July 18, 2013
In her first appearance before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Samantha Power, Obama’s pick for next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, made clear that she will spend her time in the role much as her predecessor Susan Rice did: acting as Israel’s consummate defender, fear-mongering about Iran, and opposing any move to champion Palestinian human rights or self-determination.
In her confirmation hearing yesterday, Power revealed her adherence to AIPAC talking points, essentially working her way down the tried and true list of boilerplate phrases. Perhaps her most disturbing comments, however, were about Iran. She claimed that the Islamic Republic’s “continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is a grave threat to international peace and security,” echoing precisely George W. Bush’s own UN Ambassador, perennial Iran hawk John Bolton, who in 2006, insisted to the UN Security Council that Iran, by “continuing its pursuit of nuclear weapons…constituted a direct threat to international peace and security.”
In a renewed propaganda blitz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBS‘ Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” that Iran is getting “closer and closer to the bomb,” and resurrected a number of embarrassing phrases including “red line,” “credible military threat” and something about ticking clocks.
Here’s a reminder of why the Israeli Prime Minister’s CBS interview may actually have been a rerun…
On January 11, 1995, Benjamin Netanyahu told a nearly empty Knesset hearing that “within three to five years, we can assume that Iran will become autonomous in its ability to develop and produce a nuclear bomb, without having to import either the technology or the material.” His solution to this crisis? “[The nuclear threat] must be uprooted by an international front headed by the U.S. It necessitates economic sanctions on Iran,” he declared.
Embracing its recent removal from the U.S. State Department’s list of designated foreign terrorist organizations, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), an exiled Iranianterror cult with deep pockets and close ties to the Washington establishment, is attempting to ramp up the fear-mongering and propaganda over Iran’s nuclear program following last month’s election of moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani as the Islamic Republic’s next president.
In April 2013, the group opened an office in Washington DC and officially registeredas a lobbying organization the following month.
Now, a Reuters article from July 11, 2013 reported the MEK and its affiliate organizations such as the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) claim to have “obtained reliable information on a new and completely secret site designated for [Iran’s] nuclear project,” despite providing no credible evidence to back up the allegation.
An article in The Cairo Review by Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former ambassador who served as spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiating team from 2003 to 2005 under Hassan Rouhani, outlines five options for addressing the stand-off between the United States and Iran over the latter’s uranium enrichment and nuclear energy program. The most striking option Mousavian floats is that Iran could potentially “[w]ithdraw from the NPT and all WMD treaties” and merely “substitute the treaties with the supreme leader’s religious fatwa banning all WMDs.”
“This move,” Mousavian writes, “will relieve Iran of its treaty obligations, which have been used by the West to place further sanctions on Tehran,” adding, “Withdrawing from the NPT has become an increasingly attractive option within the decision-making circles of the country,” because, he argues, “since the 1979 Revolution, the NPT has proven more harmful than beneficial for Iran.”
This argument, surprisingly coming from such a consistently reasoned and rationaldiplomat like Mousavian, doesn’t actually make much sense. In fact, while it’s essentially the same suggestion that various Iranian parliamentarians have been making for a decade now out of frustration with Western duplicity and arrogance, Iranian policy towards the NPT has been consistent: as a charter member of the treaty, Iran abides by its tenets and will continue to do so.