THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
May 28, 2010
Huffington Post

The Coming Iran War

by M J Rosenberg

It's happening again.

The same forces - with a few new additions and minus a few smart defectors - who pushed the United States into a needless and deadly war with Iraq are now organizing for the next war.

This time the target is Iran, which, just like Iraq, is said to be on the verge of creating weapons of mass destruction.

Also, just like Iraq, its president is a supposed madman determined to destroy Israel. . . .

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Non-Proliferation Treaty (July 1, 1968)
- Forbids the five member states with nuclear weapons from transferring them to any other state
- Forbids member states without nuclear weapons from developing or aquiring them
- Provides assurance through the application of international safeguards that peaceful nuclear energy in NNWS will not be diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices
- Facilitates access to peaceful uses of nuclear energy for all NNWS under international safeguards
- Commits all member states to pursue good faith negotiations toward ending the nuclear arms race and achieving nuclear disarmament.

Article X: Each Party shall in exercising its national sovereignty have the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country.

Enver Masud, "U.S. Violating Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," The Wisdom Fund, March 11, 2003

Simon Tisdall, "Ahmadinejad on Israel: Global Danger or Political Infighting?," Guardian, December 20, 2005

[The head of the U.N. nuclear agency warned Monday that as many as 30 countries could soon have technology that would let them produce atomic weapons "in a very short time," joining the nine states known or suspected to have such arms.--"U.N. Agency: 30 Countries Could Soon Have Nuclear Weapons," Fox News, October 16, 2006]

Joe Conason, "Regime Change: 'Seven Countries in Five Years'," Salon.com, October 12, 2007

Gordon Prather, "Iran's Sisyphean Task," Antiwar.com, March 1, 2008

[Iran's principal NPT obligation is to not "manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons," and to conclude a Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), covering certain NPT-proscribed "nuclear materials" in Iran and all activities involving their chemical or physical transformation, "with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons."

As a result of exhaustive on-the-ground inspections and on-site monitoring of Iranian Safeguarded activities, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei continues to "verify" the non-diversion of all Iranian NPT-proscribed materials.--Gordon Prather, "The U.S. Is Violating the NPT -- Not Iran," Antiwar.com, September 26, 2009]

Ron Paul, "Sanctioning Iran Is an Act of War," Antiwar.com, April 23, 2010

[Correspondents say the plan could revive a UN-backed proposal and may ward off another round of sanctions.--"Iran signs nuclear fuel-swap deal with Turkey," BBC News, May 17, 2010]

[Nearly 200 nations, signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), have agreed to work towards a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.

The members, meeting at the UN in New York, called for a conference in 2012 attended by Middle Eastern states - including Iran - to establish the zone.

The unanimously agreed document also said that Israel should sign the NPT.--"UN talks back conference on nuclear-free Middle East," BBC News, May 29, 2010]

"Israel rejects Middle East nuclear talks plan," BBC News, May 29, 2010

[The deployment is designed to act as a deterrent, gather intelligence and potentially to land Mossad agents.--Uzi Mahnaimi, "Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran," Sunday Times, May 30, 2010]

Hugh Tomlinson, "Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites," Times, June 12, 2010

"Saudi Arabia: We will not give Israel air corridor for Iran strike," Haaretz, June 12, 2010

[One ship left port on Sunday and another will depart by Friday, loaded with food, construction material and toys, the report said. The boats would be part of international efforts to break Israel's isolation of the Gaza Strip.--"Iranian aid ships head for Gaza," Reuters, June 14, 2010]

John Mearsheimer, "Israel's Nukes Harm US National Interests," antiwar.com, July 9, 2010

[In 2009 all sixteen US intelligence agencies issued a unanimous report that Iran had abandoned its weapons program in 2003.--Paul Craig Roberts, "Hillary Clinton's Latest Lies," antiwar.com, July 10, 2010]

[Americans have what many Iranians want: democracy, personal freedom, and rule of law. . . .

