No war on Iran for Big Oil’s profit! No to imperialist proxy war in Syria!

Image from ilps-canada.caStatement by ILPS-Canada

We call on all who support justice, peace and an end to the devastating control of the 1% over our planet, to stand up and refuse to be fooled by the warmongering cries to attack Iran coming from Washington, Tel Aviv, Ottawa and beyond.[1]

Such an assault would kill thousands of Iranians and create region-wide destabilization. It would cause an unbridled, speculative hike in oil and gas prices and could lead to a global conflagration. We have already seen Russia and China, which imports a third of Iran’s oil exports, manoeuvering to defend their interests in the face of the U.S.-led military threats.

The reactionary and expansionist Israeli regime has been assigned the leading role for the offensive as Washington and its client state organize sanctions, industrial sabotage, cyber-attacks, drone flights and assassinations in preparation for the military crusade.

The US sanctions essentially prevent any business with Iran’s Central Bank or the purchase of Iranian oil – which constitutes half of Iran’s GNP – under threat of losing access to the US banks, corporations and markets. It adds up to a de facto economic blockade of Iran by Washington, which will cause even more suffering to the Iranian people, and by international law could already be considered ‘an act of war’. On Washington’s coattail, Ottawa has now also enacted further sanctions against Iran under the Special Economic Measures Act.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a hawk on Iran, calling it the “single biggest threat to the world’s security”. Meanwhile, Ottawa has staunchly defended Israel, watering down resolutions urging peace talks at last year’s G8 summit, opposing efforts to have a Palestinian state recognized by the UN and threatening critics of the Israeli government here in Canada.

Iran has been called a “geopolitical pivot”—a country whose fate can shape global geopolitics. Four times the size of Iraq, the country dominates the Persian Gulf geographically with 1,000 miles of coastline. Iran borders the energy-rich Caspian Sea and stands between Russia and the oil fields of the Middle East, and links the Middle East and Central Asia. It has the world’s third largest oil reserves[2]; tankers carrying 20% of the world’s oil pass out of the Persian Gulf through the narrow Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman.

The United States ruled Iran for 25 years starting in 1953 when it supported the violent overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh who, backed by 99.5% of the population, had dared to nationalize British Petroleum, then called Anglo-Iranian.

Washington governed through a tyrant called the Shah who handed the country back to a cartel of oil monopolies that included five American oil giants, while the regime murdered hundreds of thousands of people and crushed all progressive opposition.

The 1953 coup profoundly impacted Iranian politics and consciousness for decades afterward and planted seeds that grew into the 1979 revolution that brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power.

Today, shut out of Iran, US imperialism, supported by their imperialist cohorts including the Canadian government, argue that Teheran’s nuclear program must be a cover for bomb-making.

But if all this talk about combatting Iran’s purported nuclear capacity was about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, where are the sanctions against Israel with its estimated 160 nuclear warheads? Unlike Iran, the Zionist regime refuses to sign a nuclear cooperation treaty and does not allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors into its country.

Ironically, it was a recent IAEA report about Iran’s nuclear threat, containing unsubstantiated new evidence apparently supplied by Israeli, British and American intelligence, which has upped the ante against Iran. It was clearly a political and not a factual statement. Remember the famous non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq? Interestingly, Washington pays over one-quarter of the IAEA’s budget and was instrumental in choosing the new head of the Agency, Yukiya Amano, who, WikiLeaks revealed, received U.S. backing in return for his agreement to support the U.S. campaign against Iran’s nuclear program.

For the record, 30 years ago then U.S. President Ford supported Iran’s nuclear program, endorsing the Shah’s plans to build a massive nuclear energy industry and worked hard to complete a multibillion-dollar deal that would have given Tehran control of large quantities of plutonium and enriched uranium. Iran, a U.S. ally then, had deep pockets and close ties to Washington. American companies, including Westinghouse and General Electric, were scrambling to do business there.

Despite the anti-people actions of many other repressive theocratic regimes in this region, imperialism has chosen to target one in particular. The latest moves by Washington, backed by our warmongers in Ottawa, are clearly a continuation of a sordid and reactionary history of intervention in Iran by the U.S. and its allies.

This includes supporting one tyrant after another; plundering Iran’s oil wealth for over 70 years and exploiting it to this day; overthrowing a popular government and putting the fascist Shah on the throne; and during the revolution of 1979 seeing possible advantage in the seizure of power by reactionary Islamic theocrats — who have now become an obstacle to the interests of U.S.-led imperialism in the region. Thus history demonstrates that nothing good can or will come of any new U.S. intervention or attack—no matter what pretexts it offers.

