Alarm bells

The war camp in death throes is intent on striking Iran


Alarm bells

The most aggressive posturing and accusations against Iran, yet issued by Washington, signal the rapid closure of the window of opportunity for peace which opened up following the release of the US' National Intelligence Estimate in December 07 concluding that there was no evidence of a nuclear weaponisation programme in Iran. This revelation which was concordant with the IAEA's own repeated assessment over 5 years of intrusive inspections, and which had been held from publication by the Vice President Cheney for over a year with the aim of altering its key findings, put a spanner in the frightfully accelerating wheel to another war and a potential inferno in the Middle East and beyond.

However, it seems that the war camp led by Cheney have regained the lost ground and are furtively peddling for war before Bush leaves office next January. Bush's speech to the Israeli Knesset, 15th May, evoking, once again, the spectre of the world war, likening Iran to 1938 pre-war Nazi Germany, and rebuking Obama's willingness for dialogue with Iran on par with 'appeasement of Hitler', followed by the reporting of the Israeli army radio of behind the doors expressions of intent by the US to attack Iran before the end of his term, has sounded the alarm bells across a wide spectrum of political observers and analysts.

According to Col. Sam Gardiner, a specialist on military strategies, the raising of "message volume" of anti-Iran rhetoric points to the administration's policy direction of ratcheting up towards war on Iran. This view accords with the New York Times' revelation in April of Pentagon's illegally shaping of political climate through the use of contracted or bribed military analysts, who 'under the guise of objectivity', act as a 'Trojan Horse' for Bush administration's agenda via media outlet.

The volume and breadth of accusations against Iran which have risen steadily since the resignation in March of Admiral Fallon, the Ex-Head of the US Central Command, and a major bulwark against attacking Iran, sharply intensified in the 2 weeks prior to Bush's visit to Israel and provided the background and the pitch to his warring address to the Knesset. 'Iran is a regional threat' (Rice, 30th April) killing American servicemen and women inside Iraq (Gate 29th April), as the policy ' approved to highest level of that government (Hayden, CIA chief, 30th April), hell bent on developing nuclear weapons (Gate 29th April) whose pursuit of nuclear weapons and pursuit of terrorism is the perfect nightmare that is a threat to Israel and the rest of the region". (Mullen 1st May)

In relation to the massive military build-up in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, Adm. Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, described this as a 'reminder' to Iran that Pentagon was preparing for 'potential military Course of action' whilst simultaneously (1st May) acknowledging, in response to questions, that in relation to the allegations of the Iranian government role in the instability in Iraq, there was 'no smoking gun which could prove that the highest leadership is involved'. However, threats of bombing the Iranian Revolutionary Guards bases near the populated capital, Tehran, have intensified. The legislative groundwork for such attacks were laid in Kyle-Lieberman' Amendment to the Defence Authorisation Bill last September.

Patrick Clawson and Michael Eisenstadt from the Washington Institute of Near East Studies, an APAC's offshoot, are persuading the western public that an attack on Iran could be 'a whole lot more successful than most experts currently think'.

Amidst mainstream media's accompanying chorus to the drum beats of war, Andrew Cockburn reports (Counterpunch, 2 May) that several weeks ago Bush secretly authorised 'a covert offensive against the Iranian regime that, according to those familiar with its contents, is 'unprecedented in its scope'. This revelation has been totally unreported by the mainstream media. And so is silenced the most important news of the silent 'confession' by the US military, reported in LA Times on 10th May, that the alleged Iranian weapons found in Karbala and which were due to be exhibited to the press as the long awaited evidence of Iranian supplying arms to Iraqi militia, were not Iranian! That press conference was quietly cancelled and in the same week, the US army spokesman, Maj. Gen. Bergner, for the first time, did not mention Iran in his reporting on violence in Iraq. Gen. Petraeus too, who on his May 22nd appearance in front of the Senate Arms Services Committee was due to provide evidence of Iran's destabilising role in Iraq, chose not to elaborate.

It is now evident that not only has the US not produced a shred of evidence for its accusations of Iranian involvement in Iraq, but that the allegations have been based on lies. But, the mainstream media has a job to do and is not interested! Another case of astonishing silence is the discovery of a clip video from the former Defence Secretary, Rumsfeld, in the process of investigation into Pentagon's illegal manipulation of media ' itself blanketed out. In this, Rumsfeld, in the presence of those same military analysts who sold the war in Iraq, says that the American public having voted the Democrats to power could benefit from 'suffering another terrorist attack' .

