Iran is not a threat

In the run up to the Iraq war, the media spread “facts” that were based off of unverified claims, distortions and misleading statements. Unfortunately, the media and politicians are using this same tactic to broaden support for military action against Iran. With luck, they won’t succeed this time.

‘Wipe Israel Off the Map’

War hawk Sean Hannity says he takes Iran’s president Ahmadinejad at his word that he wants to “wipe Israel off the map.” Despite popular myth, Ahmadinejad never said these words.

In the mistranslated quote, he actually said, “this Occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.” This was meant to convey he wants the regime in Israel to change, not that he wanted to attack Israel.

In clarifications, Ahmadinejad has said that he doesn’t want violence against Israel, but believes that elections and peaceful talks can solve the problem.

Israel, however, has explicitly threatened to attack Iran for years. As recently as April, the Israeli president said Israel would strike Iran if it doesn’t stop its nuclear program.

Iran is a Threat to Israel

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards commanders have both condemned striking other countries. President Ahmadinejad has said, “Iran is not a threat to any country, and is not in any way a people of intimidation and aggression.”

The idea that Iran poses a threat to Israel (or the U.S. for that matter) is not based in reality. Iran’s military is incredibly small compared to the massive army of Israel, which contains an arsenal of nuclear weapons. Leaders in Iran understand that Iran as it currently exists would likely cease if it were to engage in war with Israel.

Ehud Barak, Israeli defense minister has admitted, “Right now, Iran does not have a bomb. Even if it did, this would not make it a threat to Israel’s existence. Israel can lay waste to Iran.”

Furthermore, unlike Israel, Iran has not engaged in or started any wars in modern history.

Iran wants Nuclear Weapons

Israel demanding Iran not obtain a nuclear weapon is hypocritical considering it has been reported that Israel has hundreds that are not subjected to any kind of international inspection.

In the case of Iran, Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have both condemned and dismissed the idea of nuclear weapons. The uproar is over Iran’s nuclear program, which all of Iran’s leaders claim is just for nuclear energy. All inspections and evidence validate this claim.

Recently, Iran voluntarily disclosed a new nuclear plant. The plant would not enrich uranium beyond five percent. It takes 90 percent enrichment to create a weapon. Iran is allowing for inspections of the new plant as soon as Oct. 25, which would prevent any development of a weapon.

A War With Iran

Sanctions are currently being proposed for Iran. In actuality, sanctions only serve to hurt the population. In Iraq, sanctions led to the death of (by some estimates) over a million children. At the same time, sanctions would only radicalize the Iranian government and it would not slow any nuclear development. Sanctions would only help legitimize the U.S. as “the great Satan” and unite Iranians against the U.S. Also; it would further isolate Iran and likely lead to some sort of military action there.

War with Iran would be an even greater disaster than the Iraq war. The population is far greater and the government has millions of supporters. Launching war against Iran would give even more support to the government. It would also motivate more anti-American sentiment in the Middle East, further endangering the U.S.

The U.S. would be able to collapse the government but the resulting chaos that would ensue would ensure years of involvement there and conservatively thousands of American and Iranian deaths.

The Solution

Politicians and the media need to tone down the rhetoric against Iran. It only increases the high tension between the countries. Diplomacy with Iran has worked so far, and more diplomacy now is the answer, not sanctions or military action.

If the Iraq war taught us anything, it is to not make decisions in fear, but in reality.

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  • The Law, Frederic Bastiat

    Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.

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