In an astonishing admission in January 2012, US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta admitted in no uncertain terms on US national television show "Face The Nation" that Iran was not in fact developing a nuclear weapon.
"Are they (Iran) trying to develop a nuclear weapon? Uh, no," Panetta said, adding, "but we know that they are trying to develop a nuclear capability."
Nevertheless, Panetta tried to justify the American persecution of Iran and its legal nuclear energy program by making accusations without foundation that Iran was trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability on the basis that somebody had looked at nuclear triggers and other technology that is freely available on the Internet.
So why does Panetta think that the USA, or any nation for that matter, has any right to dictate if a sovereign nation can conduct peaceful nuclear research? Furthermore, what is wrong with developing a nuclear capability for research and power generation purposes? It is not an offence for a signatory nation to the NPT to research military aspects of nuclear technology, provided that this research does not actually result in nuclear weapons being built.
Yet American media such as the Washington Post ignore everything Panetta said and instead, are hyping the alarmist propaganda that Iran is determined to move closer to the ability to make nuclear warheads, despite insistence by the Islamic Republic and Leon Panetta that it is enriching only to make reactor fuel.
Instead of first addressing the statement made by Panetta which punches holes in the entire anti-Iranian fairy tale, the Washington Post quotes the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, who called the move a provocative act which further undermines Iran’s claims that its program is entirely civilian in nature. However, while the burden of proof remains on Hague and those holding similar points of view, they continue to make baseless claims, as if it is Iran that has to prove something.
Panetta’s remarks on "Face the Nation" reflect the US administration’s long-held view that Iran is not yet committed to building a nuclear arsenal, only to create the industrial and scientific capacity to allow one if its leaders to decide to take that final step. These fantastical assumptions have absolutely no basis in reality or even rudimentary logic. And even if this were true, this is still not a breach of the NPT.
Panetta contradicts himself by raising the non-existent threat of nuclear weapons in Iran by saying that it would be a red line leading the United States to take action. Why is Panetta even mentioning this, if he knows full well that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons? This is the sort of warmongering insanity in which the USA indulges in order to foment war with nations that it perceives to be obstacles to US dominance in a strategic area.
The bottom line is that the USA has no evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon, however has managed to persuade the UN Security Council to impose a number of punitive sanctions, even when the reason for those sanctions have now been revealed as very obvious and deliberate fabrications by the USA, akin to the fabrications of WMD in Iraq that were used as the pretext for the Americans to illegally attack and invade that nation. The world has to take note of Panetta's admissions in regard to Iran and prevent another war based on American lies and conniving.
To understand why the Iranians hate the USA with such passion, it is important to know the history between these two nations. The antagonism between these nations did not manifest itself from nothing, but eventuated from a great deal of interference in the internal affairs of Iran by the USA.
Until the outbreak of World War Two, the USA had no active policy towards Iran. From 1952, Iran's popularly elected nationalist Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh began a period of rapid power consolidation, which led the Shah to a brief exile and then into power again. Much of the events of 1952 were started by Mossadegh's nationalisation of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, now British Petroleum.
Established by the British in the early 20th century, an agreement had been made to share profits (85% British-15% Iran), but the company withheld its financial records from the Iranian government. Due to the obvious profit monopolisation by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, the Iranian Parliament had unanimously agreed to nationalise its holding of the British Empire's largest company at the time. Obviously this move did not sit well with the British, who stood to lose a massive source of revenue and control of Iran's oil production. The Americans were also alarmed at the temerity of the Iranians to seek control over their own resources, so they decided to help the British to do something about it.
The USA and Britain, through a now-exposed and well-documented covert operation of the CIA called Operation Ajax, conducted from the US Embassy in Tehran, helped organise protests to overthrow Mossadegh and return the Shah to Iran. The operation failed and the Shah fled to Italy. After a second successful CIA covert operation, the Shah returned from his brief exile. Iran's fledgling attempts at democracy quickly descended into dictatorship, as the Shah dismantled the constitutional limitations on his office, established the brutal CIA-trained SAVAK secret police and began to rule as an absolute monarch.
On 24 June 2009, the ABC Rear Vision Program on Iran broadcast a fascinating insight that exposed the interference of the British and Americans in the deposing of President Mossadegh and the installation of the puppet Shah Reza Pahlavi. The transcript is available on the Downloads page.
The Shah received significant American support, frequently making state visits to the White House and earning praise from numerous American Presidents. The Shah's close ties to Washington and his bold agenda of rapidly Westernising Iran soon began to infuriate certain segments of the Iranian population, especially the hardline Islamic conservatives. Because of their eventual ascension to power under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Operation Ajax is considered as one of the worst CIA operations ever perpetrated.
The hostage crisis that commenced in November 1979, during which 53 American diplomats and embassy staff were taken hostage by Iranian students, was viewed by the hostage takers as being payback for the 1953 CIA coup. One of the student hostage-takers told Bruce Laingen, chief US diplomat in Tehran at that time, "You have no rights to complain, because you took our whole nation hostage in 1953."
During the Iran hostage crisis, Iran only agreed to free the 52 trapped Americans after the United States pledged non-intervention in Iranian affairs. As stated in the 1981 Algiers Accords, "it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs."
However, the United States has not lived up this commitment. In 1995, American news media revealed a US$18 million covert effort by the CIA to destabilise Iran. Iran's then foreign minister wrote to the United Nations Security Council, calling the US policy "nothing but a flagrant support of state terrorism" and one member of Iran's parliament called the USA a renegade government whose logic was no different from Genghis Khan or Hitler.
