Sunday, March 8, 2009

What countries has Iran attacked in the last 1000 years?

Persian Civil War-(1779-1794)-The revolt of the eunuch general Agha Mohammed led to this 15-year civil war. Agha Mohammed eventually won the war and became the Shah of Persia.

Georgian-Persian War-(1795-1796)-After consolidating his power, Agha Mohammed invaded the Caucasian kingdom of Georgia, which had previously been a part of the Persian Empire, but had broken away following the death of Nadir Shah in 1747. Persian forces invaded Georgia and defeated the Georgian King Heraclius.

Afghan-Persian War-(1798)-The new Shah of Persia, Fath Ali, supported a pretender to the Afghan throne against the Afghan King. The pretender, Muhammad Barakzai overthrew his brother, Zaman, with help from an invading Persian army.

Russo-Persian War-(1804-1813)-Following Russia's invasion and annexation of Georgia and Karabakh, Persia gave aid to rebels resisting Russian rule. Russia then attacked Persia, and put the city of Erevan under siege in 1804. The siege was lifted upon the arrival of Persian reinforcements led by Shah Fath Ali and Crown Prince Abbas Mirza. Warfare continued in the Caucasus region and along the Caspian coast until 1813. The most significant battle after the initial invasion and siege was the Battle of Aslanduz (Oct. 21, 1812), in which the Russians defeated an army led by Abbas Mirza. A peace treaty was signed on October 12, 1813 at Gulistan. In this treaty, Persia recognized Russian rule over Georgia and other disputed Transcaucasian areas.

Afghan-Persian War-(1816)-Persia invaded Afghanistan and occupied the western Afghan city of Herat. Local Afghan guerrillas forced the Persians to exit Afghanistan.

Turkish-Persian War-(1821-1823)-The regime of Crown Prince Abbas Mirza launched an attack on Ottoman Turkey due to Turkish aid to Azerbaijani rebels in Persia. The rebels had fled from Persia and were given refuge by the Ottomans. The war opened with a Persian invasion of Turkey in the Lake Van region, and a counter-invasion by the Ottoman Pasha of Baghdad (Iraq belonged to the Ottoman Empire), who invaded western Persia. This invasion force was driven back across the border, but the newly modernized Persian army of 30,000 troops defeated 50,000 Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Erzurum near Lake Van in 1821. A peace treaty in 1823 ended the war with no changes to their mutual border.

Russo-Persian War --(1825-1828)--This war resulted from the ongoing border disputes arising from the Treaty of Gulistan (1813) between Persia and Russia. Persian forces were initially successful, capturing the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in 1825. Russian forces led by General Ivan Fedorovich Paskievich went on the offensive against the invading Persians and defeated them at the Battle of Ganja (also known as the Battle of Kirovabad) on September 26, 1826. Abbas Mirza led a Persian force of 30,000 which was defeated and routed by a Russian army of 15,000 troops. In 1827, General Paskievich captured Erevan and Tabriz in the northwest of Persia. The Russians captured the Persian capital of Tehran in the winter of 1827-28, along with the Persian army's total inventory of artillery pieces. The resulting peace Treaty of Turkomanchi recognized Russian rule of Armenia, forbade Persia to station warships on the Caspian Sea, and forced Persia to pay a war indemnity to Russia. A war indemnity was a financial payment from a defeated nation to the winner to pay the cost of the war. This defeat basically ended Persia's role as a major power among the nations of the Gulf and the Caucuses region.

Afghan-Persian War-(1836-1838)-Persia invaded Afghanistan partly in response to Britain's influence in the region, and laid siege to the western Afghan city of Herat. The Herat defenders were aided by a British military advisor named Eldred Potter. Potter offered his services to the Afghans and set about organizing the city's defenses. Persian assaults on the city failed, and the invading army gave up the siege (September 28, 1838), and returned home.

Afghan/Anglo-Persian War-(1855-1857)-Persia again invaded Afghanistan, this time successfully capturing Herat. This upset the British, who claimed influence over Afghanistan. The British Empire declared war on Persia (Nov. 1, 1856), and proceeded to invade Persia both by sea and by land. British forces landed and took the Persian port of Bushire in January, 1857. An Anglo-Indian army invaded Persia, which soon gave up and agreed to evacuate Herat.

