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(DV) Bakhtiar: Why the US Invaded Iraq and is Now Thinking About Invading Iran







Why the United States Invaded Iraq and is
Now Thinking About Invading Iran
by Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar
May 12, 2006

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On April 28, the IAEA released its report on Iran. The IAEA reported that: "the Agency cannot make a judgment about, or reach a conclusion on, future compliance or intentions." The report came as no surprise to those who have been following the ongoing dispute between Iran, United States and the IAEA.


The United States, for quite some time now, has been accusing Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons and Iran has been insisting that its intentions are peaceful and that it is only interested in peaceful use of the nuclear energy. Iran, to allay the international community's fear, froze its enrichment program and started a series of negotiations with the U.K., Germany, and France. However, without the United States these negotiations were not going to produce any results, since it was only the United States that could address the Iranian's national security concerns. Iranian seeing themselves surrounded by American forces wanted a security guarantee that United States would not invade Iran, something that United States was not prepared to give. So the negotiations with the European three failed and Iran resumed its enrichment program. Iran was threatened with Security Council and even invasion without any effect. Now once again there is talk of a Security Council resolution under Article 7 and continuous threats of invasion. There have even been talks of tactical nuclear strike on suspected Iranian nuclear facilities.


All these events are reminiscent of the negotiations and threats preceding the invasion of Iraq. The unfolding events are so similar that it makes one wonder if the Iraq scenario is not being used as a template for Iran. And with what has come to light since the Iraq invasion, we have to assume that like Iraq, the decision to invade Iran has already been taken, and that the E.U. Three negotiations and the IAEA are being used to prepare the public for that event. There are already reports of increased U.S. provocations along Iranian borders such as flying unmanned surveillance flight over Iran, and the insertion of commandos into Iran for intelligence gathering and other activities. The talk of invasion is also accompanied by war games. For example on April 14, USA Today reported: "Amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran over the future of Iran's nuclear program, the Pentagon is planning a war game in July so officials can explore options for a crisis involving Iran." [1]


But this war game is not the first of its kind. According to William M. Arkin of the Washington Post, "In early 2003, even as U.S. forces were on the brink of war with Iraq, the Army had already begun conducting an analysis for a full-scale war with Iran. The analysis, called TIRANNT, for "theatre Iran near term," was coupled with a mock scenario for a Marine Corps invasion and a simulation of the Iranian missile force. U.S. and British planners conducted a Caspian Sea war game around the same time. And Bush directed the U.S. Strategic Command to draw up a global strike war plan for an attack against Iranian weapons of mass destruction. All of this will ultimately feed into a new war plan for "major combat operations" against Iran that military sources confirm now exists in draft form." [2]


But why did the United States attack Iraq and why is she so keen on attacking Iran now? We now know that from the beginning, this administration was looking for any excuse to invade Iraq. Washington has, over time, given a number of different reasons for invading Iraq: starting with Iraq's developing Nuclear weapons, to war on terror, to spreading democracy in the Middle East. All these reasons have proven to be false. Iraq did not possess any Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD); and did not have any link to Al Qaeda. And instead of democracy, Iraqis have had to endure Abu Ghraib, car bombs, and shortage of basic services such as electricity, clean water, and health care. None of the ministries are functioning properly and in addition Iraq has to deal with half a million displaced people. There is also talk of a partitioning of Iraq. [3] On top of all this, the Iraqis now face a possible bloody civil war.


After spending over 320 billion dollars for Iraq war (officially so far) and with no end in sight, why is this administration insisting in starting another catastrophic war in the Middle East?


There have been a number of theories put forward by various groups and individuals.


* Crusade -- Some Muslims think that United States has started a crusade against Islam and is determined to vanquish any and all countries that stand in its way.


 * Oil Reserves -- There are other groups who think that with the oil reserves diminishing fast, United States is trying to corner all the reserves and supplies for itself, thereby ensuring its future dominant economic position in the world.


 * China -- There are others who think that an invasion of Iraq and targeting of Iran is part a geo-political move by United States to block China's emergence as a world power by restricting its access to oil.


* Israel -- Finally there are those that argue that the United States is doing the bidding of Israel and getting rid of those that may challenge Israel's hegemony in the Middle East in the future.


