Oppose U.S. Imperialist Aggression!

Explosion Destroys Nuclear Fuel Site in Iran as Trump/Pence Regime Steps Up Attacks

| revcom.us


On July 2, a huge explosion destroyed Iran’s main nuclear fuel enriching facility at Natanz. According to various news reports, the explosion may have been caused by bombs planted at the site or by a cyberattack operation. Iranian officials said the destruction of the facility set back the country’s nuclear program by months.1

The New York Times cited a “Middle Eastern intelligence official” as saying that Israel was behind the attack.2 Israel has not officially claimed responsibility for the Natanz attack, but the Israeli foreign minister said, “Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear [weapon] capabilities,” and that to prevent them from having such capabilities, “we take actions that are best left unsaid.”3 Some Western officials have described the Natanz incident as part of an evolving “joint American-Israeli strategy” involving “a series of short-of-war clandestine strikes.”4

Whatever the actual role of Israel and U.S. in this particular incident was, it takes place in the context of aggressive, intensifying threats and attacks against Iran by the Trump/Pence regime along with Israel, the main attack dog for U.S. imperialism in the region.5

In January of this year, Trump ordered the assassination by drone of Iranian general Qassim Soleimani while he was in Iraq. This American assassination of a high government official of a sovereign state, on the soil of another sovereign state, was objectively an act of war. To be clear, Soleimani was a key part of the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist regime of Iran, which has committed real crimes against its people and supports other reactionary forces in the region. But the butchery and massive crimes carried out by America in the Middle East alone, not to speak of across the world, is thousands of times greater than what the likes of the Iranian reactionaries could even dream of!6

Assassination, Military Build-up, and Murderous Sanctions

Even before the Soleimani assassination, the U.S. had stepped up deployment of warships, high-tech weapons, and thousands more troops into the region, expressly targeted at Iran. While the U.S. denounces Iran for allegedly aiming to develop nuclear weapons, it is the American rulers (Democrats and Republicans alike) who have thousands of nuclear weapons that they wield against any other power or forces threatening their domination of the Middle East and the entire globe. And now this monstrous arsenal—which could bring doom to humanity if used—is in the control of a demented fascist bully with his finger on the nuclear button.

When they came into office, the Trump/Pence regime sharply changed the U.S. imperialist policy vs. Iran, previously marked by Obama’s signing of a multinational deal with Iran to limit its nuclear weapons program. Trump unilaterally pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal7—and then imposed draconian sanctions against Iran as a form of economic warfare. This, in conjunction with Iran’s dependence on oil exports, has strangled Iran’s economy—and brought extreme hardships to masses of Iranian people, affecting many aspects of life.

As one journalist reported, “The many Iranian people I have interviewed have described some of the worst sanction impacts as hurting children and patients suffering from cancer, asthma, cardiovascular disease and other ailments.... Even when medicines, supplies and equipment are available, they are increasingly unaffordable.”8 This situation was made even worse in the past few months when Iran was one of the countries hardest hit with the COVID-19 pandemic.9 For the U.S. rulers, the suffering of the people is precisely the point of their sanctions—to foment widespread discontent in the hopes of weakening or even toppling the Iranian regime, in order to strengthen the U.S. grip on the Middle East.10

In June, the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency publicly accused Iran of blocking international inspections of its nuclear sites and hiding alleged nuclear activity. As one news analysis put it, this “provided cover should he [Trump] choose to intensify pressure on Iran in the midst of the presidential election season.”11 And in early July, the U.S. declared that four tankers now on their way to Venezuela with cargo of Iranian gasoline—in defiance of U.S. sanctions—will not be allowed to make their deliveries.

The reactionary Iranian rulers, for their part, have been acting on their own perceived needs—and ambitions for greater regional power. In a major move aimed directly at the U.S., Iran and China recently signed a series of economic and military agreements.12 For the U.S., this means that China,13 which is increasingly challenging U.S. power in different regions of the world, will step up their presence in the crucial Middle East in a big way—and that Iran could have an important outlet for its oil exports in the face of the U.S. sanctions.

The Real Interests of Humanity

It’s unclear how all this will develop in the coming period. But the bombing at the Natanz nuclear facility, quite possibly with U.S.-Israeli involvement, is part of ominous developments in a situation already fraught with great dangers—for the people of Iran and the region, and humanity. Whatever steps the Trump/Pence regime takes vis-à-vis Iran will fundamentally be with the aim of fighting for the U.S. domination of an entire region. While the Democrats and others in the ruling class who oppose the regime’s policies have sharp differences with Trump, they also base themselves on what they see as the best interests of their criminal capitalist-imperialist system, and continued U.S. supremacy atop that system, which has NOTHING to do with the interests of humanity.

In this situation, it’s more crucial than ever for many more people to get into and spread widely what Bob Avakian says about the interests of the rulers vs. our interests:

The interests, objectives, and grand designs of the imperialists are not our interests—they are not the interests of the great majority of people in the U.S. nor of the overwhelming majority of people of the world as a whole. And the difficulties the imperialists have gotten themselves into in pursuit of these interests must be seen, and responded to, not from the point of view of the imperialists and their interests, but from the point of view of the great majority of humanity and the basic and urgent need of humanity for a different and better world, for another way. (BAsics 3:8)


1. Why Do Things Keep Blowing Up in Iran?, Slate.com, July 7. 2020.  [back]

2. Iran Admits Serious Damage to Natanz Nuclear Site, Setting Back Program, New York Times, July 5, 2020. Also, Israel speculated to be behind mysterious explosion at Iranian nuclear site, Independent (UK), July 6, 2020.  [back]

3. Why Do Things Keep Blowing Up in Iran?, Slate.com.  [back]

4. Long-Planned and Bigger Than Thought: Strike on Iran’s Nuclear Program, New York Times, July 10, 20.  [back]

5. For a deeper understanding of the role of Israel, see the revcom.us special issue: Bastion of Enlightenment… or Enforcer for Imperialism: The Case of ISRAEL.  [back]

6. To read about some of those crimes, see the revcom.us resource page In the Middle East and the World… America: #1 Terrorist. See also the revcom.us American Crime series, which exposes many of the worst crimes committed by the U.S. around the world, including in the Middle East.

As Bob Avakian says in the film THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America: A Better World IS Possible! on the reality of the U.S. as “Leader of the Free World:”

The U.S. government wages war in Africa and Asia, as well as the Middle East, claiming it is fighting to defend civilization against the brutal and murderous Islamic fundamentalist jihadists. But the imperialists of the U.S. are certainly no less brutal and murderous, and the “civilization” they boast of is literally built on the blood and bones of people all over the world. And why is this Islamic fundamentalism such a force now? Fundamentally because of the workings of capitalist imperialism itself. Besides the overall role of imperialism in creating more favorable soil for these Islamic fundamentalists, actions of the U.S. imperialists have further fed their growth.

In the 1980s the U.S. actually armed and built up Osama bin Laden and other Islamic fundamentalists to strike at the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

In 2003, in violation of international law, the U.S. invaded Iraq to overthrow the head of government there, Saddam Hussein. This invasion was carried out under the cover of lies that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. This invasion, and the occupation of Iraq by American forces that followed, caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, set off bloody conflicts among the Iraqi people and created more fertile ground for Islamic fundamentalist forces.

And the same thing happened in Libya. Under the presidency of Barack Obama, and with the insistent urging of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. intervened in a conflict within Libya on the side of forces opposed to the long-time ruler Muammar Qaddafi. With the fall of Qaddafi—which was brought about mainly as a result of massive bombing of his forces by the U.S. and its allies—the rivalries and conflicts within Libya were intensified, and Islamic fundamentalist forces gained strength.

Or take the case of Iran. In 1953 the CIA engineered a coup that overthrew a popular government that was moving to nationalize the oil of the country, so that it could be used for the development of its economy, instead of being controlled and plundered by the U.S. and Britain. This coup brought the Shah of Iran to power, and the people of Iran suffered decades of torment and torture at the hands of the Shah and his secret police. And, here again, these actions of the U.S. created more favorable ground for the forces of Islamic fundamentalism, which ultimately seized power through the revolution that overthrew the Shah in 1979.

These are only a few examples of the American crimes that have been committed, and the kinds of consequences that have followed from these crimes, in countries all over the world.  [back]

7. For background, see previous revcom.us coverage including America—the Lying, Deal-Breaking Aggressor in the Persian Gulf and How Long Must This Go On? Tankers Damaged in Persian Gulf—America Again Ratchets Up Threats, Danger of War Against Iran.  [back]

8. Intensified US Sanctions Bolster Iran’s Hardliners and Fuel Angry Protests, truthout.org, November 19, 2019.  [back]

9. Coronavirus—and Global Countermeasures: A Gathering Tsunami of Pain in a World of Savage Inequalities, revcom.us.  [back]

10. See Massive Protests Rock Iran: Islamic Republic Shoots Down More Than 100, Injures or Arrests Thousands More—U.S. Sheds Crocodile Tears While Intensifying Collective Suffering, Risking War, revcom.us.  [back]

11. Iran Is Accused of Hiding Suspected Nuclear Activity, New York Times, June 19, 2020.  [back]

12. Defying U.S., China and Iran Near Trade and Military Partnership, New York Times, July 11, 2020.  [back]

13. The leaders of China call themselves “communist”—but, in fact, they head up a capitalist system that exploits and oppresses its people and is a rising rival of U.S. and other imperialist powers internationally. For a deep look at how an actual socialist society was defeated in China after the death of revolutionary leader Mao in 1976 and capitalism was restored, see this special issue of revcom.us: You Don’t Know What You Think You “Know” About… The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future.  [back]

Two photos of the site of a missile production facility near Parchin, Iran. Left, before the explosion; right, the black spot shows the scorched remains after an explosion on June 26 that was so big it rattled Iran’s capital. (Photo: AP)



Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:

Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.