Persian Revolution -(1906-1909)-Persia was beset by internal political violence and rebellions against the rule of the tyrannical Shah Mohammed Ali. Actual warfare broke out in 1908 by a rebellion in the city of Tabriz. The Shah's forces besieged Tabriz, but the rebellion did not end until an intervening Russian army brutally seized Tabriz in March of 1909. While this was occurring, other rebel factions marched on Tehran, capturing the capital city on July 12, 1909. The Shah abdicated his throne, and his young son, Ahmad Mirza became the new Shah.

Mohammed Ali's Invasion -(1911)-With Russian approval and aid, the exiled former Shah, Mohammed Ali, landed on the Caspian coast on June 17, 1911,in an attempt to recapture his throne. His forces were defeated by a government army and he returned to exile on September 5, 1911.

Persian Revolution -(1921)-Reza Khan Pahlavi overthrew the corrupt Shah Ahmad Mirza and crushed the separatist regimes in Gilan, Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, and Khorasan.

Iran-Iraq Border Battles -(1969-1970)--Disputes over the Shatt al-Arab waterway, claimed by both nations, led to hostilities in the late 1960s. Iran supported a rebellion by Iraqi Kurds until 1975, when the Shah and Saddam Hussein reached an agreement

Iranian Seizure of Gulf Islands -(1970-1980)--Iran occupied several Persian Gulf islands claimed by the United Arab Emirates.

Dhofar War-(1973-1975)--Iran sent troops to Oman to aid the Sultan of Oman, who was fighting against Marxist rebels aided by South Yemen. The Shah of Iran reportedly wanted to not only support a fellow pro-Western Gulf Monarch, but also wanted to give his troops combat experience in the field.....
1980-1989 The dreadful Iraq-Iran war instigated by the USA ,NATO and Israel..... for dual containment purposes, or so it was called....

-The state of relations between the United States and Iran is based on a long history of hostility and lack of trust. For Iranians, this tension dates to the early 1950s, when a coup engineered by the United States and Britain brought down Iran's first democratically elected government and replaced it with a brutal dictatorship that lasted nearly three decades. This derailed the Iranian democratic movement, and this pattern of hostility was reinforced by the White House's support for Saddam Hussein during his bloody eight-year war with Iran in the 1980s. For Americans, the tension begins with the seizure of the U.S. embassy in 1979 and the humiliating hostage situation. It is possible this deeply rooted hostility can be overcome, but it will require genuine political will and effort from both sides.

For starters, it is essential that U.S. officials change their language and behavior toward Iran. The vocabulary and posture that have long been used have failed. Phrases such as "all options are on the table" and "regime change" have deepened the gap and provoked further confrontation. Iranian citizens and officials are waiting to see the "change" Barack Obama pledged during his presidential campaign.

Iranians want to see a shift in Washington's perspective toward Tehran and then a real change in behavior. A tangible shift would build confidence and trust for any Iranian negotiating team and would enable pro-negotiation politicians to dare to speak out. For Iranians to build on any sort of opening with the United States, such politicians must begin to garner public support. Any policy pursued by the Obama administration that comes across as less than genuine will be perceived as an effort to deceive Iran -- and will perpetuate the hostility.

While much discussion about the United States and Iran focuses on their (real) differences, we should not close our eyes to common interests. Among the goals the United States and Iran share are bringing peace, security and stability to Afghanistan and Iraq; bringing security to the Persian Gulf; and combating the terrorism and radicalism that stem from the extreme version of Islam known as Salafism or Wahabism. Just as the United States recently reached out to Iran regarding Afghanistan, both sides can build on common interests in any of these areas.

For one thing, the interests of the United States, Iran, other nations in the Middle East and Afghanistan are increasingly aligning. For another, Iran's role in designing a constructive dialogue between the Islamic world and the West is significant. When the democratic process in Iran is compared with those of its neighbors -- many of whose governments, ironically, have been chosen by the United States and other Western nations -- Iran has a more open and diverse political field than most countries in the region. Iran's political system is actually closer to the Western model than most Middle Eastern countries.

