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Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman keeps up his JPost blog.
On Monday, a group of 17 organizations handed British Prime Minister Tony Blair a report titled "Time to Talk - the Case for Diplomatic Solutions on Iran." The report analyzes the consequences and ramifications of a military attack against the Iranian nuclear facilities. Among the consequences the report warns of are strengthening Iranian nuclear ambitions, greater instability in the Middle East, an inflammation of the war on terror, exacerbated global energy insecurity, damage to developing economies, environmental degradation and civilian casualties. For all these reasons, the report flat-out denounces military action against Iran.
Before reading the report itself, I was surprised to see on the cover the logos of 17 very diversified organizations - only two seem to be research bodies. The remaining 15 include four trade unions (Unison, GMB, PCS and Amicus) three British-Muslim bodies (British-Muslim Forum, the Muslim Council of Britain and the Muslim Parliament) and numerous charities, religious and aid organizations (Oxfam, Pax Christi, CSW, People and Planet, MedAct, Amos Trust, IPPNW and Ockenden).
When I actually got the report itself, I was quite puzzled by the tone, structure and non-academic appearance of the report. I quickly came to the realization that I was not holding a "report" at all, rather a policy paper with a very clear agenda: Do not attack Iran. In my opinion, this "report" has no academic value and does not meet the most basic criteria of academic research.
For example, section 1.2 of the report claims to analyze Iran's motives for pursuit of nuclear technology. The report lists national pride ("relinquishing the right to nuclear technologyâ€¦would be seen as a national humiliation") and deterrence ("Iran has also observed that the North Korean regime, which has declared that it possesses nuclear weapons, has avoided US military attention") as the only motives. Where do Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's countless declarations about 'wiping Israel off the map', 'a world without Zionism' and the 'annihilation of the State of Israel' fit in to this report? Not in this section, but in section 1.5 ("The Importance of Israel"), citing these declarations only as giving "credence to Israel's concerns," not real threats that have to be taken into account in this report. Needless to say, Israel is depicted as an aggressor (the amazingly ridiculous example given by the authors is Israel's 1981 strike against Iraq's nuclear facilities).
The one thing the "report" does not discuss is the possible outcome of Iran actually achieving nuclear weapons. This scenario of a non-rational player with a nuclear warhead and the ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles) capability to deliver it in the heart of the Jewish State doesn't seem to worry the authors as much as the prospect of the disruption of oil supply to the West or fueling more Islamic anti-West terror.
I can go on and on, tackling each and every inaccuracy of the "report" and pointing out glaring omissions, but I believe you get the general idea. I call upon research organizations and bodies to take this challenge and go through this report with a very fine-toothed comb, and expose it for what it's worth. I also call upon British citizens, who might belong or support any one of these organizations, trade unions or charities to protest that this "report" has been published in their name.
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