America and Israel Greatest Threats to Peace

Imagine if Iran — or any other country — did a fraction of what American and Israel do at will. Noam Chomsky:

Why America and Israel Are the Greatest Threats to Peace

Why America and Israel Are the Greatest Threats to Peace

Iran is carrying out a murderous and destructive low-level war against Israel with great-power participation. Its leaders announce that negotiations are going nowhere. Israel refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow inspections, as Iran has done. Israel continues to defy the overwhelming international call for a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region. Throughout, Iran enjoys the support of its superpower patron.

Iranian leaders are therefore announcing their intention to bomb Israel, and prominent Iranian military analysts report that the attack may happen before the U.S. elections.

Iran can use its powerful air force and new submarines sent by Germany, armed with nuclear missiles and stationed off the coast of Israel. Whatever the timetable, Iran is counting on its superpower backer to join if not lead the assault. U.S. defense secretary Leon Panetta says that while we do not favor such an attack, as a sovereign country Iran will act in its best interests.

All unimaginable, of course, though it is actually happening, with the cast of characters reversed. True, analogies are never exact, and this one is unfair – to Iran.

Like its patron, Israel resorts to violence at will. It persists in illegal settlement in occupied territory, some annexed, all in brazen defiance of international law and the U.N. Security Council. It has repeatedly carried out brutal attacks against Lebanon and the imprisoned people of Gaza, killing tens of thousands without credible pretext.

Thirty years ago Israel destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor, an act that has recently been praised, avoiding the strong evidence, even from U.S. intelligence, that the bombing did not end Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program but rather initiated it. Bombing of Iran might have the same effect.

Iran too has carried out aggression – but during the past several hundred years, only under the U.S.-backed regime of the shah, when it conquered Arab islands in the Persian Gulf.

Iran engaged in nuclear development programs under the shah, with the strong support of official Washington. The Iranian government is brutal and repressive, as are Washington’s allies in the region. The most important ally, Saudi Arabia, is the most extreme Islamic fundamentalist regime, and spends enormous funds spreading its radical Wahhabist doctrines elsewhere. The gulf dictatorships, also favored U.S. allies, have harshly repressed any popular effort to join the Arab Spring.

The Nonaligned Movement – the governments of most of the world’s population – is now meeting in Teheran. The group has vigorously endorsed Iran’s right to enrich uranium, and some members – India, for example – adhere to the harsh U.S. sanctions program only partially and reluctantly.

The NAM delegates doubtless recognize the threat that dominates discussion in the West, lucidly articulated by Gen. Lee Butler, former head of the U.S. Strategic Command: “It is dangerous in the extreme that in the cauldron of animosities that we call the Middle East,” one nation should arm itself with nuclear weapons, which “inspires other nations to do so.”

Butler is not referring to Iran, but to Israel, which is regarded in the Arab countries and in Europe as posing the greatest threat to peace In the Arab world, the United States is ranked second as a threat, while Iran, though disliked, is far less feared. Indeed in many polls majorities hold that the region would be more secure if Iran had nuclear weapons to balance the threats they perceive.

If Iran is indeed moving toward nuclear-weapons capability – this is still unknown to U.S. intelligence – that may be because it is “inspired to do so” by the U.S.-Israeli threats, regularly issued in explicit violation of the U.N. Charter.

Why then is Iran the greatest threat to world peace, as seen in official Western discourse? The primary reason is acknowledged by U.S. military and intelligence and their Israeli counterparts: Iran might deter the resort to force by the United States and Israel.

Furthermore Iran must be punished for its “successful defiance,” which was Washington’s charge against Cuba half a century ago, and still the driving force for the U.S. assault against Cuba that continues despite international condemnation.

 

Iran copies captured US RQ-170 Sentinel drone

Iran unveils ‘indigenous’ drone with 2,000km range:

Iran unveils 'indigenous' drone with 2,000km range

Iran unveils ‘indigenous’ drone with 2,000km range

Iran has unveiled what it says is a new “indigenous” long-range unmanned drone capable of flying over most of the Middle East, state media report. The Shahed (Witness) 129 had a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles) and could be equipped with bombs and missiles, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said. It is reportedly capable of carrying out reconnaissance and combat missions. Last year, the Iranian authorities displayed a US drone which they claimed to have brought down electronically. The US insisted that Iran neither shot down the the RQ-170 Sentinel nor used electronic warfare or cyber-technology to force it from the sky. They blamed a malfunction. Later, the head of the IRGC’s aerospace programme, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said it was trying to build a copy of the drone. It is not clear whether the Shahed 129 bears any resemblance. Defences ‘ready’. The unveiling of the drone follows a major naval exercise in the Gulf by the US and its allies.

