April 6, 2006

HELP US DOWN OFF THIS LIMB:

We Do Not Have a Nuclear Weapons Program (JAVAD ZARIF, 4/06/06, NY Times)

THE controversy over Iran's peaceful nuclear program has obscured one point in particular: There need not be a crisis. A solution to the situation is possible and eminently within reach.

Lost amid the rhetoric is this: Iran has a strong interest in enhancing the integrity and authority of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It has been in the forefront of efforts to ensure the treaty's universality. Iran's reliance on the nonproliferation regime is based on legal commitments, sober strategic calculations and spiritual and ideological doctrine. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic, has issued a decree against the development, production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons.

Let me be very clear. Iran defines its national security in the framework of regional and international cooperation and considers regional stability indispensable for its development. We are party to all international agreements on the control of weapons of mass destruction. We want regional stability. We have never initiated the use of force or resorted to the threat of force against a fellow member of the United Nations. Although chemical weapons have been used on us, we have never used them in retaliation — as United Nations reports have made clear. We have not invaded another country in 250 years.


The Supreme Leader deftly end-runs Ahmadinejad.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 6, 2006 1:29 PM
Comments

"We have never initiated the use of force or resorted to the threat of force against a fellow member of the United Nations."

Bah. The seizing of the US Embassy would have been universally recognized as an act of war anytime in the last several millenia.

Posted by: b at April 6, 2006 1:38 PM

As would our leading a coup against their legitimate government.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 1:40 PM

Which is one example among scores of why we make no such claims as Mr. Zarif makes. The point is that he's a liar.

Posted by: b at April 6, 2006 1:52 PM

The Hitler, Stalin, Tojo all had legitimate goverments as well so that means we must stand back and not interfere?

Posted by: u at April 6, 2006 1:55 PM

Sure, except that they didn't invade another country, so he's not lying.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 1:55 PM

When we regime changed them it was an act of war, no?

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 2:01 PM

Tecnically, our embassy was U.S. territory, so they did invade another country. The point here is whether or not he is lying, not whether or not we ever did anything bad, anywhere, at any time.

In fact, restoring the Shah in '53 wasn't an act of war, because he was the head of state and we were just eliminating foreign interference on his behalf. Also, a minor point, but BECAUSE WE WON he didn't declare war on us and thus again, Q.E.D. it wasn't an act of war.

Posted by: HT at April 6, 2006 2:12 PM

Which just shows that it's better to do our regime changing out in the open, as in Iraq, and take our lumps for being "bellicose" "imperialistic" "hegemons". Sneaking around letting some third party or local hoodum do our dirty work for us was unAmerican, and let's leave that sort of thing to the French where it belongs.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 6, 2006 2:16 PM

Nor did we declare war when the embassy was taken over.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 2:16 PM

To quote again: "We have never initiated the use of force or resorted to the threat of force against a fellow member of the United Nations."

Lies, and not even good ones. First, storming the embassy. Second, their leaders have repeatedly threatened/promised to destroy Israel.

I know you have a soft spot for Shiism, but these are Not Nice People. If you think of them as Khomeini-ites instead, could you distrust them?

Posted by: b at April 6, 2006 2:18 PM

Look who the president was when it was taken over? If they had gone through with their original plan of taking the Soviet embassy I doubt the Soviets would've been so feckless/restrained.

Posted by: u at April 6, 2006 2:22 PM

Khomeinism was a heresy and, therefore, unworkable. We need to help Khamenei walk back the cat. That means helping trivialize Ahmedinejad.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 2:22 PM

He did not say "we have not commmitted an act of war". He said "we have not invaded another country". Which is the opposite of true. Our non-declaration of war does not vitiate the fact that an invasion did take place.

Posted by: HT at April 6, 2006 2:24 PM

It was a mistake because we interfered in their natural democratic development. The WoT is just a bunch of those chickens coming home to roost.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 2:24 PM

And just how many people have died at the hands of Iran's proxy warriors in Hezbollah and the territories? How many hundreds of millions has Iran spent in Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere on terror since 1979?

"We're pure - but don't go rooting around behind that curtain".

