Is it possible to fight against terrorism non-violently, with peaceful means? Since for the individual, for human communities and for humanity itself the greatest value is human life, we feel that the right of individual and collective self-defence is a human and political right which has to be absolutely observed by everyone. Is the right of individual and collective self-defence part of the individual and collective defence of life or not? Can one use even violent means if his life is attacked violently? How does the right of fear correlate to the right of self-defence? Does anybody have the right to defend himself violently if he sees that his life is threatened by real danger?
Our standpoint is that the right of fear is part of the right of self-defence. Do, however, real fear and danger authorize someone to employ preventive violence to defend his life in direct proportion to the threat? How do all of these correlate to the universal and non-relatvizable ethics, to the absolute ethical order of the Kantian ‘categorical imperative’?
The rule of self-defence corresponding to the universal ethics is that in case of a mortal danger the attacked theoretically can employ all possibilities available to him in order to defence his life. The employment of aggression and the ethical judgement of the practice of warfare, however, essentially differ depending on whether it is the combating parties who lose their life or innocent civil inhabitants become the victims. If during the armed aggression innocent people lose their lives too – by, not deliberately, but with great negligence, resigning to the collateral effect deemed inevitable -, then we can speak about the unwanted consequences of an armed action.
According to a widely accepted view, terrorists deliberately attack outsider civil inhabitants who accidentally become targets and victims. They regard the assassination of randomly picked victims as a means for reaching their aims, therefore also as permitted and in most of the cases, as desirable. Thus in both cases it concerns the death of innocent outsiders. Still, their judgement is clearly separated. The reason for this is that intention plays a key role. Terrorists, who randomly and deliberately kill, act in an immoral way, violating the universal rules of ethics, and therefore are to be considered evil, guilty and indictable for killing their innocent victims. According to adjudication they kill premeditatedly and therefore conduct manslaughter and murder.
Those on the other hand, who respond to the aggression carried out by terrorists explain this by saying that they only counter against terrorists and against those states and political systems that support terrorism. When innocent outsiders lose their lives during the respond to terrorist actions – even if this tragic outcome was foreseeable – they did not murder, but killed their victims in a morally justified and rightful action deemed as an inevitable collateral effect.
The point is that they did not mean to kill innocent civilians even when their deaths could or should have been taken into account. They only negligently resigned themselves to this possibility.
In the academic literature dealing with terrorism this double judgement is called the Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE). The adherents of this view say that those who caused the death of innocent people by a secondary aggression responding to the primary terrorism acted in a way that is not morally condemnable and therefore they are neither responsible nor indictable for the deaths of those people not participating in the battles. Camilo C. Bica analysed this question in his study Terrorism and Response: A Moral Inquiry into the Killing of Noncombatants, which he conducted for an academic discussion in 2004. The theorem of the author is that the killing of innocent outsiders in a terrorist attack or in an unintentional consequence of an aggression responding to this falls under the same ethical judgement. Both of them are to be ethically condemned. Neither of them can be regarded as warfare action but as murders. Bica distinguishes collateral aggression from accidental killing and the killing of outsiders which can happen in spite of the fact that the necessary precautions have been taken.
It is an ethically grounded claim against others which at the same time requires that those others respect this right of distinction. In the case of privilege the claim to regard its observation by anybody else as an obligation cannot be made. The right to life and liberty belongs to the most important human rights. This is a fundamental value such as the right, for example, to live as members of a national community devoted to its traditions, which national community has not only territorial integrity but political sovereignty too. The individual has the right to be a member of a civic community. It is an inalienable right of all people to assert these fundamental rights by individual and communal self-defence if these rights are violated or threatened. Fundamental rights mean the assertion of human dignity and these are parts of our ethical world order. These rights are expressed in the above-mentioned Kantian ethical imperative. These rights and the obligations linked to them cannot be regarded as absolute. In case of conflicts these can be overwritten by more important, vital rights and obligations.
