"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."


July 23, 2015

Under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, a sixty-day review period began on Monday, July 20. During this period, Congress will review the historic P5+1 accord with Iran on its nuclear program that was announced on July 14.

During this period, the Israel lobby will be pulling out the stops in an all-out effort to derail the accord.  On Sunday the New York Times predicted that the debate will be "raucous."  But this agreement is the world's best hope to resolve peacefully an international dispute over Iran's nuclear program, which for more than a decade now has loomed as the potential casus belli.  Many American neoconservatives and Zionist zealots have longed for war on Iran, but the world can ill afford such a conflict.  Over the past decade UFPPC has often looked into the bones of contention in this dispute, and we have observed again and again how often Iran is deliberately mischaracterized in order to terrify the public.  Since we fully expect this to happen again, here's a roster of myths to watch for in the coming debate.

MYTH #1:  IRAN IS AN AGGRESSOR.  In fact, while Iran has historically been the dominant country in its region, it has not invaded another nation for more than two centuries.  (Compare the record of the United States in this regard.)  For decades now, Iran has been seeking to normalize relations with the United States.  The myth of Iran as aggressor is linked in American minds to the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, when Iran held fifty-two Americans prisoner for 444 days.  But that would never have happened if in 1953 the CIA and MI6 had not organized a coup to overthrow the democratic Mossadegh regime and protect British control of Iran's oil resources.  The result:  several decades of the tyranny of an autocratic shah and then the extraordinary Iranian Revolution of 1979.  That revolution was undoubtedly one of the most significant historical events of the latter half of the 20th century.  Without the outrageous meddling of American imperialism, the first modern Islamist state would never have been established and the history of recent decades would have been very different.

MYTH #2:  IRAN WANTS TO "WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP."  We've lost count of the number of times that we've demonstrated that neither President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad nor the Ayatollah Khomeini ever called for Israel to be wiped off the map.  This claim constitutes a textbook case of the Big Lie.  See here for one of the most detailed and convincing explanations of why "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad" is not a threat against Israel.

MYTH #3:  IRAN IS A TERRORIST NATION.  While the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran may not be guiltless in the area of terrorism, they are certainly more sinned against than sinning.  The United States has not only engaged in subversion against the Iranian regime and helped arm and finance its enemies, it has regularly threatened Iran, proclaiming that "All options are on the table."  The danger has by no means disappeared:  in March 2015, for example, the Washington Post featured an Op-Ed by neocon Joshua Muravchik entitled "War with Iran Is Probably Our Best Option."

MYTH #4:  IRAN IS BUILDING A BOMB.  It is impossible to prove a negative, and it is impossible to prove that Iran is not building a nuclear weapon.  But Iran is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and can make a good argument that it has complied with the terms of the treaty.  Two obvious points are rarely made in American media.  First, it is rarely pointed out that even if Iran were to develop a bomb, its function would be deterrence, not aggression, since Iran could not hope to launch a nuclear attack on another country and survive.  Second, we almost never hear that Israel, which is leading the campaign against the accord, refuses to sign the non-proliferation treaty, has an active nuclear weapons program, and possesses between 75 and 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.

MYTH #5:  IRANIAN CULTURE IS PERVERSELY MORBID.  Partly because of Iran's historic Shiism, the myth has often been propagated that Iranians are culturally preoccupied with death and martyrdom and are therefore dangerous.  In fact, Iran became Shiite in 1501 largely for geopolitical reasons, by executive fiat.  Far from being morbid, Iranian or Persian culture is one of the world's great life-affirming cultures and is responsible for countless contributions to the heritage of civilized humanity:  wine, the lute, monotheism, banking, taxation, spinach, mail, hospitals, windmills, qanats (underground aquifers), and...  cookies.  Many other innovations from the Orient were introduced to the West through Persia.

UFPPC urges you to contact your senators and representatives to tell them you support the P5+1 agreement with Iran.  Washingtonians can reach Senator Maria Cantwell at 253-572-2281 or www.cantwell.senate.gov; they can reach Senator Patty Murray at 253-572-3636 or www.murray.senate.gov.  Pierce County residents can reach Derek Kilmer at 253-272-3515 or www.house.gov/kilmer, Adam Smith at 425-793-5180 or www.adamsmith.house.gov, Dave Reichert at 425-677-7414 or www.house.gov/reichert, and Denny Heck at 360-459-8514 or www.dennyheck.house.gov.


"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."