- Provocative rhetoric followed release of the IAEA report
on Iran's nuclear program, despite baseless allegations in it.
- In October 2009, the Agency leaked a document titled
"Possible Dimensions of Iran's Nuclear Program" to the New York
Times. At issue was circumventing then IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei. Allegations
in it were spurious. As a result, he wouldn't touch it.
- Two months later Yukiuya Amano replaced him. IAEA was
politicized. In December 2010, the London Guardianpublished a leaked US
embassy cable saying he's "director general of all states, but in
agreement with us." Its title was: "Amano ready for prime time."
- A November 2010 Guardian article headlined, "Nuclear
Wikileaks: Cables show cosy US relationship with (new) IAEA chief."
State Department official Geoffrey Pyatt was quoted, saying:
- Amano will "overcome bureaucratic inertia (and)
modernize Agency operations...." He's "solidly in the US court
on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments
to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program."
- In other words, he's there to salute and obey orders,
not be nonpolitical and impartial. He hasn't disappointed.
- America's media jumped on his new report, again suggesting
"possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program" with
no evidence whatever proving it. Nonetheless, US, Israeli and UK belligerents
bellowed it. So far, nothing's gone beyond rhetorical saber rattling.
- Whether or not war's planned isn't known. Cooler heads
in high places know the risk. Minimally it could engulf the entire region
disastrously. Worse would be general war, possibly involving Russia and
- Once something starts, anything's possible, even unthinkably
using of nuclear weapons to destroy underground facilities. Doing so would
risk many thousands of lives and widespread radiation contamination.
- Guardian writer Julian Borger headlined, "The IAEA
report: what does it mean and will it lead to war with Iran?"saying:
- "There is nothing in the report that was not previously
known by the major powers. The West and Israel (supplied information on
alleged) weapons development...."
- "Furthermore, the bulk of the report is historical,"
pre-2003. Clearly it shows Iran's not "rac(ing) to a bomb."
- "Obama....has no stomach nor money for another war,
and (Pentagon) generals insist that every way they game the scenarios,
America comes out the loser."
- Former IAEA inspector/later department director Robert
Kelly called Amano's report "very thin," a "real mish-mash,"
including "amateurish analysis...I thought there would be a lot more
there....It's certainly old news. It's really quite stunning how little
new information is in there."
- In 2005, Kelly examined Amano's original documents. Gotten
from a mysterious laptop, they alleged a so-called "green salt project"
to provide clandestine uranium, high-explosives testing, and reengineering
a Shahab-3 missile to carry a nuclear warhead.
- From them, Kelly discounted possible Iranian military
applications, suggesting documents were forged, saying:
- "There is nothing to tell that those documents are
real. My sense when I went through (them) years ago was that there was
possibly a lot of stuff in there that was genuine, (but) it was a kind
- The little high quality material in them amounted to
"two or three pages that wasn't related to anything else in the package.
It was on a different topic, and you just wondered" whether fake evidence
- He recalled 1993 and 1994 when the IAEA got "very
complex forgeries" on an alleged Iraq nuclear weapons program.
- "Those documents had markings on them (to) resemble
Iraqi (ones), but when we dug into them they were clearly forgeries."
- In 2002, Kelly said the IAEA got "pretty bad"
Italian forgeries on Iraq's alleged Niger nuclear links. That was then.
War resulted. Now perhaps Iran's targeted unjustifiably.
- Shannon Kile, Stockholm International Peace Research
Institute (SIPRI) Nuclear Weapons Project head, said:
- Iran "doesn't seem to have the same North Korea-like
obsession with developing nuclear weapons. That's nowhere to be found in
the (IAEA) evidence."
- "Yes, Iran is making progress. They've covered the
waterfront in terms of the main technical areas that you need to develop
a nuclear weapon. But there is no evidence they have a dedicated program
- Nonetheless, investigative journalist Wayne Madsen sees
"War Clouds Form(ing) over Iran," saying:
- "Israel's strategy is to make certain that its plans
to attack Iran's nuclear facilities and, perhaps other targets, meet no
opposition from (US) diplomatic circles...."
- As a result, "Asian nations want to freeze the United
States out of interference in Asia." Worrisome signs include Israel's
"open secret ally, Saudi Arabia," appointing former Egyptian
intelligence head Omar Suleiman advisor to Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul
- Washington's increasing its presence in Kuwait, Bahrain,
Qatar, UAE, Oman and perhaps elsewhere in the region. New CIA and Pentagon
Predator drone bases were established in Djibouti, Seychelles, Ethiopia,
and reportedly Saudi Arabia. More are planned.