Another important aspect is whether in case of a self-defensive answer, aggression (including the extermination of someone) and war are acceptable and justifiable means or not in situations when human rights are severely violated. A situation of this kind can be a devastating attack. The ethical justification of a response to this depends on how unlawfully it violated the fundamental rights of the victim and ignored the obligation of respecting these fundamental rights. In the response to an aggressive attack everything becomes equal, all means are permitted, both in individual, collective and national self-defence. After committing aggression the disregard of the aggressor’s right to life as an absolute ethical value is acceptable. Such a sanction is permitted irrespective of whether the aggressor acted consciously and intentionally or under the influence of aggression, unintentionally. In a case like this aggression leading to death and warfare are both justifiable responses, because – as we referred to it – in self-defence everything becomes equal.
Warfare falls under the regulation of international law even when it is a response given to terrorism. The theory of just war and several international agreements, treaties and contracts include the international legal characteristics and rules. These criteria can be divided into two main groups: one of them concerns when it is possible to start a war, and the other one how a war has to be conducted, what kind of warfare rules have to be observed. War is just if it is a proportionately given response to an aggression. And the manner of warfare can be regarded as acceptable if it does not cause injury to civilians taking part in the war and do not threaten their lives.
From the aspect of ethical judgement, both criteria are important. In a just war both have to be fulfilled. The killing of civilians not taking part in the war is an outrage to be seriously condemned and therefore falls under absolute prohibition, irrespective of the question whether it can serve the purpose of something “greater good” in the long term. The fulfilment of the requirements for the right to war is a value judgement, so we what we have to answer is whether we consider it just or unjust. The judgement of the manner of war depends on whether the combatant differentiates in the question of the non-combatants and facilitates that the innocent civilians’ right to life is not violated.
Michael Walzer differentiates in his work between just and unjust wars and acknowledges that an unjust war can also be conducted in a just way protecting the lives of civilians. Outsider civilians do not take part in the fights in the case of a just war either. If life-protecting discriminative measures are not taken against them, their deaths are to be regarded as murder and homicide in the case of a just war as well.
It can be similarly regarded as crime against humanity if the war is conducted for such political, religious or social reasons which are typical of terrorism. According to the international regulation of war, even unjust wars discriminate in favour of outsider, non-combatant persons and ensure that they are unharmed. Terrorism – in contrast to war – deliberately undertakes the wounding or killing of innocent outsider persons. Discriminative treatment and the ensuring that citizens remain unharmed are the double requirements of the war regulated by international law and they are inseparable. Those who violate this, let it be an individual, a group or the state, their behaviour is the most important characteristc of terrorism, the ‘differentia specifica”, the decisive distinguishing feature. This is, what differentiate war from terrorism, and in a war the killing of someone from wilful homicide.
It does not concern the general judgement of war if the perpetration of homicide and crimes against humanity are qualified as isolated actions of ethically confused individuals. However, if these actions are not occasional deviations but parts of a policy or strategy controlling warfare actions then this warfare cannot be put into the category of international legally regulated war and be regarded as a war. It is possible to conduct an unjust war justly, but it is impossible to conduct a just war unjustly.
The killing of anyone is to fall under serious jurisdiction. A wartime action having such consequences has to have a strong ethical reason that makes it allowable to kill a human in an emergency. It has to fulfil the ethical requirements of both starting and waging a war. These requirements do not only have to be explanations, but sound justifications based on fundamental needs, vital interests and great, noble values. They have to support the wartime action well or, using the same standard in the ethical sense, they have to be neutral, objective and impartial.
Not even in the case of colliding principles and values is it permitted to suspend the order of the universal morals neither in war, nor in any other clashes. Immoral behaviour is never inevitable or acceptable, therefore there are no necessary crimes. Morally justified and ethically acceptable actions do not entail the calling to account or culpability.
