By Kourosh Ziabari
Those who regularly follow the developments of Iran might have come across to the website of “United Against Nuclear Iran”, a “non-partisan, non-profit advocacy organization” that seeks to “prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons”
UANI has compiled an elaborate list of the foreign companies and firms which do business with Iran and calls on its readers and visitors to send condemnatory letters and complaints to these companies so as to persuade them to withdraw their capitals and resources from Iran and stop doing business with a country which the United States and its European allies consider to be an emerging nuclear threat in the Middle East.
Interestingly, UANI has listed each and every foreign company which is active in Iran, from the food production companies to internet service providers, medicine manufacturers, industrial conglomerates, news agencies, transportation infrastructure providers and private consortiums, and its objective is to convince these companies to put an end to their activities in Iran.
UANI runs a divestment campaign which contains pressuring foreign corporations to stop conducting business with Iran. So far, it has succeeded in pulling out General Electric, Caterpillar and Ingersoll Rand from Iran’s market.
UANI’s advisory board consists of a number of U.S. government insiders and big shots who have close ties with the U.S. statesmen including R. James Woolsey, the former head of CIA, Fouad Ajami, a John Hopkins University professor and a close associate of the Council on Foreign Relations, Henry D. Sokolski, the former Deputy for Nonproliferation Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Gary Milhollin, the director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control and the publisher of “Iran Watch” website which is dedicated to promoting financial sanctions against Iran.
The activities of UANI, however, are not limited to lobbying for the intensification of sanctions against Iran. Each year and on the advent of UN General Assembly, UANI runs an advertorial campaign to prevent New York hotels from accommodating Iranian President and his colleagues and dissuade the city’s convention centers from hosting events in which the Iranian officials are slated to deliver a speech.
By publishing propagandistic reports and articles on the purported hazard of Iran’s nuclear activities, UANI also functions as a mouthpiece which is exclusively dedicated to fear-mongering and spreading falsehood about Iran.
UANI’s President is Mark Wallace, the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and a close companion of ex-President George W. Bush. Wallace had played a key role in the Florida election recount of 2000 which finally resulted in the installation of Bush to the presidency of the United States. Wallace also presides over Tigris Financial Group Ltd, “a multifaceted investment, advisory and asset management business with areas of focus that include resources and the natural resources sector, real estate, art and collectibles.”
UANI is a well-funded group which regularly runs anti-Iranian TV ads on cable news stations. With budgets which are seemingly devoted to UANI by the U.S. government, this “advocacy organization” produces anti-Iranian materials which are on sale in its online store. These materials include lapel pin, bumper sticker, baseball cap, yard sign kit and T-shirts on which several anti-Iranian slogans are printed.
This anti-Iranian group which is spearheaded and funded by the extremist neo-conservatives in the United States has emerged as a duplicate of “Freedom’s Watch”, a lobbying organization which pursues similar objectives to those of UANI in confrontation with Iran and its nuclear activities. It’s chaired by Ari Fleischer, a former Press Secretary to ex-President Bush and Matthew Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. American billionaire businessman Sheldon Adelson funds this group sumptuously and helps them in running political campaigns and TV programs against Iran.
According to peace activist and political journalist Richard Silverstein, the website of UANI is backed bu Henley MacIntyre, a former Bush political operative who was involved in the RNC/White House email scandal. Times reported in April 2007 that more than 50 White House staffers violated the Presidential Records Act by “inadvertently” removing 2,400 pages of electronic documents which were relevant to the discriminatory firing of eight U.S. attorneys by the direct verdict of President George W. Bush.
A little bit of research demonstrates the fact that UANI and its major players are not afraid of a nuclear threat by Iran. It is Israel that is the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Why have they turned a blind eye to the striking reality that it’s only Israel that poses a fundamental threat to the global security with its hawkish politicians who don’t know anything of peace and stability? The specifications of Dimona nuclear facilities in Israel are almost known to everyone. If nuclear disarmament was the intention of UANI’s actors, they would start by disarming Israel and the permanent members of United Nations Security Council whose nuclear arsenals are filled with thousands of atomic warheads. If UANI was looking for peace and nuclear non-proliferation, it would have advocated a nuclear-free Middle East by demilitarizing the sophisticated arsenals of the Zionist regime.
UANI claims that its goal is to prevent Iran from possessing nuclear weapons, so it persuades foreign firms and companies to stop helping Iran in ways which could lead to the development of nuclear weapons. Had they been honest in their claims, why do they target Iran’s food, communication, housing, pharmacy and oil sectors? What do these industries have to do with nuclear weapons?
In a nutshell, UANI is a fraudulent organization that merely seeks impairing the Iranian nation. They already know that Iran is not after nuclear weapons, because the power of Iranian nation does not essentially emanate from military might. They already know that the Iranian nation is unique and strong against those who nurture malicious intentions for this powerful and robust country. UANI wants a weak, demoralized and unstable Iran without an active role in the international community. UANI is not United Against Nuclear Iran, it is United Against the Nation of Iran.
Kourosh Ziabari is an Iranian freelance journalist and media correspondent. His articles and interviews haveappeared on a number of media outlets and news websites including Tehran Times, Press TV, Global Research and Foreign Policy Journal and Opinion-Maker.Org