Santorum Hypes Iran ‘Threat’

GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum warned North Dakota on Wednesday that it was in the cross-hairs of an Iranian attack.

Among the news about Iran that had Americans thinking about that country was an announcement that Iran is making its own nuclear fuel and using it for a reactor.

Iran has a small medical research nuclear reactor, which produces nuclear isotopes for use in chemotherapy. The reactor requires uranium enriched to 19.75 percent to run. Iran announced on Wednesday that it had managed to enrich to that level , and is now installing the homemade fuel plates in the reactor.

The medical reactor was given to Iran by the United States and was inaugurated in 1967. The reactor is being regularly inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure it is being used only for civilian purposes, and the IAEA was present Thursday to watch the insertion of the fuel rod.

The reactor actually has no conceivable military purpose, and its fuel, uranium enriched to 19.75 percent, is used up when run through the reactor, so it cannot be used to make a nuclear warhead. Nuclear bombs need the uranium to be enriched to 95 percent, typically. Iran is not yet able to achieve that level of enrichment, and says it is not trying to.

Iran also unveiled 3000 new centrifuges,which will allow it to make new fuel rods for its civilian nuclear reactors more quickly.

I saw the CNN coverage of the fueling of the nuclear isotopes reactor and was astonished that they kept saying this development was “dangerous” or “ominous.” Actually, it is good news that Iran can make fuel for the research reactor, since it produces isotopes for treating cancer victims.

Iran is permitted by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that began being signed in the late 1960s to enrich uranium for peaceful uses such as fueling reactors, but the United States and the UN Security Council have attempted to unilaterally abrogate that right in the case of Iran. Israel is not signatory to the NPT, and has gone for broke to produce some 400 nuclear warheads. To the extent that Iraq wanted a nuclear weapon, it was impelled by competition with Israel; i.e., the Israeli bomb kicked off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Because of the reflection fallacy, the Israelis cannot imagine that Iran is not trying to do what they themselves did. But there is no good evidence for an Iranian nuclear weapons program, and the medical reactor does not point to one!

CNN had P.J. Crowley, the former State Department spokesman on, to explain that Russia and France had offered to supply the LEU needed to run the medical reactor. He did not say why Iran should not make its own fuel, since that is perfectly legal under the NPT.

Ahmadinejad took the occasion to complain about the “hegemonic powers”:

“They built atomic bombs, they built chemical weapons, and today, using their domination of centers of power, both in the arena of economics and politics, they have imposed a modern and complex system of plunder on the world.

In this way, the wealth of nations is systematically plundered and transferred into the pocket of the oppressors of the world. In my view, even more treacherous and more odious than this is their attitude toward science.

It is their approach toward the progress of nations. They monopolize science. They monopolize technologies that originated from that science. Science has to be at the service of the international community…

Look at this very nuclear science; first of all they equated nuclear science to the technology of the bomb. Whenever you mention nuclear science it immediately conjures up the image of a bomb in your mind. Nuclear science and technology are quite useful to humanity and in various aspects of human life.
One of these is radio medicine. Another is radio isotopes which find applications in industry, agriculture, and medicine or generating clean power that is very cheap. It can lead to the speedy progress of nations and provide them with welfare and health and security.

Nevertheless, they (the West) equate all this to the nuclear bomb. At first glance, you might think that this is not very important. Of course, it is; when it is equated to the bomb many of the regulations related to security and constraints and monopoly creating laws are formulated. They impose various restrictions which you are witness to, that after 70-80 years it is only seven or eight nations that enjoy the benefit of nuclear power. The rest of the nations are deprived of it.

Any nation that dares to develop this science and technology is faced with pressures and sanctions on top of insults and much hullaballoo.

In my view, the biggest assault that they made on humanity was the assault on science. Look at what they have done in the arena of Iran’s nuclear episode. How much noise did they make?
How much bad conduct they showed and how impolite they were toward the nation of Iran.
They tried to prevent the progress of the nation of Iran. They launched resolutions and sanctions against us and applied political pressure and launched propaganda against Iran but all to no avail.”

Ahmadinejad highlights the paternalistic attitude of the West toward the nations of the global South, and the constrictions placed on new countries learning to close the fuel cycle (which the NPT permits them to do).

Ironically, Rick Santorum made similar comments, but in the reverse:

“”You have a president who’s not interested in science. He’s interested in politics. Instead of doing something that is in the best interest of creating energy security for our country and economic growth, he plays petty politics and partisan politics and special interest politics…”

Like Ahmadinejad, Santorum puts a high value on energy independence. For him, it lies in the environmentally ruinous Canadian shale oil pipeline that President Obama nixed. For Ahmadinejad, Iran’s energy independence lies in nuclear energy.

