The answer is no.
In fact, they are the best country in the world at catching drugs smugglers.
Removing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from power could see the opening up of the most important drug smuggling route in the world.
I don't want to see tonnes of opium in Europe from Afghanistan, just so that America can stick a Starbucks in Tehran.
Is he deemed evil by the west because he poses a threat to our society? Or is he deemed evil by the west because we want to threaten his society? With overpriced oil, fast food, expensive clothes that are marked up by 500% because of a name tag.
Do we want to remove Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because he is causing us harm? Or do we want to remove Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because the corporations want to manufacture their goods in Bangledesh and sell them back to Iranians for three times the amount that they pay now? Does Ahmadinejad despise the west because of their way of life? Or is he protecting his own? Does he want to keep Starbucks out of Tehran? Or does he want to prevent the Iranian woven carpet industry from being outsourced to Pakistan?
Do corporations want to remove Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because he is a "terrorist" or because he taxes large companies significantly and allows 50% of the Iranian population to pay NO TAXES AT ALL.
Does the west want to remove Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from power because he suppresses his people? Or does the west want to remove him from power because they want corporations to pay LESS tax and for their people to pay MORE tax?
Did the BBC walk out on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the UN Anti-racism summit because he was threatening western society? Or did they walk out on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because are Zionist corporation with a leader who is married to a zionist jew and a whose father in law is also a Zionist (American) jew?
Sorry, but this man doesn't sound too evil to me:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMQrqKyY … re=related
They will never sell the idea of Iranian "terrorism" to me, all I am being sold is Iranian patriotism.
Iran is nothing more than a religious dictatorship. And, if Iran had the means, it would spread it's kind of dictatorship to the rest of the world.
That's all I'm saying on the subject. You can say whatever you choose. I'm not debating it, because there is nothing to debate.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accepted the election result as legitimate.
You say that it "would" spread it's dictatorship "if Iran had the means". So ultimately, that means that they pose no threat to the world as a result?
Iran has a larger GDP than North Korea and Israel, if it wanted a military budget to pursue International tyrancy it would extend taxes to the 50% of the population that doesn't pay them.
Just like, well.... just like our governments tax us all... to fund invasions. The British and Americans are the most empirical countries in the world. They are the only countries in the world actively seeking to extend an empire, the US has 1000 military bases in the world, in almost every country in the world. It doesn't like not having one in Iran.
The US isn't concerned about "extending its empire." It, like every other European power, went through its "time of empire," but those are, for the most part, long gone. America's principle interest, and I am not saying that I agree with it, is to expand and exploit markets. We are all about making money and keeping the oil flowing - that's about it really. Again, not saying it's "right" - just saying it's a reality.
The US is desperately trying to get out of the mess it got itself into a decade ago. It has not the desire, the stomach, nor the money to go on more "nation-building" adventures.
The British and the Russians, in the 19th Century, started these games in the Middle East. We got onboard as well in the 20th Century and propped up a dictator; this set all the pieces on the board for the Iranian Revolution in the late 70's.
I don't believe personally that Iran is our greatest threat - not by a long stretch.
Iran probably doesn't pose a direct threat to the west, but I'd hate to be one of the people livig under this brutal islamic dictatorship. I value personal freedoms; the right to say what I like, the right to vote, I like a pint now and then and I'd like my female friends and family to have the right to walk around without having to wear a particular type of clothing.
I would say that that's somewhat more important to the iranian people than the possibility of starbucks taking over. I'm guessing those students shot during the green revolution last year weren't looking to attract outside enterprises where they could get a big mac or a skinny latte.
Ryan, you're from the UK; you have the ability to research and decide for yourself, unlike those living under his system. But if you think that Ahmadinejad is a fair, balanced human being who doesn't brutalise his own people for his and a close circle of friends' own benefit, then you've been reading the wrong information.
"But if you think that Ahmadinejad is a fair, balanced human being who doesn't brutalise his own people for his and a close circle of friends' own benefit, then you've been reading the wrong information."
Like the inhumanane treatment of prisoners? Oh, wait, Bradley Manning?
Or like the 312 people who recieved the death penalty in 2010? Oh, wait, the United States is the only developed country in the world still sentencing people to death
Or the widespread incarceration of its citizens? Estimated at 133,658, oh, wait, that's only 0.17%? Surely they need to lock up more of the lower classes? Like America? Who incarcerate around 1% of theirs?
And of course, Iranians have to live in an unsafe environment don't they? One in which they have to be afraid of intentional homocide? With that murder rate of 2.9 in every 100,000 people. Oh. A bit of a fail there too.
The supression of the poor through unreasonable levels of taxation? In order to fund a military? Nope, half of their individuals don't have to pay any tax at all.
And the failure to medicate the sick and ill who cannot afford to pay for treatment? Oh, nope, that's America too. Iran may have a basic healthcare system, but its free, and they offer it without making their citizens pay shedloads of cash.
