War of words on Iran

by Stephen Lendman

If words could kill, imperial Washington long ago would have returned Iran to its nightmarish Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi days. Propaganda wars rage daily. Tehran is wrongfully called an existential threat. Imagine a country wanting peace accused of belligerent intents. Repeating it enough times gets people to believe it. Big lies have impact. London's Telegraph supplied the latest. More on it below. Perhaps it's connected to what's shaping up to be an impressive August 26 - 31 Non-Alignment Movement Tehran meeting.

Officials from over 100 countries will attend. On August 22, the Tehran Times said over 50 "will participate....at the level of president, prime minister, king, and vice president and this number will probably increase." So far, around 150 delegations will attend. They'll be joined by representatives from about 20 international organizations. "Special guests" are also expected.

Top officials coming include Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Cuban leader Raul Castro, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Hugo Chavez, Hamid Karzai, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Azerbaijani President IIham Aliyev, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe among others. Despite heavy Israeli and Western pressure not to come, the UN News Centre said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend. According to his spokesman:

"The Secretary-General looks forward to the Summit as an opportunity to work with the participating Heads of State and Government, including the host country, towards solutions on issues that are central to the global agenda including follow-up to the Rio+20 Conference on sustainable development, disarmament, conflict prevention, and support for countries in Transition."

"With respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Secretary-General will use the opportunity to convey the clear concerns and expectations of the international community on the issues for which cooperation and progress are urgent for both regional stability and the welfare of the Iranian people." 

"These include Iran's nuclear program, terrorism, human rights and the crisis in Syria."

Like Kofi Annan, Ban is an imperial tool. He represents Western interests. He had to go or look foolish. NAM is a major international organization. An unnamed UN official said "Ban has no choice but to attend an event of this size and importance." 

He'll use the occasion to lecture Iran on its "international obligations." Last week, he rebuked accurate Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Israeli criticism. Ahmadinijad called Zionism a "cancerous tumor" and Israel an "insult to all humanity." Khamenei repeated the sentiment, saying "the big powers have dominated the destiny of the Islamic countries for years....and installed the Zionist cancerous tumor in the heart of the Islamic world."

He added that "Zionism will disappear from the map." Indeed it will one day by self-destructing. Speaking uncomfortable truths and confronting abusive power draws rebukes. Through his spokesman, Ban criticized "offensive and inflammatory statements." US and EU officials called them "hateful." They accurately reflect the region's real existential threat along with America's imperial presence. On August 19 during Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of Ramadan, Khamenei addressed worshipers at Tehran University. He urged world Muslims to remain vigilant. He discussed anti-Islamic conspiracies, saying:

"The issues of the Muslim world at the current juncture are unprecedented ones. These developments that have occurred in the Muslim world are peculiar, shocking and determine the course of the Muslim Ummah in the future." He called America and Israel enemies of Muslim nations. He cautioned against erroneously misunderstanding their intentions. He expressed hope that Muslim countries follow "proper measures." He said a new era had begun. Muslim states are experiencing "a new situation. It will affect other nations worldwide." He supported Palestinian resistance. He called their struggle "fundamental and important" for world Muslims.

Like Ban, The New York Times represents imperial interests. It's more voice of America than legitimate news and information service. On August 22, it headlined "UN Visit Will Set Back a Push to Isolate Iran," saying:

US and Israeli efforts "to isolate Iran suffered a setback" when word came Ban will attend. Iran "trumpeted" his coming "as a vindication of its defiance and enduring importance in world affairs."

According to US-based independent Iranian scholar Farideh Farhi:

"The extraordinary effort that the Iranian leaders have put into the summit is intended to showcase Iran's global role and offer concrete evidence that the US policy of isolating Iran has failed."

"A case is being made that it is not the 'global community' that has problems with the Islamic republic, as repeatedly asserted by U.S. officials, but merely a U.S.-led-and-pressured coalition of countries."

"And ironically the Obama administration is conceding the point by trying to pressure various leaders from attending the meeting."

Reacting to Ban and Egyptian President Morsi's announced attendance, Netanyahu's spokesman Mark Regev conceded:

"If (they're) going there, if you're paying homage to the leaders of Iran, what kind of diplomatic isolation is that?"

Washington's National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said:

"We think that Iran is going to try to use the event for propaganda purposes and to try to cover up the extreme isolation Iran is feeling politically and economically."

