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Brian Cloughley
Saturday, December 01, 2012
From Print Edition
 
 

The US Arms Control Association noted in August that “The United Nations Security Council has adopted six resolutions as part of international efforts to address Iran’s nuclear programme.”

And as a result of being considered guilty of failing to abide by some of these resolutions, Iran has been subjected to a large range of vicious sanctions that are in the process of destroying a generation of children. These young people do not only suffer physical privation forced on them by the casual malevolence of the west, but will be affected mentally, too.

Following the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan it is more widely understood that after combat very many soldiers suffer from ‘post traumatic stress disorder’ – in other words, they can be condemned to many years or even a lifetime of mental disturbance and suffering because of their hellish experiences. (The suicide rate among US veterans is appalling.) But post-war psychological agony is not limited to what is caused by shot and shell. When groups of countries gang up to wage an economic war on a weaker nation, there are very similar effects on the youngest citizens of the unfortunate targeted country. They will experience – are suffering now, in Iran, just as they did in Iraq in the years before it was invaded – the dreadful consequences of vicious non-conflict terrorism. This is barbarism inflicted by denial of basic human decency in the guise of imposing international law.

Many Iranian children who survive will grow up with an abiding hatred of western countries, which they will rightly regard as evil instigators of their suffering. They will be exactly like the many generations of Palestinians who have suffered misery and persecution at the hands of Israeli apartheid. Western nations have imposed a heritage of hatred on Iran, and will deeply regret their actions in years to come. It isn’t only children in Iran who are being subjected to international punishment, because the west’s sanctions penalise all ages, and adults are suffering grievously, too. As one medical expert put it, “More than anything else, we have a lack of medicines for patients suffering from cancer and multiple sclerosis...all because of sanctions against banks or problems with transferring foreign currency.”

So don’t be old and ailing in Iran. In fact, don’t be any age and sick in Iran, because your misery will be increased by the spiteful efforts of western countries to destroy your country. And the world shrugs and lets the US and its little puppets have their way. What are a few hundred thousand dead Iranians, after all? Of course the UN secretary general (SG), the honourable, decent and civilised Ban Ki-moon, says that “The sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran have had significant effects on the general population, including an escalation in inflation, a rise in commodities and energy costs, an increase in the rate of unemployment and a shortage of necessary items, including medicine.” But all he will achieve by his words is US loathing to the point that Washington will ensure he will not have a second term.

Washington chose him as SG because it was thought he would not even dare to whisper such muted criticism as he has ventured about the evil strangling of a country’s innocent citizens. He’s a gone gosling, but at least he is honest. Ironically, the sanctions against Iran have had severe effects on Afghanistan, causing devaluation of its already shaky currency and almost destroying the much-needed trade in a country that the US is supposed to be helping. But Washington has never been much good at forecasting effects of its more bizarre international frolics.

The chances of Tehran supporting any form of regime in Afghanistan that is approved by Washington are verging on zero. Why should it support Washington in any of its intrigues? The US, after all, has, among other military forces, two aircraft carrier strike groups menacing Iran. The power of these naval strike forces is staggering. Each carrier carries between 10 and 30 nuclear bombs and their scores of strike aircraft are at a moment’s notice to blitz Iran. Other ships and submarines can at a moment’s notice rain hundreds of cruise missiles on the victims of Washington and Tel Aviv, and hundreds of US and Israeli nuclear-armed strike aircraft are ready to pulverise Iran.

Iran is subject to the most sophisticated spying operations ever conceived. Its borders are ceaselessly patrolled by drones and manned aircraft gathering intelligence. Sometimes these invade Iranian territory and at least one spy drone has been shot down. Every Iranian code has been broken and all communications are intercepted by the US and Britain. The Iranian spies who work for Washington are going to be very rich indeed on CIA money – if they survive.

Iran is surrounded by US attack bases and there are over 200 strike aircraft based in Kuwait, Turkey, Diego Garcia, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. US ‘big-deck amphibious warfare ships’ carry 2000 marines, attack helicopters and all other war-gadgetry needed for invasion. But for the moment US combat activity is restricted to destroying Iranian children and, casually and quite by the way, penalising Pakistan which desperately needs energy sources and wants to cooperate with Iran in building a pipeline for that purpose.

But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces that “As we are ratcheting up pressure on Iran, it seems somewhat inexplicable that Pakistan would be trying to negotiate a pipeline.”

The fact that Pakistan is a sovereign nation that urgently requires oil and gas and that the cheapest and easiest source is Iran, means nothing to Washington. It’s not explicable. So every time their lights, vehicle fuel and heating are cut off this winter, citizens of Pakistan can thank US-initiated sanctions on Iran for deferring relief. But they can count their blessings, too, because they’re not Iranian kids.

The writer is a South Asian affairs analyst. Website is www.beecluff.com