Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Moment of Truth

By Paul Iddon

The fog of distortion and misinformation regarding the Islamic Republics nuclear program is finally beginning to clear.

IR-40 heavy water facility at Arak.
Reading news bulletins (and indeed this blog) over the past few years one finds oneself very much familiar with two recurring stories, one being of gradual developments in Iran's nuclear program which always concludes by reminding the reader that primarily the US and Israel accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons whilst Iran continually asserts that its nuclear program is a wholly civil one. The second story is one that has taken many forms for a good four years now, the predominate ones being of the Israeli Air Force launching large scale exercises in preparation for a strike against Iran, whilst various Israeli political and military figures asserting that a nuclear Iran will not be tolerated and that they are prepared and will take military action against it.

With last weeks highly anticipated yet nervously awaited IAEA report that speaks of “credible” evidence that Iran is designing a nuclear weapon one feels that these ongoing threats and conflicting assertions of the true nature of the Iran's nuclear program may be reaching a gradual crescendo.

The Russian Foreign Ministers recent warnings regarding the increasing likelihood of an Israeli strike aren't in any way unprecedented, one remembers Russia warning the west back in 2007 that an attack on Iran would be considered an attack on Russia. Also Israel seeing the development of an Iranian nuclear weapon as an existential threat certainly isn't anything new or unprecedented neither. As I've made evident before when I pointed out that the current Prime Minister Mr. Netanyahu warned of a nuclear armed Iran manifesting itself within at least five years, he made this warning back in 1995...

Granted Iran's nuclear program was essentially halted in 2003, given that (and granting presumption that Iran has in fact been developing nuclear weapons all this time) Netanyahu's prediction was at the very least three years off.

Mr. Netanyahu is a man known to make some very questionable allusions. During the Second Lebanon War in 2006 he stated numerous times that the only historical example that could be drawn with regards Israel's so called disproportionate responses to Hezbollah rocket fire was the German V2 rocketing of London in the Second World War. As Netanyahu stated Churchill responded by firebombing Dresden, whilst he does assert that Israel tries to make some distinction between civil and military targets it was a rather odd and somewhat crass statement to make. And I'm sure some of the more astute historical conscious observers will also note that the bombing Dresden corresponded closely with the bombing of Hamburg and will recall that while Hamburg was indeed an industrious port city it was also home to a large number of working class families who never supported the Nazi Party and whom were the predominate ones who perished in those horrific bombings. Almost reminiscent to that was how the Israeli pummeling of Lebanon in 2006 empowered Hezbollah and pretty much destroyed any chance of the Cedar Revolution the year before evolving, manifesting itself, and gradually unifying the Lebanese people together on secular lines, rather than having them continually divided on sectarian lines.

All Hezbollah had to do during the summer war in 2006 was to survive, by kidnapping the two Israeli soldiers as they got exactly the kind of reaction they were gunning towards. And furthermore as even a fleeting observer will note Hezbollah since then has grown to be a force to be reckoned with in Lebanon, and has furthermore tripled its conventional military strength through increased arms replenishment's from Iran and Syria.

One finds the present tense atmosphere alongside with the Israeli threats to launch a preemptive strike to be very worrying and unsettling, when one considers once the missiles and jets start flying over the gulf the outcome will most likely see Iran bombarded until its ability to project conventional military force is destroyed, this in turn will see a lot of its infrastructure bombed in a manner similar to the coalitions Desert Storm operation against Iraq in 1991.

I've droned on before about how I think this outcome would be a catastrophe in particular for the Iranian people, as the Iranian regime would avenge their woes and brutally exert their violence on those within its own borders, doing away with them under the pretext that they are fifth columnists or foreign influenced enemies of the Islamic Republic.

Granting the premeditation that Iran is designing and developing nuclear weapons in which to meaningfully project fear and the means to extort its loathed gulf neighbours for its own strategic means, one has to ponder if launching a preemptive military bombardment to prevent it from doing so would play into the regimes hand. As if Iran were attacked in such a fashion it may ensure the regimes survival as well as its hegemony over the Iranian masses for up to another decade and also lay about the conditions of abjection in which the theocracy will thrive under, and cripple (and break the proverbial back of) the aspiring Iranian democrats who are at present struggling to liberalize the government and bring the Iranian state and her people into a more meaningful, productive and influential relationship with the rest of the world.

