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Even More Agitprop

Elizabeth Palmer of CBS News filed this White House propaganda piece: Notebook: Iran’s Rhetoric Clear

This week at a nuclear conference in Tehran, Iran’s new chief nuclear negotiator Sayeed Jalili said, “Nuclear weapons are inhuman and unacceptable. We are opposed to them on principle.”

“We only want a nuclear program,” the official line goes, “to fuel nuclear reactors for making electricity.”

The rest of the world doesn’t believe it.

France and Germany are now lockstep with the U.S. in an effort to introduce new sanctions against Iran, backed by the U.N. Security Council. China and Russia are hedging on sanctions, but they too are unsettled by Iran’s nuclear program, which is already enriching uranium.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, issued a fatwa, a religious finding, “saying the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons was forbidden under Islam. The fatwa was cited in an official statement by the Iranian government at an August 2005 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.”

The Supreme Leader of Iran controls the military and the nuclear program, and Jalili is repeating the Ayatollah’s stated belief that nuclear weapons are un-Islamic because they cannot be used without killing the innocent.

“The rest of the world” didn’t believe Saddam Hussein when he said he didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction or programs to make them, so their opinion isn’t exactly the “gold standard” of accuracy. It is impossible to prove something doesn’t exist, but rather straight foreword proving something does exist, so where is the evidence of the existence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program?

The Iranians deeply resent the rest of the world scrutinizing a nuclear program they, as signatories to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, have a legal right to pursue.

Iran’s leaders want the world to respect their country as a sophisticated, businesslike and oil-rich state that will work to make — and keep — peace with its neighbors.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is a lynchpin in the region,” Jalili told delegates to the conference. “We are prepared to maintain security in our country, and the whole region.”

The U.S. and its allies, on the other hand, see a paranoid, unstable theocracy with an exploding population and Arab enemies on all sides; a country that might decide it needs nuclear weapons precisely in order to “maintain security in the region,” and will not hesitate to make them if it can — in spite of Jalili’s professed disdain for them.

You aren’t paranoid when someone is bent on your destruction. How is a government supposed to react when it is labeled part of the “axis of evil” by the leader of the most powerful military force in the world, a force that is used to invade neighboring countries?

Since the last time Iran invaded anyone, France under Napoleon conquered Europe, the United Kingdom conquered a worldwide empire, the United States conquered Mexico and the Spanish empire, Germany has started two world wars, the Russian empire expanded to the Pacific and Alaska, and China has gobbled up its smaller neighbors. These are the “peace-loving nations” that don’t trust Iran.

They should just come out and say they don’t want Iran to become Israel, because their description of Iran is a pretty good match for the current reality of that nation. Israel is not a party to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, has never allowed inspections of its facilities, has a nasty habit of conducting preemptive attacks on its neighbors, and is still of violation of Security Council resolutions from the 1967 war.

Let’s not forget that the current government in Iran is blowback from the 1953 Iranian coup engineered by the US and UK. A democratic government was overthrown to protect oil companies. It should also be remembered that Iran assisted in the overthrow of the Taliban, and was rebuffed by the Hedgemony when it reached out to negotiate with the US. Of historic note is that the nuclear program in Iran started with the US “Atoms for Peace” program, and the US and Germany defaulted on agreements to supply Iran with peaceful nuclear power facilities when the Iranian revolution took place.

The current attitude towards Iran strengthens the nutcases, like Ahmadinejad, and weakens the reformers in Iran. I don’t expect much movement on this issue until after 01/20/09.