Ron Paul on Iran; Ahmadinejad has Jewish Heritage

International Atomic Energy Agency official Mohammad Elbaradei arrived in Tehran on Saturday to begin making preparations for the inspection of Iran’s new nuclear research facility near Qom.

The NYT reports that an internal IAEA report concludes that Iran now has the data to construct a nuclear weapon. Which means that there is no point in bombing them, since knowledge is unlikely to be destroyed that way. Me, I think they just want a ‘Japan option’– the ability to construct a bomb if they come under threatening attack.

The Telegraph newspaper reveals that president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to have Jewish antecedents, back in the 1940s when the family was still called Sabourjian (makers of Jewish shawls). This discovery was made via a photograph of his identity card, There have been many conversions from Judaism to Islam, many of them voluntary. In the real world people get all mixed up. Iran has the largest Jewish community in the Middle East aside from Israel itself. In the 19th century there were forced conversions of Jews to Shiism in the eastern city of Mashhad. Since converts intermarry with the majority community, this means that many Mashhadis have a Jewish great grandfather and may not know it. It isn’t just Iran. One genetic study found that some 20% of the Spanish had Jewish haplotypes and 10% had an Arab ancestry. The revelation in Iran doesn’t change anything; Ahmadinejad does not make his critiques of Israel with reference to his own heritage but on the basis of a radical interpretation of Khomeinist ideology. The latter in its full form is only a little over 40 years old, so for everyone in Ahmadinejad’s age cohort, it is an adopted ideology for those who adhere to it, not an inherited one.

Rep. Ron Paul (R.-TX) discusses the current hype about Iran and makes the excellent point that the likely beneficiary of increased US-Iranian tension or even war would be China, which has excellent relations with Tehran:

Ron Paul points to the attempts of Neoconservatives such as Elliot Abrams and Paul Wolfowitz to foment war on Iran or at least keep the US from negotiating with it. Stephen Walt discusses the Neocon attack op-eds in the light of Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett’s sober advice on how to engage Iran.

Russia Today says that the US is pressuring Russia to supply weapons systems to Saudi Arabia instead of Iran, and Saudi Arabia is sweetening the deal by being willing to pay top dollar.

Pepe Escobar at Tomdispatch discusses the oil and gas dimensions of US policy toward Russia and Iran.

The US regularly accuses Iran of backing terrorism, but the Iranians feel as though they are on the receiving end of it. Aljazeera English reports on PJAK, a revolutionary Iranian-Kurdish group that holes up with impunity inside American-occupied Iraq and which Tehran says hits targets inside Iran.

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10 Responses

  1. Cyrus Safdari at his Iran Affars blog does a good job of refuting the Ahmadinejad jewish claim:

    link to iranaffairs.com

    Really, Juan. You do yourself a disservice falling for this MSM trash. I thought you were a Middle East expert?

  2. You are right that there is no substance to the NYT article. A Chinese A-bomb design was used by the Pakistanis, and probably is available to Iran. A Princeton student showed back in the 80's that a layman can design a bomb. A crude weapon can consist of arranging for one mass of enriched Uranium to fall by gravity onto another, or shot ballistically.

    Knowledge is not the issue; it is the enriched Uranium.

  3. The Kurdish situation is a real dilemma. On the one hand, they have been oppressed and are entitled to self determination. On the other hand, though, just imagine how many people would die in a war for an independent Kurdistan, which would be unlikely to succeed. The US was wrong to promise Iraqi Kurds their autonomy. The solution is recognition of their language and heritage within Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Not carving out an independent state. We are already familiar with the kinds of long term problems that can cause.

    – Paul Wolf

  4. "The revelation in Iran doesn't change anything…"

    So why mention it? Yes it is interesting but your headline makes it also appear significant and related to Ron Paul.

    Further, your Salon piece on Iran (today) purports to clarify what Ahmadinejad said about Israel? (Not convincingly — your translation still sounds rather threatening.) But why hasn't Ahmadinejad done the clarifying? Wouldn't be difficult but he doesn't.

    (None of this defend irrational neo-con policym btw.)

  5. MOSHE AHMADINEJAD?

    October 4, 2009 at 1:06 pm (DesertPeace Editorial, Iran, Media, Sarcasm)

    IRAN-ELECTION

    The tabloids of the world are literally ‘full of it’ this morning. The ‘expose’ of the decade….. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is ’secretly Jewish’!
    If so….. do you care? Does it matter??
    Do you really think the ’scrawled note’ on his identity card was never seen by government officials when he entered the race for President of Iran? And when they did see it, they obviously did not care.

    All of the tabloid articles mentioned that “Experts told the Telegraph his vitriolic attacks against Jews could be an attempt to hide his past.” Attacks against Jews? Where?? When??? Verbal attacks against Israel and zionism maybe….. but against Jews, NEVER.There IS a difference.

    But, tabloids are out to be sold…. and there are enough morons out there prepared to buy them and believe the crap that is printed in them. Thank Heaven for the Blogesphere, a place where truth can be found (in some places).

    link to desertpeace.wordpress.com

  6. Poker Analogies on Afghanistan?

    Not sure they are right, but an interesting question

    Iran question (thought it was Afghanistan, screwed up): why is nobody talking about the perception in Iran that our actions — particularly over the past several years — creates in Iran, in terms of their world view (which is whatmatters when it comes to THEIR behavior) and not ours?

  7. "Me, I think they just want a 'Japan option'– the ability to construct a bomb if they come under threatening attack."

    I've consistently thought that was the most plausible likelihood, as well.

  8. The "knowledge" to make nukes is found in any library. Google the "Nth Country Experiment" — an experiment in the conducted by the US government's Lawrence Livermore Lab to see how easy it would be to design a nuclear bomb. Conclusion: two physics majors, armed with nothing but pencils and library cards, elucidated the design of nuclear weapons.

  9. Whether Ahmadinejad is Jewish or not, publicizing his Jewish heritage is a disservice to the Jewish community inside Iran.
    The news about Ahmadinejad got out long time ago by Nourizadeh and recently by Mahdi Khaz'ali through his weblog. I never found any of these two sources really reliable.

  10. Here's another article, published in the Guardian today, debunking the myth that Ahmadinejad has Jewish roots.

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