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Israel-Iran: attack imminent?

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Robin Lustig | 09:53 UK time, Friday, 10 February 2012

Yes, I know, the question has been asked repeatedly over the past few years -- but I'm afraid it's time to ask it again.

As my colleague Mark Mardell, the BBC's North America editor, put it in a blogpost a couple of days ago: "The drumbeat of war has grown louder in the past few days."

That drumbeat emanates from Israel, where the defence minister, Ehud Barak, talks of Iran soon entering a "zone of immunity", in other words a moment when its uranium enrichment programme will be so well protected in deep underground bunkers that it will become virtually impregnable.

According to the Washington Post, the US defence secretary Leon Panetta "believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June ... Very soon, the Israelis fear, the Iranians will have stored enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon -- and only the United States could then stop them militarily."

And the New York Times reported this week: "Amid mounting tensions over whether Israel will carry out a military strike against Iran's nuclear program, the United States and Israel remain at odds over a fundamental question: whether Iran's crucial nuclear facilities are about to become impregnable."

Yes, says Mr Barak; No, say the Americans. The Washington view is that the ever tighter sanctions imposed on Iran are having a real effect, so the best policy is to let them bite harder. The Israelis say they can't risk waiting much longer.

For several decades now, a vital element in Israel's security strategy has been its status as the only nuclear power in the Middle East. (It has never admitted as much, but it's perfectly happy for everyone else to say so.)

But if Iran were to become the region's second nuclear-capable power, that invaluable strategic superiority would be wiped out at a stroke. Israel would, in theory, then itself be vulnerable to a nuclear attack.

Iran, of course, sees things exactly the other way round. It has had nuclear ambitions since the days of the Shah, and no Iranian politician, not even the reformists like Mir-Hussein Moussavi, is prepared to give up Iran's right to develop a nuclear programme, officially solely for peaceful use.

Iranians remember a glorious past when the Persian empire stretched right across the region and included what is now Israel. (Just a few days ago, the deputy Israeli prime minister Silvan Shalom said he believes Iran is now trying to revive that former empire.)
But imagine you were an Iranian strategic planner. You have recently gained valuable extra regional influence with the US-engineered overthrow of your old enemy Saddam Hussein in neighbouring Iraq, and the installation in Baghdad of a much more friendly, Shia-dominated government.

But to your west, the signs are a lot less encouraging. Your long-time allies in Syria are in deep trouble, and if they are defeated, their place will be taken by a Sunni-dominated administation with no great love for Tehran.

Coming after a string of Arab upheavals that have vastly increased the influence of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood across the region (aided and abetted by the unimaginably wealthy Qataris), the overthrow of the Assad dynasty in Damascus would be extremely bad news.

So, as you analyse the rapidly shifting power relationships, would you be in the mood to give up a nuclear programme that earns you the attention -- and yes, the fear too -- of your neighbours?

Iran's leaders are not, as the Americans would say, in a good place. The man in charge, the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is elderly and said to be in poor health. He has fallen out with the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is now said to wield little real power.

The economy is in a mess, and many poorer Iranians are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Uncertainty beyond the country's borders is matched by growing restiveness at home.

According to the Washington Post: "US officials don't think that [Israeli prime minister] Netanyahu has made a final decision to attack, and they note that top Israeli intelligence officials remain sceptical of the project. But senior Americans doubt that the Israelis are bluffing. They're worrying about the guns of spring -- and the unintended consequences."


  • Comment number 1.

    There is a very real danger of a horrendous cataclysm – if Western governments persist in their criminal drumbeat for war in the Persian Gulf. Russia and China are fully aware that a war on Iran is a stepping stone towards a broader war. The Russian government, in a recent statement, has warned the US and NATO that "should Iran get drawn into any political or military hardships, this will be a direct threat to our national security.”
    The region is on a hair-trigger for a conflagration that would involve nuclear weapons and the collision of global powers in what would constitute World War III. The consequences are barely imaginable for the loss of life in such a scenario and for the very future of the planet. Yet all the while, the mainstream media has served to justify this march to war or to downplay its horrific possibilities.
    The complacency of Western public opinion, including segments of the US anti-war movement, is disturbing. No concern has been expressed at the political level as to the likely consequences of a US-NATO-Israel attack on Iran, using nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state = nuclear holocaust over a large part of the Middle East. It should be noted that a nuclear nightmare would occur even if nuclear weapons were not used. The bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities using conventional weapons would contribute to unleashing a Chernobyl-Fukushima type disaster with extensive radioactive fallout.
    The "Globalization of War" involving the hegemonic deployment of a formidable US-NATO military force in all major regions of the World is inconsequential in the eyes of the Western media. War is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities. The broader implications of this war on Iran are either trivialized or not mentioned. People are led to believe that war is part of a "humanitarian mandate" and that both Iran as well as Iran's allies, namely China and Russia, constitute an unrelenting threat to global security and "Western democracy".

  • Comment number 2.

    Israel Iran attack inevitable, backed by US: Bringing Iran back into Western capitalist control has added significance of depriving energy & other geopolitical advantages to rival powers - particularly Russia & China. In a strategic review earlier this month, US highlighted China as its pre-eminent global competitor. Its militarized agenda towards China was also heralded by US President Barack Obama during his Asia-Pacific tour at the end of 2011. China is heavily dependent on Iranian oil - 20% of all Iranian crude oil exports are traded with China. The latter has billions of dollars worth of energy investments in Iran, in particular the natural gas sector, which energy analysts view as the primary fuel in future decades. US' policy of hostility towards Iran & furthering its hegemony over this vital region is as much about wresting control from its competitors, Russia & China. This factor takes on added importance as America’s economic power wanes. These issues form the bigger picture that explains the drive for war in Persian Gulf, which the mainstream media either does not understand or has chosen to ignore. People are led to believe that war is part of a "humanitarian mandate" & that both Iran as well as Iran's allies, namely China and Russia, constitute an unrelenting threat to global security & "Western democracy". US-led wars are heralded as an unquestionable instrument of "peace-making" & "democratization".
    The military build-up in the Persian Gulf is alarming & potential for an all-out regional conflict. US-led militarization is part of the wider strategy for American global dominance. Before even firing a shot, the Western powers are violating international laws & protocols of diplomacy. Equipped with this legal insight & knowledge is essential for citizens to mount an effective anti-war movement. US' hostility towards Iran is but the latest episode in a long history of criminal war-making by the US. Central to the Western powers' avowed rationale in the Persian Gulf is their presentation of Iran as a threat to world peace, in particular from its alleged development of nuclear weapons - media manipulation, lies, distortions & selling yet another war to the Public. Iran does not have, nor is intending to build, nuclear weapons. Its “nuclear ambitions” (a phrase so often said with sinister connotations) are to develop civilian energy & medical capabilities – well within the provisions and entitlements of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

  • Comment number 3.

