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Ex-US advisors: Iran attack ’disaster’

Ex-US advisors: Iran attack ’disaster’

Press TV
July 23, 2008

Two former senior White House security advisors have warned that a military attack against Iran would be a catastrophe for the US.

“If we get into a war with Iran, we know there would be disaster, we know there would be a disaster,” said Zbigniew Brzezinski, ex-president Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor on Tuesday.

“The United States will become involved in a four-front war, probably for roughly two decades. Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Persian Gulf,” he said during a discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on the negotiations between the United States and Iran.

The US accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, insisting the country should either stop nuclear enrichment or face confrontation. Rejecting the allegation, Tehran argues its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

Also, advisor to presidents Gerald R. Ford and George H.W. Bush, Brent Scowcroft, said at the meeting, “Don’t talk about ’do we bomb them now or later?”

Both former advisors said only diplomacy backed by stronger sanctions and no preconditions for negotiations might work to overcome the current frigid US-Iran relations.

In a major shift from Washington’s past policy, the US Under Secretary of State William Burns attended for the first time in talks on Iran’s nuclear program in Geneva on Saturday involving Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana, as well as representatives from China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany.

 

Zbigniew’s Prediction of Iraqs Failure To Trigger War With Iran
PBS News Hour February 1, 2007. Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warned terrorist attack may occur in the United States.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PKhD9EfO-4

 



Is the Iran NIE a Trojan Horse?

Is the Iran NIE a Trojan Horse?

Russ Wellen

Huffington Post
December 5, 2007

The Iran NIE has elicited a range of emotions in those opposed to the Bush administration’s policies from gloating to discreet celebration. In the minds of many, it’s like V-Day: Let the church bells peal, kiss a girl in Times Square. Others, particularly Iranian commentators located in the US, are considerably less sanguine.

They fear, as Farideh Farhi writes at Juan Cole’s spin-off, Informed Comment: Global Affairs, that the NIE can “easily become an instrument in support of the Bush Administration’s current policy.”

In fact, according to Kaveh Afrasiabi at Asia Times Online, “The temporary freeze on the military option [resulting from] the new intelligence report has nested within it its exact opposite.” In other words, a Trojan horse.

Even though, he maintains, the nuclear programs that Iran halted in 2004-2005 were not weapons, the NIE and the administration painted them as such. If a follow-up report were to indicate that Iran planned to resurrect said weapons program, that would provide “ample justification for Washington’s planned ‘pre-emptive strikes’ on Iran, not to mention added sanctions.”

Thus leaving “the pendulum capable of swinging in wildly different directions almost at will.”

Meanwhile, at CASMII (Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Action Against Iran), Daniel Pourkesali writes, “Forgive this writer for being a spoiler.” But he too finds that the resurrection theme is like a ticking time bomb embedded in the NIE.

He mentions the “assertions on page 7 paragraph D [of the NIE] that ‘Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to produce nuclear weapons if a decision is made to do so.'”

They leave “the door wide open for administration hawks like Mr. Cheney to abruptly accuse Iran of resurrecting its ‘nuclear weapons program much as he did back in 2002, claiming that Saddam Hussein had ‘resumed his effort to acquire nuclear weapons.'” In other words, the hawks are fixated on another bird, the phoenix.

At NIAC (National Iranian-American Council), Trita Parsi explains how the administration further unrolls the rock before the resurrection justification. “Rather than adjusting policy on Iran in accordance to the reality-check provided by the NIE, the President moved the goal post on Iran.

“As the NIE declared that Iran likely doesn’t have a weapons program, the President shifted the red line from weaponization to the mere knowledge of enriching uranium [which, of course] is not of a military nature and is permitted by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

“The President also pointed out, as though to justify military strikes, that Iran’s knowledge of the enrichment process would permit Tehran to have a clandestine program. [But, of course] a full suspension of the Iranian program would not eliminate the Iranian knowledge of the enrichment program and, as a result, the risk of a clandestine program would continue to exist.”

Unless, of course, the atomic scientists of Iran submitted to the erasure of their memories as if their minds were hard drives.

Finally, Farideh Farhi weighs in at Juan Cole’s spin-off, Informed Comment: Global Affairs on the “propitious convergence between the NIE and the Bush Administration’s current policy and the timing of the release of this report,” which was finished a year ago. (See Gareth Porter for a full explanation.)

First she reminds us of Stephen Hadley’s statement that “the President has the right strategy, intensified international pressure along with the willingness to negotiate. . . [and for it] to succeed, the international community has to turn up the pressure on Iran — with diplomatic isolation, United Nations Sanctions, and with other financial pressure.”

Then she frets that “this NIE can so easily become an instrument in support of the Bush Administration’s current policy.”

We’ll allow Dr. Afrasiabi to be the last to rain on the parade. “The bottom line. . . [is that the US] has now pre-positioned itself for yet another disastrous gambit in the volatile Middle East.”

