From time to time, we here at SFW have been critical of The Economist.

In the past The Economist has run what amount to advertorials for Shariah-Compliant Finance and even their more balanced articles have ignored the real concerns surrounding Shariah Finance.

Then there was the time that The Economist lashed out at those Americans who dared exercise their free speech rights to protest Ground Zero Mosque.

Those episodes amounted to issues on which we had disagreements with the content of The Economist.

But today we are compelled to comment on an article in The Economist that is, well, outright puzzling. Today, The Economist published a celebration of the Iranian economy, praising “reforms” that have improved the performance of that economy:

Iran’s Bold Economic Reform: Economic Jihad

They even gloss over the fact that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dubbed these policies “economic jihad.” Glossing over this title is just bad journalism, given the fact that in November of 2009, Ahmadinejad addressed the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) economic summit and called for the replacement of free market capitalism with a system of Islamic economics:

We’ve got news for The Economist: improving economic performance in Iran is a BAD thing for the civilized world. We shouldn’t have to point that out, but since we had to, we will also explain in detail:

Iran is the world’s most active sponsor of Jihadist terrorism. Iran has provided aid, comfort, training and arms to Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and insurgents in Iraq, to name a few. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (known as the Pasdaran) are known to be operating in support of hostile Jihadist activity on every continent, save Antarctica. (Yes, even here in the USA. For example, a few years ago, Pasdaran members assigned to Iran’s UN mission in New York were caught red-handed filming and photographing sensitive New York targets.)

Iran arms Hezbollah and Hamas with rockets and other weaponry with which they target Israel.

Iran is working on nuclear weapons. No rational, objective observer can deny the overwhelming evidence about the truth behind Iran’s nuclear program. But just in case The Economist remains in denial on this issue, consider this anecdotal evidence:

First and foremost, Iran’s activity to produce highly enriched uranium in defiance of UN resolutions is not necessary for a peaceful energy program. But also consider statements from Iranian and other world leaders from the 1980s and 1990s when Iran’s nuclear program was just beginning to make news:

In February 1987, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini uttered these words in a speech before his country’s Atomic Energy Organization: “Regarding atomic energy, we need it now. Our nation has always been threatened from the outside. The least we can do to face the danger is to let our enemies know that we can defend ourselves. Therefore, every step you take here is in defense of your country and your revolution. With this in mind, you should work hard and at great speed.”

An even more overt statement came a year later. In a broadcast over Tehran radio in October 1988, the then-speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani 
made this chilling declaration that called for the development of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons: “We should fully equip ourselves both in the offensive and defensive use of chemical, bacteriological and radiological weapons.”

It was only after Iran’s nuclear program began to grow and the Iranians began to secure the assistance of foreign sources that denials about their quest for nuclear weapons started surfacing.

But there is simply no getting around the fact that the scope and size of Iran’s nuclear program has always been way beyond what one would reasonably expect from an oil-rich nation. Between 1988 and 1995, Iran started construction on no fewer than 15 nuclear facilities. That is the kind of active program that one would expect from a country in a severe energy crisis–or one that is hell-bent on having nuclear weapons.

More evidence of Iranian nuclear intentions surfaced during the 1990s. German and French security officials reported that, from 1992 to 1995, they foiled several attempts by Iranian intelligence agents to purchase equipment needed to create an atomic bomb.

The clearest evidence spilled out in January 1995 in a nuclear deal signed between Iran and Russia. After the U.S. strongly protested the agreement, Russian President Boris Yeltsin acknowledged that the agreement did in fact contain a military “component” and he announced that he was voiding that portion: “But it is true that the contract does contain components of civilian and military nuclear energy. Now we have agreed to separate those two. In as much as they relate to the military component and the potential for creating weapons grade fuel and other matters–the centrifuge, the construction of shafts–we have decided to exclude those aspects from the contract.”

Such statements make Iranian claims that they do not desire to have nuclear weapons appear to be bald-faced lies.

There is still more historical evidence.

Then-Ukrainian President Leonid Kucha was quoted as saying that Iran was seeking help from his nation to build nuclear weapons: “We need oil from Iran because Russia is strangling us. We have no intention of responding to the repeated request by the Iranians to share with them know-how on nuclear weapons, or to sell them any equipment in this field.”

Despite all this evidence, as well as Iran’s support for terrorism, the West has sat by and watched as Iran’s nuclear program progressed.

In fact, official statements from US government officials going back as far as 17 years indicate that we have known the true nature of Iran’s nuclear program for some time, but chose to ignore it.

In January 1994, Undersecretary of State for International Security, Lynn Davis, told USA Today that “Iran’s actions leave little doubt that Tehran is intent upon developing nuclear weapons capabilities.” Davis went on to say that “Iran’s nuclear acquisitions are inconsistent with any rational civil nuclear program.”

Perhaps the best weapons we have to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power and sponsoring Jihadist terrorism are economic. So why then is The Economist celebrating an improving Iranian economy?

We should all be hoping that the Iranian economy collapses and that they completely run out of money with which to carry out their nefarious operations. In fact, we shouldn’t be just hoping for it, the West should be doing all that it can to strangle Iran’s economy.

Just who’s side is The Economist on?



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