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Sanctions on Iran: What’s Missing from Obama’s New Dialogue

Daniel Robicheau ([email protected]) is a freelance journalist and editor of Hidden Casualties: The Environmental, Health and Political Consequences of the Persian Gulf War (1994). He co-wrote and directed the documentary films From Radioactive Mines to Radioactive Weapons and Sanctions on Iraq: A Weapon of Mass Destruction.

On June 4, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama gave a key foreign policy speech in Cairo, Egypt. He advocated new, positive relations between the United States and Muslim countries, focusing on relations with the Middle East. He also mentioned establishing new relations with Iran: “There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect.”

But this new promise “to move forward without preconditions” should be viewed in the wider context of continuous economic and military pressures on Iran and on the entire region of the Middle East. While the United States has convinced the international community to apply sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear program, the tool that the United States itself uses to apply pressure on Iran is sanctions on that country’s petroleum sector. Iran seems to be a case in point where U.S. concern for nuclear weapons proliferation in the Middle East is selective at best, while the preconditions of sanctions are applied yet again on another major oil exporter of the region.

Obama’s Speech: Appearing to Even the Slate

In order for the Obama administration to appear to have opened a “new dialogue” with the Middle East, President Obama, in his Cairo speech, had to take certain liberties in describing past and present U.S. relations with the region. Nowhere is this more evident than in Obama’s references to Iran, involving omissions of historical context and outright distortions of past and present U.S./Iranian relations.

In his speech, Obama attempted to even the slate in relations between the United States and Iran by equating U.S. involvement in the “overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government” of Mossadegh in 1953 to what Obama referred to as Iran’s “role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians.” What is most interesting here is Obama’s choice of references to past U.S./Iran foreign relations, with events omitted more important than events admitted to.

Obama’s allusion to the lead U.S. role in the 1953 overthrow of Mossadegh contains an interesting twist in the plot. Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh’s “crime” that warranted U.S./British (Operation Ajax) cooperation in his overthrow was the 1951 nationalization of Iran’s oil industry. Mossadegh had wanted to finance agricultural and industrial development, using oil revenues, when, for several decades, Iran’s oil industry had been returning exorbitant profits (at times, over 80 percent) through taxation and other means to Britain. After the U.S./British-orchestrated coup in Iran, Shah Reza Pahlavi was reinstated to power. Following the coup, the oil companies of the emerging U.S. superpower gained ascendancy over British oil interests, with U.S. companies Gulf, Standard of New Jersey, Standard of California, and Socony-Mobil reaping a 40 percent share of profits from the new arrangement in the newly created National Iranian Oil Company. The repressive Shah Pahlavi regime was overthrown in 1979, with the ascendance to power of Ayatollah Khomeini. Fearing another U.S.-engineered coup, student supporters of Khomeini took fifty-two hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.1

When Obama attempted in his Cairo speech to even the historical slate by referring to Iran’s unspecified “violence against U.S. troops and civilians,” he failed to mention the larger role of the United States in the violence of Middle East conflicts. Tilting its support to Iraq, in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, it was the United States that gave logistical satellite information to Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces in targeting Iranian forces, as well as in providing military equipment to Iraq. In December 1983, Donald Rumsfeld met with Saddam Hussein to bolster U.S. relations with Iraq, after numerous reports by Iran that Iraqi forces were using poison gas on the battlefield. In early 1984, Richard Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State under Reagan, was then sent to patch up relations with Saddam Hussein, when Iraqi forces again unleashed poison gas against Iranian forces, this time in the battle for the Majnoon islands and other areas of Iran, including the city of Ahvaz. Chemical warfare attacks by Iraq were substantiated when then UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar sent a team of investigators to these sites in Iran. The resulting report showed proof of the use of mustard gas and the nerve agent Tabun.2

Obama’s attempt to even or wipe clean the slate in U.S./Iranian relations ignored continual U.S. economic and military interventions in the Middle East, including a concentrated focus on Iran. When the Bush administration listed the nations of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as forming an “axis of evil”—an analogy to the Second World War axis powers of Italy, Japan, and Germany—two out of the three nations on the list were major world oil exporters located in the Middle East.

