Chomsky to Mattis: U.S., not Iran, greatest threat to world peace

April 5, 2017 - 21:26

TEHRAN – The American left-wing philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky said it is the U.S. rather Iran which poses “the greatest threat” to the world peace, taking a swipe at U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who branded Iran as so.

“What does the world think is the greatest threat to world peace? Well, we know that, from U.S.-run polls, Gallup polls: United States. Nobody even close, far ahead of any other threat. Pakistan, second, much lower. Iran, hardly mentioned,” Chomsky said in an interview with Democracy Now on April 4.  

Visiting London on Friday, Mattis said Iran is continuing to behave as an exporter of terrorism and still sponsors militant activity. 

Asked about his comments made in 2012 that the three primary threats the United States faced were "Iran, Iran, Iran," Mattis told reporters that Iran's behavior had not changed in the years since.

Chomsky, also a prominent linguist, also said that regular reports by intelligence services put to the lie the terror accusations against Iran: “They say Iran has very low military spending, even by the standards of the region, much lower than Saudi Arabia, Israel, others. Its strategy is defensive.

“They want to deter attacks long enough for diplomacy to be entertained. The conclusion, intelligence conclusion—this is a couple years ago—is: If they are developing nuclear weapons, which we don’t know, but if they are, it would be part of their deterrent strategy.

“Now, why is the United States and Israel even more so concerned about a deterrent? Who’s concerned about a deterrent? Those who want to use force. Those who want to be free to use force are deeply concerned about a potential deterrent. So, yes, Iran is the greatest threat to world peace, might deter our use of force.” 

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have risen under the Trump administration, an end to a less strained era during the presidency of Barack Obama who championed an international nuclear deal with Tehran. 

Late March, U.S. Army General Joseph Votel branded Iran as “the greatest long-term threat to stability” in the Middle East, making military threats against Tehran. 

“We need to look at opportunities where we can disrupt [Iran] through military means or other means their activities,” he said. 


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