With North Korea going nuclear it has managed to grab the limelight away from Iran’s uranium enrichment activities. For Tehran it couldn’t have happened at a better time. Yet it will probably return to haunt Iran though North Korea poses a far greater risk to American, Russian, Japanese and Chinese security.
However unlike North Korea, the case against Iran happens to rely heavily on suspicions and prejudice than solid evidence. The contentions against them like ‘international communities concerns’ and the ‘threat to Israel’ are nothing but cloaks to protect major powers interests at the expense of Muslim countries continued serfdom. At last months Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, the 118 nations in their final declaration endorsed Iran’s right to conduct peaceful nuclear programs. Thus virtually reducing these ‘international concerns’ to a minority global view fashioned by major powers national interest. As for Israel’s concerns, as long as it exists neighbouring countries like Iran will always have a very real security threat from Israel’s nuclear arsenal of more than 400 nuclear warheads directed at targets in Iran and other Muslim countries.
Commenting on this issue a political analyst notes, “the American orchestrated ‘sanctions’ debate now underway in the UN Security council over Iran’s right to enrich uranium even for peaceful purposes is no more than a public charade to cloak America’s hidden agenda – a unilateral military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.” He adds, “the same Bush administration did the same thing over Iraq. They screwed Saddam to make sure he wouldn’t use WMDs Bush knew he didn’t have.” Yes, it’s the same old game with a different pawn.
Ironically the very nation opposed to Iran acquiring any nuclear capability happens to possess thousands of nukes with a combined capacity to kill 60 billion people in other words 10 times the current world population! A decade ago they could only offer instant oblivion up to a maximum of around five times. As if that’s not terrifying the American Military experts believe that continuous development of bigger and more powerful nuclear weapons are the only sure way to put an end to the arms race.
In April this year The New Yorker revealed that the Pentagon was actually preparing not just a military strike on Iran but nuclear strikes because some analysts were insisting that only American nuclear warheads could guarantee the elimination of Tehran’s nascent nuclear capability. President Bush’s response to the stunning charge was anything but a denial: “All options are on the table.”
Tad Daley from the anti-nuclear organization, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), asks, “How can we contemplate nuking people who might nuke people to show that nuking people is wrong? A western state appears prepared to employ the nuclear weapon to stop a Muslim state from even seeking the clear weapon. Witness the full depth of the irony here. It’s an irony so towering, so obvious and so unsubtle, that – if it happens –surely not a single member of the world’s Islamic community will fail to take notice.”
Daley says, “Some both anoint themselves as able to be trusted with nuclear weapons and arrogate to themselves the task of assessing whether others meet their tests. President Bush has often let slip this conceit of cultural superiority. ‘We owe it to our children,’ he said in August 2002, ‘to free the world from weapons of mass destruction in the hands of those who hate freedom’.”
As ironies go, it was only three years ago that the United States defied the United Nations to show Saddam Hussein that he could not get away with defying the United Nations, says Daley. “Now, the Bush administration is apparently prepared to breach the NPT [Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty] to show Mahamoud Ahmadinejad that he cannot get away with breaching the NPT.” And that too on suspicions because Iran has continually insisted that its program is for peaceful purposes exercising it rights as a sovereign nation.
“We are the ones who created these weapons in the past. We are the ones contemplating the use of these weapons in the present. We are the ones who vaingloriously insist that we – but not others- must perpetually possess these weapons into the future. And now, we are the ones who may soon feel the wrath of these weapons brought down upon ourselves. We are the ones who maybe the authors of our own annihilations. We are the ones, perhaps, who will be devoured by our own creation. In the end, that could turn out to be the greatest irony of all,” concludes Daley.
Iranian President rightly addressed this issue when he appeared before the UN General Assembly last month. In his speech he referred to the expansion of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. “Some powers proudly announce their production of second and third generation nuclear weapons. What do they need these weapons for? Is the development and stock pilling of these deadly weapons designed to promote peace and democracy? Or are these weapons, in fact, instruments of coercion and threat against other peoples and governments? How long should the people of the world live with the nightmare of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons? To what length can powers producing and possessing these weapons go? How can they be held accountable before the international community?” he asked. But the answers were not forthcoming.
When America and other world powers are fully armed with nuclear weapons, their concerns for nuclear proliferation is nothing but hypocrisy. Their concern is more an effort to protect their exclusivity to nuclear weapons and prevent others from challenging their hegemonic control of the world.
To repeat what I said earlier, it ultimately boils down to the fact that no major power will allow the emergence of any strong Muslim nation be it Shia or Sunni that could challenge their hegemony in the oil rich Middle-East. The only way Iran and Arab countries can become strong is by internal development and regional cooperation.