The Collegian
Thursday, July 09, 2020

Response to "Iran threatens world peace"

As I will be attending the University of Richmond in the fall as a freshman, I decided to look at the school newspaper, The Collegian. I was hoping to see more about politics and economics, but the paper is largely dedicated to the current happenings of the school. One article that stood out to me, however, was "Iran Threatens World Peace."

For a second, I thought I was on the Fox News or MSNBC Web site, but I was wrong. And just as those two mainstream media establishments are full of errors and exaggerated claims, so was this one.

Daniel Letovsky, a senior, opens the article with an exaggerated and outright false claim: "The Islamic Republic of Iran is racing down the home stretch towards acquiring the nuclear weapons with which they wish to dominate the Middle East."

This stands in direct contradiction to a report issued to Congress by the Director of National Intelligence. The report says, "We continue to assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons though we do not know whether Tehran eventually will decide to produce nuclear weapons."

Nowhere in that report does it say that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. It merely says that there is the possibility that the Islamic Republic will do so. Also, Iran is only capable of enriching uranium up to 20 percent. This is far from the "home stretch" of weaponized uranium which has to be enriched at 90 percent. Not only that, but several of Iran's nuclear facilities are facing technological setbacks.

Continuing to beat the war drum, Letovsky writes, "[that a nuclear war] is the endgame that Iran's homicidal leaders seek." One must wonder who is more homicidal: President Obama who recently singled out North Korea and Iran to be the only states that the United States would attack with a nuclear bomb? Or Benjamin Netanyahu who compared Iran to Nazi Germany and praised preemptive war? Or is it Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has not launched a war of choice, just like all of Iran's leaders for the past 200 years?

America and Israel have both been involved in so many wars in just the past century that it would be dizzying to count them all. Iran, an overwhelmingly Shia nation (roughly 90-95 percent), takes its leaders' fatwas very seriously. A fatwa is an interpretation of Islamic teachings. Whereas Sunni Islam treats its fatwas as 'nonbinding,' Shia Islam treats them as binding. As a result, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's fatwa on nuclear weapons carries a lot of weight [emphasis added].

The leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has issued the fatwa that the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that the Islamic Republic of Iran shall never acquire these weapons. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who took office just recently, reiterated in his inaugural address that his government is against weapons of mass destruction and will only pursue nuclear activities in the peaceful domain. The leadership of Iran has pledged at the highest level that Iran will remain a non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT and has placed the entire scope of its nuclear activities under IAEA safeguards and additional protocol, in addition to undertaking voluntary transparency measures with the agency that have even gone beyond the requirements of the agency's safeguard system.

As the United States has an arsenal of nuclear weapons, which it used twice in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, matched only by Russia, which has more credibility on nuclear proliferation? And for all of the claims that Iran does not follow IAEA protocol, Israel did not even sign that treaty and has nuclear weapons of its own. Apparently, only America's allies are allowed to break the rules.

Letovsky makes many valid claims that Iran is a supporter of terrorism. Indiscriminate violence against civilians is wrong and repugnant. There is no debate about that at all.

But is the pot calling the kettle black? It has recently been discovered that the United States is secretly funding the Jundallah, an Iranian Sunni terrorist organization that has killed its fair share of innocent Iranians. America continues to play the double standard while rightfully infuriating those who are not privileged enough to do so.

Letovsky ends his article with some cheerleading: "I only hope change comes quickly enough. No less than world peace is at stake." He is 100 percent correct that world peace is at stake. But he is looking at it from the wrong perspective. Iran is using its nuclear program for peaceful reasons and not for some nefarious intention. Its nuclear weapons program is merely a phantom created and perpetuated by the federal government, complicit media establishments and America's allies.

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Misinformation and ignorance, either willful or not, is what threw America into the Iraq War, arguably the most dubious and unecessary war in American history. The American people slowly but surely grew skeptical and began to dig deeper. They discovered the truth. They then revolted and demanded the troops home. But America is still in Iraq seven years later.

If warmongers such as Letovsky continue to manipulate the American public with misinformation, we will soon be at war with Iran. This is a war that America cannot afford. We are broke in all senses of the word: our troops are exhausted after multiple tours overseas, our treasury vaults are completely empty and our economy is on the brink of another collapse. If America enters a war with Iran, our nation as we know it will collapse. However, the downfall of America, will not have been brought about or written by its enemies. It will have been written by its own scribes.

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