 

Lavrov: There Is No Proof That Iran Ever Had a Nuclear Program

Larouche Pac
December 5, 2007

The recently released National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report, which has sent a cat among Cheney’s killer pigeons, claims Iran has abandoned its nuclear program some time in 2003. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who met with Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili this week, said Dec.5 there was no proof Iran ever had a weapons program, as claimed in the U.S. report. In Tehran, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini dismissed the U.S. report that said Tehran pursued nuclear weapons up to 2003.

Lavrov said Russia supports Iran’s determination to cooperate with the IAEA, and that Russian President Vladimir Putin this week urged Iran to answer all IAEA questions and suspend enrichment. Acting Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last September told visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner that neither military force nor unilateral sanctions were acceptable in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.

 

Clandestine aims of NIE report

Parviz Esmaeili
Tehran Times
December 6, 2007

The latest U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear program was released on Monday and caused various reactions.

The report by the U.S. intelligence community is the consensus view of all 16 U.S. spy agencies, including the CIA.

Unfortunately, in Iran many people hastily responded positively, and even some government officials expressed the view that the report was favorable to Iran.

This case is similar to the recent report by International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, which was called totally positive.

However, like always, ElBaradei’s report gave short shrift to Iran’s cooperation and the transparency of its nuclear activities but highlighted the alleged ambiguities cited by Western intelligence agencies and their unsubstantiated accusations.

In any case, the issue is not over the contents of ElBaradei’s report, because the IAEA director general’s claim that the process of Iran’s cooperation with the agency is slowing down should have given Iranian officials a signal to be more cautious in evaluating the Arab diplomat’s five-page report.

Now the U.S. intelligence agencies’ report is being treated in the same hasty and offhand manner as ElBaradei’s report was.

Although it is expected that the heavy challenges of the past few years would have made our diplomacy more proficient, it seems that the rashness in adopting stances, the novice diplomatic moves, and the misanalysis of the nature of such reports will cause some problems for us in the future.

What is the content of the U.S. intelligence report?

The intelligence agencies’ report can interestingly be divided into evaluations with “high confidence” and “moderate confidence”.

The conclusions that are made with high certainty are:

“In fall 2003 (September), Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.”

Attention: The abovementioned time is exactly after an agreement was made with three European countries, and Iran suspended its uranium enrichment activities.

Moreover, contrary to what was declared in ElBaradei’s recent report (which indicated the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program had been peaceful), the U.S. intelligence report referred to an IAEA report that was issued on September 24, 2005 in which ElBaradei had violated the agency’s regulations by stating that the UN Security Council was authorized to investigate Iran’s motives behind 18 years of concealment!

In this way, ElBaradei created a pretext for referring Iran’s nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council, and he was then immediately appointed to serve a third four-year term as IAEA director general.

While the nuclear watchdog states that it has not observed any non-peaceful nuclear activities, the U.S. intelligence agencies have evaluated Iran’s nuclear program to be of a military nature, so that, unlike a technical approach, this political evaluation would influence public opinion.

“The halt, and Tehran’s announcement of its decision to suspend its declared uranium enrichment program and sign an Additional Protocol to its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement, was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure…”

In this way they are trying to justify their decision to pressure Iran and implying that the country is not committed to the agreements.

“Until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons.”

This big lie is not mentioned in any of the IAEA reports and is only an allegation made by the United States.

“Since fall 2003, Iran has been conducting research and development projects with commercial and conventional military applications”; “Iran’s civilian uranium enrichment program is continuing”; “Iran will not be technically capable of producing and reprocessing enough plutonium for a weapon before about 2015”; and “Iran has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons if it decides to do so.”

These sentences suggest that the pressure that was put on Iran, under the leadership of the U.S. government, has been successful in halting the country’s efforts to produce nuclear weapons and thus should be continued.

The conclusions that were stated with “moderate confidence” are:

“Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons”; “Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons”; “Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapon”; “Iran probably would be technically capable of producing enough HEU (highly enriched uranium) for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame”; and “Iran probably has imported at least some weapons-usable fissile material, but… it has not obtained enough for a nuclear weapon.”

But what are the unusual points of the report?

The timing for the release of the NIE is noteworthy.

ElBaradei’s report, which was released on October 30, 2007, states that some of the ambiguities should be cleared up through the modality plan devised by Iran and the IAEA.

In addition, China, Russia, and even other permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany have made it very clear to the United States that they adamantly believe that only diplomatic methods should be used in the nuclear standoff.

However, it is also important to examine their definition of diplomacy. We suppose that diplomacy means interaction through dialogue in order to reach an understanding, but in the conception of diplomacy of some members of the 5+1 group, any tool can be utilized to exert pressure except Article 42 of the United Nations Charter and the military option.