More and more people refer to the opinion that in an aggression responding to terrorism it is impossible to avoid unintentional collateral consequences. They differentiate between the deliberate consequences of terrorism and the collateral, unintentional consequences of the responding aggression. Thorough analysis shows, however, that all these are only excuses aiming deceit for rationalizing retaliation or revenge. It is innocent outsiders who get killed during a response-aggression too if we omit the ethical command to protect civil inhabitants in order to reach political and warfare aims. Both terrorists and those responding to terrorism violate innocent persons’ right to life and do not meet their obligations to respect these fundamental rights in all circumstances. Both of them are responsible and lose their right to refer to self-defence in order to justify their procedure causing the deaths of innocent people. Because of their actions both of them have to take ethical condemnation, retaliation and punishment into account. From an ethical perspective there is no difference whether innocent people are killed during a terrorist attack or during the collateral consequence of a retaliation. Killing falls under the same judgement in both cases. Neither of them can be regarded as a wartime action. Neither terrorists, nor those answering them are combatants, therefore, if they kill innocent outsiders they are to be regarded as criminals who have conducted homicide.
If it is inevitable during a wartime action that innocent outsiders unintentionally or deliberately get killed then we have to condemn every war – that is, war has to be prohibited -, or one should refrain from the ethical qualification of wartime actions. During wartime actions the killing of terrorists is allowed. The qualification of a certain action as proper or improper, acceptable or unacceptable depends on how we describe that action and the aims connected to it. The acceptable, objective description of the action is indispensable for the ethical appraisal, which demands putting aside of prejudice, ideological partialities and linguistic manipulation even if their absolute omission is not possible.
Not all individual and collective self-defences can be regarded as ethically right. Aggression leading to death is only one of the possible answers. It is only acceptable if it is an ethically justifiable part of a just war. For that very reason it has to undergo severe restrictions and control. It can also happen that instead of aggression leading to the deaths of innocent people someone responding to aggression has to choose a means which is more hazardous, expensive, politically less expedient, consumes more time, but does not involve the wounding or killing of innocent people.
Such a strict restriction can hinder the ability of a certain state in protecting its sovereignty, territorial integrity and the lives of its citizens. But by the high measure it can force combatants to omit the ethical characteristics in the warfare as they are hard to keep. Consequently, it is either needed to subordinate the ethical aspects to the military necessities including the killing of innocent people as unintentional collateral effect, or ethical aspects have to be totally put aside. In this case ethics gets subordinated to the tactics of warfare, and moral aspect only matter when they help the interests of the combatants. As ethics protects the most fundamental needs, interest and values of individuals and communities, from which the most important interest is the protection of life, therefore ethics cannot be regarded as a manipulable means of secondary importance serving the needs of diplomacy and warfare. Our attitude to universal morals has to be just and free of prejudice, omitting relativizing hypocrisy.
Undoubtedly, in a war and in a response given to terrorism innocent outsiders get killed, whether incidentally or unintentionally. As victims of terrorism we serve a right aim when we fight against terrorists and we also choose aggression as a response. This, however, does not give an exemption from the obligation to differentiate between combatants and civilians, and to always ensure the protection and integrity of the latter – the persons not taking part in the fights. The circumstance of being victims of terrorism does not authorize us to become terrorists ourselves by adopting the methods of terrorists.
The implication of aggression and the threat to use it aim to obtain political concessions from a government by fighting. In terms of terrorism the psychological effect exerted on the state-governmental power is very important. The comprehensive analysis of battle and its support suggests that actually there are no such people who do not take part in the fights. If we analyze the participatory persons, the obtaining and flowing of information, the executed operations, the supply and the background assistance, the policy and strategy, then we can see that even young people and the elderly, moreover women, who are all forbidden from direct battle actions, can provide such an important support that can be of decisive importance.
The statement of Carl von Clausewitz, that war is the continuation of politics only with other means, can be applied in some aspects to terrorism as well. Politics can also be defined as a targeting behaviour where claims and needs are greater than resources. In this respect terrorism is only another name for the aggression aiming the satisfaction of claims or for the threat by using aggression. Depending on ideology, interests and value system, a person who is a terrorist for one is a freedom fighter for another. The question whether we face terrorism or not depends in many cases on the ethical aspects by which we judge the aims and means.
