Friday, September 19, 2003

Next: Iran?

In the Gulf War II Background Material page I note that the neo-conservatives (Wolfowitz, Rumsfield and the rest) were planning exactly that war since at least 1992. The theory presented is that the U.S. is now the sole super-power, with the fall of the Soviet Union, and we've got the high ground, and must assert our superiority.

In the days following the Sep 11, 2001 attacks those same neo-conservatives pushed hard for an immediate attack on Iraq. Why Iraq? The attack was supposed to have been launched by al Queda, located in Afghanistan, and an organization with little connection to Iraq. Yet, they insisted on Iraq as the target, and have eventually gotten it. As detailed in other of the Gulf War II pages, the justification for the war was a total fraud, none of the claimed for evidence has been found in Iraq, and as of this writing (Sep 19, 2003) the situation there is a bloody mess.

At the same time the uber-plan schemed by the neo-conservatives was for Iraq to be the first step. The following step was to be the overthrow of either Syria or Iran.

The goal is said to be that by establishing "moderate democracies" in the center of the Middle East, that we could turn the whole tenor of the Middle East. As I said, as of this writing the whole situation is a mess, and in particular the response is anything but being welcomed with open arms (as promised) but instead a bloody guerilla war. Much as extremists from all over the Middle East converged on Afghanistan when Russia invaded that country, they are converging on Iraq now that the U.S. has invaded.

Therefore it is worth following news about Iran to track the rhetoric and determine whether we are actually being steered towards a war there. In the Gulf War II pages you will find a few references to this issue, primarily on the "is Syria next" page.

Two issues have been building in general

  1. Nuclear capability: For a few months there has been growing awareness and concern about development of nuclear capability in Iran. Supposedly they have a nuclear plant capable of reprocessing Uranium from which to make nuclear bombs. Now, if this is true, it is of grave concern, especially as Iran is denying the claim and is resisting Atomic Energy Commission inspections. On the other hand, given the track record of the U.S. administration they may well be lying through their teeth, again.
  2. Promoting geurilla activities in Iraq: Certainly little love is lost between the U.S. and Iran. This isn't the old days of the Shah when Iran was our best buddy, but instead the days of the Ayatollah's and their hatred of the U.S. So, who knows, they could well be wanting to undermine U.S. activities in Iraq.

News Articles

[Sep 30, 2003; CNN; cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/09/30/iran.nuclear.elbaradei.reut/index.html] U.N. needs 'full Iran N-access' VIENNA, Austria (Reuters) -- The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief has said he will need full and unlimited cooperation from Iran to verify Tehran's insistence that it has no secret atomic weapons programme. Iran said on Monday it would limit the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) access to declared nuclear sites when inspectors arrive this week ahead of an October 31 deadline for Iran to show it has no nuclear weapons programme. However, to verify Iran's claims about its controversial uranium-enrichment programme and other aspects of Iran's atomic activities, the IAEA needs access to facilities that have not been officially declared as nuclear sites. "If we cannot have full cooperation, full disclosure, unfortunately I'll have to say that I am not able to verify the Iranian statements (that their nuclear programme is purely peaceful)," IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters Tuesday.

[Sep 22, 2003; Reuters; http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=3486523] Iran Shows Off Missile Might Amid Nuclear Fears Iran, under pressure to dispel fears it is developing nuclear arms, Monday paraded six of its newly deployed medium-range missiles, which military analysts say could reach Israel or U.S. bases in the Gulf. ... Iran's reformist President Mohammad Khatami said the show of strength should not be read as saber-rattling. "The Islamic Republic of Iran's policy is based on detente," he said at the parade led by disabled war veterans. "We are opposed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons but we insist on our absolute right to be powerful in the scientific and technological arena." ... "The (Shahab's) increased range covers the whole of Israel, north to south, from deployment areas deep within Iran, and thus increases concern as to what would happen if such missiles were armed with WMD warheads," he told Reuters. Television pictures showed one of the missile carriers displayed a defiant message in bold letters on a giant yellow banner facing Khatami. "We will stamp on America," it read. ... Iran insists its nuclear scientists are not working on a weapons program but trying to meet soaring electricity demand.

If their intent was truly to decrease tensions, then why would they parade missiles bearing provocative messages? Obviously the baiting is going both directions.

[Sep 19, 2003; Haaretz; haaretz.com/hasen/spages/341947.html] U.S. official: Iran can arm missiles with biological warheads Iran has the capability of arming ballistic missiles with biological warheads, ...

This is the first time that an official claim of Iran's ability to launch biological warheads has been made.

Intelligence sources said that such an ability indicates sophisticated technological capabilities, since biological warheads are considered much harder to use than other types. ...
DeSutter's testimony was delivered at a joint session that included Israeli Knesset members as well as members of both houses of Congress. The meeting, part of an ongoing initiative to hold periodic joint sessions of the Congress and Knesset, was attended by [various] Senators ...

DeSutter told the committee that Iran is in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and has been working to acquire secretly nonconventional weapons of all kinds. ... is a genuine threat to both the Middle East and the U.S., since the Iranians are constantly working to expand the range of their missiles. America's current strategy for dealing with the problem is to push for a decision by the International Atomic Energy Agency, formally declaring Iran in violation of the NPT, she added.

The biological weapon angle is new, as the article says. The combination of nuclear allegations, actively seeking weapons, and actively working to extend the range of the missiles, well, we heard those exact complaints about Iraq. We've seen how accurate they were with Iraq, so can we trust the government again?

The fact that I can so easily express doubt about the government is the exact reason why their lies are impeachable offenses. As citizens we need to be able to trust that we are being told the truth, and if we catch the administration in a huge lie then how can we ever trust them?

The other interesting thing here is the joint session between Knesset and the U.S. Congress. Does the U.S. Congress regularly hold joint sessions with parlaiments or legislatures of other countries? Is Israel getting special treatment here? If so, why?

[Sep 18, 2003; The Economist; economist.com/world/africa/displayStory.cfm] It's all gone dreadfully wrong: Even the European Union has lost patience with Iran WHEN confronted with difficult questions about its nuclear programme, Iran's strategy has been to play for time. That approach backfired badly last week when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expressed its collective exasperation with Iran's evasive attitude. Instead of buying more time, Iran now faces a deadline of October 31st to dispel doubts about its nuclear ambitions.

[Sep 19, 2003; The Telegraph; telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml] US troops killed as Bremer accuses Iran At least three American soldiers died in attacks in Iraq yesterday as the US pro-consul in Baghdad gave warning that Iran should halt its plots to destabilise the country.

... In an interview with The Telegraph he claimed that Iranian intelligence agents were working to destabilise the reconstruction process.

IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) page on Iran: http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/Press/Focus/IaeaIran/index.shtml

IAEA 2002 report on Iran's Nuclear Power situation: iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/cnpp2002/Documents/Documents/Islamic%20Republic%20of%20Iran%202002.pdf