Reese Erlich details how US intelligence agencies admit Iran has had no nuclear weapons program

US presidents use the myth of a nuclear Iranian bomb because they can't argue "we are waging war for oil," according to the US correspondent Reese Erlich, who is the author of the ‘Iran Agenda Today’ book. 

The author told the Syriatimes e-newspaper that his book, published in October, details how the major US intelligence agencies admit Iran has had no nuclear weapons program since 2003.

“The Iranian government argues strongly that it never had such a program. But both the US and Israel use the myth of an Iranian nuclear bomb as a means to scare people and to justify military assaults on Iranians, whether in Syria or in Iran itself which has one of the largest oil reserves in the world,” he said.

Erlich went on to say that Iran occupies a strategic geopolitical position near the vital shipping lanes of the Straits of Hormuz. Successive US governments have sought to return Iranian oil to control by western oil corporations and to establish military bases in the region. But US presidents can't argue "we are waging war for oil." So they demonize Iran with false claims of a nuclear bomb.

He asserted that Obama and now Trump imposed crippling sanctions on Iran in an effort to force concessions, and if possible, overthrow the government in order to install a pro-US regime.

But the Iranian people don't want the current government replaced by a US-imposed dictator. They already had that experience when the CIA overthrew the nationalist government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and installed the Shah as dictator, according to the author, who clarified what’s wrong with US policy towards Iran.

“Ever since the popular revolution overthrew US-allied Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1979, the US has tried to isolate Iran. Instead of treating Iran as a sovereign nation with the right to control its own economic, military, religious and social policies, the US sought to bring Iran back into the US sphere of influence. As I detail in The Iran Agenda Today, the US backed Saddam Hussein's attacks on Iran in the 1980s, sponsored terrorist attacks by ethnic minority groups in the 2000s and imposed horrific sanctions on Iran  from 2010-14. Trump's current policies are an intensification of actions that have been continuing since 1979,” he stated.

US sanctions against Iran

As for the US sanctions against Iran, Erlich said that he reported numerous stories from Iran about the sanctions that only aimed at harming Iranian leaders.

“In reality, ordinary Iranians had a hard time getting certain medicines and vital civilian products such as hospital equipment. Western banks and companies decided to cut off all trade with Iran rather than risk possible US sanctions. US officials were well aware of these impact of the sanctions but continued them in hopes that Iranians would pressure their leaders to cave in to US demands. It didn't work before. And it won't work now,” he added.

The foreign correspondent was active in the 1970s movement against the Shah. He well remembers the brutal Savak (secret police), which tortured political dissidents.

“In 2000 as a journalist I had the opportunity to report directly from Iran and produced an award-winning radio documentary "The Iran Project." I've been fortunate enough to visit Iran many times since then, and I've developed a deep appreciation for Iranian history and culture,” he said.

Erlich was a leader in the student and anti-Vietnam War movements in the 1960s. He was indicted on felony conspiracy charges, along with six others, for organizing a militant anti-war/anti-conscription demonstration in 1967. The Oakland 7, as they were known, were acquitted of all charges.

He has written five books on US foreign policy. One became a best seller and was translated into three languages. He believes the Iran Agenda Today is factual and easy to read for people without a lot of background knowledge.

“I hope it sells well and will have some impact on the debate about Trump's policies. But who knows?” Erlich said.

MSM coverage of events in the ME

He affirmed that fewer Americans believe reporting from the Middle East, and main stream coverage in general.

“Some realize that the majority of MSM stories cover up the real corporate goals of US policy. But others, unfortunately, believe Trump's denunciations of "fake news" and think the MSM lies about all the good things Trump is doing. Trump has made Obama's Middle East policies even worse by increasing the number of US troops in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. He has continued the drone wars and encouraged more attacks on Palestinians. But his right-wing supporters think the MSM is painting a false picture of Trump's great achievements,” Erlich concluded.


Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour