Fantasyland for Poker Diplomacy: Iran

Pablo Ouziel

Posted Dec 15, 2007      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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Fantasyland for Poker Diplomacy: Iran

By Pablo Ouziel

After reviewing the mainstream media reports on the political response to
the National Intelligence Estimate, it seems clear to me that the leaders of
the ‘Axis of Good’ are bent on betting all their stakes on Iran. Although
the summary of the findings of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies reveals
that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003 and has
shown no signs of restarting it, President Bush is calling it a “warning
signal” instead of extending a formal apology.

In the year 2000, Professor Noam Chomsky spoke of the reasons for hostility
towards Iran; “Until 1979 the U.S. system for controlling the Middle East
was based on Iran, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan… Actually the
hostility to Iran is because it pulled out of the system and when it is
willing to pull back into the system it will become a non-terrorist State

In 2006, Seymour M. Hersh in an article revealing plans by the White House
to attack Iran, quoted a high-ranking diplomat in Vienna who told him; “the
real issue is who is going to control the Middle East and its oil in the
next ten years.² Donald Rumsfeld then U.S. Defense Secretary dismissed the
article as a trip to “fantasyland.”

However, just tracking some of the statements made by “world leaders” in
regards to Iran over the last few years, reveals that a trip to
“fantasyland” is exactly where we are heading. The “warning signals” have
been flashing long enough, and the public should react and demand
responsibility from our democratically elected governments.

In February 2005 in his state of the union address, President Bush singled
out Iran as “the world’s primary state sponsor of terror—pursuing nuclear

In 2006, the United Nations Security Council acted unanimously to tighten
sanctions on Iran, in response to the country¹s uranium-enrichment
activities, expressing doubts about the country¹s nuclear program being
³exclusively for peaceful purposes².

In October of 2007, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Iran of
“lying” about the aim of its nuclear program, saying there’s no doubt Tehran
wants the capability to produce nuclear weapons and has deceived the U.N.‘s
atomic watchdog about its intentions.

In August of 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy addressing France’s ambassadorial corps,
praised diplomatic initiatives by Western powers pushing for tougher
sanctions on Iran, as the approach “that can enable us to avoid being faced
with an alternative that I call catastrophic: an Iranian bomb or the bombing
of Iran.”

One would have expected that after the release of NIE’s report last week,
the war pushing rhetoric would have been silenced and that “global leaders”
would redirect the media’s spotlight towards other events. However, the
mainstream media is still being used to divulge propaganda about the eminent
threat of a nuclear Iran. In fact, the NIE has increased the beat of
aggression. Following the report of the findings, Condoleezza Rice said; “I
continue to see Iran as a dangerous power in international politics”.
President Bush’s U.N. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, added that Iran had
undertaken an “assertive pursuit of regional hegemony” promoting “its
ideology and theocratic state as models to be exported or imposed on
others,” and emphasized that Iran would require “a sustained U.S. military
presence in the gulf region.”

The aggression is further emphasized by US defence secretary, Robert Gates
who speaking at a weekend security conference in Bahrain, said that Iran may
secretly have resumed efforts to build a nuclear weapon. A situation which
he suggests, requires intensified international pressure on Tehran, together
with recommendations to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to develop a
joint air and missile shield to ward off future threats.

Throughout this poker diplomacy, the allies have remained firmly behind the
U.S on its bluff on Iran; “The world is right to insist by sanctions that
Iran comes back into line,” Gordon Brown told a parliamentary committee. And
EU foreign ministers have added that the council of member states
“reiterates its full support to the work in the U.N. Security Council to
adopt further measures.”

This aggressive push by “world leaders”, suggests that everywhere you turn
the U.S and its allies are promoting a policy aimed at fomenting instability
and chaos. Indifferent to the devastating consequences of this
“fantasyland”, western government officials are gambling the fate of
humanity, in hope of retaining control of strategic locations necessary for
the control of global trade. Concerned global citizens should unite to do
something about this, because according to a British official working
closely with the UN, Iran is already a country whose people are victims to
sanctions that “are having a deeply negative effect on the Iranian economy
and there is the prospect of more to come.”

Pablo Ouziel is an activist and a freelance writer based in Spain. His work
has appeared in many progressive media including Znet, Palestine Chronicle,
Thomas Paine’s Corner and Atlantic Free Press.