    Given the revolutionary spirit in the Arab world at the moment Israel could be making a big mistake by attacking Iran. Iran has Arab support (but not from the Elite) by overwhelming majorities, Arabs regard the U.S. and Israel as the major threats they face: the U.S. is so regarded by 90% of Egyptians, in the region generally by over 75%. Some Arabs regard Iran as a threat: 10%. Opposition to U.S. policy is so strong that a majority believes that security would be improved if Iran had nuclear weapons -- in Egypt, 80%. Other figures are similar. If public opinion were to influence policy, the U.S. not only would not control the region, but would be expelled from it, along with its allies, undermining fundamental principles of its global dominance.

    If Israel attacks Iran don't be surprised if Iran gets public support from the new Arab democracies.

    And another thing, how is it that Israel is a 'stabilizing' influence on the region while Iran is a 'destabilizing' one? One of these countries is a theocratic violent terrorist state that refuses to abide by international law, while the other is a theocratic state that hasn't invaded another nation in a thousand years? Satire cannot do justice to this hypocrisy.

  • Comment number 4.

    US & Israel have flight tested the ARROW WEAPONS SYSTEM to evaluate and verify the missile system's Block configuration. The test, conducted over the Mediterranean Sea, was a target-only exercise, tracking a target & was conducted by US Missile Defense Agency &Israeli Missile Defense Organization.
    success of the test is final test before delivery of the Block 4 Arrow Weapon System - A MAJOR milestone in the development of the Arrow Weapon System & is aimed at providing confidence in operational Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing ballistic missile threat.
    The first Arrow missile, for theater defense against ballistic missiles, came into service with Israeli forces in 2000. The Arrow was designed by Israel Aerospace Industries & is manufactured by IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) & Boeing.
    US & Israel signed an agreement for the system's funding in 1998.
    MDA (Missile Defence Agency) said that during the test, the AWS' fire control radar tracked a Blue Sparrow target missile, then transferred information to a battle management controller, which prepared a simulated intercept solution.
    Suggests more preparation for Israel-Iran attack.

  • Comment number 5.

    All this about Israel wanting to attack Iran and the rest of the West wanting to impose sanctions is more to do with hegemony than to any actual threat that Iran has. Iran is still very far from producing nuclear weapons - even Leon Palletta confirms this with his talk of Iran's 'capability' instead of ability to produce weapons (AFAIK capability is not illegal under the Non-Proliferation Treaty which Israel refuses to sign). Moreover, the former Mossad chief Ephraim Sneh is dismissive of the scaremongering propaganda alleging that Iran poses a credible military threat to Israel.

    If Iran does become a nuclear power its threat is more political than military. “Iran’s success in obtaining a nuclear capability will deter Jews from immigrating to Israel, cause many Israelis to leave and will be the end of the ‘Zionist dream’, former deputy defence minister Ephraim Sneh said.

    “‘A nuclear weapon in Iranian hands will be an intolerable reality for Israel,’ Sneh said during a conference on Iran’s nuclear programme at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv. ‘The decision-making process in Israel will be under constant [Iranian] influence - this will be the end of the Zionist dream.’

    If or when Israel attacks Iran it will be quickly followed by the mass expulsion of Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem.


  • Comment number 6.

    An Israeli attack on Iran would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States more than for Israel in the short run & a fundamental disaster for Israel in the long run. It would trigger a collision with the United States and make our task in Afghanistan impossible. It would set the Persian Gulf ablaze; increase the price of oil three or fourfold. Americans, already paying almost $4 a gallon, would see this quickly escalate to $12 or more.
    Europe would become even more dependent on Russian oil than it already is. So what would be the benefit for the United States?

  • Comment number 7.

    Iran is a proud sophisticated ancient nation of 70 million people who way back in 1953 had a dictatorship installed upon them by the US and Britain in the form of the Shah in a project known as TPAJAX Project.


    The reason for this was that the leader at the time, Mossadegh, nationalized Irans Oil Industry. Iran's oil reserves are currently 4th in the world !!


    This dictatorship ended in ‘79 when the people revolted and Ayatollah Khomeini (Sean Connery's secret twin brother seriously ya gotta see him up close) became the new leader and was revered dearly as he represented the legitimate Iranian resentment of The West who as I mentioned installed a dictator upon them so many years before... something every grandparent in Iran today remembers clearly.

    This background is important to understand. The West completely screwed Iran once before and this is hard wired into their history and psyche and has been brain washed into its people for decades upon decades by various presidents and Supreme Leaders since the revolution.

    The Iranian Revolutionary leaders since 1979 have all played the anti-west card to unite its people against the West and specifically too much western influence which is not in keeping with Sharia way of living in order to justify the Theocracy inflicted upon them. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is just the most radical of a bad bunch. He doesn't represent the average views of an Iranian who are believe it or not absolutely NOT ANTI-USA. He doesn't even represent the views of the Islamic leader of Iran - Ali Khamenei who proceeded the original Revolutionary Leader Ruhollah Khomeini who died in ‘89.. so much so that they don't get on with each other at all at all.

  • Comment number 8.

    Another vital thing to consider when watching this uninformative media circus unfold is to understand the massive and glaring contradictions involved in this whole thing which ultimately removes all credibility from the US/Western position… certainly in the minds of Iranian people and obviously it’s leadership.... and should for us all.

    1) America, believe it or not, actually started Iran down its nuclear path many years ago actively helping them to the point where the US actually GAVE Iran a Nuclear Reactor!!! How shockingly contradictive and Ironic does that seem?


    …but of course, at the time, Iran was a 'friend' to 'The West'.... after all it was THEIR INSTALLED SHAH that the US wanted to help become nuclear.

    2) Iran is part of the AXIS OF EVIL because it is secretly developing Nuclear Weapons??? Any similarities with Israel? Is Israel not a HUGE ally of the America? yes ?

    The figures are clear



    Every year the US gives Billions of dollars directly to the Israeli Military and has done so for decades. To a sum total of approx 60 BILLION DOLLARS !!! to a country approx the size of Fiji with 8 Million people. So what’s wrong with this? Well Israel is an undeclared Nuclear Power !! who HAS NEVER ADMITTED TO HAVING NUCLEAR WEAPONS…. But the global community knows well that it has and there’s much proof to support this.

    Israel secretly developed Nuclear weapons starting in 1967 after the 6 Day War and is considered by all relevant experts to have a stock pile of somewhere between 200 and 400 Weapons ready to be used right now as you're reading this... not in 2 years or 3-5 years...right now in Jericho 3 missiles with a 12,000 km range !! but that’s ok because they are apparently a 'friend ' to The West right? so no need to worry about anyone stealing a weapon there, a rogue religiously motivated general or a radical Israeli leadership of which there have been many... well ok...then at least get them to admit to having the nukes and join the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty? like we expect everyone else to right? and if they don't then we should see this ridiculous situation being discussed regularly in our media right? Like at least perennially as every single year the NPT ‘ask’ Israel w

  • Comment number 9.

    with pressure from countless countries to admit to its weapons (go onnnn please…we’re asking you very nicely) join the NPT and adhere to its rules and inspections like everyone else? no?