For Santorum, the sinister force that is preventing the US from having “science” and being energy independent is Barack Obama, who is beholden to hegemonic special interests.

For Ahmadinejad, the sinister force that prevents Iran from having science and being energy independent is the United States.

Both are conspiracy theorists, and both fail to put their finger on the real path to energy independence and cheap energy, which is renewables like solar and wind.

To sum up, medical nuclear reactor at Isfahan likely not a danger to the people of North Dakota.

63 Responses

  1. Mr. Cole, I think you should probably refrain from posting extensive speeches of Mr. Ahmadinejad. The quotes completely contradict the well crafted stereotype of the Iranian Prime Minister by the Western media and governments. The guy sounds intelligent and thoughtful, and his speech actually attempts to educate people about how useful nuclear power can be. Extra points to him for using the word “hullabaloo” in a speech.

    It was especially embarassing to then read the foolish nonsense from Mr. Santorum.

    • Having the crowd listening to Ahmedinejad screaming “death to America” as the transcript shows is “intelligent and thoughtful”? Doesn’t sound too friendly to me.

      • If you think a country is hellbent on destroying your nation and society, what would you chant/say? More to the point, what have all of the establishment politicians been saying in the U.S.? They’ve been reiterating how they would bomb Iran. Is that really any different than their chanting? We’re the only ones actually capable of following through on our rhetoric.

    • Agreed. You should have refrained from printing the sensible speech (as also the nonsensical Santorum). REFRAIN, OH! REFRAIN! Americans might (by accident) read your blog and we have been trained not to appreciate long sense, but oly short and emotional nonsense.

  2. I disagree with Santorum’s assessment of just about everything. But Iran is indeed behind a recent string of bombings. At some point the evidence will convince even you and your audience. It’s becoming overwhelming.

    link to usatoday.com

    • As much as I respect Professor Cole’s desire to push back against the Iran hawks, he’s picking some strange hills to die on.

      • It is a testament to the irrationality of American discourse that a level-headed accounting of the facts as known looks to you like a last ditch stand.

        • When, exactly, are we going to get a “level-heading accounting of the facts” in Bangkok, like people keep asking for?

          It was always profoundly silly for you to reflexively insist on Iranian innocence in the bombings, and your defensiveness shows that you’re quite aware of this.

        • Just so we’re clear, Professor: you’re merely “accounting facts,” and not arguing one way or another about the likelihood that the Iranians are working towards nuclear weapons capability?

          Just the facts, ma’am? You’re not coming down on one side or the other of that question?

          I think there might be a bit of a misunderstanding. Could you kindly clarify what, exactly, is your opinion on whether Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons capability, and whether they are involved in the string of bombings of Israeli facilities?

          Thanks.

    • As to “overwhelming” evidence from a USAToday AP story, I see a lot of quotes from Israeli warlords, but not much from maybe more reliable sources with less of a history of “having said the thing that is not so” to nail down so uncontrovertibly the Guilt of All Iran.

      And when it comes to collective responsibility and punishment, do all Iranians, shopkeepers and physicians and regular-army and police and university populations, get “justly” or even “prudentially” blown up (or all Israelis, or all Somalis, or even all Americans, etc.) in some act of “pretaliation,” because of the actual or reputed skulduggery-thuggery of a few Experienced Players, or just sociopaths, so often impossible to accurately attribute or assign, simply because that’s the way the Game is designed and played?

      And there’s this letter from “the Iranians” that supposedly says their leaders are willing to say some kind of “UNcle,” and waive some of their sovereignty, and swallow a ration of bitter pride, to maybe keep the lumbering Networked Battlespace Battle Managers from unloading on their nation. What’s to be made of that? An item that’s seemingly getting little notice in FOXland.

      • As to “overwhelming” evidence from a USAToday AP story, I see a lot of quotes from Israeli warlords, but not much from maybe more reliable sources with less of a history of “having said the thing that is not so” to nail down so uncontrovertibly the Guilt of All Iran.

        The double-standard you’re displaying here is astounding. It took you roughly 2 seconds to implicate Israel and the United States in the assassinations of the Iranian scientists when not a single arrest had been made, but whoa now! Let’s not jump to any conclusions about who’s bombing Israeli targets in multiple countries.

