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4 October 2005  |     mail this article   |     print   |   
This article is part of the series: The coming war against Iran
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The coming war against Iran - Part 3
Conflict could escalate with involvement of Russia and China

By Daan de Wit
Military plans, legislation and psychological manipulation are now being fine-tuned and put into place in order to carry out a war against Iran. American planning for a war against Iran can be spotted in the headlines from this past week. American pressure is so great that the major European powers are now endorsing a radical declaration made by the UN's nuclear watchdog group (IAEA), with Russia and China withholding their vote. The pressure also persuaded Canada to depart from a 30-year policy on nuclear non-cooperation, and is endangering lucrative deals made by India with Iran. In conjunction with the practical planning being formulated for an attack, described in previous articles in this series, the other pieces of the plan are now becoming clear. Iran is being pinned down by the US in every way possible, with predictable results.
The Dutch in the original article has been translated into English by Ben Kearney.

Under pressure from US world backs Iran into a corner

As of Monday of last week, Canada has a new policy: 'Canada reversed itself on Monday and said it would supply material for India's atomic energy program, even though India has tested nuclear bombs in the past', reports Reuters. '[The Canadian] government's sudden decision — with no prior notice and no parliamentary debate — to open our nuclear gusher to India [...] makes a mockery of Canada's longstanding advocacy of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which nuclear armed India refuses to sign', writes the Toronto Star in an editorial, which goes on to expose the politics behind the decision: 'The move mimics the Bush administration's equally sudden and sweeping policy change to extend broad nuclear co-operation to India — in return for its support in curbing the Iranian nuclear program.' On Wednesday of last week, India surprised the world, and Iran in particular, by supporting the IAEA's resolution threatening to bring Iran before the U.N. Security Council. 'George W. Bush got nuclear proliferator Pakistan to also vote against Iran. And he convinced China and Russia, Iran's other friends, to abstain', writes The Toronto Star. US policy on the subject of Iran is no great secret: '"We have a patient long-term strategy," Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said after the vote. 'It's to isolate Iran on this question; it's to ratchet up the international pressure on Iran," and assemble the kind of global coalition against Iran that helped persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons last week', reports The Washington Post.

Involvement of Russia and China enlarges sphere of eventual conflict with Iran
Iran is being backed into a corner, but won't find itself standing alone - decreasing the likelihood of a limited conflict. This becomes clear after examining the ties between Iran, Russia and China. Russia and Iran signed a nuclear agreement earlier this year, and are collaborating on a project involving the design of a communications satellite. Iran is now exporting gas to China thanks to a 25-year deal worth $100 million, and Russia and China have been providing Iran with weapons for years now. Author Webster Tarpley, whose articles are cited often in this series, points to a renewal of ties between Russia and China now that they have recently conducted their first joint military exercise, Peace Mission 05: 'A total of 18 jet fighters in nine batches launched air strikes on "enemy troops," their "central command" and "defences."' Tarpley: 'At the same time, intelligence agencies of Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus held a drill involving the prevention of terror attacks on energy assets. Between August 22 and August 30 the combined air defense forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States will drill warding off air attacks around Astrakhan at the northern end of the Caspian Sea. The hypothetical aggressor was, once again, clearly the United States.'

In another article Webster Tarpley points to Tony Benn, 'the grand old man of the left wing of the British Labour Party', who opens his editorial in The Guardian with the sentence: 'Now that the US president has announced that he has not ruled out an attack on Iran, if it does not abandon its nuclear programme, the Middle East faces a crisis that could dwarf even the dangers arising from the war in Iraq.'

US, Israel and England accuse Iran of what they do themselves
Tony Benn writes in his editorial in The Guardian that in the event of a war against Iran 'We would be told that it had been done to uphold the principles of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) - an argument that does not stand up to a moment's examination.' The European Union has determined that Iran is in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Benn shows the other side of the arguments used against Iran when he writes that 'the Americans have launched a programme that would allow them to use nuclear weapons in space, nuclear bunker-busting bombs are being developed, and depleted uranium has been used in Iraq - all of which are clear breaches of the NPT. Israel, which has a massive nuclear weapons programme, is accepted as a close ally of the US, which still arms and funds it.' Owing to England's dependence on the US for 'Britain's so-called independent deterrent' it may once again be the case that 'Britain could be assisting America to commit an act of aggression under the UN Charter, which could risk a major nuclear disaster, and doing so supposedly to prevent nuclear proliferation, with the real motive of making it possible for us to continue to break the NPT in alliance with America. The irony is that we might be told that Britain must support Bush, yet again, because of the threat of weapons of mass destruction, thus allowing him to kill even more innocent civilians.'

The new Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad puts the charges against his country into perspective: '"A country, which possesses the biggest nuclear arsenal, embarks on proliferation of nuclear weapons in defiance of the safeguards and threatens to use them against others, is not competent to comment on peaceful use of nuclear know-how by other states." [... Ahmadinejad] stressed that instead of raising any claims, such a country should be brought under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and be accountable for its conducts and measures.'