Pro-American sentiment in Iran is a priceless strategic asset for the US. A military attack would liquidate or at least severely weaken this asset. --Stephen Kinzer, "I Just Got Back From Iran," huffingtonpost.com, July 12, 2010]

[ . . . veterans of the Bush administration's pre-Iraq invasion propaganda offensive are clearly mobilizing their arguments for a similar effort on Iran, even suggesting that the timetable between campaign launch and possible military action - a mere six months in Iraq's case - could be appropriate.

"By the first quarter of 2011, we will know whether sanctions are proving effective," wrote Bush's former national security adviser Stephen Hadley and Israeli Brigadier General Michael Herzog in a paper published this month by the Washington Institute for Near Policy (WINEP), a think-tank closely tied to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).--Jim Lobe, "Hawks sharpen claws for Iran strike," atimes.com, July 13, 2010]

[Jundullah . . . aligned philosophically if not operationally with al Qaeda . . . is one of the several armed insurgent groups inside Iran being supported by the United States.--Chris Floyed, "Terror in Iran: Another Day, Another Atrocity in the World of Dirty War," chris-floyd.com, July 15, 2010]

Gareth Porter, "Why the CIA is Trying to Burn Amiri: Scientist Told Agency That 'Iran Has No Active Nuclear Weapons Program'," counterpunch.org, July 20, 2010

[ . . . the aim of Gerecht and of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale war with Iran.--Gareth Porter, "The Real Aim of Israel's Bomb Iran Campaign," antiwar.com, August 1, 2010]

[A powerful group within the United States, one with influence over the press and the ability to derail an investigation as was done with 9/11, has been "tasked" with laying the groundwork for a terrorist attack on America, one using nuclear material.--Gordon Duff, "Israel to use Iranian and Pakistani dupes in dirty nuke ploy," veteranstoday.com, August 2, 2010]

[It will be primarily an air attack with covert work to start a 'velvet' revolution so [the] Iranian people can take back their country," said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former fighter pilot.--Rowan Scarborough, "Pentagon has plan for attack: Bombers, missiles could end Iran nukes," washingtontimes.com, August 2, 2010]

[The drumbeats of war are getting louder by the day and, unless the public is fully informed of the potentially catastrophic consequences for the Middle East and the rest of the world, we may soon see another illegal war waged by the United States and Israel against a Muslim country -- in addition to all the secret and not-so-secret attacks against nations such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Some are even saying that the situation is eerily similar to the one right before the 1967 war between the Arab countries and Israel, when the entire Middle East was seething. This time, too, Israel is making sure that the drumbeats of war are as loud as possible.--Muhammad Sahimi, "The Drumbeats of War with Iran are getting Louder," pbs.org, August 2, 2010]

[The end would be an embarrassing retreat by the United States, and the definitive establishment of Iran as the dominant power of the Gulf region. That was the outcome of every wargame the Pentagon played, and Mike Mullen knows it.--Gwynne Dyer, "'There's no way for the U.S. to win a non-nuclear war with Iran'," straight.com, August 3, 2010]

[This can be stopped, but only if you (Mr. President) move quickly to preempt an Israeli attack by publicly condemning such a move before it happens . . .

The Israelis have been looking on intently as the U.S. intelligence community attempts to update, in a "Memorandum to Holders" of the NIE of November 2007 on Iran's nuclear program. It is worth recalling a couple of that Estimate's key judgments:

"We judge with high confidence that in fall of 2003 Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program. . . . We assess with moderate confidence Tehran has not restarted its nuclear program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons" . . .

Israelis are afraid that the long-delayed Memorandum to Holders of the 2007 NIE will essentially affirm that Estimate's key judgments. Our sources tell us that an honest Memorandum to Holders is likely to do precisely that, and that they suspect that the several-months-long delay means intelligence judgments are being "fixed" around the policy - as was the case before the attack on Iraq. . . .

