Eleven years after the U.S. invaded Iraq on the grounds that the country had restarted a long defunct nuclear weapons program, we still levy threats and sanctions against a government that has never had a nuclear weapons program at all. Journalists and politicians still talk blithely about the Iranian program, yet, as Gareth Porter makes clear in Manufactured Crisis, almost every item of evidence has been either tendentiously or fraudulently concocted.
In his precise and definitive account, Porter dissects the politics of the Iranian nuclear scare – how the U.S. national security complex needed a new threat after the collapse of the Soviet Union, how Israeli politicians invoked the “existential” threat from Iran to deflect attention from the Palestinian issue, how the Iranians, though rejecting the notion of building a bomb, nevertheless believed that a nuclear enrichment program would be a “latent deterrent” against threats from outside.
Meticulously charting the construction of the charges levied against Iran and used as justification for ever –more onerous economic sanctions, Porter demonstrates how, time and again, evidence was twisted to put a malign slant on Iranian actions, how the supposedly objective International Atomic Energy Agency was deployed as an instrument of U.S. policy, how documents allegedly originating from inside the Iranian program that now underpin charges of a covert bomb project were in fact supplied by Israel and quite obviously forged. As might be expected from the state-influenced media that served us Iraqi WMD, the mainstream press has accorded an uncritical reception to official claims throughout.
Comprehensively researched and documented, Porter’s vitally necessary book will endow readers with the skepticism that this manufactured crisis deserves.