Despite the long-standing tension between the two countries, cultural ties run deep. American universities have historically been a destination for Iranians and are today home to Iranian academics in numerous fields. Among Americans there is an appreciation for Persian and Islamic culture coming from Iranian civilization that demonstrates itself in their respect for Persian art, music and literature such as Rumi's poetry.

Over the past 30 years, many countries inside and outside the Persian Gulf region defined and aligned their national interests and foreign policies based on the existence of hostility between Tehran and Washington. It is understandable that for political and economic reasons many might oppose a change in the status quo, assuming that it would harm their own interests. This anxiety and unease extends beyond the region, and these concerns sometimes translate into efforts to destroy any hope of reconciliation. Another threat to openings in Iranian-U.S. relations comes from radical elements within the two capitals that are sometimes loud enough to undermine or silence those who call for change. Iranian and U.S. officials should strive to address these concerns and to explain that better relations would lead to increased regional stability, economic development, progress in the fight against narco-trafficking, successful efforts to address ideological extremism and a more secure oil flow. It is not just countries in the region that would benefit from these successes.

Washington and Tehran have much to overcome. Yet it is in the interests of Islamic nations and the West that Tehran and Washington try to resolve their disputes. Efforts that include goodwill, engagement and negotiation certainly should be more successful than continued hostility. Even if they do not work, it is still worth trying. The United States has made a start by including Iran in discussions regarding Afghanistan. Iran and the United States should continue trying to open a new chapter in their relations based on their mutual common interests.....

With the likelihood of the United States engaging Iran in the near future and with Washington "resetting the button" in relations with Moscow, the air is thick with rumors of trade-offs. This is almost inevitable, given the interlocking cross-currents swirling around the three-way US-Iran-Russia equations.

Iranians have a penchant for trade-offs and Soviet-American detente historically relied on trade-offs. Thus, a season for trade-offs could indeed be commencing. But we may never quite know. That is because trade-offs often carry a stigma of opportunism and are deniable even when they are manifestly based on legitimate balancing of interests.

In recent weeks, Tehran has been watching with uneasiness the
Barack Obama administration's game plan to isolate Iran by tempting Russia (and Syria) into a trade-off. But it seems there is no such trade-off on the Russian front. The official Russian stance is that there has been no such American offer of a trade-off.

This flies in the face of reports in the Russian and American media that Obama had sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in February offering to abandon the US plan to deploy components of the missile defense system in Central Europe in exchange for Russian help to halt Iran's nuclear activities.

If there was such a US offer, it would have been "meaningless and crudely simplistic from the very start", to quote a Moscow commentator. The fact is that Iran is a key player on a vast geopolitical landscape where Russia has profound security interests, stretching from the Middle East to the Caspian and Central Asia and Afghanistan and Russia cannot and will not jeopardize its excellent relations with Iran.

Besides, Russian experts see the missile defense issue as integral to an altogether different template - Russia's relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the security in Europe including the core issue of strategic balance or the preservation of nuclear and missile parity between Russia and the US.

Moreover, Russia senses that the Obama administration may ultimately have no choice but to scrap (or at least mothball) the missile defense program since it is hard-pressed to mobilize funds for such a huge project. So, why should Russia get into a trade-off at all when the US's missile defense deployment plan could be all set to drop from the tree like a rotten apple? That's sound thinking.

To be sure, the Russians haven't budged on the Iran nuclear issue. They are not only proceeding with the commissioning of the Bushehr nuclear power plant but are negotiating the long-term fuel supply for the plant.

Also, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week, "[The] American side should join the position of the '[Iran] Six' [the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany] not only on paper, but also the talks with Iran as proposed by the six ... At issue is also involving Iran on an equal, worthy basis in efforts to resolve the Iraqi and Afghan conflicts, as well as in all aspects of the Middle East settlement."

A week later, following talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Geneva on Friday, Lavrov added, "In addition to serious, tangible economic stimuli, we need a dialogue with Iran with the involvement of all the countries in the region to ensure stable, reliable security where all countries there, including Israel, would live side-by-side in peace and security."

Even on the issue of Russia supplying long-range missiles to Iran, Lavrov parried that while Russia fully takes into account the US and Israeli concerns, "These issues ... are decided exclusively within the law and Russian national obligations ... We are supplying non-destabilizing, defensive weapons." Prior to the meeting on Friday, Clinton had said she would ask Lavrov to halt the transfer of missiles to Iran since they posed "a threat to Russia as well as to Europe and neighbors in the region". But it seems Lavrov gave no such assurance. The constructive ambiguity in the Russian stance remains.

