Saturday, May 06, 2006

Is Iran capable of telling the truth? Or is the truth more surprising?

Isn't it interesting that while many in the West want to believe that Iran is telling the truth (and, even if it isn't telling the truth, it doesn't matter), leaders of six of Iran's neighbouring countries (all fellow-Muslims, by the way), gathered for the Gulf Co-operation Council meeting yesterday, don't think that Iran is telling the truth:,2933,194545,00.html

How is it that even neighbouring fellow-Muslim leaders don't believe Iran?
Well, of course, simply because Iran has deceived the world in the past about its nuclear programme and does not allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect its nuclear sites as it should under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the various UN Security Council resolutions. If Iran really had nothing to hide, it would have certainly allowed the IAEA to inspect its nuclear installations.

Every country tells lies from time to time, just as every company tells lies from time to time, and just as many individuals tell lies from time to time. However, there is a difference between (a) lying for a temporary advantage, or to avert something bad happening to you, and (b) because you can no longer recognise the difference between truth and falsehood, or because you are incapable of telling the truth. Individuals who fall into category (b) are considered to have a disease: we say they are "pathological liars".

India too lied about its nuclear programme (as many other countries have done and still others are possibly doing even today). However, India (and these countries) lied about their nuclear programme because of strategic reasons and/or because they did not want to bear the negative financial costs that would result (because of sanctions and so on).

In Iran's case, there is now no strategic advantage to it in lying. So is it lying because it is now incapable of telling the truth? After all, it is already paying the cost of sanctions....

Or is the case rather different? Is it not so much a case of not wanting to bear the negative consequences of truth-telling, as it is the case (if so, it is the first time, isn't it?) that it hopes to and actually is making money by telling lies: is it the case that Iran has done its calculations and concluded that increasing the tension as far as it can, is to its "Islamic" interest (as that makes it the undisputed national leader of the fundamentalists) as well as to its financial interests (keeping the tension high keeps also the oil price high, which means more money flowing into Iran from oil sales).

Whenever the truth is allowed to come out, should we perhaps not be surprised if the fact of the matter turns out to be that Iran isn't really that far ahead with either civilian or military nuclear science and technology, but that it deliberately misled the world (including its own citizens) about how far ahead it is in the field, only for the grubby reason of making money from the ensuing tension?

If so, does it cast any light on the state of Iran's finances sans oil?

And if that is so, does it mean that we could see the sudden fall of the Islamic regime whenever the oil price drops?

If so, Iran's neighbours aren't going to get any relief from their tension, or the truth out of Iran till the Iranian bubble is pricked and the regime collapses.

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