Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 22, 2012

Khamenei Reconfirms Fatwa Against Nuclear Weapons

In a speech to nuclear scientists Ajatollah Ali Kahamenei today reconfirmed his Fatwa against nuclear weapons:

On numerous occasions, the Iranian people and government officials have announced that they do not seek to develop nuclear weapons and that nuclear weapons have no place among the needs of the nation and the military system of the country. We believe that using nuclear weapons is haraam and prohibited and that it is everybody’s duty to make efforts to protect humanity against this great disaster. We believe that besides nuclear weapons, other types of weapons of mass destruction such as chemical and biological weapons also pose a serious threat to humanity. The Iranian nation which is itself a victim of chemical weapons feels more than any other nation the danger that is caused by the production and stockpiling of such weapons and is prepared to make use of all its facilities to counter such threats.
Reading the whole speech and understanding the logic of Kahmenei's judgement may be worth your time.

Posted by b on February 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

Comments

Of course we can fully expect this information will be made public by ISRAEL and the UNITED NATIONS.....erm.......

Posted by: squodgy | Feb 22, 2012 11:05:23 AM | 1

That is actually a brilliant move by Iran.

Posted by: Alexander | Feb 22, 2012 11:32:39 AM | 2

Meanwhile, the IAEA couldn't get out the press release announcing FAILURE fast enough.

Posted by: Bill | Feb 22, 2012 12:29:48 PM | 3

USA and Israel - Making Yo-meanie look damn good. Someone (with expensive software) ought to photoshop him onto a Time Person of the year cover with the bold parts of his speech at the bottom.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Feb 22, 2012 12:30:08 PM | 4

May be a brilliant move but its not new or unorthodox.

In 1979 Khomeini called even peaceful nuclear reactors "the work of the devil". Both Khomeini and Khamenei have said repeatedly that nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam. It's based on sound logic from the Quran which gives clear instructions on how Muslims can fight wars. They are forbidden from delibately targetting women and children (although targeting adult men, combatant or non-combatant is permitted). Since a nuclear bomb would deliberately destroy an entire city of mainly women and children then it stands to reason that on religious grounds nuclear bombs would be banned.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Feb 22, 2012 1:10:37 PM | 5

It would be interesting to learn of the reactions of Christian, Jewish and atheist spokesmen from Europe, Israel and the US. Justifying the building, let alone the employment of, nuclear weapons would test moral ingenuity of anyone not openly committed to evil.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 22, 2012 3:20:58 PM | 6

Has he reconfirmed the fatwa against the use of neckties?

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 22, 2012 3:48:42 PM | 7

@5, as with any religion, there are loopholes, especially when you mix it thoroughly with matters of State.

Alternatively, it can be based on the “Expediency of the Regime’s Survival.” This doctrine arose when the late Ayatollah Khomeini wrote an open letter in 1986 to the present Supreme Leader (who was at the time the president of the Islamic Republic). In it he said that the Supreme Leader had powers parallel to the Prophet of Islam himself in interpreting the religion. Should the survival of the Islamic regime be at stake, even the basic tenets of the religion could be shut down to protect the Islamic system from destruction. After the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, an Expediency Council and the Principle of the Expediency were enshrined in the amended Constitution of the Islamic Republic, which enhanced the powers of the Supreme Leader in determining general policies of the state.

According to Kholdi, the principle of the expediency is a “two-edged sword.” He said: “While one might invoke it to assure the rest of the world that an Islamic State would never make [a nuclear weapon], however it has been formulated and based upon the Koran and the Hadith, the same principle of expediency can allow for the manufacturing of any such weapons, should the circumstances change.” (Note)

http://catalytic-diplomacy.org/chapter.php?order=26

Khamenei seems to me to have decided some time ago upon having a "Japan option" (the ability, were the circumstances to call for it, to rapidly construct a bomb so as to be able to invoke Mutually Assured Destruction against an aggressive enemy). The Japan option has all the advantages of actual possession of a bomb without any of the unpleasant consequences, of the sort North Korea is suffering. A Japan option makes a country a geopolitical player and lessens the hegemony of nuclear-armed states (thus, Japan is not nearly as afraid of China as the relative military postures of the two countries might predict; and with a Japan option, Iran would be less threatened by Israel.)