Meanwhile, the divergence in the Russian and US approaches to the Iran question is plain to see. While on a visit to Israel last week, Clinton said US and Israel have "an understanding that we share about the threat that Iran poses. We intend to do all that we can do deter and to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. That is our stated policy. That is the goal of any tactic that we employ."

She also referred to Iran's "continued financing of terrorist organizations like Hamas [in Gaza] and Hezbollah [in Lebanon]" and promised to have "very close consultation" with the pro-West Arab countries and Israel over "what a threat Iran poses today and what a greater threat it would pose were it ever to be successful in its pursuit of nuclear weapons". Clinton underlined that "the bond between the US and Israel, and our commitment to Israel's security and to its democracy as a Jewish state, remains fundamental, unshakeable and eternally durable".

Evidently, against such a backdrop, there is hardly any scope for US-Russia trade-offs at this point involving Russia's ties with Iran. But, on the other hand, could that also be because Russia might be having a back-to-back understanding with Iran? Both are, after all, great chess-playing nations.

Last week, while on a visit to Germany, the influential chairman of the Iranian Majlis (parliament) Foreign Relations Committee, Alaeddin Broujerdi, flatly ruled out Iran providing transit facilities for NATO supplies to Afghanistan. "Iran is not interested in becoming a logistic bridge for NATO to Afghanistan," he said while reiterating Tehran's principled opposition to the US-led alliance's presence in Afghanistan. Broujerdi said NATO had no scope for a "permanent presence" in Afghanistan and it should come up with an exit strategy, as its deployment would only "lead to more extremism and terrorism".

Tehran is also helping Russia by its tough stance. It comes at a juncture when, after granting transit routes for NATO forces in Afghanistan, Russia has begun discussing the transportation of the alliance's military cargo. The defense ministers of Russia and Germany discussed in Moscow last Tuesday the transit of military equipment and supplies for the German contingent in Afghanistan via Russia, including by rail.

At first glance, the Iranian and Russian stances are contradictory, which is what makes them look suspicious. The point is, Moscow and Tehran have a high level of understanding over the Afghan situation and it is unlikely that they would allow contradictions to emerge with the Afghan war at a critical juncture. Indeed, Iran is indirectly helping Russia by its refusal to provide transit routes for NATO. An Iranian transit route for NATO would have significantly reduced the NATO countries' growing dependence on the northern corridor via Russian territory.

But on its part, Moscow has every reason to encourage NATO to become more and more dependent on the northern corridor. Such cooperation is already a significant factor in Russia's complicated equations with NATO. Major European powers like Germany will now disfavor any moves by NATO that may provoke Russia, such as the alliance's expansion or the issue of the US missile defense system.

Thus, we have a curious paradigm: to be sure, there can be no US-Russia trade-off over Iran, but a Russia-Iran understanding over the Afghan transit routes enables Moscow to exploit NATO's dependence on the northern corridor, which, in turn, compels the alliance to be sensitive about Russia's security interests and concerns and at the same time paves the way for Russia to play a bigger role in the stabilization of Afghanistan, which of course suits Iran.

As the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman summed it up on Thursday, Moscow stands for "realistic and practical collaboration" with NATO, and "the fight against terrorism, WMD [weapons of mass destruction] cooperation, the narco-threat and other challenges, and cooperation on Afghanistan can be effective only in the event of a unification of efforts by all countries in the Euro-Atlantic area". The Lavrov-Clinton meeting in Geneva on Friday held out precisely such a prospect.

According to Lavrov, Russia and the US now consider it their "common goal" to stabilize the Afghan situation. Two, the two countries are interested in "practical cooperation". Three, they will now develop "new areas of cooperation" on the Afghan problem. Four, they have agreed on a virtual trade-off: Washington will "facilitate the successful conclusion" of the conference on Afghanistan in Moscow on March 27 under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), while Moscow will "facilitate the successful conduct" of a similar conference on Afghanistan at the initiative of the US, to be held possibly on March 31 at The Hague.

