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Iran and Nuclear Weapons

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    "Iran is the only NPT signatory in the world -- the only one -- that cannot convince the IAEA that its nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes," President Obama

    Iran has said its nuclear program is for civilian energy purposes, which is permitted under the Nonproliferation Treaty. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have been unable to verify Tehran's intent.

    Is this disturbing, a coutry that we have a war going on in seems to be building nuclear warheads?

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    1. The US is at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. This article is about Iran. This is basic information that should be known by this point in time.

    2. No, Iran cannot convince the IAEA. Neither than many other countries, including the US. So why is Iran being singled out? They haven't started a war (aka "war of aggression") in about 250 years. Other countries that cannot convince the IAEA of their peaceful purposes either relish in starting a war (or 2) every decade or so, and that's just their recent history.

    3. If you look at the terms of the NPT, Iran has violated a limited few. Other countries, on the other hand, including those who wield global power, have violated almost very one. From a rationale perspective, if violations signify threats, wouldn't those countries who have more violations across the board pose a greater threat?

    4. Now moving beyond the NPT system ... What about countries who refuse to sign the NPT and cannot convince the IAEA either (but it doesn't matter since they're not signatories)? Threats to humanity don't necessarily come with signatures. Also, realize that this (yet another) obvious double standard sends the wrong message to Iran: If they remove their name from the NPT, then they won't need to prove anything to the IAEA, rendering this whole argument about the IAEA's approval null.

    What I find disturbing is the hypocrisy in a policy that doesn't exist to better humanity by ensuring safety, but rather exists to engage in paternalistic posturing between nation-states that disrupts the peaceful coexistence (of everyone on the planet beyond the inhabitants of those 2, 3, 4, or so nation-states) to no end.

    On a last note, Iran does not possess the abilities to refine the oil that comes from its own wells. It must export crude oil and import gasoline. This, to me, does not scream such a highly sophisticated technological infrastructure to be able to produce nuclear weapons. In addition, the weapons for their military are imported from Russia (and they're used!).

    So, what's the real purpose behind Iran-mania?
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    Jamie Wrote:

    So, what's the real purpose behind Iran-mania?

    Jamie raises some good points about the IAEA, the NPT and Iran.  While we cannot fully know Iran's ultimate intentions, if past history is any indication, then one must respect the peaceful nature of their nuclear program. But addressing Jamie's final point, why indeed is Iran the target?  Is it only about nuclear weapons?  Or is it their support for Hezbollah in Lebanon against Israel?

    I see some parallels between the heated rhetoric leading up to the Iraq War and the current rhetoric against Iran. Obama is pursuing sanctions as an alternative to the hardliners who would readily pursue military action if they were in power. I personally don't see Iran as a threat to our country. But like Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Iran under the hard line Islamic leadership is seen as a threat to Israel.

    The Israel Lobby in the USA exerts considerable influence over our members of Congress and the media.  Only Barack Obama is standing in their way. If John "bomb bomb Iran" McCain was President, it would be a different story.

    One final point that I should make.  Americans seem to think our history with Iran started with the embassy hostage situation.  Actually it started many years earlier in 1953 when the CIA and the British M16 helped orchestrate a coup called Operation Ajax against the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. Why did they do it? Because Mosaddegh, with the full support of the Iranian parliament, nationalized the Iranian oil fields.  I won't go into all the history but you can read a summary in Wikipedia, 1953 Iranian coup d'état. What followed was a 25 year dictatorship under Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi supported by a CIA trained secret police force SAVAK, which is infamous for its brutality against its own citizens.  It had all the earmarks of fascism, and it was fully supported by successive American governments.

    It is a black mark on Iran's history.  It's a black mark on America. And Iranians haven't forgotten.
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    Ok, so you found a MEMRI translation of Ahmadinejad. And now, how does that connect to the topic?

    Also, how familiar with Persians and Persian culture, traditional and modern, are you? I only ask the 2nd question because it seems that you have not yet realized the custom of fiery rhetoric without action - since, of course, Iran has been politically castrated for decades. Just because you hear a lot of words doesn't mean you've seen any action, which you haven't and neither has anyone else. Again, Iran hasn't attacked anyone in over 250 years ... unlike the US. And, to be honest, I'd prefer the empty words, rather than the silent action - if those are my choices.

    Iran is not a problem for other countries. It is a problem for its own people, as some of its domestic actions and policies are deplorable. But also don't think that Iranians want revolution; they'd prefer reform within the system, rather than complete destruction of everything, even the things that work, as a result of another revolution and perhaps another foreign attack (referring here to the attack initiated by US-backed S. Hussein after the Revolution in '79). Furthermore, Iranians would like to normalize relations between the US and Iran, and so would the government, but it will not do so under humiliating conditions imposed by the Global Police Father who the US tries to be. As a reasoning person, I'm sure you would not want that either.

