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US, Western sanctions on Iran seek to hurt people: Richard Becker

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A political analyst tells Press TV that the US-engineered sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran are intended to harm ordinary Iranian citizens.

The comments come after the United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and the European Union using the false claim as a pretext to impose illegal sanctions against Teharn. Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Tehran’s nuclear energy program has been diverted toward military objectives.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Richard Becker, with the ANSWER Coalition in San Francisco, to further shed light on the issue. The video also offers the opinions of one additional guest: Geoffrey Alderman who is an author, historian and political commentator in London. The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Do you not think Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, has a point there when he says the continued existence of nuclear weapons is a threat to humanity and he also criticizing the US, Britain, and some other Western countries for conducting nuclear tests and transferring nuclear arms and technology to non-NPT member states? As opposed to the US who has conducted over 1,000 nuclear tests since 1945 of which it conducted its 27th subcritical nuclear test in Nevada in December 2012 and called it the Pollux experiment; is it not a flagrant violation under international obligations under the NPT?

Becker: The NPT, when it was drafted and signed, was supposed to lead to disarming of the nuclear powers in the world; they were supposed to be getting rid of their nuclear weapons. Instead, this treaty, the NPT, has been used as has the IAEA as a club against particular countries which are seen as enemies of Washington.

So we have the absurdity today that in the United States and in other countries a mass hysteria is being created or attempted to be created around the possibility, the alleged possibility, that Iran could gain nuclear weapons while at the same time the countries, the nuclear powers that have either used nuclear weapons such as in Hiroshima and Nagasaki have loaded nuclear weapons with the threat to deploy them as Israel did in October 1973 or are deploying nuclear weapons aboard instruments of debt like the Triton Submarine in which there is at least one in the Persian Gulf right now and each one of those can carry 140 independently targetable nuclear missiles, all of them with much greater blast capacity and damage capacity than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

So we have really an absurd situation and of course the nuclear weapons are a grave threat to human kind and the gravest threat comes from those countries which have the most nuclear weapons and particularly the United States which is the number one nuclear weapons power in the world.

Press TV: When you talk about bluff, and you said that it has been double-bluffed in the matter of speaking, where is the bluff going to end like the United States total production of highly enriched uranium, 835 tons of 90 percent highly enriched uranium of the near 2,000 tons of highly enriched uranium in the world. I think that has gone a little bit beyond bluff. Do you not think, Richard Becker?

Becker: Of course and we have to point out that the United States has never taken a No First strike Pledge. It has very explicitly refused to take that pledge and it, together with Britain and its other nuclear allies of France and Israel, has used the threat of war against the former Soviet Union in an attempt to bankrupt that by forcing it into an arms race that it could not afford and which deprived their country when it was in need of vital resources, that it was phase after phase after phase of new nuclear weapons technology that was introduced by the United States in every case except in one major category and the Soviet Union, because the United States refused to take a No First strike Pledge, had to always consider the possibility that it would be the recipient of a first strike and had to try to keep up with the nuclear arms race that was really exacerbated by the US policy.

Press TV: In terms of what countries the US is encouraging or perhaps promoting in terms of nuclear weapons or in general the nuclear industry, for example we know there is cooperation between the United States and India when it comes to reprocessed nuclear fuel, but what is your reaction to that?

Becker: Yes and the US foreign policy has as one of its key components surrounding China including the development of the relationship with India but the United States has also encouraged the development of nuclear weapons and stockpiling of nuclear weapons by the only country in the Middle East that actually has nuclear weapons that is aside from the US forces that are stationed there and that is Israel.

And there has been this kind of agreement that has lasted for decades now that the Israelis will not say they have nuclear weapons and the United States government all will pretend not to know if they had nuclear weapons when of course in fact Israel being a junior partner of the US in its imperial aspirations around the world and particularly in the Middle East is viewed as needed by the Pentagon and by Washington as an element in the global strategy of domination.

Press TV: Richard Becker, our guest in London, Geoffrey Alderman, says the original reactor Dimona the Israelis acquired did not come from the United States of America, it came from France. What do you think?

Becker: Yes, absolutely that is very true but France was initially the military supplier of the state of Israel but all of that changed at the time in a period right after 1967 war with the development of the Nixon Doctrine.

It was at that time the US policy, and I talked about this in a book that I did call ‘Palestine, Israel and the US Empire’ that the United States government was very thankful to Israel for the blows that it struck against its Arab neighbors and immediately following that when [Richard] Nixon became president and instituted the Nixon Doctrine and made Israel and Iran, then under the Shah who the US had put on the throne back in 1953, as the pivots to be the enforcers of US interests in the Middle East and that is when the weaponry and the dollars began to flow not in the millions or the hundreds of millions but in the billions of dollars from the United States.

So the idea that the United States, because they were not the originators of the nuclear weapons program in Israel, are not fully in support of Israel’s nuclear weaponry and the entire vast military apparatus that has been constructed by Israel as a garrison state. You know, that is really a contention that does not hold water.

Press TV: Fifty million Americans are on food stamps but last count. What would you say about that?

Becker: Half the population in the United States now is officially categorized as living in poverty or as low income and the extreme expenditures and militarism both in the United States to a lesser degree and Britain but still to a very great degree are the fundamental cause for the poverty of so many people.

I would really challenge Mr. Alderman’s contention that the majority of people in Britain would vote for under the present condition that they would be voting for renewal of the nuclear program at the expense of social programs which have been slashed there, leaving so many people in need.

And of course we have to remember that there is one sector of society, the military industrial corporations, that benefit tremendously, that profit enormously from the nuclear weapons industry and I think that the reason that Britain wants to renew its nuclear program at this point is not that they think anybody is about to attack Britain but so that they can lord it over other countries that are remnants of its empire or are contesting its empire such as Argentina.

You know, when Britain is a nuclear power, when one country is a nuclear weapons power, that gives it a great inherent advantage and the British ruling classes trying to defend the remnants of that empire as a junior partner in the world with the United States.

Press TV: How many times has Iran stated that in reaction to the number of Israeli threats?

Becker: This is just more the double speak and you know the double standard that really boils down to this, that the rich countries are free to do whatever they want to; the poor countries are battered especially if they are not obeying the dictates of Washington, they are battered with international law; they are bettered with these international regulations; they are battered with sanctions which are aimed to deprive the people, to deprive the people of adequate food and medicine just as it was done in Iraq.

Why isn’t the United States and why aren’t the US and the British governments which did what they have done to Iraq, why aren’t they held before international bodies and tried for their crimes against humanity? And now they are threatening Iran and not only threatening Iran but carrying out the sanctions policy which is intended to harm the people as a whole.

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