Iran has been conducting war games - code-named "Noble Prophet" - in Persian Gulf's Strait of Hormuz. As part of these exercises, Iran test-fired some 9 medium and long range missiles on Wednesday. Not surprisingly this generated huge amount of noise and "concern" by U.S. government officials.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this is "evidence that the missile threat is not an imaginary one." "Those who say that there is no Iranian missile threat against which we should build a missile defense system perhaps ought to talk to the Iranians about their claims
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the test bolsters the U.S. argument that Tehran is a threat and a missile defense system is needed in Europe.
A White House spokesman called the tests "completely inconsistent with Iran's obligations to the world" and said they further isolate the country. Iran should "refrain from further missile tests if they truly seek to gain the trust of the world," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the National Security Council.
Also, the Iranian missile tests have provoked widespread criticism in the U.S. Congress, where lawmakers called them provocative and urged stronger U.S. and international pressure on Tehran.
Persian Gulf (space photo by NASA)
But let's take a look at what we are dealing with here:
Iran is effectively surrounded by American troops which are based in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey and Persian Gulf.
Iran is being threatened almost daily by American and Israeli officials. Even nuclear attacks on Iran have been contemplated and discussed.
U.S. and Israel have nuclear weapons. Iran doesn't.
U.S. and Israel have invaded other countries in the region. Iran hasn't.
Israel recently conducted a massive exercise over the Mediterranean consisting of around 100 planes. This was supposed to be a dry run in preparation of a possible attack on Iran.
A just published expose piece by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has revealed that the Bush Administration has stepped up its secret moves against Iran by budgeting $400M to create chaos in Iran and to destabilize the regime.
U.S. Congressional Resolution H.CON.RES 362 ( calls on the president to stop all shipments of refined petroleum products from reaching Iran. It also "demands" that the President impose "stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains and cargo entering or departing Iran." Experts say the measures called for in the resolutions amount to an act of war.
U.S. has held many intimidating war games in Persian Gulf and just finished another one!
The fact is it is the U.S. troops that have barged in Iran's backyard and threaten to enter the house. Now why is it so upsetting if Iran fires a few missiles to say we are ready? Should we instead expect them to kneel down and submit, because that fits our interests? Iran has repeatedly stated that they will attack back if they are attacked. However, this defensive posturing is conveniently interpreted as provocation by both U.S. and Israel while ignoring their own offensive posturing!
There is no way out of this stalemate except for dialogue and diplomacy. Iran has repeatedly signaled readiness to engage in negotiations without any preconditions. U.S. has however repeatedly shunned Iran's offers and continues to insist on "verifiable uranium enrichment freeze by Iran" as a precondition to negotiations. Many analysts and experts are pressing the Bush Administration to drop the precondition and engage in dialogue. It's time to heed the advice of these experts.
War will not benefit Americans, Israelis or Iranians. In fact many experts have sounded the alarms that an attack by U.S. or Israel on Iran will engulf the whole region in fire and have global repercussions. This warning shouldn't be taken lightly. It is time to focus the world's energies on addressing important issues such as global warming, food shortages, poverty and diseases. No more killing and destroying please!
About the author: Ali Moayedian is a concerned Iranian-American. He lives in San Francisco Bay Area.
... Payvand News - 07/10/08 ... --