Targeting the Oil Sector: Iraq as a Reference Point

As in the case of Iraq, U.S.-led sanctions have consistently targeted Iran’s oil industry. A “multilateral approach” to applying sanctions to countries—which means involving the international community through the United Nations in approving a sanctions policy (in practice, the Security Council)—also implies multilateral objectives in pushing forward sanctions on particular countries. In the case of Iraq, during thirteen years of sanctions beginning in 1990 and ending in the 2003 U.S. invasion of that country, the United States targeted sensitive areas of the Iraqi economy. By the time the “oil-for-food program” had been put in place by the United Nations, the Sanctions Committee, run by Britain and the United States, had already devastated Iraq’s health sector by endlessly postponing shipments of urgently needed medical supplies. The proceeds from Iraq’s oil industry were placed in a fund run by the Oil-for-Food Program, with a limited amount of proceeds going toward food purchases for a country that was 70 percent dependent on food imports. The initial stages of U.S. control over Iraqi oil resources were already in place with this policy.

With the sanctions policy on Iraq, the United States effectively removed competition from Russia, France, and China, which had signed onto billions of dollars of investment in Iraqi oil production. After the U.S. invasion, the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority under Paul Bremer handpicked certain Iraqis to head the Oil Ministry. The United States would begin pushing forward its version of a new “Iraq oil law,” with the provision that a benign-sounding “production sharing agreement” (a/k/a “production service agreement” or “PSA”) act as the mechanism with which to privatize the Iraqi oil industry.3 The idea would be to position U.S. oil companies and oil-related industries such as Halliburton at the top of the Iraqi oil sector.

So far, a new Iraq oil law has been stalled in the Iraqi Parliament, amid resistance to dominating foreign contracts from an active Iraqi oil union membership. Bidding for contracts for large oilfields such as West Qurna 2 and Rumaila has now gone to formerly blocked Russian and Chinese oil companies, but with the provision that these companies work under the more accepted “service contract” arrangement, rather than PSAs. Still, Exxon-Mobil, along with Royal Dutch Shell, will be developing West Qurna 1, with U.S. Occidental in partnership to work the Zubair field. The United States is still attempting to introduce PSAs in a new Iraq oil law for the many fields remaining to be developed.

A Series of Sanctions on Iran

Since 1979, the United States has imposed sanctions on Iran, with many executive orders and acts of Congress specifically targeting, as with Iraq, the oil industry of Iran. In 1987, with increasing U.S. military involvement in the final years of the Iran-Iraq War, including the shooting down of an Iranian passenger airliner by the USS Vincennes guided missile cruiser, the Reagan administration imposed sanctions on oil imported from Iran to the United States. Following the war, the Clinton administration continued the pressure, imposing a total embargo on dealings with Iran and enacting, in 1996, the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. This U.S. legislation would discourage worldwide investment in modernizing the Iranian oil sector, already devastated by eight years of war with Iraq. In 2001, the Bush administration continued Clinton’s sanctions policy.

The United States has used numerous arguments in justifying its ongoing sanctions policies on Iran. In 1984, the Reagan administration designated Iran as a “state sponsor of terrorism.” This designation meant that sanctions were imposed, banning imports of armaments to Iran when U.S. policy had shifted to a tilt toward Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. Iraq had been taken off the same list in 1982. But U.S. accusations of support for “terrorist organizations” have always been thrown around loosely and applied selectively in the Middle East. Thus, the U.S. CIA and Joint Special Operations Command supported militant groups with an anti-Iranian regime agenda, such as the Ahvazi Arab and Baluchi minority groups operating in the southern and eastern parts of Iran. In 2009 alone, in May and October, there were two attacks claimed by the Baluchi insurgent group Jundallah in the province of Sistan-Baluchistan in southeastern Iran, bordering Pakistan.4 In addition, there appears to be renewed support for the Mujahideen-e Khalq, an organization that has previously worked out of Iraq and that is dedicated to the overthrow of the religious-based Iranian regime.5 This pressure of U.S.-sponsored militant groups within and bordering Iran has taken place within the wider context of two U.S. military occupations on Iran’s borders, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Within the vise of these U.S. occupations, Iran has also faced continuous threats by Israel to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities.