Only one country in history has used the atomic bomb, as the families of the hundreds of thousands of victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki can attest. Only one country spends more on military killing machines than the rest of the world combined. Only one country has supported Israeli militarization and expansionism to the tune of $3 billion a year while vetoing 42 UN resolutions critical of the Israeli government. And this is the power, the United States of America, which is attempting to convince us that they deserve our support to bomb, with Israel’s help, the Iranian people back to the Stone Age in the name of “democracy”, “freedom” and global stability.

We must demand an end to the economic sanctions against Iran and not allow this latest military aggression to happen. The never-ending “war of terror” must come to an end today.

We say:

No war on Iran for Big Oil’s profit!
No to Canadian imperialism’s support for attack on Iran!
U.S. imperialism out of the Middle East!
No to Israeli expansionism and militarization!

Statement by ILPS-Canada
February 21, 2012

No to imperialist proxy war in Syria

While Washington and Israel stir up a manufactured crisis around Iran, the imperialist powers are presently conducting a very real clandestine war in Syria, with Turkey in this instance as the lead proxy.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister has openly admitted that his country is prepared to invade Syria if Washington and allies give the green light. The intervention would be based once again on the “responsibility to protect” doctrine that was invoked to justify the invasion and murder of Gadhafi in Libya.[3]

According to former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, writing in The American Conservative, unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to the Syrian border delivering weapons and mercenaries from Libya. Meanwhile, French and British Special Forces are assisting the Syrian rebels while the CIA and U.S. Spec Ops are providing communications equipment. Overhead, U.S. unmanned drones provide troop movement information to the anti-government forces.

As in Libya and Yugoslavia, Western mainstream media sources are speaking of “genocide” in Syria, but while the regime in Damascus is using state force to stay in power, even the CIA admits that a frequently-cited United Nations reports that more than 5,000 civilians have been killed by Syrian armed forces is based largely on rebel sources and is uncorroborated.

There are now reliable reports that the U.S. is willing to cooperate even with Al-Qaeda forces to help bring down the secular government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria, a geo-politically crucial country bordering Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq, is the latest target of imperialist-led regime change. To ensure their continuing domination of the region, the imperialists in Washington, London, Paris and Ottawa desire a more subservient regime in Damascus than the somewhat nationalist Baath Party of President Assad.

We must say no to this proxy war. The people of Syria should be free to determine their future without imperialist interference and subterfuge.

Verbatim excerpt from the article:

“Key Myths About Iran – And the Facts”

on the website of the US think tank, American Foreign Policy Project

“MYTH: Iran has vowed to wipe Israel off the map

FACT:  This claim is based on a translation of a remark by President Ahmadinejad in a speech on Oct. 26, 2005.  What he actually said was, ”This regime occupying Jerusalem must be eliminated from the pages of history.”

He clearly was talking about eliminating a regime, not a population.  And as he later explained (or was forced to explain) he was calling for regime change through demographics and referendum, not war: ”I assure you there won’t be any war in the future . . . let the Palestinians participate in free elections and they will say what they want (alluding to the fact that Palestinians will soon outnumber Jews in the area occupied by Israel).”

Supreme Leader Khamenei likewise clarified shortly afterwards: ”the Islamic Republic has never threatened and will never threaten any country.”  In fact, Ahmadinejad had used exactly the same formulation to refer to the passing of the USSR, which obviously did not involve any attack by Iran.   And he was repeating, verbatim, an exhortation made by the late Ayatollah Khomeini decades ago, which also never resulted in any corresponding action by Iran.

No one believes you should simply take foreign leaders’ words at face value.  But if you’re going to quote words, don’t quote them selectively.  And do note that none of these statements have altered Iran’s policy – which, for decades, has been to deny the legitimacy of Israel; to arm and aid groups opposing Israel in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank; but also, to promise to accept any deal with Israel that the Palestinians accept.”



[1] Statement contains information and inspiration from several sources including Larry Everest and Sarah Flounders.

[2] Based on data from OPEC at the beginning of 2011,  the highest proved oil reserves including non-conventional oil deposits are in Venezuela (20 % of global reserves), Saudi Arabia (18 %,of global reserves), Iran (9 %).[2]

[3] To date, the Arab League, dominated by the reactionary Gulf States who are worried for their own stability, has sought a “peaceful and appropriate solution to the Syrian crisis”. China and Russia, with their own regional influence in mind, have thus far vetoed all UN resolutions concerning Syria.

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