Iran Is Already Under Attack


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by James Corbett
October 2, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made headlines at the UN General Assembly last week for his theatrics in attempting to demonstrate the imminent danger of the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program by drawing a literal “red line” on a childish depiction of a bomb more fitting for a Wile E. Coyote cartoon than a serious political forum.

Oddly missing from Netanyahu's speech was any acknowledgement that there has yet to be any positive evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, any mention of the fact that the only nuclear power in the middle east is in fact Israel, any indication that Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty while Israel is not, nor any admission that Netanyahu himself was a key member of a nuclear smuggling ring that smuggled nuclear weapons technology from the US to Israel in the 1980s according to recently released FBI documents. Despite these omissions, Bibi achieved his goal: headline after headline across the world fretted about the so-called “red line,” or the point at which the “community of nations” will commit to bombing Iran.

Although this propaganda war of lowest common denominator props and stage tricks is depressing, what is even more frustrating is the fact that, contrary to what we are being told, Iran is in fact already under attack by Israel, the US, and other western powers, and has been for some time. Through a series of measures, Iran has been facing an onslaught of cyberwarfare, special operations, targeted assassinations, and crippling economic sanctions for years now.

Probably the most obvious part of this campaign has been the series of bombings and assassinations that have claimed the lives of four of Iran's top nuclear scientists. Three of the attacks involved motorcyclists pulling alongside the vehicle of the scientists and attaching a magnetic explosive to the car which subsequently detonated. One of the intended targets—Dr. Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, a nuclear physicist at Shahid Beheshti University—was able to survive when he threw himself from his moving vehicle before the bomb exploded. Another attack saw a respected nuclear expert, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, killed when a remote control bomb was detonated in his car. Yet another Iranian scientist, Dairush Razeai-Nejad, was shot dead in an attack in Tehran in which armed gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on him outside his house.

In July of this year, a book by Israeli-American journalists Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv called Spies Against Armageddon revealed that the attacks had been carried out by Mossad agents, as had been universally suspected. Later that month, Iran arrested 14 people in connection with the assassinations, airing their “confessions” on state tv along with images of the military garrison outside Tel Aviv where they allegedly attained their assassination training. Iran has not made clear when or how the prisoners will be tried, but has reserved the right to pursue charges through international bodies. The families of some of the murdered scientists have filed lawsuits against the US, UK, and Israel for their alleged participation in the assassinations, but nothing has yet come of this lawsuit.

Another spectacular event occurred in 2010, when the most technologically sophisticated computer worm ever discovered, Stuxnet, was exposed and dissected.

Of all the warfare tactics being used against Iran, however, perhaps the most destructive are the ones that are targeting everyday civilians. The regime of economic sanctions that Iran is currently suffering under, long recognized as an act of war in itself, is beginning to have devastating effects on the Iranian economy, threatening the lives of millions of Iranian men, women and children who have nothing whatsoever to do with Iran's nuclear program.

Economic sanctions, which are designed to cripple a nation's economy and directly effect its civilian populations, have long been understood to be an act of overt warfare in themselves. As they effect the weakest and poorest members of the target nation the most, they can often have more deadly consequences than bombing campaigns and military maneuvers themselves, as in Iraq where the strict economic sanctions placed on Saddam Hussein's government in the 1990s resulted in the deaths of over 500,000 Iraqi children.

In Iran, the sanctions are once again having the most devastating effect on the poor merchants and manufacturers. The number of products available for sale in Iran is dwindling as western goods manufactured with western materials and purchased with dollars are becoming more and more difficult to obtain. This is causing genuine economic pain for shoe factories, cooking oil manufacturers, and countless other businesses that are forced to lay off employees because they are unable to continue operations.

In the latest news, Iran's currency has reached an all-time low after taking a dramatic tumble last month. Just yesterday, the rial lost 17 per cent of its value in one day. The government's efforts to ease the problems for importers by creating “exchange centers” to supply them with US dollars at special prices seems to have accelerated a flight out of the rial and further pushed down the currency's value. This in turn makes life even more difficult for the average Iranian, who is becoming increasingly isolated from the global supply chain that the modern economy is built on.

One can only imagine what the situation would be like if the tables were turned. If there were bombing campaigns in the United States targeting American scientists, cyber weapons being launched in Tel Aviv against Israeli business interests and economic sanctions being enforced by the Non-Aligned Movement that was threatening to starve European children. The very suggestion implies its answer: there would be retaliatory strikes the very next day in the heart of Tehran, and any amount of civilian casualties would be justified as a response to this Iranian campaign of terror.

But coming as it does from Washington and Tel Aviv, these outright acts of warfare are barely even reported on, let alone acknowledged as acts of war in the western media. And as a result, the Iranian government finds itself in that most impossible of positions: allow the western powers to dictate Iran's policies and appoint its leaders or face ever-more-punishing economic and even military action. It is incumbent on those of us who understand this process of covert warfare for what it is—actual warfare—to bypass the bought-and-paid-for media and to spread this understanding to others in time to create a significant anti-war movement, or to face the inevitable consequences. The smoking rubble of yet another toppled civilization and the opening salvo of a third world war.

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