      • As to the utter certainty that “Iran” is behind this Wave of Terrorist Bombings, here’s a quick cite for all the Careful Readers here to discount or leverage off of: link to reuters.com

        I hear “nuanced” is the latest addition to Newt Gingrich’s GOPAC list of hate-inducing words, regularly updated by the likes of Karl Rove, up there with “Leftist-progressive” and “Liberal” and “Socialist.” For those unfamiliar with it: link to informationclearinghouse.info But whatever you call it, the Reuters article kind of lays out in “nuanced” detail some of the deadly serious bits an Who-knows parts of the scamming and skulduggery that underlies (emphasize ‘lies’) the Great Game. The one that has the most of us learning futile stuff like “duck and cover,” and raising children who say “IF I grow up,” not “WHEN I grow up…”

        But don’t let us grownups depart from the Game we get such jollies and profit and ego-satisfaction out of. That would be IRRESPONSIBLE, in the zero-sum-seeming, negative-sum-actual world we are demolishing, in lieu of maybe deconstructing by way of designing improvements.

    • Nearly all states engage in direct or indirect terrorist actions. The US, Israel, and Iran are no different in this regard.

  3. Is the world getting even crazier, or is it just me?

    Is USA driving the world down the drain like the Koch brothers are driving the States and Local governments down the drain?

    The USA founding fathers knew that tyrants (leaders?) use war as a way to keep the people in line using fear. The Nuremberg trials after WWII said that the greatest crime is aggressively starting a war because after a war is started the rule of law goes out the window.

    On Democracy Now today which is available on the Web the topics are Yemen, Iran and Honduras. The USA is either already starting wars taking actions that will lead to wars.

    If you can stand more bad news, please watch their show today.

  4. Just a minor point: Once run through the reactor the 20% irradiated fuel is now partly plutonium. Further, the residue of the enrichment processing is almost pure Uranium 238, the heavy isotope of uranium, and is also called ‘depleted uranium’, because it is depleted of most of its U235,the lighter isotope, which is the fissile component of uranium. Depleted uranium is completely harmless (contrary to current prejudice) but if it is subjected to further irradiation, by introducing it into a reactor, the end product is plutonium, which is the fuel component of a bomb. This requires a special type of reactor, a ‘breeder’ which Iran does not possess.

    • “Depleted uranium is completely harmless”

      False. It’s both highly toxic in a chemical sense, and a carcinogen, making its use in “conventional” weapons highly problematic. You get enough of the stuff distributed throughout the environment, the way the US did in its attacks upon Iraq, and the health effects are horrific.

      The military “likes” it because it’s heavier than lead and harder, making it an ideal substance for artillery shells, etc. Plus, they don’t have to live there afterwards.

      • Depleted uranium is very weakly radioactive, far less so than radon gas which regularly diffuses from the ground and may accumulate under your house. Depleted uranium is use in shielding for tanks and armored personel carriers and for ballast in ships and airoplanes, and in radiation shielding for X-ran technicians, being safer than lead shielding. Check the section on Uranium in the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, as well as many other sources. There is no evidence that anyone has suffered from sitting or riding in a tank, even for extended periods.

        • Sure, but the heavy-metal poisoning from DU dust has been quite well-established.

          No, it’s not a radiological hazard; it’s a toxic.

        • I’m not talking about folks who are “sitting in a tank”, I’m talking about folks living on the business end of its cannons. There’s a world of difference between the solid metal, from which personnel are largely isolated by walls, paint, etc and the finely-divided metal fragments which result after a shell has been fired and hits something, typically breaking up and generating fragments and aerosols which remain in the local environment indefinitely. In this form, U is much more biologically active.

          Like I said, it’s a chemical toxin and carcinogen. Moreover, the “slight” radioactivity is not so trivial when you consider that it will be irradiating INSIDE you, over the course of years, after being inhaled, ingested, or whatever. That’s when U is used in munitions. The situation when U serves as shielding is totally different.

        • You know, as a former (pre-DU ordnance) GI, I gotta say I would be a lot less concerned about the effects of DU incorporated into armored vehicles, which our really smart engineers do a pretty good job of isolating the crew from, that I am about the GIs on the ground who get spattered and get to inhale all the minute little bits and particles of DU fired off (sometimes accidentally or incompetently and “friendly fired” RIGHT AT THEM) and the “Wogs” and “Gooks” and “Towelheads” and farmers and woodcutters and such who get to live with the stuff that the World Health Organization even says ain’t real good for you: link to who.int

  5. “Santorum puts a high value on energy independence. For him, it lies in the environmentally ruinous Canadian shale oil pipeline that President Obama nixed.”
    Juan, I appreciate the perspective you continue to provide on Iranian affairs. In this sentence however, you confuse two buzz words, both dear to the hearts of the environmental movement. The “shale” buzz word is usually associated with another buzz word, “fracking” a method used to extract oil and gas in many parts of United States and Canada and elsewhere. The “Canadian …oil pipeline” another buzz word, refers to the Keystone project to transport heavy oil from the ”oil sands” (so-called if one is sympathetic towards their development. “Tar sands” if one is not.) near Ft. McMurray, Alberta, to refineries in Texas.

