Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu claims he has ‘proof’ that Iran has been lying about its nuclear programme and Trump chimes in to say his ‘proves’ that he is right about the Obama –led deal with Iran being ‘bad’ and threatens to pull out of the deal in the next 12 days.
Iran replies that that Israel’s claims are lying propaganda designed to undermine the deal. The UK and French governments continue to support the deal. A number of ‘experts’ say that Netanyahu supposed revelations represent nothing new and nothing that had not already been taken account of.
So what do socialists say? Well let’s start by acknowledging there is no way we can possibly know the truth about Iran’s nuclear weapons capability or programme. ALL capitalist governments and states lie about their military capabilities and the military capabilities of others. This is simply what these States, their armed forces and their Secret Services do.
First in line in this regard is Israel itself which for many years hid the fact that it had developed a nuclear arsenal and, moreover, abducted and imprisoned for more than 18 years, the whistleblower, Mordechai Vanuno, for revealing this fact.
Second in line are the US and UK governments which systematically lied and tried to deceive the whole world about Iraqi ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in order to justify their war for oil.
So there is no reason at all to believe the claims of Netanyahu or Trump, but neither does that mean we have to stand over the claims and denials of Russia, China, North Korea or Iran. In this case I think it is probable that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons but that is not the point.
What we do know and can say is that ALL nuclear weapons are an abomination and we are opposed to any state holding them. This is not a question of absolute pacifism. Nuclear weapons are qualitatively different from conventional weapons in that they cannot be used at all without immediately inflicting unimaginable casualties on civilian populations and, indeed, putting the entire future of humanity at risk.
And once we say this we come to the fact that only one country, one State, has enormously more nuclear weapons than all other States combined; and only one State has ever actually used nuclear weapons in war. In both cases that State is the US.
The US has enough nuclear war heads to destroy the entire population of the earth several times over. It is in no way opposed to nuclear weapons, nor is it even opposed to the spread of nuclear weapons – it is actively in favour, for example, of Britain and Israel possessing them and would strongly resist any attempt by, for example, a Corbyn Government , to renounce them.
No, what Trump and US wants to do is control who has nuclear weapons so that they and their allies can use their military superiority to throw their weight around and bully the rest of the world. This doesn’t mean we should support Iran or anywhere else developing nuclear weapons – they should defend themselves by other means – but it does mean that our first task is to expose and oppose the bullying hypocrisy of Trump and Netanyahu and, here in Ireland, to oppose the collaboration of the Irish State with this via Shannon and other means.
There is a scientific term for this big power bullying hypocrisy: it is ‘imperialism’ and People Before Profit is an anti-imperialist party.