By Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Some of the responses by the Republicans and their friends to the Iran nuclear deal have been nothing short of amazing. The deal includes greater and closer inspections of Iranian sites, some relief from the sanctions, and the delay in certain steps that the Iranians had been contemplating. After six months this is to be reviewed.
The Israeli government and many of their Republican friends in the U.S. immediately attacked the deal, in some cases not even waiting to review the full text of the agreement. There is only one conclusion that can be derived from that approach: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his friends in the Republican Party here in the U.S.A. want a war with Iran. There really is no other conclusion.
For all of the rhetoric about increasing the sanctions, there are several ironies afoot. Israel, a country that has never been a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (and reportedly possesses at least 100 nuclear weapons), wants to cripple – if not attack – Iran, which is a country that signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has no nuclear weapons and has not been shown to actually be developing nuclear weapons. Think about that for a moment.
The Israeli government, along with hawks in the Republican Party, along with some Democrats, have been beating the war-drums for years. Iran, which has a right to develop nuclear power, is being told, in essence, that it does not have such a right, though the Israelis have been permitted to secretly create nuclear weapons, some of which they developed in conjunction with apartheid South Africa in the 1980s.
The deal that the Obama administration signed with Iran, along with other major powers, steps back from the brink of war. One does not need to be a fortune teller to know that heightened sanctions represent only one step away from all-out war. Thus, the question is whether one believes that war with Iran is justified. This needs to be put on the table and demagogues need not be permitted to walk around the issue.
There are no demonstrable facts to indicate that the Iranians are developing nuclear weapons. You can believe anything that you want and see all sorts of possible dangers, but the evidence is not there. Instead, the Israeli government – which during the Iran/Iraq War supplied Iran with weaponry – wishes to play up fears and Islamophobia in order to discourage any sort of peaceful resolution of the conflict. In that regard it is important that you, the reader, ignore the flowery language that we hear from the Israeli government and the hawks here about their alleged desire for peace. They are looking for what would amount to the complete surrender of the Iranians. That is not going to happen.
War with Iran would be a game-changer. The financial markets know it; the oil markets know it; and, my guess is that you know it. While I continue to believe that Iran – which has not invaded another country in more than 1,000 years – should be left alone, in the immediate this peace deal needs to be supported. War with Iran will be an endless war. And if you want to be reminded of some of the consequences, look at what has been happening in Iraq, Afghanistan and, by the way, open the paper to the weekly list of dead U.S. soldiers.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum and the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” – And Twenty Other Myths about Unions. Follow him on Facebook and at www.billfletcherjr.com.