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From the Blog
Iranians say controversy over nuclear program shows U.S.' double standards
TEHRAN — Amid threats of more sanctions and possible military action, Iran’s nuclear program has been the buzz word in international media for quite some time.
But very few sought the opinion of lay Iranians on the heatedly-debated issue.
"If America, India and Pakistan can develop their nuclear program, then why not us? What wrong has Iran committed?" said Hassan Kerimi, an employee in Tehran’s municipal department.
He says the Unites States has so far been the only world country to "misuse" its nuclear program.
"When you ask the name of the only country which has killed thousands of people by the atomic bomb, everybody’s answer will be the United States of America," Kerimi told IslamOnline.net.
During World War II, the United States dropped the first nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — so far the only instances of the use of nuclear weapons in warfare.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians were instantly killed, while many more died months or years later as a result of radiation exposure.
"Our nuclear program is being considered wrongly," Kerimi said. "We do not aim to produce nuclear weapons, our focus is on production of alternative energy resources."
Western nations, led by the United States, suspect Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at producing atomic weapons.
Iran insists the program is peaceful and only aims to generate electricity. For many Iranians, the controversy about their country’s nuclear program again shows the perceived double standards of the United States and its allies.
"When America puts pressure on us, why does it forget or exonerate Israel?" said Jawwad Hussein, a Tehran University student. He believes Israel is the biggest threat to peace in the region.
During his confirmation hearing, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had linked Iran’s nuclear program to other nuclear powers in the region, including Israel.
U.S. intelligence agencies routinely omit Israel from semiannual reports to Congress identifying countries developing weapons of mass destruction to protect the country from any economic or military sanctions.
Recently declassified British documents showed London helped Israel obtain its nuclear bomb 40 years ago.
The Nuclear Threat Initiative, a U.S. advocacy group co-created by CNN founder Ted Turner, believes Israel’s nuclear arsenal "is comparable in quality and quantity to that of France and the United Kingdom."
"We live in an atomic neighborhood. Everyone around us is equipped with nuclear power," Hussein said. "Why is America not putting pressure on them?"
Amer Abbas, a journalist, agrees. "On the one hand, the USA has been pressurizing Iran to shelve its nuclear program, while on the other hand it is giving legal cover to the India’s nuclear program."