The US-Russia trade-off over the Afghan conferences seems to ensure that the agendas of the two conferences do not work at cross-purposes. The Moscow conference will be devoted to the "threats of drugs and terrorists originating in Afghanistan", whereas the US-sponsored conference under the auspices of the UN will have a broader agenda of stabilizing Afghanistan. In essence, the US pulled back from opposing tooth and nail the SCO conference in Moscow, while Russia agrees to keep the conference's agenda in modest terms so as not to overtly complicate Obama's Afghan strategy.

On balance, Russia succeeds in establishing itself as a key partner of the US in Afghanistan, thanks to the cooperation it extends to NATO over the transit routes. Again, the northern corridor places Russia in a position to demand a quid pro quo in the nature of an end to NATO's expansion and the deployment of the US missile defense system.

Least of all, Russia returns to Afghanistan in a big way after an absence of two decades. The seemingly contradictory impulses in the Russian policy - whether Moscow actually seeks that the US-led war succeeds, fails or remains a stalemate - might just be dissipating. It seems Russia might have no problem if NATO manages to avert a defeat in Afghanistan...

By any measure, Iran is fast advancing its nuclear program. For the international community, time is of the essence. In light of the negative reactions from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and more importantly from Supreme Leader Ali Khameini who recently stated that U.S. President Barack Obama was on the same wrong path as former President George W. Bush, the U.S. president's overture to Tehran does not look promising.

Hence, the sanctions route seems the privileged alternative at this time. But in order for this option to be effective one large player needs to be on board; and that is Russia.

In light of this, the revelation that Obama had sent a 'secret' letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to incite Russia to be tougher on Iran against the promise of the United States giving up its missile defense system in Eastern Europe, is not surprising.

In fact, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that he had told the Russians a year ago about that possibility. Nonetheless the fact that it was made official by the new incoming president carries more weight. But the Russians seem very much unfazed by the proposal.

Nonetheless it does not mean that Russia does not see the danger of a nuclear Iran. Indeed, Ehud Barak, Israel's defense minister, told Le Monde last June regarding Iran:

"Whatever their statements, the Russians fully understand the situation. I spoke with [Russian Prime Minister] Vladimir Putin. Several times, he said, speaking of the [Iranian] missiles: This is not complicated to see the map on the path from Tehran. Moscow does not come before Tel Aviv, but before Paris, Berlin or London, let alone the USA. He fully understands the risks."

Barak continued: "But the Russians have other priorities: They want to see the return of America, and I quote, to its "natural dimensions" that would take into account the results of their own mistakes in Afghanistan and Iraq. I told several times the Americans: you need them, the free world cannot win in a reasonable time without cooperation from the Russians and the Chinese. This has a price. You cannot expect the Russians to closely cooperate with you if you insist on such issues as Chechnya."

But other factors are entering the equation when it comes to Russian-Iranian relations.

First even though Iran is a very difficult partner, it remains one of Russia's most important strategic allies. In the energy sector for instance, Iran and Russia hold together 50 percent of the world's gas reserves.

Iran is also the third largest client of Russia's armament industry, and trade interests remain significant. Therefore unsurprisingly, Russia fought tooth and nail in the U.N. Security Council to exclude from the sanctioned list of companies the ones that had contracts with Russia and also the ones that could potentially do business with Russia in the future.

But large commercial interests do not mean that Moscow trusts Tehran. For proof, the number of Iranian students in Russia has gone down from 10,000 to 2,000 in the past three years and they have all been excluded from the sensitive disciplines.

One aspect not to be overlooked is Tehran's power to wage an asymmetrical war in the Caspian Sea against Russia if Moscow were to turn against Iran. In fact, Russia realizes how a close and potentially dangerous neighbor Iran is. And that is why it seems that Russia does not want to go from Tehran's partner to Tehran's foe.

Also at this point Moscow's desire to help the United States or the West is close to zero. According to an important Russian official recently quoted by a French magazine, Putin has already decided to turn his back on the West.

The official said that Putin roughly said this during a meeting: "Here's what I concluded from the Georgian case: Today we can make the West give in and impose our rules of the game. The time has never been better. America is stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan and its image in the world is catastrophic. We can hit the United States without great risk."

