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Contrary to Wikileaks release, Iran is hugely popular among Arabs


By Abbas Edalat and Phil Wilayto

Note: A shorter version of this article was published Dec. 1 by the Guardian newspaper.

The latest batch of Wikileaks revelations give the impression that, next to Israel, it's the Arab states that are most energetically pressuring the U.S. to attack Iran. In terms of the real threat to Iran, that's definitely putting the cart before the horse.

In the first place, the Arab governments mentioned as being hostile to Iran – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates – are all undemocratic, unpopular regimes that depend on U.S. support to stay in power. As such, they seem to have absorbed the unrelenting years of U.S. claims that Iran is the region's greatest threat to peace.

A completely different view, however, is held by these governments' own subjects, among whom Iran's independent stance actually is hugely popular. A recent Zogby International poll conducted in conjunction with the University of Maryland asked Arab people in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates to name two countries they thought were the greatest threat to the region. Eighty-eight percent said Israel, 77 percent said the U.S. and only 10 percent mentioned Iran. (1)

Meanwhile, governments in the region that don't hold a hostile view of Iran include those of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, not all of which are hostile to the U.S.
As to where the real threat to Iran comes from, it should be remembered that, despite massive US arms sales to Saudi Arabia (2), not one Arab country has the military capability of launching a serious attack against Iran. Only one country in the region has that ability: Israel.

But Israel is dependent for its continued existence on its $3 billion in annual U.S. subsidies, plus the diplomatic firewall the U.S. maintains for it in the U.N. Security Council. There is almost no way Israel could attack Iran unless it were first fully confident that it would be backed by U.S. forces, either because it had already received a green light or because it calculated Washington would have no other choice.

Without a doubt, Iran does represent a threat to U.S. imperial interests in the Middle East. Thanks to its large oil and gas reserves, and the fact that those resources are controlled by its government, Iran has been able to emerge from a devastating Western-supported eight-year war of aggression by Iraq as an independent economic, military and political regional power. Iran takes no orders from Washington or London, its natural resources are off-limits to exploitation by Western corporations and it has no love for the wealthy, corrupt, pro-Western governments that dominate the area.

As such, Iran represents an obstacle to the hegemony the U.S. desires. But openly declaring hegemony to be its goal would win no friends among either local governments or populations, so the U.S. has resorted to fabricating the myth of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, much as it promoted support for a war against Iraq by creating a myth about weapons of mass destruction, ties to al-Qaeda and links to the attacks of 9/11. President Bush also authorized support for a number of terrorist organizations to destabilize the Islamic Republic of Iran. (3)

Although the U.S. has been charging for some eight years that Iran is using its nuclear energy program as a cover for the development of nuclear weapons, it has never provided the first shred of proof. And yet, U.S. charges of an Iranian nuclear weapons program have formed the basis for four sets of U.N. sanctions against Iran.

The latest, implemented in June 2010, has been based on “evidence” the U.S. provided of alleged Iranian plans to redesign a certain kind of missile to accommodate nuclear warheads. However, as revealed recently by investigative reporter Gareth Porter, the “evidence” refers to an outmoded missile Iran had stopped using years ago. It is simply a fabrication similar to the fabricated evidence against Iraq (4).

Despite some disagreement over how much of its nuclear-related activities Iran is legally required to disclose, the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, charged with monitoring compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, reported on Nov. 23 of this year that it “continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear materials in Iran.”

And in the Arab poll referred to above, 77 percent said that Iran should have the right to its nuclear program and should not be pressured to stop its activities.

No, the principle threat to peace in the Middle East, at least as regards to Iran is concerned, remains the United States, which for years, prodded by nuclear-armed Israel, has declared that in dealing with Iran, “all options are on the table.” As such, the onus is on the U.S. to remove this threat once and for all.

On Dec. 5, Iran is scheduled to begin revived negotiations with representatives of the five permanent U.N. Security Council members, plus Germany. This would be an ideal time for Washington to make the following declaration: that it will not attack Iran, will not allow an attack by Israel, will end all sanctions against Iran, will recognize Iran's right under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty to pursue peaceful nuclear power, will return Iran's nuclear file from the U.N. Security Council to the IAEA in exchange for Iran’s already stated pledge to allow the intrusive inspections of the IAEA’s Additional Protocol and will agree to discuss all outstanding differences in a spirit of mutual respect.

(1) http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/reports/2010/08_arab_opinion_p...
(2) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/21/us-congress-notified-arms-sa...
(3) http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/07/080707fa_fact_hersh
(4) http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=53616

Abbas Edalat is Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at Imperial College London and the founder of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII).

Phil Wilayto is a member of CASMII's Board of Directors and author of “In Defense of Iran: Notes from a U.S. Peace Delegation's Journey through the Islamic Republic.”

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Robert Gates, lie- and war-monger, "disagrees":

In my post linked a little further below and which was for the page for the article, "The New York Times Again Censoring WikiLeaks", by Stephen Lendman, Nov. 30th, here, I included links to and excerpts from several or more articles. The 5th or 6th article referred to in the post is, "Julian Assange Says Document Dump Targets 'Lying, Corrupt and Murderous Leadership' ...", by JIM SCIUTTO, RUSSELL GOLDMAN and LEE FERRAN for abcnews.go.com.