We'll say it again: the objective is regime change. Creating synthetic fear of Iranian nuclear weapons is simply the best way to "justify" bringing about regime change. Worked well for Iraq, no?.--Ray McGovern, et al, "Former Intelligence Officers warn Israel may attack Iran this month and drag US into another war; discuss ways to stop it," israel-palestinenews.org, August 4, 2010]

[If any country in this world is a threat to use nuclear weapons with remarkably little regard for the consequences it's Israel. Martin van Creveld, an Israeli professor of military history, and loyal Israeli citizen, remarked in 2002: "We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that this will happen before Israel goes under."--William Blum, "Bombing Iran: Taking the World Down With Them," counterpunch.org, August 6, 2010]

[After reading through the Haaretz summary of Goldberg's article, it appears more likely that he is part of a campaign to push the Obama administration into authorizing a U.S. military strike rather than having any particularly believable scoops about an impending Israeli attack.--Eli Clifton, "Is Jeffrey Goldberg Trying To Rationalize Another Preemptive War In The Middle East?," lobelog.com, August 10, 2010]

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, "The Weak Case for War with Iran," foreignpolicy.com, August 11, 2010

[Iranians will remain sceptical until they see the Bushehr plant finally working and generating electricity, 35 years after the project was started under the Shah--"Iran nuclear plant start date set," BBC News, August 13, 2010]

[ . . . the whole fabric of the Middle East will unravel. This juggernaut would be unstoppable. After Iran, Syria would fall. After Syria, Saudi Arabia. It will be the classic domino game: Iran rejoiced when Iraq fell. Saudis wish Iran to fall. Israel wants all of them to fall. This is inscribed in their Clean Break paper and its source, Oded Yinon's paper, which they follow religiously.--Israel Shamir, "Fear Not," israelshamir.net, August 2010]

[ . . . the NAM statement challenges Amano by reminding him that Iran is within its legal right to object to certain inspectors and, what is more, does not have to "justify" its opposition.--Kaveh L Afrasiabi, "Non-Aligned Movement backs Iran," atimes.com, September 17, 2010]

[The US and the UN, acting upon no legitimate authority whatsoever, have demanded that Iran submit to an Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreement, which would ban any further enrichment on Iranian soil, as well as demanded they submit to an endless regime of IAEA inspections and questioning, based mostly on the "alleged studies" documents, which several sources have said are forgeries posing as a pilfered laptop of a dead Iranian nuclear scientist.

The bottom line is that Iran is still within its unalienable rights to peaceful nuclear technology under the NPT and the Safeguards Agreement - a point even Tehran's fiercest critics (grudgingly) acknowledge. The only issues it is defying are the illegitimate sanctions and demands of the US and UN, which themselves defy logic and sense.--Scott Horton, "Reality check: Iran is not a nuclear threat," csmonitor.com, September 17, 2010]

Mark Clayton, "Stuxnet malware is 'weapon' out to destroy ... Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant?," csmonitor.com, September 21, 2010

Parisa Hafezi, "Iran accuses West of unleashing computer attack on nuclear site," Reuters, September 27, 2010

[According to General Leonid Ivashov, former Joint Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, the Kremlin has turned its back on the country's strategic interests, throwing himself into the arms of the enemy.--Leonid Ivashov, "'In the Interests of Israel': Why Russia will not sell the S-300 Air Defense System to Iran ," Reuters, September 28, 2010]

[During the Iran hostage crisis, Iran only agreed to free the 52 trapped Americans after the United States pledged non-intervention in Iranian affairs. As stated in the 1981 Algiers Accords, "it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs."

However, the United States has not lived up this commitment. In 1995, American news media revealed a US$18 million covert effort by the CIA to destabilize Iran, confirming Iranian suspicions of the "Great Satan".--Rob Grace, "Covert ops sabotage US-Iran ties," atimes.com, October 24, 2010]

[I haven't read such an ill informed and morally bankrupt piece of "analysis" in quite some time (which is saying something). For starters, on what basis does Broder believe that "Iran is the greatest threat to the world?" The United States spends over $700 billion on defense each year; Iran spends a mere $10 billion. That amount is less than Greece, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, or Taiwan. As I've noted previously, Iran has no meaningful power-projection capabilities, and its main "weapon" is the ability to modest amounts of money and arms to groups like Hezbollah.--Stephen M. Walt, "What was David Broder smoking?," atimes.com, October 31, 2010]

[If the neighbors can live with Iran, why are we, with 5,000 nuclear weapons, 6,000 miles away, so fearful?

Israel calls Iran "an existential threat."