An equivalent scenario would be an occupying force waging war on two sides of the United States, in Canada and Mexico, while a second country continuously threatens to bomb the United States with attack aircraft. There are also recent 2009 news reports that the U.S. military is speeding up its development of a new, fifteen-ton (30,000 pound) bunker busting “massive ordnance penetrator,” the largest non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal. The threat that this bomb could be used against Iranian nuclear facilities is a replay of the Bush years, when, on March 11, 2003, the Pentagon released a videotape of the test-detonation in Florida of the 21,000-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast or “Daisy Cutter” bomb, just prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.6 The pressures against any country in such a scenario would be palpable to its population.

Sanctions on Iran’s Nuclear Program: Targeting Oil Again

Beginning in 2005, the United States pushed for “multilateral” or UN sanctions against Iran, now with the justification of prohibiting Iran from continuing its nuclear program. Here, the charge is that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability. In 2006, the UN Security Council began to pass several resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran to put a halt to suspected nuclear armament production. UN Security Council resolutions 1696, 1737, 1747, and 1803 have all been invoked, based on Article 41 of the UN Charter’s Chapter VII. Article 41 allows measures “not involving the use of armed force” to enforce its decisions in the use of sanctions that might include a “complete or partial interruption of economic relations,” as well as the interruption of key means of communication with the outside world. Though Article 41 specifies that armed force is not to be considered as part of the sanctions policy, we find that Chapter VII, the provision in the Charter under which Article 41 is found, does include the possibility of military action to “restore international peace and security.” It is Chapter VII that opens the gate to wider options against the sanctioned country, leaving it to the UN Security Council “to determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.” What this means is that the possibility for military action against the sanctioned country remains an option, pending a change from Article 41 to another Article that does sanction military intervention under Chapter VII. The threat of military action is always there.

But what Article 41 does employ, for example in the case of UN Security Council Resolution 1737, is the freezing of assets of particular firms and individuals with alleged ties to Iran’s nuclear sector. As Jeremy Matam Farrall points out in his book, United Nations Sanctions and the Rule of Law, the UN Security Council allows for exemptions to the financial or economic sanctions imposed on a country. These exemptions would include items with a “humanitarian dimension”; for example, in the case of needed medical supplies or where funds are derived from selling or being supplied with petroleum or petroleum products.

However, in the case of sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s, basic medical supplies did not reach the health sector. The reason lies with the Iraq Sanctions Committee, in which an individual country could place “holds” on what it considered “dual use” items that could be used by either the civilian or military sectors.7 It was the United States that placed the overwhelming majority of the holds on essential medicines, endlessly postponing Iraqi orders on hospital medical equipment, such as oxygen tanks, and essential medicines, such as anesthetics.

The numerous sanctions on Iran include not only the list of U.S. and UN sanctions, but European Union (EU) Council sanctions as well, with the European Union amending and building on the UN sanctions already in place. As of yet, those combined sanctions are not yet equal to the “comprehensive” package put in place against Iraq. But certain patterns of pressure imposed on Iran are effectively strangling its attempts to generate revenues for needed imports and for infrastructural improvements. Where the UN/EU sanctions on Iran leave off—that is, in targeting Iran’s nuclear industry with a long list of banned items, including certain manufactured steel products, chemical precursors, and computer hardware—the United States has stepped in to impose its own variety of sanctions that target Iran’s petroleum sector, which is otherwise off limits within the current UN/EU sanctions because of “humanitarian” concerns.

Like Iraq, Iran generates the largest portion of its export earnings from crude oil sales. It relies on petroleum sales to run government services internally, including the subsidization of gas costs to the population. In 2009, a new set of U.S. sanctions was considered by Congress and the Obama administration. U.S. Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a bill in April called the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009, which was an amendment to the Clinton-era Iran Sanctions Act of 1996. President Obama already voiced his approval for this kind of sanctions policy back in October 2008 when, as a Senator and presidential candidate in the debates, he said: “if we can impose the kinds of sanctions that, say, for example, Iran right now imports gasoline, even though it’s an oil producer, because its oil infrastructure has broken down, if we can prevent them from importing the gasoline that they need and the refined petroleum products, that starts changing their cost-benefit analysis. That starts putting the squeeze on them.”8

But the “squeeze,” as Obama put it, will specifically target “refined petroleum,” which will cripple the economy, affecting roughly 25 percent of Iran’s gasoline imports, upon which millions of ordinary Iranians rely for their everyday and commercial transportation needs. All of this would take place in a society already under siege from U.S. military occupation and wars on both sides of its borders. In addition, the Berman Act, as embodied in House Resolution 2194, also bars goods and services coming from any country into Iran that would aid Iran in further maintaining or developing its domestic production of refined petroleum. This would discourage a number of countries from providing needed infrastructure to help Iran develop and improve its domestic refining plants and related machinery and pipelines.