The answer probably contains some of all of the above.


Crusade against Islam


Every day, Muslims living in Jakarta, Cairo, Karachi, London, or Detroit, hear and sees things that seem hostile, if not to them personally, then to other Muslims across the world. [4] They have seen the plight of Palestinians for years without anyone doing anything about it. They are frustrated by the impotence of their leaders in the face of the neo-colonialist encroachment of the west. They hear the West talk about democracy and yet see the West support the very dictators that are oppressing them. They see in exceptional cases, like Palestine, where there has been a democratic election, that the West has stepped in to dismiss the results as not acceptable. They look at their past colonial masters and fear their return in disguise. They see the wars like Iraq and the war on terror as excuses for new colonial ambitions of the West. Above all, they feel that their lives and rights, in the eye of the West, are worth less than non-Muslims.  They are appalled by extrajudicial killings in Israel, torture of prisoners by Americans, the treatment of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners, and the ongoing torture of people at the hands of Western supported dictators as signs that the West, in general, and America (as the leader), in particular, is on a crusade to subjugate them.


The Fight for Oil Reserves


The profits of five oil companies combined (American: ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Conoco, European: Shell and British Petroleum) in 2005 was $111 billion. These profits are about to go through the roof. The reason? Production can not keep up with demand, and even if it could, there isn't enough oil to satisfy all, at present prices. Oil companies' valuations are based on those companies' access to oil reserves. Iraq and Iran combined have over 20% of the world's total proven oil reserves. Imagine what having access to those reserves will do for the valuation of American oil companies, not to mention their profits.


There is also the matter of consumption. United States consumes fully 25 percent of the world oil supplies. China and India are growing rapidly and their economies consume more and more oil. China currently consumes 8.2 percent of the world's oil production. Soon it will increase to 10 or even 14 percent. Where is that oil going to come from? Is United States willing to reduce its share for China? It is highly improbable.


 Figure 1 Oil consumption. Source: British Petroleum (BP), Statistical Review of World Energy 2005.


Recently, President Bush held a television conference where he assured the public that Americans' dependence on oil would soon be over. He spoke of great new technologies and fuel sources that were just around the corner. What he forgot to mention was that there are 600 million cars in the world today that run on petrol, and it is estimated that if the present trend continues, by 2030, the number of cars in the world will reach 1.2 billion. [5]


Just to change the engines of the existing 600 million cars will take years, not to mention all the petrol stations and the support facilities that have to be modified for this to work. There is also more in a barrel of oil than petrol for our cars. We need such oil derivatives as jet fuel, kerosene, lubricants, feedstock, asphalt, etc., for our industries to function.


Currently over 60% of the world's oil reserves are in Middle East. Four countries in the region, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Kuwait have over half of the world's proven oil reserves. 


If we keep the world's oil consumption at its current level, then the Middle East can theoretically supply the world with oil, at its current production rate, for another 80 years.


Figure 2 World oil production/reserve. Source Statistical Review of World Energy 2005, BP.


But the fact is that in 15 years the North American and Asia Pacific oil reserves will be depleted. This will represent a marked reduction in oil supplies worldwide. In other words, within 15 years, if we do not increase oil production drastically in the Middle East and elsewhere, the world will face tremendous oil shortages. Increasing oil production is not that easy either. Each oil field has an optimum production rate. If one tries to go beyond that rate and tries to sustain high production rate, one damages the oil field and thereby substantially reducing the amount of recoverable oil. This problem is well documented by the oil industry.


But what about the new oil discoveries? Well, there have been very little new discoveries; the future doesn't seem that bright either. According to Energy Information Administration's (EIA) analysis of the long-term world oil supply, we can expect to discover only 10% more oil in the future. [6] Even this 10% is disputed. The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO), which closely follows the development in the oil industry, the Foundation of Economic Sustainability (FEASTA), and others see an alarming trend in the future oil discovery and production.  



If one looks at the amount of oil discovered in the years from 1930 to the present one sees a clear downward trend in new discoveries; this in spite of using more money and better technologies.


