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Nov-21-2008 09:23printcomments

Could Western Propaganda About Iran Spark a Third World War?

After years of negotiating with a paranoid U.S., Iran stops discussing imaginary nuclear weapons.

girls from Tehran preparing for a paintball game
Iranian militant women in training? Nope, girls from Tehran preparing for a paintball game. Contrary to American media programming, most Iranian people like Americans. The country denies ambitions for nuclear weapons, but no western nations believe the Iranian government. It has now led to a stalemate and the Iranians have fallen silent on the issue.
Photo by Hamid Nicpour

(SALEM, Ore.) - In a time when the highest powers in our nation create lies to justify military action, it makes sense to polish up on history and discover the truth about Iran's nuclear ambitions, or lack of them.

Regardless of how many people state that Iran is developing nuclear bombs instead of power, the fact remains that we don't know. Western speculation over Iran's non-existent nuclear arsenal is simply speculation and nothing else.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog. They say they have struggled to get to the bottom of U.S. intelligence suggestions that Iran is preparing to process uranium for atomic fuel, test high explosives at unusually high altitudes, and revamp a Shahab-3 missile to fit a nuclear warhead.

Time after time, Iran has denied the West's suspicions of a covert effort to develop the capacity to fuel nuclear weapons. This nation, the world's 4th largest oil exporter, has stated repeatedly that it is developing nuclear power for generating more electricity.

Analysts have stated that Iran could be as little as one or two years from enriching uranium to use in an atom bomb, if it decided to. The repeated use of this "possibility" ultimately becomes a great example of the scare tactics employed by the war hungry right who would dare to place overburdened American troops in yet another seemingly unwinnable war. In all fairness, the people who would back such a move do not all hail from the right wing exclusively by any means.

Americans believed President Bush and Colin Powell's assertions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Iraqi military truck blown violently
apart by explosion. Photo: Tim King

One of the only things that came close to "WMD's" were MiG-29 fighter jets that Saddam Hussein had stashed at Balad Air Base in Iraq, and the U.S. government didn't even know about those going in. A gentleman I came to know in Iraq when I was covering the war, was responsible for getting the planes moved after western forces overtook the base early in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Iran however, is an entirely different story. In Iraq, we have lost thousands and thousands of Americans while fighting a loosely organized band of militias. Iran has a sophisticated military force backed by Russian hardware capable of shooting our jets down and inflicting great damage on any enemy. Maybe that is why they won that Iran/Iraq war back in the days when we liked Saddam Hussein and he was a friend of the United States.

Now Iran is closing the door to any more talk about it. Tehran's decision to stop discussing weapons programs they say they don't have, is frustrating U.S. and world officials.

The U.N. inquiry over alleged atom bomb research by Iran has digressed into a silent standoff just months after Tehran stated that "the matter is over," U.N. officials said on Wednesday.

"We had gridlock before but until September at least we were talking to each other. Now it's worse. There is no communication whatsoever, no progress regarding possible military dimensions in their program," a senior United Nations told Reuters. We reported on July 21st 2008 that Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said Iran wanted no confrontation in the dispute over its nuclear program and was optimistic about the future course of the nuclear talks with world powers.

"We have a forward-looking and constructive approach and believe that we can move forward towards an agreement with understanding," Saeed Jalili said after returning to Tehran from talks in Europe.

He was referring to remarks by US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack who said Tehran should either chose "cooperation or confrontation". (see: Iran Stresses Diplomatic Solution to Nuclear Standoff)

Rainbow cast over an Iranian agricultural valley

Western History with Iran

I have written about this before, but the history of our problems with Iran date back to the post WWII period and the story is worth repeating.

The Brits were up to their elbows in Iranian crude oil during the years following the war in what was supposed to be a cooperative, international agreement. Iran's government pleaded with the British "Anglo Iranian Oil Company" to open the books and work with them to ensure Iran was being paid the agreed upon price per barrel of oil. The company refused to comply and viewed the Iranian demands to be paid a fair market price as a threat and a hostility, as Iran was gravitating toward the nationalization of oil as a counter measure.

U.S. President Harry Truman refused British calls for assistance in striking out at Iran over the oil issue, but the election of Dwight Eisenhower represented a new opportunity for cooperation, and soon the U.S. government secretly agreed to work with the British SAS and overthrow the first democratically elected President of Iran.

The CIA removed the "Shah" from the country and placed him in a sort of reeducation camp for nine months. After that, the Shah was reinstalled as a puppet leader for Iran who agreed to U.S. demands and for many years, there were peaceful relations between Iran and the west.

