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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 107

Letter from America: My letter to Senator Pat Toomey

By Dr. Habib Siddiqui

Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania is an unabashed supporter of Israel. In his latest email to me, he wrote, "I have warned of the dangers that America and her allies face when it comes to the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is not a topic that is new to me. I have long supported the strongest possible sanctions on Iran. I wish the sanctions that have been in place had been stronger, and were begun sooner.”

He continued, “Unfortunately, President Obama is about to lift the sanctions on Iran, providing them with a $100 billion cash infusion that will likely be used to continue terror efforts around the globe."

His positions on international relations have not been conducive to peace but have been stoking the flames of fires or wars.

A shorter version of my letter below was sent to him.

Dear Mr. Toomey,

I think a wise man knows when to call it quits and take a new position that helps in the long run. Your position on Iran, unfortunately, is hawkish and appeasing to warmongers in a world that is tired of the curse of seemingly non-ending wars.

Nuclear bombs require enriched uranium or weapons-grade plutonium above 90% enrichment. Iran does not have and never had sufficient amount of the weapons-grade uranium and/or plutonium that is required to make nuclear bombs. If you are unsure, please, read the New York Times, dated December 28, 2015, where it says,

“A Russian ship left Iran on Monday carrying almost all of Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium, fulfilling a major step in the nuclear deal struck last summer and, for the first time in nearly a decade, apparently leaving Iran with too little fuel to manufacture a nuclear weapon.

The shipment was announced by Secretary of State John Kerry and confirmed by a spokesman for Russia’s civilian nuclear company, Rosatom. Mr. Kerry called it “one of the most significant steps Iran has taken toward fulfilling its commitment,” and American officials say that it may be only weeks before the deal reached in July takes effect.”

Mr. Kerry, in a statement, said the ship, which Russian officials said was the Mikhail Dudin, carried 25,000 pounds of nuclear material, which included the fuel that had been enriched to 20 percent purity for a specialty reactor to make medical isotopes.

As per the deal signed last year, Iran is permitted to hold 300 kilograms, or about 660 pounds, of low-enriched uranium; but that is not enough to produce a single weapon.

In a telephone interview with NY Times, the Rosatom spokesman, Sergei Novikov, said “the shipment fulfilled the requirement between Iran, the United States and five other world powers, including Russia, to remove Iran’s stockpile of uranium enriched to this level.”

You alluded in your email that with the lifting of the sanctions on Iran, President Obama will be “providing” Iran with a “$100 cash infusion”. Your statement belies the truth and is very misleading.

The fact is, as reported rightly in the NY Times, “On ‘implementation day,’ roughly $100 billion in Iranian assets will be unfrozen, and the country will be free to sell oil on world markets and operate in the world financial system.”

That $100 billion asset belonged to Iran all along; it was not ours to begin with. As President Obama rightly pointed out, “We're not writing Iran a check. This is Iran's money that we were able to block from them having access to.” It was frozen money, which comes from Iranian oil sales and has been piling up in some international banks over the past few years because of sanctions imposed by the U.S. in 2012 on Iran.

Mostly Asian nations like China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan buying oil from Iran agreed to hold the funds in escrow until the sanctions are lifted. In other words, Iran sold them the oil but couldn't move the cash back home. However, it was allowed to spend the money to buy goods from those countries.

Mr. Senator, as you must know, Israel is the only Middle-Eastern country which does possess not only atom bombs but also hydrogen bombs, reflecting its enormous devastating power over every other state in the region, including Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

And yet, you are silent on Israel's nuclear capability but all agog about Iran, which does not have any. Why? Whom are you benefiting through your anti-Iran and Israel-appeasing positions? Is your pro-Israel position good for our American people? I doubt that seriously.

Dear senator, Americans are tired of hawkish positions by our lawmakers that only light up the fire of war, and never seem to care about peace. They have, sadly, become members of the ‘Amen Corner’ to please the War Party, the profiteers of perennial war, something that President Eisenhower warned us about.

Well, you might think that further punishment and sanctions on Iran would bring peace. No, sir, it is a foolish and an untenable assertion. If you are so Gung Ho about world peace, consider making the Middle East a nuclear free zone, by dismantling nuclear arsenals of Israel, and then work towards disarming other powerful bomb-makers. Will you have that moral fervor to do this noble task?

With your ‘pick and choose’ or 'cherry picking' method of punishing a complier that is a signatory to the NPT and rewarding a dodger that has never signed the NPT, I am sorry to say that you are setting double-standards. Such positions are hypocritical and do more harm than good.

It is time to change course, and do what is right. Give peace a chance.


Habib Siddiqui

- Asian Tribune -

Letter from America: My letter to Senator Pat Toomey
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