Photo Credit: "Nuclear Fatwa: Religion and Politics in Iran's Proliferation Strategy"
On November 8, 2006, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2006: proclaiming that his country would continue to acquire nuclear technology and challenge “Western fabrications.”

I have just read in an Indian newspaper Iran’s Foreign Minister Javed Zariff is in New Delhi and has called for “concerted efforts to counter the terror threat” posed by the Islamic State. The concerted efforts with Tehran ? What a cruel joke !

Yes, the IS threat must be countered. What it has done to humanity is well documented  Kurdish authorities in Iraq have recently alleged that the IS has attacked their Peshmerga forces with chlorine gas. The pattern of the IS behavior can be branded simply barbarian. The charter of this Jihadist outfit is clear as to what it wants to do in the world. It is a threat to the entire modern civilizatio

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But can the Khomeinist Tehran be a partner in this historic enterprise ? Certainly, not, at least , as long as the current fanatically theocratic regime in Tehran rules it. Knowledgeable sources say the current Iranian regime is no better than the IS in its fanatic pursuit. After the fall of the authoritarian Shah regime in Tehran, it has taken the country further backwards in terms of the nation’s glorious past civilization. The Ayatollahs have been a threat to the freedom and prosperity of their own citizens—women and minorities in particular. Volumes have already been written about the predicament of the Iranian masses. According to a recent report ( http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/14/iranian-dissidents-against-the-iran-deal.html ), political prisoners continue to be tortured in Iran. Bloggers, journalists and teachers remain behind bars. Sexual and religious rights are trampled. Women are treated as second class citizens.

The international agenda of the Ayatollahs is too sectarian and aggressive to be cooperative with any civilized nation fighting the Islamic State today. To the Ayatollahs Western democracies are satanic enough to be dismantled. Tehran has long been indulging in acts of terrorism overtly as well as covertly. The successive dispensations in Tehran have been calling to wipe Israel—the only developed democracy in the Middle East, off the world map. Tehran’s terror proxies have perpetrated acts of violence against the United States, killing hundreds of US soldiers in Iraq, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

Iran has long been seeking to spread its sphere of influence to realize its age-old imperial ambition. It has been coordinating with al-Qaeda in the Gulf region since 2007.  Tehran today backs Taliban with cash and arms. Tehran  has sent several thousand fighters – Iranians, Iraqis, and Afghanis – to Syria to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad.  Iran has offered thousands of dollars to Shia mercenaries from Afghanistan and Pakistan to join the fight to keep President Assad in power.

Recently, Tehran has celebrated al-Quds Day  . On this occasion Israeli and American flags were burned. There were the chants of ‘Death to America.’ A few days earlier, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps reiterated the destruction of Israel “is Muslims’ first priority.”  Even the so-called moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani emphasized Iran would “shout its hatred for the Zionists on the Quds Day.” Former Iranian President Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani declared that Israel was an artificial, temporary and alien entity in the region.

Those who think the recently concluded Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between the P5+1 and Iran in Vienna would lead to nuclear non-proliferation and international peace are obviously too simplistic to be realistic. The deal would be highly injurious to  the peace and development of the large Iranian masses in Iran. The growing accommodation of the oppressive sectarian regime in the contemporary international system would embolden the masters in Tehran a lot more into pretending all is well at home.

The deal is likely to boost Iran’s armament program and its proliferation in the region. It would lift the arms embargo on Iran in five years  and the ban on its  ballistic missile trade in eight  years. This would enable Tehran to acquire sophisticated weapons from Russia and China.  The successive Khomeinist regimes in Tehran  have had a history of clandestinely proceeding with its nuclear  armament program. Tehran would repeat its old pattern. Tehran  could acquire nuclear weapons capability through North Korea as well. Tehran might even be assembling components for a bomb in Pyongyang. For decades Iran and North Korea have had cooperation on nuclear and ballistic-missile capabilities. North Korea has already sent hundreds of nuclear experts to work in Iran in the past to help Iranian scientists. North Korea has conducted thee nuclear tests. At its third in February 2013, Iranian scientists were present. In  2011 North Korean scientists trained Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members and other officials on a certain computer program.

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Jagdish N. Singh is an Indian journalist based in New Delhi.
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