The USA directly encouraged Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to invade Iran in September 1980, hoping that the invasion would topple Iran's revolutionary government. When the war started, the Americans refused to supply Iran with the spare parts for the weapons that it had sold to the Shah of Iran, even though Iran had already paid the USA for them. Those funds, lawfully Iran's, are still frozen after three decades.
After the war began, the USA prevented the United Nations Security Council (USNC) for several days to convene an emergency meeting and after the UNSC finally met, the USA prevented it from declaring Iraq the aggressor, or even calling for a cease-fire. Only after Iranian forces pushed back Saddam's army out of most of Iran in the spring of 1982, did the UNSC call for a cease-fire. President Ronald Reagan imposed economic sanctions on Iran in 1983, in violation of the Algiers Agreement of January 1981 that ended the hostage crisis.
The USA dropped its pretence of neutrality in December 1983, when President Reagan sent Donald Rumsfeld to Baghdad to offer American support to Saddam Hussein. It kept silent as Iraq showered Iranian troops with chemical weapons. While Iraq was attacking Iran's oil installations in the Persian Gulf, the USA and other members of NATO sent their naval forces to the Persian Gulf to protect Arab oil tankers that had provided Iraq with $50 billion in aid to keep fighting Iran. The USA destroyed a significant part of Iran's navy in the Persian Gulf, as well as several of Iran's offshore oil platforms.
The USA intervention in the war culminated with the shootdown of Iran Air's Airbus A300B2 on 03 July 1988, by the American warship USS Vincennes. The civilian aircraft, which was flying from Bandar Abbas to Dubai, was carrying 290 passengers and crew, including 66 children and was flying within Iranian airspace, while the Vincennes was in Iranian territorial waters in the Straits of Hormuz. All 290 passengers were killed. Although the Americans agreed in 1996 to pay $61.8 million as compensation for the Iranians killed, they never accepted responsibility nor apologised for the shootdown. This compensation was an insult, when compared to the $10 million per person that the USA forced Libya to pay for the victims of Pan Am Flight 103, which was destroyed in December 21 1988 over Lockerbie in Scotland.
The war finally ended in July 1988, with 1 million Iranian casualties, at least 273,000 dead and $1 trillion in damage to Iran's economy and infrastructure. At the same time, Iran's extreme Right used the war to suppress progressive forces, stopping Iran's evolution toward democracy.
The history of Iran-US relations since the resolution of the hostage crisis in 1981 shows that the USA's goal has been to hamper Iran's economic development and prevent its integration with the rest of the Middle East. Every subsequent move toward Iran has been meant to either strangle Iran's economy or prevent Iran from making political gains in the region, for example, the US government's refusal, in violation of its international obligations, to supply the spare parts for the civilian aircraft that it sold to Iran. The USA has also prevented the European Union from selling civilian aircraft to Iran. As a result, Iran's civilian fleet consists mostly of old and obsolete Russian aircraft, many of which have crashed, resulting in high casualties.
This has meant only one thing to Iranian leaders, that the USA has never recognised the legitimacy of the 1979 revolution and has always been intent on overthrowing their government. This is easily demonstrated by the various pronouncements by American presidents and other US administration figures, the continuing funding allocated to the CIA and other American agencies for the purpose of destabilising and overthrowing the current Iranian regime and the mostly illegal and unjustified sanctions engineered by the USA against Iran. This merely shows that the USA is actually engaging in an undeclared war against Iran on many fronts.
With the gross interference by the USA in Iran's affairs, it is not surprising that the Iranians detest the Americans with a passion to this day. Obviously there will never really be a resolution to such hostility until the Americans cease their illegal interference in Iran's affairs and recognise that the Iranians are a very proud people with a long history and that they do not take kindly to the USA meddling with their nation. Not only that, the Americans have to realise that Iran has many legal rights that are enshrined by international laws and treaties and those rights must be respected, not trampled on by the Americans.
Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and under Article IV, has the "INALIENABLE RIGHT" to research and develop nuclear energy. Although Iran hid its nuclear program from the world for many years, its reason for doing so, being the animosity of the USA to any Iranian nuclear development, seems quite plausible.
According to every report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has abided by its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its Safeguards Agreement. However, the USA has repeatedly - AND WITHOUT PRESENTING ANY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE - accused Iran of having a secret nuclear weapons program, even though its own National Intelligence Estimate from November 2007 stated that Iran stopped its weapons program in 2003 and there is actually no evidence that Iran had such a program even prior to 2003. In violation of the IAEA Statute, the USA forced its Board of Governors to demand the suspension of Iran's legal uranium enrichment program. The Board of the IAEA has no legal authority to make such a demand.
Such baseless accusations, together with the blackmail of some members of the IAEA Board by the Americans, were the primary reasons for sending Iran's nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council (UNSC). This was clearly illegal, because it was against Article 12(c) of the IAEA Statute, which clearly states the conditions under which a member state's nuclear dossier should be sent to the UNSC.
Even in July 2009, after years of demonisation and statements without evidence from the USA about Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program, newly elected IAEA Director Yukiya Amano stated categorically that there was no concrete evidence that Iran was attempting to develop nuclear weapons. "I don't see any evidence in IAEA official documents about this." Yukiya Amano told the Reuters news agency. The IAEA has continued to confirm the lack of any evidence of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program to the present day.
Statements from the IAEA about the lack of any evidence to show that Iran is trying to acquire or develop nuclear weapons have been issued for many years, yet the Americans continue to foment the concept that Iran is trying to become a nuclear weapons state. To any rational observer, such accusations without any basis in fact are ludicrous, but with nothing more than this, the Americans have managed to pass a series of UN resolutions to try to prevent Iran from exercising its legal rights.
