|Building in Tehran|
|Outside wall of U.S. Embassy, Tehran.|
n accordance with the historical records
that they have suffered from the USA,
they know very well what lies behind
the facade of the IN GOD WE TRUST
Workers Vanguard No. 1000 13 April 2012
U.S. Imperialists Hands Off the World!
Down With Starvation Sanctions Against Iran!
Further ratcheting up imperialist pressures against Iran, the U.S. and its European Union allies are preparing to issue an ultimatum that Tehran immediately close the recently completed Fordo nuclear facility, which is deep underground, and stop further enrichment of uranium.
The demands of the Western powers, which claim that Iran is a few steps from developing weapons-grade uranium, are to be delivered at a meeting scheduled to begin later this week in Istanbul. As reported in the New York Times (7 April), President Obama calls this “Iran’s ‘last chance’ to resolve its nuclear confrontation with the United Nations and the West diplomatically.”
Obama had already invoked the prospect of war to get Iran to bow to the imperialist diktat. He has declared that “all options are on the table” and assured Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly threatened air strikes, that the U.S. “has Israel’s back.”
The main weapon the imperialists have been wielding against Iran is an economic siege, which they have recently intensified.
Beginning in November, the U.S., in coordination with Britain and Canada, moved to implement a virtual international financial quarantine of Iran.
The embargo includes the central bank, which handles the export of crude oil. As a result of economic sanctions, the value of Iran’s currency, the rial, has dropped sharply and inflation is skyrocketing, led by soaring food and gas prices.
With unemployment shooting steadily upward, Hyundai Motors has closed down its factory in Iran for fear of being penalized under the sanctions. Some essential household goods are impossible to obtain.
The austerity is exacerbated by Tehran’s ban on hundreds of imported items, an effort intended to stem the decline of its currency.
The latest sanctions are aimed to strike at the heart of Iran’s economy: its oil exports.
The European Union, whose member states currently buy 20 percent of Iran’s oil, plans to initiate a ban on all Iranian oil imports in July.
The U.S. sanctions include measures to penalize countries that import Iranian oil and any bank handling payment for such sales can be denied access to the U.S. financial system.
Under pressure from Washington, Turkey has declared that it will slash its purchases of Iranian oil by 20 percent. Other big buyers, including Japan, South Africa and India, have also indicated that they will reduce their orders, while China too has been buying less.
To make up for the shortfall, the Saudis have promised to increase oil production to a 30-year high.
The stated purpose of the sanctions and military threats is to stop Iran’s purported program to develop nuclear weapons—an effort the Iranian government has always denied and for which even pro-imperialist analysts and U.S. intelligence agencies admit there is no evidence.
It is the height of arrogance and hypocrisy for the U.S. rulers, echoed by imperialist Britain and France as well as Israel, to declaim that Iran has “no right” to pursue the development of nuclear weapons.
The U.S. spends more on its military than the next 14 largest military spenders combined and possesses by far the world’s greatest supply of nukes as well as massive stores of highly enriched uranium. It stands alone in having used atomic weapons, incinerating some 200,000 Japanese civilians in the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 at the end of World War II. The purpose of that massacre was to send a message to the Soviet Union that U.S. imperialism meant to reign supreme.
There are clear indications that Iran has no plans to build an atomic bomb, as its government has repeatedly said. It should be noted that the 20 percent uranium enrichment level cited by the imperialists as approaching the level that can be used in weapons is the same needed for medical isotopes for cancer treatment.
In 2007, the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) conceded that Iran had dismantled efforts to build an atomic bomb four years earlier. However, last November the IAEA released a report darkly hinting at “indications” that “some activities” related to nuclear weapons may have continued after 2003 and “may still be ongoing.” The facade of neutrality upheld by the IAEA, a body of the United Nations, was exposed by a cable released by WikiLeaks in which the agency’s director general, Yukiya Amano, was described by an American official as “solidly in the US court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program” (London Guardian, 23 March).