This is a transcript of Simin Royanian's presentation during a panel discussion [announcement] in Washington, DC on 2002-03-03 sponsored by the Washington Peace Center, the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Committee and the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN). Ray McGovern (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) and Kevin Martin (Peace Action) were also featured panel participants.
At a time like this (2006-03), the United States president goes to a country that is in total violation of international law about nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. It is true that India never chose to sign onto the NPT, but it looks like if in school they ask some people to sign a code of honor, those who sign if they cheat a little, they will be banished from school, but those who choose not to sign can cheat all they want, and they will be celebrated. That's basically what is happening here. To sign the NPT is to sign a code of honor. And also, the history of it is important because after the Second World War, the nuclear powers decided in order to control that power, to make it possible for the other countries that wanted the nuclear energy, to achieve it, to sign to a code of honor that they would not develop nuclear weapons. So when a country like Iran signs into that, she is guaranteed complete access to the most advanced nuclear technology in order to produce energy. And whenever somebody stands in its way, they are again violating the NPT.
The United States of America today stands in violation of the NPT. She does not comply with Article Four of the NPT, which gives Iran all the rights to have nuclear energy, including the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. A second way that the United States is in violation of the NPT is that it just signed an agreement with India in violation of Article Two of the NPT, which says that signatories to the NPT, which includes the USA, are not to provide any nuclear technology or material, even for peaceful purposes, to nations that are not signatories.
So Bush stands today in total violation of the NPT.
Within that context, we have to discuss the matter of Iran. The United States and her allies treat Iran according to a total anarchy. It is very interesting to point out that India, a complete rogue nation when it comes to issue of nuclear power -- not having signed the NPT, having developed nuclear weapons, and having in recent memory came to the brink of war with Pakistan) sits on the governing board of IAEA. That India votes to pass a resolution against Iran. So that's why people should know the whole hypocrisy, the whole ridiculousness of this whole issue. OK, it is good that we have the IAEA, it's good that we have the NPT, but it is not the word of God. It is not the word of peaceful people. And it's nothing but political manipulation and diplomatic actions, especially at a time when the world is at a brink of maybe third world war, and a nuclear explosion in the Middle East, because we know that the Pentagon's plans for an attack on Iran include specifically, possible attack with nuclear weapons.
And that is why I cannot sleep these nights, because my country may be attacked with a nuclear weapon in a very short time. And that is why I am very disappointed that there is not enough action in the American peace movement, the American antinuclear movement, and the American humanist movement, about the issue of Iran.
And all of this is happening at a time when the United States of America, in the big context of its imperialist plans for the economic control of the world, is using its military in order to build bases all over the world, so that it can prevent anyone from standing in its way. And as you know, oil is the main thing. And that's why America has developed this agreement called PSI -- Proliferation Security Initiative -- which is a total anarchy, and is dangerous, and is an illegal agreement, which America is trying to get India to sign, so that, just like pirates, those who sign into that are going to stand outside the NPT, and with the naval ships and any other means they have, they will prevent and stop any kind of chance for nuclear energy. So India for example with its ships can intercept and stop enriched uranium going from Russia to Iran. So America is developing this "Proliferation Security Initiative", which is extremely dangerous, and it fits into its plan for India. – The US intends to build bases in India, because India has a well developed navy. Moreover, America considers China her most important economic competitor at this time, and is afraid that at some time they may come to conflict, so needs a huge country like India to protect the naval needs of America. In the last few years , the US Navy has been very active in the ports of India. So they have been talking to India, and it is within that context that they also convinced India to vote against Iran in the IAEA meeting, and then right away Mr. Bush jumps on the plane and goes there and tells them he's ready, Bush, America, is ready to interact on nuclear technology with India.
And so, and at the same time, when United States of America also has violated the Geneva Convention, also has has violated the UN anti-torture agreements, and also has refused to agree with setting up of a human-rights commission panel that the UN is setting up, because America says no, it may catch us, OK? So, while America is doing all of this, it talks about international law. Today, if there is a rogue nation in this world, it is called the United States of America.
