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US politicians continue seeing Iran as potential nuclear aggressor state

18:53 | 17.08.2015 | Analytic


17 August 2015. PenzaNews. The American politicians remain adamant in their vision of Iran as an aggressor state that seeks to obtain nuclear weapons even after the successful Iran deal in July 2015, says Gareth Porter, political analyst, historian, investigative journalist, author of several books, in his article “Obama’s line on the Iran nuclear deal: A second false narrative” published in the foreign media.

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He notes that the success of the 6+1 Iran talks on July 14, 2015 took place after 35 years of enmity and 2 years of negotiation, after which the extreme hostility between the two countries should have been reduced.

“But […] the US political process surrounding the Congressional consideration of the agreement is going to have the opposite effect. And a big part of the problem is that the Obama administration is not going to do anything to refute the extremist view of Iran as determined to get nuclear weapons. Instead, the administration is integrating the idea of Iran as rogue nuclear state into its messaging on the agreement,” the author writes.

In his opinion, the White House representatives in practice support and encourage such an opinion.

“Secretary of State John Kerry’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday makes the administration’s political strategy very clear. In two sentences, Kerry managed to combine the images of Iranian-supported terrorism and sectarian violence across the entire region and Iranian determination to get nuclear weapons,” the political analyst recalls.

From his point of view, the support of such views in the White House has created a situation in which Republicans and Democrats are drawing completely opposing conclusions on the Tehran issue out of the same motive.

“They both hold it as beyond debate that Iran cannot be trusted because it wants nuclear weapons; and the only question is whether and for how long that Iranian quest for nuclear weapons can be held off without war,” the investigative journalist stresses.

In his opinion, the negative stance on the Iran issue is so deeply ingrained in the American political society that nobody even dares to question it.

“The choice between two hardline views of Iran is hardly coincidental. The Obama administration accepted from day one the narrative about the Iranian nuclear program that the Israelis and their American allies had crafted during the Bush administration. The Bush administration’s narrative, adopted after the invasion of Iraq, described a covert nuclear program run by Iran for two decades, the main purpose of which was to serve as a cover for a secret nuclear weapons program,” Gareth Porter explains.

According to him, the officials spread this narrative by various means, including creation of intentional media leaks of information on documents that allegedly contained evidence of a secret Iran nuclear weapons research program in 2001-2003.

“The administration also passed the documents on to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2005, as part of a Bush strategy aimed to take Iran to the United Nations Security Council on the charge of violating its commitments to the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” the political analyst continues.

Moreover, the author of the article recalls several facts that were ignored or suppressed in the aforementioned narrative actively promoted by several high-ranking US officials.

In particular, he mentions that Iran was the only country in the whole world that refused to employ several kinds of weapons of mass destruction, a fact many antagonists of Tehran choose to omit.

“During the Iran-Iraq war, the military leadership had asked Ayatollah Khomeini to approve the manufacture of chemical weapons to retaliate against repeated chemical attacks by Iraqi forces. But Khomeini forbade their possession or use forbidden by the Shia interpretation of the Quran and Shia jurisprudence,” the historian adds.

Moreover, as Gareth Porter points out, Iran began to pursue its uranium enrichment research in the middle of 1980s only after claims by several members of the then US President Ronald Reagan administration that they will not allow Tehran to rely on an international consortium in France to provide nuclear fuel for the Bushehr nuclear plant.

“Iran did not inform the IAEA about its acquisition of enrichment technology […] because of the continued US attempt to suppress the Iranian nuclear program. Releasing such information would have made it easier for the United States to prevent continued procurement of necessary parts and material and to pressure China to end all nuclear cooperation with Iran,” the investigative journalist continues.

In his opinion, the lack of any objective evidence that Tehran was developing nuclear weapons also speaks against the anti-Iran narrative.

“US national intelligence estimates during the Bush administration concluding that Iran had run such a program, including the most famous estimate issued in November 2007, were based on inference, not on hard intelligence. That fact stood in sharp contrast to the very unambiguous human and electronic intelligence the CIA had been able to obtain on covert nuclear weapons programs in Israel, India, Pakistan, South Africa and South Korea,” Gareth Porter thinks.

He adds that the inauguration of Barack Obama as the new President of the United States brought little change in the public stance towards the Iran issue, even though Obama himself highly criticized the policy of George Bush Jr. on it before his term.

“The senior officials on Obama’s transition team and his initial national security team, moreover, had been closely associated with different versions of the policy of treating Iran as nuclear rogue state in previous administrations,” the political analyst stresses.

He also reminds that participants of the Iran nuclear talks are constantly pressured by both the public and the political community, while few of them dare to exceed the unofficial limits, which means the progress on the issue is minimal.

“If it isn’t changed dramatically from Kerry’s testimony, the administration's choice of political strategy will certainly contribute to a domestic political atmosphere in which even the most limited steps toward greater cooperation with Iran are all but impossible for years to come,” Gareth Porter states.

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