That all came to a screaming halt during Iran's Revolution in 1979. Islamic fundamentalists kidnapped a number of Americans and relations between the two countries grew bitter and hostile. A failed rescue attempt that claimed the life of a number of U.S. Marines added to the tension. The American hostages were released as the United States Presidency was changing hands between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

After that, in retribution for the hostage taking, the U.S. funded Saddam Hussein and prompted him to launch the Iran/Iraq War. Iraq was defeated and Iran retained its status as a foe of great power.

The defeat was apparently not recognized by Saddam Hussein on a public level, as thousands of Iranian military helmets are embedded in concrete on his parade ground in Baghdad where massive crossed swords tower overhead. On the parade ground, Iranian helmets are half sunken into the ground to signify his forces "marching over the heads of the Persians" in victory.

But there was no victory. No victory, no WMD's, and Iran consistently says it has no nuclear weapons program. Want more? Israel, a country settled under very controversial circumstances, that Americans feel they should defend at all costs, has had nukes all along. For decades the Israeli's paraded as a non-nuclear entity falsely under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and as it turns out they at least 150 of them. (see: Carter Reveals Israel's Possession of 150 Nuclear Weapons)

Israel's 1967 Attack on the U.S.S. Liberty

Israel is also the country that attacked the U.S. Navy ship Liberty during the Six Day War in 1967. Sailors aboard the vessel that day have told and other entities consistently that they were flying the American flag. (see: The Day Israel Attacked the United States)

The U.S.S. Liberty after an attack
by Israeli jets and torpedo boats in '67

The Israeli's didn't just attack it once either. The combined air and sea attack killed 34 and wounded more than 170 crew members, while damaging the technical research ship severely.

The jet fighters and torpedo boats fired over and over again killing and injuring innocent American "allies" who had waived to the jet pilots after identifying them as Israeli. The issue over the U.S.S. Liberty has never adequately been resolved between the United States and Israel.

In the end, our government effectively ignores an attack on our nation that claim American lives, and yet we demonize Iran which has never fired a shot at us. One of our fighter jets even mistakenly blasted an Iranian airliner out of the sky that led to the deaths of hundreds of innocent people. The U.S. government came up with several stories before finally confessing to the mistake. As angering, wrong and unnecessary as it was when Iran took Americans hostage in 1979, it was bloodless.

Israel was formed by terrorizing Palestinian people from their land in the years following WWII; that is a fact. Many of the first residents of Israel were survivors of the Holocaust; a group that survived unspeakable inhumanities and genocide at the hands of the Nazi's. Their plight is tragic, but the tragedy was pushed onto Arab people in the Mid East and that is the source of the resentment towards the Jewish State.

All of these nations, regardless of their religious and cultural differences and leadership, have good points and bad points. The key toward moving forward is reducing violence and injecting money into food, health and education programs. The history may be harsh but new generations are growing up and people can be reached. The constant paranoia about nuclear weapons that Iran says it doesn't have, just keeps emotions in TV viewers stirred up through the one dimensional western media treatment of the subject. Even if they were aspiring to build nuclear weapons, how do we justify Israel's recently revealed position of possessing these weapons when it officially does not?

Kinder actions among governments and broader cultural understandings are the key elements that can stabilize this part of the world. Iran's position as a political and military power is bolstered by the defeat of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. His government flexed its muscles and kept relations between the nations stable and aggressions at bay. That is what I was told by Iraqi people that I interviewed.

Posturing, lies... it almost sounds like an elementary schoolyard issue, but the players are countries. Each government referred to in this article, including the U.S., has exhibited serious behavioral issues that conflict with any real notion of world peace. The people who like to beat the war drum; politicians like John McCain, Joe Lieberman and more recently Sarah Palin, seem at times like they really and seriously believe attacking Iran is something to consider.

This is another country that has not struck out at us. Their controversial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wanted to lay flowers at Ground Zero in New York City and he was denied. That is a rotten example of sportsmanship in any context. He can not make a statement and have it properly translated into English either very often either. Networks put their own spin on his words, causing him to sound more aggressive and dangerous toward Iran than he in reality is.

One of the favorite propaganda lines from FOX in particular, is that the Iranian President "denies the Holocaust".

The interesting fact that conflicts with that often repeated accusation, is that Iranian government TV recently ran a multi-episode series on the Holocaust; taking into account the the plight of the Jews and others during WWII. It was government sponsored, that sure doesn't sound like a place that is trying to re-write history.

