News Release

Iran and Threats

The Sunday Times in London reported over the weekend: “The Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.”

TRITA PARSI
Parsi is author of the just-released book Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States. He said: “What on the surface may appear as business as usual in the war of words between Tehran and Washington may in reality repeat an earlier pattern widely suspected to have been aimed at provoking war with Iran. … Focusing on Iran may help deflect attention away from the ‘surge’ strategy’s failure to turn the tide in Iraq. It can also help convince Congress that Iran is responsible for U.S. misfortunes in Iraq and that cutting the funds for the war would embolden the clergy in Tehran.”
Parsi added: “Accusing Iran of seeking to put an already unstable Middle East under ‘the shadow of a nuclear holocaust’ and promising to confront Tehran — whose actions ‘threaten the security of nations everywhere’ — before it is too late echo statements made by the Bush White House about Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein prior to the invasion of Iraq.”
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JOSEPH GERSON
Gerson is author of the new book Empire and the Bomb: How the United States Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World. He said today: “The Middle East has long been living in the ‘shadow of a nuclear holocaust.’ The U.S. prepared and threatened to initiate nuclear attacks during Middle East crises in 1946, 1956, 1958, 1967, 1973, 1980, 1991, 1998, 2003, and more recently when President Bush, and Senators Clinton and Obama, said that ‘all options must be on the table’ as the U.S. confronts Iran. When asked in New Hampshire if she meant that the U.S. should be threatening all of Iran’s women and children with genocide, Senator Clinton’s response was ‘I meant what I said.’
“Israel justifies its ostensibly non-existent nuclear arsenal of 200-400 nuclear weapons by saying that it lives ‘in a dangerous neighborhood.’ Iran lives in the same neighborhood, just up the road from Israeli nuclear weapons.

“The Bush threat has been backed up with the dispatch of nuclear-capable U.S. aircraft carriers to the Middle East. Much as with the build-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, with his recent statement, and French President Sarkozy now playing to role of former British Prime Minister Blair, the Bush administration is ratcheting up the confrontation with Iran. A conventional or nuclear attack in the coming months is certainly a possibility and would be a disaster for the U.S. as well as Iran.”
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FARIDEH FARHI
Farhi is author of the book States and Urban-Based Revolutions in Iran and Nicaragua and a contributor to the Informed Comment Global Affairs group blog. She said today: “George Bush’s attempt to use fear of Iran’s future control of Iraq as a justification for continued U.S. military presence in Iraq ignores the fact that, at least until recently when the U.S. has somewhat switched sides and begun supporting Sunni groups, the two countries [Iran and the U.S.] have been virtual allies. Iran is the only country in the wider Middle East that has supported the outcome of the ill-fated American invasion with as much resources as it could muster and this is precisely what is upsetting American allies in the region such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia.” Farhi is affiliate professor of political science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.