Iran and the P5+1 group held the latest round of talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, February 2013.
When I read that yet another so-called Non-Governmental Organisation is claiming to be ‘independent’, I reach for my dictionary. ‘Independent’, says the dictionary, means ‘free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or others; not governed by a foreign power; self-governing’ - which is certainly not true of the International Crisis Group.
The Group is a big NGO with one hundred and fifty four staff worldwide. It says it is ‘independent’ but then goes on to publish sixty ambiguous, misleading and deceitful pages of a report about sanctions on Iran (Spider Web: The Making and Unmaking of Iran Sanctions)
saying that the situation is very complicated and nigh impossible to unravel.
Now you would think that sixty densely written pages are of sufficient length to at least get in some reference to the two things which matter:
- Is Iran making an atomic bomb?
- Why is nobody discussing Israel’s three hundred or more atomic weapons including hydrogen bombs?
But, concerned with cunning ways of indicating that Iran is making a bomb even though admitting it has a lawful right to have a civilian nuclear energy programme, the Group ignores these things. Thus it has not heard that all sixteen American intelligence agencies say that Iran is not making an atomic bomb. (Is it possible for any sane country to have sixteen intelligence agencies? Probably not, but sixteen is still sixteen however you look at it.)
Nor has the Group heard that the International Atomic Energy Agency (which, far from being independent, is riddled with spies) is the body which actually inspects Iran and it, too, says that Iran is not making an atomic bomb. But right the way through the report the Group’s basic assumption is that it is a good thing to try to control Iran (which is acting completely within the law and the Non-Proliferation Treaty) and a bad thing to ever mention Israel which has certainly not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and is as dangerous an attack dog as ever existed. Thus the report does not deal with the subject of Israel having hundreds of atomic weapons including hydrogen bombs (plus the nasty fact that the ballistic atomic missiles on Israeli Dolphin submarines are targeted on European capitals and even major cities in the USA - one wonders when American citizens are going to realise that Israel does not have American interests at heart…)
Moreover, the report conveniently forgets that in May 2010, USA President Obama demanded, in writing, that Iran agree to send its uranium out of the country to be enriched to 20% and then sent back into Iran. Whereon Iran, supported by Brazil and Turkey, acceded to the demand only to find that the USA immediately rejected its own demand! That happened, of course, because the real purpose of the pressure and sanctions on Iran is to try to destroy a country which has the guts to say that it opposes the never-ending expansion of Zionist Israel.
All the time the report is only concerned with what might or might not succeed in changing Iran’s behaviour. It never considers if, in the first place, the West’s behaviour is wrong. For example, failing to acknowledge that the West’s intervention in Iran in 1953 was to overthrow democracy, the report is only concerned with the effectiveness of British sanctions at the time rather than the fact that the intervention contradicted everything that the West is supposed to stand for.
So the conclusion has to be that if the sanctions were effective, the report would be enthusiastically endorsing them. Yet, in a cack-handed sort of way, the report does acknowledge that sanctions are not having the effect that the West wants them to have. But the report seems constitutionally unable to say that the sensible thing would be to recognise the legality of Iran’s position, remove all sanctions and then behave like grown-ups are supposed to behave. It’s as if there is a glimmer of light somewhere at the back of the Crisis Group’s mind but its prevailing Zionism prevents the glimmer from steadying and developing into a beam of strong recognition.
However, the report also recognises that the sanctions on Iran are creating big economic distortions throughout the Middle East. Moreover, they are an underlying part of the profound political forces which are destabilising the West’s autocratic friends e.g. in Saudi Arabia. In short, by putting sanctions on Iran the West is now shooting itself in the foot.
So we may yet see a report in future which says that the West’s sanctions will never achieve their intended effect. Indeed, rather than crushing Iran, the sanctions are accentuating the drift of economic power away from the West as Iran is forced into more and more regional groupings and arrangements all of which have the effect of weakening Western economic and political power and undermining the position of its vicious, totalitarian Middle East allies.
Indeed instead of some future report being entitled ‘A Spider’s Web’, allegedly difficult to untangle, it could be entitled ‘Cutting the Gordian Knot’ in which one blow (the lifting of all sanctions) solves a complicated problem all at once.