    Moreover, if you take this instance to guide the conversation to Iran's domestic policies, then consider/research the dynamic, though mostly unidirectional, relationship between US foreign policy toward Iran and Iranian domestic policies.

    To understand what informs my perspective, I visit Iran once or twice a year and have had sustained contacts with Iranians and Afghans living in and out of the US since 2003, so this is my experiential education. Academically, I'm well read in Middle Eastern and Asian societies, cultures, and religions, and this study began in 2000. My area of interest in Central Asia, as it permits me to study all of Asia in its flow of human activity and ideas.

    There is a great diversity of identities of and of opinions among Iranians, which is greatly correlated to if/when they left Iran and when. But, I'm relating the one most typically espoused by Iranians in Iran, as they would suffer from annihilation, so I feel it's more significant in the context of this thread. They, like most humans, just want to live in their bubble, like Americans do, without worrying about having bombs dropped on them, their banking system collapsing, facing travel restrictions, or simply being humiliated at the embassies and/or consulates (seriously, the treatment they and others receive is perhaps one of the worst faces of the 'rationale' US). Sanctions only seriously affect the 'everyday' Iranians, which again demonstrates the inhumanity and/or incompetence of US administrators to effectively and fairly recast our foreign policy toward (or should I be so naive to say 'with'?) Iran. Given Persian history and geographical location in Asia, they have been and continue to be a very open people to foreign ways and customs, and possess an ability to easily meld the new with the old in a manner that exposes the current national debates in the US about immigration, Islam, etc. for the ridiculousness that they are. This is one of Iran's strengths.

    Americans live a privileged existence, but it is my hope that they can tap into their humanity to see the inhumanity that is committed in their name, regardless of the words that are used to neutralize the soft or hard terror of the actions.

    Netnet, Iran is not a threat, and only a person espousing opinions without facts, evidence, and reasoning could state otherwise.
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    In thinking about Jamie's response, I agree with everything he says.  I have never had the privilege of visiting Iran, but my wife and I have lived 16 years in foreign countries including three in Libya in the early 1970s. Both of our children were born overseas. I cherish those cultural experiences as they provided me with a positive perspective of other nationalities, cultures and languages.  In Libya, in particular, I will always appreciate the kindness and generosity of the Libyan people in inviting us into their homes and otherwise making us feel welcome in their country.

    When we traveled back home in the 70s, my mother expressed worry about our safety as she listened to news reports of Gaddafi's anti-American and anti-Israeli speeches.  However, I told her not to worry...we never felt unsafe or threatened by Libyans in our wandering through the old souks of Tripoli or traveling in the countryside to view old Roman ruins or shopping in the markets. My observance of the Libyan people in every day life then so reminded me of the things that Americans and other cultures value...a pursuit of happiness without outside threats of violence.

    Many Americans live in a bubble of ignorance when it comes to understanding other cultures, religions and their politics.  Yet our country has been enriched by waves of immigrants over centuries. One only needs to look at the contributions to our society that these immigrants have brought to America. Just Google wikipedia websites...Jewish-Americans or Iranian-Americans or Arab-Americans or Afghan-Americans or Chinese-Americans or Vietnamese-Americans or Cuban-Americans or Mexican-Americans...the list goes on and on...Germans, Italians, French, Irish, Norwegians, Finns (my ancestors), Swedes, Japanese, Russians, Indians, Pakistanis, Africans, Latinos...and many more, and you will find how they have melded into and enriched our society...our academic institutions, commerce, sports, arts and humanities, sciences, finance, agriculture, food and drink, and yes politics and religion.

    So it puzzles me...the xenophobia...the religious intolerance...the hate...that my fellow Americans can show to not only other nationalities but also to others in our society...the LGBT community...Native Americans (the only real Americans)...and yes liberals!!!! It makes me feel ashamed to hear a John McCain making light of wanting to bomb Iran...the Iranian people...and I want to apologize for his ignorance and hate. When I read about the abuse that the Iranian secret police inflicted upon their own people for 25 years, it makes me feel ashamed to know that our CIA was intrumental in setting up SAVAK. It makes me feel ashamed to hear a Fox News pundit claiming "all terrorists are Muslims." It makes me feel ashamed to see the photos of Abu Ghraib prisoners being tortured by Americans. It makes me feel ashamed to hear fellow Americans demean and mock those in the LGBT community. And when I read about the Sand Creek Massacre of innocent Native Americans just south of my city of Colorado Springs, I feel ashamed that "my kind" did those heinous things 134 years ago in an act of ignorance and hate.  The shame list can go on and on...past and present.

