Current Issue: Iran
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Current Issue: Iran --- posted May 5, 2008; Sept. 2009, Oct. 2009


 Link to article in The Nation posted 9/28/2009

US-IRAN Talks Begin Oct 1

May 2, 2008

Will Bush Attack Iran? By LeRoy Moore
The sabres are rattling. For the umpteenth time in three years the US is again threatening Iran. Defense Secretary Robert Gates asserted last week that Iran "is hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons." And Admiral Michael Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the Pentagon is "planning potential military courses of action" to counter Iran's "increasingly lethal and malign influence in Iraq."
        The drumbeat for war goes on. Never mind that, regarding the nuclear threat, the International Atomic Energy Agency that's been inspecting Iran's nuclear facilities since 2003 has repeatedly reported that it has seen no evidence of an Iranian bomb program. Moreover, in December 2007 the US National Intelligence Estimate, produced by all the US intelligence agencies, declared that Iran now has no bomb program.
         As for Iran's "increasingly lethal and malign influence in Iraq," US officials accuse it of training and arming fighters and of supplying weapons that are used against US troops. These are not new charges. But even The New York Times, which in the lead-up to the Iraq war acted as a mouthpiece for Bush and company, in an April 26 front-page article expressed great skepticism about claims of escalated hostile activity by Iran in Iraq. The administration has never presented to Congress or the US public any concrete evidence to support its allegations. What is happening with Iran looks very much like a replay of the bogus intelligence on the basis of which the US went to war in Iraq.
         In 2003, shortly after the US invaded Iraq, Tehran sought dialogue with the US on all issues of concern between the two countries without preconditions. Washington made no reply but instead rebuked the Swiss diplomat who had relayed Iran's proposal. 
       Also in 2003 Iran opened its nuclear facilities to IAEA inspection and in October met with officials from France, Britain and Germany to discuss its nuclear program. The Iranians insisted that they were enriching uranium not to the high level required for weapons but only to the much lower level needed for the peaceful purpose of generating electricity. They nevertheless agreed to halt their enrichment activity if the E3 (European three) would provide them with a non-aggression pact assuring that they, included in Bush's "axis of evil," would not be attacked as Iraq had been. With Iran's uranium enrichment stopped, the IAEA sealed the facilities.
         Three years later, in 2006, having received no non-aggression pledge from the E3 but instead threats of sanctions or military attack, Iran removed the IAEA seals and resumed uranium enrichment. In April 2006, just as Iran announced success in enriching a small quantity of uranium, journalist Seymour Hersh revealed in a New Yorker article that the US had drawn up plans for a nuclear strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. In October 2003 Time reported that the Pentagon had identified 1500 Iranian targets that, if attacked, would prevent Iran from retaliating. Meanwhile, the London Sunday Times disclosed details of Israel's plans for a nuclear strike on Iran.
      Reuters reported that on April 24 a ship carrying US military supplies opened fire on two fast boats that approached it in international waters off the Iranian coast. An Iranian naval officer later denied the presence of any Iranian vessels in the area. On January 6, according to US sources, five fast boats, purportedly from Iran, threatened three US Navy ships in the Strait of Hormuz. These stories are reminiscent of the August 1964  Tonkin Bay incident in which false US claims that a Vietnamese patrol boat fired on a US ship in international waters became the pretext for a massive infusion of US troops into Vietnam.  
         Is what we're now seeing in the fading days of Bush's presidency a frantic effort to "fix" the evidence to justify an attack on Iran? Is the Bush-Cheney crowd about to try getting regime change in Iran by means of a devastating aerial bombardment? If so, it's unlikely to succeed, which of course doesn't mean it won't be tried. One shudders to think of the long-term consequences.         What to do? Contact your Senators and Representatives at 202-224-3121 and urge them to do the following:
  • Hold congressional hearings on Iran.
  • Pass in both houses Senate Resolution 356 citing Congress' constitutional authority to declare war and forbidding military action against Iran without prior explicit approval by Congress.
  • Call for unconditional negotiations with Iran.
The legacy of President Bush is already bad enough. Let's prevent it from being even worse.- 30 - LeRoy Moore, PhD, is a consultant

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