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10/7/05

Blair's honesty over Iran charges in doubt

London, Oct 7, IRNA-Doubts have been raised by a British journalist over Prime Minister Tony Blair's honesty in making allegations at a news conference that Iran is interfering in Iraq.

"The PM was forced to insist five times yesterday he was just telling us 'exactly what I know.' When he pleaded: "Look, I am just being open with you" I suspect I wasn't the only person in Britain to question if he is," Mirror columnist Kevin Maguire said Friday.

"Well it looked, smelled and tasted to me like another of the Government's gruesome spin operations," he said in reference to the outspoken accusations made against Iran by Blair at a joint press conference with the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Thursday.

Maguire, who has also worked for the Guardian and New Statesman magazine, spoke of the allegations being first made by a senior British diplomat in an off-the-record briefing to selected journalists after meeting the Prime Minister on Wednesday.

"Blair presented himself as merely responding in public. He asked us to accept there was no conspiracy, nothing premeditated in the ratcheting up of the case on Iran," the columnist said.

"It feels uncomfortably like Groundhog Day. Tony Blair presents evidence of a military threat posed by a 'rogue' Middle East state," he warned, fearing that Britain was being led into a repeat of a US- led Iraq-style war.

The journalist said it sounded "depressingly familiar" that across the Atlantic "Blair's Washington White House warriors make war-like noises and revs up the tanks."

"If Blair joined the Iraq expedition to avoid the US acting alone, who could guarantee he wouldn't make the same mistake again? Invading Iraq was disastrous, attacking Iran would be catastrophic.

We don't want to wake up to another nightmare," he warned.

He said that "certainly Blair knows the public won't buy another pup and is scrutinising every 'fact' and assertion after the big lie over Iraq.

Further suspicion about the British Prime Minister's real aim has been raised by his attempt to link the charges with Iran's nuclear programme, after Britain failed to gain a consensus at the IAEA last month to refer the case to the UN Security Council.

... Payvand News - 10/7/05 ... --



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