Another fact we need to pay attention to, is who voted against the February 4 IAEA resolution: my comrades, Chavez and Castro. The point is that Venezuela and Cuba were on that governing board and they voted against this resolution. And also Syria. Of course, Syria would, because Syria has a military contract with Iran. Syria has now replaced Iraq as the third force in the "Axis of Evil". America wants to attack it and so on, so naturally Syria would vote against the resolution. But why is it that Chavez and Castro, Venezuela and Cuba, vote against this resolution? At least, among the progressive people in America, we should know that this resolution is bogus, that Iran has not done anything wrong, and this is just a little tool in the big program that United States has for the total control control of Middle East, which requires the control of Iran.
And it is not true that US is scared for Israel. The American ruling class is not interested in the welfare of the people of Israel. They only have in common with the most conservative right-wing rulers of Israel the same interest. The people of Israel have been held hostage to this war that's imposed on them with the Palestinians. Of course today the right of the people of Israel to exist in a country as such, is recognized by everyone; what are we going to do now, pick them up and put them somewhere else as though we were the American government, that moves the native Indians across the country? No, the people of the world do not think that about the people of Israel, but the fact is that the governments and the people of Middle East are opposed to the current Zionist government of Israel. And that's the discussion whenever it comes up, that we do not recognize Israel, it's not to fail to recognize the right of Israel to exist, but to not recognize the current apartheid regime of Israel. We have to remember that all the progressive people of the world did not recognize the apartheid regime in South Africa. And we know that the government of Israel had close ties to the South African government; they had the same policies always, and stood up together in the UN, and that's what the policy is that the people of Middle East are opposed to, and that's what the current president of Iran is opposed to. The control of that country by a Zionist right-wing government that does not recognize the right of the Palestinian people to exist, that is the issue in regard to which the Israeli government is in violation of the United Nations human rights convention, which gives every human being on this earth the right of return. So when they say they do not want to give the right of return to Palestinians, that is against the United Nation Human Rights Convention. And that's why again the US breaks the law of the UN, because the United States also supports that position.
And what's happening with Iran? Sometimes people say, "But isn't there something funny going on?", that, Iran, in 1994, restarted its program for nuclear energy. Because by 1979 when the revolution happened, the program had stopped. And then it took time after Saddam Hussein attacked Iran for eight years, with the weapons of mass destruction, mustard gas, given to Saddam Hussein by Germany, which now votes against Iran, to use against the people of Iran and against the Kurdish people of Iran and Iraq. So it took eight years of war and many years of reconstruction, and then Iran decided to restart the construction of its nuclear energy plants -- the one built during the Shah was in Bushehr. Then, in 1994 it was going to do it with China; the contract didn't work out; eventually 1995 or 6 they signed a contract with Russia and they started building it.
In 2002, American media reported that some exile group in Iran said Iran was building underground some nuclear facilities that are against the NPT. Very interesting, because that exile group is the Mudjaahedin, which is known as a terrorist organization even by the United States State Department, and cooperated with Saddam Hussein during the war on Iran, during the mustard gassing of the Kurdish people, and is a true terrorist organization if there is any such thing. But the important things is that some CIA agents who have worked with the Modjaahedin or Iranians, found out that Iran was building a nuclear facility in Naetaenz. But, you have to read the safeguard agreement signed in 1974, and later on in the '90's, between the IAEA and Iran. The safeguard agreement, you have to realize, is for safeguarding of nuclear material, so the material is not diverted and used for building weapons. It is not for just buildings that do not have any nuclear materials in them. So the safeguards require that the country report to the IAEA when a building is ready to have nuclear material in it. Even though in the safeguard it says that the country should report as soon as possible, but it also says the IAEA agrees that it should not inconvenience that government. So before signing up to the higher protocol, Iran did not have to report that they are just building some building in Naetaenz. It didn't have any nuclear activity; it was just construction at the time. No one can say that when they completed it they would not report to the IAEA, that now, we are going to centrifuge or whatever. So it was just some accusation. And since then, they have said, we cannot trust Iran, because Iran is not transparent. But that's really the basis of the whole argument that started with 2002, and it's very interesting, it's after 9-11, after America has attacked Afghanistan, after America is marching towards war with Iraq and makes that another excuse. And since then, Iran voluntarily signed up with the higher protocol whereby it would allow the IAEA inspectors to go to Iran all the time and show them every detail of its nuclear energy program, which, under the regular safeguard Iran does not have to do. In order to eliminate this kind of accusations, Iran agreed to not do anything with its enrichment program, and for more than two years closed it up. But, there were supposed to be discussions whereby, one of the demands of Iran was that the United States will say that they will not attack Iran. That they will not interfere in Iran. That's what Iran wanted, and the US never wants to do that, so after two and a half years, Iran said "No." This is finished. Because what they were doing temporarily, they were keeping Iran from progressing on its nuclear energy building. At this point, the Iranian government informed the IAEA that they were ending the voluntary suspension and restarting the research and work on uranium enrichment. However, they were still open to continued dialog on this issue.
