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Iran Viewpoint: Opposition To War Gaining Momentum – OpEd

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Although the Israeli leaders have historically demonstrated that they are insane and reckless enough to commit such a malicious and lethal blunder as launching a military strike on Iran, the international opposition to war against Iran is progressively gaining momentum.

Several prominent academicians, peace activists, artists, journalists and even Nobel Prize laureates have stood shoulder by shoulder with the international organizations to voice their dismay and alarm at the renewed war rhetoric of Israel against Iran and its possible plans for launching a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities ahead of the new round of nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers on May 23 in Baghdad.

Israel has perpetually been at the forefront of defying Iran’s peaceful nuclear program while according to the Federation of American Scientists, possesses up to 200 nuclear warheads itself. So far, the UN nuclear watchdog has failed to present hard evidence proving that Iran’s nuclear program has deviated toward military purposes; however, under the pressure of Israel, the United States and their European cronies, the United Nations Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran and the EU foreign ministers have recently reached an agreement to impose an oil embargo against the country which will take effect on July 1.

In dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, threats of military operation and economic sanctions have been the two sides of the same coin for the U.S., Israel and EU. From one hand, they impose hard-hitting sanctions to derail Iran’s economy, create instability in the country and sow the seeds of discord and disagreement between the people and the government, and from the other hand, they vehemently talk of a possible military expedition so as to demoralize the country’s statesmen, forcing them into giving up the nuclear program and also make other political and economic concessions.

However, there are still people of conscience in the world who have lend their hands to oppose the hawkish policies of Israel and outspokenly voiced their opposition to a possible war with Iran which will portend incredible insecurity for the Middle East, bring the oil prices to a historically unprecedented price and inevitably engage many regional countries which are by far unwilling to see another catastrophic confrontation in a tumultuous Middle East.

Among the Nobel Prize laureates who advocated against potential military strike on Iran are the Irish Mairead Corrigan-Maguire and Betty Williams who have also been strong opponents of the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, the late Nobel Prize laureate in literature Harold Pinter and American peace activist Jody Williams.

Another strong opponent of a war against Iran is the legendary linguist and political commentator, Noam Chomsky, who is said to be the mostly cited author writing in English after William Shakespeare.

In a recent article for the AlterNet website, Chomsky has argued that it is Israel, and not Iran, that is perceived by the majority of Arab people to be the most dangerous threat to the Middle East. He says that the Non-Aligned Movement, consisted of about 120 countries has frankly supported Iran’s right to enrich uranium for research and medical purposes, and that the majority of Americans, as indicated by public opinion polls, oppose an Israeli or American war against Iran. He even cites polls in which the participants have expressed their belief that the world will be a safer place if Iran had nuclear weapons, while Iran has always rejected the claims that it intends to develop nuclear technology for military purposes: “Europeans regard Israel as the greatest threat to world peace. In the Arab world, Iran … is seen as a threat only by a very small minority. Rather, Israel and the U.S. are regarded as the pre-eminent threat. A majority think that the region would be more secure if Iran had nuclear weapons: In Egypt on the eve of the Arab Spring, 90 percent held this opinion, according to Brookings Institution/Zogby International polls. Western commentary has made much of how the Arab dictators allegedly support the U.S. position on Iran, while ignoring the fact that the vast majority of the population opposes it – a stance too revealing to require comment.”

On the justifiability of Israel’s war threats against Iran, Gareth Porter, the renowned American historian and journalist writes that “of course the threats are not justifiable. They are the behavior of hegemonic state seeking to maintain its hegemony.” However, he doesn’t believe that Israel will be attacking Iran: “I don’t actually believe Israel is going to attack Iran. I believe Netanyahu has been bluffing all along, and I believe the vast majority of intelligence and military people in Israel believe that too, because they know that an attack against Iran would be suicidal for Israel.” Porter says that an Israeli attack against Iran will bring about unimaginable consequences for the Zionist regime: “If Israel did attack Iran, it would be enough for the Iranian rockets to cause a significant social crisis in Israel. I believe immigration would essentially stop and a significant emigration from Israel would begin. As Meir Dagan has said, it would be the end of the state of Israel.”

Fredrick Toben, a German/Australian author and a loyal supporter of Iran also thinks that Israel is not in the position to attack Iran because it is suffering severe internal problems and predicaments. He believes that an Israeli attack on Iran will be tantamount to the annihilation of Israel. “Israel is not a normal state because it is a military dictatorship that occupies some land and pretends to own it – when in fact it is operating/occupying stolen land… The Israeli threats are real because of the problems the regime faces from within. The threat is a ‘scapegoat’ mechanism that effectively deflects from its own social, economic and political problems. The maxim is “if Israel is destroyed, then we’ll destroy the world before we are destroyed”. However, such self-destructive mindset needs to understand that this is not a civilized way of solving the demographic problem, i.e. that Palestinians will outnumber ‘Israelis’ within the next few decades and so the solution to the problem should be focusing on developing one Palestine and not the two state solution. If Iran is attacked first then I see the end of the Zionist entity as Iran effectively retaliates.”

