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Iran: Stepping up the threats

category international | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Friday August 03, 2012 13:23author by Yassamine Mather Report this post to the editors

Romney and Obama attempt to surpass each other in their threats against Iran and their obsequious support for Israel. Yassamine Mather looks at this, the effect of sanctions and how to respond to the CIA-funded Iran Tribunal. Full text at link.

It is mid-summer in an election year, so we should not be surprised by the hawkish statements regarding Iran coming from the US - not just from the Republican contender, Mitt Romney, but also the current US president. However, even when we take into account the timing, some of the statements Romney has just made in Jerusalem are more than worrying - and they have been matched by Barack Obama’s promises to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on the despatch of bunker-buster bombs to the Gulf region.1

According to the Financial Times, in a keynote speech delivered in Jerusalem, Mitt Romney stated that the US has a “moral imperative” to stop Iran - the “most destabilising country in the world” - from developing nuclear weapons.2 Earlier in the day one of Romney’s advisors, Dan Senor, had said: “If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision”.3 ...

As far as Iranians are concerned, the war started on July 1, when a combination of new EU and US sanctions came into effect. The result has been large numbers of job losses, long queues for basic food, riots and demonstrations - no wonder Iranians are convinced that the confrontation with the west has entered a new phase. Sanctions cover not just nuclear, missile and military exports to Iran, but also oil, gas and petrochemicals, plus refined petroleum products; shipping in general; and banking and insurance, including transactions with the Central Bank of Iran - its director, Mahmoud Bahmani, commented that sanctions are “no less than a military war”.7...

Some sections of the left, notably those influenced by US ‘regime-change funds’, claim that sanctions are actually a blessing. The population will be forced by the food shortages, absence of medical equipment and lack of jobs - not to mention the continued repression by the religious state - to rise up against the regime. Leaving aside the callousness of such wishful thinking, there is no direct correlation between the worsening of living conditions and the ability of the people to make revolution. The problem in Iran, as elsewhere, is in the absence of a truly nationwide organised working class movement, and in its absence the crisis could pave the way for the coming to power of the most dubious rightwing forces - or merely the transfer of power from one faction of the Islamic regime to another. ...

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author by pat cpublication date Fri Aug 03, 2012 21:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Full text at link.

The sanctions have devastated the daily life of ordinary Iranian people by bringing the price of goods to a skyrocketing height, making the students abroad unable to get financial assistance from their parents in Iran, rendering it impossible for the private companies to do international transactions and making it extremely difficult for Iranians to get visa for traveling to foreign countries. The " smart sanctions " even include a ban on the importing of medicine and foodstuff from the other nations to Iran .

In the previous weeks, I have been arguing with my editors in some of the American political journals to convince them that certain sensitive medicines as well as agricultural goods could not make their way to Iran as a result of sanctions. They wouldn't accept, telling me that such transactions were smoothly taking place. But now, I think they have credible evidence available, confirming that the hard-hitting sanctions are destroying the daily life of the poor, defenseless Iranians who should pay the price for the West's and Israel 's animosity with their government.

On May 6, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty quoted Iran's reformist daily Shargh as writing that the exportation of a great deal of vital medicines to Iran has been banned as a result of the sanctions. These medicines which Iran is not capable of producing include drugs for the treatment of cancer, heart and breathing problems, thalassemia, and multiple sclerosis.

Hamid Reza Emadi, an Iran-based political commentator also confirms that the latest round of sanctions imposed on Iran just a few days ago directly affect the lives of average Iranians who have nothing to do with the country's nuclear program. "This latest move by the U.S. Congress shows the extent to which Washington has become frustrated and now it is going to step up their pressure on Iranian civilians by preventing the country from importing agricultural products… Iran is a grain importer and the U.S. knows that and by creating obstacles in the way of grain exports to Iran , the U.S. is clearly committing crimes against humanity because it only affects ordinary Iranians who have got nothing to do with the country's nuclear energy program," Emadi said in an interview with Press TV .

