Thursday, February 02, 2006

Iranian crisis summarised: In another good post, Big Gav brings together a collection of articles on the developing Iranian crisis. What strikes me about the crisis is that under the terms of the NPT Iran (like other countries) has the right to a nuclear energy program, including the enrichment of uranium. And so far, there is no indication that Iran is in breach of the treaty. The current demands by the US are superfluous to the treaty. The US and its client state Israel are openly and repeatedly threatening war against Iran, including nuclear war. This only makes sense in imperialist and hegemonic terms - naturally a regional hegemonic rival would want to be eliminated. But it does NOT make sense in terms of peace, security and international law (not to mention morality). Ideally, Iran should not develop nuclear weapons (or even a nuclear energy program). But were it to do so, while it would certainly change and perhaps change decisively the regional hegemonic equation, it would not necessarily increase of itself the risk of nuclear or conventional war. In fact it might even reduce the risk because it is a deterrent. We have learned to live with nukes.

However the US, instead of being condemned by the world community for this threatening behaviour, is effectively being backed and supported, even by the Russians who it appears might agree with the demand that nuclear enrichment be done in Russia but not Iran. Iran for its part has insisted on its right under the NPT and has threatened retaliation if it is attacked. Iran is being backed into a corner. Iran feels that the US has been weakened by the Iraq war and it should press its advantage. The US knows it has been weakened by the war and feels the pressure to deal with Iran while it still has a limited capacity or opportunity to do so. It is a dangerous game of brinkmanship which could lead to a miscalculation and consequent disaster, ie war.

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