But Israel has 200 nukes and the planes, subs, and missiles to deliver them, while U.N. inspectors claim Iran has not diverted any of its low-enriched uranium for conversion to weapons-grade.--Patrick J. Buchanan, "Broder's Brainstorm," antiwar.com, November 2, 2010]

Arash Norouzi, "US Institute of Peace Corrects 'Iran Primer' Errors... Sort Of," antiwar.com, November 16, 2010

[The origin of the laptop documents may never be proven conclusively, but the accumulated evidence points to Israel as the source. . . .

Once the intelligence documents that have been used to indict Iran as plotting to build nuclear weapons are discounted as fabrications likely perpetrated by a self-interested party, there is no solid basis for the US policy of trying to coerce Iran into ending all uranium enrichment. And there is no reason for insisting that Iran must explain the allegations in those documents to the IAEA as a condition for any future US-Iran negotiations.--Gareth Porter, "Evidence of Iran Nuclear Weapons Program May Be Fraudulent," antiwar.com, November 18, 2010]

[Why should George W. Bush have been "angry" to learn in late 2007 of the "high-confidence" unanimous judgment of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon four years earlier?--Ray McGovern, "US Intelligence Thwarted Attack on Iran," antiwar.com, November 23, 2010]

Ian Black and Simon Tisdall, "Saudi Arabia urges US attack on Iran to stop nuclear programme," Guardian, November 28, 2010

Justin Elliott, "Iran hawks are crowing after the latest WikiLeaks dump, but they've been playing this game for two decades now," salon.com, November 30, 2010

Paul Craig Roberts, "Who, Precisely, Is Attacking the World?," atimes.com, December 1, 2010

Gareth Porter, "US papers twist Iranian missile tale," atimes.com, December 2, 2010

Ali Akbar Dareini, "Iran points finger at West again as murdered scientist is laid to rest," Independent, December 2, 2010

Scott Peterson, "WikiLeaks cable portrays IAEA chief as 'in US court' on Iran nuclear program," csmonitor.com, December 2, 2010

Chan Akya, "The value of a nuclear Iran," atimes.com, December 18, 2010

"Iran invites nations to tour its nuclear sites: Russia, China, the EU and allies among the Arab and developing world offered all-expenses-paid visit," Guardian, January 3, 2011

William J. Broad, John Markoff and David E. Sanger, "Israel Tests on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay," nytimes.com, January 15, 2011

AUDIO: Stephen Kinzer, "Time to Get Over the Iran Hostage Crisis," thedailybeast.com, January 19, 2011

Jason Ditz, "In Detailing 'Threat' WikiLeaks Cable Underscores Iran's Lack of Weapons Interest," antiwar.com, January 20, 2011

[As a former CIA analyst myself, it strikes me as odd that Clinton's speeches never reflect the consistent, unanimous judgment of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, issued formally (and with "high confidence") in November 2007 that Iran stopped working on a nuclear weapon in the fall of 2003 and had not yet decided whether to resume that work. . . .

Clinton basked in the applause of Israeli leaders and neocon pundits for blocking the uranium transfer and securing more restrictive UN sanctions on Iran - and since then Iran appears to have dug in its heals on additional negotiations over its nuclear program.--Ray McGovern, "The Push of Conscience and Secretary Clinton," counterpunch.org, February 24, 2011]

Rehmat Qadir, "How the 'NYT' swallowed the Stuxnet worm," mondoweiss.net, February 22, 2011

William J Broad and David E Sanger, "Iran Reports a Major Setback at a Nuclear Power Plant," nytimes.com, February 25, 2011

Mohamed ElBaradei, "The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times," Metropolitan Books (April 26, 2011)

"Inside Iran: What life is really like in Tehran," Independent, May 1, 2011

[Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that while Dagan was a man of many merits who had contributed immeasurably to the security of Israel, he "should not have shared that opinion with the public at large".--"Defense officials weigh in after former Mossad chief brands Iran strike a 'stupid' idea," Haaretz, May 8, 2011]

John Glaser, "Secret War on Iran May Hurt Reform Movement," antiwar.com, May 18, 2011

William O. Beeman, "Debunking the Top Seven Myths on Iran's Middle East Policies," truthout.org, May 21, 2011

