Peter Oborne and David Morrison’s new book A Dangerous Delusion: Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran was under discussion last night at the Hay Festival. The authors were joined by Bronwen Maddox, editor of Prospect magazine to interrogate their contention that, in essence, there is a determined attempt to deny Iran their rights under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to push towards a new war. Despite a recurrent thread of questioning by Maddox based on the idea that the nature of the Iran ‘regime’ is nasty and thus they cannot be trusted in their repeated claims that they do not want a nuclear weapons program, the authors maintained ably their claims. Each argument they raised was based on documented discussions from negotiations between Iran and EU 3 and P5+1 as well as and evidence from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports and findings.
Yet the denial persists. The book itself is a short and excellent account of the doublestandards and the facts behind this demonised topic. However the questions being asked of the authors by the chair of the event highlight yet again, the racialised power structure and hierarchy that informs public debate. “Why,” asked a woman from the audience of Bronwen Maddox, “do you feel unable to trust what the Iranian government says, yet you take without concern figures given by say the Israelis or others?” Ms. Maddox was unable to reply.