Given the massive propaganda on all sides, it is difficult for anyone other than a handful of Iranian scientists and officials to know where Iran stands on its “nuclear program,” which may be intended and designed today for energy and other non-military purposes, but which can be switched into a military program at a later date. Unless the US comes clean with Israel, and unless the Non-Proliferation Treaty becomes more meaningful so that Pakistan, India, and North Korea are signatories and the US sharply reduces its own nuclear arsenal, and unless the US joins China and India on the No First Use pledge, Iran has the right to nuclear deterrent.
Considering that only the US has used nuclear weapons so far, Iran may just be another country with a weapon that it cannot use in a hot war, but use it for diplomatic and geopolitical leverage. Pakistan has nuclear weapons and the record speaks for itself on how much nuclear deterrent has helped that country.
Where does the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stand on Iran? In February 2010 the IAEA confirmed that Iran had begun enriching uranium to higher levels. “Altogether this raises concerns about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.” Western powers and IAEA are always careful to claim that Iran is on its way to developing nuclear weapons, and that is exactly what I have pointed out in previous postings. On the other hand, the IAEA has allegedly abused its authority by collecting and sharing confidential information about Iranian scientists who are then targeted for assassination. The US has skillfully used the IAEA as part of a long-standing containment policy of Iran.
As far as Iran buying North Korean missiles, that seems to be the case and China most likely facilitated the purchase in order to help Korea’s economy. There is so much propaganda on this issue, it is difficult to say that Iran purchase parts, entire missiles, or anything from North Korea. If indeed Iran bought N. Korean missiles, what else could it do given US containment policy? Besides, is there something sacred and holy about French missiles versus the inherently evil N. Korean missiles? Do missiles not kill and destroy just the same regardless of origin? Where is Iran to purchase weapons when it is cut off from most of the world owing to US containment policy?
Given the US-led Cold War against Iran, Russia and China are not only taking advantage of striking advantageous trade deals for their countries, but they are using Iran for all it is worth politically and militarily–and why not? On the other hand, it is true that the nuclear program is now a matter of national pride and widely supported by the Iranians, largely thanks to the US and Israel that made it an issue. Iranian President Ahmadinejad has been using nuclear energy development (behind which could be a military agenda) as a nationalist and patriotic catalyst to rally public support behind the regime.
In connection with the nuclear program–energy or military is not at issue–Iranian leaders have been far more defensive than they need be and of course they have been extremely anti-Zionist to the degree of losing the propaganda war with the very audience they want on their side. While I share the view of UN Resolution 3379 (Nov. 1975) that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination, I am also well aware that anti-Zionist rhetoric particularly from Iranian leaders comes across to the general public as anti-Semitic and that is exactly how western media interprets anti-Zionist rhetoric from government officials in Tehran.
Exactly what is the purpose of hyperbolic anti-Zionist rhetoric coming from the highest levels of Iranian government? I can understand it from Palestinians fighting on a daily basis for their homes, for water, for the right to see their relatives separated by the Israeli wall. Iran, however, is surrounded by Arab enemies, the Iranian public is already convinced that Israel is the enemy, thus employing anti-Zionist rhetoric defeats the purpose of gaining sympathy from western governments, NGOs, and the general public that Iran wants on its side.
Regardless of Iran’s nuclear program, the US will probably never achieve its goal of going back to the Cold War when Iran was an American satellite managed by the Shah. From what I read, and from what one of my Iranian academic friends who travels back and forth to Tehran tells me, it is true that Iran has been making immense progress in the areas of science and technology, despite US containment policy. However, Iran under the current regime is undermining its own goals of securing more allies and enjoying greater leverage internationally so that Russia and China would not be taking advantage of the country under US containment policy that is holding back Iran’s progress.