Sheldon Richman: Iran Is Not the Real Nuclear Threat in the Middle East

Why is Iran universally cast as the villain and Israel the vulnerable victim?

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Iran is willing to dismantle a major part of its peaceful civilian nuclear program, to submit to the most intrusive inspections, to redesign a reactor, to eliminate two-thirds of its centrifuges, to get rid of much of its enriched uranium, and to limit nuclear research. It must do all this while being harangued by Israel which remains, unlike Iran, a nonsigner of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and faces no inspections or limits on its production of nuclear weapons. Yet Iran is universally cast as the villain and Israel the vulnerable victim, laments Sheldon Richman.

This is something out of Alice in Wonderland, writes Richman. The Islamic Republic of Iran, born in 1979, has not attacked another country. In contrast, Israel has attacked its Arab neighbors several times since its founding, including two devastating invasions and a long occupation of Lebanon, not to mention repeated onslaughts in the Gaza Strip and the military occupation of the West Bank. Israel has also repeatedly threatened war against Iran. 

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