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Emet m'Tsiyon

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Did the Western Great Powers Ever Want to Stop the Iranian Nuke Program? -- The Same Powers Favored Mussolini with the Same Trick

UPDATING 1-13&3-13-2012

Anti-Zionism is the anti-imperialism of fools
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It has been known for years that Iran was working on a nuclear program. Former Israeli prime minster Yits'haq Rabin was warning about it before he was killed in 1995. This program has long seemed aimed at producing an Iranian atomic bomb, despite Iran's commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, in violation of that treaty. The International Atomic Energy Agency was dealing with the issue years ago. Yet nothing concrete has been done by the major Western powers to stop the nuke program or, more precisely, nothing that we know of other than economic sanctions. And even those sanctions waited for years to be imposed. Iran was given a "last chance" to mend its nuclear ways as far back as 2003. But there were several subsequent "last chances."

The US delegate to the IAEA gave a rather good speech at the March 2006 meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors. But little if any concrete action came out of the meeting. One problem was the head of the IAEA at the time, Muhammad Barada'i, an Egyptian who consistently belittled warnings that the Iranian nuclear project was meant to produce a nuke bomb. He did this although his own government seems to have been concerned with Iranian aggressive actions and intentions toward the Sunni Muslim world, as were several other Sunni Arab powers, like Saudi Arabia.

All this time Iran's work on developing the nuke bomb has been progressing, and sanctions of any seriousness were only applied relatively recently. This means that US presidents going back to Bill Clinton were not acting against the threat of an Iranian nuke bomb. These presidents include Clinton, George Bush II [I don't know about his father], and Obama who openly declared a soft policy on Iran. Obama's policy is softer now even than that of Britain although the US and Britain are so often in lock-step on foreign policy issues. This article & this one indicate that the Obama administration is opposed to stronger sanctions on Iran called for by the House of Representatives. Here is a report of British actions imposed after rioters instigated by the Iranian govt attacked the UK embassy in Teheran.

Elliott Abrams, a former Bush Administration defense official, lists a number of recent Obama administration statements that discard any threat or possibility of military force to be used against Iran and/or its nuke program. Abrams interprets a recent declaration by an Obama "national official," the deputy national security advisor, as giving:
. . . a White House assurance that the United States does not intend to challenge an assertion of Iranian dominance in the region. [here]
For years the great powers avoided placing sanctions on Iran which was violating its commitment to the NPT [non-proliferation treaty]. Now, the great powers are imposing sanctions. But what does that mean? The game of great powers imposing sanctions that will not accomplish their ostensible purpose, in this case preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb, has a history. Consider the sanctions imposed by the League of Nations on Italy over the invasion of Ethiopia in the 1930s.
The regime [Mussolini's regime] conquered its empire of stone and sand in Ethiopia, its "place in the sun." It succeeded in doing that, in fact, with Anglo-French backing. France and England, through the League of Nations which they controlled, had a fake economic embargo passed against Italy. However, excluded from it [the embargo] was the supply of Iraqi oil which our [Italian] troops marching on Addis Ababa could not do without. In any event, those sanctions were never applied and were even revoked immediately after the success of the Duce's colonial undertaking.
[Mario Jose Cereghino e Giovanni Fasanella, Il Golpe Inglese (Milano: Chiarelettere 2011), p 36-- emphasis added].
[The key phrase in this passage is "fake economic embargo". In the original it is "finto embargo economico"]
So fake or inadequate economic sanctions are an old trick of great powers. The authors of the passage quoted are saying in essence that Britain and France wanted Italy to conquer Ethiopia in that period. The delay of sanctions against Iran for years --let's say at least since 2003-- and the eventual imposition of inadequate sanctions just show that the powers can still get away with their old tricks. Nothing new under the sun.

- - - - - - - -
12-18-2011 Jonathan Tobin sees the sanctions as weak and notes the Obama administration's refusal to sanction dealings with Iran's central bank [National Bank of Iran].
1-5-2012 Jonathan Tobin sees Obama as reluctant or unwilling --and in case unlikely-- to enforce the sanctions against dealing with the Iranian Central Bank. Read him here.
1-8-2012 Michael Rubin believes that the Washington "foreign policy establishment" engages in doubletalk in order not to propose real and biting sanctions on Iran's ayatollahs [here]
1-13-2012 Jonathan Tobin wonders if the Obama administration condemnation of the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist conceals a reluctance to stop Iran's nuke project [here]
3-13-2012 Jonathan Tobin claims that Israel's hints that it might strike Iran's nuke project have brought Obama & Cameron together in antagonism to such an Israeli strike and have led the EU and USA to increase sanctions on Iran [here]

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