Far-left activists Ramsey Clark and Sara Flounders, co-founders of the International Action Center (IAC), have initiated a petition entitled “Hands Off Iran,” supporting the genocidal regime’s right to maintain a nuclear program. The petition-signing event, described by the IAC as a “gala celebration for Ramsey Clark’s 85th birthday and the 20th anniversary of the International Action Center,” took place on January 13 at the Riverside Church in New York City.
Their stance is to be expected. The IAC, founded in 1992, is an organization whose worldview aligns itself with Marxist-Leninist principles. On its own website, the IAC defines itself as an “‘anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist’ organization” dedicated to ending “the human suffering caused by living under a system that puts profit before peoples needs (sic).” Much of its activity centers around foreign policy, the driving forces of which is the conviction that the United States is an imperialist power bent on re-colonizing the Middle East. As such, the IAC aligns itself with the region’s terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, whom the IAC considers legitimate resistance movements against that imperialism, as well as Israeli “terrorism.” Clark himself attended a 2010 conference in Beirut, the “Arab International Forum for the Support of the Resistance,” that advocated for the destruction of Israel.
It was merely one stop in a checkered career of increasingly ramped up anti-Americanism that began after his tenure as the U.S. Attorney General from 1967-1969. Such efforts included a visit to Hanoi in 1972, offering his support to the North Vietnamese during the war, even as American prisoners were being tortured and murdered; meeting the Ayatollah Khomeini in January 1979, and later denouncing the “Crimes of America” while that nation still held 52 Americans hostage; taking Muammar Gaddafi’s side when the U.S. bombed terrorist training facilities in Libya in 1986; and “consulting” with Saddam Hussein prior to the U.S. invasion.
As an attorney, Clark’s client list reads like a Who’s Who of terrorist thugs. They include PLO officials sued by the family of Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound American Jew who was thrown overboard from the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1986; Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who died in prison before he would have been convicted of genocide; the terrorists who attempted to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993, including “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman whom he still supports; four terrorists involved in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224; and Saddam Hussein in his war-crimes trial. Staying true to form, Clark also founded Indict Bush Now in 2010 to investigate “war crimes” committed by George W. Bush and other members of his administration during the Iraq conflict.
For her part, Clark’s associate, Sara Flounders, whole-heartedly supports the terrorist group Hamas, whose animating charter explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of world Jewry. According to the Anti-Defamation League, Flounders said at a 2009 conference, “We need to militantly support Hamas … We need to make it clear that we support the right to resist, the right to fire rockets[.]” Flounders also “saluted the resistance in Iraq in Afghanistan” responsible for killing American troops, as well as the “heroic” Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah. The fanatical leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, notoriously said in 2004, “If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”
Thus, when reported by Iran’s FARS News Agency that the IAC’s petition asserts there are “two sides in this dispute, one composed of the US and its allies in the European Union who accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons–without presenting even an iota of credible facts and supporting documents–and the other, Iran, which is striving to protect its right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes based on provisions of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” the side taken by Clark, Flounders and the IAC should surprise no one. “Using an unfounded accusation as a pretext for acts of aggressions, one side of the dispute headed by the US empire is currently punishing the other side, Iran, with the genocidal sanctions, an inhuman act that has endangered the life of tens of millions of innocent Iranian citizens for their ‘crime’ of deciding to live independent and free from the yoke of hegemonic powers,” it states.
Those would be the same Iranian citizens who endure systematic oppression by their hardline Islamic government–not according to U.S. or European officials, but according to Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran. “I am concerned that the pattern is one of intensifying–or worsening–human rights abuses, with really no light at the tunnel,” said Shaheed last October.
