U.S. Threats against Iran Must be Opposed

By Kenneth J. Theisen

Ominous new developments continue to rumble through the political terrain in the ongoing confrontation between the U.S. and Iran.
 
The U.S. is determined to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. President Obama has said he will “do everything” to keep this from happening. He and other U.S. officials have repeatedly said that no options will be taken off the table, implying that war against Iran is an option.
 
The U.S. has also repeatedly claimed that Iran is using its nuclear energy program as a cover for obtaining nukes. This refrain has been repeated again and again despite the lack of any real evidence for the claim and despite the U.S.’s own National Intelligence Estimate and the various statements of the International Atomic Energy Administration (IAEA) that also have said there is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.
 
The U.S. is currently using various weapons against Iran, including propaganda, diplomacy, sanctions, and actual war preparations. These are not mutually exclusive. Currently the U.S. is emphasizing diplomacy, but the possibility of war should not be discounted. A rush job is now underway to produce a 15-ton super bunker-buster bomb (GBU-57A/B) Massive Ordinance Penetrator - an indication that the U.S. is preparing for war if it believes it is necessary to achieve U.S. goals regarding Iran.
 
The bomb is being produced by Boeing and funded by Congress. The U.S. Department of “Defense” (a.k.a. Department of Imperialist War and Aggression) has set a target date of December 2009 for the production of this new weapon. This is reportedly three years ahead of the previous schedule for producing these bombs. It is reported that Air Force Lt. General Mark Shackelford has disclosed that the military accelerated the production of ten of these bombs in response to “intelligence” that alleges Iran and North Korea have built underground nuclear plants. Iran has an underground uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, Iran.
 
This bunker busting bomb reportedly can penetrate to 60 meters underground before exploding, making it an ideal weapon to destroy underground facilities, including possible Iranian underground facilities that may house Iranian nuclear operations. In addition to the development of the bomb, it is also reported that the Pentagon is adapting the bomb bay of a B2a Stealth bomber for the actual delivery of the weapon. McDonnell Douglas Corporation was awarded a $51.9 million contract to enable the B-2a to carry and drop the bomb. This is an ominous development. The Democrat-run Congress has included the funding for this project in the 2009 war budget. Earlier this year Congress advanced $68 million to accelerate the production of the weapon.
 
In its request to Congress the Pentagon stated, "The Department has an Urgent Operational Need (UON) for the capability to strike hard and deeply buried targets in high threat environments. The MOP is the weapon of choice to meet the requirements of the UON."  It further said that the request was endorsed by Pacific Command (which has military responsibility for North Korea) and Central Command (which has responsibility for Iran).
 
While these preparations and the leaks accompanying them may just be a warning to Iran and an attempt to strengthen the U.S. negotiating hand, they also serve to increase the ability of the U.S. to actually launch an attack against Iran. If diplomacy, sanctions, and other weapons fail to achieve U.S. goals, war could follow.
 
The U.S., Germany, Russia, China, the U.K., and Germany began negotiations with Iran on its nuclear enrichment program on Oct. 1st. These six nations demanded that Tehran open up its alleged nuclear facilities and programs to international inspection. The production of this bomb is meant to back up this demand with the threat of military attack.
 
The Pentagon has confirmed the development and intent to deploy the weapons. On October 7, 2009 military press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters, "It is under development right now and should be deployable in the coming months." Morrell stated the bomb is designed "to defeat hardened facilities used by hostile states to protect weapons of mass destruction." 
 
While refusing to comment on whether the bomb’s development had anything to do with Iran, he did say, "I don't think anybody can divine potential targets or anything of that nature. This is just a capability that we think is necessary given the world we live in these days. The reality is that the world we live in is one in which there are people who seek to build weapons of mass destruction and they seek to do so in a clandestine fashion." The U.S. recently accused Iran of building a uranium enrichment facility near Qom, Iran and attempting to hide this new facility that is being partially built into the side of a mountain from the IAEA. The fact that this facility is not yet completed and that Iran notified the IAEA by letter about the construction the week before the U.S. announced its “discovery” have been conveniently ignored by the U.S. propagandists. Iran has already agreed to IAEA inspections of the new plant and its construction.
 
Does Iran have a secret nuclear weapons program? I don’t know and the reactionary Iranian regime is not above lying about such a program. The Tehran regime has certainly oppressed the people of Iran since coming to power in 1979 after overthrowing the reactionary Shah of Iran - who also suppressed his people after coming to power in a 1953 CIA engineered coup. Over the next quarter of a century the U.S. backed the Shah’s dictatorship until 1979. But I repeat there is no evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran at this time.
 
But even if the Iranian regime is developing nukes, this is no reason for us to back the U.S. in launching an imperialist war against Iran. We have no interest in supporting our reactionary ruling class against the reactionary ruling class in Iran. The U.S. will not be going to war to free the Iranian people who it helped repress for so long. If it goes to war it will be for the imperialist goal of dominating the Middle East and Central Asia and in order to maintain hegemony over the world. 
 
War will only bring massive suffering to the people of Iran and of the world. War against Iran by the U.S. must be opposed and no U.S. excuses will justify such a war crime.