Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Compromise with Iran

The compromise over the production of nuclear fuel and the sanctions imposed on Iran is encountering considerable criticism in the US. A coalition of conservatives and diehard supporters of Israel is very critical of the compromise the Obama administration has forged with the Iranian government.
Their reason: you cannot trust Iran.
On the one hand, this is clearly true. Some of the critics of the treaty with Iran are survivors of the hostage crisis in 1979 when the Iranian students, backed by their government, held 66 Americans hostage for 444 days. It was a grueling experience for the Americans.
        These days the Iranians are supporting Assad, the brutal dictator of Syria. Their foreign policy is based exclusively on their national interests. They have absolutely no concern for the immense suffering of the Syrian people.
        So yes, you cannot trust the Iranian government. While that's true it is also a completely ridiculous reason for opposing the agreement with Iran.
What government can you trust?
        26 years before the Iranian hostage crisis, the US government and the CIA engineered the overthrow a democratically elected Iranian government. The Prime Minister was threatening to nationalize oil companies in Iran. Concerned about the bottom line of US-based global oil companies, our government managed to engineer a coup against Prime Minister Mossadegh. The US had no concern for the Iranians and their democratic rights. All they (we) cared about was the private profit of oil companies.
        At the time of 9/11, the Taliban had been talking to our government for a while about surrendering Osama bin Laden. Our government cut short those negotiations by invading Afghanistan. Soon after that we invaded Iraq.
        The people in that region of the world have no reason whatsoever to trust us.
        Can you trust the US government? Shortly after the head of the National Security Agency denied in Congress that his agency was conducting surveillance of the phone conversations of US citizens, Edward Snowden revealed documents that showed the head of the NSA to be a liar. The US government did not discipline him for lying to Congress, let alone to all American citizens. Our government condones its agency heads lying to the public.
        You have known for many years that our government has meddled in the internal affairs of many foreign countries. We now know that they do not hesitate to extend surveillance over US citizens in spite of all constitutional protections.
        Conservatives in the US are critical of the accord with Iran because, they say, you cannot trust Iran. Iranian conservatives are critical of the accord because, they say, you cannot trust America.
        They are both right.
         But the criticisms of the Iranian accords are silly.