Iran Deserves a Break

By Ershad Abubacker

The recent deal brought about by Brazil and Turkey that would see Iran ship most of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in a surprise nuclear fuel swap deal has put the US, Israel and its European allies to back foot with respect to bringing a sanction against Iran in UN Security Council. Though the deal, which was reached in talks with Brazil and Turkey, was similar to a U.N.-drafted plan that Washington and its allies have been pressing Tehran for the past six months, America has expressed its reservations and said its position on Iran has not changed.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reportedly said: “We have reached agreement on a strong draft with the cooperation of both Russia and China.” The sanctions agreement Ms. Clinton announced on last week was reached by the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China—the five permanent, veto-wielding members of the Security Council — plus Germany.

The fuel swap deal on the table since last October was flaunted as a way to diffuse the tensions and ensure Iran cannot build a bomb in the short term. The material returned to Iran in the form of fuel rods cannot be processed beyond its lower, safer levels. Iran needs the fuel rods to power a medical research reactor in Tehran that produces isotopes for cancer treatment. Though Iran, which claims its nuclear program is peaceful, dropped several of its key demands that had previously blocked the agreement, the United States and its European allies feels that the deal is too little now too late.

Before the Iranian populace is pushed in to the dark ages of economic sanctions and embargo, a careful analysis of history would reveal that there is little good yielded out of the previous restrictions of the same ilk imposed by the United States and the United Nations Security Council supported by it on countries including North Korea and Iraq.

The blood soaked balance sheet of American and United Nations Security Council imposed embargo on Iraq that lasted more than a decade after the latter’s Kuwait invasion left with both the pro-western media and the Iraqi establishment fighting it over the number of causalities of the long standing brawl. And the only gainers of the war being the huge multinational corporations who could make a murky deal with the American establishment for the ‘reconstruction’ of Iraq, just to find those reconstructed structures being damaged again by a war that ensued soon. Iraq was ambushed in the name of a fictitious ‘weapons of mass destruction’ that led to a series of non ending chaos that continues until today. And the result–people started losing the count of supposed to be ‘suicide attacks’ that happens in and out of Baghdad on a daily basis. Iraq was not a heaven or a citadel of democracy when the country was ruled by Saddam Hussain, but certainly Iraqis were able to dream about their future; a trait they have lost somewhere in the middle of this seven year ordeal.

The problem the United States and its European allies have with Iran today is not about Uranium enrichment. Those who claim that a nuclear Iran is a threat to Israel are fooling themselves. Iran comes no way a match for the mighty Israel whose security is guaranteed by millions of US tax dollars. The threat that Iran poses is that of a genuine democracy that defies the new world order. Iran being a sovereign country operates with in a semblance of law. The new world order has got capitalism as its religion with consumption being its way of life. Then there is the greatest threat of Iran willing to trade its oil wealth in any currency other than US Dollars that would see the already turbulent economy turned upside down for America. All the more Iran is united by the religion of Islam, however sectarian the mainstream media might report it to be. Contextually, it is essential for the new world order and the media supported by it to capitalize on any small dissent that comes out of Tehran and let the word spread across the whole world in unfathomable proportions so that the world public opinion is created against Iran. The astounding media attention the Iranian opposition parties got after the 2009 Iranian general electoral proves this point. No wonder Ms. Clinton recently said openly: „We are proceeding to rally the international community on behalf of a strong sanctions resolution that will, in our view, send an unmistakable message about what is expected from Iran.” By the way, don’t dare to ask—Are we really getting to see what is expected of United States?

The US feels that a key strategy to bring Iran in line with American interest would be to project Iran as an imminent threat to the whole world and, in particular, to the already volatile Middle East region. This needs some solid reasoning other than the public relation exercises done through the mainstream media, which is always at their disposal. This is where the god given gift of Uranium enrichment and nuclear Iran fits in to the scheme of things for America. When was the last time you remember Iran militarily invading another country? If your memory does not serve you right, here it is; Iran had its last confrontation with the then American supported Iraq, back in the eighties. Compare this with the track record of the United States, Israel, France, Britain and Russia, who have a bloody history of invading other countries on flimsy grounds. The International Criminal Court must not be a panel to convict the third world (read African) countries for its war crimes. Crime committed by any nation is a crime by itself and must be brought to justice.

With the very notable exception of the then apartheid South Africa, the track record of the sanction tool in changing anything or triggering a peace process in reality has been poor. Surely there must be some option between an all-out war and a slap on the wrist, preferably one that doesn’t contribute to thousands of needless deaths. Now that Iran has come to the way of negotiation and agreed to a fuel swap, the United States and its allies needs to rethink their stand that an UN Security Council sanction would be the cure for all ailments. Iran badly deserves a break.

– Ershad Abubacker is a research analyst based in Chennai. He contributed this article to Contact him at:

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