The threat of war against Iran stepped up last week as Barack Obama warned he will not rule out military action unless Iran agrees to “come clean” on its nuclear programme.
The US president made the threat outside the G20 summit as Gordon Brown and French president Nicolas Sarkozy stood beside him.
Brown claimed Iran had been guilty of “serial deception” and said it was time to “draw a line in the sand”.
He gave the Iranians until 1 October to announce they would let international inspectors examine nuclear sites.
Western intelligence reports claim that Iran will be in a position to build a nuclear bomb “in a little more than a year”.
But the outgoing head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed El‑Baradei, argues that the case for urgent action against Iran is “hyped”.
He says any attack on Iran would be “an act of madness”.
Last Sunday the Iranians test fired missiles, which the Western media were quick to claim could target Nato bases in Turkey and Israel.
But this concern for Israel just reveals the West’s hypocrisy on the issue.
Socialist Worker opposes all nuclear weapons. But Israel is the only state in the Middle East that possesses any – and they are reportedly targeted on Arab and Iranian cities.
Britain and France secretly helped Israel establish its nuclear programme.
Previously Israel had threatened it would strike against Iranian nuclear installations, although for now
it is backing Obama’s approach after lobbying him to impose “crippling sanctions”.
The US and Israel have been planning a strike on Iran for three decades.
The intelligence reports Obama is using reported that Iran has constructed a nuclear plant in a bunker 100 miles from the capital of Tehran.
Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi had made it clear that the IAEA would be invited to visit the new site.
The Iranians are reported to have told the IAEA of the site four days before Obama’s announcement.