Even by February 2011, after so many years of American demonisation of Iran and the continuous accusations about Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program, Yukiya Amano, director general of the IAEA stated that the UN watchdog has "never said that Iran has nuclear weapon programs." "We have chosen our words very carefully and we have never said that Iran has nuclear weapon programs," Amano told Reuters News.
In other words, the IAEA has never seen any evidence of Iran's supposed nuclear weapons program and categorically stated that the IAEA has never said that Iran had nuclear weapons. The IAEA is the organisation that has been intrusively monitoring Iran's nuclear energy program for years with inspectors and cameras and other means, but has found nothing to even suggest that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.
So how do the Americans and their cronies continue to get away with accusing Iran of trying to build nuclear weapons without evidence and have managed to convince the UN to impose three illegal resolutions and sanctions against Iran? The logical answer is - in the same way that the Americans attacked and invaded Iraq using completely fabricated pretexts about weapons of mass destruction, despite UNSCOM inspectors stating for years that they did not exist.
In February 2011, US Director of Intelligence, James Clapper, stated that Iran is keeping its options open on building nuclear weapons by pursuing various nuclear capabilities. Clapper also stated that the USA does not know if Iran will ultimately build weapons, but its programs position it to do so.
This is an admission that although Iran is keeping its options open, it does not have nuclear weapons or a program to make them. Clapper also stated that the USA does not know if Iran will ultimately build nuclear weapons, which is another clear admission that the USA knows that Iran does not have any nuclear weapons or a program to make them.
So all that continual rhetoric from the Americans about Iran's nuclear weapons program is a monstrous lie, proven by the admission of one of the most senior figures in the US administration and of course the complete absence of any evidence.
Nevertheless, US and British administration figures such as Hillary Clinton and Liam Fox continue to talk about Iran's nuclear weapons program as if it actually exists. This is obviously part of the campaign to demonise Iran and create a pretext for war, just like the non-existent WMD in Iraq was the deliberate lie that gave the Americans an excuse to attack Iraq and kill over 100,000 innocent people.
Michael Spies of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms stated, "Verification and enforcement of the non-proliferation objectives contained in the NPT are limited, in part to maintain the balance of rights and obligations of state parties. NPT Safeguards, administered by the IAEA, are limited to verifying that no nuclear material in each non-weapon state has been diverted to weapons or unknown use. These safeguards allow for the IAEA to report a case of non-compliance to the Security Council only if nuclear material is found to have been diverted."
According to every report of the IAEA, such a diversion has never occurred in Iran's case. As a result, the three UNSC resolutions against Iran must be illegal, because they are based on the illegal actions of the IAEA Board. Regardless, not only has the USA pressured others to enforce the illegal resolutions, it has also imposed unilateral sanctions and blackmailed others to do the same. Moreover, the USA has opposed Iran's membership in the World Trade Organisation, hence preventing integration of its economy with the rest of the world.
The reason why the UN sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program are illegal is a clause in Article 39, Chapter VII of the UN Charter. It requires that a country must be proven to be in breach of the NPT before it can be made subject to punitive UN resolutions. But to date, not a shred of evidence has emerged from any quarter to implicate Iran in activities incompatible with its civilian nuclear energy program or indeed any deviation toward military ends from its civilian nuclear energy program.
The UN Charter clearly outlines the conditions needed to impose such sanctions, which can only be applied after a determination of the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression is found, something that has never been done in the case of Iran.
That the UN Security Council could impose sanctions on Iran based on Chapter VII, Article 41, when Article 39 stipulates the grounds for imposition of sanctions against Iran do not exist, proves yet again that the UNSC is nothing more than the lackey of American foreign policy and ignores international law when it suits the USA to do so.
It is interesting to note that Brazil, a nation with an active nuclear enrichment program, has been completely left alone, although Brazil's leaders have publicly expressed great interest in nuclear weapons and have, unlike Iran, restricted IAEA inspectors from full access to their main uranium enrichment facility. The Americans have not uttered one peep about this, while at the same time, demonising Iran on a daily basis when Iran has been far more transparent with its nuclear program than the Brazilians have ever been.
Iran has literally complied to the letter of the NPT, according to Mohammed El Baradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, the US propaganda machine has been constantly promoting a pack of lies that Iran has not complied with the NPT and its right to nuclear research and uranium enrichment must be stopped, even though those rights are enshrined in the NPT and it is obvious that Iran is not a threat to the USA.
The USA constantly issues statements that the "International Community" is opposed to Iran's "nuclear weapons program" and demands that Iran abandons it. However, this is a monstrous lie, because out of the 192 member nations of the UN, 135 members and observer states of the Non-Aligned Movement, plus at least 30 other nations have stated that they fully support Iran's nuclear program. This is an overwhelmingly clear majority of nations that are on Iran's side.
Therefore, the cold hard facts show that this "International Community" that the USA claims to be a majority of the world's nations is a fabrication and consists of nothing more than the USA and a handful of its friends that are opposed to Iran's perfectly legal nuclear program. The allegations of it being a weapons program have absolutely no substance and no evidence has ever been produced to the contrary.
Even if Iran gained nuclear weapons, it would not dare use them, simply because a retaliatory nuclear attack by the USA or Israel would turn Iran into a smoking hole in the ground. Of course no sane person wants to see crazies such as Mahmoud Ahmedinejad in possession of nuclear weapons, but even Ahmedinejad is not that stupid as to guarantee the annihilation of his entire nation if he used even one nuclear weapon against the USA or Israel.
