Former US Senator Gravel: 'Israeli lobby behind Iran sanctions'
(source: Press TV)
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The United States has imposed fresh unilateral sanctions on several Iranian companies ahead of the upcoming multifaceted talks between Iran and the P5+1. The following is the transcript of Press TV's interview with former US senator Mike Gravel on the issue.
Press TV: Isn't it Stick and Carrot policy again?
Gravel: First of all, the entire sanctions program [and] the foreign policy that the Americans have in this regard is dead wrong. Iran is doing nothing illegal and our intelligence community has no evidence that it is seeking to weaponize its nuclear capabilities. There is no evidence.
So, this is just part of a scheme that our government is perpetrating, which is really motivated by other foreign interest, obviously Israel. But keep in mind [that] there are two facets to this. One is that there is no evidence that Iran is doing anything wrong in pursuing nuclear energy.
The United States has encouraged doing this around the world and the first effort in Iran was done under American efforts, under the Shah. So, that whole area is bogus.
The second area, which is much more difficult for people to understand, [is that] every sovereign nation has a right to defend itself. The United States acquired the nuclear bomb in order to defend itself in the Second World War and all of the members of the [UN] Security Council and then of course India, Pakistan and South Africa, at a period of time, are all acquiring nuclear weapons capability in order to defend themselves. Morally every nation has the right to do that.
So, even if Iran was trying to develop a weapons program, which there is no evidence that the American or the foreign intelligence services can determine, even if it were, it would be morally right for them to secure a device.
I oppose nuclear expansion, but it is morally right for them to seek a weapon to defend themselves with. They have been threatened by the United States; they have been threatened by Israel; there is just no end to the threats. Now there are sanctions, which are clearly illegal under any domain in objective politics.
Press TV: Why is the US is using such discriminatory policies? There are other countries like Pakistan and India which are not members of the NPT.
Gravel: The only logic that I can see to it is that it is motivated by the Israeli lobby and the United States Congress and the cowardly attitude of [US president Barack] Obama administration.
It is unfair. It is grossly unfair to single out Iran for this kind of treatment. Now, obviously the charge [in] the sanctions is that Iran helps Hezbollah. Well, we help Israel and Israel has invaded Lebanon and it has confronted Hezbollah. So, if we are legally able to arm and help Israel, why should not Iran have the right to help people that it views as its allies, whether it is Hezbollah or Hamas. These are institutions that have a military arm, but are also duly elected by the people in question. So, the sanctions against Iran do not hold water in objective analysis.