Deconstructing Obama’s Cairo Speech

“I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons.”

In speaking about the Middle East, it is clear that Obama is referring to Israel as “some countries” that “have weapons,” since Israel is the only country in the region with nuclear weapons. From this we can understand that “those who protest” is a reference to Iran and its consistent argument that it has been treated with a “double standard” when it comes to its nuclear program. With a constant barrage of accusations that Iran is charging ahead toward a nuclear weapons capability when it has not produced a single weapon, Iran argues that the United States and Europe have consistently looked the other way when it comes to Israel’s decades-long development of a nuclear arsenal, estimated to be somewhere between two hundred to four hundred nuclear weapons. If proliferation of nuclear weapons is the concern, then why has the focus not been on Israel in its development, for over thirty years, of these weapons?

Iran charges that certain countries are allowed to develop nuclear weapons without any sanctions, censorship, or even mention of an ongoing program. The reason for this would then lie in the political/military strategic reasons why a country like the United States would ignore Israel’s production of nuclear weapons. One would have to go back to the Cold War era and the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union in gaining influence in the Middle East. Israel has consistently worked at parallel purposes with the United States to pursue mutual goals in the region. Though Israel’s nuclear weapons program is shrouded in secrecy, there has been speculation that Israel at one time had aided U.S. Cold War nuclear strategy by aiming its own missiles at Russian cities.9

The same need to advance political/military goals would explain why the United States has mostly ignored the nuclear weapons programs of India and Pakistan; two countries that, like Israel, have never signed on to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In the case of Pakistan, the United States has only lightly censored its nuclear weapons program. Instead, the United States piled on the sales of advanced conventional weaponry to Pakistan, in its desire to have influence in South Asia, while the Soviet Union leaned towards India. This accommodation of Pakistan’s military needs continues to this day because of the importance of that country to the U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan. The Cold War was still very much under way in the late 1970s and in the 1980s when the United States gave continuous support to Zia al-Haq’s military machine, while ignoring its nuclear program from its beginning stages, all the way to its production of nuclear weapons. With India observably testing a nuclear device for the first time in 1974, and another nuclear device in 1998, and Pakistan following with its first nuclear test that year, it is inconceivable that the United States was not aware of the procurement strategies of India or Pakistan.10 Numerous U.S. financial sanctions were placed on both countries through the years, but UN Charter Chapter VII, with its threat of possible military action, was never put on the table, nor was any other UN Security Council resolution, placing sanctions on either country.

Obama’s June speech in Cairo was designed to make the United States appear evenhanded in its approach to the Middle East; to have everyone’s best interest at heart, in making it seem that every player in the nuclear game is equal to every other in terms of power. Yet, when Obama said that no nation “should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons,” he was insinuating that Iran had no right to complain about Israel’s holding of nuclear weapons and that it offered no justification of Iran’s own stance. The fact remains, however, that Israel is the only nuclear weapons power in the Middle East, in a volatile region where constant tensions have existed between Israel and its neighbors. With Israel allowed to maintain an ambiguous posture in relation to its own nuclear arsenal for decades, there is a clear imbalance of power relations in the region.

“Any nation—including Iran—should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.”

Obama failed to mention that, since 1968, Iran has been a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Article IV of the NPT specifies that signatories have the right to develop nuclear energy as long as it is used for peaceful purposes. Obama’s statement that “that commitment is at the core of the Treaty” and that it “must be kept for all who fully abide by it,” would be a true statement in the sense that nations agree to the conditions of the Treaty to which they have signed. But what does this statement mean when Israel, the one country with nuclear weapons in the region, has never signed on to the NPT? In fact, through the decades, there have been only a handful of inspections of Israel’s nuclear facilities, all by the United States, in a very limited way, so that details of Israel’s nuclear program to this day remain unknown. Does this mean, for countries such as Israel that have never signed the NPT, that do not “fully abide by it,” that they are exempt from concerns of nuclear weapons proliferation?