Further demonstrating the unrelenting and virulent anti-Americanism that forms the core of the IAC’s ideology, the petition assures us Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons has “strongly been denied by Iranian officials and international organizations such as the Non-aligned Movement (NAM) representing 120 countries. Furthermore, the charge against Iran on intending to develop nuclear weapons has even been refuted by the intelligent agencies of the US itself. ”
The petition is undoubtedly referring to a report published by intelligence analysts in February 2012. It claimed that while Iran is accelerating its uranium enrichment program, there is “no hard evidence” they are trying to build a bomb. Yet only six months later, a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) revealed that Iran had “doubled the number of centrifuges installed deep under a mountain near Qum,” and “cleansed another site where the agency has said it suspects that the country has conducted explosive experiments that could be relevant to the production of a nuclear weapon.” The IAEA further noted that Iran “nearly doubled its stockpile of fuel enriched to 20 percent purity–a level that experts say could be converted to bomb grade in months.” This is a critical distinction, because uranium enriched at 3.5 percent is the highest grade of nuclear energy necessary to develop for “peaceful purposes.”
Despite this reality, the IAC’s petition further reveals the twisted worldview that animates them. “One side to this dispute has continuously shown its imperial arrogance through war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria and by fully backing the repeated Israeli mass killings of the Palestinian people, and the other, Iran, has not initiated any war against any nation since its people overthrew the US puppet regime of Shah back in 1979,” it states.
Apparently Iran arming its terrorist proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as supplying weapons to Syrian butcher Bashar Assad to use in a war where the death toll has currently surpassed 60,000, doesn’t count. Neither does the aforementioned aggression this regime has perpetrated against its own people, documented by the equally far-left Amnesty International (AI) after the 2009 presidential election. According to AI, human rights violations following the election were “as bad as any time in the past 20 years.” As for the rest, it should come as no surprise that the organization routinely siding with terrorists should reflexively refer to any efforts by both “imperialist” Americans and “terrorist” Israelis to defend their interests, or in Israel’s case to prevent its annihilation, as tantamount to war crimes.
According to its website, however, the IAC is not against violence per se, contending that the “best way to fight U.S. imperialism abroad is to wage an all out assault against the centuries-old war on people of color living within U.S. borders.” Thus, it should come as no surprise that they are ardent defenders of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, who wrote a piece for the IAC website extolling Clark as one of the “strongest voices against the evils of racism, the evils of militarism and the evils of capitalism.”
The final part of the petition further reinforces the unholy alliance between the IAC and the hard-core Islamists that control the Iranian government. “Knowing the facts and the real stands of each party to this dispute, how could a freedom-lover keep silence (sic) and be impartial on the ‘negotiations’ among these two opposing camps? In these negotiations one side is the oppressor and the other side is oppressed. One side is after domination, exploitation and plunder and the other side is looking to preserve its right to self-determination and sovereignty. One side represents the privileged interests of the big capitalist forces which constitute only %1 (sic) of the world population and the other is struggling for peace, independence and justice, causes in common with the interests of 99ers,” it states.
The IAC’s solution to the current impasse is to lift all sanctions “immediately,” stop “threats of war” and allow the world’s foremost perpetrator of international terror — one that has openly called for the destruction of the state of Israel — to “develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”
Meanwhile, the Iranian government has once again refused to allow IAEA inspectors to investigate its site at Parchin, where they suspect Iran has carried out tests on a nuclear weapons trigger. As mentioned above, the site has been “cleansed” — so thoroughly that the IAEA report contends that “its ability to conduct effective verification will have been seriously undermined.” Last Saturday, Iran’s IAEA delegate, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, once again re-affirmed that his country will never completely stop enriching uranium, including enrichment at the 20 percent level of purity that can be quickly converted to nuclear weaponry. The Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant, where most of the effort to enrich uranium at this higher level has been taking place, is buried deep underground, and has been fortified against an assault from the air. Yet another round of talks between Iran and the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany (aka, the P5+1) are scheduled for the end of this month, despite the failure of the IAEA to make any headway last week.
Yesterday, after meeting with several senators from the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed the utter folly of Americans like Ramsey Clark and his fellow travelers at the IAC. “History will not forgive those who do not stop Iran’s nuclear program,” he warned. Nor will history forgive people like Ramsey Clark, a man so blinded by hatred of his own nation and Israel he can’t begin to imagine what a useful idiot he has been for thugs and genocidal fanatics.
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