Friday January 12, 2007
"If George Bush's remodelled strategy for halting the Iraq disaster fails to work, it is becoming clear where the US administration will point the finger of blame: Tehran. For some months Washington has been moving aggressively on a range of fronts to "pin back" Iran, in Tony Blair's words. But Mr Bush's Iraq policy speech on Wednesday night marked the opening of a new, far more aggressive phase which could extend the conflict into Iranian territory for the first time since the 2003 invasion.
Mr Bush's choice of words constituted an unmistakable warning that US forces may in future conduct hot pursuit operations into Iran against terrorist suspects or their backers. "These two regimes [Iran and Syria] are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq," Mr Bush said."We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq."
Asked on CBS television yesterday whether that meant US troops could be sent across the Iranian border, secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said that option was on the table. "We have to recognise that Iran is engaging in activities that endanger our troops."....."