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Articles on Iran after 2015
Iran, Pakistan and North Korea: the USA and the nuclear threat
Iran vs Saudi Arabia
Articles on Iran before 2015

  • (july 2015) Iran, Pakistan and North Korea: the USA and the nuclear threat.
    Before you blame Obama, recall that George W Bush, widely considered a hawk, and president for eight years from 2001 till 2008, couldn't stop North Korea from developing its first atomic bomb, didn't stop Pakistan from multiplying its nuclear arsenal, and didn't manage to slow down the Iranian nuclear program. Those who blame Obama's appeasement strategy for the current state of affairs forget that he inherited a nuclear North Korea, a nuclear Pakistan and an almost-nuclear Iran.
    There is a lot of distrust towards Iran, because Iran has a record of cheating. However, it would be useful to remember that Iran's nuclear ambitions are due to the fact that there already is one nuclear power in the Middle East: Israel. Under the Obama deal Israel (a country that these days is certainly not known for restrained and peaceful attitudes) can maintain a covert nuclear program while Iran is forbidden to even have a modest program of nuclear energy. No wonder that Iran has repeatedly tries to cheat: the USA wants Iran to disarm while arming Israel to the teeth. How about disarming Israel the same way we are disarming Iran? The current regime of Iran is the result of events that started in 1953, when the USA's and the British secret services engineered a coup to oust Iran's democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh; in 1979 the Iranian people rose up against the dictator installed by the USA and the current regime took over. The following year Iran became the main victim of weapons of mass destruction after Nagasaki: Saddam Hussein's Iraq attacked Iran with chemical weapons and killed tens of thousands. The USA (Reagan was president) supported Saddam Hussein and helped him with advanced technology. Two Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated by the USA and Israel (Majid Shahriari in 2010 and Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan in 2012). How would the USA react if Iran had engineered a coup in Washington, supported an invasion from Mexico and assassinated two US nuclear scientists? What are the USA's credentials to lecture Iran on trust?
    What is truly puzzling in this story is that everybody in the USA is talking about the negotiations to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb (Iran being a country that does not have missiles capable of hitting the USA) whereas almost nobody seems to worry about North Korea, a country that does have atomic bombs (thanks to Bush's appeasement strategy) and claims to have long-range missiles capable of striking California, and nobody seems concerned about Pakistan, a failed Islamic state and the first sponsor of fanatical Islam (Al Qaeda and then the Taliban) with the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world. Of all these regimes the one that is (by far) the most unpredictable is North Korea, which is also the one that has kidnapped and killed Japanese and South Korean citizens for no apparent reason other than boasting its military prowess. Pakistan's regime is a close second in terms of military madness. Pakistan is single-handedly responsible for the longest running civil war in the world, the one in Afghanistan. It has been a state sponsor of terrorism since its birth in 1947 (it sent the first terrorists into Kashmir two months after declaring independence). It is a failed country ruled by a failed military that never won a war but fought more wars than any other country since the end of World War II. Sadly, Pakistan's madness has been largely funded by billions of US dollars during the Cold War, when India was allied with the Soviet Union and the USA was naively trying to counterbalance India's influence in the region. The USA literally created a monster. Nobody has a strategy for how to deal with a nuclear terrorist country like Pakistan, which is devastated by at least two civil wars (one against the Pakistani Taliban and the other against the Beluchistan separatists) and is devastating neighboring Afghanistan and India by funding, training and sheltering terrorists like the Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Toiba.
    If there are two places where a nuclear war may be a real scenario they are the Indian subcontinent and then (because of the regime's zaniness) Korea. There is absolutely no evidence that the Iranian regime is unstable, irrational or desiring a nuclear war with anyone, let alone the USA.
    Those who criticize Obama for the deal with Iran (that basically leaves Iran with all it needs to develop a nuclear bomb, but makes sure this won't happen in the next ten years) don't quite offer an alternative: Bush refused to negotiate with Iran, but the result was an acceleration of Iran's nuclear program. No serious candidate for the US presidency and no Republican senator (including the harshest critics of Obama) seem to desire an all-out war against Iran, and experts say that targeted bombing won't do much harm to Iran's nuclear sites. So it is not clear what the critics propose: more of the same sanctions that didn't work under Bush?
    On the other hand, these same critics of Obama's appeasement towards Iran are not saying a single word about the real threat to the USA (North Korea) and the real threat to the world (Pakistan).
    Iran is at war only against the Taliban (it was the only country to oppose them when the rest of the world ignored them) and against the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq. On the other hand, North Korea is still technically at war against the USA, and in March 2015 its leader Kim Jong Un told the army to prepare for war with the United States and its allies (and instructed the army to "tear to pieces the Stars Stripes"); and Pakistan is still technically at war with India. The fact that these two countries never signed a peace treaty should constitute a hint even for the dumbest of US politicians.
    Nobody has any idea on how to disarm North Korea before it uses its nuclear weapons against South Korea or Japan, and nobody has any idea on how to disarm Pakistan before it uses its nuclear weapons against India (Pakistan's leaders have repeatedly stated publicly that Pakistan reserves the right to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict).
