George Bush once again accused Iran of continuing to “harbor and assist terrorists,” July 21, warning of the consequences. Israel, as well, on July 21, accused Iran of “trying everything” to get nuclear weapons, and that if it succeeded, it would threaten a far wider theatre than just the Middle East.
Obviously these allegations should be seen in the context of deepening crisis in Iraq and the planned meeting between Bush and Sharon. It should be noted that Israel has consistently argued that the U.S. take direct military action against Iran, and there are also powerful elements within the Bush administration pressing for another “regime change.”
While allegations circulate that the UN inspectors found enriched uranium in environmental samples, the stage is being set by the Bush administration to use WMDs as a “Weapon of Mass Deception,” whipping up fear to justify an attack or blatant interference in the internal affairs of Iran.
As in Iraq, Iran faces an immensely unpopular, despotic regime, which is increasingly isolated from its people, and is incapable of presenting any coherent strategy against the U.S. threats. However, the anti-American rhetoric of Iran’s reactionary rulers are seen by the majority of Iranians as hollow propaganda, which will ultimately play into the hands of the U.S. hawks.
The regime’s rhetoric, particularly when foolishly posturing its military capability, as in the case of provocative remarks last week by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is a dangerous bluff. Instead, the government should be moving in the opposite direction, depriving the Bush administration of any pretext for aggression.
The Tudeh Party recently stated that “all kinds of provocative policies and adventurism must be avoided … [the regime] through negotiation and cooperation with international organizations should greatly limit any grounds for military attack against Iran.”
In recent weeks, a number of experts and members of parliament in Iran have argued for accepting the International Atomic Energy Agency’s “additional protocol” in order to defuse international pressure. Tarkashvand, a member of Majlis (parliament) while expressing caution towards signing of stricter terms proposed under the “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” (NPT) stated: “It is in our national interest to prevent an international unanimity leading to passage of a UN resolution against Iran. … While the world’s opinion is against the proliferation of WMDs and their usage by countries such as Iran – through a realistic approach we must not provide anyone with any pretext [to invade].”
The U.S. military machine is equipped with an array of deadly and horrific weaponry, including a new generation of tactical nuclear devices. The Pentagon has officially stated the possibility of using its WMDs. Therefore the real nuclear threat in the region is from the U.S., not to mention the military dictatorship in Pakistan and the U.S.’s strategic ally, Israel, both of which are nuclear powers.
Iran is once again reaching a decisive juncture where the ruling regime is faced with both an internal and external crisis. U.S. imperialism is determined to directly influence the unfolding events in Iran. The exaggerated nuclear threat and Bush’s bogus support for Iran’s democracy movement are among the tools to ensure that future changes in Iran are in line with the administration’s strategic plans and economic interests, not democracy and development.
The people of Iran face a dual danger: On the one hand there is a growing threat from American militarism; on the other hand the reactionary rulers may unleash a bloody crackdown against the growing opposition. In both cases, the struggle for democracy will suffer the consequences and Iranian democrats will be the victims.
Gaining nuclear capability, particularly by a reactionary regime such as Iran’s, is objectionable to all progressive forces. However, all attempts must be made to prevent U.S. aggression and interference in Iran, while at the same time not providing any pretext of support for or lending any legitimacy to Iran’s repressive regime.
Nima Kamran is a correspondent from the Tudeh Party of Iran and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org