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2nd Lockdown – Day 44 – About Israel and its Allies v/s Iran and About Diego Garcia


Here is an article that appeared in the Letters to the Editor column of the Business Day, 3 days ago. As a rejoinder to a previous article in this South African publication some six days previously entitled, “Iran to ramp up uranium enrichment in new blow to nuclear talks”. The reply by Gunvant Govindjee, who we in LALIT know from shared international struggle against military bases, is a masterpiece in a knock-out by understatement:

“Iran Plays by the Book”

“It is bizarre that Israel should oppose the nuclear deal that was concluded in 2015 between Iran and six powers, five of which are permanent members of the UN Security Council.

“Iran does not have nuclear weapons; Israel has many. Iran is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT); Israel is not. Iran allows inspections of its nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Israel does not. Iran has stated repeatedly that it is not interested in having nuclear weapons, while Israel maintains a farcical nuclear ambiguity. Iran supports the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East; Israel does not. Israel accuses Iran of terrorism, but has itself been involved in numerous acts of terrorism in the region and beyond. 

“Yet diplomatic pressure and sanctions continue to be applied on Iran, while Israel remains exculpate. 

“In negotiating with Iran, it would be fitting for Germany, the sixth member of the negotiating team, to remind the five permanent members of the UN Security Council that negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that they themselves are engaged in modernising their nuclear arsenals or stockpiling nuclear warheads in violation of their commitments as signatories to the NPT; that in conducting their nuclear tests they have contaminated huge areas of our planet; that two of them (Britain and France) assisted Israel’s nuclear programme; and that one member (the US) under its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review reserves the right to use nuclear weapons even against non-nuclear weapon states. 

“On January 22, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force. Not a single one of the existing nine nuclear states has signed the treaty, and as yet not one has expressed its intention to accede to the treaty. 

“Rather than negotiating a new nuclear deal with Iran, it is preferable that a nuclear weapon-free zone be established in the Middle East. Unfortunately, this cannot happen as long as an ethnic and insecure nuclear state exists in the region. Thus, just as was the case with apartheid SA, it is high time for a concerted mobilisation of international support for the decolonisation of Israel so that the region can rid itself of nuclear weapons.  

“Finally, Iran should introduce an international hypocrisy prize to be awarded annually to the sanctimonious nuclear powers that oppose its peaceful civilian nuclear programme. 

“Gunvant Govindjee, Ormonde”.

It is our national duty, here in Mauritius to get the nuclear military base closed down on Diego Garcia, part of our Republic of Mauritius over which we must have democratic control, now that Chagos is to be completely decolonized. To this end, we need inspections by the IAEA under the Pelindaba Treaty for a Nuclear Arms Free Africa, a Treaty that even the five permanent members of the UN have signed up to. Jugnauth must act now and call for inspections.

And it is our international duty to get Israel formally accused of the crime against humanity of Apartheid and thus free the Palestinian people. And indeed to struggle for a nuclear arms free Middle East.  

Lindsey Collen