In March 2005, HIS energy (an international oil consultancy firm) did a comprehensive analysis of the world oil supply and demand and reached the following conclusion: that even if one includes Natural Gas production and all other liquid fuels in our total available supplies, there will be a shortage anytime from 2011 to 2020. [7]




In 1972, Richard Nixon went to China to secure an ally against the Soviet Union and thereby shift the balance of power towards the West. Recently, President Bush made a similar trip to India to enlist it as an ally against China. The United States sees China as its main strategic competitor, now and in the near future. The United States is concerned with losing its dominant position in East Asia to China. Both political and military authorities have voiced this concern. In the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review Report, China is identified as a major concern.


"Of the major and emerging powers, China has the greatest potential to compete militarily with the United States and field disruptive military technologies that could over time offset traditional U.S. military advantages, absent U.S. counter strategies. China is an emerging world power." [8]


The report goes on to point out that the United States should take all necessary steps to (in the case of hostilities) to deny China its strategic and operational objectives.


"The United States will work to ensure that all major and emerging powers are integrated as constructive actors and stakeholders into the international system. It will also seek to ensure that no foreign power can dictate the terms of regional or global security. It will attempt to dissuade any military competitor from developing disruptive or other capabilities that could enable regional hegemony or hostile action against the United States or other friendly countries, and it will seek to deter aggression or coercion. Should deterrence fail, the United States would deny a hostile power its strategic and operational objectives." [9]


To this end United States is restructuring and repositioning its bases to be better able to contain China's growing power. It has also revamped its alliance with Japan and other countries in Southeast Asia. In addition, the United States is transforming Guam into a hub for long-range bombers and is planning to add a sixth aircraft carrier to its pacific group.


All these steps are taken to contain China and limit its ability to move freely in the area. On top of all this, the United States is positioning itself to control China 's access to oil. If the United States can control the oil reserves it will be able to determine not only the economic growth of China but also limit its strategic ambitions. 




There is no doubt that Israel has a powerful lobby in the United States. There are currently over 50 Jewish organizations that directly or indirectly lobby for Israel. The Israeli influence is well known, but few are willing to openly talk about it, especially in the United States and Europe. The Israeli dimension is particularly difficult to mention, for if one dares to state the obvious, one is branded as anti-Semite or a terrorist sympathizer. The Jewish lobby also can make life very unpleasant for those who dare to mention the extent of its influence in U.S. and other countries. There are still a few brave soles such as John Mearsheimer (Professor of Political Science and the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago) and Stephen Walt (Belfer Professor of International Relations and Academic Dean of Harvard University) in the U.S. that are willing to speak-out. In March 2006, they wrote a paper titled "The Israel Lobby" in which they question the United States policies in the Middle East. Here is a section of their paper:


Israel receives about $3 billion in direct assistance each year, roughly one-fifth of the foreign aid budget, and worth about $500 a year for every Israeli. This largesse is especially striking since Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to that of South Korea or Spain.


Other recipients get their money in quarterly installments, but Israel receives its entire appropriation at the beginning of each fiscal year and can thus earn interest on it. Most recipients of aid given for military purposes are required to spend all of it in the US, but Israel is allowed to use roughly 25 per cent of its allocation to subsidise its own defence industry. It is the only recipient that does not have to account for how the aid is spent, which makes it virtually impossible to prevent the money from being used for purposes the US opposes, such as building settlements on the West Bank. Moreover, the US has provided Israel with nearly $3 billion to develop weapons systems, and given it access to such top-drawer weaponry as Blackhawk helicopters and F-16 jets. Finally, the US gives Israel access to intelligence it denies to its Nato allies and has turned a blind eye to Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons.


Washington also provides Israel with consistent diplomatic support. Since 1982, the US has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, more than the total number of vetoes cast by all the other Security Council members. It blocks the efforts of Arab states to put Israel's nuclear arsenal on the IAEA's agenda. The US comes to the rescue in wartime and takes Israel 's side when negotiating peace. The Nixon administration protected it from the threat of Soviet intervention and resupplied it during the October War. Washington was deeply involved in the negotiations that ended that war, as well as in the lengthy “step-by-step” process that followed, just as it played a key role in the negotiations that preceded and followed the 1993 Oslo Accords. In each case there was occasional friction between US and Israeli officials, but the US consistently supported the Israeli position. One American participant at Camp David in 2000 later said: “Far too often, we functioned . . . as Israel's lawyer.” Finally, the Bush administration's ambition to transform the Middle East is at least partly aimed at improving Israel's strategic situation. [10]


The Israel Connection


John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt are not anti-Semites nor are they uninformed individuals. What they are saying is that United States' Middle Eastern policy is in the interest of Israel and counterproductive for the United States.


