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Things you Think You Know About Iran That are not TrueSalem-News.com
Some surprising realities about the most inaccurately represented nation on earth.
(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) - Professor Juan Cole at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, cited some surprising facts about Iran in a Salon.com article, as talks begin Thursday between the US Germany, other members of the United Nations Security Council, and Iran, in an attempt to resolve outstanding issues.
Cole says that while Americans believe Iran is aggressive and threatening toward Israel, in reality Iran hasn't taken any aggressive action in war modern history. It is not a claim that either the United States or Israel can make. In fact, Iran's leaders have a "no first strike" military doctrine, Cole says.
With regard to Iran's "militarized society bristling with dangerous weapons and a growing threat to world peace" as is frequently stated by American media outlets, the reality check Cole says, is that Iran's military budget is just, over $6 billion annually. Sweden, Singapore and Greece all have larger military budgets.
We all hear about Iran allegedly threatening to attack Israel and "wipe it off the map." Cole says, "No Iranian leader in the executive has threatened an aggressive act of war on Israel, since this would contradict the doctrine of 'no first strike' to which the country has adhered. The Iranian president has explicitly said that Iran is not a threat to any country, including Israel."
As to whether President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened to 'wipe Israel off the map?' Cole says Ahmadinejad did quote Ayatollah Khomeini to the effect that "this Occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" (in rezhim-e eshghalgar-i Qods bayad as safheh-e ruzgar mahv shavad). But he says this was not a pledge to roll tanks and invade or to launch missiles. He says it was an expression of hope that the regime will ultimately fails, "just as the Soviet Union did. It is not a threat to kill anyone at all," Cole added.
Another constant comment is that Iranians are Holocaust deniers. Cole says some are, some are not. "Former president Mohammad Khatami has castigated Ahmadinejad for questioning the full extent of the Holocaust, which he called 'the crime of Nazism.' Many educated Iranians in the regime are perfectly aware of the horrors of the Holocaust. In any case, despite what propagandists imply, neither Holocaust denial (as wicked as that is) nor calling Israel names is the same thing as pledging to attack it militarily."
Cole says when it comes to Iran resembling North Korea in terms of an active nuclear weapons program, many believe there is a present threat. Cole's article confirms that Iran has a nuclear enrichment site at Natanz near Isfahan, for the purpose of producing fuel for future civilian nuclear reactors, which will be used for generating electricity.
"All Iranian leaders deny that this site is for weapons production, and the International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly inspected it and found no weapons program," Cole said.
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