It is a fairly reliable rule of thumb that when a person refuses to listen to the argument of another, it is a sign that the person is betraying the fact that his own argument is flawed – or downright spurious.
Take the case of the US and its allies, Britain and France in particular, which allege that Iran is a threat to world peace, has sinister ambitions to build nuclear weapons and is in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The latter, signed in 1970, obliges its 189 signatories to desist from obtaining nuclear weapons or, if they already have possession, to ensure that these weapons are not provided to other countries and for themselves to take earnest steps to disarm. The NPT, however, affords the legal right to all signatories to develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes, such as electrical power and medical treatment.
For its part, Iran has (repeatedly) stated that central to its foreign policy is “justice” and neighbourly relations. Unlike nuclear-armed US, Britain and France, which are conducting criminal wars in at least three countries, Iran is not at war with anyone. As for NPT compliance, Iran has consistently denied the allegation that it is intending to build nuclear weapons, saying that such weaponry is “immoral”. The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, confirms after several years of rigorous inspections that the agency has not seen any evidence of Iran possessing such weaponry or the technological means for achieving it. Iran has openly declared that it is developing uranium-enriching technology for civilian purposes and has given notice of these developments at every step – as per its treaty obligation.
So what happens when these opponents come face to face?
On Monday, 3 May 2010 – a date worth remembering – Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the NPT review conference in New York. Among the attendees to the summit were US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and other delegates from the US, Britain and France. When Ahmadinejad spoke, he again rejected the above allegations against his country and he added that the NPT should now be given renewed impetus to oversee all nuclear-armed states disarming within a specific time frame.
Some 95 per cent of the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons are possessed by the US and Russia. The US declares over 5,100 of these warheads. In contravention of its NPT obligations, the US has shared its nuclear technology with India and Israel, with the latter possessing some 200 warheads and the only country in the Middle East to have nuclear arms.
In his speech to the NPT conference, Ahmadinejad also highlighted the injustice and hypocrisy of nuclear-armed western powers trying to block other countries developing civilian nuclear energy while at the same time maintaining their long-standing support for the destabilising anomaly of a nuclear-armed Israel, which (to any reasonable person) constitutes a clear and present danger to world peace.
Now here’s the proof of the argument. Ahmadinejad was then paid the compliment of the world seeing the American, British and French delegates churlishly stomping out of the assembly as he was delivering his speech. Such is the power of reason.
Finian Cunningham is a journalist and musician www.myspace.com/finiancunninghammusic