February 15, 2010
“U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday Iran is sliding into a military dictatorship, a new assessment suggesting a rockier road ahead for U.S.-led efforts to stop Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” reports the Associated Press.
“As the first high-level Obama administration official to make such an accusation, Clinton was reflecting an ever-dimming outlook for persuading Iran to negotiate limits on its nuclear program, which it has insisted is intended only for peaceful purposes. The U.S. and others — including the two Gulf countries Clinton visited Sunday and Monday — believe Iran is headed for a nuclear bomb capability.”
In fact, as the United States admitted last week, Iran is unable to enrich uranium to the degree required for a nuclear weapon.
“The United States doesn’t believe Iran is capable of enriching uranium to the degree the Islamic Republic claims, the White House said on Thursday night,” The Jerusalem Post reported on February 11. “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that Iran had produced its first batch of uranium enriched to a higher level than before, raising fears it may be moving closer to the ability to produce material for a nuclear weapon.”
Ahmadinejad played right into the hands of the neocons and the bomb Iran crowd in the United States. “We have the capability to enrich uranium more than 20 percent or 80 percent, but we don’t enrich because we don’t need it,” he said. Ahmadinejad said Iran would reach 20% enrichment if God willed it. Apparently, God has not willed it yet.
In response to Ahmadinejad’s boastful claim, The New York Times ran the following sensationalistic headline: “Iran Boasts of Capacity to Make Bomb Fuel.”
Iran is unable to produce 20% enriched uranium, let alone 90%, the amount required for a nuclear weapon. The New York Times, of course, did not bother to make that point. Iran currently is able to produce low enriched uranium at 3.5 percent.
In November, following another fantastic claim by Iran, nuclear experts said the country is simply unable to produce weapons grade uranium. New enrichment plants, on the scale of the one Iran already operates in the town of Natanz, would be extremely expensive, take years to build and would be difficult to stock with centrifuges and other necessary equipment while sanctions are in place, nuclear expert David Albright told the Associated Press. “And also they don’t have enough uranium. They would need a massive amount of uranium,” he added.
Iran’s primary adversary in the neighborhood, Israel, has a considerable stockpile of nuclear weapons.
According to a diplomat from one of the six world powers attempting to engage Iran on its nuclear program, Tehran appears to have significant problems with its present enrichment program, to the point that it cannot even keep the centrifuges it has set up at Natanz running without breakdowns.
“The rest of the world has really begun to see Iran the way we see it,” Clinton said on February 7. In other words, if we are to believe Clinton, the United States was able to wave a magic wand and make other nations see highly enriched uranium where none exists.
Clinton tells us the government is worried about Iran’s drift toward a military dictatorship. The Revolutionary Guard — more correctly, the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution — has played a dominant role in Iranian politics since the 1979 revolution. Iran’s president, Ahmadinejad, was a member of the Army of Guardians, in the Basij militia.
In fact, the “dictatorship” Clinton referred to is part of the Iranian constitution. Article 150 defines the military organization as the “guardian of the Revolution and of its achievements,” an obvious political role.
Clinton and the Obama administration are not bothered by military dictatorships — a large degree of the United States’ allies past and present consist of military dictatorships — but rather the fact the Army of Guardians is a vast and powerful conglomerate controlling a multibillion-dollar business empire reaching almost all economic sectors of the country. If sanctions imposed on Iran are to be effective, this conglomerate will need to be aggressively targeted.
If Iran is becoming more of a military dictatorship than it is already, this is due in large part to the fact the country is under direct attack by the United States and Israel.
In July, 2008, award-winning journalist Seymour Hresh wrote an article for the New Yorker providing details on the Bush Administration’s Presidential Finding authorizing the CIA’s Special Activities Division to begin cross border paramilitary operations from Iraq and Afghanistan into Iran. Iran’s Guardians of the Islamic Revolution — more specifically, the Quds Force, a special unit of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution — were specifically targeted in this illegal covert military offense.
“It’s not if we’re going to do anything against Iran,” wrote Hersh. “They’re doing it.”
A year later, in October 2009, several top commanders of the Revolutionary Guards were killed in a suicide bombing in the Pishin region of Sistan-Baluchistan, in the south-east of Iran. Jundallah claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack.
As Brian Ross and Christopher Isham of ABC News reported in April 2007, Jundallah “has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials” to destabilize the government in Iran, citing U.S. and Pakistani tribal and intelligence sources. Jundallah’s leader Abdolmalek Rigi has appeared on the Persian service of Voice of America, the official broadcasting service of the United States government, which identified Rigi as “the leader of popular Iranian resistance movement.”
Vince Cannistraro, former Director of Intelligence Programs for the NSC and Chief of Operations and Analysis at the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, wrote for ABC News in 2003 that the Pentagon was “considering a massive covert action program to overthrow Iran’s ruling ayatollahs as the only way to stop the country’s nuclear weapons ambitions…. The proposal, which would include covert sponsorship of a group currently deemed terrorist by the U.S. government, is not new, and has not won favor with enough top officials to be acted upon.”
It really is a no-brainer that Iran — already paranoid about the United States after the CIA overthrew its first democratically elected leader in 1953 — would move closer to a military dictatorship in response to such coordinated and consistent attacks.
Iran was considered a democracy when Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi ruled the country with an iron fist and his CIA and Mossad trained secret police Savak tortured and killed political dissidents. The United States supported the Shah’s brutal dictatorship without question or reservation.
Iran is only a military dictatorship now according to Clinton and the corporate media because the U.S. does not control the current military leaders in power.