[News] Iran - Got war if you want it

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu May 31 10:55:55 EDT 2012

Got war if you want it

By Pepe Escobar

Pentagon head Leon Panetta told ABC News that the 
US is "ready" to attack Iran. It depends on US 
President Barack Obama giving it a go. Will he or won't he?

Nobel Prize winner and Drone Godfather Obama has 
been busy "justifying the 'just war' theories of 
Christian philosophers", as Ray McGovern 
graphically put it - and as attested by the New 
York Times orgasmically promoting its piece 
"Secret 'Kill List' Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will'.

Apparently there's no Iranian "kill list' so far 
- apart from scientists being whacked by the 
unsavory association of the Israeli Mossad and 
the Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) terrorist 
outfit. And there's no evidence - yet - Obama 
considers attacking Iran a "just war". On the 
contrary; Obama might flaunt a nuclear deal with 
Iran as a major foreign policy victory on the way 
to re-election. But - just in case - the Pentagon is keeping up the pressure.

Enrich, and you're history
Panetta regurgitated the same old fallacy 
perpetrated ad infinitum, since at least 2006, by 
the neo-cons, the Israel lobby and US corporate 
media, according to which Iran is about to build 
a nuclear bomb like 
 tomorrow. "We will do 
everything we can to prevent Iran from developing 
a weapon", Panetta said. Once again, it doesn't 
matter that the International Atomic Energy 
Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, plus 17 US 
intelligence agencies have stressed this is not the case.

Panetta's move must be seen as the Pentagon 
preemptively bombarding the P5 + 1 talks about 
the Iranian nuclear program - now scheduled for a 
third round in Moscow on June 18. As Gareth 
Porter has shown, there can be no deal as long as 
Washington insists on absolutely ditching the 
nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which 
Iran subscribes (See 
hard line in Iran talks driven by Israel, Asia 
Times Online, May 29, 2012). The US position 
amounts to never allowing Iran to even enrich uranium for civilian purposes.

Panetta also insists that the "international 
community's been unified" about it. That's 
nonsense. Not only the BRICS group of emerging 
powers but also the whole Non-Aligned Movement 
(NAM) has insisted Iran has a right, like any 
other country that subscribes to the NPT, to 
maintain a civilian nuclear program.

Now let's turn to the Iranian position. Iranian 
nuclear chief Fereydoon Abbasi said, "We have no 
reason to retreat from producing the 20% because 
we need 20% uranium just as much to meet our 
needs,'' according to Iranian state TV.

Not only that; Iran will start building two new 
nuclear power plants in 2013, and its sole active 
nuclear reactor is now close to full production levels.

Under the NPT, a member state with a consistent 
civilian nuclear program essentially may also 
acquire a nuclear weapons capability - what is 
also defined as a "nuclear option". Japan, Brazil 
and Argentina, for instance, all NPT member 
states, have maintained their "nuclear option" 
for decades. They could ditch the NPT and build a 
nuclear bomb in a few months if they wanted to. 
They won't. But Washington, on a mission from God, believes Iran will.

The fact is Tehran is not doing anything illegal 
in its pursuit of nuclear technology. It has even 
agreed to talk in Baghdad about suspending its 
20% uranium enrichment. But then Iranian 
negotiators found out in Baghdad that for the US, 
the red line - no enrichment at all - is 
definitive. At best, in exchange Iran might 
receive supplies of medical isotopes.

So Tehran won't be moved from its position; it 
will only consider suspending its 20% enrichment 
if the ultra-harsh Western oil embargo plus the 
financial war via banking sanctions is reconsidered.

By the way, Iran's Central Bank Governor Mahmoud 
Bahmani said that Tehran has already activated an 
alternative payment clearing system to SWIFT - 
thus foiling another vector of Washington's 
relentless economic war. What this means is that 
Iran, BRICS members Russia, India and China, plus 
Iran's trading partners in the developing world 
are moving one step beyond in their flight from 
the US dollar as global reserve currency.

Sanction me baby one more time
Even in the - unlikely - possibility that the 
leadership in Tehran suddenly decided to stop all 
uranium enrichment, and kill the whole nuclear 
program on the spot, Iran would still be under US 
sanctions. The sanctions have practically nothing 
to do with Iran's nuclear program. It's all about regime change.

By 401-11, Congress in the US last Friday 
approved a resolution that goes even beyond "crippling" sanctions.

US sanctions are bound to remain forever unless 
President Obama certifies to the extremely 
unpopular US Congress (14% approval rate), "Iran 
has released all political prisoners and 
detainees; ceased its practices of violence and 
abuse of Iranian citizens engaging in peaceful 
political activity; conducted a transparent 
investigation into the killings and abuse of 
peaceful political activists in Iran and 
prosecuted those responsible; and made progress 
toward establishing an independent judiciary."

There's more; Obama also has to certify, "The 
government of Iran has ceased supporting acts of 
international terrorism and no longer satisfies 
certain requirements for designation as a state 
sponsor of terrorism; and [that] Iran has ceased 
the pursuit, acquisition, and development of 
nuclear, biological, chemical, and ballistic weapons."

Into this mire of wishful thinking steps Chairman 
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey. He 
told CNN on Monday, "the military option should 
be considered". Oops, but that refers to that 
other war in the making - in Syria. General 
Dempsey said he would prefer for the 
"international community" to effect regime change 
in Syria, but - just in case - the Pentagon is 
ready to pounce ("Of course, we always have to 
provide military options.") The NATOGCC compound 
is barely containing its shrieks of joy.

So what's it all about, Barack? So many wars to 
choose, so little time till Re-election Day.

Pepe Escobar is the author of 
How the Globalized World is Dissolving into 
Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and 
Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the 
surge. His most recent book, just out, is 
does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia at yahoo.com

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