Can the State Be a Terrorist?
As there is no uniformly interpreted and international legally accepted definition of terrorism, for practical reasons it is everything which is regulated by international law but whose subjects are not states and governments but individuals, groups and other, non-state organizations. The laws of war are only binding for states and governments. If only one of the parties is a state then the responding aggression is also non-state, that is, semi-state. In this case we can talk about asymmetric implication of aggression in which state and group aggressions occur at the same time.
According to one of the judges of the International Court in Hague, “Terrorism is a term without any legal significance. It is merely a convenient way of alluding to activities, whether of States or of individuals widely disapproved of and in which wither the methods used are unlawful, or the targets protected or both.”
David Rodin formulated that “Terrorism is the deliberate, negligent, or reckless use of force against noncombatants, by state or nonstate actors for ideological ends and in the absence of a substantively just legal process.”
And the definition of Daniel D. Novotny is the following: “An act is terrorist if it is committed by an individual or group of individuals privately, i.e. without the legitimate authority of a recognized state; if it is directed indiscriminately against non-combatants; if the goal of it is to achieve something politically relevant; and finally, and if this goal is pursued by means of fear-provoking violence.”
Our standpoint is that it is a fundamental distinguishing feature of terrorism that one of its means is the deliberate or negligent killing of innocent people as well and therefore terrorism cannot only be conducted by individuals and groups but states too.
Theodor P. Seto writes in his study „Morality of Terrorism” (http://llr.lls.edu/volumes/v35-issue4/seto.pdf) that we must not use different ethical standards in the judgement of terrorism conducted by state and non-state actors: “there is no reason to treat states differently from anyone else, except when they are acting as neutral enforcers of neutral rules”. (p. 1259)
An action carried out by a state which in terms of international law is regarded as just falls under another judgement in terms of ethics. International law has never intended to draw ethical lines. It seems a convenient solution to leave out the actions carried out by states from the definition of terrorism. The repetition of responsive, never-ending violence has to be taken into account in the case of terrorist actions carried out both by states and non-state actors. Mutuality and reciprocity apply to states just as much as to non-state actors. Consequently, if we condemn politically motivated violent actions of a certain type carried out by terrorist individuals and groups, then we similarly have to condemn those violent actions that were carried out by certain states, their armies or intelligence agencies in a similar way.
If our standpoint is that when violent actions are carried out by the American army in Iraq or by the CIA in other parts of the world they are to be considered just and therefore politically justifiable, then we have to judge similar violent actions carried out by others in a similar way. The fact that the violent actions falling under the concept of terrorism are carried out by an army or intelligence of a state does not make these either more ethical or more acceptable than if they had been carried out by another, non-state organization or a terrorist group made up of private individuals.
Primary and Secondary Terrorism
The prerequisite for primary, i.e. initiative terrorism is a tense general situation conditioned by conflicts in which the hostilities between the opponents are irreconcilable. In a situation conditioned by such sharp conflicts a provoking act is enough for triggering off a terrorist action.
A situation full of such conflicts comes about when the power relations are extremely disproportionate. On one side a huge superiority takes place in the field of finance, economics, political view dominance and military power against which the other side, the inferiors, the disadvantaged are more and more defenceless. Extremely asymmetric power relations create the conditions for terrorism.
The characteristic of asymmetry is that too much power gets concentrated and centralized on one side and the inferiors are not capable of enforcing their own interests because the system of checks and balances does not exist. The side in possession of the power – as well as the state law enforcement organization – takes advantage of the asymmetric situation. This appears in the most different measures of the state and government that possess the monopoly of violence. This state violence, namely the excesses of primary terrorism, the abuses of this huge power is what the individuals, groups and other non-state organizations respond to with their counter-attacks. The series of never-ending and responsive violent attacks starts. Based on the law of cause and consequence, all terrorist actions are responses and causes of another action at the same time. In this process every action is a response and a starting-point, a satisfaction and another provocation at the same time.
