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12:43 03/15/2012
South Africa Must Resist Sanctions on Iran

By Iqbal Jassat

South Africa's latest corruption scandal is once again linked to high profile politicians and their close business associates.

However, unlike earlier cases of fraud, the murkiness of current allegations implicating deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe’s partner Gugu Mtshali is entirely clouded as a result of the involvement of a foreign intelligence agency, the CIA.

And amazingly, instead of being alarmed or at the least being curious, media seems to have ignored the questionable role of America’s spooks in South Africa.

The foremost question that requires probing is the timing of leaks in relation to an Israeli-inspired frenzy led by the Obama administration to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran.

As this scandal allegedly centers on so-called sanctions busting, it is entirely inappropriate to accept a narrative framed by the American government that would have South Africa believe it is guilty of a heinous crime by doing business with Iran.

Quite distinct from the basis of this new round of sensational reports which are quite damning if true for they reveal the nature of deals constructed by being close or connected to political heavyweights, concerns raised by me relate to the ability of foreign entities to attack South Africa’s economy!

So by setting aside allegations of fraud and corruption as a matter for investigation by the office of the Public Protector, a challenge facing media is to investigate the role of foreign agencies allied to American/Israeli interests intent on undermining South Africa’s legitimate trade ties with Iran.

Unless it becomes clear that the ANC government has accepted US demands on sanctions that inevitably will destabilize South Africa’s economy and retard efforts at job creation, it would be irresponsible for media to ignore this.

If India, despite its close strategic ties with America, is able to place its national interest above the Israeli manipulated economic sabotage by resisting sanctions on Iran, surely South Africa can do so too.

- Iqbal Jassat is an executive member of the Media Review Network in Johannesburg, South Africa. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit: www.mediareviewnet.com.

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