Iran unjustly accused
The Hindu writes that it would be unreasonable to summon Iran before the U.N. Security Council (precisely what that country is now being threatened with) because the IAEA 'in the past two years, has found discrepancies in the utilisation of nuclear material in as many as 15 countries. Among these are South Korea, Taiwan, and Egypt.' The newspaper probes the subject matter and then lists three arguments that illustrate how bringing Iran before the U.N. Security Council would be the wrong thing to do: 'First, the NPT allows uranium conversion and other processes central to enrichment. Secondly, the Esfahan facility is under IAEA safeguards and as recently as September 2, i.e. nearly a month after Iran resumed uranium conversion there, the Director-General of the Agency, Mohammad El-Baradei, certified that "all the declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for and, therefore, such material is not diverted to prohibited activities."' Thirdly, The Hindu believes that it is not a violation to bring the voluntary suspension of the pre-stage of uranium enrichment process to an end, which is what Iran recently did.

Webster Tarpley writes: 'Underlying the entire Iran nuclear question is the hypocrisy of the double standards applied by the US. Just a few weeks earlier, the US had granted India various forms of nuclear assistance, despite India's active nuclear bomb program. Brazil was getting ready to export nuclear fuel, and yet was not targeted in the same way as Iran. The lesson is clear: countries the US is seeking to cultivate are not harassed, but critics of US policy are put through the wringer.'

Newsweek's Dickey: Iranian desire for nuclear energy reasonable
Last week a column by Christopher Dickey appeared in Newsweek that began with this sentence: 'As oil prices soar, so will demands for atomic energy. Iran knows this and Americans should, too. Why it's time to rethink the global approach to nuclear proliferation.' The writer of the article states that in the case of Iran it's difficult to produce more than suspicions and that there is no evidence to suggest any danger. In addition Dickey writes that the production of nuclear energy - even for an oil-rich country like Iran - is reasonable. He goes on to say: 'And when [premier] Ahmadinejad coined the phrase "nuclear apartheid," he nailed it: "We are concerned that once certain powerful states [read: the United States and Europe] completely control nuclear energy resources and technology, they will deny access to and thus deepen the divide between powerful countries and the rest of the international community," said the Iranian president. "When that happens, we will be divided into light and dark countries." Literally.'

Tarpley: Strategy for attack on Iran is divide and conquer
Not everyone views strategic oil and military interests, or the removal of a threat to Israel, as the only objectives behind the coming war against Iran. Webster Tarpley finds an interesting reason for an attack on Iran in the strategy of divide and conquer. According to Tarpley the same strategy is now being pursued in Iraq. He quotes Bernard Lewis, currently professor emeritus, who during World War II was an agent of the 'British Arab Bureau, the imperialist agency charged with keeping the Arab world weak so as to preserve London's domination'. Tarpley writes: 'Over more than a century, the British have sought to control the Arab and Islamic sense of identity by finding, publicizing, and glorifying the most backward and self-destructive tendencies in one and a half millennia of Moslem history, attempting to accredit these as the true essence of Islam. Bernard Lewis' glorification of Moslem irrationalism thus prepares the way for the ideology attributed to al Qaeda. Lewis' second idea is that the existing Arab countries are illegitimate, and need to be carved up into a crazy quilt of ridiculous petty states who will be unable to threaten any important interest of Anglo-American imperialism.' Tarpley sees Lewis as a follower of T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia), whose stated goal was: '[...] the breakup of the Islamic bloc and the disruption of the Ottoman Empire [...]. [...] If properly handled the Arab states would remain in a state of political mosaic, a tissue of jealous principalities incapable of cohesion, and yet always ready to combine against an outside force.' Tarpley: 'In other words, the eternal British mantra of divide and conquer, now embraced with giddy enthusiasm by fanatical parvenu neocons, greedy barbarian Bushmen, and cost-plus arrivistes along the Potomac.'

Lubbers allows nuclear scientist to go free at direction of CIA
In mid-January of this year Seymour Hersh wrote in The New Yorker about one of the ways in which Pakistan has benefited from its cooperation with the US: 'The official added that the government of Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani President, has won a high price for its cooperation—American assurance that Pakistan will not have to hand over A. Q. Khan, known as the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, to the I.A.E.A. or to any other international authorities for questioning.' That high price was collected earlier, as became evident about a half year after the publishing of Hersh's article. It was then that former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers confirmed in an interview on the Dutch radio program Argos that the CIA asked him in 1975 and again in 1986 to refrain from arresting Khan. Writing earlier this month in reference to a broadcast by the Dutch TV news magazine Nova on this issue, the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad said: 'The case file of the Pakistani nuclear scientist Khan has gone missing from the legal archives at the Amsterdam District Court. It was there that he had been convicted for the theft of classified information related to nuclear weapons technology. Neither the judges nor the record-keepers at the court have any idea what happened to the file.' It took place at the direction of the CIA, claims the departing vice-president of the Amsterdam District Court, Minister Anita Leeser. A few days later the NRC Handelsblad responded with an article bearing the headline: ''CIA involvement? Absurd'

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