I guess that you can only be talking about the supression of protests in Tehran following the UN ratified 2009 general election? A bit like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G63FEamhpA0
Or the women being forced to wear burkhas? That point is swiftly muted by anybody who has visited Tehran, as my uncle has on several occassions, where their beautiful women often choose to dress like this:
Although of course, anybody can go and see this for themselves, by booking a package holiday to Iran; an experience which may change their Murdoch-fed perception of Iran as a country.
Of course, in the home, the women are massively oppressed. Forced to wear western style attire and dance at home parties:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN9xscD5 … re=related
And their weddings are just strange, I mean, people actually look like they enjoy themselves;
"Ryan, you're from the UK; you have the ability to research and decide for yourself, unlike those living under his system. But if you think that Ahmadinejad is a fair, balanced human being who doesn't brutalise his own people for his and a close circle of friends' own benefit, then you've been reading the wrong information."
So yeah, obviously I am reading the wrong information, I should entirely ignore the people that I know who have visited Iran, the people that I know who COME from Iran, and instead focus on reading the Murdoch owned tabloid papers and watching the Murdoch owned Sky News. Your right, I'm wrong, I haven't allowed Murdoch to tell me the 'truth'. Iranians are all evil extremists with suicide bombs under their Bhurkas
And the basis of this evil? The fact that Murdoch and Co are not permitted to spread their propoganda in Iran themselves. Let Murdoch & co brainwash your citizens and you are a 'progressive' country, deny them the change to brainwash you with faux-news, branding, and the likes, and you are a rogue state. Don't worry, I know how it works.
Is it any wonder that Iranians don't want too much Western influence? Not that they object to all of it of course, they have shopping malls:
And they have fashion shows:
And they have nightclubs
Of course, what they DON'T have is one of these:
And that is the issue, isn't it? We wan't to invade them, and liberate their people, so that they don't have to put up with these?......
And in order to make sure we give them a McDonalds, and a Starbucks, the Americans and British are seriously considering killing a few of their women and children, and blowing up their houses, a little like they did in Iraq:
But it's OK, the world understands, because without the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, like you or me, they wouldn't have been able to build this:
Are you taking the piss?! What has the the incarceration rate of people in the US got to do with it? Or the fact that the US has the death penalty? Or MacDonalds, Starbucks? Nothing, zip, not for the Iranians living in fear under this regime.
I too know lots of Iranians; not one of them thinks that Iran is in a stable or pleasant political system. I can't believe that any you know from Iran wants Ahmadinejad in charge, I know of noone. One of them has a family member who died during a student protest a few years ago.
I know it's fashionable to be on the side of the percieved underdog, especially where the US is concerned, but there is also something called morality. And if you think it's morally right to continue to venerate a person and a regime who put people to death for crimes without trial or behind closed doors; who use rape, murder and torture to intimidate people into voting a particular way; who shoot protesters, who arrest oposition supporters, then magic have a ball.
And by all means get yourself on holiday there, just don't expect to be able to say what you want, read a free press, drink a beer, have non-marital sex, be gay, be Israeli, commit blasphemey etc, etc.
Of course, an Iranian would be able to "be Iranian" in Israel wouldn't they?
How many innocent people have Americans sentenced to death? Where is the government support for Tristan Anderson?
Which genocide is Iran helping to fund with $3bn a year in subsidance? Just a question, but are you a zionist?
You have quoted an American source, by the way:
Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10118-3299
Tel: 1-(212) 290-4700
Led by Kenneth Roth, a Jew whose father fled Nazi-Germany. That organisation also accepts donations from Saudi Arabia, oh the irony. Their founding chair, Robert L. Bernstein, also Jewish and whom was not directly associated with Zionism but whom was well networked in that world.
Asides from Kenneth Roth, the organisation as a whole has actually been accused of Antisemitism themselves. Not that this strictly American organisation employs anybody other than Christians or Jews. Neither does it base any of its offices in the Middle East. Actually, that is a lie, it has 1 office in Beirut.
That organisation recieved 99% of its $44m in 2008 funding from North America and Western Europe. In 2009 it conducted a fund raising trip in Saudi Arabia, it also recieves funding from the Dutch government.
Of course, Amnesty International is a UK organisation, one which has been criticised themselves for a Western bias, and indeed is equally reverred in Israel as it is in Iran. In fact, even the United States government has been critical of Amnesty International. Probably because they have, in the past, sought to highlight the human rights breaches in each of those three countries equally. Which, really, brings me back to my point... The United States are not in a position to judge.