We now know that as soon as the Bush administration came to power, it started looking for an excuse to invade Iraq. It used every possible propaganda tool under the sun to get the UN to sanction the invasion of Iraq, and when it didn't succeed, it went ahead and invaded Iraq anyway. The people in U.S. pushing for an invasion, the so-called Neo-Cons were at the forefront of disseminating misinformation in anyway they could.  But to understand part of their agenda we have to go back to 1996.


In 1996 the newly elected prime minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu commissioned a study group called "Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000" to craft a strategy for Israel in the coming decades. The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies' which included Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser, created the Israel's strategy paper titled: "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm." [11]


The paper contains six pages of recommendations for Benjamin Netanyahu and some of the more relevant suggestions are presented below:


* We have for four years pursued peace based on a New Middle East. We in Israel cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent. Peace depends on the character and behaviour of our foes. We live in a dangerous neighborhood, with fragile states and bitter rivalries. Displaying moral ambivalence between the effort to build a Jewish state and the desire to annihilate it by trading "land for peace" will not secure "peace now." Our claim to the land -- to which we have clung for hope for 2000 years -- is legitimate and noble. It is not within our own power, no matter how much we concede, to make peace unilaterally. Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial dimension, "peace for peace," is a solid basis for the future.

* Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon, including:


* striking Syria 's drug-money and counterfeiting infrastructure in Lebanon , all of which focuses on Razi Qanan.


* paralleling Syria 's behaviour by establishing the precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces. * striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon , and should that prove insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper.


* Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, "comprehensive peace" to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power.

* Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians
, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self-defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat's exclusive grip on Palestinian society.


* Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan "comprehensive peace" and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction program, and rejecting "land for peace" deals on the Golan Heights.


* Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq -- an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right -- as a means of foiling Syria's regional ambitions. Jordan has challenged Syria's regional ambitions recently by suggesting the restoration of the Hashemites in Iraq. This has triggered a Jordanian-Syrian rivalry to which Assad has responded by stepping up efforts to destabilize the Hashemite Kingdom, including using infiltrations. Syria recently signalled that it and Iran might prefer a weak, but barely surviving Saddam, if only to undermine and humiliate Jordan in its efforts to remove Saddam.


It is interesting to note that many of the co-authors of this strategy paper are Jewish Americans and not Israelis. Below you will find a very short description of a few co-authors.


Richard Perle has served in important government posts under various administrations. He was Secretary of Defense under Reagan administration and Chairman of the Defense policy Advisory Committee (2001-2003) under Bush Administration. He is also the signatory of Project for the New American Century, a think-tank institute and one of the main organizations pushing for invasion of Iran. Perle is currently a resident fellow at the conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. He sits also on the board of advisors of Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).


Douglas Faith served at Defense Department as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, under Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Feith had previously served in the Reagan administration, starting off as Middle East specialist at the National Security Council (1981-82) and then transferring to the Defense Department where he spent two years as staff lawyer for Assistant Defense Secretary Richard Perle. He is the director of Foundation for Jewish Studies, and former advisor to Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).


David Wurmser, Dick Cheney's Middle East adviser, was the Special Adviser to Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (2001-2003). He is also member of Board of Directors of U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon.


One can produce a very long list of influential people in United States (e.g., Paul Wolfowitz -- current World Bank President and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy from 1989-93) that work very hard to safeguard Israel's interests.


Implementing Israel 's Strategy 


Since the election of George Bush to power we see that this Israeli strategy paper has served as a template for U.S. foreign policy in Middle East. Now let us examine each suggestion in the paper and the events in the Middle East.


1. Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial dimension, "peace for peace," is a solid basis for the future.


