Thursday, February 15, 2007
By Iason Athanasiadis
"TEHRAN - The growing US military buildup in the Persian Gulf appears to be making Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad tone down his rhetoric while also forcing the country's leadership to adopt a more circumspect approach to dealing with Washington. But another terrorist spectacular rocked Iran's wild southeastern region on Wednesday, targeting the country's elite Revolutionary Guard and souring the newly positive atmosphere......
But regional analysts warn that Washington and Tehran are currently negotiating the most treacherous diplomatic stretch, with "accidental" war a distinct possibility. This period ahead of the UN deadline could well simply be the calm before the storm.
"My major concern at this point is the US, because we have identified Iran as our enemy and we have increased our military posture in the region, the combination of the rhetoric and the military forces could lead to an accidental escalation," said Gary Sick, a former National Security Council adviser in the Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations.
US President George W Bush continues to point an accusing finger at Iran. In his latest attack, he insisted on Wednesday that Iranian special operations forces are providing the sophisticated roadside bombs being used to kill US troops in Iraq and declared: "I intend to do something about it."......
This week, Iran's first president, Abolhassan Bani Sadr, spoke to the Saudi-owed Al-Arabiyyah news portal from his Paris exile, saying it is very likely that the United States will conduct a military strike against his country soon.......
"I worry about an accidental explosion rather than a planned attack that we can see coming," said Sick. "Every key person in the US administration says they are not planning an attack on Iran, but a lot of people in the administration seem to think they wouldn't mind if such a thing happened. Under such circumstances, it is always possible for accidents to take place, even engineered accidents."......"
Is Olmert's current 2-day visit to Turkey a part of last minute preparations for the attack on Iran? Will Israeli jets use Turkish air bases? Olmert has undertaken a series of high-level visits to several countries (including China) related to Iran.