Iranian TV images of downed drone. 8 Dec 2011
Iran refused to return the US RQ-170 Sentinel drone it captured in December 2011. Thirty countries participated in the manoeuvres designed to test the international community’s capacity to deal with mines that could hamper shipping in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s oil supply is transported. The exercises took place amid heightened tensions between the West and Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme. On Monday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he was not concerned by the threat that Israel could launch a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. “Fundamentally we do not take seriously the threats of the Zionists,” he told reporters in New York. “We have all the defensive means at our disposal and we are ready to defend ourselves.” He also ignored a plea by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for both sides to avoid “incendiary rhetoric” by saying the modern state of Israel had “no roots” in the Middle East and would eventually be “eliminated”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently warned that Iran was only six or seven months from having “90%” of what it needed to make a nuclear bomb, and urged the US to draw a “red line” which if crossed would lead to military intervention. Iran insists its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes.

Canada is a dangerous place for Iranian citizens

Iran warns its citizens that Canada is a dangerous place:

 Iran warns its citizens that Canada is a dangerous place


Iran warns its citizens that Canada is a dangerous place

 

Tehran has officially warned its citizens and expatriates that Canada is a dangerous place in the latest swipe as both government’s trade accusations. So many Iranians live in Canada’s largest city that it’s often called ‘Tehranto’ among the moneyed elites in the Islamic Republic and thousands among the Iranian diaspora travel back and forth annually. But with relations so seriously soured between the two governments that Canada has closed its embassy in Tehran and kicked Iranian diplomats out of Ottawa, the ruling Islamic theocracy and the conservative Harper government are now trading insults in the form of travel advisories. “Avoid all travel,” the Harper government warned Canadians in the latest ‘red’ advisory. Not to be outdone, the Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday issued a stark warning about the risks for Iranians travelling to Canada. Tehran warned – for instance – of the risks of police violence, citing clashes between students and authorities in Montreal over threatened tuition increases. In the wake of the embassy closing, “Islamphobia and Iranphobia have not stopped in Canada, rather escalated over the past few days,” reported the semi-official news agency Irna, quoting from the Foreign Ministry travel warning. It added Iranian expatriates has been arrested and expelled and deprived of basic rights, including banking transactions – apparently a reference to financial sanctions imposed by Canada and other governments on Iran over its controversial nuclear program. Iran warned that murder and other violent crime was on the rise in Canada, adding that the forced closing of its embassy in Ottawa meant there were no diplomats available to assist Iranian citizens. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, has been strident in denouncing the Harper government in recent weeks. At one point he said the “hostile attitude of the Canadian racist government is …. dictated by the Zionist regime and the UK.” Meanwhile, Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird has called the Islamic Regime the greatest threat to world peace. In the battle of the travel warnings, Ottawa struck first. “In the context of heightened regional tensions, Iranian-Canadian dual citizens may be particularly vulnerable to investigation and harassment by Iranian authorities,” Ottawa said in its travel advisory posted online. It also warned about the risk of visitors and dual nationals getting swept up in protests. “On several occasions, demonstrations resulted in violent clashes. People near demonstrations have been assaulted, and deaths have been reported,” Canada’s warning said. In Tehran, the government took a not-so-veiled slap at the “Canadian government’s double-standard about human rights [which] has been the focus of the world and Canadian public opinion,” it said, an apparent reference to the Harper government’s staunch support of Israel. Few Canadians, other than those who hold dual citizenship or have family ties in Iran, have visited Iran in the decades since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. So Ottawa’s travel warning is aimed primarily at Iranian-Canadians. However, thousands of Iranians, both tourists on group tours and individual travelers have routinely visited Canada in recent years. The flow has been so significant that Ottawa used to assign additional consular officers to the Canadian embassy in Tehran to cope. That ended last spring as relations worsened and Ottawa told Iranians they would need to get visas issued in Turkey.