During Mr. Bush's presidency, Israel has abandoned the concept of "Land for Peace" and concentrated instead on unilaterally drawing the borders of a future Palestine. This is being done by first constructing a so called "security wall" separating Israel from Palestine, and then declaring that wall as the international border separating the two states. The "Peace for Peace" means that Israel will increase the pressure on Palestinians by such a degree that Palestinians will come to Israel, hat in hand, begging not for land but for peace. In this way Israel will determine the size and shape of the future Palestinian state. This has been and is supported by United States. The current strangulation of the Palestinian Economy is part of that strategy.


2. An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon,


This has been done through news media and United Nations where United States has tried hard to isolate Syria and even have put sanctions on the country. United States has also tried, by pressuring the Lebanese government, to isolate Hezbollah and reduce its power within the Lebanese society. Syria has claimed that former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Harriri was assassinated by Israeli agents to damage its reputation in Lebanon. It is interesting to note that this assassination was one of the main reasons that Syria was forced to leave Lebanon. It was also used to try to impose U.N. sanctions on Syria.


3. Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and rollback some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, "comprehensive peace" to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power.


Israel's relationship with Turkey prior to the Iraqi invasion was improving rapidly. Turkey knows that it needs United States backing in its negotiations with the European Union. It also needs the United States' help in restructuring its $200+ billion loans. Therefore for Turkey it was a good idea to accept a close partnership with Israel. Currently Israeli pilots carry out air exercises in Turkey and rumors have it that they even spy on Iran from Turkey.


Israel (behind the scenes) has traditionally had a good relationship with Jordan. Israel hoped that after invasion of Iraq, the former crown prince Hassan of Jordan would become King of Iraq. The Jewish Daily Forward of New York reported on August 9 2002, the following:


Several observers said some Bush administration officials are indeed rooting for Hassan at a time when Washington is struggling to find a consensus leader to succeed Saddam. After the London meeting, the London-based Guardian newspaper reported that Hassan had the backing of Pentagon hawks and that he met in April in Washington with one of their most prominent figures, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.


4.  This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq -- an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right


Here we see that Israel's strategy as presented in the document is the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. Israel could not do this on its own. But again Israel didn't have to. United States achieved the strategic objective of Israel, without Israel spending a single dollar.


So far Israel has achieved most of its main objective except completely neutralizing Hezbollah, Iran and Syria. Israel has been partly successful in weakening and isolating Syria, however, the Syrian government remains in place and still supports the Palestinians. The Iranian government is still there, supporting Syria, Hezbollah and the Palestinians. The main problem for the Israelis then is Iran. If Iran is neutralized, then no one is left to back Hezbollah, and Syria is left totally at the mercy of Israel. Then Israel can play the "Peace for Peace" game with Syria.


By occupying and breaking large centers of power in the Middle East such as Iraq and Iran, Israel will be left the dominating power for a very long time. Iraq is now fractured into many pieces and in near future will not be able to support Palestinians in any meaningful way or cause Israel any problem. If Iran is also occupied and made into a federation, like Iraq, the internal strife will be such that it (Iran) too will not be able to do anything.


Something for Israel and Something for the United States


But the architects of these wars have to, at the end of the day, have something tangible to show the American people for all the blood and money that United States has spent in these ventures. The answer of course is oil. Now that the war in Iraq has gone badly wrong, and the threat to Iran has pushed oil prices to above 70 dollars per barrel, people are thinking that maybe it will not be a bad idea for the U.S. to do something to bring the prices down. 


If the United States can occupy Iran, or at least change the regime in Iran to something that is subservient to the American interests, then the U.S. can have over half of the world's oil reserves under its control. There are four countries in the Middle East, that combined, have over 50% of the world's proven oil reserves. These countries are: Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The United States directly or indirectly controls 3 of the 4 countries, and if it can get the fourth then it will have its cake and can eat it too. But to control means to be close enough to be able to protect or threaten the governments in those countries. This necessitates the presence of American bases on those territories or close by.  


United States has bases in most of the Persian Gulf countries such as Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and now is planning permanent bases in Iraq. With regard to Iraq, the United State is trying to give the impression that it is interested to leave as soon as possible, but all evidence points to the contrary.