So to conclude the conundrum I've outlined isn't a pleasant one. Whilst I'm not advocating doing nothing in the face of a nuclear armed Iranian theocracy I'm merely pointing out it is sadly the masses of the Iranian people that will have to bare the brunt of the suffering that will come from such a military confrontation, the theocracy will ride it out, sleeping soundly at night knowing that they've not only stuck a finger to the west (you can be sure any war with Iran will see oil wells burning in Saudi Arabia) and secured their wealth and leadership positions but will have for the second time in less than 40 years plundered the Iranian peoples hopes for a future of hope and opportunity, and instead replaced it with a totalitarian theocratic future, where them and their brainwashed minions force their solipsistic outlook on the general populace, and forcefully ban any non-consensual form of internal debate or self-evaluation and criticism and instead blame the woes that come from the states impoverishment on foreign entities, ensuring that Iran for the foreseeable future will be a pariah state, its people forcibly closed off from the rest of the world, where they are violently subverted and forced to live their lives in a manner that the ruling zealots see fit.


Anonymous said...

Iranian peoples suffering is the direct responsibility of Isarel

Middle estern Problems as a whole starat and ends with Israel.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who finds the author, Paul Iddon, offensive? Who is this foreigner to tell us what is and is not good for our people. The nuclear issue is ultimately a domestic matter and one that the majority of the Iranian people firmly back. Who is Paul Iddon to tell us otherwise?

I am a young Iranian. I am a child of the Islamic Revolution and the Republic. I determine Iran's destiny together with my fellow Iranians.

Nader Uskowi said...

Anon 9:46 AM,

There are many young Iranians born and raised in the Islamic Republic, like yourself, who openly express their views about the West, offer their analysis of the Western world, attack the West, burn their flags, and chant death to their countries, demonstrate against their consulate (in old days even occupied them), etc. They incidentally see their actions as their right. There are as equally a large number of Iranian youths who openly and not so openly air their pro-western views whenever they get a chance to do so. Why shouldn’t a Westerner have the right to talk about Iran, to criticize or to support the policies of the Iranian government? Are you upset because Paul’s viewpoints are different that yours, or are you objecting because he is of different nationality? If the latter, wouldn’t that be the height of hypocrisy coming from a young man inside a country that routinely attacks the West, and not just the western policies toward Iran? There is a disconnect here and I am probably missing your point. Educate me.

Anonymous said...

"Iranian peoples suffering is the direct responsibility of Israel"

What a load of rubbish!
Iranian peoples suffering is from the direct result of the misbegotten rotten theocratic and traitorous regime in Tehran that has made it its business to interfere in an Arab Israeli affair by wasting Iran's resources on a lost cause while oppressing the downtrodden and suffering Iranian people under the yoke of Islamic Fascism.
People like you can only be a regime apologist with their daily yarns and fairy stories now go and collect your orange juice and sandwich.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:46 AM

Let me educate you.
Iran is not a Republic but instead is a Theocracy ruled by unelected mullahs and their servants.
Therefore the proper name for this farce that rule in Tehran should be...The Islamic Theocracy of Iran.

I am a Iranian as well and like to determine with the majority of like minded Iranians the future destiny of our nation without the religious bigotry and dogma that exists in Iran today.

Anonymous said...

Mr Uskowi,

My objection to Iddon's presence in you site was not due to his diverging views but rather due to his bigoted way of writing. The professionalism that I believe this site strives for becomes nullified every time such an extreme voice is allowed in. His writings are factually unfounded and the tone is rude. That such voices are given credibility by being published (by Iranians at that) I personally find offensive.

However, this is your website and you are naturally free to host whomever you wish. But your attempt to justify the existence of an extremist by pointing at other, equally bad examples elsewhere, is logically unsound.

