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The fall of Israel's ministry of Iranophobia

By Maryam Shirsoleiman, Press TV, Tehran

On January 16, 2008, Israeli outspoken strategic affairs minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned and his hardline Yisrael Beiteinu Party left prime minister Ehud Olmert's coalition government.

The move dealt another blow to the fragile coalition that the party joined in October 2006.

Lieberman's resignation is believed to come in protest at renewed Israeli-Palestinian so-called peace negotiations.

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"Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, this morning (Wednesday), 16 January 2008, accepted Minister Avigdor Lieberman's resignation from the Government. The Prime Minister thanked him for his service in the Government and for his considerable contributions to a series of Government security and social measures.

Prime Minister Olmert made it clear that there is no alternative to conducting serious diplomatic negotiations in order to reach peace. This is the order of the day and is dictated by national responsibility. The Government has also set the full assurance of Israel's security as a clear condition for the implementation of any future agreement. The Prime Minister is determined to continue the diplomatic negotiations out of recognition that they contain the only real chance to assure the peace and security of Israel's citizens, "a statement by Olmert's office said.

At the time when Ehud Olmert elected as Israeli prime minister, he reinstated Meir Dagan as the Mossad Chief and the director of the Israeli strategic planning against Iran's nuclear activities.

As Lieberman had insisted on being responsible for Iran's affairs as his precondition for Joining Olmert's government then Olmert was forced to sign a coalition agreement with him in October 2006. Under the agreement Lieberman became the Deputy prime minister and minister of strategic affairs, a new position with a focus on what Tel Aviv calls the threat posed by Iran.

Lieberman's party, Yisrael Beiteinu, received 11 seats (out of 120) in the March 2006 Knesset elections.

Lieberman is famous for his anti-Arab racist remarks. He has unbridled tongue and some call him as a very dangerous and sophisticated politician who has won his support through race hatred.

The hawk has also been quoted as saying 'Israeli Arabs should pack their bags and go to hell'. In May 2006, he called for the execution of Arab politicians who had had contacts with the Islamic Hamas movement.

The Israeli prime minister established the strategic affairs ministry while the Zionist regime is the only government in the Middle East that possesses nuclear arms.

Although it is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has so far refused to either sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or accept inspections of its atomic facilities.

The Israeli nukes are considered as a real threat to the peace and security of the region and the entire world.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had affirmed in August 1974, more than three decades ago, that Israel had nuclear bombs.

Iran insists that it is pursuing a totally peaceful nuclear program, aimed at meeting the country's growing need for electricity and medical and agricultural applications, and has dismissed the allegations by the US and Israel that it is engaged in a secret program to develop nuclear weapons.

Tehran has been reiterating that the West's propaganda about its nuclear dossier was nothing but a move to politicize the case.

In a sign of goodwill, the country last year entered in talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency to resolve the alleged outstanding ambiguities in its nuclear program.

Despite a report by US spy agencies last fall and an IAEA report confirming that Iran is not running a clandestine nuclear program, Washington and Tel Aviv still accuse Tehran of pursuing a nuclear arms program.

Lieberman was appointed minister of strategic affairs and deputy prime minister in charge of dealing with the Iranian issue, which the Zionist regime is portraying as its main strategic threat.

The hawkish politician argues that Olmert made a mistake by directing his government's efforts to the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict instead of stopping Iran.

Lieberman's resignation will undermine the already embattled premier ahead of the January 30 release of the Winograd Committee's final report on the failures of the Israeli 33-day war against Lebanon. The report is expected to be highly critical of Olmert.

The strategic affairs ministry which was created for Lieberman's desire is very likely to be dissolved.

On the other hand, the so-called peace efforts by Olmert and US President George W. Bush have been nothing but a propaganda campaign as Tel Aviv is stepping up its pressures on the Palestinians.

Just after Bush ended his Middle East tour, the regime launched large-scale offensives on the Gaza Strip, killing Palestinian civilians, including women and children.

At the same time, the Zionist regime tightened its blockade of the territory and closed all crossings to even UN humanitarian supplies allegedly to stop Palestinians 'from firing homemade rockets into southern Israel'.

Despite such blatant policy of collective punishment, the US maintains that it is Israel's 'legitimate right' to defend itself.

It is not a secret that Bush's visit to the Middle East was aimed at demonizing Iran and has nothing to do with the peace process.

Establishing a ministry by nuclear Israel to deal with 'the Iranian threat' along with Bush's efforts could only be interpreted as a scenario to create a wave of 'Iranophobia' in the region.

Iran has never invaded any country in its modern history and it has friendly ties with its neighbors even if certain countries adopted hostile policies towards it.

Keeping in mind these facts, what could the US and Israeli moves be interpreted but failed attempts to distract public opinion from the Israeli daily crimes and the threat it poses to the entire Middle East.

... Payvand News - 01/25/08 ... --

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