The West Created The Third Nuclear Horn Of Pakistan (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistanisation of India
Pakistan India border

Ever since this government came into existence, it has left no stone unturned to polarise society. From ‘love jihad’ to religious conversions they have run the entire gauntlet.
Are there any takeaways for India from the sickening slaughter of hundreds of innocent school children, teachers and other enablers at the Army school in Peshawar? Was it an act of utter depravity by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan which underscores that no abomination is beyond them? Was it unfortunately a cataclysm waiting to happen with the cycle of violence becoming all the more brutal in Pakistan? To answer these questions one has to take a step back into history. A recap is imperative to contextualise the chronicle.

It all began four decades ago, after the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. Pakistan, that had been formed in the name of religion, tore itself apart in the name of ethnicity. The West Pakistani Punjabi was not able to accommodate the East Pakistani Bengali. The flower of the Pakistani Army 90,000 officers and men became Indian prisoners of war. The largest number in any single conflict, post the Second World War. Pakistan was aching for revenge.

Fully cognisant that India held the strategic advantage in conventional military terms around the middle of the Seventies, Pakistan honed a three-pronged approach. The first was the quest to acquire nuclear arms ominously articulated in the words of late Zulifkar Ali Bhutto: “Pakistanis will eat grass but we will get a nuclear bomb”. The second was the journey to Islamise the Pakistani armed forces and the larger social milieu in an attempt to define the identity of Pakistan by Gen. Zia-ul-Haq. The third was the mission to bleed India with a thousand cuts.

By the beginning of the Eighties, all three projects were well underway. A.Q. Khan, ably assisted by the Pakistani intelligence services, was stealing nuclear technology wherever it could be purloined from. The transformation of the Pakistani armed forces from an institution incubated in British traditions to an Islamic military was on a roll. A proxy war against India, first targeting Punjab and, by the late Eighties, encompassing Jammu and Kashmir was being implemented.

What proved to be providential for the Pakistani establishment through the Eighties and later became their Achilles’ heal was its voluntary enrolment as a frontline cat’s-paw in the West’s cold hot war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan ubiquitously referred to as the “Afghan jihad”.

Advantageous because it gave Pakistan access to billions of dollars and sophisticated weaponry that it was able to divert into funding and equipping its proxy war with India. Expedient because it provided the human resource in the form of internally displaced Afghans who had crossed over from Afghanistan to Pakistan to execute its diabolical agenda. Disastrous because the legacy of those years the use of religious institutions to radicalise young minds to keep the human resource for the Afghan jihad and the proxy war against India flowing, coupled with the adoption of terror as an instrument of state policy has brought Pakistan to the state it finds itself in today.

By the end of the Eighties, the Cold War had ended, the Soviets went back over the Amu Darya, but Pakistan could not dismount the tiger it had willingly straddled petrified that it would devour it. Pakistan, therefore, did what it thought would provide it strategic depth: unleashing the Taliban on the war ravaged people of Afghanistan and broadening the proxy war with terrorist strikes deep into Indian mainland.

By the time the millennium turned the Al Qaeda had already attacked American assets worldwide from its safe havens in Afghanistan. On September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda launched the most audacious outrage on the American mainland that dwarfed even Pearl Harbour. The Americans came back to the Afghanistan they had abandoned a decade ago. Pakistan, under the threat of being bombed back to the Stone Age, was again a frontline state in the notorious “war against terror”, overcharging and shortchanging its allies simultaneously.

In this process, the major fatality was the collective ethos of Pakistan. To sustain these multiple conflicts Pakistan had to demonise other nations and peoples, especially India. It had to patronise multiple terrorist groups. What it did not perhaps visualise is that when hate and negative energy begin to override national impulses, then all that you are doing is traipsing on the edges of a catastrophe. That is the tale of Pakistan over the past four decades.