Ahmadinejad has stated repeatedly that the Holocaust affected far more than just the Jewish people; it is very true when you measure the millions of civilians in Europe who were killed directly or indirectly by Hitler's war machine. He does not deny the Holocaust; he just doesn't want all the people who weren't Jewish or in concentration camps denied.

Another interesting fact is that the people of Iran like Americans; they enjoy our styles, music, etc.

When the U.S. was attacked by terrorists on September 11th 2001, the second largest candlelight vigil in honor of the Americans killed that day was in Tehran, Iran.

Iranian people are a distinct culture, they are Persian. They live under a mix of traditional Islamic and modern western cultural values. Women are not nearly as subjugated as they are in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia; two American allies.

I have developed friendships with a number of people in Iran via MySpace in an effort to better understand their culture, lifestyle, freedoms and ambitions.

One friend in Iran who has shared a good deal of information about Iran's culture and religion from a woman's perspective, Roya, explains that religions "accepted" in Iran are ones that grant the people a right to have social health insurance, free education and parliament members.

Zorastrians Tamouz praying at a Summer Festival

She says people are primarily divided among the three Semitic religions, branches of Abraham monotheism religions: Muslims (Shia/Sunni); Christians; and Jews.

She says the religion of all the Iranians before Arabs invaded Iran and converted people to Islam, was Zorastrian.

"We don't have Buddhists, Taoists or Hindus...and Iran's government doesn't consider any right for Bahia people." (Bahiasm is an Iranian religion).

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is much like President Bush in that he is a fundamentalist conservative who bases policy off supposedly religious values. Of course in reality George W. Bush, who has driven this nation into debt like a fast ball, has very few apparent real conservative values.

Ahmadinejad's reign in my opinion, is the backlash of the U.S. and Great Britain treating these people like dirt in the 1940's and early 1950's. All of this, like Vietnam, could have been avoided if we had been fairer nations then. Why are we not accountable for those mistakes? It is time to lay down our egos and suspicions and let the truth be what it is. The price of pushing a conflict carries unimaginable costs and the world is tense right now. It is time to let things cool down and be prepared to search for better answers.

Finally, our military is tired and greatly understaffed. I don't care what anyone says, I know because I have seen it in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Our military forces are faithful, it is time for this nation to be faithful in return and not consider any sort of military action or threat against Iran.

Tim King: Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 91 writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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reza September 15, 2012 2:42 am (Pacific time)

want friendship with iran

Yasaman August 25, 2012 12:40 pm (Pacific time)

I'm so sorry for those who believe everything so easily like a child.either Iran orIranion people are peaceful and against any kind of war or's their tradition,culture,religon they grow like this.they are that kind of people who love all kinds of please don't believe anything that they say they talk for their own benefits.

andhy al fahri June 25, 2012 5:44 am (Pacific time)

want friendship with iran

aaa May 31, 2012 6:00 pm (Pacific time)

ilove iran i hate america but i love american

Kaba March 13, 2012 5:33 pm (Pacific time)

I think most Americans don't pay attention to what's going on else where, the only time they are awake is when something bad happens. Even if they are aware what can they do? Their protests will always be violently or none violently broken away by the police just like it happens anywhere else second I don't see that many foreign international media here, yet I notice the domestic media criticising other nations of restrictions to media this makes me mad.

jack May 12, 2011 5:01 am (Pacific time)

the isareli warmongering and lies about Iran must end, but that could only be achinved when we demolish the power of AIPAC In the US that push for these politically rooted sanctions and threat of war and lies.

Anunakisan February 11, 2010 12:23 pm (Pacific time)

I am a little late for this article, but this article puts things into a different perspective. I guess research is better than unthought out words. I have alwayse considered Ahmadinejad as a very intelligent leader, but can be also looked at as a relative extremest as well. America has it's serious issues all starting from the development and cultivation of America... I do also agree that the past few leaders (more so Bush-Not Obama) have increased the hate in the world against America. But one thing is this... United States needs to mind their own business and concentrate on their own soil, as opposed to others unless directly threatened... LOVE NOT WAR...

Truth July 1, 2009 7:32 pm (Pacific time)

great article.

Rich Millison November 26, 2008 8:54 am (Pacific time)

People try running different search engines on critics of \"George Soros\" and critics of \"media matters\". Listen to other viewpoints and evaluate using this more objective way of hearing different perspectives. France convicted Soros of a felony crime. He is a naturalized U.S. citizen but also holds dual citizenship with Israel. Media matters has several staff members that have a demonstrated leftist agenda, ergo, they filter news to fit their biased perspectives. We also need to pray that no one attacks Iran, for this could begin something we cannot turn off.