    All the evidence seems to indicate that both North Korea and Pakistan are headed for troubled times. What makes these US politicians think that a nuclear deal with Iran is scary but no deal of any sort with North Korea and Pakistan is reassuring?
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2015 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (january 2015) Iran vs Saudi Arabia. World leaders arrived in Saudi Arabia to pay their respects in person after the death of Saudi's king Abdullah. Believe it or not, this king was one of 45 sons that had Abdulaziz ibn Saud had from 22 wives. We don't know how many daughters he had because over there women are not really counted (you are more likely to find out how many camels he had).
    Besides the fact that he created one of the most brutal theocracies in history, Abdulaziz is very educational in the light of what the Taliban, ISIS, Boko Haram and Al Shahab are trying to do in 2015. In 1901 Abdulaziz ibn Saud set out to conquer the whole of the Arabian peninsula. He managed to conquer most of it by 1932 and then united his little empire in what today is known as Saudi Arabia. He also imposed Wahhabi Islam (what today is commonly referred to "radical Islam") on Saudi Arabia. In other words, he did precisely what the Taliban, ISIS, Boko Haram and Al Shahab are trying to do today. No more, no less. His brutality was not second to any of these. And his treatment of women would horrify even the Taliban.
    No doubt his sons, who succeeded him to the throne one after the other, have diluted some of his radical views. These are, after all, kings who sell oil to the infidels (and, secretely, ally with Israel against their enemy Iran). But Saudi Arabia remains a theocracy, one of the most racist states in the world, a state in which you risk your life if you worship any other religion than Islam and in which non-Muslims are even forbidden to enter Mecca and Medina (imagine if Italy forbade non-Catholics to enter Rome). Women are not allowed to get a driver license. Dissidents are routinely arrested and tortured. Saudi Arabia sentenced blogger Raif Badawi to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail after being convicted of insulting Islam. Not long ago dozens of schoolgirls were let burn alive because their school had caught fire and the staff did not let them leave the building without proper attire. This is also the place where Osama bin Laden learned Wahabi Islam and got funding for his Al Qaeda venture. Most of the September 11 terrorists were born and raised in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia's complicity in the September 11 attacks on the USA has never been fully revealed because many pages of the final Senate report on that event are still kept top-secret. Influential mosques and businessmen from Saudi Arabia also funded the various terrorist organizations around the world that eventually evolved into the Taliban, ISIS, Al Shahab and many others, and Saudi Arabia has supported ISIS in Syria. British prime minister David Cameron, French president Francois Hollande and US vice-president Joe Biden are among the dignitaries who attended the "funeral" of this theocracy's king, and Barack Obama, president of the USA, traveled to Saudi Arabia two weeks after deciding NOT to travel to Paris for the solidarity march after the terrorist attacks. And this while Zacarias Moussaoui was swearing under oath that members of the Saudi family funded the 2001 terrorist attacks against the USA.
    On the other hand, these same Western countries consider Iran an enemy state, and in fact a rogue state. They rarely fail to refer to its regime as some terrible dictatorship, and they repeatedly emphasize that Iran is a theocracy, apparently a sin in Iran's case but not a sin in Saudi Arabia's case. Oddly enough, Iran, unlike Saudi Arabia, does hold parliamentary elections. Sure, Iran's supreme leader picks the candidates, but nonetheless some degree of democracy actually exists, as proven by the acrimonious electoral campaigns. Iran also allows women to work and drive. You will find women in every government office. There are women in the police force. There are women who drive taxis.
    In international affairs Iran is accused of supporting the brutal dictatorship of Assad in Syria and the "terrorist" group Hezbollah in Lebanon. But Iran was also the first country to fight ISIS, and, before 2001, the Taliban. Iran also supports the Shiites in Bahrein, who constitute the majority of the population and tried to stage their own "Arab Spring", and the Houthis rebels in Yemen, who have long demanded autonomy for their region. The West is quick to condemn Iran's interference in these two places, but i fail to see what is wrong with the Shiites protesting that Bahrein is not a democracy (not an opinion but a fact) and with the Houthis demanding the same rights that we granted to Kosovo and that we wish on Kurds and Palestinians. If Scotland was even entitled to a referendum on independence, why shouldn't the Houthis entitled to autonomy? In other words, sometimes Iran seems to be on the right side and the West seems to be on the West side.
    Israel used to make a big deal of Iran's past president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who argued in favor of the destruction of Israel and denied the Holocaust. But we should also make an equally big deal of Israel's massacres in Lebanon and Gaza for the most futile of reasons. (See for example The art of inventing inexistent wars). Ahmadinejad's sin was to talk. Netanyahu's sin is to kill. The peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine have not been desrupted by Iran: they have been disrupted by Netanyahu's repeated violations of international law in building new Jewish settlements on Palestinian land.
    I am not sure if one has to be proud of being an ally of Benjamin Netanyahu and of being the enemy of Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei. I am sure that one shouldn't be too proud of being also an ally of Saudi Arabia's theocracy.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2015 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • Articles on Iran before 2015

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TM, ®, Copyright © 2015 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.