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 22, 2012 4:08:18 PM | 8

FACT: During the Iran-Iraq war, when Saddam gassed over 60,000 Iranians and unknown number of Kurds with US backing (the US een tried to shift the blame for Saddam's gassing of the Kurds in Halabja onto Iran) the Iranians were legally entitled to respond to Iraq's use of chemical weapons with their own chemical reprisals. Iran however did not do so, for moral and religious reasons, and instead elected to take the loss.

What would the US have done if Mexico had gassed 60,000 Americans with the connivance and cooperation of the Iranians?

Posted by: Cyrus | Feb 22, 2012 4:12:35 PM | 9

@9, perhaps it has something to do with the fact they were Muslims, and many of them شيعة‎

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 22, 2012 4:30:41 PM | 10

@ MB

That certainly is an interesting disclaimer they've constructed. Probably a similar loophole to a Western idea of Marshall Law or Emergency Law in democracies. That in extreme cases where the survival of the state is at risk its possible to do away with the basic tenents of government (whether Democractic or Religious).

Agree with the conclusion that Iran wants a breakout capability similar to Japan. After all that is the smartest option. Think what is doing now is creating hardened sites like Fordo to replace Natanaz which would be immune to bombing and creating a knowledge base for nuclear technology that is so wide that no amount of assassinations would have noticeable effect. Something along the lines of having one enrichment chemist succeed in the enrichment process and then teaching an entire class of apprentices how to replicate it. Or training 3 technicans for how to do one job. The US can blow up factories pretty well its harder to effectively destroy a widely disseminated knowledge.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Feb 22, 2012 5:24:48 PM | 11

Iraq's use of sarin against Iran was the first (and, as far as I know, the only) use of nerve gas in combat. And it was done with U.S. approval.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 22, 2012 5:25:37 PM | 12

Two nicely done animations on the IAEA and Iran:

http://www.xtranormal.com/xtraplayr/13077773/super-inspectors

http://www.xtranormal.com/xtraplayr/13083929/march-in-to-parchin


Posted by: Paul | Feb 22, 2012 9:37:43 PM | 13

The Iranian people should expect, and DEMAND, that thier leaders seek and develop a nuclear weapons capability. With two nuclear powers engaging in a steady and ongoing campaign of threats, internal meddling, and covert as well as overt acts of war against Iran, Iran's leaders would be incompetent if they were not seeking nuclear equality as a deterent.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Feb 22, 2012 10:32:27 PM | 14

"Iran's leaders would be incompetent if they were not seeking nuclear equality as a deterent."


Yep, I agree. The MAD principal worked well for many years, why not now?
Because the leaders of Iran are less able to control themselves than the leaders who already have nukes? Pakistan and India have nukes, and they've been bitter enemies for years. The MAD principle works for them, so I'm sure it would work for Iran and Israel also. The REAL problem is Iran's sovereignty challenges the desire for the West to have hegemony in the region. Just my opinion.

Good article, thanks b. But, as with every government, can reality match the rhetoric?

Posted by: ben | Feb 22, 2012 11:10:45 PM | 15

Why would Iran want a nuke? With Ras Tanura and the rest of the Persian Gulf oil infrastructure sitting within easy range, they could nuke the industrialized world's economy without using a nuke at all.

Iran took out Saddam's oil infrastructure, but Saddam had the West to fall back on for loans and imports. The industrialized world has no fallback except for strategic oil reserves, which will keep the military running while oil prices soar into the stratosphere for the rest of us.

Most 'experts' don't talk about this, because they want us to believe that an attack on Iran would be a cakewalk (just like Iraq).