It is a bizarre version of the violent actions responding to one another when one party “takes revenge in advance”. This is actually an attack, an aggression, one type of preventive war. Its cause is usually that the attacker reflects its own intentions and fears on its assumed future opponent and takes revenge in advance for the uncommitted crimes attributed to him. In this sense preventive war is previous revenge. For that very reason it is extremely important to objectively analyse when preventive war can be regarded as justified self-defence. This is not an abstract theoretical question but a real problem, as nowadays, for example against Iran – because of its nuclear program aiming energy production – the possibility of a preventive war cannot be precluded. Iran’s nuclear programme is supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency and there is no evidence that Teheran is in possession of nuclear weapons. What can be said at most is that owing to the fulfilment of its programme Iran will have a nuclear background which can facilitate to produce nuclear weapons for just self-defence in case of emergency. However, this is not more than an assumption about an intention lacking evidence.
Those who would like to stop Iran’s peaceful – international legally allowed – nuclear programme supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency are already in possession of nuclear weapons. Therefore it has to be examined how preventive and responding violence can be employed in case of self-defence. It has to be explored to what extent the right to fear can be regarded as part of just self-defence. The reality of fear also has its characteristics. There is fear that can be supported by rational arguments and there is the ungrounded creation of hysteria serving propaganda and delusion where the reference to fear is in fact only a pretext used for disguising preventive aggression.
The Two Types of State Terrorism
One is when it is the state or one of its organizations that carry out the terrorist actions. The other type of state terrorism is when a state supports the individual and collective terrorist actions of non-state level by financing them, providing them with weapons, training them, offering shelter to the perpetrators and taking care of their families.
In the first case a state can be regarded a terrorist if it carries out terrorist attacks itself in consequence of which outsider innocent civilians not taking part in the fights can also get injured or die. States and governments are also obliged to protect the innocent civilians. Carrying out terrorist attacks organized on a state level and publicly executed by an army does not exempt states from this obligation nor does the question whether the war – according to the international legal laws referring to it – is a just war or not. If this just war is waged by killing a large number of innocent people then just war also counts as terrorism.
Self-defensive war is also to be condemned ethically – that is it falls under the same judgement as terrorism – if the state at war do not take measures to protect the lives of innocent civilians, if it resigns itself to killing them as the undesirable collateral effect of war. The essence of terrorism is to take away the most important value from innocent outsiders, their right to life. That is why terrorist actions can be carried out both by organizing them on a state level and by using non-state level organizations.
In the case of the other type of state terrorism the decisive question is that on the basis of which characteristics does an organization supported by the state in the way detailed above count as a terrorist organization. It has to be answered, for example, that according to which criteria can the actions of Hezbollah in Lebanon or the activity of Hamas in the Gaza Strip be considered terrorism.
So far a generally accepted definition of terrorism does not exist, therefore, as far as we are concerned, we use the definition of Theodore P. Seto, teacher of the Los Angeles Loyola Law School with the difference that we also include the state among the potential perpetrators.
According to this, terrorism means murder, destruction, the demolition of something politically valuable and the one committing it – according to Seto – is not a state, a government or one of its publicly active agent or organization. In accordance, secrecy, concealment, surprising and unexpected action is also part of the terrorist act. As we referred to it, the writer of these lines regards the state too as a terrorist if it uses violence in a way, publicly or disguised, that endangers the lives of innocent civilians. Therefore, terrorism can be considered a politically motivated violence, which ethically – regardless of the state or non-state status of the perpetrator – falls under the same judgement. The United Nations failed to define terrorism in a way that could be generally accepted because there was an irreconcilable conflict between the viewpoints of the different groups.
The United States and the CIA supported the Taliban during the soviet occupation of Afghanistan. At that time it regarded the members of this movement as freedom-fighters, however, today they are at the top on the list of registered terrorists. Similar problems emerged in connection with the Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Hamas in Gaza. There was an agreement that if the opponents – let them be state or non-state actors – endanger the lives of civilians in order to provoke the responding state terror for reaching their political and economic aims, then the international community – based on the resolutions of the Security Council, the Geneva Convention and international law – has to protect the civilians from genocide and has to impede the perpetration of crimes against humanity against them. For practical reasons, the United States Department of Defense regards terrorism as a violent act committed – premeditatedly and for political purposes – by non-state organizations and secret groups aiming the injury of non-combatant civilians.
