“The ‘Iranian threat’ is overwhelmingly a Western obsession, shared by Arab dictators, though not Arab populations,” Chomsky wrote in a Friday article at AlterNet.
The prominent analyst alluded to numerous polls which confirm that citizens of Arab countries perceive Israel and the US as a serious threat and sometimes considerable majorities regard Iran’s nuclear capabilities as “a counter to these threats.”
“The Non-Aligned Movement has vigorously supported Iran’s right to enrich uranium, most recently at its summit meeting in Tehran last August,” Chomsky added.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran argues that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The analyst made reference to the 1998 remarks by former head of the US Strategic Command Gen. Lee Butler who said “It is dangerous in the extreme that in the cauldron of animosities that we call the Middle East,” only Israel should have a powerful nuclear weapons arsenal which “inspires other nations to do so.”
Chomsky described Israel as “the only nuclear power” in the Middle East and argued, “The United States will not allow measures to place Israel’s nuclear facilities under international inspection. Nor will the U.S. release information on ‘the nature and scope of Israeli nuclear facilities and activities.’”
The analyst pointed out that establishment of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East requires the cooperation of the nuclear powers, including “the United States, and Israel, which refuse.”
“The United States will not allow measures to place Israel’s nuclear facilities under international inspection. Nor will the U.S. release information on the nature and scope of Israeli nuclear facilities and activities,” he added
The prominent academician also pointed to the December remarks by Dennis Ross, Elliott Abrams, the former top advisers to Barack Obama and George W. Bush, at The Times of Israel who assured that if the standoff over the Iranian nuclear energy program is not resolved diplomatically in the coming year, it will be resolved militarily by the end of 2013.
Chomsky pointed to the failure of diplomatic channels aimed at establishing a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East and argued that the sole reason behind such failure is that “virtually nothing is reported in the United States about the fate of the most obvious way to address ‘the gravest threat.'”