Posted by: JohnH | Feb 22, 2012 11:13:08 PM | 16

Agree with JohnH @ 16. We don't need nuclear weapons, as our "Samson Option" is destroying the infrastructure that feeds the West's jugular vein. The recent improvements in the range and accuracy of our Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBM's) is the proof, and the fact that US planners saw this (and independent powerful Iran) coming absent intervention of some sort is what has been driving the sanctions for the past 30 years, way before any talk of any nuclear program.

Posted by: Unknown Unknowns | Feb 22, 2012 11:45:53 PM | 17

Iran does not need (and does not want) nuclear weapons. It can extend its position in the world much better without nukes than with them. Even the Israelis get that.

Haaretz'Zvi Bar'el writes: Iran’s real weapon
As things stand, Iran has achieved its goals without needing to stockpile nuclear bombs in its arsenal.

Yet more surprising is Ahmadinejad’s public declarations about precisely what he intends to develop, assemble and enrich, and when. It’s as though he’s producing television promos. One might wonder why Iran is so public about its nuclear program. Why, for instance, does it not adopt Israel’s policy of nuclear ambiguity?
The answer is that Iran simply does not want to do so.

There is a consensus in the West, and also in Israel, that Iran has not yet decided whether to develop a nuclear weapon. But why hasn’t it decided? If it has no intention of producing such a weapon, then what’s all the fuss about? And if Iran does really want to develop a nuclear weapon, why is it waiting?
...
Yet the answers to all these questions appear to be deeper than we might initially think. It’s hard not to be astounded by Iran’s diplomatic successes over the past decade. Thanks to America’s occupation of Iraq, Iran managed to come across as Iraq’s patron. It also functions as Syria’s strategic backer; and via Hezbollah, Tehran controls Lebanon’s domestic affairs. It invests considerable funds in Afghanistan, and helps Pakistan manage wide-ranging affairs with India. This week it offered to help Egypt bolster its economy, should the United States decide to freeze aid to Cairo; in Egypt, there is vocal support for such a relationship with Iran.

Iran also maintains close relations with Turkey, Qatar and several North African countries.
...
In this way, the West has shown Iran that it has no need for a nuclear bomb. It has been enough for Iran to simply demonstrate its capacity to develop unconventional weapons. Such a threat has transformed Iran into a superpower able to manipulate the positions of countries around the world. Iran isn’t in a hurry to cross the line between having the potential to manufacture a bomb and actually producing such a weapon. It might never cross that line. Why should it furnish the West with a pretext to attack or impose more sanctions against it?

As things stand, Iran has achieved its goals without needing to stockpile nuclear bombs in its arsenal. Which is ideal, as far as Tehran is concerned. Iran has attained optimal deterrent power. The gist is this: Tell your friends what you’re capable of doing to them, should you choose to do so, and wait for them to embrace you.

Posted by: b | Feb 23, 2012 2:13:58 AM | 18

In this way, the West has shown Iran that it has no need for a nuclear bomb. It has been enough for Iran to simply demonstrate its capacity to develop unconventional weapons. Such a threat has transformed Iran into a superpower able to manipulate the positions of countries around the world. Iran isn’t in a hurry to cross the line between having the potential to manufacture a bomb and actually producing such a weapon. It might never cross that line. Why should it furnish the West with a pretext to attack or impose more sanctions against it?

Let's assume this is true for the moment. Are you seriously advocating this? Seriously? So, in your quest to see the U.S. flattened at any price, you are throwing your support to a rising theocracy taking its place as one of the next "Superpowers?" Lord help us if this is the mindset and intent of opposition and dissent to Imperialism. Humans are foolish beasts who's destiny is to repeat its mistakes until its extinction as a species.

Also, I have to seriously question Haaretz's motivation in all of this. If they had any intellectual honesty and acumen at all, they wouldn't be taunting the renegade and fanatical leadership of Israel at this particular moment. The only outcome of that is to add further fuel to the fire that is now spreading.

If you are truly interested in peace, you cannot have it at any price. Peace must be attained properly, or else you merely sow the seeds of the next cycle of rising tyranny and totalitarianism and its inevitable destruction. Your goal should be to end this abusive cycle once and for all, and that cannot be accomplished by lending support, in whatever form, to the enemy of your enemy when that enemy of your enemy is comprised of essentially the same elements as your enemy.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 23, 2012 6:32:45 AM | 19

I would very much like to read the whole speech. I appear to be missing the link somehow - the link refers to a page on his official website from 2011.

