Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare

Article excerpt

Manufactured Crisis:?the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare By Gareth Porter, JustWorld Books, 2014, paperback, 312 pp. List:?$28; AET:?$26.

Reviewed by Andrew Stimson

For those who casually have been following the story of Iran's nuclear program and the sanctions regime imposed by the West, Manufactured Crisis will decidedly upend many long-standing assumptions. For the last decade, an unquestioning mainstream press has repeated the official narrative: Iran's once-clandestine nuclear program is in violation of the country's international agreements, and the Islamic Republic's ultimate intent is to create a nuclear weapon. Award-winning journalist Gareth Porter expertly digs at the crumbling roots of this narrative, revealing how the U.S. and Israel have propagated specious intelligence to spread fear and misinformation about Tehran's intentions. This groundbreaking work exposes the hidden political motivations driving the U.S. and Israel to block Iran from its internationally recognized right to peaceful nuclear technology.

At a Feb. 4 event in Washington, DC celebrating the launch of his book, Porter discussed the origins and motivations behind the U.S. policy of antagonism toward Iran. The Reagan administration publicly claimed that its opposition to Iranian nuclear enrichment was due to the dangers of the Iraq-Iran war. Using its U.N. Security Council position, the U.S. blocked International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors from working with Iran and effectively barred technological cooperation between Iran and other countries. However, Iran was in fact acting within its rights as a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Following the 1979 revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini wanted to dismantle the program, which had its roots in the formerly close relationship between the U.S and the shah. The Iranian clerical establishment viewed the program as an extravagance inspired by U.S. imperial ambitions. Yet, weather-related energy shortages in 1980 convinced Tehran to implement a significantly scaled-down program with French and IAEA cooperation. Porter stated that the Reagan administration's true intent was to block "anything that would help Iran modernize and grow, in the hope that this would spur regime change." At the time, Porter said, the U.S. "admitted quite openly that it had no evidence whatsoever that Iran had violated the NPT" and other agreements. Thus, Iran's nuclear program became a focal point in the U.S. campaign to resume its former position of power in the country.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Porter continued, U. …

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