Keeping this in mind, the Obama administration must acknowledge the limits of rapprochement with Russia. But by publicly engaging Russia, Washington could advance the argument that it is following a multilateral strategy and that if tougher sanctions on Iran are not adopted then Moscow will be to blame.

Between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently voicing her pessimism to some of her Arab colleagues regarding a resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue and Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair telling the Senate on March 10 that it would be difficult to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, it seems that the diplomatic route is turning into a tunnel with no end in sight.

One can only shudder at what the alternative – an Israeli military option – might be, and the consequences that come with that Saudi inspired option....

Iran will weather the storms...?

If Iran is able to withstand and stood firmly on her stance on nuclear issue exclusively for peaceful purposes and is not attacked by Israel (backed by the US) for the next three years then, as per my analysis, Islamic states, Arab nations or Muslims’ influence will rise exponentially around the globe, which definitely shall not be tolerated by Jews and they’ll not let it happen.

Iran -- a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- says the only aim of its program is civilian applications of the technology.

Iran is not close to having a nuclear weapon, which gives the United States and others countries time to try to persuade Tehran to abandon its suspected atomic arms program, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. “They’re not close to a stockpile, they’re not close to a [nuclear] weapon at this point, and so there is some time,” Gates said on NBC television’s “Meet The Press.” [1]

Israel’s persistence in wanting to attack Iran is not linked with any nuclear issue and, in reality, Israel and the USA knows very well that Iran is far from making enriched uranium grade used for making atomic bombs, as per different IAEA reports. [2]

The new chief of US intelligence has confirmed that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and is not developing nukes. [3]

Russia, which has greater access to Iran’s nuclear program than most countries in the world, and one of its companies, Atomstroyexport, has built the Bushehr nuclear reactor and Russian engineers have first-hand contact with their Iranian counterparts and even said that their country’s extensive spying network believes Iran is not yet able to build a nuclear bomb. [4]

The UN nuclear watchdog, which has carried out the highest number of inspections in its history on Iranian nuclear sites, has also found nothing to indicate that the nuclear program has been diverted toward weaponization, as recently published by Press TV on Feb 13, 2009. [5]

That said, Iran almost definitely remains at least five years or more away from having a genuine war-fighting nuclear capability. Even then, the mere possession of a nuclear bomb will not automatically give Iran a greater military power or increase its overall influence in the region. If we analyze this, we find that much global attention is paid to the security of Israel and to the interests of the United States, but little attention is given to Iran’s security needs -- which also has a right to exist peacefully. The regional problems facing Iran are indeed grave.

Then what remains the fundamental rationale for Israel to attack Iran? I am using the name of Israel repeatedly in wanting to attack Iran because neither the USA nor any other country has an interest in initiating a war and Israel will be the sole beneficiary of a war.

Two behind the curtain reasons for attacking Iran may be cited which Israel will not ever disclose or discuss openly.

Firstly and foremost, Israel wants to dominate the Middle East and sees Iran as a future threat in terms of dominance and, hence, Israel cannot dominate in the presence of Iran. In fact, Israel has a long term strategy for phase-wise global dominance and in the first phase wants to rule over the Middle East then move to expand its territory into Iraq. Then it wants to conquer and take over Egypt, Lebanon, Greece, Jordan, Syria and, finally, gradually take over other Muslim nations like nuclear armed Pakistan.

As the United States or rather Israel gears up for an attack on Iran, one thing is certain: it will never ever mention the seizure of oil and gas reserves as a reason for going to war, which is the second most reason. As in the case of Iraq, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will be cited as the principal justification for an American assault. But just as the failure to discover WMD in Iraq undermined the Bush administration’s use of WMD as the paramount reason for its invasion, so any US claim that an attack on Iran would be justified because of its alleged nuclear potential should invite cynicism. More importantly, as Michael T. Klare writes in his article, ‘Oil, Geopolitics and the Coming War with Iran,’ that any serious assessment of Iran’s strategic importance to the United States should focus on its role in the global energy equation. [6]

But no war is ever prompted by one factor alone, and it is evident from the public record that many considerations, including oil, played a role in the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq. Likewise, it is reasonable to assume that many factors -- again including oil and gas -- are playing a role in the decision-making now underway over a possible assault on Iran.

