Thursday, April 16, 2009

Noam Chomsky Speaks Out on Iran

Kourosh Ziabari - Tehran Times: Noam Chomsky believes Iran is being pressured because of its independent stance, which the major powers view as disobedience.

Chomsky made the remarks in an interview conducted through email by Kourosh Ziabari for the Tehran Times, in which he also talked about the prospects for direct talks between Iran and the United States.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: Professor Chomsky, you have stated several times that most of the countries of the world, including the members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), support Iran’s efforts to develop its civilian nuclear energy program, but some voices in the United States are still making hawkish comments. Why is that the case?

A: Not only the Non-Aligned Movement, but also the large majority of Americans believe that Iran has the right to develop nuclear energy. But almost no one in the U.S. is aware of this. That includes those who are polled, and probably think they are the only ones who hold these beliefs. Nothing is ever published about it. What appears in the media, constantly, is that the “international community” demands that Iran stop uranium enrichment. Almost nowhere is it brought out that the term “international community” is used conventionally to refer to Washington and whoever happens to go along with it, not just on this issue, but quite generally.

Q: The U.S. government is clearly practicing double standards in its foreign policy. While supporting Israel’s right to possess a nuclear arsenal, the U.S. is relentlessly pressuring Iran to halt its civilian nuclear program. What are your views on this? And does the International Atomic Energy Agency have the authority to investigate Israel’s nuclear weapons program?

A: The basic point was explained very candidly by Henry Kissinger. He was asked by the Washington Post why he now claims that Iran does not need nuclear energy so it must be working on building a bomb, while in the 1970s he insisted forcefully that Iran needs nuclear energy and the U.S. must provide the shah with the means to develop it. His answer was pure Kissinger: “They were an allied country” so they needed nuclear energy. Now they are not an ally, so they do not need nuclear energy. As for Israel, it is an ally, more accurately a client state. So they inherit from the master the right to do as they please.

The IAEA has the authority, but the U.S. would never permit them to exercise it. The new U.S. administration has given no indication that it is any different.

No comments: