For­eign Min­istry: Ira­ni­ans main vic­tims of Us-backed ter­ror­ists

Iran Daily - - National -

Iran’s For­eign Min­istry spokesman re­acted to the lat­est an­nual ter­ror­ism re­port re­leased by the US De­part­ment of State, say­ing that de­spite US claims, Ira­ni­ans have been the main vic­tims of acts of ter­ror­ism car­ried out by ter­ror­ists di­rectly sup­ported by Wash­ing­ton.

Re­fut­ing brazen claims lev­eled against Iran in the US “Coun­try Re­ports on Ter­ror­ism 2019,” Seyyed Ab­bas Mousavi said on Thurs­day, “The Is­lamic Re­pub­lic of Iran to­tally re­jects and dis­misses the US an­nual re­port on ter­ror­ism due to its clear dis­hon­esty and the dou­ble stan­dards ap­plied by this regime to fight­ing ter­ror­ism,” Press TV re­ported.

“Ira­ni­ans have been both vic­tims of and heroes in fight­ing those ter­ror­ists, who have been cre­ated and sup­ported by the United States,” Mousavi added.

The so-called re­port iden­ti­fied Iran as “the world’s worst state spon­sor of ter­ror­ism,” claim­ing the coun­try has been pro­vid­ing sup­port for “var­i­ous ter­ror­ist groups” through­out the Mid­dle East.

It came amid Wash­ing­ton’s con­tin­ued and un­re­served back­ing for anti-iran ter­ror­ist out­fits, in­clud­ing the ter­ror­ist cult of the Mu­ja­hedin-e Khalq Or­ga­ni­za­tion (MKO) that is re­spon­si­ble for slay­ing around 12,000 Ira­ni­ans since the 1979 vic­tory of Iran’s Is­lamic Rev­o­lu­tion.

In 2019, the year cov­ered in the so-called re­port, the US also black­listed Iran’s Is­lamic Rev­o­lu­tion Guards Corps (IRGC) de­spite the elite mil­i­tary force’s in­dis­pens­able ad­vi­sory sup­port for the re­gional coun­tries’ fight against Tak­firi ter­ror­ists. And in early 2020, Wash­ing­ton as­sas­si­nated Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Qassem Soleimani, the com­man­der of the IRGC’S Quds Force, who has won rep­u­ta­tion as the Mid­dle East’s most de­ci­sive and re­spected anti-ter­ror per­son­al­ity.

The US re­port named the Le­banese and Pales­tinian re­sis­tance move­ments of Hezbol­lah and Ha­mas – that have been de­fend­ing their re­spec­tive peo­ple against deadly Is­raeli acts of ag­gres­sion – as two of the groups that it said were be­ing backed by Iran.

Mousavi added, “The regime of the United States, as the main spon­sor of state ter­ror­ism and the most im­por­tant sup­porter of the ag­gres­sive and oc­cu­py­ing Zion­ist regime is in no po­si­tion to have any claim to fight­ing ter­ror­ism and hand­ing down any judg­ment in this re­gard.”

The spokesman re­minded how his­tory it­self bears wit­ness to the US’ cre­ation of or sup­port for ter­ror­ism.

Some Amer­i­can of­fi­cials have, them­selves, ad­mit­ted this fact, in­clud­ing US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who ac­knowl­edged on his elec­toral cam­paign that pre­vi­ous Amer­i­can ad­min­is­tra­tions had cre­ated the Daesh Tak­firi ter­ror

with the first phase of a tran­si­tion within the IAEA that would ul­ti­mately ad­vance Tel Aviv’s po­si­tion. Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Yukio Amano un­der­went an un­spec­i­fied med­i­cal pro­ce­dure in Septem­ber 2018, grew steadily weaker with a se­ri­ous ill­ness, and died on July 2, 2019.

Be­fore his phys­i­cal de­cline, Amano had an­nounced plans to step down by March 2020, touch­ing off a com­pe­ti­tion be­tween senior IAEA of­fi­cials for elec­tion to the top po­si­tion. US and Is­raeli in­flu­ence was im­me­di­ately en­hanced by the race, be­cause any in­ter­ested can­di­date re­quired sub­stan­tial back­ing from Wash­ing­ton for the req­ui­site votes among the agency’s board of di­rec­tors.

The Is­raelis had fo­cused the IAEA’S at­ten­tion on an al­leged Ira­nian overt con­ver­sion pro­gram from the very be­gin­ning. Drawn from a covert pro­gram that took place from 2000 to 2003, the col­lec­tion of sup­pos­edly pur­loined doc­u­ments in­cluded a one-page flow sheet show­ing a process for con­vert­ing ura­nium ore into a form of ura­nium that could be en­riched.

But in its De­cem­ber 2015 “fi­nal as­sess­ment” of ques­tions of “pos­si­ble mil­i­tary di­men­sions,” the IAEA had con­cluded that the process shown in the doc­u­ment “was tech­ni­cally flawed and of low qual­ity in com­par­i­son to what was avail­able to Iran as part of its de­clared nu­clear fuel cy­cle.” In other words, it wasn’t taken very se­ri­ously.

Ne­tanyahu’s new “Ira­nian Nu­clear Ar­chive” in­cluded what was pur­ported to be a May 2003 let­ter from the “project man­ager” of the “Health and Safety Group” for that same al­leged covert nu­clear weapons pro­gram.

The let­ter de­scribed a large covert ura­nium con­ver­sion plant and three plant de­signs. But the let­ter bore no mark­ing that con­nected it with any Ira­nian govern­ment en­tity – only a crudely drawn sym­bol that could have been added by any­one.

What’s more, noth­ing about the fa­cil­ity de­signs sup­ported the doc­u­ment’s au­then­tic­ity, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing a senior Is­raeli in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cial ac­knowl­edged to pro-is­rael lob­by­ist David Al­bright that no such plant was ever built.

Is­rael, nev­er­the­less, con­tin­ued to de­ploy those du­bi­ous doc­u­ments to ham­mer home its point.

IAEA caves to Is­rael and US

The doc­u­ments and pho­tos the Is­raelis pushed with US sup­port even­tu­ally prompted the IAEA to cave in to their de­mands. The agency sent three let­ters to Iran on July 5, Au­gust 9, and Au­gust 21, 2019, based en­tirely on the Is­raeli claims out­fit and other such groups, Mousavi added.

“As the big­gest vic­tim of acts of ter­ror­ism that have ma­jorly been con­ducted through US ad­min­is­tra­tions’ di­rect or in­di­rect sup­port, and with the 17,000 mar­tyrs that it has lost to these [atroc­i­ties], the Is­lamic Re­pub­lic in­vari­ably stands on the front­line

about three “un­de­clared sites.”

In the mis­sives, the IAEA claimed to have “de­tailed in­for­ma­tion” about what it called “pos­si­ble un­de­clared nu­clear ma­te­rial and nu­clear-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties” at each of site. It de­manded “clarificat­ions” in each case.

Ac­cord­ing to the IAEA, the first let­ter re­lated to the “pos­si­ble pres­ence” be­tween 2002 and 2003 of a nat­u­ral ura­nium metal disc which it said “may not have been in­cluded in Iran’s dec­la­ra­tions.” The let­ter was clearly re­fer­ring to Lav­izan-shian in Tehran, when it said the site “un­der­went ex­ten­sive san­i­ta­tion and lev­el­ing in 2003 and 2004.” At the time, the agency de­cided there was no point in vis­it­ing it.

The United States and Is­rael have al­ways ar­gued that Iran had com­pletely re­moved the top­soil at the site in or­der to avoid de­tec­tion by en­vi­ron­men­tal sam­pling of some kind of nu­clear-re­lated work at the site. But that claim was false. In fact, the build­ings be­long­ing to the mil­i­tary con­trac­tor of Lav­izan­shian had been torn down, but top­soil re­mained.

The IAEA did un­der­take en­vi­ron­men­tal sam­pling of the site in June 2004, ac­knowl­edg­ing that the veg­e­ta­tion and soil sam­ples col­lected at Lav­izan-shian re­vealed no ev­i­dence of nu­clear ma­te­rial. Reuters re­ported at the time that an IAEA of­fi­cial had said that “on-site in­spec­tions of Lav­izan pro­duced no proof that any soil had been re­moved at all.”

In its July 5 let­ter, the IAEA de­manded to know whether an un­de­clared nat­u­ral ura­nium metal disc had been present at the site and, if so, where it was lo­cated. That ques­tion was clearly based on a slide in the Is­raeli col­lec­tion that Al­bright’s or­ga­ni­za­tion has de­scribed as sum­ma­riz­ing how to make ura­nium deu­teride, which has been used to cre­ate a neu­tral ini­tia­tor for a nu­clear ex­plo­sion, with ura­nium metal chips and deu­terium gas.

