|Here's the deal Barry|
Iran was in agreement to having such a nuclear weapons-free zone, as were all the other Muslim nations in the area.
That treaty involves the idea that no nation in that region will have any nuclear weapons.
It is somewhat similar to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty signed by Iran and all of those nations -- except one -- Israel.
Iran and other significant nations in the area signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty years ago -- a treaty which gives any nations that are signatory to it the legal right to use nuclear power plants to generate electricity for their citizens.
To add insult to injury, the government of Israel, backed by the U.S. government, has cancelled its participation in the talks:
High-level talks between Israel and its Muslim neighbors regarding a nuclear weapons-free zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East have been cancelled by the US and Israel.(Anti War, quoting AP). This is rank hypocrisy on steroids and is a foreign policy debacle that is sure to diminish the good standing of the U.S. in the eyes of the other nations.
A nuclear weapons-free zone has been repeatedly proposed, only to have Israel – the only state in the region with nuclear weapons – reject it in favor of maintaining this nuclear monopoly, further destabilizing the region, and keeping the threat of others’ nukes as a primary excuse for its militarism.
Diplomats tell the Associated Press that the US, one of the organizers of the meeting on this latest NWFZ proposal, would likely make a formal announcement of its cancelation soon, claiming that “the time was not opportune.”
While Iran is a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has publicly pledged its opposition to nuclear weapons development, has subjected itself to thorough international inspections, and in fact has exactly zero nuclear weapons, Israel has done none of the above and has approximately 200 nuclear warheads. Iran is being severely punished and threatened with attack, Israel is supported with unparalleled economic, military, and diplomatic support.
You may be wondering what this has to do with oil or with oil wars, so let's tie it together.
For decades the foreign policy of the U.S. in the region has been one of controlling the oil reserves for western use:
QUESTION: Is there a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East?(Chomsky, 1977 interview). Chomsky, over thirty years ago, envisioned exactly what was taking place then, and why it was taking place, referring in a footnote to:
CHOMSKY: Yes. There's been a very consistent U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, at least since the Second World War, whose primary concern has been to ensure that the energy reserves of the Middle East remain firmly under American control. The State Department noted in 1945 that these reserves constitute "a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history."
Basically it is a policy meant to keep Saudi Arabia, which has by far the largest known stores of petroleum, under American control. This has been quite explicit since World War II. In fact, during the war the government tried to expel Britain, and later France, from the region. There were forms of chicanery used to achieve that end, which was achieved, certainly, by the formation of ARAMCO [Arabian American Oil Company] in 1947.
Given U.S. control over Western Hemisphere resources, the United States thus effectively controlled the major energy reserves of the noncommunist world, with all that implied with regard to the organization of international society. A number of years later, the American position in the Middle East was extended. Following the CIA-backed coup in Iran in 1953, American oil companies controlled 40% of Iranian oil. By the mid 50s, American dominance of the region and total dominance of Saudi Arabia was virtually complete.
American penetration of the Saudi economy and military has been extensive. There are now about 30,000 Americans in Saudi Arabia, mostly ARAMCO employers. U.S. exports to Saudi Arabia and Iran amounted to $28 billion each in 1976, with sales to Saudi Arabia projected to reach $4.8 billion in 1977.
U.S. Department of State. Foreign Relations of the United States. 1945, viii, 45, cited in Joyce and Gabriel Kolko, The limits of power, Harper & Row, 1972, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the development of U.S. policy at the time.(ibid, 1977 interview, footnote 1). Likewise, he foresaw what is taking place in foreign policy today which we currently read about and hear in the media:
Suppose the U.S. had 100% of its own energy right here. That wouldn't affect in the least American desire to control the Middle East because we want to make sure that nobody else has access to those cheap resources of energy. One of the ways the U.S. keeps control over Europe and Japan is by having a stranglehold on their energy supply. Therefore, if there was a solar energy or shale breakthrough, giving the U.S. its own energy supply completely independent of Middle East oil, we still would want to ensure control over that region as long as Middle East oil remained cheap and accessible.(ibid, 1977 interview, emphasis added). Solar energy and shale fracking for oil is a common theme in the media today, consistently presented in the context of U.S. oil independence (pro fracking here; contra fracking here).
Yet, as Chomsky presciently said thirty five years ago, the U.S. and Israel do not want to give up the nuclear weapon advantage because they want use it to help control the lifeblood of economies of the world - oil.
That is why the U.S. and Israel will not attend the nuclear weapons-free zone talks that were to take place this month.
Chomsky reiterated this reality in a recent speech (see video at Epigovernment: The New Model - 2).
Other Dredd Blog series give additional information on these subjects (see Series Posts under "OIL").
The previous post in this series is here.