    Threatening Rhetoric on the back of the absolute farce of the Iraq ‘WMD-less’ invasion can't possibly be expected to be taken seriously or respected by Iran. I’d suggest to anyone wanting a better overview to watch this lecture by Rick Stevens if they want a no BS personal impression of Iran as a nation, as a people without spin or rhetoric...just a human impression by somebody who went there simply to meet the people there.


    Then there are the opinions of the think tanks… Brookings is one of the most respected and is considered a policy former… this white paper is out there for anyone to read..


    I’ll tell you what it says if you don’t read it….

    Basically the Experts (and we're talking serious heads like ex-CIA Mid East Analysts) DO NOT LIKE the military option... they think it's too unpredictable, will not achieve enough of a set of defined goals which would make it worth doing.. and most importantly the potential for massive negative knock-on effects is too great i.e. Pandora’s box... therefore they simply seem to advise doing everything BUT military action EVEN IF that means Iran end up becoming a Nuclear Weapons State in 5 or 10 years time. But you should read it if you want a real overview on this whole thing. They prescribe a mix of the Carter Doctrine and a new form of Containment policy – call it Containment 2… basically do your best to slow down Iran getting to the bomb as best as you can without polarising it’s people against you which would just be counterproductive and further support the survival of the regime which is already under pressure from its people to reform.

    When one takes into account the possibility of a Republican President in 2013 with a Republican controlled House of Congress behind him ready to sign off on Military Action against Iran which may cause a greater war in the Middle East in an area which contains a country – Israel- who may feel existentially motivated to launch any number of its few hundred Nuclear tipped Jericho 3 Missiles.... it gets fairly real.

  • Comment number 10.

    Iran is a Theocracy... and there's a lot of Iranians who are unhappy with their situation... but not in the way we imagine... their concept of life and liberties and freedoms as we so often harp on about is so different to ours... essentially they don't want what we have ... as much as we like to prescribe it to them: the culture and beliefs and religious society there is just so different to anything we can relate to... that doesn't mean it's wrong. And we should start by respecting this first before we talk of what freedoms they SHOULD have. At the end of the day The West decided, in 1953, that the FREEDOM to nationalize it's OIL industry was NOT a FREEDOM we wanted Iran to have, so we installed a dictator and we should step up and admit this in the media and break through these contradictions that make us look FOOLS in their eyes when we tell them they're OPRESSED NOW...and makes it so much easier for Ahmadinejad and his cronies to unite the poor 'ignorant' 'unsophisticated' in it’s mostly rural population against The West. You need to have the respect of your counter-part in any negotiation.. and if the US can't gain Ahmadinejad's respect enough for any traction on these issues, then the US should at least appeal to the Iranian people and show them we are not the irrational, uninformed, anti-Islamic Iran bashers that they think we are... which is pumped out there every day by hardcore Islamic anti-US sites and TV and press...just the same way that FOX NEWS and similar organisations spout so much unsubstantiated unrepresentative tripe each and every day to the 'ignorant' 'Unsophisticated' among US.

    Both Romney and Santorum say they WILL BOMB IRAN IF IRAN GETS CLOSE TO A WEAPON. They’re very clear about that.

    Problem with this?

    They will NEVER KNOW IF OR WHEN this point is.

    The best opinions out there right now believe that the military option even IF IT HAD been chosen 6 months or a year ago would only have slowed Iran down by a couple of years but NOW... the opinion is quite clear... that there are too many targets and the entire venture would be too militarily expensive, require use of bases and airspace which they do not have access to and pose too much of a risk to the stability of the general region... and that's putting it very mildly AND THATS NOT EVEN MENTIONING THE LACK OF LEGALITY AND THE POLITICAL CHALLENGES WHICH ARE BLATENT AND OBVIOUSLY UNASSAILABLE.

  • Comment number 11.

    In fact the scariest thing about the War Mongering Rhetoric around Washington at the moment is that all the hawks realise all of the above but STILL WANT war with Iran for a complex set of basically ideological reasons somewhat similar to the Neo-con War mongering before 2003 but slightly different this time. The ACTUAL WAY TO WAR for those that want it... is to cause an event or incite an event or create a situation where the likelihood of an event becomes increasingly more probable.... I'm not talking conspiracy here.... this HAS ACTUALLY BEEN THROWN AROUND QUITE REGULARLY IN THE LAST YEAR!! The 'Gulf of Tonkin Incident' as it’s known as, started Vietnam.... and it was a US led event in Vietnam created by the NSA to allow congress to pass a bill which allowed Lyndon B Johnson 'assist' any Asian country suffering communist aggression etc ...Google it if you're sceptical it's all there and historical at this stage.. So similarly.... Pressuring Iran using sanctions has caused it to react very predictably by threatening to block the straits... which America absolutely knew it would do... in response to the pressures and really mostly the rhetoric which pisses off Iran far more than sanctions will ever do because it's an amazingly proud Islamic country being told what to do by the Great Satin The West right in front of the other kids.

    This in turn creates a media storm and support in Washington for modest Military moves like for instance moving more Carrier groups into the region which in turn makes Iran carry out and move forward military exercises to show strength to its people and polarise the ignorant among them against the West.... it's all very simple really.... and this in turn turns up the heat in all the armed forces in the area... making a likely 'event' more and more possible and eventually probable as the rhetoric escalates to a background of absolutely NO PROOF WHATSOEVER THAT IRAN IS AFTER A BOMB!

  • Comment number 12.

    Do you know how easy it would be to incite war with Iran in the straits? You do know about the revolutionary guards …Well they have a Navy of The Guardian of The Islmaic Revolution... which is an actual Islamic idealogically driven militia of young guys who are brainwashed to hate and despise America. They are tasked right now to the gulf and every songle one of them would die in a second to protect Iran. In 1988 a US president agreed to re-designate a US merchant ship as military and it sailed into an Iranian mine and there was nearly war... except that Iran and Iraq were still at eachothers throats... if this happened right now... there'd be war... and the US would use massive overkill to win it part of which would be to bomb as many nuclear interest sites and anti-air sites as possible in as short a time as possible and the whole thing would be a mess... but… in this case… at least 'to the hawks' it could conceivably in this sitaution …push Iran back 7 or more years from a bomb.... on the other hand… experts are theorising that actually it might, in Iran's case, just speed up the process and polarise the entire country and people forever and ever against the US and strengthen a now weakening regime…. And most importantly solidify a position of NEEDING A NUCLEAR CAPABILITY TO DETER THIS TYPE OF THING HAPPENING EVER AGAIN… YOU DON’T MESS WITH A NUCLEAR COUNTRY.. THAT’S THE ONE GOLDEN RULE!

