Last Updated: Mon Nov 14, 2011 08:59 am (KSA) 05:59 am (GMT)

The IAEA’s report is politicized

Jihad el-Khazen

I understand why the UAE is concerned about Iran’s nuclear program. For one thing, Iran would cross to the Gulf through the UAE. Iran also occupies three Emirati islands, and habitually sends the UAE threats both in secret and in public.

However, Israel’s campaign on the Iranian nuclear program is political insolence akin to the Nazi anti-Semitism that culminated with the Holocaust, where a criminal occupation state that possesses a nuclear arsenal wants to attack a country that does not have one nuclear bomb. Furthermore, the military strike that Israel is planning to carry out in order to eliminate Iranian nuclear facilities may result in no more than a few hundred casualties, but may cause long-term wars in the region and beyond that would claim the lives of hundreds of thousands of dead, or even a million or more, as we have seen in Iraq.

The government of war criminals led by Benjamin Netanyahu had decided in advance that the IAEA report would confirm that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons program in an advanced stage. I will not go back to what was said a year or two ago, but only to the opening meeting of the Knesset winter session on the last day of last month. In his opening speech, Netanyahu said that Iran is a nuclear country that threatens Israel, and the same thing was claimed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

The meeting took place on Monday 31/10/2011, and the IAEA’s report on Iran’s nuclear program was issued on 8/11/2011, i.e. on Tuesday of the following week, or after eight whole days. Yet, every minister in the fascist government of Israel threatened Iran and demanded that the issue of the upcoming military strike not be discussed publicly to preserve secrecy.

Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that a military strike is the last option, but that Israel should get ready for it.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence Affairs Dan Meridor, said that announcing the military strike is madness.

Then Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman echoed the above statements, and said that discussing the issue in public causes serious damage.

The commentator in Ha’aretz Gideon Levy responded to everyone. In turn, he accused the advocates of a military strike against Iran of being insane, and said that even if Iran were to acquire a nuclear bomb, it would not use it, because that would be suicide. Instead, possessing a nuclear bomb would be a guarantee to ward off any possible attack by a foreign party.

The advocates of such a strike are a majority in the Knesset, met on the other side of the divide by Kadima and Labor, and the senior leaders of the military and security institutions. The latter know that any strike will backfire on Israel. The war criminal Meir Dagan, former chief of Mossad, opposed the strike, attacking its advocates and calling on them to take him to court so he can discuss it with them. Ephraim Halevy, another former head of Mossad, also objected to the strike, and sparked a big uproar, in turn, when he said that the extremism of the Haredim, i.e. the Eastern Jews, is a bigger threat to Israel than Ahmadinejad.

If I were an advocate of war I would have wished for a military strike against Iran, because Israel would pay a lofty price for it. However, I oppose the strike in order to preserve the lives of all people, while also warning some officials in the Gulf against being drawn to an Israeli scheme that is not justified at all.

The text of the IAEA report is fully available, and it does not state at all that Iran is pursuing a secret program to produce a nuclear bomb. Rather, it expresses concern and states that Iran is seeking to acquire the knowledge needed to produce a bomb. The report states that the facilities inspected by the observers were peaceful; however, the report also mentions heavy water plants near Tehran, although these are not included in the agreements between the IAEA and Iran. The report acknowledges that Iran had halted its military nuclear program in 2003, which was the same conclusion that was reached by the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate of 2007.

The IAEA report is politicized. It is sufficient for the readers, for example, to know that the chief of the IAEA Yukiya Amano had visited Washington 12 days before the report was issued, and met with senior officials in the National Security Council. This is despite the fact that the United States has no right to learn the contents of the report before it is published, or for Amano to discuss it with Washington.

Hence, we are in a situation where the IAEA report says nothing conclusive about an Iranian military nuclear program. Rather, it discusses hypotheses and counter-hypotheses, and expresses concern. But doubt is certainly on the side of the accused. Despite this, Israel and the American Likudniks insist that the issue has been settled and that Iran is indeed making a nuclear bomb or that it already has one. This bunch thus wants the world, in particular the United States, to carry out a military strike against Iran on its behalf.

The writer is a prominent columnist. The article was published in the London-based al-Hayat on ov. 13, 2011.

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