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Iran and its multiple diversions

By Abolghasem Bayyenat - posted Tuesday, 7 February 2012


We live in an ironic world! You have only needed to follow the headlines of mainstream Western media over the past several weeks to share the same impression with me. Iran’s nuclear program has occupied a central place in the reports of mainstream Western media while demonization of Iran has reached unprecedented levels. Suspicions and speculations about Iran’s nuclear program are sold to the public as undisputable facts and the military threats of a hypothetically nuclear-armed Iran are magnified out of proportions.

Constant reports of imminent Israeli military strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities are working to remove the stigma around their possibility and gradually habituate world opinion to the eventuality of such an illegal and adventurous military action by Israel or the U.S.

These developments are reminiscent of the propaganda strategies of mainstream American media in the prelude to the U.S. war on Iraq in 2003, psychologically preparing domestic and international opinion for the catastrophes that were soon to be unleashed under the leadership of the former president of the only superpower of the world, George W. Bush.

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While excelling in the arts of distortion, the dominant discourse of the mainstream Western media on Iran has also worked effectively to push out of public sight some of the basic facts about Iran and Israel.

At the risk of stating the obvious, restating a few facts are in order in the midst of the ongoing media attention to Iran’s nuclear program.

Many tend to forget the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reiterated many times, including in its latest periodic report, that there is no evidence that Iran’s nuclear program has been diverted to military purposes and that it has continued to verify the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities.

It also tends to be forgotten that all Iran’s nuclear facilities are under constant surveillance and monitoring by the IAEA and that there is no possibility of military diversion of Iran’s nuclear activities without it being discovered by the IAEA far enough in advance to prevent such a scenario.

Another fact which tends to be ignored is that possessing nuclear fuel cycle technology is not equal to having the capacity to build nuclear bombs and that producing nuclear weapons requires many other components and technologies than just being able to enrich uranium.

What also tends to remain out of sight is the fact that many other countries in the world also possess far more advanced and extensive nuclear enrichment facilities than Iran, without raising any hysteria in Western governments. It also tends to be forgotten that, as a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is entitled to peaceful nuclear technology, including the full nuclear fuel cycle.

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The current Western double standard towards Iran, a country which has been in no material breach of its obligations under the NPT despite being subject to a series of disproportionate illegal punitive sanctions by the UN Security Council, and a country which has never launched any military attacks against any country in its modern history and has actually been a forgotten victim of weapons of mass-destruction by Saddam’s regime, can not be justified on any legal or moral grounds.

On the other hand, the current mainstream Western media campaigns, including their reports of imminent Israeli military attacks on Iran, regardless of their habituating and normalising effects, also have the effect of exonerating the Israeli regime itself and ignoring the genuine threat that it poses to regional peace and stability.

Thanks to mainstream Western media campaigns and the political maneuvering of Israeli and Western political leaders, world attention has effectively been diverted from the more fundamental issues of the continued Israeli occupation of Palestine and its monopoly of nuclear weapons in the region.

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About the Author

Abolghasem Bayyenat is an independent political analyst and is currently completing his Ph.D studies in political science at Syracuse University. His articles and commentaries have appeared in a dozen of newspapers and online journals. He has also recently launched his weblog Iran Diplomacy Watch, where he will be covering Iran’s foreign policy developments on a regular basis.

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