  • Comment number 13.

    The whole thing is about INFLUENCE. Iran wants to be respected as the big cheese in the mid east… it wants influence around its backyard…as it historically had. It doesn’t want to send terrorists after America…. Or… blow Israel off the map… as so many misquote that statement.. the actual statement was ‘wipe the story of Israel off the pages of time’ … The word map or "nagsheh" is never used… and the statement was meant to be an angry statement against Israel’s historical actions and nothing whatsoever even close to ‘IF I HAD A BIG BOMB I WOULD LIKE TO WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP’ that media and people recant so often and use to support the narrative of an EVIL CRAZY IRAN. America doesn’t want Iran to have too much influence, it doesn’t want oil to be traded in anything other than Dollars!!!!


  • Comment number 14.

    America has no right to bomb Iran at all legally or otherwise.
    • Iran knows this and knows the international community will not support unilateral American action OR Israeli action of any kind as the international community is sick to death with the despicable actions of Israel against Palestinians.
    • The Election Factor: The Republican base NEEDS to turn out in numbers in November even more than before to vote-in a ‘NOT-Obama’ (Romney)… so the GOP is currently escalating the rhetoric which will get these voters out… and that HAS to revolve around Security (or perceived security) because they lose on every other platform especially with a dislikeable candidate… in fact one could argue that ‘boring, fake disconnected Romney’ has put the world at greater bloody risk because nobody likes the guy… so he can’t run on likability as Obama so blatantly did….and its put more pressure on the Rep GOP to really ramp up on hawkish rhetoric which just doesn’t help this situation at all.
    • The Hawks of Washington, of which there’s a whole new breed since Cheney, Wolfowitz and the rest of the Neo-cons took us into the Iraq invasion, are desperate to have their ideals represented in the actions of America…It’s their purpose in life and when their views are not directly put into policy they feel they have no purpose and get sad and cry in the corners of cafes in Washington. These guys ONLY care about ONE THING… American Supremacy out there in the world with a rising China breathing fire down their necks!! And the most important issue to them in this equation is OIL SECURITY through traditional American muscle flexing in the Middle East. They know that Iraq is not their back yard any more, that Afghanistan was a failure and that their overall FOOT PRINT in the oil regionhas decreased and will decrease drastically more in the very near future. They know that they have bases in the region and can still excerpt force right now and in the next few years, but after that?… with no 9/11 driver? … IF… THEY DON’T CREATE ENOUGH WAR FEVER TO DO SOMETHING.. OR.. IF SOMETHING DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN THEN, THAT’S IT… IRAN MOVE INTO THEIR VACUUM OF INFLUENCE AND THE WHOLE WORLD IS GONE TO POT! … well… in their eyes anyway. These guys are HYPER-FUTURISTS… they believe deeply in TRENDS and STATS and they spend all their time in FEAR of a weakening America… Their think tanks - specifically the A.E.I. amongst others just WILL NOT ST

  • Comment number 15.


  • Comment number 16.

    Israel only wants ´Anschluss´ and return to the ´Reich´ --of the West Bank.

    -- and the ´appeasers´ are many.

    - Then the Flood.

  • Comment number 17.


    whom I'm not alligned with or have anything to do with but just found today and this section reallu seems quite rational.

    The current U.S. standoff against Iran, like the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, was instigated by the neoconservatives of the Bush Administration based on their doctrine of “maintaining U.S. pre-eminence, thwarting rival powers and shaping the global security system according to U.S. interests”. In the case of Saddam’s regime, its fictitious Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and its alleged links to Al-Qaida were used in the U.S. propaganda war to first impose U.N. sanctions and eventually invade Iraq. We now have a déjà vu situation in which the U.S. and its allies, prodded by Israel, demonize Iran as a threat to world security and accuse it of having a program to develop nuclear weapons. As with Iraq, the real aim is a regime change in Iran to set up a U.S. puppet government in this oil- and gas-rich country in the key strategic Persian Gulf region. This has also happened before in the 1953 U.S.-British coup in Iran. The same forces in U.S., U.K., Israel and allies today distort the truth and engage in deceit, coercion and aggression to achieve their goals. We will briefly examine some of the key facts in the standoff.

    Iran has the right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
    Iran was among the first of 190 countries to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in order to "prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology and to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The Treaty represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States". As a party to the NPT Iran has an “inalienable right” to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
    The NPT further requires that all parties to the treaty should help other members wishing to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. But Western pressure has blocked Iran’s access to such cooperation, forcing the country to strive for self-reliance in nuclear technology.

    There is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
    The U.S. now nominally recognizes Iran's legal right under the NPT to develop nuclear technology for civilian use, but charges that Iran's nuclear program i

  • Comment number 18.


    whom I'm not alligned with or have anything to do with but just found today and this section reallu seems quite rational.

    The current U.S. standoff against Iran, like the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, was instigated by the neoconservatives of the Bush Administration based on their doctrine of “maintaining U.S. pre-eminence, thwarting rival powers and shaping the global security system according to U.S. interests”. In the case of Saddam’s regime, its fictitious Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and its alleged links to Al-Qaida were used in the U.S. propaganda war to first impose U.N. sanctions and eventually invade Iraq. We now have a déjà vu situation in which the U.S. and its allies, prodded by Israel, demonize Iran as a threat to world security and accuse it of having a program to develop nuclear weapons. As with Iraq, the real aim is a regime change in Iran to set up a U.S. puppet government in this oil- and gas-rich country in the key strategic Persian Gulf region. This has also happened before in the 1953 U.S.-British coup in Iran. The same forces in U.S., U.K., Israel and allies today distort the truth and engage in deceit, coercion and aggression to achieve their goals. We will briefly examine some of the key facts in the standoff.

    Iran has the right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
    Iran was among the first of 190 countries to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in order to "prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology and to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The Treaty represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States". As a party to the NPT Iran has an “inalienable right” to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
    The NPT further requires that all parties to the treaty should help other members wishing to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. But Western pressure has blocked Iran’s access to such cooperation, forcing the country to strive for self-reliance in nuclear technology.

    There is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
    The U.S. now nominally recognizes Iran's legal right under the NPT to develop nuclear technology for civilian use, but charges that Iran's nuclear program is%

  • Comment number 19.

    is a cover for developing nuclear weapons. There is absolutely no proof to back up this charge. Thousands of hours of United Nations inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the most intensive and intrusive ever undertaken in its history, have not produced one shred of evidence of nuclear weapons planning in Iran. Every IAEA report on Iran to date, including that of May 31, 2010, has stated that the "Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran".
    Nuclear power plants and atomic weapons both require enriched uranium. But militarization requires uranium enriched to very high degree (above 90%), unlike “low-enriched uranium” (LEU) suitable for power plants (up to 5%) or for medical applications (up to 19.75%). And yet the U.S. demands that Iran terminate its enrichment process altogether, in essence denying Iran its inalienable right to pursue civilian nuclear technology under the NPT.

