ALARABI: Why Bush Succeeds in No. Korea but not Iran: For Release Tues. Sep. 4, 2007

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When it comes to nukes, Bush succeeds in North Korea and fails in Iran


By Ali Alarabi — The Bush administration has scored a major international victory by convincing North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for diplomatic recognition, economic and financial aid the North Korean people urgently need. On the other hand, The Iranian president has declared this past Sunday that Iran has reached a nuclear milestone by being able to operate 3,000 centrifuges, thus, according to Iranian news agency, giving it the ability to enrich military-grade uranium. The question is, why is the United States and the Bush administration able to score this important political victory with North Korea, while refusing to talk to Iran directly on the issue of its nuclear program?


Though North Korea is far more dangerous than Iran and certainly more lethal with over a million-man army, cruise missiles capability and a crazy leader who does not mind destroy Japan and South Korea as his own country as well.


The answer is that Iran is situated in the Middle East, where every American administration since Truman has been committed to Israel’s, technological, economical and military superiority over every country in the Middle East.


Iran is a major country in that region with vast land mass areas large population and huge oil recourse of its own and located in a very rich neighborhood that consists of very weak gulf countries that has little or military power, and giving that Iraq is no longer a viable country that could counter-balance Iran specially after the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. Iran, as a result was left as the only power in the gulf with recourses and ambitions to assume a regional super power status.


Unfortunately for Iran, Israel stands its way to dominate the region without being contested. Israel is too, sees itself as the regional super power vying for hegemony and domination over the region. 


However, it is doubtful that Iran has reached the technological know-how to build a nuclear bomb, but it might be only few short years before it reaches that capability.


Will the United States and Israel allow Iran to go nuclear? That’s a question we might wake up one day and find that the United States government has decided to answer.


News reports today mentioned that the Pentagon has prepared plans to strike over 1200 military targets in Iran that will completely destroy and paralyze Iran’s military capabilities.


The Bush administration, however, never considered the same military option with North Korea, Conversely,however,it painstakingly negotiated over and over with Pyongyang even when North Korea conducted nuclear tests and missiles tests earlier this year. Eventually, and With the help of China, Japan, Russia and South Korea, the United States has achieved a goal many thought would be impossible therefore giving credibility to the notion that perseverance and diplomacy will eventually work if every player in the region, especially in thecase of the  Middle east  has decided to be honest.


But Iran is un-likely to abandon its nuclear program while Israel is already a nuclear power. Iran’s prestige and ambitions are far greater than paltry economic aid or the threat of sanctions the west is waving in its face at every round of negotiating.


Iran has legitimate reasons to acquire nuclear technology and nuclear energy like every other country in the world that wants this type of energy. Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia has expressed interests in pursuing nuclear energy programs, and rightly so if such programs will help alleviate the energy problems in each country. International law does not prohibit countries from acquiring nuclear programs for energy reasons. Provided they sign non-proliferation treaties and hosts of other agreements that have to do with safety and inspection issues.


Israel on the other hand, with reported hundreds of nuclear bombs in its arsenal, refuses to sign nuclear non-proliferation treaties or open its nuclear reactors and programs to international inspections thus making Israel an exception to international law, a situation where Israel could become more dangerous to international peace and security than Iran’s under-developed capabilities.

A better solution would be by  declaring the Middle East free of nuclear weapons, including Israel’s, only then will the United states and the world will be able to convince Iran to abandon its nuclear program.

(Ali Alarabi is the managing editor of, he can be reached at Copyright Arab Writers Group syndicate.)

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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