Friday, 24 February 2012

Dismissing Khameini on non-nuclear intent

Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued an emphatic reminder that his country has no intention of building a nuclear bomb.

As reported by Press TV :  
"Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the Iranian nation has never sought and will never seek nuclear weapons as it has the capacity to challenge the nuclear-backed influence such powers rely on.

In a Wednesday meeting in Tehran with the director and officials of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and nuclear scientists the Leader described the country’s nuclear and technological achievements further in line with national interests and beneficial for the future of the country.

“The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.

“There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”

“If nations are allowed to independently make progress in the fields of nuclear energy, aerospace, science, technology and industry, there will be no room left for the tyrannical dominance of world powers,” said the Leader.

“Sanctions have been in place since the victory of the Islamic Revolution while the nuclear issue is a matter of the past few years; therefore their (the West) real problem is with a nation that has decided to be independent.”"
Khameini's words will, no doubt, be simply dismissed as deceitful lies peddled by Iranian state media.

But this clear reaffirmation poses ongoing problems for the West and its own propagandist outlets in rationalising the case for bombing a country that has shown no explicit  intention of acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Beyond much of the media's selective interpretation of Khameini's message, at least the LA Times reminds us of the consensus on Iranian non-intent that exists even across the US intelligence field: "U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bomb."

Little of this inconvenient assessment, also quietly shared by Israeli intelligence, seems enough to deter Israel's political leaders from launching an attack on Iran.

And while Khameini is cast as as a suspicious zealot still hiding Iranian nuclear ambitions, the Israeli leadership enjoys ongoing consent for its own non-declared nuclear holdings.

If only they were as open and consistent as Khameini. Imagine this from Netanyahu:

"Israel will abandon nuclear weapons because the Jewish state, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous."
While Khameini's reiterations are subject to crude political and media distortion, expect little similar discussion of Israel's own dark nuclear agenda - even from the 'quality' liberal media.

As Israeli fear-mongering and Western sabre-rattling intensify, Seumas Milne now seems like a lone voice at the Guardian in warning that "any attack on Iran would be an act of criminal stupidity."    

Any resolution of this conflict - as with so many others, in the Middle East and elsewhere - lies not in more bombs and more bombing, but in serious non-proliferation for all. Getting Israel to end its own nuclear capability and removing the vast number of US military installations surrounding Iran would go a long way to building peace and cooperation in the region. Alas, as relentless Western-Israeli warmongering shows, that prospect seems considerably more remote than any Iranian desire or realisation of a nuclear weapons capacity.  


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