Friday, March 25, 2005

Turkey warns Iran

A couple of thought-provoking articles here, coutesy of Doctor Zin of

Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 06:50 AM

By Gunduz Aktan

It is a well-known secret that Iran is on the path to producing nuclear weapons. According to the latest reports (how accurate these reports are we do not know) the heavy water project is continuing. Meanwhile, tunnel construction has reportedly begun. Tunnels leading into the depths of the earth would be needed to store nuclear warheads. These would be bombproof. This brings to mind the possibility of Iran having obtained a number of warheads during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In other words Iran may have attained nuclear power status though it may not have produced nuclear weapons themselves. In the aftermath of the Khomeiny revolution, Iran began exporting its religion-based ideology to the world at large, Turkey included. It has trained terrorist groups. Armed Shiite groups have defended southern Lebanon against Israel and they have attacked Israel, engaging in terrorist activities in this context. It has been announced by officials that terrorists trained by Iran have staged assassinations in Turkey. Furthermore, Iran has supported the PKK from time to time. Iran's becoming a nuclear power would not be in line with Turkey's interests due to some other reasons as well. If Iran produces nuclear weapons Iran would gain the status of a regional power though it hardly deserves that from the standpoint of its political regime and the its level of economic development. Only a short time ago we saw the way it supported Armenia together with Russia and how it threatened Azerbaijan on the issue of the sharing of Caspian Sea oil resources. In the region there is no existing nuclear threat directed against Iran. Pakistan and India have developed nuclear power for reasons that have nothing to do with Iran. In fact it is being said that Pakistan, who has supplied Iran with nuclear technology, Russia and even China have contributed to Iran's becoming a nuclear power. In other words, Iran is not faced with a nuclear threat from these countries. Conversely, Iran could well claim that Israel, a country that has remained outside the NPT regime, constitutes a threat to Iran. Under the circumstances, one could ask the following question: Is there any reason for Iran to be more concerned on this issue than Israel's Arab neighbors? The answer to that question would be yes. This is because Iran advocates the eradication of Israel from the surface of the earth, going farther on this issue than do the Palestinians and other Arab countries. Such a religion-based policy is not compatible with Iran's national interests. For this reason, Israel sees Iran's becoming a nuclear power as a deadly threat for itself. Israeli officials are already saying they would bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. It is no secret that the targets to be bombed have been determined and that Israel has the kind of weapons needed for the bombing. An Israeli attack would be a development that would wreak havoc on stability in the region.Meanwhile, Britain, Germany and France have been trying since the fall of 2004 to persuade -- through negotiations -- Iran to stop implementing its nuclear armament program, using the International Atomic Energy Agency for this purpose. Though Iran has resisted that, insisting that it has the right to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, it has indeed suspended its uranium enrichment program -- albeit stressing that it is doing that only temporarily. In case these three European Union countries prove unsuccessful in this effort, the United States has preferred to remain in the background but implied that it would hit Iran's nuclear facilities. Recently, in a concession to the EU, it has said that it would take part in the negotiation process. However, the concessions offered to Iran (such as World Trade Organization membership and provision of spare parts for airliners) in return for the desired suspension of Iran's overall nuclear problem are quite inadequate.Since the Khomeiny revolution, the United States has wanted to bring down the political regime in Iran. It enacted and maintained an economic embargo preventing Iran's economic development. Iran's nuclear program may have stemmed from an Iranian desire to eliminate this threat the United States has created.Under the circumstances, only the United States can make Iran drop its nuclear weapons program. If, in return for Iran changing its policy towards Israel and deciding against supporting terrorism, the United States lifts the embargo and stops seeking a regime change in Iran, there would be no reason for Iran to want to produce nuclear weapons. Following the Iraqi experience, Turkey would not want a new war in the region. However, Turkey cannot accept Iran's becoming a nuclear power. If Iran rejects a U.S. initiative of this kind it should not expect Turkey to show understanding.