Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
US Sanctions on Iran: Precursor to War
By Paul Balles
Al-Jazeerah, ccun.org, May 10, 2010
Iran sanctions and worse
Paul J. Balles views the campaign by Israel lobbyists in the US
administration and Congress to impose sanctions on Iran as a precursor to
direct aggression à la Iraq, and the few lone voices of common sense.
On 23 April, US congressional representative Ron Paul strongly opposed a
motion that would support sanctions against Iran. Unlike other members of
Congress who automatically yield to the wishes of Israel, Dr Paul spurns the
special interest groups who led the US and UK unto war in Iraq.
says, "…it feels as if we are back in 2002 all over again: the same
falsehoods and distortions used to push the United States into a disastrous
and unnecessary one trillion-dollar-war on Iraq are being trotted out again
to lead us to what will likely be an even more disastrous and costly war on
Iran. The parallels are astonishing."
In taking his position, Paul
faces the powerful Israeli lobby and their unequalled propaganda machine.
However daunting his task, Paul has the facts on his side. He relates them:
"Iran, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has never
been found in violation of that treaty. Iran is not capable of enriching
uranium to the necessary level to manufacture nuclear weapons. According to
the entire US intelligence community, Iran is not currently working on a
nuclear weapons programme."
"It is a dismaying reflection that the facilitator of major violence thus
far in the 21st century have been lies told by democratic governments. The
lies are continuing to be told, about the supposed 'existential' menace
posed by Iran to Israel, America and (if you believe some European leaders)
to Western Europe."
William Pfaff, US author
Paul scoffs at the propaganda: "We hear war advocates today on the
[Congress] floor scare-mongering about reports that in one year Iran will
have missiles that can hit the United States. Where have we heard this
Voting by members of the US Congress on sanctions
against Iran would no more avert war against Iran than the sanctions on Iraq
did. The major achievement of the Iraq sanctions was the death of a half
Addressing the same subject, William Pfaff, author
of eight books on American foreign policy, international relations and
contemporary history, spoke bluntly to the Tribune Media:
"It is a
dismaying reflection that the facilitator of major violence thus far in the
21st century have been lies told by democratic governments. The lies are
continuing to be told, about the supposed “existential” menace posed by Iran
to Israel, America and (if you believe some European leaders) to Western
Pfaff reminds us of "the fiction that [Saddam] Hussein’s
government, during the period of UN sanctions before 2003, was able secretly
to construct nuclear weapons, despite the efforts of Western intelligence to
detect them or deter him, and the presence of United Nations arms control
inspectors. There were none."
A major problem with avoiding similar
sanctions and propaganda against Iran is US lobbying the UN Security Council
to get support instead of listening to its wiser members.
York Times reported on 3 March: “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,
on a trip to Latin America, was unable to budge Brazil from its opposition
to sanctions against Iran. ‘It is not prudent to push Iran against a wall,’
[Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula] da Silva told reporters. ‘The prudent
thing is to establish negotiations.’”
Brazilian officials "feared
that such measures would only lead Iran to harden its position." The
sponsors of sanctions know that Iran with its national pride will resist
efforts to force compliance with dictum out of Israel that's moving the US
ultimately to Senator McCain's "bomb, bomb, bomb" prescription.
Substantial parts of the bomb supporters overlook the fact that Iran has
never pre-emptively attacked anyone. They ignore how improbable it would be
for Iran to aim a nuclear missile at Israel while millions of Palestinians
The treatment of Palestinians by Israelis has been the
major complaint of Iran against Israel. It is entirely unreasonable that
Iran would slaughter Palestinians while attempting to destroy Israel.
Sadly, both Israelis and American Zionist supporters will completely
ignore rational arguments both against sanctions as well as against the
so-called military option for an international disaster.
Paul J. Balles is a retired American university
professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for many
years. For more information, see