And that was the impetus for this new resolution. It's not because Iran did anything wrong. Iran has gone out of its way to be transparent and to agree on a lot of things. One US representative, Ron Paul (R – Texas) spoke against the resolution that they wanted to pass against Iran. He is the only one who spoke against it. He pointed out that what America expects from Iran is to prove a negative. That's impossible. What they want Iran to prove is that she does not have the ambition or the thinking of sometime in the future building a nuclear weapon ever. You cannot prove that; all you can say is "I'm not doing it". And in March of 2006, Radio WAMU was talking to the Iranian ambassador to the UN in New York, and he said the same thing, he said in effect, we have said from Day One, we are saying today, we will say it forever, we do not plan to build a nuclear weapon. What else can you say?
That is the whole issue of Iran. That is why the American movement needs to take up this issue, not at this point the issue of nonproliferation and such, which is very respectable and very good that friends are working on, but just the issue that Iran is not going to become another Iraq, and I don't see much of that. I don't see many of the American peace organizations today, such as United for Peace and Justice, or Code Pink, which I have great respect for, they are having programs in the third and second anniversary, whichever one it is, of the start of the hot phase of the US war against Iraq, there is not one word about Iran. The only thing they're calling on is, to bring the troops home and so on, and I'm saying, what do I care as an Iranian, if you bring the troops home and send them to Iran. Don't tell me "bring the troops home". And that's not a good slogan. And even Pat Buchanan, yes, even he is opposed to the war on Iran, and Pat Buchanan calls on the Democrats, and says, why are the Democrats just whining about that Bush lied to them? How come they don't say a word about preventing a war on Iran. That's really an issue.
Unfortunately, the issue of Iraq now has been taken up by hawkish Democrats, among them Hillary Clinton, who want to divert the attention of the American people from what they're going to do tomorrow. Not that it's not important, not that we should not consistently stand for stopping the occupation in Iraq, but we have to be vigilant of what these hawks are going to do tomorrow. And very very few Americans, I'm sorry to say, are alert to the hawk Democrats. I'm disappointed in the peace movement in America. We are sleeping, and the enemy is planning ahead of us, and we don't see what's happening, and we fall for every diversion that comes along our way. We waste a lot of time on very unimportant issues, such as the Plame case; what do I care that some CIA agent is being exposed? I wish all all the CIA agents were exposed. After all, they only need a moment to come and make a coup d'etat in Iran, and all these progressive people are so worried about some CIA agent, while the CIA is kidnapping people all over the world, taking them to prison, and torturing them. So, the Democrats take all these issues because all they're interested in, is cutting into the popularity of Bush, so they can win. And then the progressive people follow the Democrats. We have a saying in Iran that says, somebody throws out a marble. When children play with marbles, they throw a colorful marble and everybody runs after it. And that's what the hawks do, they throw marbles, and everybody goes to pick up the marbles and meanwhile they're going to build nuclear weapons. And basically that's how I see us in the peace movement, the war party is acting, and we are not paying attention, and we are not vigilant, and we are not focusing, and we are not concentrating, and things are getting very dangerous in this world. And so, we need to be vigilant, and talk to everyone, and have more education sessions like we used to have. We're not in the universities the way we used to be in the 1960's and 1970's and so on.
And so, we have to wake up.