Scott Horton Interviews Muhammad Sahimi

Scott Horton, February 03, 2010

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Muhammad Sahimi, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California, discusses the newest round of proposed US sanctions on Iran, the odd idea that choking off supplies of refined petroleum will pressure Iran to give up uranium enrichment, how sanctions will effectively impose a gasoline tax on ordinary Iranians and consolidate the power of the Revolutionary Guard, generous concessions made by moderate Iranian presidents that were rebuffed by the Clinton and Bush administrations and the new doubts about Iran’s supposed nuclear “breakout” capability.

MP3 here. (31:34)


Thanks to Anders for the video.

Muhammad Sahimi is NIOC Professor of Petrolium Engineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California. He has written extensively on Iran’s nuclear program and its political developments. His article “Sanctions Only Hurt Ordinary Iranians” is available on Antiwar.com.

38 Responses to “Muhammad Sahimi”

  1. I find it weird that you choose to call Rafsanjani a "moderate" – it seems like the measure always seems to be how US-friendly a politician or regime seems. Rafsanjani wanted to hand Iran oil to western oil cmpanies, so yeah, he must be a moderate. No he's not. He's an oligarch.

  2. Another thing I find strange: everyone seems to assume that it's not possible for the movement for reform in Iran to have authentic roots AND to be manipulated by the West. Does anyone really think subversives from the west can create movements out of whole cloth? What they can do is magnify, channel and manipulate whatever potential movements they think can serve their interests. They coopt. They don't create (though they would do that if they could and maybe in some cases they do
    ).

    Colore Coups can be manipulated AND have authentic roots. The desire of the people of Iran for reform seems to be very authentic. But Rafsanjani and Mousavi and their movement are surely to lesser or greater extent 'western' tools.

  3. So, when is this guy Muhammad Sahimi going to join Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth? http://www.ae911truth.org/

  4. These sanctions on gasoline imports is just another reason why iran needs to continue is nuclear energy program it seems to me.

  5. If you want to get an understanding of iran today, download the software from livestation.com , which gives you access to worldwide tv channels, and you can listen to the tv channel presstv each and every day. If you do that you will gain an understanding of iran today, and I think you will come to have a certain amount of respect for their reporting of world wide events.

  6. Iran is more democratic than the crypt-ocracy that is the United states! It's more democratic than Israel and it's racist policies. What about North Korea??! North Korea is not on the terror list?!?!?!?!

    This communist dictator that has nukes and can a lob a few at japan if he wants to is not on the terror list?!?!?

    What about the house of saud? The dictator in egypt. These are guys are bought and paid for by the CIA! Egyptians, Saudis, all have the CIA to thank for their despots.

    And you wonder why people from these countries want to kill Americans?!?!

  7. Democracy is not something to be desired. I have no wish to see it imposed on the Iranians

  8. The plain fact is Ahmadinejad has much more support in Iran than the very rich Rafsanjani and his Saudi friends. Iranians base there view of the US/Israel on facts unlike the citizens of the west who are awash with pro-Israel propaganda and so poorly equipped to analyse popular support for courageous leaders. The same demonization process underway with Ahmadinejad was done with Castro, Aristide, Chavez, Allende, Arbenz, and Nasser and so on. Even if the ‘green’ Soro’s backed ‘revolution’ in Iran had a support base of 200,000 people it would still constitute a minority in a country with over 70 million people.

  9. Kevin Rudd, the latest Australian dictator, declared yesterday that Iran has a nuclear weapons programme. Why? Obama is coming for a visit. This declaration made with no accompanying evidence contradicts the diligent work done by the professionals at the IAEA. Kevin Rudd, not a nuclear expert, but rather an expert in fictional assertions, peddles the same mantra that some Australian university professors are currently pushing on young naïve minds: “we must attack Iran; ‘world peace’ depends on it.” Rudd, Obama, Brown, Netanyahu and Sarkozy are not satisfied with the genocide in Iraq (based on Lemkin’s definition) and so eagerly await another chance to murder on masse; test out new toys; protect Apartheid Israel; secure their addiction to oil, drugs and children.

  10. Kevin Rudd, the latest Australian dictator, declared yesterday that Iran has a nuclear weapons programme. Why? Obama is coming for a visit. This declaration made with no accompanying evidence contradicts the diligent work done by the professionals at the IAEA. Kevin Rudd, not a nuclear expert, but rather an expert in fictional assertions, peddles the same mantra that some Australian university professors are currently pushing on young naïve minds: “we must attack Iran; ‘world peace’ depends on it.” Rudd, Obama, Brown, Netanyahu and Sarkozy are not satisfied with the genocide in Iraq (based on Lemkin’s definition) and so eagerly await another chance to murder on masse; test out new toys; protect Apartheid Israel; secure their addiction to oil, drugs and children.