With the aid of this powerful propaganda machine and regardless of the findings of the NIE and the IAEA, the labeling of Iran's nuclear energy programme as a weapons programme, has continued by Israel, by the US and by its western allies, including the UK. The IAEA-Iran workplan which was concluded in February, clarified all the outstanding issues in relation to Iran's nuclear programme which were claimed to be the basis of the reporting of Iran's file to the Security Council and the subsequent resolutions. The demand for suspension of enrichment has been a temporary one contingent upon the clarification of these same issues. The continued demand for the suspension of uranium enrichment is therefore unjustified. Dr El-Baradei, the IAEA Chief, confirmed on 7th May that the investigations concerning the US alleged weaponisation studies ' introduced a week before IAEA's concluding report in February - are 'making good progress' and reiterated in the meeting of the World Economic Forum in Egypt on 8th May, that the international community has no evidence of the military nature of Iran's nuclear programme.

Significantly, Iran in its 'Package for Constructive Negotiations' with the 5+1 (Security Council+Germany) presented to the Security Council on 13th May, proposes the formation of international partnerships to enrich uranium in different countries including Iran. This comprehensive package as well as cooperation and collaboration in nuclear security and peaceful nuclear technology, includes areas of international and energy security, nuclear disarmament, anti-terrorism, anti-narcotics, economy and trade, environmental protection and sustainability, democracy, and social justice. The Iranian package stresses on the need to proceed on the basis of partnership and mutual respect and rejects the US-European 'two-track' approach of incentives and threats as non-constructive. This package as well as offering an opportunity for peace and addressing issues of global concern, is a litmus test of the will for peaceful and just resolution of genuine issues of concern or intent for colonial aggression and plunder. Sir John Thomson, the former senior British diplomat, has welcomed this option reminding the Brown government of the failure of the current western policy towards Iran. (The Guardian 23rd May).

Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister, Olmert, illegally, immorally and with total impunity, calls for international air and sea blockade of Iran. The current accusations and threats against Iran are in clear violation of the United Nations Charter. The tragic death of over a million Iraqis and thousands of coalition soldiers must be a dire warning to politicians and journalists alike that the consequences of a possible war on Iran would be even more catastrophic, not only for the people of Iran, but globally. In the case of a military attack on Iran, not only the perpetrators but also the various collaborators of this crime would be punishable as war criminals.

Undoubtedly, the Brown Government's increasing unpopularity in polls and its recent mayoral and by-election failures, reflect, in no small measure, the disaffected Labour voters who have turned away from a Neo Conservative stooge Labour government. The Brown Government must take heed of the advice of the Church of Scotland which in a resolution on 15th May 'strongly urge the British government to do everything in its power to discourage the American government from undertaking any form of military strike against Iran ' And if the Americans ignore that advice, then Britain must make clear its strong opposition for such a move, either by the USA as a strike or by Israel as a pre-emptive move against Iran'.

--- Shahabi is a peace activist and independent journalist. She is on the editorial board of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran.

[1] Jerusalem Post: (Story no longer available)
[2] Mother Jones: Ratcheting Up the Rhetoric on Iran
[3] New York Times: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand
[4] CentCom Chief Admiral Fallon Resigns
[5] AFP: (Story no longer available)
[6] CBS news: "Hostile" Iran Sparks U.S. Attack Plan
[7] wbztv: Hayden: Killing Americans Is Iran's Policy
[8] Truthdig: Gates: Another Mideast War Would be ‘Disastrous’
[9] France24: US military chief slams Iran's 'irresponsible influence'
[10] Washington U.S. Weighing Readiness for Military Action Against Iran
[11] Wikispaces: Iranlegislation
[12] Haaretz: Is an attack on Iran a big risk?
[13] Counterpunch: Secret Bush "Finding" Widens War on Iran
[14] Wiredispatch: Petraeus terms military action in Iran "last resort"
[15] Anti-war: Scott Horton Interviews Gareth Porter
[16] AFP: IAEA chief sees 'good progress' in talks with Iran
[17] Trendaz: IAEA: No evidence on military nature of Iran nuclear program
[18] Guardian: Iran calls for uranium enrichment on its soil, with the world's help
[19] Haaretz: Olmert to U.S.: Impose naval blockade on Iran
[20] Ekklesia: Scottish church move to urge UK and US against aggression towards Iran



Alarm Bells

by Leon-kareem (not verified) on

Thank you Mehrnaz Shahabi for the excellent article. Many people around me support your stance and appreciate what you are doing for Iran and for global peace. Your article brings together many facts and exposes what most people are not aware of. Please continue writing.

