[Marxism] Iran parliament speaker says US threats "could be" leverage for talks

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Sat Jun 28 16:55:48 MDT 2008

Fred posted:

> Sat, 28 Jun 2008 21:36:38

> Iran's Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani says the West is using reports of a
> possible war on Iran for political leverage in nuclear talks.
> Larijani said the West has always taken advantage of such psychological
> warfare for political gain, adding that the recent saber rattling 'could
> be'
> part of the efforts to pursue the same objective.
> "This is not the first time that Iran has been the target of such
> propaganda
> campaigns. I believe western countries are using the report as the 'stick'
> [in their carrot and stick policy] ahead of the upcoming talks on the
> nuclear package proposals," he added.
> Larijani said that Iran's Parliament would welcome talks on the nuclear
> issue but stressed that negotiations should take place in a reasonable
> political climate.
Below an editorial from the prestigious bourgeois house organ, the 
which shares Fred's concern about the mounting talk of war at the highest
levels in the US and Israel:

It's later than you think
Jun 26th 2008
>From The Economist print edition

Israel is threatening to attack Iran's nuclear sites. This may not be a

WITH oil prices at their present highs and Iraq at last making tentative
progress towards stability, the last thing anyone wants to hear is that
conditions in the Middle East could be about to take an abrupt turn for the
worse. Unfortunately, they could. Recent weeks have brought a spike in
chatter about the prospect of an Israeli military strike on Iran's nuclear
installations. Israel has conducted ostentatious long-range air exercises
over the Mediterranean, and one former chief of staff has called an attack
inevitable if Iran continues its nuclear work. This noise might be just a
bluff designed to signal to Iran that it would be wise to stop enriching
uranium, as the United Nations Security Council ordered it to a full two
years ago. Then again, it might not.

Until recently, fears of an Israeli or American attack on Iran had been
receding. The prospect of an American strike diminished after America's
intelligence services published their inconvenient finding last December
that Iran had stopped trying to design a nuclear weapon in 2003. At the same
time, diplomats have been able to point to the sort of progress diplomats
point to: a series of Security Council resolutions, supported by Russia and
China as well as the West, telling Iran to stop its uranium-enriching
centrifuges. Sanctions have been applied as well: in the latest, the
European Union decided this week to freeze the assets of Iran's biggest
bank, Bank Melli. Slowly but surely, you might conclude, the normal tools of
diplomacy are being brought to bear, removing the need for anything worse.
Besides, in November Americans may elect Barack Obama as president. Doesn't
he promise to sort out Iran by means of direct talks at the highest level, a
necessary step that George Bush could never quite bring himself to take?

If those were your reasons for ceasing to worry, think again. Despite that
American intelligence finding, neither Israel nor many other governments
believe that Iran has given up its interest in nuclear weapons. Yes, the UN
has passed resolutions and imposed some mild sanctions, but Iran has spent
two years disregarding them, continuing to spin its centrifuges and to call
for the destruction of Israel. It may well be true that Mr Bush is
disinclined to bomb Iran now that he is a lame duck, but the possible advent
of a President Obama might just make Israel more inclined to do so itself.
As the hawkish John Bolton, a former Bush administration official, said this
week, Israel may think the best time to attack would be during America's
presidential transition-too late to be accused of influencing the election
and before needing a new president's green light.

Don't do it
Such an attack would be a mistake. Even if it did not turn the region into a
"fireball", as Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, the world's nuclear watchdog, has predicted, it would certainly
provoke retaliation. Given Iran's size and sophistication, it would at best
delay rather than end whatever plans the Iranians have to become a nuclear
military power. Even if Iran did get the bomb, it would probably not use it
for fear of Israel's bigger, existing stockpile. And in the (admittedly
improbable) event that Iran is telling the truth when it denies having any
such ambition, nothing would change its mind faster than an Israeli strike.

The trouble is, this logic looks different from Tel Aviv. Given their
history, a lot of Israelis will run almost any risk to prevent a state that
calls repeatedly for their own state's destruction from acquiring the
wherewithal to bring that end about. Till now, the world has talked a lot
and applied some modest sanctions to stop Iran's dash to enrich uranium. It
is time to apply much tougher ones, in the hope that it is not already too

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