Irrational fears of a nuclear Iran

With the already haunting situation in Iraq today, the last thing that American citizens need to worry about is a possibility of more weapons falling into the wrong hands in the Middle East, and at first glance, this appears to be the developing case in the oil-rich nation of Iran. According to The New York Times, foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi explained at a weekly news conference, "Iran’s uranium enrichment and nuclear research and development activities are irreversible" (source: http://nytimes.com).

Western nations including Russia, Great Britain, China, and the United States are currently seeking sanctions on Iran if it refuses to do away with its enrichment program.

The U.S. government has even declared that military action will be a viable option if Iran fails to comply with UN demands to relinquish its enrichment program, a step that seems too bold for many other Western nations, such as Russia and China. The UN charged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with the task of discerning Iran’s objectives and overall agenda with its nuclear program, and the IAEA’s report is due Friday (source: http://nytimes.com).

What many Americans may not know — or perhaps more appropriately, what many do not opt to become informed about — is that Iran has stated over and over that its nuclear program exists solely to provide a more efficient way of manufacturing electricity. Perhaps more shockingly, the Iranian government has welcomed the UN report with open arms, with Asefi stating, "If the (IAEA) report contains expert assessment, there will be nothing left to worry about" (source: http://nytimes.com).

In the same news conference, Asefi held that the assessment shouldn’t prove to be a problem for any nation that’s being cautious of the situation. He also said, though, that if the report is released and "…puts pressure on Iran or speaks with a language of threats, naturally Iran will not abandon its rights and it is prepared for all possible situations and has planned for them." In fact, the amounts of uranium being enriched at this time are not adequate enough to be any more than is employed in producing electricity. At this rate, were it even their intentions, it does not seem that the Iranians would be capable of making nuclear weapons at all (source: http://nytimes.com).

It is also apparent that most politicians on either side of the political spectrum are unsure of the situation. When asked on Fox News Sunday whether Iran might be capable of manufacturing nuclear weapons, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Peter Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican, said: "I’d say we really don’t know. We don’t have all of the information we would like to have."

Jane Harmon, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, agreed with Mr. Hoekstra, stating, "This is not a time to be saber-rattling in our government. Just the fact that the Iranian government is making a lot of noise doesn’t prove their capabilities" (source: http://nytimes.com).

So, why are so many Americans dreading a nuclear situation in the Middle East? How is it that we all so sure our federal government will keep our best interests in mind in choosing to take military action against the nation of Iran? Up until now, the American public has been spoon-fed images and reports concerning a "Nuclear Iran" by the media, accepting what we hear in five-minute specks on television and talk radio as truth, without seriously delving into the issue at hand. As is archetypical in American society, we often assume there is a serious danger when there very well may be none at all.

Put bluntly, the American public is being played like a fiddle by the media, with fear being the driving tune. I’d encourage all who care about what their government is doing at home and overseas to become informed about the issues facing America today. Our security and future depend on it.

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Title: Irrational fears of a nuclear Iran | Author: Richard Hajarizadeh | Section: Opinions | Published Date: 2006-04-26 | Internal ID: 5014