Domestic politics of Iran has nothing to do with the Project for the New American Century and the bloodshed it is unleashing on earth. I have never heard these hate-mongers to say anything but attacking those who are defending Iran against war. Keep up the good work.


supporting Mullahs?

by bashardoust (not verified) on

I find it extraordinary how indecent and hateful some people can be who are prepaed o sacrifice a nation for their hateful purposes. You who are blinded by your hatred and ignorance,you attack defending truth and digging up untruth that this honourable journalist is doing. You have nothing to say about what she is arguing. I did not see a word of her supporting any aspect of what you call Mullas, what I see is outlining and exposing the distortions and lies and the dange that is facing humanity. You have nothing to say about that. You have nothing to say about the illegal activities of Pentagon conrolling the media, you have nothing to say about the fact that Americans were caught red-handed and could not show any evidence of Iranian arms, you have not been able to say anything about Bush signing a covert document for assassinations and terrorism and disintegration of Iran, you have nothing to say about Rumsfeld saying the Americans would benefit from another 9/11. Why? Because you are a liar, you are full of hate and you don't care if thousands, millions suffer and die. What evidence do you have calling this honorable journalist, this patriot, humanist, very able lady lobbyist of the regime? Come up with evidence, or shut up, and let Iran Live.


Hindering peaceful solutions

by Fred on

The problem with the self proclaimed “independent Journalists” who are “peace activists” while being members of the Islamist lobby is that their one sided campaign lacks any credibility. Were they to criticize both sides of the equation and try to find a middle ground, it would serve their nominal aim, peace, a whole lot more than what they are doing now which in actuality is hastening conflict. When the “peace activists” become de facto representative of the Islamist Regime soliciting a blanket security guarantees that would insure the survival of the Islamist Regime underwritten by the major powers no matter what, their credibility becomes what it is now. When the “independent journalists” incessantly forgo the Islamist Regime’s internal and external transgressions and only demonize the enemies of the Islamist Regime their effectiveness hovers around the zero marker. By giving the regime the cover, which it constantly glorifies in its propaganda outlets, the ersatz “peace activists” enables the regime to lull the worried enslaved Iranians that in its nuclear adventures the regime is not without allies. That is precisely how these lobbies/apologists are helping rather than hindering conflict. The West and particularly U.S is not going to allow a Nuke powered Islamist Republic to come into being. The party affiliation of the next U.S president, unlike what some think, has nothing to do with it, albeit espousing different tracks during their presidential campaigning on this existential threat;   all are of the same mind.


RE:don't defend the mullahs

by Humanist (not verified) on

To oppose another criminal war is not defending Mullahs as you try to frame this.
It is beyond belief that how many Iranians are still in their little twisted world. Wake up Mr. Javid Iran.... Instead of making idiotic comments like Mullahs created this and that...
Educate yourself Iran is in danger and has nothing to do with Mullahs and everything to do with Empire.
BTW those organizations you mentioned are legitimate resistance movement and any freedom seeking person in this world should support them. Wake up man



The IAEA Report

by truth-seeker (not verified) on

Anonymous, the IAEA report has not been released to the Western new agencies yet and what you see are distorted extracts out of context and lies, as usual. Of course Iran is not complying with the demand to suspend enrichment!!! So what? That is not evidence of weaponisation! That is the evidence of non-compliance with thuggish demands!

I have read the report in the Fars New Agency in Farsi and there is NO EVIDENCE of a weaponisation work or study. In fact the agency says it has monitored various aspects of Iran's nuclear work fully. Where more clarification is sought, is either in relation to what can only be clarified under the more intrusive Additional Protocol (which Iran agreed to if a third resolution was not imposed but the gangsters ignored that evidence of good will) and imposed a third resolution. There are also allegations regarding weaponisation studies that IAEA says are "contradictory". Did you see this term in your western agencies report? I bet not!

In relation to these allegations, Iran maintains some are fabricated (do you remember the Yellow Cake from Niger? Does it ring a bell? Or the Dodgy Dossier?! Or the 45 minutes claim regarding Saddam's capability?), and there are others which relate to Iran's conventional military programme. The IAEA has not offered any evidence to the contrary and the discussions are continuing.

