Here we go again. On the heels of the fourth round of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna — which evidently went so badly that a senior U.S. administration official described them Friday as having reached “a moment of great difficulty” — Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is twittering that “peaceful nuclear power is the inalienable right of our entire nation.”
Everything about that Rouhani tweet is a lie. Iran’s nuclear program is patently not peaceful. To believe that, you would have to believe that rather than comply with international norms for nuclear power, the terror-sponsoring messianic regime of one of the world’s most oil-rich states has been willing to suffer international sanctions for years, building secret uranium enrichment facilities, working on an industrial-scale plutonium factory in the form of a heavy water reactor and developing long-range ballistic missiles (while threatening Death to America and the eradication of Israel). All this is for what? To power the electricity grid?
Nor does Rouhani speak for the entire Iranian nation. He speaks for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has ruled Iran since taking over from the late Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. If the people of the Iranian nation happen to disagree with the edicts of their rulers, their recourse is not to freely change their government, but to risk their necks seeking some way to protest — at risk of being imprisoned, tortured, and possibly killed. Amid the diplomatic whirl of the nuclear talks, has the world forgotten the carnage in the streets of Tehran in 2009, including the lethal shooting, caught on camera, of Neda Soltan?
And then there is the matter of Iran’s satraps claiming that they may engage in their nuclear projects as an “inalienable right.”
This has been the Tehran regime’s refrain for years. Here’s an account of Iran’s recent ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaee, talking in 2012 in New York about Iran’s “inalienable right” to enrich uranium (Khazaee, as well as his predecessor at the UN, Javad Zarif — who is now Iran’s foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator — also apparently both felt they had an inalienable right to abuse their UN diplomatic privileges by overseeing multi-million dollar money laundering operations in New York for the Iranian government, via the Alavi Foundation). Here’s Zarif, this past March, on Iran’s PressTV, speaking in English (presumably for international consumption), about Iran’s nuclear program as an “inalienable right” — and then defining that to mean something that “cannot be taken away” and “does not need recognition.”
Please bear in mind that Zarif is not talking about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — the “unalienable Rights” set forth in the American Declaration of Independence. He is talking about the ingredients of a nuclear weapons program: uranium, plutonium and ballistic missiles. But he is doing it in language effectively poached from the Declaration of Independence — warping and twisting the concept to apply not to the principles of human freedom, but to provide a propaganda gloss for the nuclear ambitions of the murderous, despotic regime that he serves.
Surely the likes of Zarif, Khazaee and Rouhani — professional mouthpieces of the Iranian regime — know exactly what they are doing, in pounding home this phrase about an “inalienable right.” In America, and among free societies that have looked to America as leader of the free world, it’s a phrase surely calculated to resonate as something that cannot be questioned. Which is what Tehran needs, because as soon as you start asking questions, Tehran’s tall tale of a “peaceful” nuclear program falls apart.
Iran’s talk about its nuclear “right” is agitprop, on a par with the worst of the old Soviet formulations about “peace” and “liberation.” It is also plagiarism of a most mocking kind, insulting to human dignity everywhere, and to America in particular. There are inalienable rights to liberty, not to manufacturing projects that can lead to nuclear weapons in the hands of predatory, malign and murderous regimes.
This is not merely a matter of what might or might not be in technical compliance with the nonproliferation treaty. The basic issue here is the defense of freedom in our time, which depends not least on the honest use of words. It would be a very good thing to hear officials of the U.S. government, all the way up to the president, speaking up loud and clear to explain to the public what’s so profoundly pernicious about these glib Iranian claims that the production of fissile material is an “inalienable right.” America’s diplomats, in their eagerness for a nuclear deal with Iran, have been most unbecomingly deferential to the likes of Rouhani and Zarif. It is high time that America’s authorities exercised their inalienable right to tell these nuclear con men to shut up.