Posted by: JustPlainDave | Feb 23, 2012 8:09:03 AM | 20

MB @19


Let's assume this is true for the moment. Are you seriously advocating this? Seriously? So, in your quest to see the U.S. flattened at any price, you are throwing your support to a rising theocracy taking its place as one of the next "Superpowers?" Lord help us if this is the mindset and intent of opposition and dissent to Imperialism. Humans are foolish beasts who's destiny is to repeat its mistakes until its extinction as a species.

Whoa there chief! what is this about 'flattened at any price'? The Iranians haven't done anything, they're doing the best they can under the circumstances and they're not in a position to 'flatten' anyone.

They're sitting on the largest proven reserves of oil which the West needs and the West says we will not buy from them. Which confounds and suits them in terms of oil prices. "Do as I say, or...or...I will punch myself in the nose!" How do you expect them to respond to basic economic irrationality?

They don't have a nuclear weapons programme. They can't come clean on what they're NOT doing. So, the absence of evidence is evidence of intent?

As for their 'theocratic' gov., it's the Iranians problem, not anyone elses'. Back in India, there's a song that's sung by people who don't give a shit about their Gov.

Raman andalum, Ravan andalum, yenekku oru kavalai illai.

"I don't care whether the country is governed by Rama or Ravana[1];I'm just not worried"

The Iranians will elect/murder politicians/have a coup/elect eunuchs/elect Sunnis/elect Jews/elect atheists/elect Salman Rushdie and a whole bunch of actions from the mundane to the ridiculous. Or simply have a status quo of a bunch of old men reading some random book and issueing fatwas whether it is right to scratch your balls in the morning when you get up.

WTF is the problem? As long you pay $$$s for the oil, be on your way, sir.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramayana

Posted by: shanks | Feb 23, 2012 8:57:14 AM | 21

The only hostile action against the west by the Iranian government is to exercise control over their own oilresource, and voicing their disgust of the zionist-government occupation of Palestine and bombing of Gaza.
The west would like them to disclose all military facilities, show the inspectors the US droid they captured, and sell their oil to the west, and not in the direction of China.

Posted by: Alexander | Feb 23, 2012 9:31:32 AM | 22

For those who love Superpowers.

Youcef Nadarkhani

I'm sure vocal Atheists are not immune from the very same treatment, and I have no doubt that some in the crowd that present the Iranian Government in a positive light in this debate are Atheists.

Things that make one scratch their head and say WTF.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 23, 2012 12:46:06 PM | 23

MB, Prior to 1939, Poland was not a democracy. Rather, it was ruled by a military government whose treatment of minorities left much to be desired.

So, once invaded by the Nazis, whose side should one take?

Countries are not perfect. Far from it. But Iran isn't about to invade anyone. The US is. It really is that simple.

Posted by: Lysander | Feb 23, 2012 1:16:01 PM | 24

morocco bama, Nato bombing Iran won't help him, he might die from a NATO bomb instead.

their record of hitting correct targets is bad.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_bombing_of_Yugoslavia#Civilian_casualties

talking about war propaganda, it seems to be the rerun of a rerun. I am disgusted politicians can still get away with it.

this here should have been a huge scandal in Germany. It wasn't. Nobody seems to talk about it really except this brief regional television broadcast. I have to read Serbs on twitter comparing Nato bombings from Serbia to Libya to find out about it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EplT5JJTpqc

Posted by: somebody | Feb 23, 2012 1:56:28 PM | 25

Iranian clerics, the Gvmt, or parts of it, are huge holders of biz and real estate, as ‘private’ individuals, or in corps composed of individual holdings, though the distinction between the different entities makes little sense, as again, there is no separation between Church and State (as I said about Greece), and in Iran no clear boundary between the ppl, the Gvmt, the landowners and biz moguls, the clerics, exists. (See similarly, Egypt Gvmt. and the Army.)