Under the subheading of "Wikileaks Documents: Fears Over Iran and Missiles" (a little ways into the excerpt), the article refers to Robert Gates "suggesting" that "Saudi Arabia wants the U.S. to intervene against an ascendant nuclear Iran, but is unwilling to confront a fellow Muslim country or sacrifice its own citizens".

Gates would have said or "suggested" the above "at a meeting with French envoys, according a secret diplomatic cable recently made public", says the abcnews.go.com piece, which goes on to cite what the cable purportedly says that Gates said about this war on Iran idea. I'll provide the link for the post and people can simply use CTRL+F to search for or jump to the subheading, "Wikileaks Documents: Fears Over Iran and Missiles", or "Wikileaks Documents:" (including the colon in the latter case). But if people reading this post only want to read this part of the article, instead of more of what it says, and it is one worth reading in order to know what another corporate media is reporting about the Wikileaks Cablegate, then I'll also excerpt this one part following the link, below, for the post.

http://warisacrime.org/content/new-york-times-again-censoring-wikileaks#...

"Julian Assange Says Document Dump Targets 'Lying, Corrupt and Murderous Leadership'
Wikileaks Chief Promises to Reveal Many More Government Secrets"

by JIM SCIUTTO, RUSSELL GOLDMAN and LEE FERRAN, abcnews.go.com, Nov. 29th, 2010

www.uruknet.info/?p=m72362

(snip)

Rep. Pete King Wants Wikileaks Declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization

(snip)

Wikileaks Documents: Fears Over Iran and Missiles

Many of the sensitive cables deal with the imminent threat from Iran, revealing that the U.S. now believes Iran has missiles, obtained from North Korea, capable of striking Western Europe. Fearing mounting danger, Arab leaders are seen pleading with the U.S. to do something.

Saudi Arabia wants the U.S. to intervene against an ascendant nuclear Iran, but is unwilling to confront a fellow Muslim country or sacrifice its own citizens, suggested Defense Secretrary Robert Gates at a meeting with French envoys, according a secret diplomatic cable recently made public.

During a conversation with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in 2008 about encouraging China to sign a resolution condemning Iran, Gates said the Saudis "always want to 'fight the Iranians to the last American,' but that now it is time for them to get into the game," according the cable.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah repeatedly urges the U.S. to "cut the head off the snake." The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates says "Ahmadinejad is Hitler" and told one U.S. top State Department official that "the threat from al Qaeda would be minor if Iran has nukes."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that the leak would not affect his country's policy to any other countries, The Associated Press reported.

The cables also reveal the delicacy of negotiations with Iran over the release of the three American hostages taken prisoner last year. One of the hostages, Sarah Shroud was released this summer.

(snip)

Some of the documents also reveal a diplomatic struggle with Pakistan over nuclear proliferation -- a disagreement that Hoekstra said had no business in the public sphere.

(snip)

I'll copy what I wrote following the excerpt of this article in my above post about what abcnews.go.com says that Gates said.

Quote: "What Robert Gates says, according to the above excerpt, regarding Saudi political leadership wanting the US to strike Iran is, I believe, not to be believed in blind fashion. It could be only more Washington fabrications. Until we have concrete proof that Saudi so-called leadership really has said, behind closed doors, that they want the US to strike Iran or for the US to allow Israel to do this, I won't believe that Gates was doing anything unusual, which, for him, would be speaking truthfully."

I doubt that Gates was speaking truthfully to the French envoys. Why on Earth would Saudi Arabia's political elites want the US or Israel to attack Iran, which'd embroil the whole region, or more of it, in war; perhaps [much] more and not only Iraq and Iran?

It's not Saudi leadership that wants control of all oil resources of the region; it's the "leadership" of the US that does. And US "leadership" has lied so much so many times through their teeth that it's surprising that they haven't blown out all of their teeth, yet. It's all they know how to do; screwing up when they tell the truth, when they're honest, which is extremely seldom, but speaking like real experts when telling lies, which is what they do most of their and our time. And that's to [everyone]. Who don't they lie to? Who don't they try to mislead? Are French envoys special and selectively not to be lied to? I don't think so.

So, and as I said yesterday, until we have concrete proof that Gates was telling the truth about what Saudi leadership wants with respect to war or not war on Iran, he (and ilk) must not be believed. He and ilk should never be believed without real proof that what they say is true; and, it's "funny", we are never given real proof, but these arses (to put it in a PC way) are believed by many people still today.

Populations of Middle Eastern countries:

When it comes to these populations, the only population in the Middle East where there might be [a] majority supporting war on Iran could only, and let me re-emphasize [only], be Israel. We can be confident in being certain that no populations of other Middle Eastern countries are or could become supportive of war on Iran; certainly, NONE are, and none would.

I'm not God, but am very confident about the above.

Gates and ilk are [pathological] liars, racketeers, traitors, and so on.

There is no logical reason why the Saudi people would want all that depleted uranium blowing downwind at them. That would be non-sense.

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