"That said, if people choose to participate, we believe they should take the opportunity of any meetings that they have with Iran's leaders to press them to comply with their international obligations without further delay." Like the Times, the Washington Post represents wealth and power issues. Doing so betrays its readers. On August 14, it headlined "UN chief should boycott Tehran conference," saying:

Tehran's summit "promises to be" an anti-American "festival." Iran intends to defend its sovereign rights. They include its peaceful nuclear program and call for a non-nuclear Middle East. 

Post editors say that's hostile. They also repeated earlier long ago discredited canards. Truth takes a back seat to propaganda. Beating up on nations Washington wants isolated, ravaged and plundered is policy. Ban "will be forced to endure public lectures from the Iranian leaders about their right to enrich uranium and" anti-Israeli rants. "By attending the Tehran conference, Mr. Ban will dignify a bacchanal of nonsense, undermine the work of the Security Council and probably get nothing in return."

Post editors give readers reason to boycott the broadsheet and denounce its shameless commentaries. They long ago wore thin. They almost make earlier yellow journalism look respectable. On August 22, London's Telegraph delivered the latest anti-Iranian broadside. It headlined "Iran's supreme leader orders fresh terror attacks on West." Never mind what he may have done, said and meant. Western propaganda calls it its way. Writer Con Coughlin cited unnamed Western intelligence officials, claiming:

"Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave the order to the elite Quds Force unit following a recent emergency meeting of Iran's National Security Council in Tehran held to discuss a specially-commissioned report into the implications for Iran of the Assad regime's overthrow."

"Intelligence officials say the report concludes that Iran 'cannot be passive' to the new threats posed to its national security, and warns that Western support for Syrian opposition groups was placing Iran's 'resistance alliance' in jeopardy, and could seriously disrupt Iran's access to Hizbollah in Lebanon." Indeed Khamenei and other Iranian officials are concerned. Failure to address serious threats would be irresponsible. Claiming Tehran plans confronting Western belligerence with its own continues an anti-Iranian war of words. Doing so is spurious, unconscionable propaganda. Corroborating evidence is absent. So are names and convincing specifics. 

Instead, unnamed intelligence sources claim Khamenei issued a directive to Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. Allegedly it ordered him to step up Western attacks. Coughlin unjustifiably accused Iran of other anti-Western terror attacks. No evidence whatever proved Iranian involvement in any of them. All had Mossad and/or CIA fingerprints. 

Suggesting more is an obvious ploy to blame Tehran for planned false flags. Perhaps something big is coming. Spuriously accusing Iran advances the ball for war. Washington's had plans to attack for years. So does Israel. Timing alone is unknown. Pretexts are needed. So is softening up propaganda. Enlisting public support is key. Getting it depends on convincing people of an existential threat too grave to ignore. Reality doesn't matter, just accusations repeated enough times to sound convincing. The latest scam claims Iran plans "retaliat(ing) for what they regard as the West's attempts to influence the outcome of the Syrian unrest." 

Expect lots more ahead. Know the source, purpose, and longstanding US/Israeli aims. Ignore baseless accusations by sources too shamefaced to go public. They lack credibility. At stake is ravaging independent nations, controlling their resources, plundering them, and exploiting their people. Peace and stability are verboten. War is the option of choice.

A Final Comment

On August 21, convicted Iran/Contra criminal Elliot Abrams headlined his Weekly Standard article "Time to Authorize Use of Force Against Iran."  Abrams is one of Paul Ryan's advisors. He's tutoring him on foreign policy. Topic one is waging war on independent states. Ryan is a George Bush adherent. He calls himself a "defense hawk." He's committed to mass slaughter and destruction. So is Abrams, saying: "At the moment, no one is persuaded that the United States will use force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. That situation worries Israelis and emboldens Iranians, not the outcome we want." 

"A clear statement now that is backed by the nominees of both parties and elicits widespread support in Congress would demonstrate that, whatever the election results, American policy is set."

Post-9/11, Congress gave Bush a blank check to wage war. It approved the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) for "the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States." Bush took full advantage. Permanent wars rage. Abrams wants more. So do other neocon hawks. Iran is target one. Plans call for full-blown Syrian escalation. Exposing and denouncing imperial schemes is essential. What greater priority than that.

Stephen Lendman

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Author`s name Stephen Lendman
Topics syria