AS AMERICA’S rich and powerful party in Washington, celebrating George W Bush’s presidential inauguration, the White House is preparing to extend its war to Iran. Award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh revealed in the New Yorker this week that US special forces have been operating in Iran since at least last summer, identifying possible targets. Rather than deny the report, the Pentagon tried to rubbish Hersh’s reporting.
Meanwhile, the US imposed economic penalties on eight of China’s biggest corporations, claiming they were aiding Iran’s missile programme. The gang who brought us war in Iraq are at work again. US defence secretary Rumsfeld told the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Bush’s re-election gave the administration freedom to do what they wished. A former high level intelligence official told Hersh: “Next, we’re going to have the Iranian campaign. We’ve declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy… We’ve got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism.”
Iran has halted its nuclear programme pending talks brokered by the European Union. It is prepared to scrap it if Western sanctions are lifted. Unlike the US it has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Hersh reports that Rumsfeld’s people told an official at the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran needs “to be whacked”.
Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, is egging on the US claiming if they do not act against Iranian nuclear installations, he will. Bush, Rumsfeld and crew are rehashing their lies about the Iraq war, claiming Iranians will flock to welcome Uncle Sam.
Read Elaheh Rostami Povey on women and workers in Iran in the new issue of International Socialism Journal.