  11. Sorry about the double post.

    Peter Hallward’s book “Damning the Flood: Aristide, Haiti and the Policy of Containment” reveals the lengths to which disgruntled ex-patriots with the help of the US will go to achieve their goals. There is no conspiracy too elaborate, no lie too ridiculous and no act too disgusting that the relentless small band of drug addicted sexually depraved elite in the US will stoop. Hallward’s book exposes the United States extensive use of such organizations as USAID and other “NGO’s” to starve, cheat, lie and steal. NGO in this context stands for Narcissistic Greedy Oligarchs. The next time you hear that NGO’s are operating in a country know that the target country is under siege. As for UN ‘stabilizing forces’ Haiti’s poor had the pleasure of UN forces using heavy weapons against them for the benefit of Haiti’s bloodthirsty exploitative elite.

  12. we, or our government did not kill a million iraqis. there were plenty killed by internal strife – suicide bombers, assassinations, assaults on bases and police stations and so on. is there any statistic that clarifies the numbers better? not that half a million is acceptable, but i think this should not be glanced over. try saying something clearer, like we/our government, in our name, Lord help us, killed almost half a million people, inlcuding this many combatants, and this many non-comabatants (including this many innocent women and children, and this many defenseless elders and handicapped and so on. and it unleashed strife in that war zone where another half a million people died as victims of war. more details about which were victims of violence directly, and which succumbed to starvation or lack of sanitation or clean water and edible food. in other words i think this phrase "killed a million Iraqis" should instead be unleashed a war that a millon Iraqis died for nothing in, and go to body count websites for the details as a disclaimer. what i am saying is that nobody will listen to you at all if you exaggerate. they may listen to you if you say the war was not a good thing at all, but if you exaggerate, you might alienate them.

  13. Sanctions, not 'sactions'.

  14. Sanctions against Iran? Bullshit! Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons, and they have every right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

    There should be sanctions against Israel, that criminal Zionist entity.

    Best regards to Professor Sahimi.

  15. [...] Sanctions Against Iran Are a Bad Idea (Unless You Want a War)  Muhammad Sahimi interviewed by Scott Horton [...]

  16. Al ! Ar det du ? John

  17. Democracy is not an absolute concept, each so-called democratic society try to implement their own version, and most implementations are vastly over-rated. The US democracy is so, but it is much better than what Iranians currently have. I say that because I've lived in both places long enough.
    The best possible scenario for Iran is to use the best of more democratic – European – democracies as a starting point, modify it to fit their own society and then improve it. Even that will not be perfect but sure better than what's in place. And it cannot be exported, Iranian people have to do it themselves, as they see fit.

  18. Don't worry too much about US sanctions starting a war. We have no more ability to stop Iran from importing gasoline than we have the power to stop the sun from rising. The Congress can say anything it wants. Other countries like Russia and China do not care.

  19. spot on epps

  20. spot on hooch

  21. dont forget that all the 9/11 terrorists came from egypt and KSA. Olkahoma city terroristms here american as well. Of course the name missing from this collection is the biggest terrorist of em all, ISrael

  22. Zionist TRAITORS to the U.S. in the Congress – like Joe Lieberman – will not rest until the U.S. is at war with Iran – endless war to benefit Israel unti the U.S. is destrooyed!

  23. Let's see, if "we" started an illegal, immoral war of aggression against Iraq, and over a million Iraqis have died as a direct or indirect result (and they have), how is it that "we" don't bear full moral responsibility for these deaths?

    Sorry but "we" unjustifiably destroyed the physical, political and social infrastructure of Iraq and "we" are fully responsible for the consequences.

  24. Sorry but the real "9/11 terrorists" came from Israel and the U.S.

  25. Iran has a $l trillion economy which it is about four times larger than Israel,if we had trade relation with Iran,it could create one million jobs in the United States in one year,it is insane that our government has become an slave to Israeli Lobby,and sacrfising America's national interest for Israel.

  26. Opposition to Iranian government comes from the young who live with their parants,and they live in northern Tehran,they are sons of the very rich.In a city with l4 million people these rich Iranians number about 250,000. The conflict in Iran is rich against poor . These rich young men do not wrok most of them live in mansions,with servants,cooks,and maids,they are bored,and they want exitement,and even the rocks they throw on police are collected by their servants,and brought to them on pick ups by their servants.