Henry Ruark November 25, 2008 8:19 am (Pacific time)

To all: PS-protest re Soros and Media Matters proves up point re ID precisely. Soros is on record in defense and direct strengthening of democracy, irrevocably,via his expenditure of billions in several situations around the world. That is irrefutable fact, despite expected denial and ref., now, to "socialism" rather than old/stuff "communistic", exploded by history known to far too many awakening citizens now. PS persists in masked-man role here, never revealing obvious political-pander ID via full facts of his personal status, facts readers have great right to know, esp. after revealed military time and other values and views. How else even begin to grant him ANY credibility re fully demonstrated role for Soros ? Re "world rule", PS proves himself unaware that already accomplished via corporate influence with globalization built purposely as tool ever since Bretton Woods created IMF, World Bank, et al, et al. His comments prove precisely his understandings of full information easily accessed by Internet, and special reports cited here in Op Eds for last three years. SO you pay your nickel for our nice and honest paper, and what you do with it after that will depend on your most essential need, truthful news or continued denial of realities proven to exist.

sss November 25, 2008 4:11 am (Pacific time)

America even said to iran we will build one for you and it will be for power only, they said no, why is that, that is because they want to build a nuclea bomb.

kdog November 25, 2008 4:08 am (Pacific time)

"speculation on iran trying to make a nuclear bomb" well they 100% train terrorist and we no they are not goog people, so just attack them. it would be the same said about hitler,will he start war or not, its not worth waiting to find out attack now is the only opition

PS November 24, 2008 6:15 pm (Pacific time)

Media matters is a source that some find highly unreliable because of their overt bias. What's the George Soros connection with them? Along with, ACORN, etc. ? It appears to me that billionaires play by different rules, e.g. , New York mayor Bloomberg orchestrated a new rule for him that superceeds the two-term max., i.e. , to allow for a 3rd term, and how many more? Appears many people in the world prefer to "rule" rather than "govern." First thing dictator-types do is to start changing the rules, then revise history, then...

Henry Ruark November 24, 2008 3:22 pm (Pacific time)

To all: For reliable professional view of how much experience in D.C. matters, explaining necessity Obama faces in depth, detail and distressingly rational reasoning, see this link: You will also find insider fact re much of mstrsmedia and its inhabitants. IF you want facts,you can find'em. If you wish fantasy from feelings, tune in on the uninformed, misinformed or malign seeking to shoot down new Presidency even before staff is named. Whatever happened to that part of "American exceptionalism" reflecting fair treatment for all --esp. with historic mandate for new opportunity to change broken parts of solid system, and maintain what the Founders fought a Revolution to bring to us ?

Henry Ruark November 24, 2008 11:13 am (Pacific time)

Vic et al: Optimistic it may seem, but fyi my stuff is invariably based on thorough professional survey and then summary from wide sources, known to be reliable. I still muck up summary often, but it ain't b.button feeling wrapped in personal bias, as some here seem to offer. Any reporter, by definition, is in essence further and deeper informed than the ordinary citizen simply by unvarying demands of the role. That's perhaps where mistaken assumptions of "superiority" or "arrogance" may originate, if not carefully shown to be false by source and available documentation,for "see with own eyes" and THEN "evaluation with YOUR own mind". That was how we set up Op Eds for S-N, still unique in field and solid source for our credibilities here, with all sources available on ID to Editor.

Vic November 24, 2008 10:36 am (Pacific time)

PS, I agree wholeheartedly re Obama's staff. Maybe a miracle is in the works and all the Israel-firsters will out of the goodness of their hearts, put America first, but I doubt it. I wish I shared Henry's optomism, but am afraid he and many millions of others are in for a disappointment. Get ready for more wars for "Greater Israel"...of course with us doing the fighting and financing.

PS November 24, 2008 10:16 am (Pacific time)

HR nothing code-related in my below statement at all regarding Obama's staff. Please note his chief of staff's recent apology re: his father's (who lives in Israel) hateful invective towards Arabs? What else was Rahmbo going to say? You could just start listing many of Obama's staff members and their association with Israel and the picture becomes quite clear where their allegiance may fall in this tension-filled part of the world, and it's been that way for many decades. Many have dual citizenships, which by the way come with loyalty oaths in some cases. My memory of who was really aiding and abetting Israel goes clearly back to Truman (1948), then the attack on the USS Liberty (1967) when LBJ called back fighter jets to help with that attack pretty well demonstrated to me what was really going on. This, by the way was long before Reagan (Calif. Governor during Liberty war crime) and the Bush's came into national power. HR I know a couple Liberty vets living in the Eugene area who share my views on LBJ and those of his ilk. They know the "real score" via their life experience. I certainly hope no conflict happens, I am so tired of war and all that it brings, but there are people out there who are totally devoted to wiping us out. One must be prepared.

