By Peter Symonds
1 May 2008
During a press conference on Tuesday, US President George Bush spelled out the threat to Iran contained in last week’s release of CIA intelligence on an alleged Syrian nuclear reactor. As well as warning Syria and North Korea, which purportedly helped construct the building, he declared that the US was “sending a message to Iran, and the world for that matter, about just how destabilising a nuclear proliferation would be in the Middle East”.
While Bush did not explain what the “message” was, the context makes it abundantly clear. Last September, Israeli warplanes demolished the building in an unprovoked act of aggression that had the potential to trigger a wider war. The US administration, which undoubtedly gave the green light for the attack, presented uncorroborated intelligence last week that the building housed an uncompleted reactor and that Syria was trying to build a nuclear weapon. The unstated threat to Tehran was: the US and Israel are prepared to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities as well.
None of the Israeli and US intelligence made public last week implicated Tehran in Syria’s alleged plans for a nuclear reactor. So why single Iran out for special mention? As far as nuclear proliferation is concerned, Israel is the only country in the region with a stockpile of nuclear weapons, and US regional allies—Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey—have all announced plans for nuclear reactors. By naming Iran, Bush not only underscored the hypocritical character of his stance, but confirmed Tehran is at the top of the list of US targets.
Are We Going to War with Iran?
April 30, 2008 MSNBC HARDBALL
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