Along with the individuals who have expressed their disapproval of the Israeli-American ploys for attacking Iran, many peace organizations have also planned campaigns against sanctions and military intervention in Iran. International Action Center which is a peace organization associated with Ramsey Clark, the United States Attorney General from 1967 to 1969 under President Lyndon B. Johnson, has posted several articles and petitions on its websites, calling for the international community to end the campaign of intimidation and coercion against Iran.

In an article written by Clark himself, the mostly overlooked issue of the assassination of Iran’s nuclear scientists by Israel’s intelligence agents was raised and the intolerable indifference and deafening silence of the West to Israel’s state-sponsored terrorism was questioned. The article which was written immediately after the assassination of Iran’s 32-year-old nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, condemned using violence against Iranian civilians and called for a comprehensive scrutiny into the case: “Another Iranian Scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, has been assassinated in Iran by a car bomb. This is the fifth Iranian scientist targeted by assassins working in Iran in two years. Four attacks succeeded. This is a deadly escalation of the covert criminal activities conducted by the U.S., Israel and their terrorists and domestic spies in Iran against the government and people of Iran.”

“While Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has denied any U.S. involvement, the important and undeniable truth is that the governments of the U.S. and Israel have openly declared Iran as an enemy and have publicly stated that they will use all means necessary, not excluding military attack, to change the Iranian government using Iran’s efforts to produce nuclear energy as an excuse,” wrote Clark.

U.S.-based organizations such as American Friends Service Committee, Bay Area United Against the War, Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace and Justice, Berkeley Gray Panthers, Courage To Resist, Crabgrass, Declaration of Peace SF Bay Area, Ecumenical Peace Institute/Calc, Grandmothers for Peace and South Bay Mobilization are among the groups which are advocating diplomacy and non-violent solutions to standoff over Iran’s nuclear program and have urged the U.S. government to stop its war rhetoric on Iran.

“Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran” and “Hands Off the People of Iran” are two UK-based organizations which work toward the aim of bringing to an end the artificial controversy over Iran’s nuclear program. These organizations support Iran’s nuclear program and have programmed rallies and demonstrations across the UK to engage people who want to join the anti Iran war voices.

The Stop War on Iran movement is also a well-known campaign organized by Ramsey Clark, British MP George Galloway, former UN Assistant Secretary General Dennis Halliday, former First Lady of Greece Margarita Papandreou and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton who are all opposed to the Israeli-American plans for attacking Iran.

What is clear is that the number of the hawks who love a new adventure in the Middle East is far less than those who support Iran and want an end to the nuclear deadlock. As far as the global public opinion is so staunchly against a military strike against Iran, the fragile Zionist regime will not dare attack Iran, at least for the sake of its own shaky existence.

Kourosh Ziabari

Kourosh Ziabari

Kourosh Ziabari is an award-winning Iranian journalist, writer and media correspondent. He represents Fair Observer and Your Middle East in Iran. He also conducts interviews and writes commentaries for the Iran Review news and analysis website as a staff writer and reporter. His articles and interviews have been published on Tehran Times, Press TV, International Policy Digest, Foreign Policy Journal, Global Research, Turkish Weekly Journal, Strategic Culture Foundation, Al-Arabiya, Counterpunch, Voltaire Network, Baltimore Chronicle and Opinion Maker. He currently blogs for The Huffington Post and writes op-eds for the UK-based Middle East Eye. In 2009, while an undergraduate student of English Language and Literature, he was selected to represent the Middle East students in the International Student Energy Summit 2009 in Calgary, Canada. Kourosh Ziabari is working with Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations as an Iran analyst. He has conducted interviews with some 380 prominent world leaders, politicians, diplomats, UN officials, academicians, public intellectuals, authors, media personalities, journalists and historians. Kourosh Ziabari is the winner of the silver medal at the National Festival of Superior Iranian Youth. He has won three awards in Iran's National Press Festival and also been a member of the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing. He was a member of Stony Brook Independent magazine's editorial board and a member of the Kenya-based World Student Community for Sustainable Development. In June 2015, he received a fellowship from Deutsche Welle / European Youth Press to attend and cover the Global Media Forum 2015 in the German city of Bonn. In August 2015, he was named by the Hawaii-based East-West Center as a Senior Journalists Seminar Fellow 2015 to travel to the United States, Malaysia and Pakistan for a reporting and dialog tour aimed at bridging the gaps in the relations between the United States and the Muslim world. He is also a recipient of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism awarded to him in November 2015 by the FNPI foundation in Colombia.

One thought on “Iran Viewpoint: Opposition To War Gaining Momentum – OpEd

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    May 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm
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    While a good exposition on the morality and criminality of the US/Israeli war on Iran, when have they ever paid any attention to either. Another thing to consider is tactical. While the gold plated US ordnance is extremely deadly against defenseless civilians, i.e., IAF 655, Operation Iraq Liberation,etc., and should be able to stop 80-90% of the missiles and torpedoes launched against the 5th Fleet, many will hit their targets.

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