When Obama said in the 2008 Cairo speech that he was “hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal,” it appeared at first glance that he was simply stating a desire that the nations of the Middle East region would one day be able to utilize nuclear power for peaceful, energy production, without the fear of nuclear weapons. But this last phrase, though appearing to be clear in its innocent meaning, holds a legal loophole through which Israel’s nuclear weapons program is allowed to escape. Because when we look at the wider context of the sentences that precede this hopeful phrase, it is clear that Obama is emphasizing the role of the NPT and its obligations to its signatories as the means by which the goal of peaceful nuclear usage in the region can be reached. But where we find the more serious words “responsibilities” and “commitment” when applied to signatories of the NPT in agreeing to only peaceful uses of nuclear power, we also find the word “goal” to Obama’s “hope” in the final wrapping up of his desire for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons. Put another way, Israel is the one country to which the words “responsibilities” and “commitment” do not apply, since it has never had to meet any obligations to the NPT. There is only the “hope” that a nation like Israel will move toward the “goal” of nuclear weapons non-proliferation in the Middle East.

U.S. Sanctions on Iran: A Wider Agenda

Historical and political context is all important in understanding current events. Without context, we are left with simply accepting one side of an argument without any reservations or questions whatsoever, resulting in simple acceptance. In the case of Iran, there are a number of countries besides the United States that have agreed to impose sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear program. These countries include China and Russia, though they have acted reluctantly in imposing sanctions. Still, there is no doubt that the pressure is on Iran, with sanctions imposed by the United States, by the EU Council, and by the UN Security Council. But the perception that Iran is being subject to “double standards” by the West when Israel, the one country with nuclear weapons in the Middle East, is not required to take the stand in the international courtroom, is not unknown to other countries in the region and worldwide.

If anything, there is the concern that, when it targets Iran’s petroleum sector with its sanctions policies, the United States is also aiming at competing oil producers. Currently, because of persistent sanctions policies on Iran, the Central Asian republics that produce oil are unable to pass pipelines through Iran. Iran’s petroleum sector, in terms of trading its oil, in terms of improving a heavily damaged oil infrastructure, is curtailed because of sanctions. Meanwhile, the United States occupies Afghanistan, blocking other competing entities from building their own transit pipelines through the country to Pakistan or India in South Asia.

The Question of Counterforces to the U.S. Drive on Iran

In the past, there has been a backlash by Russia and China, both with veto powers in the UN Security Council, against U.S. attempts at upping the tempo of sanctions and military threats against Iran. Russia has warned repeatedly against imposing new sanctions on Iran, as well as warning against air strikes by either the United States or Israel. In October 2009, at a meeting in Vienna between Iranian, Russian, French, and U.S. officials, a deal was discussed in which Iran would send 70 percent of its low-enriched uranium to Russia first, and then on to France where it would be turned into fuel to be sent to a research reactor in Tehran producing medical isotopes in cancer research. Two obstacles appeared to block the arrangement.

First, Iran was reluctant to give up control over its uranium supplies to outside parties such as France, later offering the alternative arrangements of either gradually shipping its uranium for conversion to fuel rods abroad, or purchasing uranium from other countries. Second, Iran had revealed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the existence of the nuclear facility at Qom, saying that fissile material was not present and allowing IAEA inspection. Still, in late November, the IAEA thirty-five-nation governing body voted to “censure” Iran over the Qom facility because of its late disclosure, and demanded the shutting down of the low-level enrichment site. Iran’s response to the IAEA resolution was to announce that it would move ahead with the construction of ten previously planned nuclear enrichment facilities, an option that is allowed to Iran under the provisions of the NPT.

The Obama administration seized the opportunity during this stalemate between Iran and the IAEA to pressure once again for tougher sanctions on Iran. Meanwhile, Israel is increasing its threats of military strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities; threats that the people of Iran and the region take seriously in the face of Israel’s indiscriminate bombing raids on Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008.

