Thursday, August 31, 2006

No to Sanctions on Iran



After a series of defeats in the Middle East, the US is trying to push it's programme of sanctions on Iran through the United Nations. Russia and China however are expected to oppose any move to impose sanctions.

This will not deter the US who have said they are yet again prepared to work outside of the UN. John Bolton reaffirmed Washington’s determination to impose unilateral sanctions on Iran.

"The question of what to do about Iran is certainly not confined to the Security Council," he said, reiterating comments he made in a recent interview.

"You can envision sanctions being imposed outside of the Security Council as the United States has unilaterally imposed sanctions on Iraq pursuing to its own statutes ... Other governments can do the same," he added.

Separately, Stuart Levey, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, claimed that Iran is a "central banker of terror."

Analysts say the latest developments indicate not only the U.S.’s determination to penalize Iran, but also the current weakness of Washington’s position because of its role in a series of conflicts in the Middle East, most recently its support for the Israel’s deadly offensive in Lebanon, The Los Angeles Times reported.


It is important that sanctions on Iran are opposed. Developments there are being portrayed by the media and the US/UK goverments to create a climate of fear and their constant demonisation of Iran which is needed to garner public support for any such move, be it military or unilateral sanctions.

As a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is perfectly entitled to develop nuclear power. The US and UK, both signatories to the treaty, are both in breach of it. Iran is not. Britain is currently developing Trident at a cost of billions and is in breach of the NPT. Iran has opened itself to more stringent inspections than any other country, above and beyond the requirements of the NPT.

The proposed sanctions are part of the 'War on Terror' that is being waged throughout the Middle East. Although the US/UK try and frame Iran as a threat to stability in the region, it is they who have perpetrated the most crimes as a look at recent history clearly shows.

It was the US who encouraged, supported and funded Iraq, supplying weapons to attack Iran in 1980 after the Revolution toppled the US backed Shah (who incidentally the US tried to woo with the idea of atomic energy). The very same weapons and gas were supplied for Saddam to use on the people of Iraq while Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush et al said nothing to condemn the killing.

The devastating effects of the illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq where the civilian death toll has reached over 100,000 are another example of US intervention causing instability in the Middle East. In a war that has shifted from Al-Qaeida to WMD's, to regime change one by one the lies of the imperialists have fallen apart as Haliburton, EXXON etc reap the benefits from Iraqi oil.

We have seen the effects of UN sanctions before when they were imposed on Iraq in 1990. The sanctions led to the deaths of 1.5 million people, mainly children dying of malnourishment. When interviewed in 1996, Madeleine Albright, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations was presented with a figure of half a million children under five having died from the sanctions. Not challenging this figure, she infamously replied "we think the price is worth it," UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Baghdad Dennis Halliday resigned calling the sanctions an act of genocide.

For an interview with Dennis Halliday in 2000 :

http://www.zmag.org/edwinthalliday.htm

More recently we have seen the US fast tracking precison missiles and illegal cluster bombs to Israel in its attack on Lebanon. These weapons destroyed Lebanese infrastructure targetting houses, hospitals, roads and bridges, killed 4 UN observers and stopped medical supplies reaching the injured, even destroying ambulances. The US and Israel suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the resistance, ultimately stopping any possibility of furthering the miltary assault to Iran and Syria. Amnesty International has condemned the Israeli bombing as war crimes in a recent report :

http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde180072006

It is clear who is the threat to stability in the Middle East. The imperialist powers are trying to impose their own agenda and any resistance to this should be supported. Any regime change needs to be effected by ordinary, working class people, not the warmongers in Washington and London.

4 Comments:

Anonymous babeuf said...

Sorry S, just me again, but I have a real question to ask.

What reply would you give to anyone who stood up, say, in a StWC meeting, and said something like this: "OK, so you were against sanctions on Iraq, you're against sanctions on Iran, but I thought all you leftists were FOR sanctions against South Africa. So what's the difference?"

I'm worried we might encounter this before long, so I thought I'd see what you came up with.

I don't think the reply "because the ANC called for international sanctions themselves" settles the matter, although this certainly has to be mentioned at the outset.

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