[Marxism] U.S. Fears Israeli Strike Against Iran

DHE cuibono at rcip.com
Thu Jul 29 13:41:16 MDT 2004


U.S. Fears Israeli Strike Against Iran

By Ori Nir

Forward
30 July 2004

http://www.forward.com/main/article.php?ref=nir20040728947

WASHINGTON -- With Iran warning that it will "overthrow the entire
Zionist entity" if Israel strikes its nuclear facilities, American
officials are seeking assurances that Jerusalem has no plans to
launch a unilateral strike, the Forward has learned.

Recently a Bush administration official who deals with security
affairs told the Forward that the administration is trying to
obtain information regarding Israel's intentions. Israeli sources
said that the administration is seeking assurances that Jerusalem
will not act unilaterally against Iran. It is not clear if such
assurances have in fact been given to the administration.

In a statement quoted by the government-backed Teheran Times,
General Mas'ud Jazayeri, the director of Iran's Armed Forces
Public Relations and Publications Office, said Monday that the
Islamic Republic will deliver a strong, decisive and effective
response if Israel tried to attack it. Jazayeri claimed that
alleged Israeli threats to attack Iran's nuclear facilities
originated from the White House, the newspaper reported.

Officials and pundits in Washington have been buzzing recently
over the possibility of a strike -- by either Israel or the United
States. Charles Krauthammer, a popular columnist among Bush
administration hawks and an early supporter for toppling Saddam
Hussein, wrote an article this week calling for an American
strike.

Israel, meanwhile, has not indicated publicly any intent to attack
Iran. The Israeli army chief of staff, Moshe Ya'alon, said Tuesday
that all diplomatic efforts should be exhausted before any further
steps to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear arms are considered.
Israeli Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz officially stated last month
that Israel had no intention to launch an attack.

But recent reports in American and British publications, quoting
unnamed sources, contended that Israel is conducting military
exercises for a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear power
facilities. In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear power
plant, eliciting worldwide criticism.

According to media reports, Iran has recently resumed tests aimed
at completing the uranium enrichment process -- a key step in the
development of nuclear weapons -- and is months away of completing
that process. Iran has denied accusations that it is using a
civilian atomic program to hide efforts to develop nuclear arms.
It argues that its atomic ambitions are limited to generating
electricity and that developing the bomb would violate Islamic
law.

Britain, France and Germany are pursuing talks aimed at convincing
Iran to abandon its nuclear program.

Ya'alon said Israel was concerned about Israeli intelligence
assessments that Iran could build an atomic bomb by 2007.

A report issued earlier this month by the Council on Foreign
Relations asserted that America should not let Israel act
unilaterally against Iran. The report, authored by former national
security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and former Central
Intelligence Agency chief Robert Gates, said: "Given the potential
threat that Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons could pose, the
full range of alternatives -- including military options -- for
confronting Tehran must be examined. Yet the use of military force
would be extremely problematic, given the dispersal of Iran's
program at sites throughout the country and their proximity to
urban centers.

"Since Washington would be blamed for any unilateral Israeli
military strike, the United States should, in any case, make it
quite clear to Israel that U.S. interests would be adversely
affected by such a move."

Britain's Sunday Times quoted Israeli sources this week as saying
that Israel is worried that a preemptive strike against Iranian
nuclear facilities could provoke "a ferocious response," which
could involve terrorist attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets
abroad, as well as Lebanese-based rocket attacks on northern
Israel.

Israel's chief of military intelligence, Major General Aharon
Ze'evi-Farkash, told the Cabinet on Sunday that Iran has supplied
hundreds of Iranian-made missiles to Hezbollah, which can hit all
of northern Israel and territory as far south as Tel Aviv, in
addition to several dozen missiles that can reach the southern
city of Beersheva.

With reporting in Israel from Ha'aretz.
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