    • And whether you call it “oil sands” or “bituminous sands” or whatever, the key words in the Wiki article are “profitably extracted.” Because, of course, since it takes a lot of energy to heat the crap to “extract it” and get it to “flow,” and conveniently so little of the externalities, like surface land impacts and greenhouse gas much bigger than “regular crude” and all the rest– link to en.wikipedia.org manage to get priced into the stuff and the infrastructure that goes along with this latest extractive consumerism. But of course there are “jobs” at the end of that short rainbow that is supposed to give “us” (though the schmutz is inconveniently in Canada) “energy independence.” For some period. Without the slightest chance of retribution or consequences for the few people who will be “profiting” from the “extraction.”

      But we must be extra special careful to use the approved descriptors… to do what? preserve the Narrative?

  6. “the Israeli bomb kicked off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.”

    Indeed. And yet the United States leadership repeatedly hyperventilates about how Iran cannot be permitted to achieve a nuclear weapon because its doing so “would start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.” As I have been pointing out since Bush was in office, that ship sank when Israel got nuclear weapons.

    • And someone like SOS Hillary, if you you said this to her face in the form of a pointed question, would with a straight face, and the force to put you in your place say, “We do not know that, and it has never been confirmed by anyone.”

      In all these matters we are making a big mistake when we think that we should stick to the realities. Sure, the more we do work with reality the stronger we’ll be situated when the objective facts assert themselves (ie, Iraq), but policy choices are clearly being made subjectively.

      • Indeed Travis. It is clear that decisionmaking on this matter is fueled by the primacy of irrationality and domestic political considerations. In both Iran (having an outsider to blame), Israel (ibid., and strategic concerns), and the US (elections), something has been set in motion which is in no-one’s rational interest.

  7. I offer the following as a physics & engineering based reality check that I strongly encourage you to consider, but *not* to publish:

    Re. your remark that “Nuclear bombs need the uranium to be enriched to 95 percent, typically. Iran is not yet able to achieve that level of enrichment, and says it is not trying to.”

    As I’ve mentioned, enrichment, roughly speaking, multiplies the concentration of U235 by a small factor in each step, therefore enriching from 0.7% (in natural uranium) to 20% is most of the way to 95% in terms of what is called “separation work”. You don’t have to take my word for this; it’s commonplace engineering knowledge.

    Note that, as this suggests, enriching from 20% to 95% requires nothing but feeding enriched material into additional passes through the same centrifuge equipment that’s been used to enrich from 0.7% to 20%. In this sense, and contrary to a natural reading of your remark, Iran *is* “able to achieve that level of enrichment”.

    That said, enrichment is still a slow process, and close-enough international monitoring could ensure that high-enriched reactor fuel does, in fact, go into reactors and stay there (etc. — there are further requirements).

    Note also that even minute traces of higher-enriched uranium can be detected by mass spectroscopy of samples of dust, soil, and so on; this may (or may not) be an important constraint on confidence in the ability to keep a program secret.

    The technical details of monitoring are outside my field of competence, and you may wish to engage someone more knowledgeable than me to give you a crisper qualitative understanding of what would be needed — how open Iran would have to be, and to what intensity of inspection, to provide a given level of confidence in a specific level of constraint on potential weapons production. I think that you could and should be better informed in this area.

    I offer these comments in the service of encouraging *rock-solid* reality-based arguments for your much-appreciated views re. going to war. I hope that this comment looks nothing like concern trolling, and again, I don’t suggest that you publish it. In one sense, it is off topic.

    • Iran has already offered to ratify and permanently implement the Additional Protocol which allows far more instrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities…as long as its right to enrichment is also recognized. The US has ignored this and many other Iranian nuclear compromise offers because the entire “iranian nuclear threat” thing is just a pretext for regime change anyway.

      • A nuance on this matter: Iran has no “right” to enrichment. However, it is certainly NOT forbidden to do so if it complies with the NPT. Iran is also not breaching the NPT protocol, but ‘just’ the IAEA guidelines.

  8. The “Canadian …oil pipeline” ….refers to the Keystone project to transport heavy oil from the ”oil sands”… near Ft. McMurray, Alberta, to refineries in Texas, WHENCE IT WILL BE SOLD ON THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET. Oil companies will receive all the tax credits and all the profits, and Canadians and Americans will receive all the environmental damage. Keystone is all about corporate profit, not US energy independence.

