Wednesday, January 31, 2007
· Transatlantic rift emerges over how to handle crisis
· America builds up its naval forces in the Gulf
Ian Traynor in Brussels and Jonathan Steele
Wednesday January 31, 2007
"Senior European policy-makers are increasingly worried that the US administration will resort to air strikes against Iran to try to destroy its suspect nuclear programme.
As transatlantic friction over how to deal with the Iranian impasse intensifies, there are fears in European capitals that the nuclear crisis could come to a head this year because of US frustration with Russian stalling tactics at the UN security council. "The clock is ticking," said one European official. "Military action has come back on to the table more seriously than before. The language in the US has changed.".....
"There's anxiety everywhere you turn," said a diplomat familiar with the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. "The Europeans are very concerned the shit could hit the fan."
A US navy battle group of seven vessels was steaming towards the Gulf yesterday from the Red Sea, part of a deployment of 50 US ships, including two aircraft carriers, expected in the area in weeks....."