"Seymour Hersh: Despite Intelligence Rejecting Iran as Nuclear Threat, U.S. Could Be Headed for Iraq Redux," democracynow.org, June 3, 2011

[One newspaper quotes him as saying that he, as head of Mossad, Yuval Diskin, the head of Sin Bet - the internal security agency, and Gabi Ashkenazi, the head of the army, could prevent Netanyahu and Barak from making mistakes but all three have left their positions and have been replaced by men chosen by the current government.--Conal Urquhart, "Israel government 'reckless and irresponsible' says ex-Mossad chief," Guardian, June 3, 2011]

[Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient who is now a candidate for the Presidency of Egypt, spent twelve years as the director-general of the I.A.E.A., retiring two years ago. In his recent interview, he said, "I don't believe Iran is a clear and present danger. All I see is the hype about the threat posed by Iran."--Seymour M. Hersh, "How real is the nuclear threat?," newyorker.com, June 6, 2011]

[As recently as February 2011, the IAEA has continued to state that there is no evidence that Iran is currently pursuing a nuclear weapons program, a finding that conforms to a 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE).

. . . Israel possesses enough nuclear weapons to destroy every major Middle Eastern city several times over. Like the U.S. and Russia, the Israeli nuclear threat is based on a triad of delivery systems: long-range bombers, ballistic missiles and submarines, with which it can target all of Europe and the Middle East, and much of Asia and Africa.--John Steinbach, "Comparing Israel's and Iran's Nuclear Programs," washington-report.org, July 2011]

Mahan Abedin, "Israel wages war on Iranian scientists," atimes.com, August 27, 2011

"Iranian nuclear power station 'begins generating electricity'," Reuters, September 4, 2011

Mehdi Hasan, "Why is Blair the peace envoy so desperate for war with Iran?," newstatesman.com, September 19, 2011

[U.S. and Israeli officials tell Newsweek that the GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators - potentially useful in any future military strike against Iranian nuclear sites - were delivered to Israel in 2009--Eli Lake, "Obama Sold Israel Bunker-Buster Bombs," thedailybeast.com, September 23, 2011]

[President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would stop producing 20 percent enriched uranium if it was guaranteed fuel supplies from abroad for a Tehran medical research reactor.--"U.S. cool on Iran atom offer, experts see chance," Reuters, October 3, 2011]

[Despite government budget pressures and international rhetoric about disarmament, evidence points to a new and dangerous "era of nuclear weapons", the report for the British American Security Information Council (Basic) warns. It says the US will spend $700bn (£434bn) on the nuclear weapons industry over the next decade, while Russia will spend at least $70bn on delivery systems alone. Other countries including China, India, Israel, France and Pakistan are expected to devote formidable sums on tactical and strategic missile systems.--Richard Norton-Taylor, "Nuclear powers plan weapons spending spree, report finds," Guardian, October 30, 2011]

[Every politician involved in this business should be locked in a room and forced to read the cuttings on Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade.--Simon Jenkins, "America's itch to brawl has a new target - but bombs can't conquer Iran," Guardian, November 3, 2011]

Uri Avnery, "Why Israel Will Not Attack Iran," counterpunch.org, November 3, 2011

"Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran," IAEA, November 8, 2011

James Reynolds, "Iran IAEA nuclear report deepens concerns," BBC News, November 8, 2011

[The UN atomic agency has "serious concerns" about Iran's nuclear activities, and has "credible" information Tehran may have worked on developing atomic weapons--"IAEA report: 'serious concerns' on Iran nuclear activities," Telegraph, November 8, 2011

Steve Gutterman, "Russia rails against release of IAEA Iran report," Reuters, November 8, 2011

[The report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published by a Washington think-tank on Tuesday repeated the sensational claim previously reported by news media all over the world that a former Soviet nuclear weapons scientist had helped Iran construct a detonation system that could be used for a nuclear weapon.

But it turns out that the foreign expert, who is not named in the IAEA report but was identified in news reports as Vyacheslav Danilenko, is not a nuclear weapons scientist but one of the top specialists in the world in the production of nanodiamonds by explosives.--Gareth Porter, "'Soviet nuclear scientist' a rough diamond," atimes.com, November 11, 2011]

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