Iran is under threat and has to safeguard its nuclear energy programme as well as its military capabilities. Just a reminder that bombing of Baghdad (yes, the famous Shock and Awe) that role the skin off children's skulls, started after Iraq abided by the demand to dismantle its CONVENTIONAL short range scud missile.

When you do eventually read the report, read it carefully and reflect ...


don't defend the mullahs

by ahvazee (not verified) on

I respect that you are not for war, but you're quite naive to suggest the mullahs have nothing to do with instability in iraq or that they are not after nuclear weapons!
The mullahs are the ones who CREATED HEZBOLLAH AND ISLAMIC JIHAD...they are clearly after creating an islamic empire that stretches to the mediterranean!
I find it very disturbing when so called "advocates of peace" show up and stand up and defend these brutal butchers....The mullahs are the embodiment of EVIL ON EARTH...they have no country or soul....
I love my country and would never want it attacked...but I pray for the day when the mullahs are hanging from trees on Pahlavi Ave!
Javid Iran


Agency: Iran May be

by Anonymousmm (not verified) on

Agency: Iran May be Withholding Nuclear Info

May 26, 2008
The Associated Press

"Iran may be withholding information needed to establish whether it tried to make nuclear arms, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday in an unusually strongly worded report. The tone of the language suggesting that Tehran continues to stonewall the agency — the U.N. nuclear monitor — revealed a glimpse of the frustration felt by agency investigators stymied in their attempts to gain full answers to suspicious aspects of Iran's past nuclear activities.

Iran has described its cooperation with the agency probe of its alleged nuclear weapons experiments as positive, suggesting it was providing information requested by agency officials.

Indirectly disagreeing, the agency also said that Iran continued to deny such activities, dismissing evidence to the contrary submitted for its perusal as misleading or false.

The findings were part of a restricted agency report forwarded to the U.N. Security Council and to the 35 board members of the International Atomic Energy Agency that was obtained by The Associated Press.

Iran remains defiant

The nine-page report also noted that Iran remains defiant of U.N. Security Council demands to stop uranium enrichment.

Shrugging off three sets of council sanctions, Iran had instead expanded its operational centrifuges — machines that churn out enriched uranium — by about 500 since the last International Atomic Energy Agency report, in February, said the report.

In announcing major progress in Iran's push for nuclear power, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said last month that Iranian scientists were putting 6,000 new uranium enriching centrifuges into place and testing a new type that worked five times faster.

The report noted that Iran now had only 3,500 centrifuges and specified that the few advanced machines actually running were only in a testing phase. Still a senior U.N.
But addressing whether Iran was complying with agency requests, the report said that "Iran has not provided the Agency with all the information, access to documents and access to individuals necessary to support Iran's statements" that its activities were purely peaceful in intent.

"The Agency is of the view that Iran may have additional information, in particular on high explosives testing and missile related activities which ... Iran should share with the agency," said the report. It was referring to two alleged sets of tests that agency officials say could be linked to a nuclear program.

Asked whether Iran was stonewalling, the U.N. official said that "it was evident" to agency investigators "that they may have some additional information" they were not providing.

Iran already rejected evidence provided by the U.S and other IAEA board members on alleged weapons programs in February, but then promised to revisit the issue before the agency's next board meeting in a week.

Its nuclear programs have been under International Atomic Energy Agency investigation since 2003, when a dissident group revealed the existence of a clandestine enrichment program.

"At the same time that Iran is stonewalling its inspectors, it's moving forward in developing its enrichment capability in violation of security council resolutions," Gregory L. Schulte, the chief U.S. delegate to the IAEA told the AP. He described parts of the report as a "direct rebuttal" of Iranian claims that all nuclear questions had been answered.



The role of the media

by Peter Pan (not verified) on

Thank you. This is a brilliant exposure. The war camp is certainly intent on war and the economic crisis is not an impediment, it is rather wishful-thinking on the part of those who are burying their heads in sand. Try and defend your country NOW and be happy later, that is the first rule of inteligent behaviour. What the West is doing now is to try and deplete Iran through sanctions and disintegration, as in Iraq. Wake up, Iranians. I can't believe so much hatred against one's motherland. Look at Iraq and wake up ...


Watch the dawn of New American century

by Sadaia_qesa on


Don't worry, be happy

by Alborzi (not verified) on

There is no question that some groups try hope for
that, but for many reasons it will not happen. foremost
is the recession in the USA, the American people will not
stand another futile war. There is not a good excuse for it and it will not happen. Just be happy.