So why is the USA creating such a fuss about Iran's nuclear program, when there is no threat from it whatsoever? Very simply, it really does not have much to do with nuclear weapons at all - the real reason is that Iran is a grave economic threat to the USA. The acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran, even though the Iranians have expressed no desire to get them, would merely be a good deterrent to an attack by the USA and nothing more. Iran has seen this with the USA's lack of belligerence against nuclear-armed North Korea and the exact opposite, when the Americans attacked and invaded Iraq because they knew that Iraq had no nuclear weapons with which to threaten their forces.
In April 2009, Mohammed ElBaradei, the outgoing chief of the IAEA, made some very observant comments about the hypocrisy of Western nations towards Iran and its nuclear program, especially the USA. He noted, "You can't have nine countries telling the likes of Iran nuclear weapons are dangerous for you, but we need to go on refining our arsenals."
Coming from the head of the IAEA, the organisation charged with monitoring Iran's nuclear program, this is a sad indictment of the double standards constantly adopted by the USA. The Americans demand that Iran cease an activity to which it has a perfectly legal right under international laws and the NPT, yet the USA completely ignores that very same treaty and continues to develop and refine its arsenal of nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
In any case, as ElBaradei concluded, the nations of the West don't have one solitary moral or legal ground to stand on if they complain about Iran's nuclear program. As long as they maintain and develop their own nuclear arsenals and at the same time, fail to produce any evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, then Iran is legally within its rights to continue with its nuclear program without intimidation from anybody. And in fact there is nothing in the law stopping Iran from enriching uranium to any level it pleases, so long as it does so under IAEA safeguards.
In April 2011, ElBaradei again revealed the truth that the West was never interested in a compromise with Iran. He stated in an interview with Der Spiegel, "We were in fact on the verge of a solution on several occasions. The Iranians were willing in 2003, but the administration of then US President George W Bush was not."
ElBaradei stated that the West never tried to understand the fact that Iran wanted recognition as an equal partner. He called the USA's and EU’s reluctance as the main problem in solving Iran’s nuclear issue. “I adhere strictly to the facts and part of that is that the Americans and the Europeans withheld important documents and information from us. They weren't interested in a compromise with the government in Tehran, but regime change, by any means necessary.” the Egyptian Nobel Peace Prize winner stated.
Commenting on the US-EU hypocrisy during the nuclear negotiations, ElBaradei said, “They engaged in trickery. The West never tried to understand that the most important thing for Iran was getting recognition and being treated as an equal.”
This damning indictment from the man at the centre of the US-generated Iran crisis shows that the USA had no intention of coming to the table in good faith. The Americans were not going to be happy with any other result than the removal of the legally elected Iranian government and the installation of a regime that would be as compliant as the former Shah to US ambitions in the Middle East.
Top US Democratic and Republican leaders constantly claim that Iran is planning to develop nuclear weapons, despite no hard evidence to support such a belief. They have stated that since Iran has so much oil, why develop nuclear power? Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote that "for a major oil producer such as Iran, nuclear energy is a wasteful use of resources," a position later cited approvingly by the former GW Bush administration.
However, US leaders are engaging in a massive case of collective amnesia, or perhaps more accurately, intentional misdirection and unmitigated hypocrisy. As early as 1957, the USA assisted Iran to acquire nuclear power through the Atoms for Peace programme. In 1975, then secretary of state Henry Kissinger signed a National Security Memorandum, which affirmed that the "introduction of nuclear power will both provide for the growing needs of Iran's economy and free remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to petrochemicals."
A declassified document from President Gerald Ford's administration, for which Kissinger was Secretary of State, supported Iran's push for nuclear power. The document noted that Tehran should "prepare against the time, about 15 years in the future, when Iranian oil production is expected to decline sharply." The USA ultimately planned to sell billions of dollars worth of nuclear reactors, spare parts and nuclear fuel to Iran.
In 1970, the USA proposed installing 23 nuclear power plants in Iran by the year 2000. A 1976 directive by Ford offered Iran a US-built reprocessing facility for extracting plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel, another key ingredient for making nuclear bombs. This nuclear fuel-cycle infrastructure is precisely the type of technology the USA is now keen to keep out of Iran.
In June 1974, the Shah of Iran proclaimed that Iran would have nuclear weapons "without a doubt and sooner than one would think." There was not one word of objection from the USA, most probably because the Shah was in the pocket of the Americans and made sure that Iran provided a steady supply of petroleum to the USA. But beginning in the late 1960s, the Shah began to worry about Iran's long-term electric energy supplies. Iran had less than 500,000 electricity consumers in 1963, but those numbers swelled to over 2 million in 1976.The Shah worried that Iran's oil deposits would eventually run out and that burning petroleum for electricity would waste an important resource. He could earn far more exporting oil than using it for power generation.
The USA established Iran's first research reactor in 1967 at Tehran University and in November of that year, US corporation United Nuclear provided Iran with 5.85kg of 93% enriched uranium. General Electric and Westinghouse ultimately won contracts to build eight reactors in Iran. By the time of the Iranian revolution in 1979, the Shah had plans to buy a total of eighteen nuclear power reactors from the United States, France and Germany. In fact Henry Kissinger himself stated that the USA would encourage Iran to build a total of 23 nuclear reactors. This was exactly the reverse of Kissinger's position now, where he claims that Iran has so much oil and gas that it does not need nuclear energy, an amazing display of complete illogic and hypocrisy.
The Americans were not alarmed about Iranian nuclear weapons in the 1970s and also were not worried about Iran enriching its own uranium. The USA gave approval when Shah bought a 25% stake in a French company making enriched uranium. But the Shah wanted to build enrichment facilities inside Iran as well. No country wants to be reliant on others for fuel that could shut down a portion of its electricity grid. The Americans actually encouraged Iran to enrich its own uranium. However, in an amazing display of utter hypocrisy and spin, today when Iran demands that it be able to enrich uranium for nuclear power purposes under strict international supervision, the USA says that this is proof Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons and threatens Iran with military attack.
