The Telegraph in an article from Tuesday, 23 April 2013, warns everybody that Britain and US 'risk repeating Iraq invasion mistake with Iran'. Some would say it is a fair warning. But, is it?
"The same sort of lies and falsehoods are being uttered about Iran as were told about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction ten years ago, and in some cases by the same people."Manipulation of some kind? Let us take a look at what they are saying.
I would expect a respectable news deliverer as "The Telegraph" to have a clearer picture of the recent past and of the present. The facts are that the Baathist regime in Baghdad had a history of hiding a nuclear program (maybe not at the time of the invasion, but they clearly had a history); attach that history to an almost continuous state of war, repeated obstructions to the IAEA inspection teams, violent suppression of any political opposition (or, does anybody doubt that?) and a belligerent rhetoric, and you have a loose cannon. Up until now it is not complicated; the complications arise in interpreting all these facts, in developing policies to minimize, eliminate or quarantine the potential "time-bomb". Yes, they chose muscle over diplomacy, they fabricated, manipulated or misinterpreted "evidence" and they pictured everything in the color of "do or die". Divergent reports on WMD programs or connections to terrorist organizations, some of which were really far-fetched, were sidelined or disregarded. There was a huge media offensive in support of a "muscular" course of action. The psychedelic atmosphere was fueled daily, and we were fed tons of assumptions painted as facts. Some of us were able to see behind the smoke screen, but the vast majority bought the story and when majority was won, the ball started to roll downhill.
Connecting Iraq with Al-Qaeda was a huge blunder; the very idea that a repressive dictator would support an organization that undermined his very own authority is ridiculous.
In the midst of comparisons with those times and those decisions, some are simply not capable of seeing through a new smokescreen, but this time covering the other side. Maybe out of fear of repeating past mistakes, maybe out of an incapacity to see the differences between Baathist Iraq and Iran of now, there is tendency of generalizing instead of analyzing. A generalizing attitude that would induce a a tendency to either put Iran under the same assumption that led to military initiative in Iraq or, on the other extreme, start from a set of opposing assumptions.
"Nobody can say with certainty that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons in secret. But it would be very hard for them to do so. This is because the country is a fully signed up member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has for the most part obediently respected its provisions, and continues to do so today.Indeed, nobody can say with certainty that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons in secret. Well, they (Iranian government) can tell us all if they do, and even more, they can prove it. Instead, they chose to point fingers at Israel (not that I agree with their nuclear program). Apart from that, Israel is not a party to the NPT, neither are India or Pakistan, so they are not obliged to report to it. DPRK has left the treaty too. Iran didn't.
This means that Iran's enrichment facilities are open to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), as are its other nuclear facilities. Over many years the IAEA has verified that no nuclear material has been diverted from these facilities for possible military purposes.
Most experts consider that it would be impossible for Iran to produce weapons-grade uranium for a bomb without being spotted by IAEA inspectors.
It is certainly true that the IAEA is currently in dispute with Iran over some of its nuclear activities. But it is not in breach of its NPT commitments, and here the contrast with India and Israel, both allies of the west, is so very striking. Their nuclear facilities are almost entirely closed to international inspections, and Israel is in open defiance of UN security council demands to make them available for inspection.
The unfairness (grotesque from an Iranian point of view) is glaring.
Iran, which has no nuclear weapons, is the object of ferocious economic sanctions and threats of military action. By contrast Israel (with perhaps 400 nuclear bombs and the capacity to deliver them anywhere in the Middle East) is the object of more than $3 billion a year of US military aid."