  9. Nobody describes better this system of neo-colonialism than this brilliant polemicist:

    “The European and American reaction to Iran’s nuclear program was that of Uncle Tom’s slaveowner, Simon Legree, on learning of an escaped slave: How does this dusky dare to touch the white masters’ toys?
    Their empty talk of an “Iranian threat” is designed for the ignorant: Iran has never, ever attacked a European nation since the wars for Anatolia in the 5th century BC, whereas European imperialists have repeatedly occupied and controlled Iran – once recently in 1942, and then again in 1953, when they deposed the democratically-elected Mosaddeq and and placed their stooge in his place. Yes, the old colonialism is dead. England can’t rule over Iraq, nor France over Algeria, but the new collective colonialism – that of an imperialist core of highly industrialized Western nations over the rest of the world – is hardly any better. The old masters have decided to pool their resources and rule their erstwhile slaves together. They switched from the Athenian model – where each citizen had his slave – to the Spartan model – where all slaves belong to the State. In this new collective imperialist universe, the US is the ‘arm’ – the enforcer – of this new colonialism, while the ‘mind’ – the ideology – is supplied by a vast syndicate that unites and coordinates the majority of the world’s media outlets, both left and right, despite their pretensions of competition and rivalry.”

  10. Not sure how or why Iran would attack…….North Dakota.

    The only reason to attack North Dakota would be in the context of a counter-force nuclear strike against the missile silos.

    Only the Soviet Union, in their heyday, ever had that kind of capability (numbers, accuracy and throw-weight).

    Even China doesn’t that capability and it’s doubtful that Iran ever could.

    If Iran were to give a nuclear weapon to a terrorist group in some bizarre Tom Clancy fantasy scenario I seriously doubt they’d be targeting Fargo.

  11. I think you nailed it here:

    “Because of the reflection fallacy, the Israelis cannot imagine that Iran is not trying to do what they themselves did. ”

    The leadership of Iran has learned from collapse of Soviet Union that having nuclear weapons wont do you any good. Israelis have not. Like the communist before them, the zionism leadership in Isreal seem to believe its security is in military build up.

    • Don’t be too sure the leadership in Iran has “learned” from the collapse of the Soviet Union that “nuclear weapons won’t do you any good,” Daryoush. The collapse of the USSR was an internal implosion. Nuclear weapons are arrayed against external threats, not internal collapse.

      I would say that the Iranian leadership may have learned a great deal about how nuclear weapons can increase one’s bargaining position from North Korea. You may “run interference” for Iran if you wish, but at least use examples that more accurately reflect the “lessons” Iran may have learned.

      • Are you kidding me? You think Iranians have learned from North Korea? What have the North Korean got for all the effort?

        I think, even Ahmadinjad has referred to it in his interviews, Iranian leadership has learned that nuclear weapons are useless drains on their resources. Arms race leads to your collapse. Iran, although much larger (size and population wise) than its neighbors, and under real threat of war, has spend far less on it military.

        Iranian have also learned from Americans that at time population needs a national project to build its self esteem. Kennedy started the man on the moon mission. It had no real economic value, other than reinvigorating the moral and pride of a nation. Ahmadinejad’s slogan for his first term, was “we can, and we will”.

        At this point nuclear energy is their form of asserting their independence. The more west pushes them, the more sanction there are, the stronger their drive to show their independence. Had they been able to buy the technology from west, it would have been irrelevant. Read Ahmadinejad’s speeches and see how much he emphasizes the pride in home grown technology.

        • What NK has been getting from the US over the years is food shipments, in what amounts to a shake-down for negotiating with us re their nukes, which they have managed to crawlfish on artfully over the years.

          There could be a more correct/nuanced summary, but its essentially correct. What I’m hoping is that Iran is rational, canny, and led ably enough, for all this posturing to be preparation for substantive negotiations with the West (well, the US) along the same lines. At least with NK we didn’t have Israel running its own agenda, but that’s another topic.

          We might not like how NK has been manipulating the US, but no one can say they haven’t been rationale in a low and cunning sort of way. When it gets down to it, much of the relatively sane apprehensions about Iran come from our not knowing that much (with any confidence) about who is running things or how they make decisions/policy. With that sort of knowledge, we don’t worry so much about Canada, but in lieu of some degree of confidence of their intentions, the position any responsible policy-maker has to take ends up being the worse-case scenario.