To completely demonstrate the utter duplicity of the Americans in regard to Iran's nuclear program, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the man who originally arranged the US deal to supply Iran with 23 nuclear reactors and the nuclear fuel for them, was interviewed by the Washington Post newspaper. When Kissinger was asked why he had completely changed his judgment on this issue, he was surprisingly honest. He made a statement, paraphrased as follows:
Let that gigantic piece of hypocrisy sink in. Read it again and again. It is hard to believe that a senior US government figure such as Henry Kissinger could utter such a preposterously contemptuous statement with a straight face. So according to American doctrine, it is not a matter of a nation's legal right under an international treaty to have a nuclear energy program, it is a matter of whether the nation is in the pockets of the USA. When hearing pronouncements such as this from the man who was the broker for the nuclear deal with the Shah of Iran, it is no wonder that Iran holds the Americans in complete contempt and refuses to be bullied by them.
The sheer idiocy of the Americans in regard to the Iranian nuclear program was revealed in June 2009, when former US Justice Department official Mark Levin revealed that President Bill Clinton gave nuclear technology to the Iranians in a harebrained scheme. He said that the transfer of classified data to Iran was personally approved by then-President Clinton and that the CIA deliberately gave Iranian physicists blueprints for part of a nuclear bomb that most likely helped Tehran advance its nuclear weapons development program.
Using a double-agent Russian scientist, the CIA handed a blueprint for a nuclear bomb to Iran, according to a new book, State of War by James Risen, the New York Times reporter. Risen stated that the plans contained fatal flaws designed to derail Tehran's nuclear drive, but the deliberate errors were so rudimentary, that they would have been easily fixed by sophisticated Russian nuclear scientists.
The operation, which took place during the Clinton administration in early 2000, was code-named Operation Merlin and "may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA," according to Risen. It called for the unnamed scientist, a defector from the Soviet nuclear program, to offer Iran the blueprint for a "firing set", the intricate mechanism which triggers the chain reaction needed for a nuclear explosion.
The Russian scientist had been told by CIA officers that the Iranians already had the technology detailed in the plans and that the ruse was simply an attempt by the agency to find out the full scope of Tehran's nuclear knowledge. But contrary to orders not to open the packet, the scientist added a note which made it clear he could help fix the flaws for money.
Risen stated in his book, "It's not clear who originally came up with the idea, but the plan to give Tehran nuclear blueprints was first approved by Clinton." This is just another chapter in the Bill Clinton saga of giving weapons technology to enemies of the United States. He provided missile technology to the Chinese, which increased the accuracy of their ballistic missiles and he provided nuclear technology to the North Koreans that eventually enabled them to develop nuclear weapons.
Risen said the Clinton-approved plan ended up handing Tehran "one of the greatest engineering secrets in the world, providing the solution to one of a handful of problems that separated nuclear powers such as the USA and Russia from rogue countries such as Iran that were desperate to join the nuclear club, but had so far fallen short."
Mark Levin, director of the Landmark Legal Foundation, said that thanks to Clinton, Iran was able to "leapfrog one of the last remaining engineering hurdles blocking its path to a nuclear weapon."
"Don't hold your breath waiting for the elite media to create a frenzy over this story. They will never hurt either Clinton, Bill or Hillary, with such a damning report," stated former intelligence officer Sid Francis.
Iran has now opened an Oil Bourse in direct competition with the American-owned and controlled New York Minerals Exchange (NYMEX) and International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), but unlike these bourses that force the use of US dollars for all trades, Iran will sell oil and gas for Euro and other currencies. There is no reason to believe that a massive oil producer such as Iran would not be able to attract buyers from Europe and Asia. Those nations could divest themselves of most of their forced holdings of otherwise worthless US dollars and switch to Euro and other currencies. In fact it would make more sense for the Europeans to do so, simply because they would simply use their own currencies directly. The Chinese, who currently hold around US$1 trillion of debt, could sell off much of this and use Euro instead, sending the value of the US dollar into terminal freefall.
The Iran Oil Bourse is the biggest threat to the USA and along with other nations selling oil for other currencies, its operation could herald the demise of the entire American economy and literally lead to the collapse of the greatest superpower on earth. Therefore the USA is trying to do everything in its power to stop Iran. But if Iran has the freedom and the right to sell its oil for any currency it chooses, how will the USA put a stop to this threat? Very simply, by concocting up another bogus threat to world peace, just as it did with Iraq and committing acts of sabotage and illegal incursions.
The Americans simply refuse to admit that their real reason for demonising Iran is because of Iran's oil sales for Euro and their complete dumping of the US dollar, so the pretext of mythical nuclear weapons is literally the only excuse the Americans can now use to foment an attack. Their previous attempt to connect Iran to bombs found in Iraq failed to produce one scrap of plausible evidence for the world to see.
In January 2008, an undersea cable was cut in the Mediterranean Sea, disrupting telephone and Internet communications. Then shortly afterwards, another two cables in the area were allegedly cut by a ship's anchor. This was shown to be false, when authorities showed that there was no shipping in the area for 12 hours before and after these incidents.
According to some pundits, up to eight undersea communications cables near Middle East nations have been cut, taking away all semblance of these cuts being caused by accidents. The most likely explanation given by most experts is that the USA was behind this sabotage to try and disrupt Middle East communications and the operations of the Iranian Oil Bourse, because this oil transaction facility cannot operate without reliable international communications. There is a famous saying: Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is enemy action.