What is perhaps interesting is that Amnesty International reported more human rights breaches in America than in any other country between 1991-2000. In fact, the top 5 are:
United States: 4.47% of all reports
Israel: 3.93% of all reports
Indonesia: 3.93% of all reports
Turkey: 3.73% of all reports
China: 3.56 of all reports
The UK sits at seventh, Iran doesn't make the list of 10. So thank you, firstly for using a Jewish American organisation as a source. Secondly for using an organisation which effectively acknowledged the appalling human rights record of the United States and the United Kingdom. And, of course, Israel.
You've said that Amnesty has a western bias, then gone on to cite that the top 2 on the list of criticisms as the US and Israel! OK. Can you find any sources which say Iran doesn't have an apalling and detereorating record on human rights? Other than the Iranian govt.'s of course!
I wouldn't say I am a zionist, no, but then I'm not sure whether that term is really what's applicable here. I am an advocate of human rights. If you think that the UK or the USA has a human rights record anywhere near the equivalent of Iran's then you're living in cloud cuckoo land!
And it's not just the west that criticise the Iranian government; it's pretty broadly criticised by all in the middle east, russia, south asia. It's not well liked.
This kind of insinuation of a consipired bias by the west against Iran is not going to wash. It is loathed because of the way in which it treats its people, the potential threat of someone (who is prepared to have an hour and a half long monolgue at the UN about how filthy jews are) gaining weaponry which could be used against Israel etc.
Sometimes there is no grand conspiracy at work.
"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands." Douglas Adams
The term 'Zionist' bares little relevance to the human rights record of the United Kingdom and the United States in a direct sense, you are quite correct. But it has every relevance to the human rights record of Israel, which commits attrocities that are funded by Zionist America, it was you that brought up Israel. The link between Iran and America is much closer than you seem to believe. Israel is provided with weapons and cash by YOU to commit genocide in Palistine, Iran provides Hamas with weapons to protect themselves. Sounds perfectly logical to me to connect the United States and Iran. America is an enemy of Iran because America is a zionist state and Iran is antisemetic; you are the polar opposites but as bad as each other. The UK is equally as bad of course, supporting Israel until very recently.
Firstly, I'm not American - I'm a Mackem! I don't care how bad you think the US's human rights is - in fact even Israel's - it does not come close to Iran's barbarism. There's a lot wrong with Israel, I agree with little of their policies. But you're not comparing like with like.
Just because the iterests of the west run counter to those of Iranian government, it doesn't mean that it's wrong for the west to also demad their improved behaviour. I don't doubt that the perceived risk from Iran's military ambitions is overhyped, and yes they have oil (something which probably has little bearing on anything in truth), but they are an oppressive and brutal regime that works for the tiny few and puts down any threat to their dominance. They are not the only ones; Burma, Sri Laka, Saudi, North Korea, Libya, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe etc etc. But this doesn't mean we should be belittling international pressure upon them to change their ways.
If America (and the UK, EU etc) openly criticise this regime, then good, because it's what's deserved. If they are sanctioned by the UN, then good, because it's all they deserve too.
"I don't believe personally that Iran is our greatest threat - not by a long stretch." Like how could it be a threat. It has lots of oil and gas which the west would like to get a hold of. But more than that they would like to deny it going to China.
http://www.pakistanindependent.com/wp-c … rected.jpg
"The map seems to be a figment of someone's imagination."
http://www.oilempire.us/oil-jpg/iran_pe … s_2004.jpg
There are hundreds of them. Someone got a lot of imagination not around here.
This is just a map of Iran's oil and gas infrestructure. No-one's arguing that Iran isn't an oil porducer (In the top 5) but you can't just show maps like you did from the Independent without assessing whther they're BS first. It showed US air bases in Saudi which haven't existed for almost ten years.
yea I ain't got all day to find maps for you. Go Google images and type Iran, Middle East, Asian whatever pipe lines.
I have heard Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak. He is a nutter.
Got it in one
The greatest threat to 'the West' is supranational corporatism and big money.
Hello paraglider! I hope your travels have been entertaining and fun. May I ask where you are now?
Hi Earnest! I'm in Qatar, in my sixth year of a two-month project, and could be here for another couple of years at least. Fortunately I've been able to fit in occasional visits to UAE, Turkey and Georgia, plus the odd home trip to UK, so life still holds some variety
Thanks for the tour, and your accurate figures. I agree, America is not perfect, but I still think Ahmadinejad is a nutter!
He is a bit of a nutter, but as things stand the UN accepted his election result, which effectively means that he cannot be considered a dictator, and as such is the democratically elected leader of Iran.
As a result, there is absolutely no need, and neither does the west have a right, to consider an invasion of Iran. If the world has accepted Iran as a currently democratic society then seeking to remove him from power would be a bodyblow to democracy.
I don't want to see the deaths of innocent people in Iran to British, American (and Australian) bombs as a result of a slight dislike of a single nutter. And I still don't think that Iran poses a threat to the world, if they were really that tyranical then they would have moved straight into to Egypt to impose some of their hardline fundamentalist ideals. Instead, he supported the uprising like the rest of the world did.