According to the most recent tally by Oil and Gas Journal, Iran houses the second-largest pool of unexploited petroleum in the world, an estimated 125.8 billion barrels. Only Saudi Arabia, with an estimated 260 billion barrels, possesses more; Iraq, the third in line, has an estimated 115 billion barrels. With this much oil -- about one-tenth of the world’s estimated total supply -- Iran is certain to play a key role in the global energy equation, no matter what else occurs. It is not, however, just sheer quantity that matters in Iran’s case, no less important is its future productive capacity.

Iran, on the other hand, has considerable growth potential: it is now producing about 4 million barrels per day, but is thought to be capable of boosting its output by another 3 million barrels or so. Few, if any, other countries possess this potential, so Iran’s importance as a producer, already significant, is bound to grow exponentially in the years ahead. [7]

Some more facts must be kept in mind:

  • Since 2004, all the nuclear material at Iran Nuclear sites and fuel enrichment plant as well as all installed cascades remain IAEA containment and surveillance, according to IAEA Board Report. [8]

  • Since March 2007, 20 unannounced surprise inspections have been conducted by IAEA professionals at Iran’s Fuel Enrichment Plants and no trace of weapon grade uranium enrichment program was found so far. [9]

  • Iran is a signatory of NNPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) since 1968 whereas Israel is not till today. Under Article IV of the NPT the enrichment program for civilian nuclear energy purpose is allowed. [10]

  • Iran is the second largest oil producer and exporter of world and supplying 30 percent of total global oil production and has the second largest gas reserves in the world. [11]
  • Iran’s Share of global reserves is 11.4 percent. [12]

  • It’s share of the petroleum sector in the economy and its oil and gas constitute 82 percent of Iran’s exports. [13]

  • Iran literacy rate is 79.4 percent. [14]

  • Iran is an environment friendly country and a party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol (which even the USA has not signed), Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation [15]

  • Iran is not a banana republic, having a GDP per capita of $13,100 (2008 est.) [16]

The next three years are very crucial for the Middle East and its policy shall be decided according to the happenings in these three years. The Jewish lobby, which is controlling not only the USA, the entire global media but also controlling 50 percent of the global wealth through the Rothschild banking family and the Federal Reserve System, is in a continuous process of destabilizing Iran through its media campaign [17] and spreading disinformation through the IAEA and persuading the IEAEA, from the inside, to issue anti-Iran statements and reports.

Therefore, Israel cannot attack Iran as it can be quite expensive keeping in view that global assessment regarding Iran’s nuclear capability. But at the same time, Iran’s firm stand shall provide an opportunity for the Muslim world to unite. Because up until now, no Muslim country dared to stand up to Israel and most of the Muslim countries have been incapable of uniting. If they were united, then the recent GAZA offence by Israel could have been stopped or averted. The most Muslim countries have done is verbally condemn Israel’s actions. Iran’s hard stand on the nuclear issue also provides an opportunity for Palestine to be reborn and re-built.

It is evident attacking Iran does not serve the purpose of the USA and, without US support, Israel cannot dare to assault Iran, as reported in the Asia Times.

‘The result could be aserious test between the next Israeli government and its influential US advocates. The Obama administration clearly believes that real progress toward resolving the 60-year-old conflict is critical both to restoring Washington’s credibility among the Arab states and curbing the further radicalization of the region’s population -- particularly in the wake of Israel’s recent military offensive in Gaza.’ [18]

Finally, world leaders must realize that the Arab League Peace Plan is the only solution for the existence of both Israel and Iran which ultimately leads to peace in Palestine. The Arab League should give a major new push for the adoption of its 2002 peace plan, which provides for Arab recognition of Israel in return for the latter’s withdrawal from all occupied Arab lands.


[1] Iran “not close” to nuclear weapon: Gates

[2] IAEA and Iran

[3] US intel confirms Iran not developing nukes

[4] Russian diplomat: Iran not yet able to build nuclear bomb

[5] US intel confirms Iran not developing nukes

[6] & [7] Tomgram: Michael Klare on Blood, Oil, and Iran

[8] & [9] In Focus : IAEA and Iran

[10] Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: Iran

[11] to [14] Institute for the Analysis of Global Security: Iran

[15] & [16] CIA Factbook: Iran

[17] Preparing the Battlefield

[18] Storm brews between US and Israel