  12. Just a small correction: the medical reactor in question — the Tehran Research Reactor — is located in a university basement in Tehran and is not at Natanz. There’s a very good description of what’s going on there by Geoff Forden on ArmsControlWonk.com:
    link to forden.armscontrolwonk.com

    And, the reactor fuel rods cannot be used to make nukes because they would have to go through an extensive process of extracting the plutonium from the rods — something that Iran does not have the capability of doing, nor the interest (Iran has already offered to give up any reprocessing development.)

    Crowly is flat lying. He’s forgetting to mention that the US insisted that any deal to provide fuel to Iran for the reactor also required Iran to give up its right to enrichment, thus making Iran totally reliant on foreign sources.

    Remember, Iran offered to ship out its LEU in exchange for reactor fuel in the Brazil-Turkish brokered deal, but the US pulled the rug out from under the Brazilians and Turks at the last minute (much to their consternation) and killed off the deal just as soon as the Iranians had unexpectedly said yes. And, Iran would not have had to enrich to 19.75% in the first place had the US not prevented Iran from simply buying the fuel as usual (Ahmadinejad has offered to cease that level of enrichment if Iran can simply buy the fuel again.) So in short the US is demanding that Iran not make the fuel, and not purchase it either, and those 800,000 Iranian cancer victims can drop dead.

  13. I live and work in Iran and on Wednesday watching all that live event on Iran’s English Channel Press TV I just felt proud , and i can not explain my feeling rather than pride, dignity and being independent from those arrogant powers, that was a very distinguishable moment for me.. and I can just say that unlike those treasonous reformist of last decade in Iran ( led by Mohammad Khatami) Ahmadinejad was the man who stood firm by Iran’s nuclear program. We as Iranians owe him much … Viva Ahmadinejad..

    • Would all Iranians agree with you? I understand that the project is a matter of national accomplishment and sanctions are irresponsible and unnecessary. But the costs at the moment are quite high, aren’t they?

      • I think in the case of Nuclear program at least 80 pct of my people agree with me.. that’s a national project. And costs are high but maybe for the government but no for ordinary people, I may say something and you think I’m just claiming them here, I can’t say there is no problem in Iran but it is definitely less than many other countries in the region…anybody who doubts what I say should come to Iran and see the facts by his/her own eyes,, we have experienced worst days during imposed war by Saddam Hussein. Difficulty is not new for Iranians.

        A Question for Mr. Cole: Sir, do you know Farsi (Persian)? because you have translated Omar Khayyam poems I thought you may know my language..

        • Salaam.. Congratulations to you if you’re able to complete your national project. When my country was pursuing its nuclear program, for weapons not just medical grade, our people were largely for it. We had resolved that we would follow through even if we had to eat grass. Insha’Allah Iranians are able to withstand the pressure the same way, even if not for the same ends.

          Khuda hafez doost.

  14. link to cnn.com
    “I can tell you that the target of the operation of this group is specifically aimed at Israeli diplomats,” Police Gen. Priewpan Damapong said late Wednesday in an interview with CNN affiliate Channel 3.
    Juan, why are the Thai police lying?

    • The Foreign Minister contradicted him.

      The operation involved petulant throwing of bombs at a taxi who wouldn’t pick up the perp, and then throwing a bomb in a way it hit a tree and bounced back at the feet of the thrower, blowing off his legs.

      Not a professional covert ops hit let us say.

      • Just as a check sum answer these questions according to your information:

        Question: Which side did Iran take in WWI and WWII?
        Answer: Neutral in both.

        Question: Iran has attacked how many countries since WWI?
        Answer: 0 since 300 years ago. in contrast with US >10

        Question: How many times Iran has used WMD?
        Answer: Iran has never had nor attempted to have any WMD. Contrast to US. (see the reference)

        Question: If a country with WMD attack Iran and kill 100000 people by WMD would Iran try to build WMD to attack back?
        Answer: Happened to be no. Well although Saddam attacked Iran and killed over 100000 civilians with chemical and biological weapons and Iran didn’t try to get any WMD although it was technologically possible. (see the reference)

        Question: If a country with WMD attack the US and kill 100000 people by WMD would the US try to build WMD to attack back?
        Answer: US didn’t wait for being attacked by WMD. They built all kinds of WMD beforehand and attacked other countries. (see the reference)

        Source:
        link to en.wikipedia.org
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        Unfortunately the US media fails to convey the right info. If you found the articles helpful please spread them.

  15. Remember this? Interpress service: link to atimes.com

    Iran offered ‘to make peace with Israel’
    By Gareth Porter

    WASHINGTON – Iran offered in 2003 to accept peace with Israel and cut off material assistance to Palestinian armed groups and to pressure them to halt terrorist attacks within Israel’s 1967 borders, according to a secret Iranian proposal to the United States.

