Iran, Human Rights, and the Nuclear Issue


dees-bush-tortureBy Kevin Barrett, VT Editor, for Fars News Agency
[A couple of weeks ago I was invited to submit an article on this topic to Fars News Agency in Tehran. In light of the Senate CIA torture report, the deceptive Iran-bashing on human rights by the very neocons responsible for turning the US into a torture state and international pariah is even more mind-boggling than it was when I wrote this.]

TEHRAN (FNA)- As nuclear negotiations reach a critical stage, while opponents attack Iran’s human rights record at the UN, fair-minded observers wonder: Is the Islamic Republic of Iran being unfairly singled out on the nuclear and human rights issues?

Of course it is!

Compared to Iran, the P5+1 nations are nuclear rogues and, arguably, human rights outlaws. And if we compare Iran to other Middle Eastern countries, including the nuclear-weapons-laden pariah regime in Israel and the unenlightened despots in Saudi Arabia, the unfairness looks even more grotesque.

Let’s start with the two P5+1 heavyweights: The old imperial hegemon the USA, and the world’s fastest-rising economic power, China. Both nations possess nuclear weapons, and neither shows any interest in reducing and then eliminating its stockpiles as required under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Estimates of the American nuclear arsenal range from 7,700 warheads according to Global Zero, to around 5,000 according to the US military itself; while China’s nuclear stockpile is said to include anywhere from 300 to 4,000 or more warheads depending on who you believe.

The refusal of the “have” nuclear states to keep their bargain with the “have-nots” and disarm is the most egregious, offensive and dangerous violation of the NPT – and the US, China, Russia, France and Germany are all guilty. None of these nations have made the slightest effort to comply with the sections of the NPT mandating a move toward general disarmament. All host nuclear weapons deployed and ready to fire at a moment’s notice.

And then there is Israel, which refuses to sign the NPT yet possesses more nuclear weapons per capita than any other nation. Israel openly threatens the world with “the Samson option”: If forced to end its apartheid system like South Africa did, Israel says it would destroy the capitals of Europe and the Middle East with nuclear weapons. Anyone searching for non-NPT rogue states that threaten the world need look no further than Israel.

Two other dangerous nations in Iran’s back yard also have nuclear weapons: India and Pakistan. Neither has signed the NPT. And both have repeatedly lurched to the brink of wars which, once launched, would inevitably go nuclear.

Though the Indo-Pak nuclear crisis is real, the Iranian one is imaginary. American and Israeli intelligence agencies admit that Iran is not building nuclear weapons. The Supreme Leader of Iran, whose word is law, has re-affirmed the dictate of the founding father of the Islamic Republic, the Ayatollah Khomeini, that nuclear weapons are “haram,” meaning absolutely forbidden on religious grounds.

Additionally, Iran historically is a defensive power, not an aggressor. Zionist-dominated Hollywood had to go all the way back to the Greco-Persian wars of 2500 years ago to produce the anti-Iran film “300” depicting an Iranian invasion of Greece. That is because Iran has committed so little aggression since then.

So what is the Iranian nuclear issue really about? In a word: politics. Iran’s advancing nuclear energy program, along with other scientific and technological achievements, signals the Islamic Republic’s success despite Zionist-driven Western sanctions. Iran’s enemies are unhappy with that success. So they seize on whatever issue they can to malign and defame Iran.

Along with the phony nuclear issue, the enemies of Iran have also done their best to defame Iran’s human rights record. The recent United Nations resolution attacking Iran on human rights was introduced by Stephen Harper’s Canadian government, which many Canadians, including Professor Anthony Hall of the University of Lethbridge, rightly regard as a Zionist regime occupying Canada. (Harper is the political tool of the Bronfman organized crime family, itself part of the Zionist-linked organized crime network that has played a key role in Canadian power politics since the 1930s.)

Professor Hall’s books Earth into Property and The American Empire and the Fourth World detail the horrific genocide against native peoples committed by the US and Canadian governments. Many argue that the extermination of the vast majority of the people of North America, and the annihilation of their cultures, was by far the worst genocide of all time, exponentially dwarfing the Nazi holocaust that gets so much more publicity. Even today, Native peoples of Canada and the US are brutally oppressed – though, unlike the Palestinians, they at least enjoy official legal equality with the white majority and are allowed off their reservations.

The anti-Iran UN resolution introduced by Israel by way of its Canadian puppet makes some very strange charges. Bizarrely, it accuses Iran of “executing upwards of 1,000 political opponents and prisoners in the past year.” That is a bald-face lie. The truth is that Iran – unlike US-Canadian-Israeli ally Saudi Arabia – does not execute people for nonviolent political crimes. People executed in Iran are generally convicted of such crimes as murder, terrorism, or drug smuggling. And while the Iranian justice system is imperfect, as are all justice systems, there is no evidence that it is any more imperfect than, say, the American system, which railroads millions of people of color into its jails and prisons via forced plea bargains, making a mockery of Constitutional guarantees.

And then there are the many extra-judicial political assassinations in America, such as the November 22nd, 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy by the CIA. President Kennedy’s crime, in the eyes of the CIA and military hard-liners, was that he had become a peace enthusiast and was pursuing a plan for complete international disarmament, as detailed in JFK and the Unspeakable by James Douglass.

Such extra-judicial American assassinations continue unabated. One shocking example was the murder of another peace-loving American politician, Sen. Paul Wellstone, along with his wife, daughter and campaign staff, in 2002. Then-Vice President Dick Cheney, who issued an apparent death threat against Wellstone one week before the killing, is the leading suspect. For details, read American Assassination: The Strange Death of Paul Wellstone by Four Arrows and Jim Fetzer, or watch the video Wellstone: They Killed Him.

Do such things happen in Iran? I don’t know. But my impression based on three visits to Iran, along with a fair amount of reading including books written by Iran’s Western opponents, is that Iran’s political system is reasonably stable, peaceful, and democratic, especially by comparison with its Middle Eastern neighbors. Though there may be more low-level corruption in Iran than in the USA, there is probably far more high-level corruption and abuse in America than in Iran. One glaring example: While Iran executes drug smugglers, America lets its CIA operate as the world’s biggest drug smuggler – and even extrajudicially executed the leading journalist who exposed it, Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Webb.

If the US and Canada are really concerned about Iranian executions of terrorists and drug smugglers, they should stop supporting those terrorists and drug smugglers. Specifically, they should withdraw funding from MEK, one of the world’s most vicious terrorist groups. And they should withdraw from Afghanistan, where CIA-connected drug lords have been harvesting and marketing record opium crops every year since 2001, when the US invaded Afghanistan in order to restore the opium trade that the Taliban had successfully banned, thereby restoring liquidity to the big banks and corporations that depend on laundered drug money to prop up their balance sheets.

In short, the attacks on Iran’s nuclear program and human rights record are not only absurd, but set new world records for mind-boggling hypocrisy. The hectoring hegemons, who carp about motes in other people’s eyes while ignoring the beam in their own, ought to set their own houses in order rather than complain about their neighbor’s.


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Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. He is the host of TRUTH JIHAD RADIO; a hard driving weekly radio show funded by listener donations at and FALSE FLAG WEEKLY NEWS (FFWN); an audio-video show produced by Tony Hall, Allan Reese, and Kevin himself. FFWN is funded through FundRazr. He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS, and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications. Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.