Iran develops nukes, and Israel doesn’t say boo about its own arsenal. Creepy.
It’s hardly surprising that the U.S. and the other “adults” in the world’s nuclear family are in denial about the juvenile delinquency of Iran and Israel.
And isn’t it so typical that only one of the brats faces immediate punishment?
The bigger problem is that if this family blows up, so do the rest of us.
Today’s stories about Iran’s resumption of its nuclear program tell it all. The New York Times and practically every other major news outlet describe how Iran is resuming nuclear activity but don’t mention Israel or its snotty atomic little brothers Pakistan and India.
As the Times puts it:
Yeah, well, three of Iran’s nuclear siblings—Israel, India, and Pakistan—aren’t even signers of the NPT. Israel doesn’t even admit that it has nuclear weapons, and that’s an outright lie—and a particularly dangerous one because of what else is going on in the Middle East these days.
Meanwhile, the U.S. isn’t much of a father figure in this fractured family.
After all, the Bush regime’s CEO, Dick Cheney, used to run Halliburton and still gets a regular paycheck from it. And now it turns out that Iranian officials have arrested executives of the private firm Oriental Oil Kish for having dealings with Halliburton. And the vice-chairman of Oriental Oil Kish’s board is Sirus Nasseri, a senior member of Iran’s nuclear negotiations team. From a July 29 story on Iran Focus:
“The authorities must be particularly vigilant about the extensive economic activities of some of the country’s officials”, he said. The source noted that “Nasseri had access to the country’s most secret information as a member of Iran’s nuclear negotiations team and was at the same time dealing directly with the American company, Halliburton, which used to be run by Dick Cheney.”
And then you’ve got the AIPAC scandal, in which its de facto top official, Steve Rosen, has just been indicted, along with AIPAC Middle East analyst Keith Weissman, for allegedly conspiring to communicate classified info. The alleged scheme had Larry Franklin, a Feith flunky in the Pentagon, leaking secret info about Iran to the two AIPAC dudes, who then of course gave it to their pals in the Israeli government. Both guys, fired by AIPAC, say they’re innocent.
Hoo-boy! Dang, this family is full of intrigue.
Furthermore, the Iranian authorities have a powerful political argument when they point to the contradictions between the attitude of the United States administration towards themselves and towards India. In the Indian case, the administration has recently indicated it would drop a previous ban on the export of nuclear technology for civilian purposes—despite the fact that India has still not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, while Iran itself has.
Just about the only paper that matter-of-factly addresses bad boy Israel’s nukes is an Israeli paper, the dovish daily Haaretz. While continually updating a wire service story of today’s negative reaction from around the world to Iran’s resumption of nuke work, Haaretz adds a few key paragraphs for perspective:
“Our nuclear capabilities are not annihilable,” [General Ahmed] Vahid said. “We have mastered nuclear science by ourselves. In case of any damage, we could construct it somewhere else.”
Last year, Iran threatened to destroy Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor should the Jewish state attack Iran. Dimona is believed to be home to Israel’s nuclear weapons development program.
Israel maintains a nuclear monopoly in the Middle East and is thought to harbor about 200 warheads deployed on ballistic missiles, aircraft and submarines, according to the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Israeli officials do not comment on the country’s nuclear weapons potential.
If you value your freedom, you won’t either. Look what happened to Mordechai Vanunu, as Dan Ephron wrote last year in the Voice. Ephron succinctly summed up the secrecy:
The U.S. not only plays along with this charade but also does its share of snooping on Iran’s dealings with U.N. nuke officials. Dafna Linzer, who wrote this morning’s perfunctory Washington Post story on Iran, produced a sizzler last December 12 when she reported:
As I wrote at the time:
While such childish games are being played, these nutso countries in the Middle East and elsewhere are playing with nuclear weapons. A good history lesson regarding Israel’s nuke arsenal isn’t likely to be found in American newspapers, so read David Leigh‘s August 4 story in the Guardian (U.K.), “How the UK Gave Israel the Bomb”:
Officials in the Macmillan government deliberately concealed the deal from the US, according to the files, which were discovered by BBC Newsnight and broadcast last night.
Historians and politicians have been startled by the discovery, which sheds new light on the process by which Israel was able to circumvent attempts to restrict membership of the “nuclear club” to the great powers.
At the time, of course, the U.S. president was Dwight Eisenhower, a real-life general who seems like Mohandas Fucking Gandhi next to the warmongering fake soldiers of today’s Cheney regime. Leigh’s story noted:
But, according to the documents, the deal was concealed from the US, which was hostile to proliferation, because the Eisenhower administration might have insisted on unacceptable conditions which would have scuppered the sale.
When Robert McNamara became the US defence secretary in 1961, he and President Kennedy strived to stop Israel from going on to build nuclear weapons. He told Newsnight last night that he had never known of Britain’s behaviour at the time.
“The fact Israel was trying to develop a nuclear bomb should not have come as a surprise but that Britain should have supplied it with heavy water was indeed a surprise to me,” he said.
Don’t absolve the U.S. entirely here. As British professor Irene Brennan pointed out in a letter in response to the Guardian article:
During his presidency, Clinton allowed Israel to acquire the supercomputers needed to operate these delivery systems.
The papers and TV are full of stories about worries over Iran’s deceit and deception regarding its Isfahan nuclear plant. That’s justified. But Brennan perceptively noted that the deceit regarding Israel’s nuke arsenal continues unabated:
We should also work to see that Mordechai Vanunu, who brought to the attention of the world the extent of the Israeli WMD, is freed from all restrictions on his liberty and recognised as one of the most important defenders of world peace during the last 50 years.