    The two-page proposal for a broad Iran-US agreement covering all the issues separating the two countries, a copy of which was obtained by Inter Press Service (IPS), was conveyed to the US in late April or early May 2003.

    Trita Parsi, a specialist on Iranian foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies who provided the document to IPS, says he got it from an Iranian
    official this year but is not at liberty to reveal the source.

    The two-page document contradicts the official line of the Bush administration that Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel and the sponsorship of terrorism in the region.

    Parsi says the document is a summary of an even more detailed Iranian negotiating proposal that he learned about in 2003 from the US intermediary who carried it to the State Department on behalf of the Swiss Embassy in late April or early May that year. The intermediary has not yet agreed to be identified, Parsi said.

  16. Glen Greenwald’s website is showing how the MSM has developed a drumbeat for war against Iran. I suppose one driving factor is Producers fear-mongering for the sake of ratings, but that would be charitable and totally naive.

    Its a useful exercise to think what would be happening now if it weren’t for Israel. We’d be increasing Saudi arms, as we now are, but there’d be sane, quiet negotiations going on behind the scene and no reason for the perception of a nuke crisis with Iran itself. I suppose US elections need a bogeyman, as does the media: It isn’t as tho Hugo Chavez and Castro are doing much for their causes…

    In looking at the sum of Glen Greenwald’s link to salon.com recent distillation of MSM presentations it appears a non-existent case for war against Iran is “spontaneously” managing to take on a life of its own.

  17. To all those here who claim proof that Iran is a terrorist nation, I throw down this challenge:

    What is your damned solution?

    We all know the wretched history of sanctions. If we had tried to slap Gadaffi with sanctions after he slaughtered an unaided rebellion and blew up half his cities, it would mean allowing no oil to escape his borders. So everyone else would starve, but he’d still have his fortune hidden abroad, and Libya’s oil taken off the market would now have oil close to $150 again, at which point the whole global economy collapses again. How many people would die worldwide from a second crash?

    In Syria, sanctions won’t stop the killing either.

    So now if Iran continues to do business with China and India, do we just hit all of them with sanctions? India, a democracy with millions on the brink of starvation, and China, which we soon will owe a trillion bucks to? That plus the loss of Persian Gulf oil, and how big an economic apocalypse are we talking about?

    Don’t pretend that there was no relationship between 9/11, the invasion of Iraq and the ’08 crash.

  18. All this nuclear hype about Iran is no more than the “WMD’s” claim in Iraq.

    Israel does not want to see any one challenge her in the Middle East just as USA is feeling its authority threatened in the South China Sea.

    Especially during the election year in the USA, the rhetoric of “Iranophobic or Islamophobic”, reaches so high pitch that it raises the noise pollution quite a few decibels just to get the Jewish vote & from many other scary people those cannot even point out where Iran or Middle East is on the world map.

    Same phenomenon occurs in Florida during election years against Cuba for the Cuban votes.

  19. In all this discussion on the possible Iran nuclear threat I am confused on one point. As I understand it Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty. Under this treaty they have a right to the peaceful development of nuclear energy. So are they in compliance with the treaty or not? If they are then why should anyone have the right to attack them?

    • Yes they are and have always been in compliance with the NPT. Lets remember: the NPT requires Iran to 1- declare its nuclear material and sites where the material is/to be stored, and 2- the allow IAEA inspectors to visit these sites and monitor the material to ensure that 3- there has been no “diversion for non-peaceful uses” of this nuclear material. In fact the very first Paragraph of Iran’s Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA says this is its “exclusive purpose.”

      Peter Jenkins, the former British Ambassador to IAEA has in response to a question:
      ==========
      “Q: In general, what are the duties of countries such as Iran with respect to the NPT, and does Iran’s current nuclear program violate these obligations? What if any additional demands are being made on Iran and what has been Iran’s reaction to these demands?

      PJ: Essentially: to place all nuclear material under IAEA safeguards and to refrain from manufacturing or otherwise acquiring nuclear explosive devices. As far as is known, Iran is respecting these obligations.