Unlike Iraq, where Hussains genocide of 1 million people was used as a means of justification for invasion, there can be little justification of an invasion of Iran on the basis that their leader suppresses protest and practices the death penalty; the former is practised in almost every country in the world, the latter is practised in 70 nations worldwide.
The United States practice both.
That's not quite accurate. He 'supported' the Egyptian revolution by comparing it to Iran's Islamic revolution of 30-odd years ago, whereas most observers understood that the true comparison would have been with the suppressed Iranian students' revolution of 2 years ago.
I don't see Iran as a threat to the west though, because as we've seen it nearly imploded two years ago. Next time around, the people will triumph.
Iran may not be an immediate threat to the West, but the question is would it be a threat if it acquired nuclear weapons? The thing that worries me the most about Iran is its dictatorial regime, even though it goes by the name of democracy. Right now, the rulers know their limitations and aren't stretching themselves regionally, but would they continue to be passive once they acquire nuclear weapons?
As it is, they have been meddling in the affairs of other countries in the region and have supported Hezbollah actively. Even the Arab states view Iran with suspicion and as a threat to regional stability. There is no way the Arab states are going to remain non-nuclear if Iran goes nuclear. It isn't a straightforward yes/no answer.
If the Arab League are wary of Iran and their nuclear weapon capabilities then they should take it upon themselves to reach out to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and if they cannot resolve the issue themselves then they are capable of taking undertaking their own military action.
Saudi Arabia are the MOST suppressive regime in the middle east, but its OK, they sell us oil
Iran only spends 2.8% of its GDP on its military, it isn't preparing for war. They spend more money stemming the flow of heroin into Europe. In fact, they have very close relations with France and Germany, and of course China and Russia.
One would perhaps ask why either the US or the UK feels that they have a right to converse with the Iranian government at all, or dictate the way that they run their own country. Perhaps our threats of warfare are better placed with tactile diplomacy involving those four very capable countries, with no English being spoken at the table at any stage in the proceedings.
When quoting stats of defence spending of countries such as Iran or China for that matter, one needs to take these numbers with a huge dose of skepticism. China's reported defence spending is actually quite small, but by all accounts, they spend far more on defence. Iran would be no different. They have shown off their military capabilities quite openly on state television and most of it is either home grown or imported from countries such as North Korea or Russia or Pakistan. It has to cost some serious money. Add to that the nuclear program - I wouldn't be surprised if their advertised defence spending is just that - an advertisement. I bet the actual figures are much higher.
It isn't about Ahmadinejad - he will go in a few years. It is about the system they have in place. It might go the way of Egypt for all you know. There is no need for the West to intervene to change regime in Iran - the people of Iran may well do it themselves. The wider implications of a nuclear Iran can't be wished away. The Middle East is volatile as is, without a nuclear Iran. With one, it may be a nightmare. One can't convince Saudi Arabia to not go nuclear if Iran goes that way. The rest of the Arab states will follow. Who wants that? Does it make the world a safer place?
No one is advocating an invasion of Iran. Every one is for diplomacy and that's what is being played out.
Whilst it is true that the Chinese at one stage were buying most of their weapons from Russia, the tables have turned and they actually produce a surplus in the Sino-Russian armd trade. In other words, Russia buys more from China than China buys from Russia. In fact, China has also sold weapons to Iran.
Iran actually sells a lot of weapons itself, to Latin America, to Lebanon, to Hamas.
If that's true - guess the Chinese have gotten good at reverse engineering Russian weapons and selling them at a much cheaper rate back to the Russians
Seriously though, the Chinese are good at reverse engineering. I believe they've rev engineered a lot of American weapons as well!
The Russians sold the Chinese soviet-era technologies and weapons. When they realised that the Chinese were reverse engineering these, the Russians stopped supplying them.
The Chinese have all the Soviet-era weapons that they need, they want the more modern Russian technologies, which the Russians won't sell them; for the very reason that you stated. You are correct.
"I haven't allowed Murdoch to tell me the 'truth'."
Bingo. They do the same with Chavez, because they couldn't get him to bow down either. Like Mike says all the time,read "Confessions of an Economic Hit-Man".
They don't like it when you don't play their game.
And it is a corporate game. You will die for a buck.
"John Swinton New York journalist at a banquet (1880's): "What folly is this, toasting an independent press? There is no such thing, at this date of the World's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of "rich men" behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."
Keep in mind, the firing of Rick Sanchez, and the "retiring" of Helen Thomas.
For what? Telling the truth.
Why on earth would anyone think that Ahmadinejad would pose a threat to anyone??
The people really in danger are Iranian's themselves... A proud and culturally rich land went from a tyrannical Shaw to a tyrannical theocracy.
Give it time though
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