Iran’s Right to Fear
One of the obstacles of overcoming terrorism, which is not emphasized often enough, is the employment of double standard. The general practice in many respects follows the principle of ’societas leonina’, that is, rights are also only due to the stronger. Strength and power overwrite the power of arguments. Quod licet lovi, non licet bovi. This Latin saying in English is used in three ways: „What is legitimate for Jove (Jupiter), is not legitimate for oxen.” In its short version: „Gods may do what cattle may not”. And in everyday language simply this way: „What permitted to one person (or group, or State) is not permitted to everybody.”
The double ethical and legal judgement becomes evident if we substitute Iran in the international legal documents condemning state terrorism with another state whose one certain violent act realizes the characteristics of terrorism detailed above. Then we can see that several states exist that are not on the list of those accused of state terrorism, but according to the criteria employed against Iran – namely if the competent did not employ double standard – they would get on this list.
In principle Iran also has the right to mutuality, equality of rights, equal treatment, relations based on mutual benefits, the omission of the practice of double standard. And if this is the case then all the claims and demands against Iran have to be extended to the states employing sanctions against it.
Let us consider these requirements and demands. Iran’s relationship with the other parts of the world is remarkably intricate and complex. In the geopolitical region where it is situated the security of the Persian Gulf, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the race for resources and hegemony are eminently important. Iran’s relationship to the European Union, Russia, China, India and to the other countries of Asia, Africa and Latin-America is mainly defined by economic interests. In terms of Europe, however, political disagreements also become important, among which we can rank the questions in connection with the employment of nuclear energy.
Iran’s relationship with the United States is extremely complex, while tensions increased in the nuclear question, in a series of other questions common interests influenced the bilateral relations. The standpoint of those analysts who would like to describe Iran’s extremely complex situation with a sole doctrine does not carry conviction. Let it be the export of revolution, the religious commitment of the leading elite of Iran or simply the reference to the Persian imperialism. Iran regards itself as one of the significant states of the region of the Middle East, and cannot really do otherwise in consequence of its geographical situation, territorial extent, size of its population, its economic potentials and its cultural influence leaning on several thousand year old traditions.
The standpoint of Iran that the same rights are due to it in the Middle East as are to the United States, the European Union, Saudi Arabia or Egypt is international legally grounded. The influence exerted on neighbouring countries also belongs to these rights. On the other hand, Iran has enough reasons to feel strategically endangered. Since 2003 the most powerful armies of the world are effectively present at its borders both in the east and in the west. American troops are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Several battleships of the American Navy are situated in the region of the Persian Gulf. Turkey is member of the NATO. America is the ally of Pakistan and now Azerbaijan is also cooperating militarily with the United States and Israel.
Northward can be found the second greatest nuclear power of the world, Russia. To the east there are China and Pakistan, and in the south-east, India. Westwards there is Israel which according to official American sources has about 200-250 nuclear bombs that can be put into action. Besides Iraq and Afghanistan mentioned above, the American forces are also present in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. And the waters of the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf are not only watched by the nuclear missiles and the American battleships and submarines equipped with bombers, but Israel has also placed several German made submarines which are equipped with nuclear weapons too. Those who regard Iran as the country most actively supporting terrorism should only imagine themselves in the place of Iran. The government of every responsible state is bound to take into the possible developments into account, that is, to see to its security.
The repetitive mention of state terrorism serves for depriving Iran on the ground of combating terrorism of its rights that are due to all the other states. Among these is for example the peaceful employment of nuclear energy which is a right due to Iran as well under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The aim of the strategy hiding behind the sanctions against Iran is to keep the leading position of the dollar in the oil trade, to secure the global control of energy sources, to preserve the atomic monopoly of the Western powers and their ally Israel, to preserve the hegemony over the Islamic world and to keep the real challenge, China in check, to slow down the growth of its economic and military power.
