Thursday, September 13, 2007
"13/09/2007 For at least a year and a half, a dangerous conventional wisdom has been percolating within the foreign-policy community and it is this: The US isn't going to attack Iran. Whether ignoring familiar warning signs or waving them away, most mainstream analysts are towing this line, too.
And why shouldn't they? Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said flatly: "We are not planning for a war with Iran." But the situation appears to be changing—and fast. Germany reportedly informed the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council last week that it would not back further sanctions against the Islamic Republic. That decision could deadlock next week's meeting of the six powers in Washington, where Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns hopes to secure a new set of sanctions against Tehran. The European Union is also failing to fully back International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohammed ElBaradei's plan for new inspections in Iran. Baradei rebuffed US critics of a cooperation deal it has struck with Iran as "back-seat drivers" and urged them to give it time to work to help avoid war.
Opponents to a military strike claim that an attack would require at least one week of intense bombing, and that it would only set the Iranian nuclear program back a few years, according to a report done by Fox news (according to a Fox News report). Two other claims of the opponents is that an American strike would provoke Iran into attacking Israel, and that abandoning diplomatic action would negatively impact Iraq and the US troops stationed there, not to mention US interests in the Gulf.
A senior Bush administration official told Fox that "everyone in town" was discussing the costs and benefits of a military assault on Iran that was likely to unfold within the next eight to ten months, well before the November 2008 presidential elections. According to the Fox news report, Germany's decision has spurred senior US army officials to try and convince US Foreign Secretary Condoleezza Rice to abandon once and for all the diplomatic route of preventing a nuclear Iran.
The report stated that the attack would be comprised of two main strategies: cutting off the Iranian gas supply, which the US hopes would pressure the Iranian people towards action against their government, and an aerial bombing campaign, which would be meant to paralyze Iranian defenses and allow American bombers to destroy the nuclear facilities.
Moreover, the Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni said during a radio interview broadcast today that the UN Security Council should adopt more and tougher sanctions against Iran to try to halt Iran’s nuclear program.
On the other hand, the chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said on Wednesday that Iran will not stop uranium enrichment, despite a call by the European Union and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to halt sensitive nuclear work.
So, is the US seriously contemplating military attack on Iran?"