Tuesday, January 24, 2012

We Aren't The World:
Obama, Iran, and The Arrogance of Empire

President Barack Obama released a statement on January 23, 2012 praising the EU's recent decision to embargo Iranian oil. The statement reads in full:

I applaud today's actions by our partners in the European Union to impose additional sanctions on Iran in response to the regime's continuing failure to fulfill its international obligations regarding its nuclear program. These sanctions demonstrate once more the unity of the international community in addressing the serious threat presented by Iran's nuclear program. The United States will continue to impose new sanctions to increase the pressure on Iran. On December 31, I signed into law a new set of sanctions targeting Iran's Central Bank and its oil revenues. Today, the Treasury Department announced new sanctions on Bank Tejerat for its facilitation of proliferation, and we will continue to increase the pressure unless Iran acts to change course and comply with its international obligations.
The United States and the EU combined account for only about 10% of world's population. How arrogant it is for Barack Obama to claim this represents the "unity of the international community," especially when the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) represents over 55% of the world's population and has repeatedly acknowledged its support for Iran's right to a peaceful nuclear program under IAEA safeguards?

On November 18, 2011, after the leaking of the latest IAEA report on the Iranian nuclear program and hysterical alarmism that followed, the NAM released an 18-point statement outlining its reaction, and objections, to the report.

NAM, which is comprised of 120 UN member states plus a number of observers, "expressed its deep dissatisfaction and concern about 'selective submission of the IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano report to some member states and called it against the principle of equality of all countries."

Furthermore, NAM specifically noted the terms of the NPT when it "reaffirm[ed] the basic and inalienable right of all states to the development, research, production and use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, without any discrimination and in conformity with their respective legal obligations. Therefore, nothing should be interpreted in a way as inhibiting or restricting the right of states to develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes. States' choices and decisions, including those of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear technology and its fuel cycle policies must be respected."

It also "emphasize[d] the fundamental distinction between the legal obligations of states in accordance with their respective safeguards agreements, as opposed to any confidence building measures undertaken voluntarily and that do not constitute a legal safeguards obligation."

In what is directly applicable to the current acts of murder and sabotage, as well as the rounds of illegal sanctions on the Iran (which by now surely add up the collective punishment of all Iranians - winning the hearts and minds, as always!), NAM also "reaffirm[ed] the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities and that any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities -operational or under construction -poses a serious danger to human beings and the environment, and constitutes a grave violation of international law, of the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and of regulations of the IAEA. NAM recognizes the need for a comprehensive multilaterally negotiated instrument prohibiting attacks, or threat of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful uses of nuclear energy."

It should be remembered that Natanz, the enrichment facility directed by the murdered Professor Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan and which was the target of international industrial sabotage via the Stuxnet virus, is under full IAEA safeguards and 24-hour surveillance, and has been subject to numerous surprise inspections. For nearly a decade, the IAEA has consistently confirmed that no nuclear material at Natanz (and elsewhere in Iran, for that matter) has ever been diverted to non-peaceful purposes.

Perhaps most importantly, NAM expressed doubt over the dubious and unauthenticated nature of the "alleged studies" accusations present in IAEA reports. It stated:

"While noting the D[irector] G[eneral]’s concern regarding the issue of possible military dimension to Iran's nuclear program, NAM also notes that Iran has still not received the documents relating to the 'alleged studies'. In this context, NAM fully supports the previous requests of the Director General to those Members States that have provided the Secretariat information related to the 'alleged studies' to agree that the Agency provides all related documents to Iran. NAM expresses once again its concerns on the creation of obstacles in this regard, which hinder the Agency's verification process."

Oh, how alone, how isolated, Iran is in affirming its own inalienable national rights!

In his statement today, Obama declares, "The United States will continue to impose new sanctions to increase the pressure on Iran."

How does such a brazen promise comport with his March 20, 2009 Nowruz announcement, cynically titled "A New Year, A New Beginning," that his "administration is now committed to diplomacy" which "will not be advanced by threats"? Oh right, that claim was made a mere nine days after he extended unilateral sanctions on Iran due to Iran supposedly posing what he called "a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States."

Considering the constant fear-mongering about Iran, it is no surprise that, according to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, nearly 30% of the American public now believes Iran "represents the greatest danger to the United States," a jump from 12% a year ago.

Pew reports,
Among those who are aware of the recent tensions between the U.S. and Iran over Iran's nuclear program and disputes in the Persian Gulf, a majority say that it is more important to take a firm stand against Iranian actions (54%) than to avoid a military conflict with Iran (39%). More than seven-in-ten Republicans (72%) say taking a firm stand is more important, as do a smaller majority (52%) of independents.

Democrats are more evenly split: 45% say taking a firm stand, 47% say avoiding a military conflict. This reflects a division of opinion within Democrats; while 52% of conservative and moderate Democrats say taking a firm stand is more important, that falls to 36% among liberal Democrats.
Propaganda sure does work.


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