The sec­ond site, which has not been oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied, “may have been used for the pro­cess­ing and con­ver­sion of ura­nium ore in­clud­ing flu­o­ri­na­tion in 2003,” ac­cord­ing to the IAEA let­ter. It said the site “un­der­went sig­nif­i­cant changes in 2004, in­clud­ing the de­mo­li­tion of most build­ings,” as though that con­sti­tuted ev­i­dence of wrong­do­ing.

The claim made lit­tle sense given that, in April 2003, Iran had for­mally de­clared to the IAEA that it was open­ing lines at its Is­fa­han nu­clear tech­nol­ogy cen­ter for pro­duc­tion of nat­u­ral ura­nium metal for use in the pro­duc­tion of shield­ing ma­te­rial.

At the third site, the IAEA stated, “out­door con­ven­tional of the fight against ter­ror­ism on the re­gional and in­ter­na­tional scale,” he noted.

The spokesper­son fi­nally de­nounced Wash­ing­ton’s eco­nomic and med­i­cal ter­ror­ism tar­get­ing the Ira­nian na­tion as the lat­est ex­am­ple of the US’ ter­ror­ist mea­sures against in­de­pen­dent na­tions in the world.

ex­plo­sive test­ing may have taken place in 2003” on “shield­ing” for use with “neu­tron de­tec­tors.” As part of the ra­tio­nale for de­mand­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tion, the agency cited sup­posed ef­forts be­gin­ning in July 2019 to “san­i­tize part of the lo­ca­tion.” This lan­guage was de­signed to im­ply that ev­i­dence of wrong­do­ing had been re­moved from the Ira­nian site.

We know that the site in ques­tion was near Abadeh, be­cause Ne­tanyahu showed satel­lite pho­tos of the Abadeh site in June 2019 and again in late July of this year, when a set of build­ings had been re­moved by the lat­ter date. Ne­tanyahu bragged that he was re­veal­ing “yet an­other se­cret nu­clear site…ex­posed in the ar­chives.”

How­ever, IAEA word­ing sug­gested its let­ter was prompted not by any con­crete ev­i­dence of nu­clear ac­tiv­ity at the Abadeh site, but by some ev­i­dence of the de­struc­tion of those build­ings.

The IAEA thus chose the three sites based on noth­ing more than the fact that build­ings were razed, and thanks to pres­sure ap­plied by the Is­raelis and the United States. The no­tion that Iran “may have” used and stored un­de­clared nu­clear ma­te­rial at un­de­clared site, more­over, was based solely on un­vet­ted Is­raeli doc­u­ments, con­trary to the IAEA claim of “ex­ten­sive and rig­or­ous cor­rob­o­ra­tion process.”

In pro­vok­ing a need­less cri­sis over ob­scure hy­po­thet­i­cals, the IAEA has once again lent it­self to the po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests of Wash­ing­ton and Tel Aviv – just as it did dur­ing the Bush and Obama ad­min­is­tra­tions. But this time the IAEA’S highly politi­cized cam­paign is serv­ing the Is­raeli aim of mak­ing it po­lit­i­cally im­pos­si­ble for the next ad­min­is­tra­tion to re­turn to the Iran nu­clear deal.

On June 8, Iran’s per­ma­nent mis­sion to the IAEA de­manded that any re­quest for clar­i­fi­ca­tion un­der the ad­di­tional pro­to­col should be based on “au­then­ti­cated in­for­ma­tion” and ex­pressed “con­cern” over at­tempts to “re­open out­stand­ing is­sues” that had been closed in 2015.

Iran views the new IAEA ex­er­cise as yet an­other salient of the Us-is­raeli “max­i­mum pres­sure” strat­egy. Tehran has thus in­sisted that the IAEA cease its role as a de facto prose­cu­tor for the Us-is­raeli spe­cial re­la­tion­ship.

Source: The Gray Zone

* Gareth Porter is an US in­de­pen­dent in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist who has cov­ered na­tional se­cu­rity pol­icy since 2005 and was the re­cip­i­ent of Gell­horn Prize for Jour­nal­ism in 2012.

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