The USA has rounded up the usual suspects such as the UK, France, Germany and Japan to assist it in manufacturing up a crisis to enable it to put an end to the Iranian Oil Bourse. According to former President Bush, Iran is a threat to world peace and "regime change", although highly illegal under the UN Charter, must be forced upon Iran, notwithstanding that the current government was popularly elected.
What the USA's "regime change" generally means is that if a nation attempts to take control of its assets to stop the USA from plundering them or is a threat to the American economy, even by carrying out a legitimate enterprise, then the USA will attempt to overthrow its government, even if legitimately and popularly elected. If that does not work, then the Americans will manufacture a crisis to give them a plausible excuse to attack that country, in order to overthrow its government and install a compliant regime that would make that country a willing client state of the USA. The Americans have a well-documented track record of doing this.
So no matter what Iran does, the USA will eventually find an excuse to attack it, notwithstanding the fact that it was the USA that supplied Iran with its first nuclear reactor and planned to provide another 23 reactors and technology for Iran to produce its own enriched uranium. But unfortunately for the USA, Iran will not be the pushover that Iraq was, simply because it is three times the size and population of Iraq and has a standing army of over half a million troops. An invasion of Iran by the USA and its allies would result in a bloodbath that would make the USA's misadventure in Iraq look like a stroll in the park.
Nevertheless, it appears that the hegemony of the US petrodollar may be coming to an end. Russia, producing 15% of the world's oil, has stated that it will start selling its oil for Roubles or other currencies such as the Euro, which makes more sense, since Russia is in Europe and sells most of its oil to Europeans. Venezuela has also stated that it will eventually stop selling its oil for US dollars completely and sell it for Euro, driving another dagger into the American economy.
The problem for the USA is that it cannot just keep attacking and invading nations to prevent them from trading their oil in other currencies, especially nations such as Russia and Iran. Therefore unless something truly amazing happens, the US economy will eventually be brought to collapse when countries holding massive US currency reserves, such as China, decide that they do not need to do this and demand redemption of this paper money for gold. Of course the USA does not have the gold to back up all that paper money it has recklessly printed over the decades, so it will default. Then the USA will come crashing down like a house of cards, simply because its currency is worthless if it is not propped up by oil. Right now, the US dollar is in freefall, as the world wakes up to the fact that it is really Monopoly money.
But at least now the world is starting to wake up to the real reason why the USA is trying to drag the world to the brink of World War Three by its belligerence against Iran. The reason is not Iran's nuclear program, just as the reason for the invasion of Iraq was not WMD. The Western media has deliberately suppressed the truth about the USA's confrontation with Iran. When did anybody in the West see a newspaper report about the Iranian Oil Bourse? When did anybody in the West see a report stating that the two coups against Chavez in Venezuela were perpetrated because Chavez started selling oil for other currencies? The answer - probably never, simply because the American and other Western media has kept a lid on the truth.
If the USA attacks Iran, the chances are that Israel will be the first casualty and may even be destroyed. Iran has over 500,000 troops and a population of over 70 million people. How is a Israel, a nation of 7 million people, of which over 20% are Arabs that may assist the Iranians from the inside, going to stop 30 million Iranians from even just marching to Israel and fighting the Israelis hand to hand? The truth is that the USA is between a rock and a hard place. If the Americans do nothing, Iran and other oil producers will eventually destroy the US economy beyond repair. If the Americans attack Iran, they may very likely trigger World War Three and see the destruction of Israel as well.
The options are not good, but the USA morally does not have the right to attack another nation because it is legitimately selling its product for a currency of its choosing. The world has to at least support this principle. And if the NPT is a pile of garbage, then it needs to be scrapped and a new protocol put in place, because under the current NPT, Iran is doing exactly what it is allowed to do, however the USA has never complied with this treaty from the day the Americans signed it.
But the bottom line is that unless the USA creates a situation that will force the rest of the world to retain the US dollar as the world reserve currency, the USA will slide into bankruptcy, both economically and militarily, so the Americans have to save themselves. The only avenue left is for the USA to start a global war, using any pretext that the rest of the world will buy, such as Iran's alleged nuclear weapons, even if they are a myth.
In December 2007, 16 American Intelligence agencies compiled a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that stated that Iran had ceased its covert nuclear weapons program in 2003 and at the moment, Iran was only pursuing a civilian nuclear energy program. This virtually eliminated the pretext for a US attack on Iran over its nuclear enrichment, as well as reducing any chance of further UN Security Council sanctions being placed on Iran. Interestingly, the NIE did not furnish any evidence to show that Iran actually had a covert nuclear weapons program prior to 2003 and the IAEA has stated on many occasions that after years of intrusive investigations on the ground, there is still no evidence that Iran had ever a nuclear weapons program at any time.
Of course former President George W Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Norman Podhoretz and all those neocons that had been crafting a "smoking gun" pretext to attack Iran were completely embarrassed by this NIE that had exposed Bush's blustering threats only a month previously, that Iran's supposed nuclear weapons program could lead to World War Three. It was also revealed that Bush had been informed of the NIE back in August 2007, which meant that his subsequent threats against Iran for nearly four months were nothing but blatant bullying and warmongering.
American columnist Gordon Prather has written a very interesting article called Bipartisan Policy - Bomb-Bomb Iran, the title being a play on the stupid comments from US presidential candidate John McCain. This article graphically shows the amazing conspiracy and illegal action that the USA and UNSC are inflicting upon Iran for simply carrying out its legal activities and defying the illegal sanctions imposed by the UNSC. This article is available on the Downloads page.
To get a handle on the complete illogic and spin that emanates from the USA about Iran, the pronouncements from Richard Haass of the US Council on Foreign Relations just says it all.
