A lively session of the Doha Debates yesterday narrowly defeated a motion that said Iran could be trusted in its claims regarding the nuclear issue.
Fifty-two percent of the audience voted against the motion “This House trusts Iran not to build a nuclear bomb” while 42 percent supported the argument.
The debate was held in the context of a new controversy triggered by Iran’s admission in September that it had kept secret an underground nuclear facility near the city of Qom.
The panelists supporting the motion argued that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) itself had admitted that there was no evidence to prove Iran has intentions to build a nuclear bomb.
The other side, however, maintained that Iran cannot be trusted in this respect, considering its behviour in the region and its political ambitions.
“ IAEA’s admission gains more significance when we consider that is not a democratic body and its board is controlled by powerful western countries….The IAEA has 24 hour access to all nuclear facilities in Iran,” said Dr Sayed Mohammad Marandi, Iranian scholar and commentator, while speaking for the motion.
“ Iran never attacked any country nor developed any chemical weapons. In fact, Iran was the victim of chemical weapons used by Saddam Hussain, with the support of western countries,” he added.
Dr Mehjoob Zweiri, Jordanian expert on Iran, complimented his views saying that Iran had no intentions to develop a nuclear bomb nor it was capable of doing that.
“ Iran is not capable of enriching uranium to a level that is required to build a nuclear bomb… The western countries had supported Iran to build its nuclear power when it was an ally of the West but they changed their stance when Iran became their enemy. The nuclear issue is highly politicized and the political context is affecting the western judgment” argued Zweiri.
Baria Alamuddin, Foreign Editor of Al Hayat rejected these arguments saying that Iran can never trusted due to its “unpredictable” behaviour.
“ They would say one thing today and contradict it tomorrow. I am an Arab. I am a Lebanese. I know what Iran is doing in Iraq and Lebanon. I want the Arab world to be free of nuclear weapons. When it comes to nuclear bomb, I don’t trust Iran. I don’t trust Israel as well,” said Alamuddin.
Dr Alireza Nourizadeh, Iranian scholar and journalist, who joined Alamuddin to oppose the motion, said, he had left Iran 29 years ago due to the oppressive regime in the country.
“ How do you trust a government that kills and tortures its people. Iran has been lying to the international community for many years about its nuclear programme. What is the guarantee that the Iranian leadership, who consider themselves as leaders of the whole Muslim world will not come and say tomorrow that “we have made a nuclear bomb,” asked Nourizadeh.
The discussion that followed was marked by lively interventions by members of the audience. While some expressed mistrust over Iran’s nuclear intentions, others drew attention to the western bias against Iran and even argued that Iran had the right to build a nuclear bomb if it wanted to do that.
“We need an atomic bomb to build a balance of power against Israel that has procured hundreds of nuclear weapons,” said an Arab student triggering loud applause from the gathering.
Follow us on our social media channels: