Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kissinger, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Iran's Nuclear Program

Those beating the drum about Iran’s nuclear program should be made aware that the United States has been complicit in the Iranian program since the Ford administration. Then Secretary-of-State, Henry Kissinger offered a ‘strange deal’ to Pakistan that had been formulated by Richard Cheney, Ford’s Chief -of-Staff and Donald Rumsfeld, Ford’s Defense Secretary according to an extremely well-researched and copiously foot-noted book by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark entitled, ‘Deception: Pakistan, the United States and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons’.

While focusing on Pakistan’s nuclear program and the Reagan administration’s turning a blind eye to it and General Zia’s blood-thirsty military rule while recruiting and funding the Afghani Freedom Fighters (better known as the mujahedeen, a.k.a. Al Qaeda), ‘Deception’ references the unlawful proliferation of nuclear technology by the United States to Iran under the Shah.

The ‘strange deal’ that Cheney and Rumsfeld devised and which Kissinger offered to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s Prime Minister (before Zia had him executed), was an effort to persuade Pakistan to forego its plans to pursue a nuclear program. In 1976, Kissinger begrudgingly proposed that if Bhutto terminated Pakistan’s own nascent uranium enrichment project, the United States would arrange to supply Pakistan with its needed enriched materials from a facility, funded and supplied by the US, and based in Iran.

Cheney and Rumsfeld had master-minded the scheme, arguing that Iran – even though awash in oil and gas - would need a nuclear program to meet its future energy needs. This plan was to be the first nuclear deal with Iran and would have been extremely lucrative for US corporations such as Westinghouse and General Electric “which stood to earn $6.4 billion from the project”. (The plan to lead Iran into the Nuclear Age was supported by Kissinger although the offer to involve Pakistan was not to his liking, hence his reluctance to propose the plan to Bhutto.)

Furthermore, according to an article in the Washington Post, written by Dafna Linzer, published on March 27, 2005, confirms “US involvement with Iran’s nuclear program until 1979” which involved “large-scale intelligence-sharing and conventional weapons sales”. The Linzer article goes on to assert that “Even with many key players in common” (editor’s note: such as Cheney and Rumsfeld), “the U.S. government has taken opposite positions on questions of fact as its perception of U.S. interests has changed.”

The compete Washington Post article can be read at:

Although publicly opposed to President Bush’s hard-line stance on Iran and while favoring diplomacy over force of arms, the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, has voiced her dismay over Iran’s nuclear program. It has been reported by Cheryl Biren-Wright at that Madam Pelosi stated at a recent event that Iran has received "a lot of technology from China, from Pakistan, probably from Russia and other places…”.

It would be very surprising, indeed, ludicrous to think Madam Speaker was not aware that the United States – one of those ‘other places’ - had initiated the proliferation of nuclear technology in Iran. Moreover, it is not surprising that Ms Pelosi purposely omitted reference to the US role in the unlawful proliferation of nuclear technology. By avoiding a mention of the US complicity in Iran’s nuclear program, Pelosi avoided the obvious pit-falls of obfuscation and deflected attention to tried and true adversaries past and future; the People’s Republic of China, Pakistan and the Russian Confederation.

Once again, the chickens - hatched by brood hens obsessed with imperial foreign policies - are coming home to roost. What is more, they once again carry nuclear eggs in flimsy baskets.

Post Script: A truly illuminating speech given at the World Affairs Council of Northern California by ‘Deception’ co-author Adrian Levy can be viewed at FORA.TV.

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