Iran's Crises Unfolded  
Monday 27 September 2021

Politics And Military

* Resurfacing Shock and Awe, why is this different?  Ali Behrooz

* Mr President, Barack Obama,  Ali Behrooz

* Iran’s Conservatives Are Deceiving Themselves  Tariq Alhomayed

* Just When it Ends in Basra, it Begins in Mosul!  Huda al Husseini

* Putin promises Iran continuity in relations: RIA  News Report

* New U.S. carrier in Gulf a 'reminder' to Iran: Gates  News Report

* Iran displays 1800 km-range missile  News Report

* U.S., Iraqi Forces Continue to Battle in Sadr City  News Report

* Iran Top Threat To Iraq, U.S. Says  News Report

* Sadr not U.S. enemy if he sticks to politics: Gates  News Report

* British fear US commander is beating the drum for Iran strikes  News Report

* Pakistan Mulls Talking with Terrorists  News Report

* Shia leader tries to contain militia  News Report

* Bush to maintain Iraq troop numbers  News Report

* McCain doesn't rule out preemptive war  News Report

* Winds of Change  Pablo Ouziel

* Obama Adviser Calls for Troops To Stay in Iraq Through 2010  News Report

* Iran helped end Iraq fighting: Iraq party adviser  News Report

* McCain's "war on terror" remix  News Report

* Saudi Arabia's justice minister departs for Tehran  News Report

* Deployment of Foreign Troops an Insult to Regional States  News Report

* Gun-shy America is losing the best chance to stop Iran  News Report

* Khatami rallies Iran reformists  News Report

* Iran says will soon hold talks with U.S. on Iraq  News Report

* Iran says has built new long-range missile  News Report

* U.S. military in Iraq says to release 9 Iranians  News Report

* U.S. sees decline in Iran-linked bombs found in Iraq  News Report

* Russia and China fall in line on Iran  News Report

* Iran letter sparks new fight between Clinton, Obama  News Report

* Bombing Iran will ensure world peace  News Report

* King Abdullah flies in to lecture us on terrorism  Robert Fisk

* Ahmadinejad to Visit S. Arabia mid Nov.  News Report

* Iranian Guard 'ready to defend revolution'  News Report

* Iran to give crushing response to possible attacks: minister  News Report

* Bush: Missile shield is meant to deter Iran  News Report

* Iran Accuses US of Manufacturing Genetic Weapons  News Report

* Blair: Terror threat like fascism  Tony Blair

* US arrogant attitudes pave way for 'World War III': Cleric  News Report

* Russia’s Putin hunts diplomatic solution in Iran  News Report

* Clinton says she would negotiate with Iran if elected president  News Report

* Britain 'on board' for US strikes on Iran  News Report

* Iran, sanctions and the rumours of war  News Report

* No Iran strike plans, says Blair  Tony Blair

* Gates: Diplomatic efforts to counter Iranian nuclear program are working  News Report

* McCain Jokes About Bombing Iran  Liz Sidoti

* Tehran expects update on cases of two Iranians murdered in France: MP  News Report

* Iran is not a safe haven for terrorists  News Report

* Iran at threat?  News Report

* Iran trying to recruit Israeli spies  News Report

* Iran: Signals on 5 Diplomats  News Report

Iran, sanctions and the rumours of war
[ News Report]  [2007-10-07 04:48:57]
[Source: FT - 23/09/07]

Published: September 23 2007 19:10 | Last updated: September 23 2007 19:10

The drums of a new war, this time with Iran, are beating. In Washington and Tehran, a mix of breast-beating, veiled threats and bellicose leaks suggests that factions in both capitals believe war is not just probable but probably in their interest.

Unsubstantiated claims by the Bush administration that Iran is to blame for the implosion of Iraq have become alarmingly strident.

France, which steered well clear of Iraq under Jacques Chirac, under Nicolas Sarkozy suggests the world may be forced to choose between an Iranian bomb or bombing Iran. Bernard Kouchner, a rare French supporter of the Iraq invasion who is now foreign minister, spoke last week of the need “to prepare for the worst; the worst is war”.

Israeli officials talk of when, not whether, Iran will have to be attacked. On September 6, Israel’s warplanes struck targets in northern Syria that both sides decline to identify. In a barrage of leaks reminiscent of Israeli claims five years ago that Iraq had moved its weapons of mass destruction into Syria, Israel and the US are hinting the target was a North Korean-supplied nuclear facility. Politically most significant, however, is that there was not one peep of Arab protest at this unexplained attack on an Arab country allied to Iran.

Can this momentum be broken?

The permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, with France now firmly behind the US and UK, are trying to get tougher sanctions to force Iran to end uranium enrichment. Russia and China feel the UN’s nuclear watchdog should be given more time to broker agreement – time Washington fears Tehran could use to master bomb-making technology.

Meanwhile, inside Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, its fundamentalist president, looks vulnerable to an alliance emerging between reformists led by former president Mohammad Khatami and pragmatists led by Hashemi Rafsanjani, another former president who stands at the fulcrum of Iran’s complex power structure. But that challenge looks lengthy, and the alliance is clouded by past betrayals and ambiguity.

For any policy to have a chance of working, it must avoid the aggression that stampedes Iranians into closing ranks behind the hardliners. Yet it must also be finely calibrated: between targeted sanctions with real bite and offers of negotiations on issues of real significance to Iran, such as its place in the region and the world. There is still time and there has to be effort.

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars,” says a famous passage in the gospels, “but the end is not yet.” Let us hope so.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

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