Could Bomb Iran Nuclear
Sites In 2007: Analysts
25 November, 2006
Agence France Presse
President George W. Bush could
choose military action over diplomacy and bomb Iran's nuclear facilities
next year, political analysts in Washington agree.
"I think he is going
to do it," John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, a military
issues think tank, told AFP.
"They are going to bomb
WMD facilities next summer," he added, referring to nuclear facilities
Iran says are for peaceful uses and Washington insists are really intended
to make nuclear bombs, or weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
"It would be a limited
military action to destroy their WMD capabilities" added the analyst,
believing a US military invasion of Iran is not on the table.
US journalist Seymour Hersh
also said at the weekend that White House hawks led by Vice President
Dick Cheney were intent on attacking Iran with or without the approval
of the US Congress, both houses of which switch from Republican to Democratic
control in January after the November 7 legislative elections.
The New Yorker weekly published
an article by Hersh saying that one month before the elections, Cheney
held a meeting on Iran in which he said the military option would never
The White House promptly
issued a statement saying the article was "riddled with inaccuracies."
Joseph Cirincione, Senior
Vice President for National Security and International Policy at the
Center for American Progress, a Democrat-friendly think tank, also believes
the US government could decide to attack Iran.
"It is not realistic
but it does not mean we won't do it," he told AFP in an interview.
"It is less likely after the elections but it is still very possible."
"If you look at what
the administration is doing, it seems that it is going to inevitably
lead us to a military conflict," he said, adding that no alternative
solution was being sought, including discussions with Iran on Iraq,
which could lead to talks on Iran's nuclear program and role in the
"Senior members of the
(Bush) administration remain seized with the idea that the regime in
Iran must be removed," Cirincione said.
"The nuclear program
is one reason, but their deeper agenda is this belief that American
military power can be used to fundamentally transform the regimes in
the Middle East," he added.
With the resignation of Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, hardliners in the government have lost one
of their leading advocates, and his replacement, former former Central
Intelligence Agency chief Robert Gates, has in the past favored direct
talks with Iran, said the expert.
"But they remain within
the administration at the highest level, the office of the vice president,
the national security council staff, perhaps the president himself,"
He also accused neoconservative
circles of promoting the military option against Tehran.
In a Sunday op-ed piece in
the Los Angeles Times, Joshua Muarvchik, resident scholar at the neoconservative
American Enterprise Institute, called for getting tough with Iran.
"We must bomb Iran,"
he said. "The path of diplomacy and sanctions has led nowhere ...
Our options therefore are narrowed to two: we can prepare to live with
a nuclear-armed Iran, or we can use force to prevent it."
Israel has also been pushing
Washington to get tough on Iran.
Israeli Deputy Defense Minister
Ephraim Sneh did not rule out preventive military action to stop Iran
from acquiring nuclear weapons, in a recent interview with the English-language
However, Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems unperturbed. On Monday he said Israel was
incapable of launching a military attack on Iran's nuclear sites and
called Israeli threats "propaganda."
Copyright © 2006 AFP
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