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One false flinch and there goes Isfahan
There's noth’n “hollow” about President W.



Afshin P. Pishevar, Esq.
August 30, 2005

Fareed Zakaria has held himself out as an expert on Iran. I rise to point out some of the factually and logically flawed theories espoused by Zakaria in his op-ed piece of August 16, 2005. His basic premise is that President George W. Bush’s tough remarks against Iran on the nuclear question are nothing but “hollow threats.”

I agree that war is not the answer, but it is this writer’s opinion that the “solutions” he forwards will inevitably lead to armed confrontation. I challenge Zakaria to point to analogous examples of where his thesis has come to fruition. Neither can wishful thinking nor his anecdotal guess-work make it come true.

It's nice that Zakaria and his friends “find [themselves] siding with the mullahs” on the issue of nuclear development in Iran. However, “the mullahs” as he puts it are not arguing that their plan is to make nuclear weapons to have a “nuclear option.” Iran has steadfastly and studiously maintained the position that the nuclear program is for energy only.

Iran indeed has an energy crisis. This is Iran’s most compelling and legitimate argument for having nuclear energy. Iran has to actually import gasoline to meet its daily needs. Iran justifies its need for Nuclear Power by, inter alai, truthfully pointing to a 7.5 million-gallon per day, gasoline deficit. This is in large part brought on by the destruction of its refineries and petroleum infrastructure by Saddam Hussein during the bloody Iran-Iraq war. Therein lies both the problem and the solution.

To call President Bush’s statements “hollow threats” is, frankly, irresponsible and a dangerous way of thinking. I suppose Zakaria can afford to guess wrong since he is neither Iranian nor has family in the cross-hairs of a “preemptive strike.” I wonder if he has forgotten that the President is from Texas and regularly dresses in cowboy hats and boots? If nothing else, Bush has demonstrated that once he takes on a belief, he is “true” to his word and follows the path of his neo-con advisors like a salmon swimming to spawn up an ideological stream.

The Neo-Con “manifesto” is clearly already manifesting itself. The theory, as it were, is that the U.S. must exploit the power vacuum and the fact that it is THE sole global super-power. Coincidentally, the U.S. now has two beautiful staging grounds (bases) which happen to surround Iran from two sides (Iraq and Afghanistan). Simultaneously, both sides are starting to ramp-up the rhetoric.

What’s more, Iran’s recently elected President Ahmadinejad (and new hard-line cabinet) have made it a much more appetizing target for attack than the smiling, innocuous face of Khatemi and his (failed) “reform” platform. The figurative handwriting is on the wall. Failing to take decisive and swift action here and now is to invite a war so bloody that it will turn the stomach of all of humanity.

Iran is a young nation, which still yearns for peace and reforms. Actually, a similar comparison to Iran may be the events that took place in Serbia during the Clinton Administration.   I will veture my own guess that labeling Iran a nuclear "power" would be more of a liability than an asset. After all, Iran would then be the global equivalent of the Brazilian with a backpack in the London subway. One false flinch and there goes Isfahan.  An out of place sneaze, and so long Qazvin. You get the picture. 

The most realistic solution is to efficiently take out the justification for nuclear energy by multi-laterally sending aid to build up Iran’s oil refineries and infrastructure to their full capacity. At the same time this would be leaps and bounds cheaper in terms of dollars and less costly in terms of innocent human lives than (inevitably) going to war after vacuous “negotiations.” Who knows, this solution might also end up paying for itself by increasing the supply of oil and therefore, a reduction of the price we are all having to pay at the pump.

Afshin P. Pishevar, Esq. Law Offices of A.P. Pishevar & Associates, Rockville, Maryland. See

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