  27. A well kept secret is there are 300000 American jews who live in Israel,who hold duel nationality,and they are the one causing all these problems for the United States,each family gets about $60,000 of American tax payer money to settel in the West Bank,and build a house.They are well conected with the evengliclal loony tunes,and they defy the American interest,and their actions was a main reason for the 911 terror attack. They have made l.5 billion muslims our enemy,and it is about time their terroristm to be stoped.

  28. Why did you censor my comment?

  29. Zionist Stuart Levey, the under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department, "decided it was time to mobilize the private sector, starting with the world’s banks, to join the effort to sanction Iran."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/magazine/02IRAN

    When are Americans going to wake up to this systematic deception?

  30. And we all know how effective our sanctions against Cuba were!

  31. I think before making up your mind you ought to think about not just political rights but also the effect of civil law on the individual. For example here in the west men have virtually no rights in relation to their children. His children can be removed from him by his wife and he can be denied any access. There is very little he can do about this. Is this the same as in Iran?

    Also a man has very few property rights. Again a civil court can strip him of his property and give it to his wife leaving him in very poor circumstances. Is this the same in Iran?

    Personally I care very little for my so called democratic rights but I care very much for my family rights and property rights which are denied me in the west.

    Iranians should be very careful when considering giving up on the protection that Islam gives men. If you do this then you may find yourselves as helpless and castrated as western men are.

  32. Thank you for the video. It was nice to see the sources of what was being mentioned, so that we can read them ourselves and so we can cite them ourselves for warparty arguements.

  33. When I read these comments, it is gratifying to see that there are so many who can clearly see the folly of the pro-zionist policies being pursued by the U.S., Britain, and France. Unfortunately, in the U.S. at least, the zionist/jewish (almost the same thing) political power is such that no change can be anticipated. The only hope is that the impending bankruptcy of that empire will force its government to change as the sheeple become embittered by downward drift. May we live in interesting times….

  34. The missiles to be deployed in Romania and Poland by 2015 are part of a first strike force – - to shoot down surviving Russian missiles which are launched in retaliation. And according to Uni of Colorado 100 warheads Hiroshima-size are enough for Nuclear Winter.

  35. On the issue of the Iranian election Dr Sahimi is shouting the same slogans of neocons….”rigged, fraudulent…etc”.

    On February 3, the head of polling team of the WPO (World Public Opinion) of University of Maryland ( worldpublicopinion.org ) affirmed beyond any doubt that Ahmadinejad had won the election and confirmed that the Iranian Government is a “Legitimate” one.

    For anyone who is familiar with Statistics, the strong Correlations (Fit, Match) computed from May 2009 TFT poll, actual election results , August WPO pll, GlobeScan poll and extensive polls of University of Tehran confidently ascertains the validity of the election results, yet Dr Sahimi is sticking to his original positions.

    He should watch videos posted on theraceforiran.com under World Public Opinion. I’m sure he will change his mind.

    I am also opposed to theocratic corrupt IRI, yet because of the high probability of another heinous war with Iran I am waiting until the danger of such war is vanished. Iranians should accept the will of majority and realize the whole fiasco of “rigged election” was fabricated by neocons to demonize Iran, smoothing the path for its destruction.

  36. part 1 of 2

    Pay attention to what Hooman Majd a Green defender said on Fora TV (search for Majd)

    “ ..[In Iran]. the election are quite democratic, even by the Western Standards, there is some vote rigging, there is some ballot stuffing, stuff like that…but it is small…it is a small number…..if the elections were within 200 to 300 thousand votes you can argue that one guy could be put over the top by some vote rigging effort…..but everybody watches each other carefully…..there are different power bases in iran watching each other very very carefully and monitor the ballots There always accuse each other of irregularities …so really I say between 200 and 500 thousand votes are fair…the elections are fair…….

  37. part 2 of 2

    …and you know nobody expected Ahmadinejad to win last time, nobody expected Khatami to win twice even though the supreme leader ….actually..actively campaigned for his opponent Nategh Nouri…he still wan…..so…still ….even the supreme leader wont say lets go and stuff 20 million ballots…..first of all it is impossible under the Iranian system, so ..i think it is a good representation of what the Iranian people want…the presidential and actually all elections are like that….parliament….and all…”

    The amaing point is he was saying all that 10 days before the election….now he cries "fraud, fraud"

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