In December 2008, Haass said "It is conceivable that Iran could be allowed a symbolic 'right' to enrich uranium." This is preposterous, as Haass was very wrongly purporting that the USA had some sort of legal authority to allow or disallow Iran to conduct nuclear work.
As well, Haass was very wrongly advocating that the USA and its cronies might allow Iran A RIGHT THAT IRAN ALREADY HAS under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Article IV. However, this is a real right, not a symbolic one. Haass also spoke of the "policy option" of the USA or Israel attacking Iran's nuclear installations. But this policy option would be in violation of international law.
In fact, what really shows the complete disregard of any rights and legality by Haass and his organisation is the way they take what they consider to be a moderate position - to make other countries bargain for their existing rights under international law and prepare to commit the supreme international crime of a war of aggression against them if they refuse to bargain. This position is anything but moderate - it is more like the snarling of mad dogs and completely irrational.
Iran does not have to bargain for anything regarding its nuclear program - it is completely legal. But to suggest that Iran be allowed a symbolic "right to enrich uranium", which it is perfectly entitled to do right now under international law and treaty is staggering in its audacity and hypocrisy. Anyway, who the hell is the USA to think it has some divine authority to determine whether or not any nation should be allowed to do anything?
But this stupidity is not surprising when it emanates from American neocons like Haass. Of course as far as Iran is concerned, Richard Haass and the US Council on Foreign Relations are completely irrelevant and insignificant and should be completely ignored.
US Congressman Ron Paul seems to be the only prominent American politician that understands the risk of engaging in a war with Iran, especially when there is no reason to do so. Here is an article from him that makes more sense than any of the blathering coming out of the mouths of many US politicians of all political persuasions, most of whom seem to favour triggering off World War Three. Read on.
The latest National Intelligence Estimate has been greeted by a mixture of relief and alarm. As I have been saying all along, Iran indeed poses no quantifiable imminent nuclear threat to us or her neighbours. It is with much alarm, however, that we see the administration continue to ratchet up the war rhetoric as if nothing has changed.
Indeed, nothing has changed from the administration's perspective, as they have had this latest intelligence report for some time. Only this week has it been made known to the public. They want it both ways with Iran. On the one hand, they discredit the report entirely, despite it being one of the most comprehensive intelligence reports on the subject, with over 1,000 source notes in the document. On the other hand, when discrediting it fails, they claim that the timing of the abandonment of the weapons program, just as we were invading Iraq, means our pressure must have worked, so we must keep it up with a new round of even tougher sanctions. Russia and China are not buying this, apparently and again we are finding ourselves on a lonely tenuous platform on the world stage.
The truth is, Iran is being asked to do the logically impossible feat of proving a negative. They are being presumed guilty until proven innocent because there is no evidence with which to indict them. There is still no evidence that Iran, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has ever violated the treaty's terms - and the terms clearly state that Iran is allowed to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful, civilian energy needs. The United States cannot unilaterally change the terms of the treaty and it is unfair and unwise diplomatically to impose sanctions for no legitimate reason.
Are we to think that Iran hasn't noticed the duplicitous treatment being received by so-called nuclear threats around the globe? If they have been paying attention and I think they have, they would see that if countries do have a nuclear weapon, they tend to be left alone, or possibly get a subsidy, but if they do not gain such a weapon, then we threaten them. Why wouldn't they want to pursue a nuclear weapon if that is our current foreign policy? The fact remains, there is no evidence they actually have one, or could have one any time soon, even if they immediately resumed a weapons program.
Our badly misguided foreign policy has already driven this country's economy to the brink of bankruptcy with one war based on misinformation. It is unthinkable that despite lack of any evidence of a threat, some are still charging headstrong into yet another war in the Middle East when what we ought to be doing is coming home from Iraq, coming home from Korea, coming home from Germany and defending our own soil. We do not need to be interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and waging war when honest trade, friendship and diplomacy are the true paths to peace and prosperity.
In December 2008, US Congressman Ron Paul appeared at the US Foreign Relations Committee in relation to Congress Resolution 362. This crazy resolution had the aim of imposing a blockade on Iran and would have been quite illegal under international law, as well as being an overt act of war.
Congressman Paul revealed the true nature of American foreign policy and the fact that the USA considers itself to be completely above international law. He was interviewed by Press TV and his responses were most enlightening, as follows:
PRESS TV: What is your opinion on the idea of the US blocking Iran's oil exports and preventing its gasoline imports from reaching the country (based on Congressional Resolution 362 previously sought by US congressmen)?
RON PAUL: I think it is an outrage I think it is a blockade. It is the use of force to stop the inflow of petroleum products and people and goods, banking, trains, cars, trucks, cargos. It's all prohibited. How can we stop that without the use of the navy and without the use of force? This idea is not a blockade it is just pure silliness on their part (US senators and congressmen).
If we bomb them, that's the start of hostilities. They (US policy makers) are never willing to take anything off the table, which includes a nuclear-first strike. So if they do that, do you think the Iranians are going to sit still? They are going to react!
The opposition said that, well, we don't want them to block the Strait of Hormuz [the Persian Gulf waterway which allows the passages of a third of the world's daily oil supply]. They ought to change their policy because they are more likely to get the Strait of Hormuz blocked if we persist on this. If we do any bombing or we put on a blockade, it's going to lead to big trouble.
PRESS TV: During your line of questioning at the Foreign Relations Committee you mentioned the Seymour Hersh article, which was among the articles that revealed that the Congress had awarded the Bush administration hundreds of millions of dollars for a covert operation to overthrow the Iranian government. Why did you mention those stories?
