Persian Gulf: Covert War And Brutal Threats Are No Substitute For Diplomacy
Fellowship of Reconciliation
January 18, 2012
Covert War and Brutal Threats are no Substitute for Diplomacy
By Judy Bello
Cries for war with Iran are again rising. In November, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), under a new Director and heavily pressured by the US State Department, released a report implying that Iran is developing nuclear weapons (while stating that it isn’t). Iran’s civilian nuclear program is heavily monitored by the IAEA, which has repeatedly confirmed that the level of enrichment is consistent with civilian uses and no nuclear materials have been diverted. The information on which this report is based is no different than the last report from Mohammed El Baradei’s IAEA in 2009.
A dangerous situation has emerged through the cyclical threats and accusations against Iran. Due to US sanctions, Iran has started trading actively on a basket of currency. This is a serious blow to the petrodollar. The US struck Iraq shortly after Saddam Hussein began to sell oil in Euros. NATO bombed Libya after Muamar Qaddhafi began selling oil in other currencies, and began lobbying the African Union for an ‘African’ Central Bank to support an African currency based on gold (which there is plenty of in Africa) and which would be use for all intra-African trade. Now Iran is selling oil and gas to India in rupees, and to China in renmibi. They are trading with Russia in rubles. What are we to expect?
Obama has eased the level of tensions a little the last couple of days, but this remains a very dangerous situation. Iran is surrounded by US bases and military forces in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is targeted by US missiles in Europe and Israel. Repeated upgrades of international sanctions have left Iran without parts to repair their aging civilian airlines or high-tech medical equipment readily available in Western countries. Despite its vast oil reserves, Iran imports refined petroleum products like gasoline and heating oil, because sanctions have made it impossible to repair the oil refineries destroyed during the Iran-Iraq War.
War Has Begun
The last decade has seen a cyclical escalation of threats and sanctions against Iran by Israel and the United States. The US currently has two aircraft carrier fleets in the Persian Gulf, while Iranian forces conduct defensive military exercises in International waters off their own coast. At the same time the escalating program of covert sabotage ratchets up pressure inside Iran, an increasing stream of accusations comes from the US mainstream press, the Israeli and European press.
Numerous instances of sabotage and assassination have occurred inside Iran, all attributed to the Mossad, CIA and M16. On January 11, nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was killed by a magnetic bomb attached to his car from a passing motorcycle. He was the fourth Iranian scientist assassinated in the last 2 years; a fifth scientist survived an attack. Last November, an explosion killed 30 in a Tehran missile base. A couple of weeks later, another explosion occurred in a nuclear storage site in Isfahan, and in December yet another explosion rocked a nuclear site in Yazd.
These attacks were likely perpetrated with the assistance of the Mujahedin-e-Khalk (MEK) a terrorist organization that has lived under US protection on a base in Iraq near the Iranian border since the beginning of the Iraq War. Shortly after the Islamic Revolution the MEK bombed the offices of Imam Khomeini’s political party, killing more than 30 members of the Iranian Parliament and Cabinet, including senior clerics. The MEK fought with Saddam Hussein against Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, and since 2003 has worked openly with the Mossad and the CIA.
Jundallah, a terrorist organization operating in the Baluchistan region of Iran and Pakistan, perpetrated a series of attacks on Iranian citizens prior to June, 2010 when their leader was arrested and executed. During 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, Jundallah killed over 100 Iranians. Before Jundallah leader Abdolmalak Rigi was executed, he testified that the CIA was sponsoring Jundallah operations in Iran, and provided detailed information related to meetings and financial transactions. On January 13 of this year, two days after the murder of Mostafa Roshan, Foreign Policy, a foreign policy magazine close to the US State Department, published an article stating that Mossad operatives sponsoring Jundallah terrorism were masquerading as CIA agents.
There are strong indications that the US worked with Israel to unleash the Stuxnet virus on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities. Israeli sources have more or less taken credit for many of these operations, while the US consistently denies involvement. But George W. Bush designated millions for covert operations in Iran. One might ask, “Where did it go?” Sometimes it appears that Israel and the US are playing ‘Good Cop’ – ‘Bad Cop’ with Iran. The most recent sanctions against Iran include a prohibition against diplomacy with Iranian officials. This leaves us with a covert war and no mechanism for reconciliation. What could possibly be gained by such a restriction?
No Iranian Retaliation
It is interesting that Iran has not significantly retaliated for these actions. Iran remains active in regional diplomacy, with a history of encouraging regional cooperation through trade and mutual support systems. The hype in the mainstream press over Iranian terrorism and the dreaded Iranian bomb seems oddly disconnected from reality. Even when attacked by Saddam’s chemical weapons during the 80s, Iran did not reciprocate in kind. Oil is often cited as the reason for this campaign of terror against Iran. And, Iran is designated a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ for actively supporting and advocating the Palestinian right to self-determination and condemning Israel’s ethnic cleansing in Palestine.
But I believe there is something more going on here. The US is a little over 200 years old. Israel is just over 60. Iran has been around for over 3000 years as a center of culture and civilization. It has a cultural identity deeply rooted in its society. Over millennia, the Persian Empire expanded across the Arab world, across India and southwest Asia. Iran has a Jewish population that goes back to Biblical times, supports Kurdish and Arab populations, and has recently absorbed influxes of Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian refugees. Iranians know who they are. This kind of integrity is stunning when you first encounter it. I imagine it is terrifying to the contemporary proponents of American hegemony.
No War on Iran! No Sanctions! No Intervention! No Assassination!
Regardless of the reason for the ongoing buildup of forces against Iran, we must reject the current status quo in no uncertain terms. I have seen a video of a Chinese news report where a well known academic is quoted as saying that China is prepared to go to war to protect Iran. Russia is currently taking a very active stand in defense of Syria and Iran. The deliberate effort to drop Syria into a civil war, like the NATO regime change in Libya is a Crime of monumental proportions, equal to the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, which are yet to be played out. I notice that Obama has eased the level of tensions a little the last couple of days, but this is a very dangerous situation. It is a dire threat to the people of Iran…but also to the world.
Contact your members of congress, the president and state department officials. Tell them enough is enough! Tell them that the American people will not stand for another war of aggression.