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author by pat cpublication date Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Full text at link.

In 1945, the United States of America dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagaski immediately killing 120,000 civilians. The final death toll of the horrendous bombings has been conservatively estimated at well over 200,000 men, women, and children. To this day, the world continues to be shocked and horrified by the visual images that captured the death and destruction caused by the bombs. The negative impact prompted America to devise a different weapon of mass murder – sanctions.

Unlike the shock and horror which accompanied the atomic bombs dropped on Japan , there were no images of the 500,000 Iraqi children whose lives were cut short by sanctions to jolt the world into reality. Not only has America taken pride in the mass killing of innocent children, but encouraged by silence and the surrender to its weapon of choice, it has turned diplomacy's weapon of mass murder on another country – Iran .

There has been little resistance to sanctions in the false belief that sanctions are a tool of diplomacy and preferable to war. Enforcement of this belief has been a major victory for American public diplomacy. The reality is otherwise. Sanctions kill indiscriminately – they are far deadlier than “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” – the two atomic bombs that took the lives of over 200,000 people. In the case of Iraq , t he United Nations estimated 1,700,000 million Iraqi civilians died as a result of sanctions. 1.5 million more victims than the horrific atomic bombs dropped on Japan . Diplomacy's finest hour.

Even though Denis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, and many other top officials resigned from their posts in protest to the sanctions saying: "The policy of economic sanctions is totally bankrupt. We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple and as terrifying as that ", the murders continued. In 1999, seventy members of Congress appealed to President Clinton to lift the sanctions and end what they termed "infanticide masquerading as policy." But America continued its lead with its diplomatic death dance.

America , a morally bankrupt nation and the self-appointed global morality police, obeying the wishes of the pro-Israel lobby groups, has for years now pointed its deadly weapon of mass murder at Iran -- sanctions disguised as diplomacy. The misinformed and misguided global community indulges itself in the false belief that war has been avoided, without thought to suffering and death.

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author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sat Aug 04, 2012 13:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

..of the emerging pattern

and earlier iterations.

author by pat cpublication date Tue Aug 07, 2012 19:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Full text at link.

In continuation of the US-led illegal sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, Congress passed on Wednesday night a bill, which imposes more embargoes on the country including those on the parent companies of foreign subsidiaries violating sanctions as well adding penalties for those that help Iran’s petroleum, petrochemical, insurance, shipping and financial sectors.

Immediately, US Congressman Ron Paul expressed his vociferous opposition to the new sanctions and vilified them as “an act of war”, saying that the US is marching into war with Iran.

Paul said, "There is no evidence that Iran has ever enriched uranium above 20 percent." He also said the IAEA and CIA have determined that the Iran is not on the verge of building a nuclear weapon. “What we continue to be doing is obsess with Iran and the idea that Iran is a threat to our national security.”

It is transpiring gradually that a country does not need to wage a military war against another nation in an effort to paralyze it and that imposing brutal sanctions or tightening them can be well tantamount to an act of war.
The US war against Iran has already started. In fact, the US started its war long ago by imposing sanctions on the country when it was slowly recovering from the human and financial losses (roughly USD 600 billion) the Iraqi war had inflicted on the country, a war so shamelessly, vehemently and financially supported by Washington.

Later, reports revealed that the US government funneled through an Atlanta branch of Italy's largest bank, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro over USD 4 billion to Iraq from 1985 to 1989. The money, which was supplied to the regime of the despotic Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein, was used to buy military technology and arms. The CIA was reportedly privy to this gargantuan sum of money which was paid in the name of loan but concealed it from Congress. Part of the report carried by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) reads: "The House Banking Committee is conducting an investigation into over $4 billion in unreported loans the former employees of the Atlanta branch of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) provided to the government of Iraq between 1985 and 1990. The Committee's investigation has uncovered the fact that Henry Kissinger was on the International Advisory Board of BNL during that same time period and that BNL was a client of Kissinger Associates."

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