[Marxism] US could bomb Iran nuclear sites in 2007: analysts

james daly james.irldaly at ntlworld.com
Thu Nov 23 03:02:13 MST 2006


US could bomb Iran nuclear sites in 2007: analysts

By Agence France-Presse

11/22/06 "AFP" --- - President George W. Bush could choose military action 
over diplomacy and bomb Iran's nuclear facilities next year, political 
analysts in Washington agree.

"I think he is going to do it," John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, a 
military issues think tank, told AFP.

"They are going to bomb WMD facilities next summer," he added, referring to 
nuclear facilities Iran says are for peaceful uses and Washington insists 
are really intended to make nuclear bombs, or weapons of mass destruction 
(WMD).

"It would be a limited military action to destroy their WMD capabilities" 
added the analyst, believing a US military invasion of Iran is not on the 
table.

US journalist Seymour Hersh also said at the weekend that White House hawks 
led by Vice President Dick Cheney were intent on attacking Iran with or 
without the approval of the US Congress, both houses of which switch from 
Republican to Democratic control in January after the November 7 legislative 
elections.

The New Yorker weekly published an article by Hersh saying that one month 
before the elections, Cheney held a meeting on Iran in which he said the 
military option would never be discarded.

The White House promptly issued a statement saying the article was "riddled 
with inaccuracies."

Joseph Cirincione, Senior Vice President for National Security and 
International Policy at the Center for American Progress, a 
Democrat-friendly think tank, also believes the US government could decide 
to attack Iran.

"It is not realistic but it does not mean we won't do it," he told AFP in an 
interview. "It is less likely after the elections but it is still very 
possible."

"If you look at what the administration is doing, it seems that it is going 
to inevitably lead us to a military conflict," he said, adding that no 
alternative solution was being sought, including discussions with Iran on 
Iraq, which could lead to talks on Iran's nuclear program and role in the 
region.

"Senior members of the (Bush) administration remain seized with the idea 
that the regime in Iran must be removed," Cirincione said.

"The nuclear program is one reason, but their deeper agenda is this belief 
that American military power can be used to fundamentally transform the 
regimes in the Middle East," he added.

With the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, hardliners in the 
government have lost one of their leading advocates, and his replacement, 
former former Central Intelligence Agency chief Robert Gates, has in the 
past favored direct talks with Iran, said the expert.

"But they remain within the administration at the highest level, the office 
of the vice president, the national security council staff, perhaps the 
president himself," Cirincione added.

He also accused neoconservative circles of promoting the military option 
against Tehran.

In a Sunday op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times, Joshua Muarvchik, resident 
scholar at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, called for 
getting tough with Iran.

"We must bomb Iran," he said. "The path of diplomacy and sanctions has led 
nowhere ... Our options therefore are narrowed to two: we can prepare to 
live with a nuclear-armed Iran, or we can use force to prevent it."

Israel has also been pushing Washington to get tough on Iran.

Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh did not rule out preventive 
military action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, in a recent 
interview with the English-language Jerusalem Post.

However, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems unperturbed. On Monday 
he said Israel was incapable of launching a military attack on Iran's 
nuclear sites and called Israeli threats "propaganda."

Copyright © 2006 AFP.







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