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Why Iran?

Iran continues to be the privileged member of the “Axis of Evil,” a notion formally but not really abandoned by the United States.  It is accompanied by Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, in addition to North Korea, among others.

Why Iran?  The criteria mentioned by Hillary Clinton make no sense.  Risk of possessing conditions to manufacture nuclear weapons?  Israel openly admits that it has nuclear weapons and threatens weekly to bomb precisely Iran.

Risk of becoming a dictatorship?  What are countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt except dictatorships?

Risk of Iran posing a threat to its neighbors?  Iran has never invaded other countries, nor has it occupied any foreign territories.  In contrast, Israel has occupied Palestinian territories for more than four decades and certainly has nuclear weapons.

Iran is a religious state, an Islamic one, which favors the Shiites.  But Israel is a Jewish state, without a Constitution, which favors the Jews and makes the Palestinians, a quarter of its population, second-class citizens.

Why the double standard?  Simply because Israel is the privileged ally of the United States in the Middle East — the country that receives the most US aid in the world — whereas Iran is in opposition to the United States.  Plain and simple.  To confirm that, ask yourself: why doesn’t Hillary criticize the dictatorship that exists in Saudi Arabia or Egypt, the latter of which is the second largest recipient of US military aid?  Because they are faithful allies of the United States.

What does the treaty on nuclear weapons really mean?  It’s not a treaty for denuclearization but one for non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.  That is to say, those who have nuclear weapons seek to prevent others from getting them.  Soon after China manufactured nuclear weapons, though, it broke the door open, and the country was admitted into the Security Council.  It’s clear that Pakistan, India, and Israel possess nuclear weapons.  The United States, however, not only has a completely different attitude to Israel; it also aids these countries militarily — even in nuclear terms.

The struggle has to be for denuclearization.  Why does a country need to have nuclear weapons?  For what purpose?

The Non-Proliferation Treaty aims to protect the nuclear power of the great powers, those who are moreover engaged in wars and production of weapons.  Denuclearization, on the contrary, is a struggle to abolish nuclear weapons — beginning with those who hold the largest stockpiles of them in the world.

The original article “Por que o Irã?” was published in the Blog do Emir section of Agência Carta Maior on 17 February 2010.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]

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