Anonymous said...

Your comment has many fault information that is not repersent to day setuation in iran than latst 32 yrs ago let star to exampt iran tody and last 32 years ago.1)They are power house 4 level of gournment planning in iran and show to make minimume mistake. 2) Ecconomy dispite of west and usa wished to see is strong and much better than west and usa doesnot it matter it can not be effective and far better than west grow stronger but 3)Export non oil has gone from 6 bilion doller years 2006 too much more than 36 bilion reported 2011 the grown is unbelievable dont forget such a export require 5 to 10 time inside country grown which they would not ever reported to imf because they are believe this corporate of west just a tooles to stop ever nation to grow properly 4)They like section more than anything that keep them revolution get stronger every day and night that is not stop to it nevermind what west and usa see to it what is really in the iran market apeared to day and tomorrow.5)In military strike noone know for sure how would be turn out to be the winner of fight ever one of politician talk of catasrophic to the region,and iran known that would not fight with one country so she known fight with at least 33 country simultaneuosly also 2.5 trilion dollers of arab money theire is on the line to finance the war would not be dificault for them as they done in iraq in 2003. Iran know for sure face the war one day with them and did not set in dark corner to watch do nothing about it day and night work to understand and fight back hard and meaning for everyone of his people to believe for freedom of the nation from west, usa and how to save the infractraction country 6)Why is iran doing giving up the vioce getting louder and attack getting stronger? What is the end game? is EU and USA back down or will collide to each other whom would lose west or iran ? Is worthest to trade or give up israel to come down the situation in midleast? so many thing may not have the answer but for fact iran will not give up will fight for the last man.

Steve said...

Dear Mr Iddon - The IAEA report didn't reveal any really substantial facts to make a case against Iran for NPT violation. It included a lot of speculation though, which in my view doesn't belong into a reliable report published by a reputable international agency.
If a report is so weak, the usual practice is to simply ignore it.
So if you want to top up on those IAEA speculations, why not choose an audience, which has a preference for it, for example that one of the 'Jerusalem Post', 'Jedioth Achronoth' or 'Haaretz' or the like ?
You would spare us a lot of fatigue by doing this.

Paul Iddon said...

@ Anon 9:46AM & 2:25PM (assuming you're the same person)

You say the nuclear issue is ultimately a domestic matter and further add that most of the Iranian people firmly back it. Okay granted these two things I wasn't referring to civil nuclear power (which I myself believe Iran has every right to develop), I was writing about the allegations made by the IAEA that Iran is in fact pursuing a nuclear weapon. We would probably come to some form of agreement if we were to have a discussion about why Iran has the right to develop nuclear weapons if both Israel and Pakistan can do so unmolested by the west. But that's not the point, the Iranian leadership has said time and again that it isn't developing nuclear weapons, has signed international treaties and agreements to that respect, and has made statements along the lines that development of nuclear weapons is un-Islamic. If it turns out they lied they won't only have deceived the UN and its various agencies, but it will also have had lied to you and have taken you for a chump.

Even though I am as you say a foreigner I do genuinely care a lot about Iran, maybe it has something to do with my internationalist brand of politics.

And whilst I do write in a polemical fashion I don't think I give off the impression of being bigoted, and if I do I apologize, that is not my intention.

Furthermore you state my writings are factually unfounded, do you have any evidence to back up that accusation?
As I've said I do write in a polemical and point of view style (these columns are editorials after all), nevertheless I don't think I've in any way been disingenuous, and if you or anyone else reading this thinks I've got something factually wrong I welcome you to point it out to me and I will acknowledge it, correct it and make amends, apologies or reparations where fit.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:46 AM

"Who is this foreigner to tell us what is and is not good for our people".

What a utter hypocrite you are. So it's OK for you and your ilk to determine what is good for the Arabs and Israeli's but it's not OK for someone to voice the truth as regards this backward and barbaric theocracy.

Anonymous said...

It's not at all clear by reading this Paul understands the fact that Iranians inside Iran overwhelmingly support their country's nuclear program.

