Monday, February 15, 2010

Iran's Nuclear Program for Dummies

The rhetoric is heating up over Iran's controversial nuclear program. Israel, the United States and European Union believe that Iran is secretly attempting to build a nuclear bomb. Iran maintains that they have never attempted to build a nuclear bomb and at only 20 percent uranium enrichment do not have the capacity to create one; a nuclear bomb takes around 90 percent enrichment. Israel, the arch rival of Iran in the middle-east, has indicated eagerness to setback Iran's nuclear capabilities through strategic aerial bombings. The U.S. on the other hand can not afford the opening of another war front in addition to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. An Israeli strike would lead to a complex Iranian response and the U.S. would be forced to intervene. To avoid this potentiality the U.S. and Europe are proposing another round of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran as punishment for their disobedience.

Iran is the only muslim country in the middle-east today which opposes the U.S. wars and occupations in the region. Although in the past Iran has been bitter enemies with Sunni extremist organizations like Al-Qaeda, it maintains the true intentions behind the current U.S. occupations are to increase political hegemony and military control. Other Arab muslim countries on the other hand, have tacitly supported U.S. objectives in the middle-east and the stalemate in occupied Palestine. The U.S. is working to isolate Iran by supplying billions of dollars in military aid and other payments to the Arab regimes. Ironically, most of these countries are governed by authoritarian regimes that are responsible for serious violations of basic civil liberties and human rights themselves.

All of the countries which are proposing sanctions against Iran have nuclear weapons; and, one(America) is the only country to have dropped them on actual people. The problem therefore is not nuclear weapons or enrichment of uranium but political power. If the U.S. can leverage the threat of a nuclear armed Iran to weaken its position in the region, America will have won a huge strategic victory over the only opposing government in the middle-east. Iran on the other hand, surrounded on every side by permanent U.S. bases and proxy governments, can not afford to allow this marginalization to take place. Israel is waiting for U.N. sanctions to fall through so that it may take direct military action its self with guaranteed American support. The nuclear saga is proving once again that "politics is war without bloodshed". But when the stakes are as high as they are in the middle-east, bloodshed is never beyond the realm of immediate possibilities.

The most important thing for intelligent observers in the weeks ahead is not to become so blind with patriotism or bleeding heart liberalism to allow themselves to be manipulated as most were before the Iraq War. Iran is no different than any other State in that it is narrowly seeking its own self-interests, but that does not mean it wants to build a nuclear bomb and destroy Israel or America. Realize the attempts to demonize the Islamic Republic of Iran through comparisons to Nazi Germany are totally based on propaganda, not reliable information. And the fact that Iran is historically guilty for human rights violations is the rule rather than the exception for all State powers including America. This time around we can break through the bipolar, good v.s. evil garbage and appreciate the complexity of geo-politics before the war breaks out.

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