Speaking to United States' House Appropriations subcommittee, U.S. foreign Secretary Condoleezza Rice said, "The presence in Iraq is for a very clear purpose, and that's to enable Iraqis to be able to govern themselves." She added, "I don't think that anybody believes that we really want to be there longer than we have to." [12]


Her comments were echoed by US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad:


US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad said Saturday that his country did not want permanent military bases in Iraq and that he was willing to talk to Iran about the war-torn country's future.


"We want Iraq to stand on its own feet, we have no goal of establishing permanent bases here," he said in an interview with Iraq's Ash-Sharqiya television, according to a transcript obtained by AFP. [13]


But these statements are pure lies. There are a number of reports indicating that United States is building large permanent military bases across Iraq. 


A report in Newsweek said that the 38 square kilometers mini-city and airport in Balad was the evidence that American forces were preparing for to stay in Iraq for a long time. Michael Hirsh of Newsweek wrote:


If you want an image of what America's long-term plans for Iraq look like, it's right here at Balad. Tucked away in a rural no man's land 43 miles north of Baghdad, this 15-square-mile mini-city of thousands of trailers and vehicle depots is one of four "super bases" where the Pentagon plans to consolidate U.S. forces, taking them gradually from the front lines of the Iraq war. [14]


At a White House press conference on 21 March 2006, President George W. Bush was asked if there would be a day when there were no more American forces in Iraq. He replied that that would be "decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq." This suggested that the US would continue the occupation of Iraq for years, if not decades, to come.  


On 2 April this year, the Independent wrote:


The Pentagon has revealed that coalition forces are spending millions of dollars establishing at least six "enduring" bases in Iraq -- raising the prospect that U.S. and U.K. forces could be involved in a long-term deployment in the country. It said it assumed British troops would operate one of the bases. [15]


In addition to the bases, the U.S. is building the world's largest embassy in Baghdad.


Iran 's Nuclear Weapons


Let us be clear about this: Iran does not posses Nuclear weapons. Everyone, even in Washington, agrees on this. Even the Director of the United States National Intelligence John Negroponte estimates that in spite of Iran's declaration that it has managed to enrich uranium, Iran will not have a bomb until four to nine years from now.


The main argument against Iran is that Iran is enriching Uranium. Under "Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons" (NPT) [16], all members are guaranteed the right to enrich Uranium. Article four of the treaty states that:


"Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with articles I and II of this Treaty."


This clearly gives Iran and other member states the right to do research and enrich uranium. So what Iran does is totally legal.  In contrast we see that all the nuclear states such as England, Russia, China, France, and United States are in violation of this treaty. The treaty clearly states that Nuclear powers have to disarm.


"Desiring to further the easing of international tension and the strengthening of trust between States in order to facilitate the cessation of the manufacture of nuclear weapons, the liquidation of all their existing stockpiles, and the elimination from national arsenals of nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery pursuant to a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."


Not only have nuclear powers not reduced their nuclear weapons research and development activities but some have openly threaten non-nuclear states with nuclear weapons.


President Bush constantly reminds us that he considers using nuclear weapons against Iran. For example, on 12 April 2006, Reuters reported that President George W. Bush once again had refused to rule out nuclear strikes on Iran.


President Bush refused on Tuesday to rule out nuclear strikes against Iran if diplomacy fails to curb the Islamic Republic's atomic ambitions…


Speculation about a U.S. attack has mounted since a report in the New Yorker magazine said this month that Washington was mulling the option of using tactical nuclear weapons to knock out Iran's subterranean nuclear sites. [17]


Even president of France has stated that his country will use nuclear weapons to "safeguard" French "interests." In an address to the strategic submarine forces (FOST) at the Ile Longue nuclear submarine base in Brittany on 19 January, Chirac said the "perception" of the country's "vital interests" had changed with the world's growing interdependence. "For example, the guarantee of our strategic supplies or the defense of our allies are, among others, interests that are to be protected," he said. Chirac said it is up to the president of the Republic, himself, until at least next year to determine whether a given "aggression, threat, or unacceptable blackmail" has consequences that bring it within France's "vital interests" and thus could unleash the nuclear deterrent. [18]


This is very interesting since none of these countries are threatened and they state very clearly that they will use nuclear weapons to protect their "interests."


