Stuart Littlewood argues that behind British Foreign Secretary William Hague’s extraordinary and otherwise inexplicable hostility towards Iran may lie the desire to preserve the imbalance of power in the Middle East so that Israel remains the dominant military force.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, British Foreign Secretary William Hague claims that Iran is threatening to spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East which could be more dangerous than the original East-West Cold War.
William Hague’s double talk
“It is a crisis coming down the tracks,” he says. “Because they are clearly continuing their nuclear weapons programme… If they obtain nuclear weapons capability, then I think other nations across the Middle East will want to develop nuclear weapons.
“And so, the most serious round of nuclear proliferation since nuclear weapons were invented would have begun with all the destabilizing effects in the Middle East.
“We are very clear to all concerned that we are not advocating military action,” he assures us. “We support a twin-track strategy of sanctions and pressure and negotiations on the other hand. We are not favouring the idea of anybody attacking Iran at the moment.”
But, says Mr Hague, “all options must remain on the table”.
David Cameron’s double standards
That same day Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Sarkozy signed a “landmark agreement” committing their two countries to a shared programme of civil nuclear power and setting out a shared long term vision of safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy.
“We are working together … to stop a nuclear weapon in the hands of Iran,” said Cameron, adding:
As two great civil nuclear nations, we will combine our expertise to strengthen industrial partnership, improve nuclear safety and create jobs at home. The deals signed today will create more than 1,500 jobs in the UK but they are just the beginning. My goal is clear.
I want the vast majority of the content of our new nuclear plants to be constructed, manufactured and engineered by British companies. And we will choose the partners and technologies to maximise the economic benefits to the UK.
Such freedom of action or benefits must not be enjoyed by Iran, of course.
Some three weeks earlier Mr Hague was clamouring for an “unprecedented” package of measures including an oil embargo and financial sanctions “to increase the peaceful, legitimate pressure on the Iranian government”.
It’s tempting to add “as punishment for their peaceful and (so far) legitimate civil nuclear activities”. Such measures are no doubt intended to bring ruin and terror in a way that bombing couldn’t.
Most of us remember only too well how the Iraq sanctions devastated that country’s economy and resulted in widespread hunger and disease among Iraqi people. As John Pilger reported in the Guardian on 4 March 2000:
This is a war against the children of Iraq on two fronts: bombing, which in the last year cost the British taxpayer GBP 60 million. And the most ruthless embargo in modern history. According to UNICEF, the United Nations children’s fund, the death rate of children under five is more than 4,000 a month – that is 4,000 more than would have died before sanctions.
That is half a million children dead in eight years. If this statistic is difficult to grasp, consider, on the day you read this, up to 200 Iraqi children may die needlessly.
With this evil still quite fresh in people’s minds Hague successfully obtained his “unprecedented” measures, meaning worse than those taken against Iraq presumably, to inflict on Iranian women and children.