NAM Leaders Support Iran
by Stephen Lendman
After six historic days, over 100 participating nations expressed support for common interests as well as host country Iran. The New York Times said NAM “handed….Iran a diplomatic victory.”
The Christian Science Monitor suggested efforts to isolate Iran failed.
The Russian International News Agency (RIA Novosti) said participants supported Iran and its peaceful nuclear program.
The Tehran Times said “NAM summit set back US-Israeli campaign to isolate Iran.”
Press TV called the summit the “most important” political event in the Islamic Republic’s history.
Late Friday, the largest, most impressive NAM summit in decades ended. Iran gained prestige. It emerged standing tall. America, Israel, and rogue allies got long overdue black eyes.
President Mohammed Morsi was Egypt’s first leader to visit Iran since its 1979 revolution. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also came for the first time.
They combined support with criticism. Morsi shamelessly endorsed imperial efforts to topple Assad. Ban regurgitated Israeli lies about Iran allegedly wanting the Jewish state destroyed and denying the holocaust. These canards long ago wore thin.
Ban also called for diplomatically resolving Western/Iranian differences. He said it’s “regrettable that Iran has yet to reach agreement with the IAEA on a plan to resolve all outstanding issues.” He urged both sides to pursue “a reciprocal, step-by-step process.”
Washington and Netanyahu hardliners were duly embarrassed. The summit’s success ran counter to their belligerent, isolationist, imperial policies.
At the same time, a strategically timed IAEA report suggested an Iranian threat. None exists. Western and Israeli leaders know it. So does IAEA head Yukiya Amano. He’s more pro-Western stooge than honest broker.
The report said Tehran increased its uranium enrichment capacity by 30% since May. It doubled it at its fortified Fordow facility.
With no evidence whatever proving it, it implied Tehran’s moving closer to weapon-grade material. It falsely alleged Iran’s Panchin facility conducts nuclear related explosive tests.
Panchin is a conventional military site. Most nations have similar ones. Only Iran is called a nuclear threat.
Media scoundrels took full advantage. They downplayed or ignored summit achievements while headlining IAEA implied accusations. In fact, they’re more smoke than fire.
Deep in its report, IAEA said most Iranian fuel is enriched far below weapons grade. Conversion would be hard at best. In addition, much new material is in metal form for use in a nuclear research reactor. Uranium in this form can’t be enriched to weapons grade.
In other words, an alleged threat doesn’t exist. What should have been headlined was ignored or downplayed. The timing tried to undermine Iran’s summit success.
According to Britain’s International Institute for Strategic Studies research analyst/project coordinator Dina Esfandiary, the event showed Iran “still has friends and trade partners despite international efforts to isolate it.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s closing speech said:
NAM summit achievements were “unprecedented.” “(B)right, glorious and effective” prospects lie ahead.
“The important political message by NAM to the international community is the message of friendship and peace and its readiness to tackle global challenges.”
“All the members underlined the necessity for fundamental transformation in the global management and interactions. All the members emphasized public participation in the management (of the world) based on justice and amity as the foundation of sustainable peace.”
“All the members underlined the (need for the) promotion of the status of the movement and the preparation of the grounds for the establishment of the required structures for the mutual reinforcement of the members’ capabilities and joint involvement in the global interactions and equations.”
Ahmadinejad also stressed the importance of avoiding conflict. He highlighted the need for logic and dialogue in dealing with major global challenges.
He urged participants to establish a temporary secretariat and organize NAM’s structure.
Member states warned about plots to sow discord. They also expressed concern about certain nations seeking world dominance at the expense of others.
The final communique contained around 700 clauses. Topics addressed included:
- opposition to the misuse of human rights;
- global nuclear disarmament;
- opposition to racism and Islamophobia;
- support for Iran’s peaceful nuclear program;
- opposition to US sanctions;
- opposition to outside interference in Syria’s internal affairs;
- support for national sovereignty; and
- solidarity with and support for Palestinian rights.
At the same time, Netanyahu’s bluster continues. On August 31, the Jerusalem Post headlined “PM tells US time has run out on Iran diplomacy,” saying:
Netanyahu “got into a diplomatic shouting match with US Ambassador Dan Shapiro….” At issue is disagreement with Obama over when, not if, to target Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Earlier in the week, Republican Congressman Mike Rogers visited Israel. An unnamed source said Netanyahu began an anti-Obama “tirade,” saying “(i)nstead of pressuring Iran in an effective way, (he) and his people are pressuring us not to attack the nuclear facilities.”