- Obama's "under tremendous (Israeli Lobby) pressure
(to) support an Israeli military strike on Iran...." Doing so would
involve Washington and perhaps other NATO partners. To assure pro-Israeli
voter support, Obama would have to go along.
- Given the potential for war, Russia, China, their Shanghai
Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states, India, Turkey, and other
regional nations show justifiable alarm.
- On November 10, Israel National News headlined, "Report:
Israel Preparing 'Christmas Surprise' for Iran," saying:
- Britain's Daily Mail said Israel may attack "Iran's
nuclear facilities....as soon as December 25...." An unnamed senior
Foreign Office official said, "We're expecting something as early
as Christmas," or very early in the new year."
- Foreign Secretary William Hague said the IAEA report
"completely discredits" Iran's nonmilitary dimension claim.
- Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israeli Radio,
"We continue to recommend to our friends in the world and to ourselves,
not to take any option off the table," suggesting a possible attack.
- Haaretz reported that Amir Kahanovich, chief economist
at Israel's Clal Finance saying attacking Iran would exact far too high
an economic price for the world to accept.
- He cited sharply higher oil prices, disrupted global
trade, and more affecting Israel and other nations.
- Israel's Institute for National Security Studies Ephraim
Kam doubt stiff sanctions are coming. Russia and China won't tolerate them.
They'd also risk greater economic fallout. At most, he says "another
round of light sanctions."
- US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said attacking Iran
should be a "last resort." Doing so would have serious regional
repercussions, he believes. Potentially they could be much worse.
- Interviewed on Press TV, historian Peter Rushton accused
Israel of escalating anti-Iran hysteria, adding:
- "I think voters in Britain and America would do
well to take a long hard look at those politicians who are prepared to
give limitless trust to Israel at the expense of their own people"
and regional peace.
- Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah expects regional
war to erupt from attacking Iran.
- Also interviewed on Press TV, independent journalist
Nader Mokhtari said:
- "The United Nations has lost its basic functions
for a very long time. (It) has not been able to intervene effectively in
matters that it should have been able (to), according to its charter...."
- Its structure prevents "99% of the world (from having)
a say in running world affairs, and a select few" decide everything,
including on those issues most important.
- America has virtual veto power on all issues. With Israel,
it threatens attacking Tehran unjustifiably. Its allegations are baseless.
Regional war may follow with unpredictable consequences. The danger is
real and frightening.
- A Final Comment
- Last May, George Mitchell left his White House Middle
East envoy post. Rumor at the time suggested it was because of his deputy
Dennis Ross' extreme bias.
- Anti-Defamation League head Abe Foxman calls him Israel's
"advocate." Middle East analyst Aaron David Miller calls him
"Israel's lawyer." Others call him a Zionist hardliner up to
no good for Palestine or Israel's regional rivals.
- Some say he was forced out. Now he's stepping down. On
November 10, The New York Times headlined, "Obama's Influential Mideast
Envoy to Resign," saying:
- He's stepping down "at a time when Israeli-Palestinian
peace talks are frozen and tensions over Iran are flaring anew."
- Ross gave the usual reason about wanting to spend more
time with his family. Others cite his duplicity, extreme bias, and failure
to accomplish anything beyond representing Israel at a time its influence
- Earlier he served as GHW Bush administration's State
Department Policy and Planning director, after which he became Clinton's
Special Middle East Coordinator.
- He's also co-founder of the AIPAC-backed Washington Institute
for Near East Policy (WINEP). It's an extremist pro-Israeli front group.
Ross will return after leaving his present post.
- WINEP's Board of Advisors includes a rogue's gallery
of figures like Richard Perle, George Shultz, Robert McFarlane, James Woolsey,
and former US Israeli ambassador Samuel Lewis.
- James Petras once called Ross "a virulent Zionist
advocate of Israel's ultra-militaristic policies, including an armed preemptive
attack on Iranian nuclear and military installations."
- "Ross is an unconditional supporter of the Israeli
starvation siege of (Gaza), and fully backed Israel's savage (2006) air
attacks against civilian targets in Lebanon."
- No friend of Palestine, he one-sidedly backs Israel's
worst lawlessness. He won't be missed.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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