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Israel and US Looking for a Lebanon Pretext to Attack Iran


By Abbas EdalatCampaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran

The criminal war waged by Israel against Lebanon is the first stage of a regional war  against Syria and Iran planned  for months by the US and Israel with support from Tony Blair. Determined to widen the conflict by attacking Syria and Iran, the three aggressor countries Israel, the US and the UK, have firmly opposed and continue to oppose an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon [1].

It has now been revealed by Salon Media Group that the Bush Administration, dominated by the neo-conservatives, is sharing secret intelligence with Israel  in order to concoct a pretext, based on Syrian and Iranian supply activities in support of Hezbollah, for bombing both these countries [2].

Since the invasion and occupation of Iraq, a military assault on Iran has been on the neo-conservatives' agenda and the US and Israel have both been preparing for precisely such an assault [3][4], with President Bush not even ruling out the use of nuclear weapons against the non-nuclear Iran [5].

For some three years, the case for an attack on Iran in the west was essentially focused on the US and Israeli unfounded allegations and a campaign of hysteria in the media that Iran has a covert nuclear weapons program.  Despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no shred of evidence of a diversion of  Iran's nuclear activities into a weapons program, the US has used massive economic and political pressure  and successfully abused the IAEA to refer  Iran to the UN Security Council earlier this year [6]. 

The recent mandatory UN Security Council resolution against Iran was adopted on August 1, 2006 to demand that Iran suspend all its uranium enrichment activities by the end of the month. It was designed by the US and the UK to destroy any chance of negotiations after Iran had in fact accepted the incentive package of  the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany as a basis of negotiations [7]. It also preempted the substantive response of Iran to the package due on August 22. Iran has already rejected the resolution, which contradicts its inalienable rights under the Non Proliferation Treaty for a civilian nuclear technology.

Although, the resolution will no doubt be used by the US and Israel to try to justify their intended attack on the Iranian nuclear plants, the US diplomatic strategy to obtain a resolution based on article 42 of the UN charter to impose sanctions and legitimize the use of force against Iran has been defied strongly by China and Russia since February and remains in disarray.

It is this failure of the US diplomacy which prompted Israel to attack Lebanon with full support of the US and the UK under the pretext of  the capture of  its two soldiers. The aim is to cripple the pro Iran Hezbollah and to implicate Iran in starting the conflict and in providing arms to Hezbollah as a pretext for  launching a military assault on an Iran, which would soon be in breach of a Security Council resolution.

Only the antiwar movement and the urgent  united action of  Iranian communities worldwide can prevent the imminent attack on Iran and thus a major conflagration in the Middle East and beyond.

[1]  Wake Up Call to Iranian Communities Around the World: War waged by Israel in Lebanon is prelude to war on Iran.
 By Abbas Edalat, Foaad Khoshmood, Shahram Mostarshed, Daniel M Pourkesali, Rostam Pourzal, Nader Sadeghi, Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, Massy Homayouni, 31 July 2006

[2]  The neocons' next war, By Sidney Blumenthal, 3 Aug 2006         

[3]  Israel readies forces for strike on nuclear Iran, Sunday Times on 11 Dec, 2005

[4] The New Yorker, "The Iran Plans," Issue of April 17, 2006

[5]  Iran: Cooler heads urge Bush to talk, By Jim Lobe, Asia Times, 20 Apr, 2006

[6]   IAEA finds no evidence of Iranian nuclear-weapons plan,
       CASMII Press Release, 2 Mar, 2006

[7]     Associated Press, "Iran calls Western incentives acceptable," July 16, 2006


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