Hands Off Iran!

Reprinted from The Worker, newspaper of the Workers Party, USA, June 12, 2012

The U.S. government is using military blackmail against Iran with the open aim of starting a war to overthrow the government. On May 15, the U.S. ambassador to Israel reminded the world that the Obama administration is fully prepared to launch a war on Iran. According to Ambassador Shapiro, the U.S. military "option" is "fully available. And not just available, but it’s ready. The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready." In May the U.S. House and Senate, in nearly unanimous votes, passed bills authorizing new sanctions on Iran and once again declaring Iran a target for possible U.S. intervention.

According to the "big stick diplomacy" used by the Obama administration to justify its military blackmail, Iran must take measures to prove to the world that it has the sovereign right to develop its nuclear energy program. This must not be allowed to pass. It is the U.S. government which must stop threatening Iran and trying to justify possible military intervention. The threat to peace in Iran and the region comes from U.S. imperialism which has declared itself the "world policeman" and which openly proclaims the "right" to carry out pre-emptive war against not only Iran, but also any government or people which it declares to be a threat to its "interests."

Since launching the war on Afghanistan in 2001 the U.S. has brazenly relied on the logic of might makes right in order to impose military blackmail on the world and to wage war. The U.S. has repeatedly launched military attacks and invaded countries, overthrowing governments and committing barbarous atrocities against the peoples. It has repeatedly made threats and pressured countries such as Iran, Syria, North Korea and others to go along with its dictates or face "regime change."

Iran itself has been the target of U.S. aggression for more than thirty years. Since the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979, U.S. imperialism has tried with might and main to undermine and destroy the government of that country. After attempting to invade Iran in 1980, the U.S. adopted a policy of supporting Iraq in a war which took the lives of several million Iranians and Iraqis. In addition, the CIA has carried on a continuous campaign of disinformation and destabilization, both inside and outside the country.

The hostile policy of the U.S. government towards Iran comes from the fact that the U.S. views the Iranian government and people as obstacles to U.S. domination of the Middle East. At this time the U.S. government has set an agenda of seeking allies in its campaign against Iran and doing whatever it takes to label Iran as a "international outlaw" in order to justify war and intervention there.

It is precisely because of the questions of oil and the domination of the strategic Middle East region that the U.S. is waging an all out campaign to destabilize and overthrow the Iranian government. Repeated military threats have been issued and economic sanctions imposed. The Obama administration has tried to squeeze Iran by means of sanctions which target the oil sector and prevent third party countries from trading with Iran. On March 30, Obama signed a "Presidential Determination" authorizing the U.S. government to sanction foreign central banks and other foreign government-owned financial institutions if the U.S. administration disapproves the institution's level of petroleum-related transactions with Iran. In an attempt to cause financial chaos, the Obama administration has frozen all the U.S. deposited assets of every Iranian bank including the Central Bank of Iran. In 2009, the Obama administration ordered the expansion of clandestine military operations "to counter threats in Iran." Since the passage of the "Iran Freedom Support Act" in 2006, the U.S. Congress has allocated tens of millions of dollars to destabilization groups and initiatives aimed at "changing Iran's form of government." First Bush and now the Obama administration have carried out a massive military buildup. Just this April, the Pentagon deployed an additional 20 jet fighters to the region.

In order to defeat the U.S. governments war plans against Iran the American people must demand an end to all U.S. threats and pressure against Iran. We must speak out against the chauvinism of the Obama administration which declares, in the manner of an imperialist overlord, that it has the right to decide which countries have the right to sovereignty and which do not. We must fight against U.S. imperialism's military blackmail and economic strangulation of Iran and demand: U.S. Imperialism, Hands Off Iran!