    On the other hand, while there are those that engage in hate, many other American people share the pride of the diversity of our ethnicity, culture and religions that our immigrants brought with them and define what we want America to be. They embody the ideals of the "American Dream."  These are the real minded, empathetic and tolerant of those that are different, yet critical of our government when it doesn't live up to those ideals, much the same as the Iranian people are voicing their displeasure with their government today.

    I won't get into all the factors that drive is very complex. But much of the current wave of hatred is certainly being stirred up those driven by greed and power ...the plutocrats that worship money, those on the fringe of the Christian right who deny the LGBT community equality, white supremicists, and those hate profiteers in the media...Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and others.

    So yes Jaime. I too hope that we can tap into that part of American humanity that recognizes and condemns those acts of inhumanity that are being committed by our fellow citizens in our name.  That's what I will do not only on voting day, but also in exposing the hate mongers for what they are in this website.

    "As long as you hate, there will be people to hate." -- George Harrison
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    The Iranian Student Protestors are more American than half of all actual Americans.....
    Tone down the rhetoric and  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will fall.....He's only in power because we attacked Afghanistan and Iraq.....

    And they have every right to a nuclear weapons program and they would be idiots not to pursue their own bomb program.....
    ...our position is madness......its fuck you and do what we say or we may kill you; and judging by Iraq's case, we may kill you anyway...
    ...uh... where is the incentive to disarm, Iraq did .....and guess what? we blew them up anyway!  

    Too angry to think. end communication.
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    The article below, written by Stanley Troutman, appeared in the paper today:

    Sept. 26 is International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, a day designated by the United Nations to draw attention to one of its oldest goals: achieving global nuclear disarmament. It is also the original founding mission of my organization, Physicians for Social Responsibility.

    Nuclear weapons make us less, not more, safe. Since their existence, they’ve posed one of the gravest threats to public health and human survival. According to U.N. estimates, 14,500 nuclear weapons remain. That’s enough to completely destroy the Earth.

    On Sept. 26, 1983, Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov made a split-second decision.

    He deemed an apparent missile attack from the United States to be an error, refusing to trigger a counterattack and thus averting a potential nuclear war.

    If Petrov hadn’t made that personal judgment, we might not even be here to advocate for a world free of nuclear weapons.

    We’ve ushered in a new nuclear arms race, with President Trump announcing his intention to “out-innovate” other nuclear-armed nations and withdrawing from critical international arms control treaties.

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    Yes, you only need idiots like Trump and his even nuttier cronies in power. Thank you deplorable idiots! Go back to school! Oh, I forgot there is no money for schools; it goes to the army instead as well more "nukes". Indeed an "brainless" country!
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    It is interesting to look back at what we wrote on this website in 2010. My views on Iran have not changed. I know many Iranian-Americans, many of whom immigrated to the USA around the Iranian revolution. Their loss was our gain. They are highly educated, excelling in business, academia, science, the arts, and entertainment. Most have assimilated quite well and have been "Americanized" whatever that term might mean. Just take a look at this list of notable Iranian-Americans. It is impressive:

    Notable Iranian-Americans

    On the other hand, when I think of notable Saudi-Americans I draw a blank. Perhaps it's because they have not really assimilated into our society having been indoctrinated at a very young age into Wahhabism (an extreme form of Sunni Islam). I have referenced Harold Rhodes article, Can Muslims Reopen the Gates of Ijtihad? before in this website as it pertains to Saudi Arabian society in particular.

    "The exercise of critical thinking and independent judgment – or Ijtihad --was an important way to address questions in the early centuries of Islam. After approximately 400 years, however, the leaders of the Sunni Muslim world closed the "Gates of Ijtihad;" Muslims were no longer allowed use itjihad to solve problems. If a seemingly new problem arose, they were supposed to find an analogy from earlier scholars and apply that ruling to the problem that arose. From the 10th century onwards, Sunni Muslim leaders began to see questioning as politically dangerous to their ability to rule. Regrettably, Sunni Muslim leaders reject the use of itjihad to this day."

    My observation is that Iranians are much more into critical thinking than Saudis who seemingly adhere to constraints imposed on their thinking by Wahhabism...and the lack of itjtihad.

    Maybe that's why Trump and Republicans like them so much.

    America is backing the wrong side when we side with Saudi Arabia. However, it may be difficult to bring back the friendly Iran that predated the Shah when America, in Operation Ajax, overthrew the democratically elected government in Iran to get to their oil.

    The CIA has a term that applies...blowback.

    My opinion...

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    Schmidt, your opinion is correct; I did work there for the Iranian government in the 70's; they were well educated at that time and had money to spent; I sold them millions of aircraft parts for their F27 "troopships" . The times sure have changed!!
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    There are several languages that are spoken in Iran:

    Did you pick up any Farsi when you were there?