A state within a state, or just ‘the’ state. For GR it might be possible to figure it out, for Iran, not (from the outside or at all.)

The rulers interest now and since 1980s is to be pacifist. Not that I mean to impugn religious values, or long tradition in the country, or say that declarations are insincere, or that Iran is arming with nukes. No.

To protect one’s interests it is often best not to rock the boat.

And the arms race all over the world is spurred by the producers. USA, GB, Israel - in first place - then Germany, France. Not Iran.

Iran has precisely the religious-land/other owning - corporate oligarchy that many in the US dream of and is looming. That is what some of the ppl in Iran object to. They are not stooges for Western interests.

Iran and the US elites should just join forces and be done with it, ha ha.

Afaik only one top pol advocated that, a Dem, John Kerry. Not in those words of course.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 23, 2012 2:01:35 PM | 26

@25, yes, I know, NATO bombing wouldn't help that individual, or others like him. I am against foreign intervention because it would make things a thousand times worse for the Iranian people and the interventionists would not have the best interests of the Iranian people at heart. Quite the contrary. Yeah, they might not be put to death for apostasy, but they would surely die a slow death from destitution and depleted uranium poisoning.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 23, 2012 2:08:52 PM | 27

The internal human rights violations of Iran is of course what we should be sanctioning, not their nuclear program.
But then again, the big ones have no specific moral superiority to Iran. It's strictly a economic oil-control issue disguised as a nuclear one.

Posted by: Alexander | Feb 23, 2012 3:57:58 PM | 28

have israels rabbis or US christian leaders issued 'fatwas' against Israel and US Nukes?

Posted by: brian | Feb 23, 2012 4:32:53 PM | 29

will jewish Morocco obama issue his 'fatwa' forbidding nukes? Not likely

Posted by: brian | Feb 23, 2012 4:49:18 PM | 30

wil alexander call for sanctions against Israel US Canada or EU for their rampant violation of human rights? let alone their brutal wars of aggression....Iran in comparison is a virgin.
Sanctions via the dubious and increasingly dodgy HR ploy is not to be used to regulate other state internal affairs. HR is a tool that is being blunted by being used as a political instrument by the real bad guys

Posted by: brian | Feb 23, 2012 4:53:28 PM | 31

Link appears to point to a different page than intended. The recent statement is here with the money quote: “The Iranian nation has never been after nuclear weapons and it will never go after such weapons. The Iranian nation will prove to the world that nuclear weapons do not bring about power. The people can shatter the kind of power that is based on nuclear weapons by relying on theirtalents and their human and natural capacities.”

If he had been explicitly making statements along the lines of the language in the quote in the post it would have been a bigger deal given current events (the language there appears to be derived from the language of his statements in late 2010 to, IIRC, the first Iranian Nonproliferation Conference, which is pretty well known).

Posted by: JustPlainDave | Feb 23, 2012 5:28:20 PM | 32

will jewish Morocco obama issue his 'fatwa' forbidding nukes? Not likely

Well, I'm not Jewish, but I have to say, I like the necktie fatwa. I always hated those damn things and I never wear one.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 23, 2012 5:54:25 PM | 33

Khamenei's recent speech:
http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=contentShow&id=9183

Posted by: Paul | Feb 23, 2012 6:22:16 PM | 34

so will nonjewish morocco bama issue a 'fatwa' against US and Israels nukes?

Posted by: brian | Feb 23, 2012 7:27:12 PM | 35

so will nonjewish morocco bama issue a 'fatwa' against US and Israels nukes?

Certainly. I hereby issue a fatwa against not only U.S. and Israeli nukes, but all nukes everywhere for all time. With my fatwa, the rule of expediency does not apply, meaning the fatwa as I just issued it cannot be rescinded and/or circumvented under any circumstances, even if the annihilation of the state of Morocco Bama is imminent.

Satisfied?

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 23, 2012 7:35:19 PM | 36

interesting...a nonrescindable 'fatwa'

'even if the annihilation of the state of Morocco Bama is imminent. '

and which state is that?