    Further, Western leaders and media often quote from the IAEA reports that “Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the Agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities. However they never mention in public that this kind of arbitrary accusation is applicable also to dozens of other NPT members, including South Africa, Egypt and Brazil, that have not agreed to the optional NPT Additional Protocol to allow extra-intrusive inspections.
    The U.S. and its allies have singled out Iran and demand that Iran prove it is not intent on developing nuclear weapons now or in the future. That is a logical impossibility, like when the U.S. demanded that Iraq prove it was not making weapons of mass destruction; charged Iraq with fabricated evidence that it had purchased "yellow cake" uranium powder from Niger; and that it had links with Al-Qaeda. Nothing Iraq said or did could stop the 2003 catastrophic invasion of that country – after which the U.S. had to admit that the charges were false.

    In an exact replica of the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. and its allies now allege that Iran has engaged in “nuclear weaponization studies,” but have even refused to hand in their alleged evidence to the IAEA so Iran can investigate them and give a response. Iran has insisted categorically that these documents are fabricated and are forgeries.

    Iran’s need for nuclear energy and technology is real.
    Iran’s population has more than doubled in three decades and its per capita energy consumption has grown even faster. Demand has outpaced production so much that

  • Comment number 20.

    electricity is rationed with rotating scheduled cuts in Tehran during peak periods of summer heat, and in July 2010 most public sector agencies in 20 of Iran’s 30 provinces are shut down intermittently for conservation. So the country needs to diversify its energy sources to keep up with demand and still have enough oil and gas for export and for future generations. This need was recognized years before the 1979 Revolution, when Iran, under prodding from the U.S. government which was acting in the interests of U.S. energy-related companies such as General Electric and Westinghouse planned multiple nuclear power stations.

    Iran's dependency on Western-dominated global markets, as well as on the refining and importation of petroleum products, make Iran vulnerable to foreign economic warfare. Iran has the largest fleet of oil tankers in the Middle East, but these ships are easy targets for attack or sabotage.

    It is in Iran’s legitimate security interest to develop alternatives to oil for domestic consumption. With global oil derivatives such as gasoline and petrochemical items shrinking in availability and increasing in price, Iran truly needs to reduce its dependency on imports.

    Iran's need for nuclear technology is not limited to economic and security aspects. The country also needs nuclear fuel for its medical purposes. The Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), which produces isotopes for the treatment of more than 800,000 cancer patients and people with other complicated diseases, is running out of fuel this year. More has to be produced by Iran itself, because not only the half-life of the radioisotopes used by the TRR is too short to be imported from other countries but also because the U.S. and its allies have a history of blocking Iran’s right to purchase fuel for the TRR from the international market.

    All these considerations fully justify the urgency of Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

    UN Security Council's involvement and sanctions against Iran are illegitimate.
    Since there has never been any evidence of a nuclear weaponization program in Iran and because Iran has cooperated with the IAEA, the two votes in 2005 and 2006 in the Governors’ Board of the IAEA to report Iran’s nuclear file to the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) were coerced and politicized moves that were legally untenable, as explained by a leading international lawyer. - Therefore, the UNSC's imposition of sanctions on Iran violates the IAEA's own statute and lacks legitimacy.

  • Comment number 21.

    The process that led to the UNSC's involvement also was flawed because, under Western pressure, the IAEA's expectations of Iran exceeded NPT’s Safeguards requirements. To boost confidence in its nuclear program during the course of two years of negotiations with the EU3 (France, U.K., Germany) , the Iranian government voluntarily suspended its nuclear enrichment program and in December 2003 also voluntarily implemented the IAEA's Additional Protocol that allows more intrusive inspections than those required under the NPT. However, under U.S. pressure, Iran received nothing in return and a new administration decided to resume the enrichment program and dropped its adherence to the Additional Protocol.

    When the public is told that Iran did not disclose the construction of a new enrichment facility in Qom, it is important to remember that the expectations would be valid only if Iran were still bound by the optional Additional Protocol. Under the NPT, Iran was only required to disclose the facility six months before it intended to introduce uranium fuel. In fact, it did so 18 months in advance, but still was accused of violating its international responsibilities under the NPT. Iran has offered to implement the Additional Protocol again if its file is returned from the Security Council to the IAEA.

    The politicized nature of the IAEA's referral of Iran's case to the UNSC and the resulting sanctions is evident in the support by the U.S. for Israel’s open secret “nuclear deterrence” and the fact that U.S. allies South Korea and Egypt were not punished after revelations in 2009 that they had experimented with near-weapons-grade nuclear material.

  • Comment number 22.

    Iran is not a threat to the U.S
    In order to justify depriving Iran of nuclear technology, many U.S. political figures portray the Iranian leadership as irrational and hell-bent on using nuclear weapons as soon as they can develop them. But Iran has not attacked any country in more than 200 years and its military spending per capita is among the lowest in its region. On the contrary, it is Iran that has been attacked on many occasions, including an Iraqi invasion in 1980 which led to eight years of full-scale conflict at the cost of hundreds of thousands of Iranian lives. Iraq used chemical weapons during its Western-backed invasion of Iran, but Iran never retaliated in kind.

    In fact, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has issued a fatwa (religious decree of the highest order) banning the production, stockpiling and the use of nuclear weapons and any other weapons of mass destruction as anti-Islamic. He has reiterated this fatwa in his message to the Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Conference in Tehran in April 2010.

    On the other hand, the U.S. and Israel with vastly superior military capabilities, including massive nuclear arsenals, and U.S. military bases in most of the countries around Iran and a constant naval presence off the southern coast of Iran, constantly threaten Iran with military attack and destruction.

  • Comment number 23.

    Iran is under constant threat of illegal foreign intervention.
    All leading U.S. politicians, including President Obama, have stated that in dealing with Iran “all options are on the table,” which is the code phrase for threatening Iran with military intervention, including a nuclear attack. The new Nuclear Posture Review of the United States singles out only one non-nuclear armed country, namely Iran, as a possible target for American nuclear attack. Israeli officials have also threatened to launch war on Iran.

    The U.S. has funded anti-Iranian terrorist groups both in and outside Iran and has itself engaged in kidnapping and sabotage operations inside Iran in direct violation of that country's sovereignty. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. has intensified its covert military operations in Iran.

    In addition, the U.S. government annually spends millions in public funds in anti-government propaganda operations directed at Iranians. All these are violations of the Article 2 of the U.N. Charter, which calls for respect of national sovereignty and forbids member countries from threatening or using force against other countries. U.S. interference in Iran's internal affairs also is specifically banned by the bilateral Algiers Accord of 1981.

