April 23, 2010

Sanctioning Iran Is an Act of War

Before the US House of Representatives, April 22, 2010, Statement on Motion to Instruct Conferees on HR 2194, Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act.

by Ron Paul

I rise in opposition to this motion to instruct House conferees on HR 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, and I rise in strong opposition again to the underlying bill and to its Senate version as well. I object to this entire push for war on Iran, however it is disguised. Listening to the debate on the Floor on this motion and the underlying bill it feels as if we are back in 2002 all over again: the same falsehoods and distortions used to push the United States into a disastrous and unnecessary one-trillion-dollar war on Iraq are being trotted out again to lead us to what will likely be an even more disastrous and costly war on Iran. The parallels are astonishing.

We hear war advocates today on the Floor scare-mongering about reports that in one year Iran will have missiles that can hit the United States. Where have we heard this bombast before? Anyone remember the claims that Iraqi drones were going to fly over the United States and attack us? These "drones" ended up being pure propaganda - the UN chief weapons inspector concluded in 2004 that there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein had ever developed unpiloted drones for use on enemy targets. Of course by then the propagandists had gotten their war so the truth did not matter much.

We hear war advocates on the floor today arguing that we cannot afford to sit around and wait for Iran to detonate a nuclear weapon. Where have we heard this before? Anyone remember then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's oft-repeated quip about Iraq, that we cannot wait for the smoking gun to appear as a mushroom cloud?

We need to see all this for what it is: Propaganda to speed us to war against Iran for the benefit of special interests.

Let us remember a few important things. Iran, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has never been found in violation of that treaty. Iran is not capable of enriching uranium to the necessary level to manufacture nuclear weapons. According to the entire US Intelligence Community, Iran is not currently working on a nuclear weapons program. These are facts, and to point them out does not make one a supporter or fan of the Iranian regime. Those pushing war on Iran will ignore or distort these facts to serve their agenda, though, so it is important and necessary to point them out.

Some of my well-intentioned colleagues may be tempted to vote for sanctions on Iran because they view this as a way to avoid war on Iran. I will ask them whether the sanctions on Iraq satisfied those pushing for war at that time. Or whether the application of ever-stronger sanctions in fact helped war advocates make their case for war on Iraq: as each round of new sanctions failed to "work" - to change the regime - war became the only remaining regime-change option. This legislation, whether the House or Senate version, will lead us to war on Iran. The sanctions in this bill, and the blockade of Iran necessary to fully enforce them, are in themselves acts of war according to international law. A vote for sanctions on Iran is a vote for war against Iran. I urge my colleagues in the strongest terms to turn back from this unnecessary and counterproductive march to war.


Ron Paul is a U.S. Congressman from Texas. He ran for President of the United States in 1988 as the nominee of the Libertarian Party, and again in 2008 as a candidate for the Republican nomination.

Gordon Prather, "The U.S. Is Violating the NPT -- Not Iran,", September 26, 2009

[Iran made an offer to the US to recognize Israel, help broker a two-state peace solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and end Iran's support of armed groups in the Middle East region, all in return for the US accepting Iran as what the 70-million population nation unarguably is: a legitimate power in the region . . .

nuclear experts scoff at the notion that a nuclear Iran would initiate an attack on Israel, the only nuclear power in the Middle East, with an estimated 200 high-grade nuclear weapons, and a first-rate delivery system of missiles and supersonic bombers.--David Lindorff, "Demonizing Iran: U.S. Media Continue Beating War Drums,", April 23, 2010

[The NPR describes the role of U.S. nuclear weapons in those contingencies as a "deterrent".--Gareth Porter, "U.S. Nuclear Option on Iran Linked to Israeli Attack Threat,", April 26, 2010]

Jason Ditz, "Where's the Outrage Over US Nuke Threat?,", April 26, 2010

[It is clear that the neo-cons are holding Obama hostage and issuing a thinly veiled threat by repeating the mantra that the only way to save his political career and his presidency is to attack Iran. There is undoubtedly a mountain of dirt being held back regarding Obama's past that is being used to blackmail the President into following the new world order agenda - the same as with any President before him.--Paul Joseph Watson, "Blackmail: How The Controlling Elite Owns Politicians,", April 26, 2010]

"President Ahmadinejad's Statement at 2010 Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations,", May 3, 2010

[If there was ever a person who had every right to endorse a U.S.-led campaign to oust the current Iranian regime, Akbar Ganji is that person. And yet he cautions American officials to adopt a very different course.--Ted Galen Carpenter, "Dealing with Iran," National Interest, May 14, 2010]

[Following mediation by Brazil and Turkey, the foreign ministers of the three countries signed a "joint declaration" in the presence of their heads of states by which Iran has agreed to "deposit" 1,200kg of low enriched uranium (LEU) in Turkey where the fuel "would [remain the] property of Iran".

If the six big powers - the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - agree to the new deal, Iran would transfer its fuel to Turkey within one month and expect to receive 120kg of higher grade uranium over one year, according to a statement.--Monavar Khalaj, Najmeh Bozorgmehr, and James Blitz, "Iran to deposit nuclear fuel in Turkey," Financial Times, May 17, 2010]

[A day after Turkey and Brazil announced an Iran nuclear fuel swap, the US says it has secured the support of all five permanent UN Security Council members - including Russia and China - for Iran sanctions.--"US answer to Iran nuclear swap: Overnight deal on sanctions," Christian Science Monitor, May 18, 2010]

Jason Ditz, "Iran's Uranium Stockpile: A Detailed Analysis,", May 18, 2010

Patrick J. Buchanan, "Take the Deal, Mr. President,", May 21, 2010

[ . . .the deal is quite similar to one proposed a few months ago by the United States. . . . the United States isn't ready to deal because the Obama Administration is afraid of Congress.--Robert Naiman, "US Media Censors US Support of Iran Fuel Swap,", May 25, 2010]

[The refusal of the Obama administration to embrace its own proposals not only undermines its credibility before its foes but also confuses its friends such as Brazil and Turkey.--Esam Al-Amin, "Obama's Doublespeak on Iran: Extending Hands or Clenching Fists?,", June 9, 2010]

["Because the Bush administration did such a good job of neutralizing the Bushehr reactor, we don't view it as a proliferation threat," said a White House official--Jonathan S. Landay, "Iran begins fueling nuclear reactor -- and that's good news," McClatchy Newspapers, August 20, 2010]

[The Bushehr project dates backs to 1974, when Iran's U.S.-backed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi contracted with the German company Siemens to build the reactor.--"Despite Sanctions, Iran Fuels First Nuclear Reactor,", August 21, 2010]

[The repeated refusal of Iranian offers of dialogue by successive United States administrations suggests that US foreign policy in the Middle East has been driven not by national interest but by the military-industrial complex's need for a constant, external threat to justify its huge share of the treasury.--Ismael Hossein-zadeh and Karla Hansen, "Why the US doesn't talk to Iran ,", September 30, 2010]

[China thus becomes the last major economy with significant investments in Iran's energy industry. Russia does not have major investments there and recently canceled the sale of an advanced antiaircraft missile to Iran, refunding the $900 million sticker price.--John Pomfret, "U.S. says Chinese businesses and banks are bypassing U.N. sanctions against Iran," Washington Post, October 18, 2010]

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