections of all its relevant and even unrelated facilities.
9. The question is how come the IAEA has made no demand to receive an entry permit to visit Israel’s nuclear stockpiles and the UNSC has issued no resolution of sanctions against it? Apparently, the UN rules and regulations only apply to certain countries while overlooking the ones which have the backing of the big powers.
10. Therefore, it is not an overstatement to say that the U.S. and the U.K. are a serious threat to peace, security and progress in Iran and the entire region of the Middle East. The menacing presence of the U.S.S. Enterprise, which includes all the warships that compose Carrier Strike Group 12 (CGS12) Destroyer Squadron 2 and Carrier Air Wing1 (CVW1) in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, is a clear sign of U.S. plans of intimidation and hostility.
The calls on the anti-war movement, especially progressives, to mobilize in full force against all U.S. provocations – sanctions, arrests of Iranian diplomats in Iraq and all forms of coercion on Iranians living in the United States.
At the same time, we call on all Iranian patriotic individuals and organizations to join the anti-war movement, become active and contribute to the forces in opposition to the U.S. invasion, occupation and destruction of the peoples and environment of the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. Today, do what you would be proud of explaining to your children and grand-children when they ask you “What did you do when the United States attacked Iran and the neighboring countries?” Contact us at www.progressiveportals.com/aifc!
About Ardeshir Ommani, an activist in the anti-war and anti-imperialist struggle for over 40 years, including against the Vietnam War. Ardeshir is a co-founder of the American-Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC), where news of his most recent visit to Iran in March & April 2006 can be read. He helped launch the successful StopWarOnIran.org campaign. 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.