TEHRAN (FNA)- The Arab media have raised US-Iran confrontation alarms, saying the US has a proxy war with Iran going at the tail end of the Bush administration.
The UAE-based newspaper, Gulf News, in its Friday’s editorial said that with George W. Bush in office, Washington is effectively maintaining low intensity warfare with Iran and the potential exists to ratchet it up to more open hostilities, a press tv report said.
The source asserted that the recurring visits by the US Vice President Dick Cheney and John McCain to Iraq and occupied Palestine are surely not ‘coincidences’ but a means to ensure Israel remains fully in the picture for any “plans the US could have against Iran”.
The paper referred to Bush’s remarks about Iran’s ambitions for nuclear weapons as blatant lies and a resounding excuse for fresh adventurism in the region, bearing in mind the ongoing occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan as cases in point.
Meanwhile, Al-Ahram Weekly described Admiral William Fallon’s recent resignation as an orchestrated move to remove what it called the only obstacle “standing between the administration and their newest war plan”.
The weekly also added the disaster the Bush administration has created in Iraq is clearly not going well. As a result, the administration may feel that engaging the US militarily in Iran is their only option for seeing a Republican president elected and a staunch military advocate like John McCain fits that bill.
On Wednesday, an aide to Cheney said that, the United States will need the cooperation of Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey to mount a military attack on Iran.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, in a meeting with Cheney on Friday, expressed his opposition to any US military action against Iran, saying that negotiation is the best and the only effective way to resolve Tehran’s nuclear standoff.
The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in their latest reports have reassured the world that the nature of Iran’s nuclear activities is peaceful.
The US is at loggerheads with Iran over Tehran’s independent and home-grown nuclear technology. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.
Washington’s push for additional UN penalties contradicted the recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head – one in November and the other one in February – which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seemed to be completely irrational.
The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran’s cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran’s nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.
Tehran says it never worked on atomic weapons and wants to enrich uranium merely for civilian purposes, including generation of electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.
Iran has insisted it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhovin as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.
Not only many Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but also many other world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure unjustified, especially in the wake of recent IAEA reports saying Iran had increased cooperation with the agency.
US President George W. Bush, who finished a tour of the Middle East last month has called on his Arab allies to unite against Iran.
But hosting officials of the regional nations dismissed Bush’s allegations, describing Tehran as a good friend of their countries.
Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran has lost steam due to the growing international vigilance, specially following the latest IAEA and US intelligence reports.