By Jim Fetzer and Press TV
Iran’s growing position in global energy poses as competition to the United States and Israeli entity, with the former imposing unilateral sanctions as a result, a professor tells Press TV.
This comes as the United States carries out its 27th subcritical nuclear test, known as Pollux, in the state of Nevada on Wednesday to ensure that Washington “can support a safe, secure and effective stockpile” of nuclear weapons.
Press TV has conducted an interview with James H. Fetzer, Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, from Madison, to further discuss the issue. Fetzer is joined by Kaveh Afrasiabi, an author and political scientist from Boston, and Kenneth Katzman, an advisor to US Congress from Washington. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Do you agree with some of the points made by our guest Kenneth Katzman?
Fetzer: I think he’s reflecting that the situation is laden with political hypocrisy and historical irony. Iran’s nuclear program was initiated by the United States under the “Atoms for Peace” program in the 1950s.
After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini abandoned and denied that Iran would pursue nuclear weapons, a position which is its policy up to this date.
In 2007, 16 US intelligence agencies concluded that Iran had no nuclear weapons program, a position which incidentally it reaffirmed in 2011 as was reflected in a Los Angeles Times article published in February of this year.
While Bibi Netanyahu plays the Chicken Little of the Middle East, Iran in fact is not pursuing nuclear weapons, and there’s really no question about it; therefore, the suggestion that that’s the real issue is completely misleading.
We know that the real underlying issues have to do with Iran potentially competing with the American nuclear energy industry by providing it with nuclear fuel rods for peaceful purposes at lower cost, and more importantly that Iran has abandoned the petrodollar.
Nations that abandon the petrodollar incur severe consequences from the United States and that of course includes Iraq, Libya and now Iran.
I find it embarrassing that anyone would suggest the United States is concerned about a nuclear program that its own intelligence agency has concluded does not exist.
Press TV: Our guest, [Mr. Kenneth Katzman], says the US is a member of the UN, then why isn’t it abiding by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Treaty, the CTBT? Why is it then a non-signatory, for example, to the [Convention on] Cluster Munitions not to mention the ICC? Doesn’t that make it convenient for the US in some respects?
Fetzer: I haven’t heard such rubbish since Mitt Romney gave his last political campaign speech. Israel has a stock of 200 to 600 or more nuclear weapons. Israel has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel does not allow inspectors.
Iran has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran has allowed inspectors. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.
I’m reminded of the weapons of mass destruction that was supposed to justify our invasion of Iraq. We imposed sanctions then too, and embargoes that led to the death of a half-a-million infants in Iraq. Madeline Albright, when asked whether it had been worth it, affirmed that it had been. This is disgraceful.
Christopher Busby, an internationally acclaimed expert, has been studying the effects of depleted uranium on the birth defects in Fallujah and has determined that it’s not from depleted uranium but from enriched uranium where the United States is using some new generation of nuclear weapons already in Iraq.
Press TV: Ultimately, let’s look at what can be done. There are no international agreed binding standards for nuclear security. The standards, for example, that are established by the IAEA, well, it’s not being applied. We can look at the US’ case. Of course in Iran’s case, it has been politicized in many instances. What can be done?
Fetzer: It’s a fact that the consensus of the American intelligence agencies of 2007 that Iran was no longer pursuing a nuclear weapons program was really affirmed in 2011. Perhaps this fellow is not up to speed on the current situation.
But, Iran is surrounded by countries with nuclear weapons on every side. My personal opinion is that stability would be brought to the Middle East if Iran had its own nuclear weapons, but it’s disavowed it as a matter of principle. That should be admired.
The fact that we’re imposing sanctions that are bringing harm to the Iranian people and only elevating the price of oil for other suppliers by denying the Iranian supply to other nations, raises the serious question of who really is behind these sanctions?
Who really benefits? Israel is the obvious case; the oil companies is another.
Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer, is McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth and an editor at Veterans Today.