Or perhaps Paul wishes for Iran's leadership go against the wishes of the Iranian people inside Iran?

Every credible Western public opinion poll conducted of Iranians inside Iran shows majority support at varying levels for Iran's foreign and domestic policies.

So Paul argues that Iran's leaders should go against majority public opinion? How is that "democratic"?

Again, it would do Paul well to study multiple poling results from Globescan, WPO, Univ. of Maryland and IPI to get a handle on what the majority of Iranians inside Iran actually support, instead of imprinting his own personal opinions on a country, the source of which appears to be the ever-present demonization campaign conducted by the Western mainstream media against Iran, and/or the Iranian expat community living abroad.

B.M.A said...


With due respect it is wrong on your side to be a Jugde and a Prosecutor and the wittness all at the same time pinning down your victim[the THEOCRASY]delivering a capital punishment as you like without giving the accused a fair hearing!!. SO THEN let as all go together make a hasty summury to your story and make some chunning so that we may pick some pearls of wisdom from it ! and the same time expose the chuff and the human weakness on your side!.

You said that the fog of misinformation regarding the Islamic republics nuclear program is finally beggining to clear,this is as a result of a credible report fomr the IAEA, whic pseaks of a credible evidence thyat IRAN is designing a bomb.Again you takl of Russia warning that a strike on Iran would be traslated to be an attack on Russia!!.And Netanyahu a man of allusions [as you said]got it write some five years back that a nuclear IRAN will manifect itself .But what worries most is your assumption that Israeli jets flying and an operation desert strom in IRAN!!.bUT MISTERIOSLY THE REGIME WILL SURVIVE to avange to its own people its bruttality,woes and bruttality!such that it will subject the country to a stutas of pariah sate.

The 'CREDIBLE EVIDENCE evidence released by the IAEA did not clear the fog ,instead it only help drop the internation body to a status of mockery and a joke!.the reason being that it collected its information through a fog of distortaton and misinformtion.Had been the IAEA been an indepent body executing its duties dilligently and impatially then its report would be binding. But many quaters toe down the report dissmising it as a political document .or what is the logic behind showwing the document to the US and some other selected few for 'harmonisation' before the releasing it?,is there a clause in the IAEA statute that places the USA ABOVE OTHER MEMBERS IN STATUS?.

reply two-

Mr Netanyahu's allusions and prophecies do not hold any water.We have never heard that the ISRAELI PM is a professional military analyst.The world has known MR Netanyahu as a politician.And politicians the world over have one thing in common 'playing with the nerves of their people'!.BUT MAYBE LET AS ASK WHO CAN STOP IRAN FROM GETTING THE BOMB?do you think its MOSSAD,OR CIA or Netanyahu? here is a shocker for you!IT IS THE CLERICS IN IRAN,THE LEARNED ISLAMIC SCHOLARS WHO FIND the weapon going against the pillars of religion.HAD there been a clause [in the ISALIC HOLY BOOKS]that gives PERMISION TO OWN,APPLY A NUCLEAR weapon to your enemy, then nobody would hinder IRAN from reaching there.

reply three

Ayou said some thing to the effect that a stike on Iran would be playing into the regimes hands since it will ensure the regimes survival and its hegemony over its people!-here you making your assumption of IRAN'S WEAKNESS self defeating!.If the jets will come in ,bomb everything in to another 'another desertstorm'don't you think a regime change will be the next step?.WHY THEN DO WE SCARE THE LIBERATORS AWAY THAT THEIR BLITZ will only play into the regime's hands!. are either acknowledging the IRANIAN superiority?.

reply four

YOUR article is educative,and i feel you have a lot to educate people.YOU have shown to us what you feel and wish for the IRANIANS now would you please answer these question for the benefit of everyone.

@-IT IS THE DUTY OF THE IAEA TO MONITOR THE ACTIVITIES OF ALL NATIONS concerning nuclear use and applications-has the world body made any move to de-arm the USA,RUSSIA,INDIA,CHINA,PAKISTAN,NORTH KOREA ISRAEL ,i mean an independent effort to make sure the world is free from nuclear arms.or is the IAEA just an attack dog maulling poor Nations as commanded by the nuclear arms superpowers?.

