Iran visited

Originally published 11/4/06:

Scott Ritter recently visited Iran and found out many intersting facts.  He writes in this article for The Nation that the President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, has no power over foreign policy.  His realm is domestic policy and his statements on Israel etc. are not worth the paper they are printed on.  The true power over foreign policy in Iran lies with the Ayatollah.  The Ayatollah is the one who issued a Fatwah against nuclear weapons in Iran.  He also extended a hand of peace to Bush in 2003 that Bush that apparently included withholding support for Palestinians and Hezbollah and normalizing relations with Israel, in exchange for normalization of relations with the USA.  Bush scolded the messenger, a Swiss person if I recall correctly, and gave the Ayatollah’s peace proposal not the time of day.  Iranians are amazed when foreigners give any weight to the things that Ahmadinejad says about Israel.

Ritter also pointed out that the Iranian state is, unlike Iraq under Saddam, not a totalitarian closed state.  There is considerable freedom in spite of their restrictions.  Many in Iran would be willing to help the US in Iraq if the US would let them help.  There is an energy crisis in Iran as they export all of their oil to be refined and import oil which they sell at a subsidized cost to Iranians.  There is probably about a 20% unemployment rate in Iran. 

He points out that the MEK, the anti-Iranian terrorist group utilized by the USA currently, were hit by the Revolutionary Guard in other countries and that Iranians were then called terrorists.  On the other hand, when the US hits Al Queda outside of the USA, those operations are called anti-terrorist.  There is no difference in the action and there should be no difference in what the action is called.

Finally, Ritter points out that the facility at Natanz doesn’t even show the advanced technology necessary for a nuclear energy program, let alone a nuclear weapons program.  He reiterates what the IAEA has long pointed out:  there is no nuclear weapons program in Iran.  I repeat:  THERE IS NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM IN IRAN. 

When we attack Iran, it will be completely unjustified and it will probably be supported by a majority of Americans.  That is, of course, until our situation becomes messed up beyond repair.  Then we will turn against an unjust and illegal war.  Will we ever learn?

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061120/ritter

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