News Release

Iran: Crucial Facts and Ignored Options


Author of The “Great Satan” vs. the “Mad Mullahs”: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other Beeman said today: “You have the U.S. funding groups that are attacking Iran, most recently reported on by Sy Hersh, though we’ve known about it for a while; you have Israel conducting exercises that the U.S. government indicates are against Iran. Now the Iranians respond with these missile tests — and the U.S. government comes down like a ton of bricks.

“The current legislation in the House and Senate on Iran — under discussion in a House committee today — was basically written by AIPAC and spoon fed to both Democratic and Republican Congress people. It’s full of half-truths and exaggerations about Iran. Barney Frank has just pulled out as a co-sponsor.

“A crucial point that’s frequently overlooked is that the original UN sanctions resolution on Iran talked about nuclear enrichment as a concern because of worry about Iran producing a nuclear weapon. But we know from the most recent National Intelligence Estimate that Iran is not producing a nuclear weapon. So why the fetish over nuclear enrichment?”

Professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, Beeman recently wrote the piece “Will the U.S. Support Terrorists to Destabilize Iran?

Currently research affiliate at MIT, Thomson served as the United Kingdom Ambassador to India and as the Permanent Representative in the United Nations. He has co-written Iran as a Pioneer Case for Multilateral Nuclear Arrangements and several other articles about the Iranian nuclear situation.

Thomson said today: “We were the first to propose a multilateral solution to the Iran situation, though some of the ideas came out of work from the IAEA. Initially, some people thought our proposal was ridiculous, but that view is going. The present official policy is not working so people including governments are looking for alternatives. However, London, Washington and Paris remain opposed.

“Our proposal meets the bottom-line stated demands of both sides. For the Iranians, they get nuclear enrichment on Iranian soil. On the Western side, there’s a bit of fuzziness, but at minimum the demand is that Iran not be able to make nuclear weapons. We achieve both of these. The way we do so is by having an international mechanism deal with the entire nuclear process in Iran. This solves a number of issues, for example, it would prevent a clandestine parallel program because it would work with all the Iranian nuclear physicists full time.

“The Iranians have repeatedly said that they would be in favor of a multilateral approach, but complain they have been met with a resounding silence.”

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Thomas Pickering has voiced his support for a multilateral approach; see More Information

Sahimi just wrote “Deconstructing the Anti-Iran Resolutions,” which states: “The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a resolution (HR 362) that calls on the Bush administration to take strong action against Iran, including a naval blockade of its ports. A similar resolution is being considered by the Senate (SR 580). The two resolutions are supposedly non-binding. They also mention explicitly that they are not granting the Bush administration any authorization to stage military attacks on Iran. Their language, however, is warlike.”

Sahimi is professor of chemical engineering at the University of Southern California. His articles on U.S.-Iranian relations include “The follies of Bush’s Iran policy,” which he co-wrote with Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167