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Would Ahmadinejad Welcome an Attack on Iran?

“Bomb Iran!” Few words cause more apprehension among Iranians and Iranian Americans than those two put together. Yet attacking Iran is always among the list of suggestions for how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program.

Whether Iran is pursuing peaceful nuclear energy or a weapon is, however, actually becoming irrelevant.  The international community is rallying around the most recent IAEA report, which criticized Iran’s lack of cooperation with the Agency, to lambaste Iran’s continuing nuclear work.

This is exactly what Ahmadinejad was hoping for.

The world’s breathless reporting on Iran’s nuclear program takes the focus off of human rights abuses and the domestic unrest, and ratchets up the possibility of a future confrontation.  And Ahmadinejad is never happier than when he’s in a clash of civilizations with the West.

A recent war game conducted at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy demonstrated that an Israeli-US pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear sites could delay an Iranian bomb for a few years. That said, according to one participant:

There would be almost no incentive for Iran not to respond with force…It was interesting to see how useful it was for Tehran to push the limits. The Tehran regime was also able to crush its domestic political opposition.”

One has to wonder why Iran recently made the decision to move nearly all of its stockpile of enriched uranium to an above-ground facility with wholly inadequate defense against an airstrike.  Could it be that Tehran would actually invite an Israeli attack?

A former Deputy Director General of the IAEA thinks so:

Very recent signals from Tehran indicates that the Ahmadine-jad faction – it seems with the blessing of the Supreme Leader – would welcome a limited Israeli attack on a nuclear facility – for sheer internal political reasons, in order to strengthen the govern-ment and to silence the opposition.

If an attack were to occur, it would do little to actually end the nuclear program in Iran. Rather, it would almost guarantee the end of a legitimate opposition movement inside Iran.

Continuing the nuclear program.  Crushing the Green Movement.  And being able to play the victim on a global stage?  That’s a dream come true for Ahmadinejad.

  • 30 November 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 0 Comments
  • Diplomacy, Sanctions, US-Iran War

Washington Can Give An Israeli Attack On Iran The Red Light

Cross-posted from the Huffington Post:

Only a few weeks after US-Iran diplomacy began in earnest, it seems to be heading towards a premature ending. Rather than tensions reduction, the world has witnessed the opposite. Iran is refusing to accept a fuel swap deal brokered by the IAEA, the IAEA has passed a resolution rebuking Iran, and Tehran has responded by approving a plan to build ten more nuclear facilities.

With the potential end of at least this phase of diplomacy, fears of a disastrous Israeli attack on Iran are on the rise once more. But contrary to Washington’s official line, America is capable of preventing Israel from initiating a war that would further destabilize the Middle East.

  • 9 March 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • 0 Comments
  • Neo-Con Agenda, Nuclear file, Persian Gulf, US-Iran War

Israel intel chief: Iran has crossed “nuclear threshold”

israel_iran_nuclearYesterday, Israel’s head of military intelligence said that Iran has crossed the “technological threshold” of nuclear capability and can now build a nuclear bomb.

Major General Amos Yadlin  said “Iran is continuing to amass hundreds of kilograms of low-enriched uranium, and it hopes to exploit the dialogue with the West and Washington to advance toward the production of an atomic bomb.”

While acknowledging that Iran does not currently possess a nuclear weapon, Yadlin stated that its decision to produce one depends entirely on a political decision in Tehran.

The statement followed the release of a report in Washington last week that determined that Israel is seriously considering unilateral military action against Iran.  The report, organized by the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy, included a handful of experts who have since joined the Obama administration–most notably Dennis Ross, the Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the Gulf and Soutwest Asia.

While the election of Barack Obama greatly diminished the prospects of a US attack on Iran, recent developments in Israel have made the situation much more dire.  The hardline government of Binyamin Netanyahu is set to take over in a matter of weeks, and with intelligence officials and scholars ratcheting up the rhetoric about a preemptive strike, the possibility of a confrontation seems to be creeping back into view.

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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