The wild cards in the game of brinkmanship over Iran remain Russia and China. However, Russia, though signaling impatience with Iran by signing onto the IAEA’s censure resolution, nevertheless announced its cooperation with Iran in the completion of the Bushehr nuclear reactor. At this point, censuring Iran over the facility at Qom does not automatically translate into Russia’s supporting the U.S. call for further crippling sanctions on Iran and its economy. In addition, there were many “developing nations” on the IAEA board that opposed the resolution to censure Iran, citing its “provocative and counterproductive” nature.11

Another Look at Context

Past and present U.S. pressures on Iran, especially in relation to its oil sector, put into question the motives behind the U.S.-led push for further sanctions on Iran. President Obama’s promise of a new dialogue with the Middle East rings hollow in face of the complexity of the situation. This is evident to the people of the region, while the U.S. military occupies the major oil exporting country of Iraq and the oil transit country of Afghanistan, the two countries bordering Iran. These are pressures that, in the context of international law and regional security, appear more like siege warfare or gunboat diplomacy than anything else.

Iran’s charge that it is subjected to “double standards” by being placed under sanctions, when Israel’s nuclear program remains unexamined, opens up the debate to the wider issue of regional weapons proliferation, involving all nations of the Middle East. Is Israel not already posing a threat to the region because of its own extensive nuclear arsenal? From a perspective of international law, how can the international community allow Israel to threaten an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities when Israel itself has never signed the NPT, when it has never allowed IAEA inspection or cooperated with any international non-proliferation agencies in bringing its own nuclear program to light?

A Possible Way Forward

If the overall concern is to prevent weapons proliferation in the Middle East region, then perhaps the standoff with Iran is an opportunity to reexamine the idea of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. As models to follow, there are five Nuclear Free Zone nation-based regimes in place in the world, with over one hundred signatories to these treaties in total, covering 56 percent of the world’s land surface and involving some 60 percent of the world’s nation states.12 The five working Nuclear Weapon Free Zone regimes that involve the land space of nations are: the Tlatelolco NWFZ, signed February 1967 in Mexico City, Mexico and encompassing the nations of Latin America; the Rarotonga NWFZ, signed August 1985 and encompassing the island nation states of the South Pacific; the Bangkok NWFZ, signed December 1995 and encompassing the nations of Southeast Asia; the Pelindaba NWFZ, signed in South Africa April 1996 and encompassing the nations of the African continent; and the treaty for a Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (CANWFZ), signed by the five Central Asian states on September 8, 2006, and ratified by all five states on March 21, 2009.13


  1. “The US and Iran Part III—The Hostage Crisis,” PRI’s The World, October 27, 2004,
  2. Malcolm Byrne, “Saddam Hussein: More Secret History,” The National Security Archive, December 18, 2003,; Ali Javed, “Chemical Weapons and the Iran-Iraq War,” The Non-Proliferation Review, Spring 2001, 47-49, and Kenneth R. Timmerman, The Death Lobby (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991), 143.
  3. “Production Sharing Agreements—Mortgaging Iraq’s Oil Wealth,” The Free Library website,
  4. Michael Slackman, “Iran Guard Commanders Are Killed in Bombings,” New York Times, October 18, 2009.
  5. Seymour Hersh, “Preparing the Battlefield,” The New Yorker, July 7, 2008.
  6. “The-ultimate-bunker-buster,”; “US Test Massive Bomb: Designed for Use in ‘Psychological Operations,’” Barbara Starr, CNN Washington Bureau,
  7. “Iraq Sanctions: Humanitarian Implications and Options for the Future,” Global Policy Forum, August 6, 2002
  8. Second Presidential Debate, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee, October 7, 2008,
  9. Seymour Hersh, The Samson Option (New York: Random House, 1991), 16-17, 220-21.
  10. Federation of American Scientists, “Pakistan Nuclear Weapons,”; “Factsheet: Indian Nuclear Explosion,”; Howard Diamond, “India Conducts Nuclear Tests; Pakistan Follows Suit,”
  11. “Russia Vows Quickly to Complete Iran Plant” (agencies),, 11/30/2009; “IAEA censures Iran over atomic site,”, 11/27/2009.
  12. “Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone,”
  13. “Central Asia Becomes A Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone,”
2010, Volume 61, Issue 10 (March)
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