Anonymous said...


You should write a longer article next time!

Paul Iddon said...

@ Anon 9:02 PM

You seem to have completely pulled that accusation out of thin air. I've said it several times before and will say it again, I too completely support Iran's right to develop its own nuclear program (I've said before if it is as the regime claims for civil purposes then they should be offered aid and/or assistance by the west like they were pre-1979).

However the very salient 'elephant in the room' I've been pointing to which you've conveniently chosen to ignore is the fact the regime continues to assert it isn't developing nuclear weapons (deeming them un-Islamic and obsolete weapons of the 20th century etc.). Now if it turns out that that is a lie and that they are in fact pursuing nuclear weapons then they will have showered their own people in the same amount of contempt and disregard as they will have had with the rest of the world and will have spat on every international and solemn binding agreement they've signed to the effect they're not developing nuclear weapons. Because if that is the case it will be those very people who the regime lied to that will bare the brunt of the suffering brought on by increased sanctions, isolation or even war.

Paul Iddon said...

@ B.M.A

Thank you so much, you've clearly taken the time to actually read my piece, evaluate it and then judge it based on what you see as its merits and demerits and for that I salute you!

About my stating the fog of misinformation is beginning to clear, I didn't exactly specify that it was as a result of this IAEA report, and I'm like yourself dubious of whether or not this "credible" evidence is enough to convict Iran of actively seeking nuclear weapons. When I speak about the fog of misinformation I'm referring to the clashing assertions, the said IAEA report on one hand and the consistent Iranian denial on the other. When I say this proverbial fog is clearing, I'm saying these events are transpiring to the point where we will soon know for certain rather the Iranian regime are clandestinely developing a bomb or that this IAEA report is a whitewash, the point being it can only be one or the other.

No, the Desert Storm allusion is to a predominately American launched one, not a solely Israeli one, and the aftermath I outlined I'll address in a minute.

Reply two:

I made that particular Netanyahu allusion to make a broader point, in the sense that the Summer 2006 war in Lebanon essentially terrorized the country and ruined any hopes of the Cedar Revolution gradually evolving Lebanon into a tangible secular democratic state and instead empowered Hezbollah. So instead of Israeli bombing defeating and destroying Hezbollah it did little more than displace over a million people and give Hezbollah free reign to undermine the Lebanese government and become the dominant political force in Lebanon, free to rebuild the south as practically its own state from the ruins of a rather terrific bombing campaign.

I'm dubious about the clerics and scholars you're referring to, some religious fanatics don't even abide by their own laws, or worse just pick and choose what suits their own personal agendas. Whilst I wouldn't dismiss your point (as you may have seen I have briefly referred to this very point in an earlier comment on this thread) I wouldn't use it to fully dismiss the possibility that the regime is in fact developing a nuclear weapon.

Reply three:

I don't think under this scenario I'm assuming that Iran and her people are necessarily weak, I'm merely pointing out the regime and its thugs have a lot of the guns (as well as a lot of loyal and religiously indoctrinated and devout gunmen).

A Desert Storm like operation would destroy a lot of the countries infrastructure and bring it to a stand still, as well as devastate respective branches of the Iranian military in a bid to contain it completely within its own borders. Under the pretext of permanent war I suspect we could see the regime imprisoning or snatching people they suspect of challenging their authority, that wouldn't be pleasant situation to have transpire, but it would be a likely consequence of such military action that the Israelis and certain political circles within the US are loudly and rather crassly advocating.

I couldn't see the US military executing a policy of regime change like they did in Iraq in 2003 any time soon, and I'd rather it not happen at all and instead see Iran in ten or more years to naturally and internally evolve into a secular democracy unmolested by war or foreign intervention.

Paul Iddon said...

@ B.M.A

Reply four:

Thank you for those kind remarks.

As for the IAEA monitoring the nuclear activities of all nations I assume you want me to go through the countries you mention.