RON PAUL: Well it's something that I have known about and heard about and it does go on. It goes on all around the world. To me it was a surprise that it was news, because we have been doing that and people do talk about it. I think it's an outrage. How would we react if somebody did it to us? We would be infuriated, willing to go to war. The fact that somebody came and tried to undermine our government!
This interview showed the fact that the US Congress actually tried to pass a resolution to authorise an act of war without any basis or justification, merely because Iran refused to bargain away its right to its nuclear energy program that is enshrined under the NPT and international law. It just further exposes the American attitude of trying to force nations to bargain for rights that they already have and be threatened and blackmailed if they quite rightly refuse. If this resolution had passed, it would have been a gross act of war if the Americans had actually tried to implement it.
Congressman Paul also mentioned in disgust that in late 2007, the US Congress had allocated the former GW Bush administration hundreds of millions of dollars for a covert operation to overthrow the Iranian government. His reaction was of utter outrage and rightly so. As he said, the Americans would not tolerate another nation trying to undermine the US government or try to overthrow it and it would be an act of war. However, the USA has been doing this for as long as anybody can remember. The Iranians are still furious that back in 1953, the US CIA orchestrated the overthrow of democratically elected President Mohammed Mossadegh.
But the Americans are still up to their illegal activities by funding covert action in other nations such as Iran and they have even had the nerve to admit that they sent covert forces on missions into Iran, which again was highly illegal and an act of war. It is fortunate that there are people in the US Congress and Senate such as Ron Paul, who are willing to blow the whistle on illegal American activities and vote against resolutions that clearly violate the UN Charter.
In January 1981, the USA and Iran signed the Algiers Accord, in which the USA agreed not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs. However, literally at the same time that the Algiers Accord was signed, the USA encouraged and assisted Iraq's Saddam Hussein to fight his war against Iran. The conflict lasted eight years and took 1 million lives. Also, the admission that the USA had inserted covert forces into Iran and that the CIA has engaged the terrorist group Jundullah to commit acts of terror in Iran to destabilise the government merely demonstrated that the Americans cannot be trusted.
In 2005, the US Congress authorised $3 million to fund the advancement of democracy and human rights in Iran, a move the Iranian UN ambassador called a clear violation of the Algiers accords.
When Iranian nuclear scientist Ardeshire Hassanpour died under mysterious circumstances in 2007, sources told The Times that the Israeli secret service Mossad had assassinated him. In 2008, President George W Bush signed a "non-lethal presidential finding" that initiated a CIA plan involving a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions
In 2008, the US Congress allocated $400 million to the Bush administration for the specific purpose of financing the interference in Iran's internal affairs and to destabilise and overthrow the Iranian government. This alone shows the complete disregard that the Americans had for the Algiers Accord and for virtually every treaty and agreement that they sign.
In fact, most probably in a reaction to American bullying, in June 2009, the Iranians re-elected belligerent anti-American politician Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to another term as president. This meant that Iran would stand up to the USA and continue with its legal nuclear program, build more centrifuges and enrich more uranium.
In early 2009, The New York Times reported that Bush had stepped up intelligence-sharing with Israel and had authorised a covert program aimed at the entire industrial infrastructure that supports the Iranian nuclear program. The Bush administration handed off this program to President Barack Obama. In the first month of Obama's presidency, the Telegraph reported that Israel was using hitmen, sabotage, front companies and double agents to disrupt the regime's illicit weapons project.
Reuters reported that Israel planned to target Iranian nuclear scientists with letter bombs and poisoned packages, possibly as part of a psychological warfare campaign. And when Iran suffered a cyber-attack from the Stuxnet computer virus in 2010, the New York Times reported on possible US involvement, noting that Bush's covert program has been accelerated since President Obama took office.
The Americans always trumpet that the USA is the beacon of democracy and freedom, but the facts merely show that Americans have no integrity or honour and Iran has realised this from the long history of American breaches of treaties and accords. The theocratic political system in Iran is a disgrace and the idiotic Sharia laws are still in the dark ages, however it is up to the population of Iran to elect the government they desire, not the job of the USA to illegally interfere and try to overthrow those mad mullahs.
The British have also meddled in Iran, then called Persia, all the way back in 1813 and the Treaty of Gulistan, under which Persia was forced to concede territory to Russia. The treaty was put together by British diplomat Sir Gore Ouseley and is regarded as a humiliation in Iran. Britain was also instrumental in setting Iran's borders with India in the 1860s.
Then in the 1920s, British forces in Iran under General Edmund Ironside helped put Reza Shah on the Peacock throne. His son was Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Shah overthrown in the Islamic revolution of 1979, so there is a direct link back to British actions decades ago.
In more modern times, the event that really led to the mistrust of Britain and the US was the coup against the elected government of Mohammed Mossadeq in 1953. Mossadeq had wanted to nationalise the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in which the British had a majority share. The British and Americans organised a coup, put Mossadeq under house arrest and placed Pahlavi firmly in control as Shah.
With a dismal history like this, it is no wonder that the Iranians hate the British as much as they hate the Americans and who could blame them? Even if the Iranians overthrow the Islamic mullahs and revert to a democracy that is really free, they would most probably still detest the British for their previous activities in their country, as well as the fact that the British are close allies with the USA.
But as far as modern events are concerned, quite rightly, Iran will not kowtow to the USA, Britain and their small number of allies. Iran merely demands that its legal rights are fully upheld and that it is treated as a respected member nation of the UN, not as some weakling that the USA can trample underfoot and bully. One prominent Iranian politician stated, "Iran is not a donkey that can be led by carrots and sticks, but a proud sovereign nation." Until the Americans understand this situation, they will achieve nothing in the way of better relations with the Iranians.