Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

IRAN: GREATEST THREAT TO WORLD PEACE?

Posted by strattof on March 23, 2012

According to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Iran “is the world’s most serious threat to international peace and security.” It is, he says, “beyond dispute” that the goal of Iran’s nuclear program is “the development of nuclear weapons,” and that Iran would have “no hesitation” to use nuclear weapons should it acquire them.    

In making such claims, the Harper government is preparing the ground for Canadian involvement in an Israeli- or US-led military campaign against Iran. Before we are stampeded into supporting yet another war, we need clear answers to two questions:  

  • Is Iran developing nuclear weapons?   
  • What would be the consequences of an attack on Iran?

IS IRAN DEVELOPING NUCLEAR WEAPONS?

There is no evidence that Iran is attempting or planning to build a bomb.

  • Iran itself denies the charge, insisting that the sole aim of its nuclear program is to develop the ability to produce nuclear energy for peaceful, power-generating purposes, as it is entitled to do under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
  • More crucially, none of the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency indicate that Iran has developed or is about the develop nuclear weapons. The worst the IAEA has said is that it “continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program” (Report to UN Security Council, February 24 2012, emphasis added).
  • Last month, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told US legislators that, while Iran is enriching uranium for its nuclear power program, “intelligence does not show that they’ve made the decision to proceed with developing a nuclear weapon.”

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, the same discredited argument used to justify the disaster of Iraq, is being used to make the case for an attack on Iran.

If Stephen Harper had been Prime Minister of Canada in 2003, Canada would have gone to war against Iraq. The then leader of the Conservative opposition wrote to the Wall Street Journal that the Liberal government’s decision to stay out of Iraq was a “serious mistake” and that disarming Iraq was “necessary for the long-term security of the world.”

WHAT WOULD BE THE CONSEQUENCES OF AN ATTACK ON IRAN?

  • Massive Civilian Casualties: Bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities would kill large numbers of Iranian civilians. It would also spew radioactive materials into the air and water of Iran and beyond.
  • Retaliation: Another western attack on a Muslim state would likely trigger retaliation, putting the lives of civilians in western countries in danger.
  • Economic Havoc: An attack would damage the international oil market and hence further weaken the global economy.
  • Regional Conflagration: Iran’s regional allies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Gaza, and the Gulf would be mobilized.
  • Global Conflagration: An attack on Iran might trigger a Third World War as it has the potential to bring nuclear-armed Russia, China, and Pakistan into the conflict.

 Which is a greater threat to world peace:

Iran or Stephen Harper?

NUCLEAR DOUBLE STANDARDS: 4 EXAMPLES

1.   Iran has no nuclear weapons and western countries are threatening it with dire consequences for failing to reveal what it is doing in the nuclear area. Israel, Iran’s main adversary, has a huge arsenal of unacknowledged nuclear weapons and western countries aren’t saying anything. In other words, Israel is allowed to have as many nuclear weapons as it wants, while Iran is not allowed to have any.

2.   Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel has openly defied the Treaty by refusing to sign it. And while Iran has subjected itself to international inspections, Israel has refused to open up its actually existing nuclear weapons program to international scrutiny. Yet it is Iran, not Israel, which is being severely punished with crippling sanctions and threatened with attack. Israel, by contrast, is being given economic, military, and diplomatic support. 

3.   Israel is the most aggressive state in the region, having conducted military attacks on other countries at least four times since 2006. Iran, by comparison, has never attacked another country in modern history. Yet it is Iran, not Israel, that western leaders and media describe as aggressive and highly dangerous.  

4.   The IAEA does not publish reports on US nuclear weapons, currently numbering 5,133 warheads. Nor does it say anything about Britain’s and France’s nuclear weapons.     

ELIMINATION OF ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS

If the United States and Israel, along with Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea, can have nuclear weapons, why can’t Iran? How can the US, which is the only country ever to have used nuclear weapons, forbid others to have their own?

 “So long as [nuclear] weapons exist, it is inevitable that the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be repeated–somewhere, sometime–in an unforgivable affront to humanity itself” (Takashi Hiraoka, Mayor of Hiroshima, Hiroshima Peace Declaration, 6 August 1995).

The only way to stop nuclear proliferation is to create a world in which there are no nuclear weapons. Our first task, then, is to call on all nuclear weapons states to destroy their nuclear weapons.

No nuclear weapons in Iran! No nuclear weapons in Israel! No nuclear weapons in the United State. No nuclear weapons in  Britain, France, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, or North Korea!

NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS ANYWHERE!

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