China I wouldn't worry about too much, whilst the 1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis was a rather worrying affair the Chinese haven't proliferated and as far as I know have less nuclear weapons than France or the UK or even Israel, so they're keeping a minimal deterrent (with a really tiny stockpile considering the sheer size of China as compared to Israel which is said to have a comparable if not large stockpile). Pakistan introducing nuclear weapons into the Kashmir dispute is something I personally find rather worrying.

The actual nuclear threat of North Korea doesn't worry me, but nonetheless their promiscuous use of missiles and constant threats are worrying in the sense that the Japanese may finally have had enough and develop nuclear weapons of their own and in the process instigate a Sino Japanese arms race (I hope you don't think less of me for saying this, but I hope that in light of the Fukushima disaster they will think twice about this and decide not to do it). Furthermore if Iran under the current leadership acquired nuclear weapons that it may make Germany feel like a nuclear deterrence would be necessary and therefore make the Russians more reluctant to engage in more START talks with the US and the west.

The history of Israel's nuclear program and the ambiguity surrounding it is quite peculiar. The Kennedy Administration back in the day didn't want Israel to develop nuclear weapons as it was feared it would spark an arms war in the region, I think that is the reason the US and Israel are so coy over Israel's stockpile to date. But that shouldn't mean that the Israelis shouldn't have to comply to international agreements and be obliged to put its own WMD program under scrutiny if it wants international cooperation in preventing Iran from getting a bomb.

Anyway, I'm rambling, I think you see where I'm coming from on a lot of these issues.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...


Where is the evidence of a nuclear weapons program? The latest NIE report on Iran says there hasn't been one since 2003. These U.S. intelligence agencies have seen ALL of the evidence in that IAEA report for years now, and have discounted it as less than reliable. Furthermore, the former IAEA director had seen this material for years, as well, and had also discounted it for the same reason. Now there's a different IAEA director and he is on record as being "in the U.S. camp" on the issue. That is to say, this issue has become politicized.

There's a bottom line: the IAEA continues to verify that there has been no diversion of nuclear material in Iran -- it remains supervised and accounted for.

As for any "alleged studies, in addition to U.S. intelligence agencies discounting this, even if it happened to be true, this does not put Iran in violation of the NPT. In fact, even if Iran were to opt to make such studies, this course (without actually constructing a device and diverting nuclear material) could be considered "legal nuclear capability" as is the case with Japan, Brazil and dozens of other countries.

You are aware of the fact that the 120 nation "international community" that is NAM (the Non-Aligned Movement) sides with Iran over the politicization of the IAEA, right? They take Iran's side on the latest report.

And you're aware that majority public opinion in Arab states in Iran's region support Iran's nuclear program, right?

So let's get this straight:

You're against:

1) Iran's nuclear policy.

2) The overwhelming Iranian public opinion in support of their nuclear program.

3) The 120 nations of NAM in support of Iran's nuclear program.

4) The majority public opinion of Arab states in the Middle East supporting Iran's nuclear program.

That's where you stand, Paul.

B.M.A said...


First, I wish to say thanks for your answers and i won't shy away from telling you that I am somehow 'jealous' of your insights and grasp on the whole issue of Atomic weaponry. ALTHOUGH I AM disappointed for failing to see the positive side of the CLERICS on your part ,i respect your position and i therefore take your argument hands down!HOWEVER take it from Me that the CLERICAL SYSTEM in Iran is not a bunch of MULLAHS ,OR A GANG OF TERRORISTS sitting on the necks of THEIR PEOPLE.Neither are they illiterate Sheiks guiding people into darkness!!ANY ANALYST WHO FAILS TO READ THE TRUE AND POSITIVE SIDE OF IRAN'S CLERICAL ESTABLISHMENT and blatantly dismisses them AS another bunch of mad Mullahs is wrong and practices INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY!.