The UN Security Council Resolution 1540 – adopted after being initiated by the United States – makes common action easier against the production of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and against the manufacturing of the devices suitable for shooting them at a target. The Security Council Resolution also facilitates the use of force in order to carry out the resolution. The United States and Israel have been accusing Iran for years for conducting secret programmes in order to develop nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. The accusation of supporting terrorism makes it easier for them to keep the possibility of a preventive attack against Iran on the agenda. It is facilitated by the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 against terrorism.
This states that all countries have to prevent the operation of those organizations on their territories that finance, plan and carry out terrorist actions against other states and their citizens. They also have to prevent these groups and organizations from recruiting new members on their territories. The United States and Israel accuse Iran of supporting and supplying with weapons the organization of Hezbollah in Lebanon which they regard as terrorist. Iran denies these accusations. The United States has not managed so far to prove its standpoint with evidence. The United Nations even today does not regard Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
As far as its peaceful nuclear programme is concerned, Iran has explained on several occasions on the forum of the UN why it needs the enrichment of uranium and why it is not in its interest to develop nuclear weapons. Teheran documented in one of its report the efforts it makes to overcome terrorism as well. Teheran has also been denying from the beginning that it had been in any contact with Al-Qaeda.
The Iranian-American rivalry about the hegemony over the Middle East is going on at present too, therefore, the conflict intensified in the nuclear question today is one of the significant problems of the Iranian-American relations. On the 1st of October 2009 Iran took part in the conference in Geneva held by the attendance of the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany. Here a draft agreement was formulated according to which another nuclear establishment would be put under international control and Iran would transport its low-enriched uranium to Russia or France for further enrichment in order to make it employable in the research laboratories of Teheran previously built by Americans.
Ahmadinejad Iranian president showed ready to cooperate with the International Community in the nuclear question, including the United States as well. The completed draft agreement would mean a significant step forward. With its fulfilment the nuclear conflict would not end at one blow, but the rules and procedures concerning the management of the conflict would change. Since the Paris Agreement adopted in November 2004, when Iran accepted to voluntarily suspend the enrichment of uranium, it was now that an opportunity which could have restored mutual confidence in this delicate matter came about. The low-enriched uranium would have been refined in Russia and this would have reduced the amount which could have been available for Iran to produce the atomic bomb, if it was true at all that Teheran really wants this and the matter was not only an assumption not even backed up with evidence. This agreement, if it had come into force, could have made the production process of nuclear fuel international, which the International Atomic Energy Agency has suggested on several occasions and which Iran has never refused.
If we really want to overcome terrorism then the same international legal and ethical standards have to be used for the judgement of both the perpetrators and the victims. The employment of an equal standard can only be enforced by the decentralization of the horizontal and vertical power relations of the world and by placing the world order of monetary rule under supervision. For that reason we have to make efforts to divide the spheres of monetary power and real economy as well as to divide the political and military power on a global scale. These power branches could secure the system of checks and balances, which would facilitate the establishment of power relations much more balanced than those of today. It is evident for us that not only the establishment of a new monetary system is needed, but one of new property relations based on performance, too. In this form can international relations serve the entire humanity’s most basic needs, interests and values. Only by changing the present monetary system of the world can a more just allocation of resources be achieved and can the enforcement of interests adequate for – and almost equally powerful with – social justice secured.
Primary terrorism derives from overgrown power differences leaning on extreme financial differences, during which the power centre that has come by excessive power obtains the freedom to abuse the freedom of others. It is for that very reason that the responding, defensive violence has to resort to asymmetric means and battle methods almost regarded as terrorist to enforce its just self-interest against the selfishness of excessive power. If we want to overcome terrorism then first we have to pull down and place under control the excessively strong power centres which today can abuse their power, forcing the weaker to defend themselves even with means that can be regarded as terrorist.