Iranian "threat" fabricated by Israel, US: researcher

Sun Jun 1, 2014 10:06:30

A new book by Gareth Porter, an American historian and researcher specializing in US national security, shows how the actual state of the Iranian nuclear program does not match the Iranian "threat" narrative.

The book’s title, “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Nuclear Scare” (Just World Books), already tells us that it is going against the current. Porter appears to be the only researcher who has read with an unprejudiced eye all the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency from the past decade. He also had access to American intelligence reports on the Iranian issue from recent decades. In addition, Porter interviewed generations of American officials and analyzed the testimony of senior officials before Congress, Haaretz reported on Saturday.

The result is a highly detailed and well-documented book for all interested in understanding how we arrived at the Iranian nuclear issue, and the “attack scenarios,” and invented facts and intelligence reports whose purpose was to support the preconceptions. At the same time, the book is invaluable for those wishing to understand what is being discussed in the intensive nuclear talks that have been taking place between Iran and the superpowers (or, more accurately, Iran and the US) since the signing of last November’s interim agreement, which surprised many Israelis, Haaretz made an interview with Porter, conducted via email.

According to Porter, it was a hidden political agenda of US decision makers (from long before Israel entered the picture) that gave rise to the Iranian nuclear issue.

The story begins with US support for the Iraqis during the 1980s Iraq-Iran war. The critical point comes with the collapse of the Soviet empire. According to Porter, that event and the end of the Cold War pulled out the rug from under the CIA’s raison d’être. The solution the Americans found to continue providing the organization with a tremendous budget was the invention of a new threat – the merging of weapons of mass destruction (an ambiguous term in itself) and terror. Iran, which was put at the top of the list, provided the threat that “saved” the CIA.

The empowering of the CIA’s organizational interests was reinforced by the gallant neoconservatives, led by ideologues Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton, who had in the meantime reached senior positions in the government. They launched a campaign to delegitimize the Islamic Republic with the aim of toppling the Iranian government (using the sanitized term “regime change”).

Running through Porter’s book is the well-substantiated claim that US and Israeli policies on Iran derived from their political and organizational interests, and not necessarily from careful factual analysis of the Iranian nuclear program, which was subject to IAEA monitoring, or of the intentions of the Iranian leadership.

According to Porter, no systematic analysis was made of the goals of the Iranian nuclear program, and neither American nor Israeli policy makers devoted any thought to why all of Iran’s official declarations on the subject were in line with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Furthermore, in US discussions until 2007, and in Israel until today, hovering overhead is the nuclear “axiom” that Iran is dashing toward a bomb via the route of uranium-enrichment centrifuges. Porter and the IAEA found no proof of the dash to the bomb.

The writer, a former IDF analyst and associate researcher at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, is an independent researcher on nuclear and strategic issues, and author of Haaretz’s “Strategic Discourse” blog (in Hebrew).


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