The nuclear weapon has many benefits ,from guaranteeing security to National pride, the list is long that explain the merits of owning the ultimate weapon.BUT THIS INHUMAN THING HAS NO PLACE IN ISLAM!!Any Muslim owning this tool should throw it away in the ocean and come back to THE laws and Islamic statutes guiding weaponry.In Pakistan for example, this weapon was forced in the throat of the Government,the Clerics were not consulted on this 'political project'.And in IRAN there is an intense internal debate among the citizenry on the issue.Many People believe that it is prudent to have IT so as to shield the country from the humiliation visited upon their neighbors IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN. BUT ISLAM FORBIDS THIS WEAPON that is why the LEADER issued a Fatwa stating clearly that IRAN WON'T GO THAT WAY.Now did He rise up one morning to issue the Fatwa? NO He consulted widely among all CLERICS and they saw no clause that would justify the use of the weapon.AND THIS IS ONE AMONGST THE BLESSINGS OF THE CLERICAL REGIME IN IRAN TO THE BENEFIT OF MANKIND that the west is just too blind to see!!.

ISRAEL can rest AND sleep peacefully assured that no MUSLIM CAN HAUL AN ATOMIC BOMB in Israel thanks to ISLAM!that is why i am saying someone has to pick a book and read about ISLAM before dismissing its Clerics as MAD.IN ISRAEL THERE IS AL QUDS[Jerusalem]THE first Qibla in Islam and the second HOLLY shrine after MECCA.SO HOLLY IS THIS PLACE TO ISLAM THAT if RUSSIA today were to threaten ISRAEL WITH NUCLEAR then a fatwa would come from a MUSLIM CLERIC for all Muslims to go die and defend the HOLLY CITY!!because Muslims are bound to obey this CITY in Israel,then the issue of IRAN hurling an atomic bomb there is not only a lie but an insult!!.


IRAN IS NOT LABORING TO ACQUIRE AN ATOMIC WEAPON.And if it is true can't you see it is an exercise into futility.HOW WILL IRAN MATCH ITS DUMMY ,LOW CLASS BOMB against the high grade fifth generation ,smart weapons the USA and ISRAEL has in its Amory .But this is an effort by the gangs of war to nip the fledgling IRANIAN DEFENSE INDUSTRY IN THE BUD and if possible instal a 'MUBARAK' IN TEHRAN SO THAT THE OIL TAPS MAY CONTINUE FLOWING!!.


Paul Iddon said...

@ Anon 11:39 PM

Your critique is well written but factually incorrect as well as downright nonsensical and arrogantly presumptuous in its conclusions, it ignores both the salient facts and the blatantly obvious, such as the fact that I've said more than once on this very page that I do support Iran's right to develop nuclear energy for civil purposes.

The whole point of this column if you were to read it rather than presume to know what it says was to both reflect and lament over a very long and tedious 'cold war' which has been accompanied by a (as I've put it) fog of misinformation and distortion with regards to the true nature of Iran's nuclear program, and to comment as I already have that the time is coming when we will know for sure (hence the rather dramatic title) whether or not Iran has been right to assert that it is not developing the necessary facilities to produce and acquire nuclear weapons or if (as I'm sure you believe) the UN and the IAEA are blatantly politicizing the issue and subsequently producing white wash reports.

I don't see how that convicts me or puts me under any of the pretenses you have outlined.

Anonymous said...


Where's the fog? The IAEA continues to verify there's been no diversion of nuclear material.

You don't appear to have knowledge of Iran's experience following the Paris agreement in 2003. Iran voluntarily abided by the Additional Protocol, even surpassing it, but got nothing in return. Nada. After a prolonged period of European stall tactics, the same old demand was made of them: that they disavow their right to the nuclear fuel cycle.

On a number of occasions, the Iranians have indicated they'll sign the AP if their right to the nuclear fuel cycle is observed. That, and a number of other compromise offers over the years has always been ignored.

So are you saying the Iranians should give up their right to the nuclear fuel cycle? If so, that would be very unpopular among the overwhelming majority of Iranians inside Iran. Which would return us to where you line up against

1) Iranian and Arab public opinion

2) Iran's domestic and foreign policy

3) the support of the the 120 nation "international community" of NAM.