Posted by: brian | Feb 23, 2012 8:01:31 PM | 37

And I call for sanctions on Israel. And Netanjahu, Lieberman and G. W. Bush tried for warcrimes.

Posted by: Alexander | Feb 23, 2012 9:11:43 PM | 38

Just for the record- LA Times: U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bomb

Posted by: b | Feb 24, 2012 3:58:48 AM | 39

Yeah, it seem pretty clear, they are not actively persuing development of a nuclear weapon. Some Iranian scientists might have the blueprints, but clearly don't have a centrifuge configuration for uranium purer than 20%, which is the IAEA limit for civilian purposes. The 90% purity is a massive step away from their current setup. Knowing how to do it is not indicational of actually doing it. Every nuclear scientist should have an idea of how to make a bomb, that is basic knowledge if they are building a powerplant to be prevented from blowing up.

To read the IAEA reports as indicational of an active nuclear weapons program is preconceived and tendentious to say the least. Taking their capability to produce fast electronic switches, reasearch in spherical carbon detonation microdiamondproduction, and all the civilian powerplant-necessary knowledge as indicating a active nuclear weapon program is purely a Israel-ordered promiscuous interpretation.

The Iranian bearded clergymen wouldn't stand for such activities either, they have some influence in military matters.

A lot of people seem to think that their underground facilities is suspicious. Well, with the threat from Israel to bomb everything, locating it underground is quite sensible.

At least the Obama administration have seen what is actually going on, and not AIPAC-whoring themselves to Israels warmongering.
As long as Iran observe the non proliferation treaty they have obligated themselves to, Israel should shut up, or sign the damn thing themselves.
But I would like to see the sanctions lifted, seems the sanctions are there out of old habit, or some weird tradition.
The IAEA should really review the old US powerplants instead, and Israels too, after the Fukushima demonstration of how quickly it can go sour.

Posted by: Alexander | Feb 24, 2012 6:14:32 AM | 40

Just remember that this womens and gay rights angle,which is counterproductive,because no way will things improve in those areas in Iran if we kill their husbands,brothers and sons,(and women and children collaterally)is the last propaganda arrow in the quiver of neolibcon criminals,and will be used in dishonest ways by dishonest people.
And flattened by Iran,now that's a stretch out of the neolibcon handbook if I've ever seen one.Sheesh.

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 24, 2012 7:29:13 AM | 41

And flattened by Iran

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 24, 2012 8:05:49 AM | 42

Yo meanie,sheesh,give me a break.What's more mean,killing people or telling them not to be gay,not to be unfaithful,not to kill their progeny,and not to war on innocents,like we do daily?
Are you Iranian?Sanitorium is a domestic wacko hypocrite,as is Newt,Obomba,Shillary and Romney,worry about those idiots,not some foreign person whose edicts are his peoples concern,and no possible threat to your modern value free state of abortion,premptive war,predatory healthcare,jobless people and corporate piracy,despite neolibcon bastards filling you with fear of scimitar wielding 7th century pajama clad terrorists attacking our shores in their rickety dhows as modern day vikings.
The only arrow left in the quiver of hypocrisy to the se(y)rial liars is the humanitarian angle,and if you believe drone worshippers are that,you are seriously deluded.

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 25, 2012 12:07:40 PM | 43

@43, what and who are you talking about? Quit talking to scarecrows, ya moron. Of course Iran couldn't flatten the U.S. No one but the U.S. can flatten the U.S. Iran will disintegrate on its own, as well, when the easy oil runs dry and we're fast approaching that point. After that, Iran has nothing to offer the world except Theocracy, and I don't think there will be many takers at that point.

FYI, that post @42 essentially said the same thing I just said, but whoever hacked into b's software, changed it, or b changed it, because that's not what I posted.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 26, 2012 3:51:06 PM | 44

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Bernhard. Never saw the Supreme Leader's site before.

Posted by: Russ Wellen | Feb 29, 2012 2:26:12 PM | 45

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