The Fable of the “Iranian Nuclear Threat”

Numb with admiration at the bilingual verbiage of Macron in Davos, the French media has carefully overlooked a major fact:

 

Donald Trump will ask Congress for $716 billion for the Pentagon for the 2019fiscal year. This increase of 7% over the 2018 budget will not be used to replace buttons. According to a confidential document published by the Huffington Post, the Pentagon is considering the possibility of an atomic response in the case of “very large conventional attacks”.

As a strategic orientation document, the Nuclear Posture Review project for 2018 provides a modernization of the atomic arsenal whose cost is estimated by a federal agency, the Congressional Budget Office, at $1200 billion over 30 years.

This project of massive rearmament, however, does not seem to affect the people nor fascinate the observers. For fifteen years, Western leaders and media have been shaking up the bogeyman of the “Iranian nuclear threat”. Mainstream media has been selling this geopolitical fable; it is as if a country without the bomb is more dangerous than a country that has already used one and intends to develop its monstrous arsenal. To be able to swallow such nonsense, propaganda then hammers out a simple idea: “the Iranian nuclear program threatens the nuclear non-proliferation treaty”.

It is curious, however, that no one has ever thought of replying: “If you care so much about this treaty, why not start by applying it to yourself?”

 

The Western powers have never made the slightest effort to convince Israel, India, and Pakistan to sign the NPT. Refusing to adhere to the treaty, these three countries have constituted an arsenal outlaw. Escaping all control, it is still more worrying than an Iranian bomb that does not exist.

That’s not all. The treaty also provides for nuclear disarmament which the five states that have “legal” atomic weapons (USA, France, United Kingdom, China, and Russia) have superbly ignored. At the origin of this failure, the United States denounced the Start II treaty with Moscow and installed an anti-missile shield in Europe.

Worse still, they have steadily developed an arsenal whose “preventive use” is affirmed by the Nuclear Posture Review of 2002. Authorizing the use of nuclear weapons in a first strike, this doctrinal revision opened Pandora’s box.

If one listens to the Iranophobe propaganda, the civilized world must be ready to respond to the devastating blast of the Iranian mullahs; the turbaned “god fools” intent on precipitating the apocalypse. But the reality is light years away from these delusions.

 

In fact, the US establishment can’t stop digesting the trauma of the Iranian revolution; a heavy symbol of humiliation (the hostages of Tehran) and the geopolitical fiasco (the fall of the Shah). Piece by piece, Washington has built a demonology where the Islamic Republic is presented as an evil dictatorship, whose erratic behavior would pose a deadly threat to the planet. Obviously, a large-scale fantasy whose only function is to inhibit the development of a great nation resisting the imperial order.

The do’s are talking. Accused of wanting to manufacture it, Iran does not hold nuclear weapons. The US is the first nuclear power, and the only one to have used it.

The only state in the Middle East with the bomb (more than 400 nuclear warheads), is Israel which enjoys a privilege of its own which it does not intend to discard:

 

It has the right to hold the supreme weapon provided it does not boast about it. With Western complicity, Israeli duplicity is a double blow. It has a deterrent effect since the bomb exists, without incurring international anger since it is understood that it does not exist. This incredible regime of favor turns the nuclear issue into a fairytale; a purely virtual bomb should give us cold sweats (Iran), while a colossal arsenal but officially non-existent should not cause any concern (Israel).

Withdrawn from all international control, the Zionist nuclear program has had the benefit of total impunity since the beginning. Westerners criticize the risk of proliferation, but the story of the Israeli bomb shows that they are directly responsible. Ben-Gurion launched the Zionist nuclear program in the early 1950s, and France immediately helped.

A secret agreement with the socialist Guy Mollet in 1956 allowed the Jewish state to master nuclear technology, and the Dimona power plant was built with the help of French technicians. United in the struggle against Arab nationalism, France and Israel sealed a pact whose calamitous expedition of Suez was the main feat of arms.

 

Taking over from the French alliance at the end of the 1960s, the United States is no less cooperative. Under the agreement between Lyndon Johnson and Golda Meir, no pressure should be put on Israel to sign the non-proliferation treaty.

In exchange, Israel cultivates ambiguity about the reality of its nuclear arsenal. A pleasant derogation from international law. In the meantime, Westerners are hell-bent on Iran, lending it an imaginary military project, even as Tel Aviv is multiplying threats against Tehran.

The Islamic Republic, however, has never assaulted its neighbors. The same cannot be said of Israel, which bombed Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Tunisia, not to mention the Palestinian territories that are targeted daily.

Throwing a smokescreen on this reality, Western propaganda treats the Iranian regime as  “fanatical theocracy”.

It is not a mullah, however, who has declared that “our state is the only one in communication with God” Effi Eitam, former Israeli minister and leader of the national-religious party.

Soaked with orientalism, the dominant discourse describes the Islamic Republic as a haven for enlightened enthusiasts of eschatology who dream of immolating Israel with the atomic bomb!

 

What a shame that the Iranian defenders have not given us such inspired considerations about the Israeli bomb.

Between the Zionist claim to “communicate directly with God” and the mystical obstinacy of Tel Aviv to possess the supreme weapon, one could have also detected here a singular “eschatology”.

 

Another paradox that does not lack flavor:

The West accuses Iran of wanting to manufacture the bomb, but it is the Islamic Republic that interrupted the nuclear program in 1979. Encouraged by the USA, the Shah had signed lucrative contracts with France and Germany for the construction of nuclear power plants. The opposition has denounced this policy, considered expensive for a country rich in hydrocarbons; thus, the program is immediately suspended by the government of the Islamic Republic.

It took the bloody Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) to change the situation. Alone against the Iraqi aggressor, the Iranian government measured its weakness against a bloc coalition with Saddam Hussein. The participation of the Western powers, the delivery of chemical weapons to Iraq, the destruction in full flight of an Iranian Airbus made them aware of the danger.

It is in this context that the Iranian leadership saw nuclear power as a technological asset, an attribute of sovereignty and a source of national pride.

The possession of the nuclear weapon is considered ungodly by the religious authorities, and no military nuclear program has officially been engaged in Iran.

 

Iran’s accusers have constantly claimed the opposite, but without providing any proof. The obsessive discourse against Tehran, in fact, deliberately confuses two things: the technological capacity to produce nuclear weapons, and the political decision to produce such weapons.

On the grounds that this capacity has been reached, Tehran is accused of wanting to acquire the bomb. But this reasoning is of a glaring perversity, since instead of holding accountable those who have the bomb; one persists against a state that does not want it.

The “Iranian nuclear threat” is a fabulous attempt to neutralize a large non-aligned country. Sovereign and fiercely attached to its independence, Iran has a potential that scares the supporters of the imperial order.

Iran’s leaders signed the 2015 agreement because they favor the development of their country. They want the lifting of sanctions to satisfy a population of 80 million. The nuclear deal puts this great country under an unprecedented international control regime, but Tehran has accepted it. By accusing Iran of “supporting terrorism”, Trump wants to interrupt this process of normalization.

Driven by the arms dealers, he continues the demonization of Iran in a grotesque way. Imperialism never disarms, and the lies will continue. But Iran knows that time is in its favor, and it will be able to withstand the provocations of a declining superpower.

By Bruno Guigue