This is exactly the tutorial that the Bharatiya Janata Party government, its fellow travellers and doctrinal mentors need to absorb. Ever since this government came into existence, it has left no stone unturned to polarise society. From “love jihad” to religious conversions they have run the entire gauntlet. What is playing out is a very insidious attempt at the “Pakistanisation” of India. Just as in the late Seventies, President Zia-ul-Haq erroneously thought that the idea of Pakistan should begin and end with a strictly circumscribed Islamic identity, similarly our home grown zealots speciously think that the philosophical postulate that should underpin the Indian identity should be that of a “Hindu rashtra”.

The reason why the idea of India survived and has thrived in the past 67 years is primarily because of its holistic and pluralistic conception what is often referred to in a dismissive manner as pseudo-secularism nowadays. This perhaps is the most vital ingredient that has held India together, notwithstanding the multiple stresses and strains on its substance and structure.

The cause for Pakistan to go belly up was the proclivity to move away from the conception of Pakistan as envisaged by its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, howsoever hypocritical it may have been, to the vision of Zia-ul-Haq.

Just as in the Eighties and the Nineties, the toxic hot mix of the politics of identity and religion the ubiquitous “Mandal and Mandir” left in its wake a noxious legacy whose after-affects the nation has to still contend with, the attempt to equate national identity with a undenominational religious identity is a very hazardous hand to play.

If there is one message that the Peshawar massacre sends out, it is that a radicalised society, a polarised nation and a myopic notion of national priorities eventually debases populaces, leading to the basic tenets of humanity being cynically sacrificed for objectives wrongly interpreted as being divinely ordained. Social conflict is the bane of national security. The BJP should reflect on this before leading India down that path.

The writer is a lawyer and a former Union minister. The views expressed are personal. Twitter handle @manishtewari

Regardless Of The Neoconservatives: Iran WILL Have A Nuclear Bomb

US Iran Hawks Try to Sabotage Nuclear Deal

Liberal iran negotiators
Iran hawks in Washington don’t want a nuclear agreement; they want Tehran to surrender its sovereignty and national rights.
 
December 24, 2014

As the prospects of a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1—the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany—brightens, Washington’s hawks seem to have gone into panic mode. They do not seem to want any agreement unless Iran says “uncle,” gives up its sovereignty and national rights within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and completely dismantles its nuclear infrastructure. They’re asking Iran to capitulate, not to negotiate. That’s an unrealistic goal—and in their dogged pursuit of it, they have overlooked serious steps Tehran’s taken that demonstrate a desire for compromise.

We see this unfortunate dynamic in an article this month by Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, published in the National Interest. Dubowitz’s main premise is that it was the economic sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies that brought Iran to the negotiation table, and only more economic sanctions will induce it to surrender. The premise is false. While the sanctions did play a role, they were not the most important reason, or even one of the primary ones. Iran is negotiating because that is what it has wanted—contrary to Dubowitz’s assertion that “Iran does not appear to be ready to compromise.”

Earlier, in May 2003, the Khatami administration had proposed a comprehensive plan for addressing all the major issues between Iran and the U.S., including strict limits on Iran’s nuclear program. But, that proposal too was rejected by the Bush-Cheney team that was still drunk on “mission accomplished” nonsense, and less than a year prior had been crowing that “real men go to Tehran.” The opportunity slipped away.

Since Rouhani and his team have long been interested in a compromise, it’s no surprise that they’re seeking one again. But the facts on the ground have changed since 2003. So have Iran’s conditions for a compromise. Whereas Iran did not have a single centrifuge operating in 2003-2005, it now has nearly ten thousand centrifuges spinning and producing low-enriched uranium, with another ten thousand centrifuges waiting to be started. The Rouhani administration will not go back to its 2003 proposal. In fact, even if President Rouhani did want the same deal, Tehran’s hardliners would immediately impeach him. But Iran has stated repeatedly that it could live with an agreement whereby Iran’s current operating centrifuges will continue to work, but no new centrifuges will be installed for the duration of the agreement. Iran’s desire for a deal is genuine.

Dubowitz also suggests that the U.S. has made all sorts of concessions to Iran, that even “the goalposts [of a final deal] appear to be moving,” while Iran has held fast. This is completely false. In fact, Iran has made five major concessions.

One is agreeing to limit the number of its centrifuges for the duration of the comprehensive agreement. By doing so, Iran has temporarily given up its rights under the NPT—that treaty imposes no limit on the number of centrifuges that a member state can have, so long as they are under IAEA inspections and for peaceful purposes.

The second concession is about Iran’s uranium enrichment facility built under a mountain in Fordow, near the holy city of Qom. It was a thorny issue for a long time. The United States had demanded that Iran dismantle the facility altogether. The facility is, however, suited neither for military purposes nor large-scale industrial use. It was built by Iran to preserve its indigenous enrichment technology in case the larger Natanz enrichment facility was destroyed by bombing—a threat that multiple states have made. Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and a principal nuclear negotiator, has emphasized repeatedly and emphatically, “Iran would not agree to close any of its nuclear facilities.” Iran has agreed to convert the site to a nuclear research facility, representing a major concession.

Iran’s third concession is about the IR-40 heavy water nuclear reactor, under construction in Arak. When completed, it will replace the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), a forty-seven-year-old reactor that produces medical isotopes for close to one million Iranian patients every year. The U.S. had demanded that Iran convert the IR-40 to a light-water reactor, due to the concerns that the reactor, when it comes online, will produce plutonium that can be used to make nuclear weapons. But Iran refused to go along. Why? Because, first and foremost, all the work on the reactor has been done by Iranian experts and thus the reactor is a source of national pride. Second, Iran has already spent billions of dollars to design and begin constructing the reactor, and the West is not willing to share the cost of the reactor conversion to a light-water one. On its own initiative, Iran has agreed to modify the design of the reactor so that it will produce much smaller amounts of plutonium. Iran has also agreed not to build any reprocessing facility for separating the plutonium from the rest of the nuclear waste.

The fourth concession is agreeing to stop enriching uranium to 19.75 percent (commonly referred to as 20 percent in the Western media, although the seemingly minor difference is actually quite important). In 2009, the IAEA, under pressure from the West, refused to supply Iran with fuel for the TRR, in violation of its obligations. Thus, Iran was forced to begin producing the 19.75 percent uranium that the TRR uses as its fuel. Tehran agreed to stop producing the fuel, however, and has done so.

Iran’s fifth major concession is related to the issue of inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities by the IAEA. Iran has almost completely lived up to its obligations under its original safeguards agreement with the Agency, signed in 1974. But IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano, whose politicized leadership has contributed to the complexities of reaching an agreement, has insisted that Iran allow many more inspections. The demanded visits include nonnuclear sites, which would be tantamount to implementing the provisions of the Additional Protocol (AP) of the safeguards agreement. Iran signed the AP in 2003 and, without its parliament ratifying it, implemented it voluntarily until February 2006. Then, Iran set aside the AP after the EU3 reneged on promises made to Iran in the Sa’dabad Declaration of October 2003 and the Paris Agreement of November 2004. But, Iran and the IAEA reached an agreement in November 2013 and another one last May, according to which Iran allows much more frequent and intrusive inspection of its nuclear facilities. Such visits are way beyond Iran’s legal obligations under its safeguards agreement. Since then, the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed that Iran has lived up to most of its obligations under the additional agreement.

Most importantly, Iran recently invited the IAEA to visit the Marivan site in the province of Kordestan in western Iran. In its November 2011 report, the IAEA had alleged that Iran might have carried out experiments with nonnuclear high explosives in Marivan that are used for triggering nuclear reactions. But, the IAEA turned down the invitation, presumably because it is unsure of its own information.

What has the United States given in return for these major concessions by Iran? Very little. It has released a small amount of Iran’s own money, frozen in foreign banks as the result of the illegal sanctions. The U.S. has also lifted its (also illegal!) ban on the export of petrochemical products and a few other minor items. As President Obama stated, 95 percent of all the sanctions are still in place.

In his article Dubowitz also claims that Ayatollah Khamenei “has made it clear that any deal Tehran signs must not cross ‘his red lines,’ which include increasing Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity to nineteen times what it is today.” This is a misrepresentation. What Khamenei was referring to was Iran’s eventual enrichment capacity in the relatively distant future. This capacity is to be achieved after the expiration of the comprehensive agreement when Iran’s nuclear program will be free of limitations.

Dubowitz also states a discredited story. Specifically, he refers to “cheating” by Iran after the November 2013 Geneva Accord was signed. What is the alleged cheating about? The IAEA had reported that Iran “had ‘intermittently’ been feeding natural uranium gas into a single so-called IR-5 centrifuge at a research facility.” IR-5 is a more advanced version of Iran’s currently operating centrifuges. David Albright, head of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, had interpreted it as “cheating” by Iran. The reality is that the Geneva Accord and its Joint Plan of Action permit Iran to continue its research on more advanced centrifuges. Iran’s obligation, which it has lived by, is not installing such centrifuges. After this was pointed out, Albright retreated, declaring that the test was in violation of the “spirit” of the Accord. Who is moving whose goalposts, again?

Washington’s hawks risk missing another chance at a sensible nuclear agreement or détente with Iran, one that would dramatically change the dynamics of the turbulent Middle East for the better. Instead, they seem to think they can drive a proud nation to surrender. They’ve been wrong before—and their latest salvo suggests they don’t realize they may be wrong again.

Muhammad Sahimi, Professor of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science and the NIOC Chair in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Southern California, is the editor and publisher of the website, Iran News and Middle East Reports, and has been analyzing Iran’s political developments and its nuclear program for two decades.
Image: State Department

Iranian Hegemony

The Iranian octopus and Arab states

Shiite Brothers

Shiite Brothers?

Dr. Edy Cohen

As Iranian diplomats invest immense efforts into striking a deal with the West over Iran’s nuclear program, it seems the nuclear issue is only one of many on the ayatollah regime’s plate. In fact, the Iranian nation is facing a plethora of challenges at the moment, coming mainly from the direction of Arab states.
Iran’s efforts and attempts to destabilize Arab states with subversion and aid for Shiite groups (but not only) have been a great source of tension. Iran views itself as a regional superpower and has adopted a strategy that has allowed it to amass much power and influence in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. It is with this power that Iran believes it will be able to protect the Shiite minorities in Arab states while simultaneously sticking it to the “Zionist entity.” The fall of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime and the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq presented Iran with a rare opportunity to expand its influence to other nations.
The “Iranian octopus” operates both out in the open and covertly in a number of Arab countries. It brands its activities “exporting the [Shiite] revolution” to the Arab world, and is especially active in countries with Shiite populations like Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq. Iranians provide aid in the form of money and weapons to Shiite groups in those countries. They are helping the Houthis take power in Yemen, for example. It is no secret that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard trains Houthi fighters on Eritrean soil for a lot of money, which flows into the coffers of the country’s corrupt leaders under the guise of bilateral treaties.
Iran created Hezbollah in Lebanon and provides the group with its most advanced weaponry. It brought the Shiite population from being oppressed to being one of the most organized communities and having the most powerful militia in Lebanon, one which poses a threat to the Lebanese army and to Lebanon’s stability. Today Iran is a central player and has immense influence in Lebanon. Over the last eight months, Lebanese parliament members belonging to Hezbollah have been sabotaging efforts to appoint a new Lebanese president. Michel Suleiman, the previous president, completed his term in May. The aim is to stall until a candidate who would be agreeable to the Shiites and to Iran can be found.
Iranian involvement in Iraq includes funding, training and arming of Shiite militias. The political, economic and religious influence Iran has in Iraq has effectively turned it into a sponsor state. The shared border and the rise of Islamic State have increased Iran’s involvement in Iraq. Syria and Hamas are Iran’s non-Shiite allies. The Iranians are helping the Syrians fight Islamic State and other rebels in efforts to bring Syria’s embattled President Bashar Assad, Iran’s natural and preferred partner, back into full control. That is why, in the war against Islamic State, Iran admitted for the first time they were bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq and were helping the Syrian regime fight rebels and Islamic State. With regard to the Palestinians, Iran sees a moral obligation to support Hamas in its fight with Israel and provides the terror organization with weapons and funding.
Iranian involvement also stretches to the Persian Gulf. Iran in 1971 captured the islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa, which the United Arab Emirates saw as theirs. The takeover underscored the danger Iran poses to its Arab neighbors. Despite Arab League involvement, the dispute has not yet been resolved.
Iran also operates in neighboring Bahrain and is exerting efforts to increase its influence on the small kingdom. Iran actually claims ownership over Bahrain, no less. The Shiite majority in Bahrain provides legitimacy to the Iranian claim. The kingdom in Bahrain accuses Iran of subversion. Iran has said on more than one occasion that Bahrain is one of the Islamic republic’s provinces.
With Iran’s military, economic and religious influence posing a national security threat to Arab states, blocking the Iranian nuclear program is those countries’ highest priority. A nuclear Iran would pose a much greater threat to Arab nations than it does today.

