The U.S., Not Iran, is the Terrorist

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ed Kinane

In the last two centuries has Iran... invaded any other nation?

THESE DAYS, Iran is in the news. But most of us know little about its people or its millennia-old culture or about its current realities. Nor do our leaders seem to know much.

For the past couple years, George W. Bushs administration has been trying to prepare the U.S. public for a military attack on Iran. The administration does what it can to demonize and provoke that nation.

Mr. Bush and Company deny that their interest in Iran, like that in Iraq, is all about its vast oil reserves. They claim Iran is part of the axis of evil that Iran is a terrorist state, a nuclear threat.

This drumbeat of war displays a grotesque double standard. Who is really on any axis of evil? Who is really a terrorist state, a nuclear threat?

During my recent visit to Iran, Iranians put it this way: In the last two centuries has Iran or Persia as it used to be called invaded any other nation?

In 1953, on the other hand, President Eisenhowers government, using CIA operatives based in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, toppled Irans populist and democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh. Why the coup? Because Mossadegh insisted that Western corporations pay more than nominal fees for extracting Iranian crude oil.

The United States then imposed its puppet, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (backed by the SAVAK, his savage secret police), on that country. In 1979 Iranians rose up and dethroned the shah. When the shah fled to the United States, Iran sought his return to answer criminal charges. The United States refused. Iranian students then took over the U.S. Embassy, holding its personnel hostage for 444 days. If the United States had done the right thing and extradited the shah, its likely there would have been no crisis.

In 1980-88, Iraqs Saddam Hussein, then a U.S. ally, invaded Iran. That war led to hundreds of thousands of casualties on each side. The United States helped arm and finance Saddam, even winking at his massive use of chemical weapons.

These days, with no substantiation, President George W. Bush claims that Iran provides Iraqi insurgents with high-tech weaponry, thereby destabilizing Iraq.

But its the United States not Iran that has invaded and occupied Iraq and plunged that nation into chaos.

In Iraq, the U.S. military, violating international law, has abducted several Iranian diplomats. U.S. Special Forces penetrate Irans interior, violating its sovereignty.

Now, Iran does support Hamas in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon parties that Mr. Bush also calls terrorist. If that overused buzzword were ever defined, it would quickly be seen that terrorist simply given the scale of their violence to civilians applies far more to the United States and to Israel than to Hamas and Hezbollah.

It isnt Hamas and Hezbollah who impose apartheid. Nor did they invade Lebanon or occupy Palestine. Nor do they maintain secret nuclear arsenals.

Is Iran a nuclear threat? Few credible intelligence sources believe that Iran, even if it had the will to do so (which has yet to be proven), is within several years of acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Lets say that some day Iran manages to develop a nuclear weapon. If somehow that weapon could be launched at the United States or Israel, wouldnt those nations retaliate with overwhelming force? Engaging either one in a nuclear exchange would be insane.

It is not hard to imagine, though, that Iran might seek nuclear weapons to deter others. After all Iran is flanked by the nuclear powers of Israel, Russia, India, Pakistan each tolerated or even supported by the United States. And its surrounded by U.S. bases in neighboring Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan and among nearby Central Asian and Persian Gulf nations.

But its the United States with no nuclear neighbors that has more nuclear warheads and more nuclear submarines than all other nuclear nations combined.

Its the United States that occasionally threatens to use the nuke and that keeps alive its first-strike option. Talk about terrorism.

[Ed Kinane visited Iran this past March on a Fellowship of Reconciliation civilian-diplomacy delegation ( This column is run in cooperation with, where it originated.]


طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم