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Iran's Nuclear 'Emancipation'

When George Bush says that "all options are on the table" regarding Iran, the world convulses like an MIT feminist listening to Larry Summers discussing gender differences. Jacques Chirac openly threatens nuclear retaliation against any state that launches terrorist attacks against France (i.e. Iran) and the world yawns. I thought Chirac's warmongering was endearing - in a Vichy sort of way - and wish more leaders would get more serious about saber-rattling with respect to Iran.

I say this only as a segue to news that Mssr. Chirac has again acted properly by telling Al-Ahram (the state-owned paper in Egypt) that Iran's leaders "must understand that, for the international community, the prospect of a militarily nuclearized Iran is unacceptable." Chirac has previously recognized Iran's right to a peaceful nuclear energy program, but he also told the paper that ""The IAEA found that its [Iran's] nuclear activities had been carried out in an underhand way" and also that "Iran is pursuing a worrying missile program."

Let me add one more piece to the puzzle. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not only a dangerous religious fanatic, he is a shrewd demagogue whose exploitation of the nuclear issue among the Iranian people goes beyond calls to national pride or declarations of Iranian sovereignty and taps into the deep-seated culture of victimhood and oppression in the Muslim Middle East. As such, the struggle for a nuclear energy program (and probably shortly thereafter a nuclear weapon) is portrayed as a struggle for "emancipation" from the West, as Mohammad Sadek al-Husseini explained in the pages of Dar Al Hayat yesterday:

Seven countries, before Iran, have acquired Uranium enrichment technology, four of which have monopolized and still insist on monopolizing 'nuclear fuel technology', chiefly the US only because it wants to control the courses of this advanced alternative energy in the world.

This monopoly was and still is in practice with the principle that 'victory' is for the strongest (party) that only trusts the partners that emerged victorious from World War II. They founded the UN and the set of laws and 'standards' which today, against the will of the majority whose rights are violated by the victorious minority, they call the 'international community standards'. [snip]

The recipient citizen in our poor and downtrodden countries, which are dominated by the World War II victorious countries, is that this advanced technology has become necessary, essential and indispensable in more than 200-300 science, industry, field, structure, modern information technology or highly advanced technology, and the equally important state-of-the-art industries that have been giving countries the ability to monopolize 'nuclear fuel', manufactured by enriching uranium, the upper hand in all vital spheres for the contemporary man.

Has it not become clear from the aforementioned why it is not acceptable for Egypt, Saudi, Libya, Iraq, Iran, or any Arab or Islamic country to acquire this advanced technology?

In other words, the issue isn't that the West feels it necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring potentially catastrophic power that could be derived from a uranium enrichment program because the regime gives every indication that it cannot and should not be entrusted with such power. Instead it is a vast global conspiracy to keep Iran - and the rest of the Islamic world - poor and in the technological Dark Ages. It behooves us to recognize and understand just how warped this view is and how the psychology of victimhood plays in this debate.

Once again, our hope lies with the reformers in Iran who seem unswayed by the regime's bogus claims of the need for nuclear energy and who understand that the West has nothing against the Iranian people and wants nothing more than peaceful co-existence.