The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Iran and the big powers:
smoke and powder

Apr 2, 2007

On Saturday, March 24, the United Nations Security Council with representatives from the United States, France, Russia, Great Britain and China, voted new sanctions against Iran.

Along with several attempts since 2003, these world powers are once again trying to force Iran to stop its development of nuclear technology. The Security Council justifies its resolution by referring to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. That treaty reserves this technology to the countries that had it before 1967 and who are – surprise, surprise – the members of the Security Council.

But the politicians of the world powers, once outside the hushed halls of the United Nations, use other arguments. They pretend to be concerned about the danger of the dissemination of nuclear arms throughout the world. In reality, these same powers control nuclear armaments. They also allow their allies, including Israel, Pakistan and India, to build their own nuclear weapons.

These representatives of the big powers now pretend that it is shameful to furnish this technology to Iran. Yet, these same big powers, especially the United States and France, previously sold this technology to Iran, as well as Iraq, when these countries were their allies.

The western leaders say that it is not possible to trust a country like Iran with such a destructive technology. But which country is the only one in history to have used atomic weapons? The United States, which destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Furthermore, all the big powers carried out atmospheric nuclear tests. France carried out underground tests as late as 1995.

These big powers all agree that oil reserves are drying up. They all say that it is necessary to develop alternative technologies, including nuclear energy. But they refuse to allow Iran to have access to it. They say that there is a more important consideration, namely that Iran is a dictatorship. Of course Iran is a dictatorship. But what these powers really object to is that it is a dictatorship they don’t control.

Today the British government is protesting the fact that 14 British sailors have been taken prisoner in Iran. The U.S. is backing Britain up. But these sailors were off the coast of Iraq and Iran because they are part of the coalition that is occupying Iraq. And that coalition is creating indescribable chaos and misery there.

No matter what the intentions of the Iranian leaders are, no matter what their game may be with these 14 sailors, the world powers are in no position to be giving lessons on morality.