      link to bit.ly
      ======

      And every single IAEA report ever issued on Iran has consistently said that there has been no diversion of declared nuclear material, which means that Iran is in compliance with the NPT. Now, there is some speculation that perhaps there are UNdeclared nuclear material or sites in Iran, whose existence the IAEA cannot verify. However this is simply because of a legal technicality: the IAEA does not similarly verify the absence of UNdeclared nuclear material/activities in ANY country — not Iran, not Argentina, not Brazil, not Egypt — unless that country has signed and ratified the Additional Protocol. Unlike those countries, Iran has signed (but not ratified) the AP and did voluntarily implement the AP for about 3 years as a good faith gesture, with no sign of a nuclear weapons program found. It has offered to ratify and permanently implement the AP too, as long as its right to enrich is also respected — the US and EU have refused to acknowledge this.And while the former IAEA head Elbaradei has been clear in saying that there is no evidence of any UNdeclared nuclear sites in Iran, the US and EU have instead simply moved the goalposts in response to Iran’s concession offer, and have demanded that the IAEA be given access to NON-nuclear sites, such as missile manufacturing facilities, even though this falls well outside of the IAEA’s legal authority which is limited to inspecting NUCLEAR sites, even under the Additional Protocol.

      And note further that even if Iran totally opens up everything to the IAEA inspectors, that still won’t resolve the standoff since the US also accuses Iran of using a civilian, IAEA-monitored program to “obtain the capability” to make nukes. In otherwords, even though Iran’s nuclear program is fully compliant with the NPT, it should still be destroyed because it creates a “capability” to make nukes. No amount of inspections allowed by Iran can of course disprove this, and no IAEA inspector can “prove” that Iran won’t possibly use its nuclear program to possibly make a bomb at some indefinite point in the future. In fact, 40 countries already have this theoretical capability because it is inherent in possessing nuclear technology — even perfectly legitimate civilian nuclear technology can potentially maybe one day be used to make nukes. That’s the whole reason why the IAEA inspections regime exists: to catch it if it happens.

  20. Ron Paul’s blowback applies to Israel as well as to the U.S.

    Now, the only fair and sane US nuke policy would be to force Israel to dismantle its nukes and enable a Mideast Free Nuke Zone.

    But since Israel fairly controls US Mideast policy, unless Ron Paul can sneak in, his blowback inevitably will.

    • If Ron Paul “sneaks in,” a most appropriate image, “we” are going to have more problems to worry about than the Volatile MideastcentralfarAsia. You really think Mr. Bringhomethetroops will even have a snowball’s chance of even minutely changing the direction of the whole panoply of forces driving Empire 3.0? Against the clout of the Generals, including General Electric and General Atomic, and all those bloodworms and liver flukes in Congress who have cooperated in dispersing the war machinery across the landscape? No need to even “hide things in hollowed-out mountains:” They got constituents (even the Paulists do) who profit or get their paychecks from the MIC apparatus.

      • Empires inevitably have to be brought down kicking and screaming, not via parliamentary procedure.

        • This is precisely one of the reasons the folks in the mountains near Afghanistan here continue putting up a fight. We saw it happen to the USSR, and we’re expecting the same from the U.S.

  21. Juan, in your Nov. 9 2011 post, you said you believe Iran wants “nuclear latency”. If they want such capabilty, they’re likely doing some work in that area. Or maybe they are close to knowing how to build a bomb quickly. The amount of time between when they decide to make a bomb and when they blow one up will get shorter as time goes on. The best course of action is to take them up on their offer of renewed talks. But the US insists on hanging on to the fantasy that it can call all the shots in that region.

    • I agree. Even if Iran were to attempt the manufacture of a bomb, they would have to kick the IAEA out which would show others their intentions.

  22. Professor Cole, I really enjoy your objective and fact based articles. Keep up the good work in raising public awareness. We really don’t need another war, specially given the unstable situation the middle east is currently going through. War with Iran will open up a Pandora box and the fire will surely reach US soil, by then the price of gas will be the least of our worries as US will sink into its greatest depression.

  23. This whole business is really quite disgusting. The sanctions under which the Iranian people are struggling to survive are a replay of what was done to the Iraqis between the wars in the Gulf. Perhaps when a million and a half Iranian children die of hunger, the US-Israeli war against Iran can begin. This is as cowardly as was the Anglo-American destruction of Iraq. Is it any wonder that the West is in shameful decline?

  24. Why do Mr. Cole and other American liberals insist on defending a theocratic reactionary regime whose brutal crackdown on their democracy movement consisted of kidnapping, torture, and murder? Do you believe Ahmadinejad when he says that the 2009 crackdown was irrelevant, too? Take the supreme leader at his word, and you can believe Ahmadinejad, too, if you like, but the rhetoric of their regime is war like and driven by beliefs of aging followers of a crazed end times cult. If they do develop capacity to build a nuclear weapon, Iranian democracy is a lost cause and the pathetic anti war movement took every opportunity to help theocratic fascism destroy a great hope for peace in the middle east.

    • Good job! Hit all the talking points and shibboleths right square on the head! or is it square on the Right head?

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