Moreover, after the Republicans lost the midterm congressional elections and the inconclusive occupation of Iraq, the people of the United States became weary of war. Even former U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton has talked about the need to revise the U.S. war policy.

In such a situation, the following points are significant:

(1) It seems that the time to release the report was deliberately chosen to influence public opinion in the United States and other countries in order to validate the policies of U.S. President George W. Bush.

Bush’s policies have in fact failed, and thus a scenario had to be devised which could turn a loser into a winner.

Is it a coincidence that immediately after the report was released, U.S. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said that the NIE supported Bush’s strategy of piling pressure on Iran?

(2) Apparently, another objective that the report seeks is to strengthen those who favor imposing sanctions on Iran by pretending that the U.S. is being logical and realistic in regard to the current nature of Iran’s nuclear program and is avoiding the military option.

This means it was meant to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, while the U.S. is not capable of handling a military confrontation with Iran, it can act as if avoiding the military option is a voluntary move by the neoconservatives and thus will obtain concessions from Russia, China, and also its domestic opponents.

On the other hand, the U.S. can use the report in its efforts to create an international consensus on the need to impose more illegal and unilateral sanctions on Iran.

Acknowledging this strategy, Hadley said the NIE report proves that the “international community has to turn up the pressure on Iran — with diplomatic isolation, United Nations sanctions, and with other financial pressure — and Iran has to decide it wants to negotiate a solution.”

In other words, since the report emphasizes that the previous U.S. pressure convinced Iran to abandon its alleged nuclear weapons program, continuing the pressures is necessary for international peace!

(3) Instead of pointing the finger at the neoconservative system of the United States, the report attempts to give the impression that the Islamic Republic of Iran is belligerent by nature and to justify Bush’s statements last month, when, probably in line with this report, he said, “If you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”

In fact, the report was released to influence world public opinion and convince people that if there is going to be a third world war, Iran will be the instigator, not the U.S.!

Now, we expect high-ranking Iranian officials to avoid making hasty evaluations of such reports and adopting incautious stances toward them.

The fact is that ElBaradei’s report has not created any problems for U.S. objectives and was designed completely in line with the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate.

As mentioned before, it seems that the IAEA director general’s only responsibility is to provide the additional information needed by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Washington’s plot against the Iranian nation and their nuclear program has a technical phase and a political phase.

ElBaradei’s duty is to prepare the technical requirements under the auspices of an allegedly professional international organization, but the main job is put on the shoulders of the U.S. spy agencies and media outlets.

Therefore, we should be aware that ElBaradei’s mission is not yet completed, and in this situation, instead of praising him for making a few positive statements, it would be better for us to be more reasonable and wait until the end of autumn.

The question still remains: Which part of ElBaradei’s report and the NIE was positive

 



Iran says documents show U.S. backing “terrorists”

Iran says documents show U.S. backing “terrorists”

Reuters
October 28, 2007

Iran has access to evidence of U.S. support for terrorist groups in the Middle East, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Iran’s new chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, made the allegation in comments to visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, whose country may soon send troops to hunt down Kurdish guerrillas in northern Iraq.

Tehran says the rebels are operating in Iraq with U.S. forces present in the country and this shows Washington is refraining from tackling them.

Like Turkey, Iran also has faced cross-border attacks by Kurdish rebels and has shelled targets inside Iraq in response.

“Escalation of terrorism in the region is one of the direct results of the presence of occupiers in Iraq, particularly America,” Jalili, an ally of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said according to the country’s state broadcaster.

“And there are documents and information available proving America’s support for terrorist groups in the region,” he said, without giving details. Jalili is also the new secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.

The United States often accuses Iran of backing and training militias responsible for some of the bloodshed threatening to tear Iraq apart. Tehran denies the charge and blames the violence in Iraq on the presence of U.S. forces.

The two countries are also locked in a stand-off over Tehran’s nuclear program, which Western powers suspect is aimed at developing bombs. Iran says it only wants to generate electricity.

Washington last week dubbed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction and accused its Qods force of backing terrorists. It also imposed sanctions on more than 20 Iranian companies, major banks and individuals.

At a joint news conference with Babacan, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Sunday also accused the United States and Israel of involvement in terrorism in the region.

“We see … their hand behind some of the regional terrorist activities,” Mottaki said.

Babacan, whose country’s ties with the United States have deteriorated sharply in recent weeks, thanked Iran for helping Turkey fight the PKK guerrillas and said the two sides had talked about continuing their cooperation.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) launched its campaign for a Kurdish homeland in southeastern Turkey in 1984. More than 30,000 people have been killed in the conflict since then.

Jalili on October 20 replaced Ali Larijani as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, a move analysts saw as signaling a toughening of Tehran’s position in the atom row.