    The 2009 Iranian presidential election and its aftermath are being exploited by pro-war forces
    Many Western commentators point to the disputed 2009 Iranian elections and claim that, since there is a domestic opposition to the Iranian government, Iranians would support foreign intervention or an attempt at regime change. This is false and disingenuous. No opposition figure in Iran has ever asked for any kind of war, sanctions or even monetary help from outside the country.

    While the idea of “targeted” sanctions may have some currency among a minority of exile-based Iranians, it is strongly opposed by the overwhelming majority of Iranians in general. There were reports of similar “popular support” for threats and “smart” sanctions against Iraq by exile groups like Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. Those claims were cynically cultivated by the U.S. and British neoconservatives to justify their drive toward war.

  • Comment number 24.

    The Obama Administration has backtracked on its own engagement pledge and now actively opposes peaceful solutions.
    Barack Obama's presidential campaign included promises to move U.S. policy away from confrontation with Iran and toward “direct and unconditional negotiations.” Disappointingly, the Obama administration has backed away from that position. Its current policy is virtually the same as that of the Bush/Cheney administration: i.e., before there can be any negotiations, Iran must first give up its nuclear program altogether.

    Washington’s intransigence under the Obama administration is most evident with regard to the Iranian nuclear fuel swap proposal in May of 2010. Before the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Iran received U.S. assistance under the Atoms for Peace program to build a nuclear research reactor in Tehran.

    As previously stated, the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) is used for producing medical isotopes for the treatment of some 800,000 cancer patients. The reactor is fueled with uranium enriched to a higher degree than fuel needed for a nuclear power plant, but still far below the level required to build a nuclear weapon. That reactor is now running out of fuel.

    In the fall of 2009, the Vienna Group (U.S., France, Russia and the IAEA) proposed that Iran swap 1,200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) for fuel rods with the higher-enriched uranium needed to fuel the TRR. Iran accepted this offer in principle, but insisted on guarantees to ensure it would actually receive the fuel rods. The Obama administration walked away from the negotiating table, adopting a “take it or leave it” position.

  • Comment number 25.

    Anyone disagree with Phil-Dublin's analysis?

  • Comment number 26.

    Interesting to note that URL for this thread, and what brought me here, drops off the question mark to the headline.

    Which was disconcerting, especially give the BBC's new found favouring of twitter and mobile-tuned repostings by, I discover, automated systems.

    A triumph of speed and convenience over accuracy.

    Not so great when it comes to news, be it reporting or, indeed, 'analysis' of febrile topics.

    'That drumbeat emanates from Israel'

    Possibly. But only heard, and heard alone if a unique frequency is tuned into.

    I don't believe that Israel is alone in heating the pot. I simply wonder why the BBC is so keen to stir it more.

    At least, so selectively. It appears the 'good' wars we do need to have are in Syria and the Falklands, at least if one is of the disposition of Sean Penn. And these guys... all of them, anchor included:


    Mr. Mardell's headline reads: "The drum beat of an unwanted war"

    I am intrigued as to who it is, anywhere, that WANTS a war. History offers poor precedent of those who do.

    And those who act in tacit support on a partial basis with propaganda, one way or the other.

  • Comment number 27.

    'Iran's leaders are not, as the Americans would say, in a good place.'

    Au contraire.

    Only this lunchtime, I learn how hail and hearty they are.



    What gets said, or not, by whom, or not, and when, if ever, always a pleasure.

    Anyway, it is always worth giving experts in their field the respect and coverage they are due...


    Good to see it under 'entertainment'.

    "I think that the world today is not going to tolerate any kind of ludicrous and archaic commitment to colonialist ideology," the Oscar-winning actor said.

    Less clear is when it's 'different'.


    Including, it appears, to the British Broadcasting Corporation.

  • Comment number 28.



  • Comment number 29.

    Yes, unfortunately, doesn't hold water... Yes + supporting argument does slightly better : )

  • Comment number 30.

    '29. At 16:00 15th Feb 2012, Phil-Dublin -
    Yes, unfortunately, doesn't hold water... Yes + supporting argument does slightly better : )'

    Mind you, I've always found supporting argument via actual links to be pretty nifty, water retention-wise ;o


    Just another view, of course, accessed in just one click.

    But maybe as valid as the deluge one can get treated with when people fire up Google to make their case. If often on a selective basis. Usually invoking Wikipedia at some point, which is always fun.

  • Comment number 31.

    So… the first whole section of my admittedly very long comment was straight from my head.. Ive been interested in this for years and have learned a lot and I would reckon have a descent overview of the thing… so I wasn’t throwing a deluge of internet at ya…. Just not true…. the background is vital… understanding the Iranian revolution and the perspective of the Iranian people in the context of the history of US actions such installing a dictatorship and arming Iraq during the Iran Iraq War as well as pointing out the obvious contradictions involved in siding with Israel … all this stuffs important and most wouldn’t know the details so I bring them up because you can’t possibly have a balanced view on this thing without all that data.
    You seem to accuse me of throwing a deluge of links at people in an effort to overkill… well here’s the links.. which ones are not apt?


    Information on the coup in 1953 which deposed Moseddegh arranged by the US and Britain


    a link showing proven oil reserves per country – showing Iran as 4th


    Atoms for Peace program – US started Iran down Nuclear path when the leader was ‘friendly’ to Western Oil interests


    Data showing total Military Aid US gave Israel


    Rick Stevens lecture on Iranian people, society, experience etc..


    Brookings Inst White Paper analysing options for the US vs Iran

  • Comment number 32.


    From what I've read, at this point I don't think any air strike campaign 'alone' by either the US or Israel or both combined could end Iran’s Nuclear Weapons program IF they actually have one in full fling at present.

    The main issues are:

    The number of targets previously thought necessary to destroy were maybe achievable – something like 50-100 targets… that’s what was being bandied about originally… before Iran had got to 20% enrichment and started moving stuff all over the place and building all sorts of underground facilities etc..

    However over the last few years that estimate has (publicly) multiplied to the point where the number of aircraft required, type and volume of ordnance necessary and the scale of support of such an operation has knocked the idea right out of reality.

  • Comment number 33.


    That sounds plausible. One could even argue that it holds water...

  • Comment number 34.

    Boys and Girls the only plausible mechanism of war to 'stop' Iran is a NUCLEAR war. The number of sites and the fact that apparently many are buried under mountains means that all conceivable non-nuclear alternatives lack the capability to achieve any end - or that is what the Generals seem to be saying!

    So we are left with: a conventional attack which will be ineffective and a nuclear attack which is insane - perhaps we need to continue talking!

    It boils down to how mad are the yanks! (They are after all the ONLY state to have ever launched a nuclear war.) But are they that insane - even in an election year? I doubt it. We had better keep talking.

  • Comment number 35.

    '31. At 18:17 15th Feb 2012, Phil-Dublin'

    Guessing this is to me?

