American Herald Tribune | Robert Fantina: In its never-ending quest to portray Iran as Satan’s playground, the U.S. has developed ‘talking points’ to maintain criticism of it. The main focus of this effort focuses on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which regulates Iran’s nuclear development efforts. This, despite the government reporting that Iran is in full compliance.
Some of the points being raised are puzzling, and worth reviewing:
- Iran remains one of the most dangerous threats to US interests and to regional stability. What is this based on? How does a nation that hasn’t invaded another country in over 200 years threaten U.S. interests and regional stability? Wouldn’t one think that the U.S, which is currently bombing six countries in the Middle East, might be a threat to ‘regional stability’?
- The full range of Iran’s malign activities extends well beyond the nuclear threat and includes: We will look at each of these in some detail.
- Ballistic missile development and proliferation; Should Iran not have the capability to defend itself? With the U.S. rattling its much-used saber at Iran, why on earth would Iran’s leaders not be developing weaponry?
- Support to terrorism and militancy; The U.S. is supporting a variety of terrorist organizations in Syria, not to mention in Venezuela. It continues to terrorize the people of Afghanistan, and is killing countless innocent people in Yemen. What is Iran doing? It is providing some support to its ally, Syria, which is attempting to eject U.S.-led rebels from its borders.
- Complicity in the Assad regime’s atrocities against the Syrian people; One wonders what ‘atrocities’ the Trump administration is referring to. The huge brouhaha over the alleged chemical weapons attack passed, once it was proven to be a false flag. Pictures of Syrian soldiers assisting the people of Syria are widely available, as are pictures of U.S.-supported and financed terrorists killing them. Who, one might ask, is committing atrocities against the Syrian people?
- Unrelenting hostility to Israel; Israel has killed numerous Iranian scientists; vilifies Iran repeatedly; brutally oppresses the Palestinian people, and threatens Iran. Why would Iran not have hostility to Israel? It sounds perfectly reasonable.
- Consistently threatening freedom of navigation, especially in the strategically vital Persian Gulf; Several months ago, U.S. sailors accidently (?) sailed into Iranian waters. They were held briefly, treated well and released. Every nation on the planet that borders an ocean is allowed, under international law, to regulate and protect its shores. When a ship from any other nation broaches the 12 nautical miles (22.2 km; 13.8 mi), the nation whose territorial waters have been entered is entitled to act. Iran has done nothing wrong.
- Cyber-attacks against the U.S., Israel, and America’s allies and partners in the Persian Gulf; If such attacks have occurred, it is surprising that the nations so ‘attacked’ haven’t been able to prevent them. With all the money the U.S. spends on defense, and the $4 billion it gives Israel annually, one might think that such attacks, if made, would be thwarted.
- Grievous human rights abuses; The U.S. is very selective about what countries it condemns for ‘grievous human rights abuses’. The U.S. has full diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, which is notorious for human-rights violations. It jumps through whatever hoops Israel holds up, despite that rogue nation’s abominable human-rights record. And that’s only looking outward: the U.S. operates torture chambers around the world, with Guantanamo being the most notorious, and Black citizens are second-class citizens in the U.S., who can be killed by government officials with nearly complete impunity.
And what human-rights abuses Iran is purported to have committed, Mr. Trump did not bother to say.
- Arbitrary detention of foreigners, including U.S. citizens, on specious charges and without due process. As long as Guantanamo has been mentioned, we will discuss it a bit more. There, ‘foreigners’ are detained on ‘specious charges and without due process’. And the U.S.’s beloved Israel arrests and detains thousands of Palestinians, including men, women and children, on specious or no charges, and holds them indefinitely without due process.
- Years of concessions to the Iranian regime from the United States and others—the centerpiece of which was the JCPOA—have not caused Iran to improve its behavior. Concessions? Is that Trump-speak for sanctions?
- Even as we continue to work to prevent Iran from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon, we will not look away while Iran threatens the U.S. and our allies outside the nuclear realm. This writer has asked before, and will probably ask on many occasions in the future, why it is that Israel is permitted by the mighty U.S. to have nuclear weapons, and Iran isn’t. Russia and the U.S. have for decades had a policy of mutual deterrent; each has enough nuclear weapons to blow up the entire world several times over. It is thought that, with each having that capability, neither will be tempted to use it. Israel is a wild card in the Middle East, led today by an irrational madman in the mold of Donald Trump. Shouldn’t there be a deterrent force in the Middle East to counter that madness? And, more basic than that, shouldn’t Iran have all necessary means to defend its people from attack?
Let this writer pause to say that he believes the fewer nuclear weapons in the world, the better. However, if rogue nations such as Israel have them, its ‘enemies’ should be able to have them, too.
The US Administration has not demonstrated any ‘threat’ that Iran represents to the U.S.
The ‘talking points’ also mention that the Administration is developing a strategy “to address the full spectrum of Iranian threats to our national interests”. The Administration has not demonstrated any ‘threat’ that Iran represents to the U.S. It would be, on the other hand, quite easy for Iran to demonstrate threats that the U.S. represents to Iran.
There are two possible reasons for the U.S.’s hostility to Iran. First is that Israel wants to be the top dog in the Middle East, and Iran’s power and influence challenge that ability. Second is that war is big business, and the U.S. is the largest weapons vendor on the planet. The suffering and death of millions of people in war is meaningless to those who inhabit the White House, and walk the hallowed halls of Congress.
Any aggression against the beautiful nation of Iran will be a disaster for the world; it is to be hoped that Mr. Trump will refrain from any such foolish action. However, since the president is hardly a deep thinker, or a man with any but the most tenuous grasp on world reality, the prospect of such a war is not small. Perhaps the newly minted influence of Russia, a staunch ally of Iran, will be sufficient to prevent it.