Don't be shy of admitting this is your view. Such a view is held by a majority of pundits here in the West. Advocates of rapprochement efforts toward Iran, myself included, are in a distinct minority.

Paul Iddon said...

@ B.M.A 9:23 AM

Apologies for the belated response.

Thanks for the compliments, much appreciated.
I agree with you that dismissing the Mullahs as being mad is indeed a form of intellectual dishonesty, in fact I think they're too senile and comfortable in their lavish positions in society to even risk drastically and fanatically shifting the status quo.

Fact One:

Nuclear weapons don't necessarily guarantee security, although they do make any foe think twice before sparking any hostility. There is also the problem that any state that goes nuclear also makes its regional rivals strongly consider going nuclear too, then keeping up an arms race can be inevitably drain a nations capital and resources.

You mention Pakistan which is quite an appropriate comparison. As you know Pakistan's nuclear program is heralded and is a form of national pride for the government and the military, and many who argue that Iran should acquire nukes to as you say "shield the country from the humiliation visited up their neighbors" contend that if Pakistan had acquired nuclear weapons it wouldn't have faced the 'humiliation' of losing East Pakistan (hence Bangladesh) in 1971 since it would have had the capacity to kill hundreds of thousands of Indians.

Fact Two:

I don't agree with the contention that Israel can sleep soundly at the moment, but again due to the size of Israel you are right that not even the most fanatical Palestinian Islamist would risk detonating an atomic bomb without running the risk of destroying the Dome of the Rock as well as the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Saddam Hussein clearly understood this when he attacked Israel with SCUD missiles, remember how he targeted Tel Aviv and Haifa but didn't dare run the risk of targeting Jerusalem?

Fact Three:

Having a nuclear bomb has a great psychological impact on your potential regional rivals, that and even the doubt that you do or do not in reality possess such a weapon can unnerve such rivals. Given Iran's rather turbulent relationship with its Sunni Arab Gulf neighbours (whom even have disputed the historically significant name of the Gulf) the idea of having such a weapon may give Iran leverage in (literally) its own front yard (where it is being marginalized). It may be a stretch to say so but its definitely a geopolitical factor that shouldn't be left out of consideration.

You mention the possibility of the US installing a Mubarak regime in Tehran.
I actually wrote a comparison between Mubarak and the last Shah of Iran during the start of the Egyptian Revolution earlier this year illustrating how American policy with regards to Mubarak's regime was strikingly similar to its policy with the Shah's (particularly in the mid 1970's). In fact I even cited examples to Carter and Obama respectively refer to the Shah and Mubarak as literally forces for stability.

I'm sure you are aware of Reza Pahlavi's campaign for a secular Iran. I'm for most of his ideas but I still don't trust him, he is continually evasive on whether or not he simply wants to reclaim the throne for himself from his 'predecessor'.

In fact one of my planned future columns is a polemic against the view and contention that everything would be rosy if Iran simply reverted to a rule like the last Shahs.

Fact Four:

I have my qualms about that contention, I don't think any state should have the church embodied within the governmental body. Call me old fashioned but Islamic rule and vindication should wait until the prophesied return of the 13th Imam, I don't believe it should claim to rule in the here and now.

Paul Iddon said...

@ Anon 12:11 PM

The proverbial fog I was alluding to is essentially the predominately US/Israeli contention that Iran is seeking the acquisition of nuclear weapons versus the Iranian claim that the program is solely one for civil purposes.

I too am for rapprochement efforts towards Iran (as well as a proponent for secular democracy there) and would hate to think that view is held by a distinct minority since it would probably ultimately benefit the majority!

It's not out of shyness that is preventing me from stating that I hold to the view you illustrated, it's out of my reluctance to lie. Just because I have my doubts and qualms over the validity of the regimes word when it comes to the nuclear program doesn't necessarily make me an opponent of Iran and Arab public opinion as well as the NAM stance towards Iran's nuclear program. I myself (as I've stated numerous times) support Iran's nuclear program under the pretext that it is for civil purposes which as far as I'm aware is the same reason the organizations and people you've outlined support it.