While Iran is being threatened with sanctions, military invasion and nuclear attack, others are rewarded for going nuclear. India, which has not even signed the NPT and has tested nuclear weapons, is rewarded with access to new nuclear technologies, weapons and even lucrative trade deals.


Pakistan the creator of Taliban and home of the famous Dr. A.Q. Khan -- black market nuclear technology salesman -- is similarly rewarded with brand new F16s (capable of delivering nuclear weapons) and financial aid.


Israel's 200+ nuclear bombs are the best-known secret in the world. On 12 October 2003, the Guardian newspaper reported that Israeli and American officials have admitted deploying U.S.-supplied Harpoon cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads in Israel's fleet of Dolphin-class submarines.


Israeli and American officials have admitted collaborating to deploy US-supplied Harpoon cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads in Israel's fleet of Dolphin-class submarines, giving the Middle East's only nuclear power the ability to strike at any of its Arab neighbors.


The unprecedented disclosure came as Israel announced that states “harboring terrorists” are legitimate targets, responding to Syria's declaration of its right to self-defense should Israel bomb its territory again. [19]


We all know that US, UK, France and even peaceful Norway helped Israel to develop nuclear weapons.


And then we have the Brazilian nuclear activities to consider. Associated press reported on 22 April that: "The government-run Industrias Nucleares do Brasil S A has been conducting final tests at the enrichment plant, built on a former coffee plantation in Resende, 145 km west of Rio de Janeiro. When it opens this year, Brazil will join the world's nuclear elite." [20] So where are the IAEA, and Security Council? Brazil is doing exactly the same thing that Iran is.


Let us face the truth, Just like Iraq, all the talk about Iranian nuclear activities is a smoke screen for something else. The most likely answer is a combination of the United States strategic interest in oil, containment of China and Israeli interest. But in 2006 governments are understandably shy about mentioning neo-colonialism and greed as the reasons for invading other countries.

Abbas Bakhtiar lives in Norway and is currently writing a book about the reasons behind the United States involvement in Iraq and Iran. He's a former associate professor of Nordland University in Norway. He can be reached at: bakhtiarspace-articles@yahoo.no.




[1] USA Today, "War game will focus on situation with Iran," April 4, 2006.


[2] Washington Post, "The Pentagon Preps for Iran," Sunday, April 16, 2006.


[3] The Seattle Times, "Strategy of dividing Iraq starting to make sense, some officers, analysts say," Monday, May 1, 2006.


[4] Palestinian Media Watch, "Egyptian TV promotes anti-American hatred," April 30, 2006.


[5] Stein, Jay. New car for Better Future: Driving Us Crazy, Earthgreen, 1990.


[6] United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), "Long-Term World Oil Supply Scenarios," Washington, DC, Aug 18, 2004.


[7] IHS Energy, "Global oil supply issues: recent trends and future possibilities," 2 March 2005.


[8] Quadrennial Defense Review Report, p. 29, February 6, 2006.


[9] Quadrennial Defense Review Report, p. 30, February 6, 2006.


[10] John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, "The Israel Lobby," London Book Review, Vol. 28 No. 6 dated 23 March 2006.


[11] Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, 8 July 1996, Richard Perle et al.


[12] News Channel 15 -- Wane.com. "Rice dismisses talk of permanent U.S. bases in Iraq."


[13] Financial Express, "US vows no permanent bases in Iraq," Sunday, March 12, 2006.


[14] Newsweek International Edition, "Stuck in the Hot Zone," May 1, 2006 issue.


[15] The Independent online edition, “US and UK forces establish 'enduring bases' in Iraq," April 2, 2006.


[16] International Atomic Energy Agency, "TREATY ON THE NON-PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS," Information Circular, 22 April 1970.


[17] Reuters, "Bush declines to exclude nuclear strike on Iran," Tuesday, April 18, 2006 11:07 AM ET.


[18] Ann MacLachlan, Nucleonics Week, "Chirac shifts French doctrine for use of nuclear weapons," January 26, 2006.


[19] Guardian Unlimited, "Israel deploys nuclear arms in submarines," Sunday October 12, 2003.


[20] Associated Press, "Brazil follows Iran's nuclear path, but without the fuss," Saturday, April 22, 2006.