COMMENTARY: IRAN POSES NO THREAT TO THE U.S.
July 24 2008
I was quite offended by the tone of Mona Charen’s syndicated column,
"How crazy is the Iranian regime?" (The Reporter, July 16), the title
of which surely violates your own policy on defamatory statements.
In addition, I would like to make a few other points.
The intelligence report she alludes to — in which it is acknowledged
that Iran, in 2003, abandoned its goal of acquiring nuclear weapons —
has been regarded as accurate both in this country and abroad. There
is, however, a staunch cadre of pundits who decry the report without
ever mentioning the fact that they have been pushing for war with
Iran since at least the beginning of the current conflict in Iraq.
Simply put, they want another war, and they are not going to let truth
stand in their way. Most of the neocons in the current administration
fall into this category. Of course, India, Pakistan and Israel are
all nuclear powers already.
Often, one hears criticism of Iran for having agents in Iraq. Under
the circumstances this is quite normal. Iraq is a country with
which the Iranians share a border, and a mere 20 years ago the two
countries were at war themselves (and the U.S. supported Iran, though
covertly). Iran has as legitimate an interest as anybody in finding
out what kind of regime is being installed on its doorstep. Israel
and Turkey also have agents in Iraq, and nobody frets about them.
Iran is also charged with providing material support to the Iraqi
resistance. This assistance must be very limited. If the government
of Iran were really interested in becoming involved in the fighting
in Iraq, they would be able to supply the resistance with some quite
sophisticated weapons. This they have not, however, and the Iraqi
fighters must rely on truck bombs and the like — all of which is very
low-tech, and for which the materials probably come from elsewhere
in central Asia (if not homemade).
The discovery, now and then, of Iranian rifles and other hand-held
weaponry is even less conclusive of Iranian involvement in Iraq. These
weapons could come from any contraband arms dealer. It is also worth
remembering that rifles of Russian (or Soviet) manufacture have been
found, as well as arms from France and even the U.S. Where did those
Worth remembering too, is the fact that Iran has no quarrel
with countries such as China, India and Armenia (all of which
have non-Muslim majorities). In fact, Iran and its president,
Dr. Ahmadinejad, are well-respected in Asia.
Iran has only one enemy: the only openly, defiantly expansionist
country in the region, namely Israel.
Israeli politicians have been calling for a sort of holy war against
Iran for at least a generation. Is it any wonder, then, that Iranian
officials occasionally respond in kind to play to the home audience? If
our country had been repeatedly the target of threats by another
nation, we would certainly expect our leaders to make some tough
statements, would we not?
Iran poses no threat to the U.S. Whether there will be war or not,
I cannot know. But the U.S. should have no part of it.