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Unjust sanctions

To the Editor:

The CIA repeatedly warned President Reagan that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was using outlawed mustard gas and nerve agents against Iran. But Reagan continued providing Saddam Hussein with intelligence and even materials for chemical weapons. Reagan even sent Donald Rumsfeld to Baghdad to shake hands with Hussein and assure him of continued U.S. support.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians died in this 1980s war.  Ahmed was one of the “lucky” ones. As a teenager, Ahmed “survived” one of Hussein’s chemical attacks, but he lost his right eye and 80 percent of the vision in the left. And his lungs were so badly burned by the chemicals that to this day he needs special pills and inhalers to alleviate the pain of breathing. Ahmed has had numerous operations in attempts to save what remains of his eyesight. His body rejected two cornea transplants for lack of anti-rejection medicine. In fact, much of the medicine he needs for his eyes and his lungs is unavailable in Iran due to U.S. sanctions.

But Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and AIPAC (his lobby in the U.S.) are not satisfied. They are calling for more sanctions and even outright war – because of Iran’s nuclear-energy program.

Paradoxically, Iran is the one country in the Middle East that has not attacked its neighbors in 200 years. Iran has no nuclear weapons program. It is a signatory of the NPT (Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty) and has allowed international inspections of its nuclear facilities. 

By contrast, Israel bombs or invades its neighbors at will. It has sabotaged Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities, and Israeli assassins have murdered Iranian engineers. Israel itself has hundreds of atomic bombs. It built the first ones using uranium stolen from the U.S. Israel refuses to sign the NPT or to allow international inspection of its nuclear facilities. 

So who is the biggest threat to peace in the Middle East? And why does Congress not impose sanctions on Israel?

With few exceptions, U.S. congresspersons follow Netanyahu’s orders as relayed by AIPAC. All four members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation – Read, Whitehouse, Langevin and Cicilline – must vote according to instructions from AIPAC. They have all received major contributions from lobbyists for Israel.

Last year, AIPAC added the legislature of the smallest state to its conquests. The Rhode Island legislature adopted anti-Iran sanctions dictated by AIPAC. Not a single state senator, and only two state representatives, had the courage to disobey AIPAC by voting “no.”

Meanwhile, Ahmed and millions of other Iranians suffer from the harshest sanctions in recent history.

Rod Driver

Richmond, R.I. 

7 comments on this item

Thousands of Syrian refugees were taken in by Jordan,The King said,"it is the right thing to do". How many did Israel take in? Zero. We are total hostage to their will.

Are these the same Iranians that attacked our Embassy and took Americans hostage? What did you want Rumsfeld to do? Shake hands with the Aitolah?

It's the same Iranians that our C.I.A. overthrew their government and put in the Shah,who ran a ruthless dictatorship,sold off their oil to foreign interests {much like Bush did in Iraq}. Mr. Driver is right,Israel is the only country in the region that clearly has a nuclear stockpile,but refuses to sign the NPT.

@citizenkane. Have no idea where you are coming from regarding Iraq's oil. Iraq has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. They may need the benefit of outside help and a more stable political environment to fully benefit, but "sell off", when did that happen?

Right after "Mission Accomplished". The major world oil companies bid on leases for Iraq oil. The first thing our troops did after the invasion was secure the oil fields. The safest place to be in Iraq,and still is,in the middle of an oil field.

OK. That makes sense. As I recall Hussein attempted to destroy some of these wells and their productive capacity. Bush did not sell off anything. Iraq retains ownership through leasing, and taps in to the capabilities of international oil companies to operate.

Your a anti-Semite Rod, Are blaming the Jew people for the problems in the middle east, Not the Muslims who are the Problem!

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