    Tx for the Wikilink collection. You know I rate these no matter what.

    But never said any information is not apt, or indeed of value.

    Simply, I tend to prefer a more rounded collection before claiming, albeit with refreshing candour, 'descent overview'.

    'most wouldn’t know the details'

    Very likely.

    'so I bring them up because you can’t possibly have a balanced view on this thing without all that data'

    In a sea of it, all competing and often contradicting, this being the data you happen to feel most representative and supportive of what... your personal views, to select and share? And anything else... not so much. Unsure that really falls under my understanding of 'balance'.

    At least a job in editorial at certain 'we know what's best for you to think' outfits beckons.

    Guessing you have read Scotch Git's link now? In the spirit of 'watertight oversight'?

    That's come up here, too: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17048991

    If on another 'unique exception' basis.

    ps: 'Seeming to' is not actually 'doing' anything. And in matters of accusation it is best not to be too definitive when in matters of subjectivity. I hence merely try to .. 'observe' and point out alternatives, especially when some turn legitimate personal opinion into less welcome demands for all to comply... or at least bow to a position based on a personal assessment of expertise that may be no better than any other.

  • Comment number 36.

    aww man that's some good condescending right there... what do you think this is? a 'who is better at English competition?'

    Just judge the information on its own merit and stop trying to make this a me/you thing dude.. I don't reckon I'm an expert at anything... my points are pretty good I reckon... if you disagree with them then let's debate... stop being childish

  • Comment number 37.

    The world has tolerated this government of psychopathic children for too long. Iran insist on testing the limits of patience. The continued, "in your face" confrontations with the West and direct participation in terrorist attacks, most recently in Bangkok, will lead to one conclusion. Does Iran really believe that anyone will take their side. Neither the Russians nor the Chinese will support them with anything more than words when the showdown occurs. It is a shame to see the Iranian people be subjected to the constant fear that their government generates. No different than Syria in approach toward the people. As democracies begin to form around them they stand on their totalitarian foundation. Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran is a chance the world should not take. The martyr complex is never concerned with the final outcomes of their actions beyond themselves..Claiming to hold a toy gun when shot by police at night does not draw much sympathy.

  • Comment number 38.

    36. At 14:15 16th Feb 2012, Phil-Dublin

    29. At 16:00 15th Feb 2012, Phil-Dublin wrote:
    Yes, unfortunately, doesn't hold water... Yes + supporting argument does slightly better : )

    Multiples of standards much on the condescending front?

    You'll fit right in.

    If you are going to claim a pedestal on high ground, especially maturity, on a you/anyone not agreeing with you basis, best check the foundations first.


  • Comment number 39.

    How much is the country of Israel really worth?

    -- problems, problems, problems.

    --for what ?


  • Comment number 40.



    Yeah, now that you've sorted out those naughty Greeks, give the Israelis the benefit of your wisdom.

    Stay in the Med for a wee while longer.


  • Comment number 41.


    JunkkMale are you going to debate my points or do you agree with them or what? All you've done is try and show off your writing skills which is just confusing to be honest.... see this on forums fairly regularly... people just knit picking etc.. You haven't offered your opinion on the whole thing yet? why don't you enlighten us... do you think Iran is after the bomb and is there proof?
    Is there enough proof to justify sanctions?
    Military Strikes?
    Would they work?
    Should the US invade Iran if it's the only guaranteed way to stop them getting the bomb?
    Do you think Iran will use it when they get it?

  • Comment number 42.

    26.At 12:32 15th Feb 2012, JunkkMale wrote:

    'That drumbeat emanates from Israel'

    Possibly. But only heard, and heard alone if a unique frequency is tuned into.

    Absolutely. And it's typical of the BBC, which has a serious blind spot when it comes to Israel. Reminds me of the headline to Mr. Lustig's anti-Israel article a while back:

    Will Obama get tough with Israel?

    This is what passes for analysis at the BBC. And as long its journalists regard Israel as the rogue state and whitewash the real crimes of its neighbours and countries such as Iran, that analysis will remain superficial and one-sided - quite extraordinary for a publicly-funded media organisation, which should be representing all shades of opinion in a balanced fashion.

  • Comment number 43.

    25.At 11:20 15th Feb 2012, _marko wrote:

    Anyone disagree with Phil-Dublin's analysis?

    I had to chuckle at that. Phil-Dublin spams the blog with a vast quantity of copy-n-paste and then _marko asks, with a straight face, what people think of it. Well, a few paragraphs here and there was all I had the time and inclination for so I'm afraid I wont be responding with a detailed analysis.

    However, I admire the persistence and tenacity of those who have ploughed through all of that and come up with a response.

  • Comment number 44.

    16.At 19:26 14th Feb 2012, quietoaktree wrote:

    Israel only wants ´Anschluss´ and return to the ´Reich´ --of the West Bank.

    -- and the ´appeasers´ are many.

    - Then the Flood.

    Well, at least that foul comment was mercifully short. The comparison of Israel with Nazi Germany has lost none of its venom even though repeated endlessly by those who cannot think for themselves and whose only aim is to demonise the Jewish state.

  • Comment number 45.

    response to Truetoo;

    Nice to see you again, here.

    Now Israel since its inception by the Victorians, and its eventual establishment in 1948; of course has had a very VIOLENT birth and Lifestyle.

    60 years of playing whack-a-mole with her neighbours is now becoming unsustainable....

    Anyone with at least a couple of working neurons, would realize that indeed when the game of musical chairs stops...Israelis, having elected themselves as the spearhead against (insert flavour) Islam, in this crusade.....well the music is now fading and almost inaudible here at the BBC

    Please read USENET and see what the American Occupation Movement is saying about the subject....In the end, it should be the responsibility of those who "created" the Israeli regime, and it falls on their shoulders, to shut it down, in a controlled manner.

    In maths, as opposed to politics, 2 plus 2 still equals 4 for most people not 5, as Israelis would have one believe

  • Comment number 46.

    '41. At 03:06 17th Feb 2012, Phil-Dublin wrote:
    JunkkMale are you going to debate my points"

    More than others have, or I in areas that interest me, no. Because you don't debate. You lecture. And you share much in common with that bloke Mr. Cameron got in trouble with Speaker Bercow over recently.

    So it would be a waste of time.

    You have an entrenched view, and brook no other. That is fine, but hardly great material to work with.

    But there's the the odd notion that if you think it, or say it, it must be right, coupled with evidently feeling this thread is your personal fiefdom to control and moderate. It's a blog. If others don't like what I have to say, fine, it can fail on that basis.

    You can huff and puff to your heart's content, but the same applies to all you have laid out.

    All in this arena on what may happen is conjecture and opinion. No one knows anything, other than those who think they do.

    So like testosterone-fuelled governments of any hue, seeking to play to various galleries spinning in entrenched ruts is pretty pointless, unless the aim is merely to spray more mud around.