And might it be possible that 'official' Iran was involved in the attempted takeover in Mecca back in November 1979? Over 200 terrorists invaded the Grand Mosque, and the Saudis had to call the French to help clean out the warrens.

Maybe Khameini is trying to out-manuever his wayward President, but if he were really smart, he'd start doing interviews on FOX instead issuing propaganda to the NYT.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 6, 2006 2:25 PM

u:

Of course they would have. The USSR couldn't handle the Afghanis, nevermind Iran.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 2:26 PM

harry:

I know we'd all like to judge them byu one standard and us by another, but a wise man once said: "Also, a minor point, but BECAUSE WE WON he didn't declare war on us and thus again, Q.E.D. it wasn't an act of war." Because they won we didn't declare war so it wasn't an act of war when the embassy was taken.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 2:28 PM

jim:

Rather few.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 2:29 PM

u: There's probably a pretty good alternative history novel in there...of course the USSR invades.

Posted by: b at April 6, 2006 2:48 PM

i believe the iranians did grab some russian diplomats, but then some very nasty looking (iranian) corpses started turning up in the streets of tehran and magically the russians were released.

Posted by: toe at April 6, 2006 2:48 PM

toe: Right story, wrong location. It was in Beruit when the various factions were taking hostages. Have to give the KGB and Spetsnaz credit for doing the job right and getting their people back.

Posted by: u at April 6, 2006 2:55 PM

oj: The Russians were keeping a pretty good lid on things in Afghanistan until we turned up the supply of arms and Stingers. Nasty brushfire war but nothing too bad.

Also if they hadn't had to worry about the international outcry they might have also used large scale chemical and/or neutron bomb strikes too. I know, highly unlikely but you do have to think that some of the generals wanted to try it.

Posted by: u at April 6, 2006 3:01 PM

u:

Why?

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 3:04 PM

Why not? Odds are they had a few Curt LeMay types, and I will add that I do like him for being able not to let emotions get in the way of winning a war, who wanted to 'win' at all costs. Like the US had generals who wanted to nuke Hanoi until it glowed and then open the Red River dikes to flood the rubble.

Posted by: u at April 6, 2006 3:15 PM

u:

LeMay was right though, we could have destrotyed them at will. Their leadership knew it which is why they were never a real threat.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 3:19 PM

u: thanks for the correction. if the russians were smart (and they aren't) they would be working as our enforcers, instead of setting themselves up to be wiped off the map by the prc.

Posted by: toe at April 6, 2006 3:57 PM

They're smart enough to know that we need them as enforcers against Islamicism and China so they can mess around.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 4:02 PM

yes, they can mess around now, and when the prc turns on them we will gladly let them be dismembered. it's not the smart baby that insists on touching the stove. and they are hardly enforcers on islam.

on a funnier note, the evidently pulled a switcheroo on hugo regarding weapons purchases. guess he is as dumb as he looks.

Posted by: toe at April 6, 2006 4:42 PM

No, we won't. That's not who we are.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 4:45 PM

why would we favor one over the other ?

Posted by: toe at April 6, 2006 5:51 PM

The Iranians threaten Israel with destruction all the time. They invaded Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war, albeit after repulsing Iraq's invasion.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 6, 2006 8:09 PM

And we should believe a word of this for some reason other than OJ likes the statement? It's just the confuse, deny, delay strategy, not some "end-run".

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 7, 2006 10:41 AM

AOG:

No, you shouldn't.

Posted by: oj at April 7, 2006 10:43 AM

My (wild, but at least informed) guess is that probably 10,000 people have died as a result of Iranian-sponsored terror since 1979. Not a genocide, but not a trifle.

I include Israelis, Americans (the Marines in Beirut, and a few others), Palestinians (the internicine victims), a few Europeans, ex-pat Iranians (of whom over a hundred have been murdered), Lebanese, Syrians, Kurds, Iraqis, and Kuwaitis.

And don't forget that Baluchistan, the 'cradle' of terror (in many ways) is partly located in Iran.

As I said, Khameini may be 'playing' Ahmadinejad. But his hands are no cleaner. He is a terror master.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 7, 2006 3:04 PM
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