Henry Ruark November 23, 2008 7:59 am (Pacific time)

P.S,: You wrote:"As far as us getting sucked into an Iranian conflict, just look at the make-up of Obama's leadership staff and ask yourself where their allegiance may be with." That, sir, is coded language to pervert historic fact as political pander to hurt in any way possible the incoming Obama regime. One must question its meaning in light of your repeated Comments here for some time. It is historical fact that it is the Bush cabal and its admitted PNAC, initiated in Reagan-Bush administration, further promoted into demands on Clinton (which he wisely refused), and then used to build Iraq War, that in turn has drive whatever momentum there may have been, or now be, for similar preemptive attack on Iran. Regardless of what facts may be re Iran momentum for nuclear strength --a separate issue for rational persons-- that is historical reality. I.E. sir, you are woefully misinformed or you are caught again in further intentional perversion of the public record for your personal political purpose. By your own words, you are military officer who, during service at least, and most will say afterwards, too, owes full allegiance and support to the President, whomever he may be. It was that relationship which made possible your reported military career, whatever it may have been--surely with key meaning for whatever your life may have been or now become. Do you now contend that your personal attitudes and current understandings remained fully free of any changes brought on by that service obligation ? That, sir, is demonstration of damage demeaning to you, this channel, and other Americans operating in good faith to bring about peaceful solution of immeasurable dangers built and multiplied by the Bush cabal. That was what the nation on Nov. 4 recognized in huge mandate given to first black man to be so recognized in our history -- which may well explain desperate, demeaning continued opposition from some few who refuse realities now firmly on the historic record.

Mehrdad November 22, 2008 5:44 pm (Pacific time)

I'm sorry Tim but i strongly believe this is far from fact!How much do you know mullahs?How many times you attendant in IRGC private meetings? What do you know about the history of current Iranian leaders? Wow much you know about the history of Iran and Islamic republic ? How much familiar are you with Islam and it's rules?
Have you ever been in Iran and if you were which city and which erea ?.
I guess your answers will be nothing/no !

Tim King:  Mehrdad, your hero Bush has created an environment where a person can't exactly do that.  I have not been to Iran but I have visited three countries near it.  What exactly do you disagree with?  Surely you don't consider your own country to be a rogue nuke nation do you?  I gather information from history books and many other sources.  I do not claim to know everything by any means, I am just trying to explain to Americans what is behind all of this.  If you don't know about the history with the Anglo Iranian Oil Company, then I may know more about your country's history than you do.  Regards, Tim

Cyrus Hayat-Shahi November 22, 2008 8:29 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for your honest report.

LC November 22, 2008 6:16 am (Pacific time)

Be prepared to be vilified by the Zionists who dominate, not only our mainstream media, but also most 'progressive' blog sites. As shown by the treatment Jimmy Carter received at the Democratic Convention, AIPAC and its supporters are firmly in control of our political system and our news and opinion media.

PS November 21, 2008 11:53 am (Pacific time)

Israel will attack and we will be sucked in. I imagine our problems on the domestic front will not be with any conflict in Iran but what the terrorists who are currently in the states plan on doing. Martial law coming? Or maybe something far worse? As far as us getting sucked into an Iranian conflict, just look at the make-up of Obama's leadership staff and ask yourself where their allegiance may be with.

Henry Ruark November 21, 2008 10:15 am (Pacific time)

To all: For the record, Tim and I have never discussed Iran or any other aspect of foreign policy. Yet I unhesitatingly endorse in depth the detail and solid reality of what he has written here for all to see --and then perhaps finally understand. Again for the record this is an area to which I've paid strong attention for the entire period he covers, via reading, exchanges with others concerned and studying these matters, and some small professional experience in writing about them, too. SO again thanks, Tim, for telling it like it really is and never hesitating to lay it right on the line re our own national shortcomings in this and related situations. We are fortunate since what you know and now confirm comes from unparallelled and strong actual field experience far beyond what we have had. As in all democracies, the wit, wisdom and will of the people can at times be undone by irresponsible actions of a powerful but badly misguided leadership. We saw this demonstrated in Bush and Powell's later admitted use of intentionally distorted "intel" in the now notoriou "16 words" tv-program commercial marketing manipulation leading up to the Iraq War--surely demonstrating political pandering at highest level and with most damaging bloody consequence and costs.

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