The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), which denounced the supposedly military nature of the Iranian nuclear program, must regularly be confronted with a hefty contention: how is it possible that the Revolutionary Guards could be developing such a program in secret when the manufacture, stockpiling, threat and use of weapons of mass destruction were forbidden by a fatwa of the Supreme Leader of the Revolution? [1]

After its long-standing denial of the fatwa’s existence, the WINEP responds to this argument in a new report. Yes, the prohibition exists, but the Islamic Revolution has always been flexible in interpreting Islam according to its needs. What is forbidden today could be allowed tomorrow. In addition, WINEP maintains that, with the Iranian Shiites’ gift of dissimulation, it can not be excluded that they have already changed their doctrine and are currently conducting under cover military nuclear research. In this case, the fatwa issued by the Supreme Leader would serve as a lure to dupe the West. Moreover, the danger is all the greater considering the rise of new Iranian leaders imbued with an apocalyptic ideology which could lead them to use the atomic bomb.

The reader will not fail to be amazed at the bad faith oozing from this report. Thus, after having long denied the existence of the fatwa, the WINEP now explains that, on the contrary, it is proof that the Iranians must be hiding something because they are intrinsically perverse. The most preposterous part is certainly the end of the reasoning: WINEP interprets the Shiite representation of the end of the world through the prism of its own postulations. President Ahmadinejad repeated in many of his speeches that, according to Islamic revolutionaries, the purpose of politics is to raise human consciousness until reaching the era of the Mahdi on earth [2] In contrast to Jewish or Germanic apocalyptic thinking, it does not envisage any final destruction, but a development of human consciousness.

The WINEP is the think tank created by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Its mission is to provide briefing documents to the pro-Israel lobby in the United States.

Nuclear Fatwa. Religion and Politics in Iran’s Proliferation Strategy, by Michael Eisenstadt and Mehdi Khalaji, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), September 2011 (46 pp., 570 Ko).

[1Who’s afraid of Iran’s civilian nuclear programme?”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 27 July 2010.

[2As an illustration: “Remarks by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the 65th UN General Assembly”, by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Voltaire Network, 23 September 2010.