Christ Has Nothing To Do With Political Agendas, But Mohammed’s Allah Does

Dueling Christmas Messages from Tehran and Iranian Resistance
Jesus
Iran News Update
25 December 2014

Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and National Council of Resistance of Iran President Maryam Rajavi have each marked this year’s Christmas holiday with their own messages to Christians and others, invoking the memory of Jesus to support contrasting narratives.
Khamenei used Jesus’ name in a series of tweets on Christmas Eve, describing the Christian savior and Muslim prophet as a would-be ally in conflicts against Israel and Iran’s adversaries. Rajavi, on the other hand, quoted the Jesus of the Quran as saying, “I shall bring blessing and dignity to all people wherever I may be.”

In her Christmas letter to friends and supporters of the Iranian resistance, Rajavi went on to call renewed attention to human rights abuses and the denial of dignity to ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, including Christians. In her one-page message she cited Tehran-backed attacks on Iranian exile communities in Iraq, as well as a series of acid attacks on improperly veiled women as examples of these human rights abuses.

Khamenei’s Christmas Even tweets appeared to be broader in scope but less specific and repeatedly used “Jesus” as a hashtag to criticize Israel and the “arrogant” powers that Tehran has long identified as its lifelong enemies.

“It’s time for all caring Muslims, Christians & Jews to obey the prophets & truly honor #Jesus’ birthday by standing up agnst Israeli crimes,” said one tweet.

Others linked the Christmas holiday to ongoing protests in the United States over the deaths of several African Americans at the hands of police officers. “Unconcerned abt the teachings of #Jesus, arrogants have tightened the living sphere for nations and oppressed ppl,” said another tweet, concluding with the trending hashtag “BlackLivesMatter.”

It is not the first time that Khamenei has co-opted Western activists social media campaigns to advance an Iranian agenda. In May, his official Twitter account used the American feminist hashtag “YesAllWomen” in order to tweet criticism of the “sexual sins” of Western nations and it their effect on families.

Khamenei’s English-language tweets on these and other topics consistently avoid addressing obvious contradictions between his remarks about foreign governments and his own country’s domestic policies, which include policies banning men and women from co-mingling in public places and barring members of ethnic and religious minorities from education and other government services.

Rajavi’s Christmas message of course addressed these issues in Khamenei’s stead. “We shall not forget all those jailed, tortured and executed simply for believing in a cause greater than themselves: Freedom,” she wrote before going on to look ahead to the future of the nation from which her group has been exiled since the 1980s: “In 2015, we will renew our commitment to a free, non-nuclear and democratic Iran.”