    I joined in the pick-up on your epic after a cute double act, where your screed was neatly set-up as the last word.. but sadly got even more neatly trumped.. in one (albeit linked).

    And you could not resist digging a hole by failing to appreciate that. The excavation of which is continuing apace.

    On what has been shared so far, I have no real further interest in what you or your fellow travellers think, or choose to believe, but don't expect to condescend and then cry foul if getting the same back in kind.

    The ME is a mess, irredeemably so, and faffing about how many angels may be nuking the head of the pin is also fine, if pointless when merely rehashing favoured sources you happen to like, or think acts as objective support.

    Where I do get serious is when my in-theory objective, impartial national broadcaster, and its in-theory professional editorial staff, try to stack the deck at the outset. It encourages extremes, inflames already heated passions and is too often done in the name of the entire British population when I can assure the senior management it is not. That... is what concerns me here.

    ps: Just to wind the spring a tad more, it's 'nit picking'. As to your confusion on things, I regret, I can do little to help you improve.

  • Comment number 47.


    As you know (in previous interactions) your "avoidance" to engage an Iranian, is painfully short-sighted.

    Now, like the author of this "opinions article"; u are obviously a Zionist.

    I have asked a number of questions from u; and u have had my questions "removed" by the BBC.....

    Of course u can still see them on USENET; where there is no one to aid u.

    Now ur position is "oh why o why do Americans/Brits and Francs" NOT start a War with Iran to "help" Israel survive for another 12 months or so....

    What I hear in their Response is that it is an Israeli problem that she needs to have the "courage" to fight....

    Just go ahead and throw the first bomb at us....we know u really want to...

    As talk is cheap and Iranians are not as defenceless as 32 years ago....

    Please do tell, will the Arrow anti-missile system handle 10K,20K or 100K ballistic missiles, after the Iranians "RETALIATE".....

    Self-Defence in English has not yet had the "corporate media" treatment. As far as everyone else in the World concerned; you hit them (if an when u feel courageous enough) and it would not only BE "logical" but "human" to "hit" back...

    Now how "hard", depends on ur first punch.

    lets see what Israel has got

  • Comment number 48.


    I crave a boon. Would you please read the source of this, which is, presumably, written in Farsi, and confirm or deny its veracity?

    Thanking you in advance,

    Scotch Git

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.



  • Comment number 51.

    you find a copy searching groups "The BBC is being harassed"...


  • Comment number 52.

    50. At 15:21 17th Feb 2012, Scotch Git wrote:

    Certainly one way to avoid getting referred.

    Meanwhile, on the topic of 'interesting' modding #101, can one post any old URL and say 'go find what proves what I'm saying' on any subject, and it nows gest waved through?

  • Comment number 53.

    Why did the US recognise Israel when the state of Israel could be contrary to US interests? American support was not given. When America realised that the new State's military capacity and political orientation could protect US interests, US policy changed accordingly. However, what could be more important though was the belief in Washington that if they did not recognise Israel then the Soviet Union would - which would damage American interests even further.


  • Comment number 54.

    so many questions and so few "highly selective" scripts and answers....

    And Such "selective" observations

  • Comment number 55.


    I wouldn't believe any of the trash in the Mail. You should read up on what Israeli and American 'defence' specialists say. If the article is true and Iran can 'wipe out Israel in 9 mins', Israel can wipe it out in 4!

  • Comment number 56.



    Thank you for the link. I was worried that something might have been lost in translation. (see #13)



    Yeah, but the Daily Mail & The Daily Express have the funniest cartoon strips!




    Re: #50   One was removed from the PM blog! The mods never did specify which house rule had been broken.


  • Comment number 57.

    wipe out?!

    It is hard to see how 75 million people could be wiped out?
    especially with millions living abroad?!

    Do not forget, Iran is run on the "net".

    Now Israeli attempt to wipe us out?? that would be highly un-characteristic. They have been trying very hard to wipe 2000 hezbollah.....now that is NOT a good track record.

    I suggest that they unilaterally disarm, say by vernal equinox 1391 HS (that is 2012)

    it would save them from Revolutionary zealots converging on them by that date

  • Comment number 58.

    what I call an Un-Crusade LOL

  • Comment number 59.

    Scotch, you are welcome.

    Things can only get better! (copyright 1997 The Blairite_Brownite New Labourians)

    I wonder how many now "hate" that song!?

    not many.....perhaps. But when "The Sun" became Labour....that was the best Rupert had done.

    Now where is Tony, Gordon or poor Rupert?

  • Comment number 60.

    Iran, beyond doubt, is developing the Bomb:


    And this, from the National Council of Resistance of Iran, is very interesting indeed:

    The Iranian Resistance revealed last year that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had ordered a special unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to liquidate any managers or experts in nuclear projects if it detected that they are distancing themselves from the regime or intend to leave the country. He also said that the killings should be blamed on the MEK, the U.S., Israeli operatives or “world arrogance”.


    Evidently these are courageous people, showing the world an Iranian alternative to the brutal, warmongering regime currently in power.

    47, humsaeidxiii,

    I have communicated with Iranians. Wonderful people, many of them, like those in the resistance. But unfortunately they are governed by one of the most despicable regimes ever to burden the planet - filled with hatred for others and practising terrorism on its own people as well as exporting it worldwide, with a particular emphasis on exporting it to Jews and the Jewish state. Since you obviously support that regime and your comments are designed to mock and goad, there's no possible value in responding to you.

  • Comment number 61.

    Mr. Lustig, the following is just propaganda:

    That drumbeat emanates from Israel, where the defence minister, Ehud Barak, talks of Iran soon entering a "zone of immunity", in other words a moment when its uranium enrichment programme will be so well protected in deep underground bunkers that it will become virtually impregnable.

    If you have paid attention to Mr. Barak's statements, you will have noticed that they are extremely moderate and balanced, with the emphasis always on finding a non-violent resolution to this crisis. What do you hope to gain by misrepresenting him?

  • Comment number 62.

    60. At 08:23 18th Feb 2012, TrueToo wrote:
    Iran, beyond doubt, is developing the Bomb:


    Iranians as far as everyone else "LEFT" here....oh The BBC...

    Well, IAEA an authority on these matters, OBVIOUSLY DISAGREE!!!


    simply command them to NOT change that position.

    HUM Saeid XIII

  • Comment number 63.

    Good Afternoon and Good Sabbath,

    I can't wait till Rupert starts "The Sun on Sunday".

    I can't wait till the Rothchilds (whose founder would have married his first cousin, had he known who his parents were....but luckily for his ancestors, they had first cousins)...

    Now Egyptian Royalty also used to marry their sisters, before they became jewish.

    And the Irony of Ironies....that whilst the Birds and the Bees and Trees go on teaching apes Diversification in DNA strands and the merits of CROSS-Pollination...

    as In Bread or is that inbred, salt and some leaded whine?


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