The source also said “sparks flew” between Netanyahu and Shapiro. An earlier Jerusalem Post report quoted Netanyahu saying he’ll never let Israel live under the shadow of annihilation.
Claiming it runs counter to facts, of course. Iran poses no threat. In contrast, Israel and Washington menace the region. Media reports invert truths. Doing so advances the ball for war.
At the same time, a healthy debate continues. On September 1, Haaretz headlined “Former Mossad chief: An attack on Iran likely to foment a generations-long war,” saying:
Former Mossad and National Security Council head Efraim Halevy argued years earlier that Iran posed no threat. He strongly opposes war. Nonetheless, his latest comments are measured.
He stopped short of reproaching Netanyahu. He understands Iran’s position. He supports resolving differences diplomatically. He calls his views “complex,” saying:
“I do indeed argue that a nuclear Iran does not constitute an existential threat to Israel. If one day we wake up and discover that Iran has nuclear weapons, that does not mean the start of the countdown to the end of Israel’s existence. Israel need not despair.”
“We have deterrent capability and preventive capability. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, Israel will be able to design a true operational response that will be able to cope with that.”
“I am absolutely appalled when I hear our leaders talking as though there were no Israel Defense Forces and as though there were no State of Israel and as though Auschwitz is liable to be repeated.”
Iran is no existential threat, he stressed. Force is an unacceptable option. “Going to war is an absolute and irreversible act that entails high costs.” A possible generational war could follow, he believes. Preventing it should be prioritized.
Halevy stopped short of saying attacking Iran would be disastrous. However, his comments strongly suggested it. He urges all possible options for peace, not war.
“It’s always worth remembering,” he said, “that the greatest victory in war is the victory that is achieved without firing a shot.” In other words, war accomplishes nothing. Peace should be pursued at all costs.
On August 31, Haaretz discussed the “secret reason for Netanyahu’s timing” on attacking Iran, saying:
“The reason behind the timing of a possible attack….is one big act of deception.” Netanyahu is more bluster than bite. He’s a hothead. His rhetoric and reasoning disengage.
He and Barak believe whatever they do, Washington’s support will follow. “This is deception.” Netanyahu “is misleading people.” He depends on US support. Nonetheless, his rhetoric does much to undermine it.
His narrow vision is hardline. He wants his way regardless of Washington’s position. Does he really want war or is he faking it? As prime minister from 1996 – 1999 and since 2009, he never initiated one.
Why now when no strategic threat exists? Why when the potential consequences may be disastrous? If he goes it alone and fails, he’ll be condemned and risk isolation.
He and Barak understand and won’t attack without Washington’s agreement and ideally its partnership in a joint attack.
“In private conversations,” he fears Obama “will take revenge for the overt efforts to defeat him and will prevent (him) from attacking Iran.”
For this reason only, “some reliable sources say” he’ll attack Iran during the Democrat National Convention next week “when the timing is the worst for Israel. That’s the price of” showing support for Romney.
That’s a price too high to pay. Doing so would risk Israel’s security. It might also force Netanyahu to resign or replaced.
Haaretz is more worried than reasoned. Netanyahu is belligerent, extremist, and hotheaded, but he’s not crazy. Expect no attack next week.
A same day Haaretz report suggested he’s “banking on an exit strategy,” saying:
At minimum, he has two options. He and Obama will meet at the September General Assembly meeting. In addition, a joint US-Israeli military exercise is scheduled for mid-October.
Attacking Iran pre-election “would be like sticking a finger in” Obama’s eye.” Don’t expect it. At the same time, Israeli bluster eliminates tactical surprise.
Belligerents don’t usually announce intentions in advance. Doing so suggests talk short of action. Netanyahu/Barak cry wolf constantly. It doesn’t mean follow-through is off the table, but suggests the timing isn’t now.
In addition, Iran concluded a successful NAM summit. World support was expressed. Tehran’s prestige was enhanced. Attacking the Islamic Republic now perhaps would engender world wrath.
Even hotheads know doing so is stupid and counterproductive. Israel’s security would also be at great risk. Perhaps relations with Washington would be jeopardized.
Friction may be behind the Pentagon’s decision to send fewer US forces for Austere Challenge 12 in October. Initially, 5,000 were scheduled to participate. Numbers were reduced to at most 1,500.
In addition, planned missile interception systems will be reduced in number and potency. Patriot anti-missiles will come without crews and maybe one instead of two Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense warships.
America remains committed to Israel’s security. At the same time, defiance doesn’t go down well. Hegemons assert they’re boss, and what they say goes. Israel got the message. Expect no imminent attack on Iran.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.