Imperialists move to attack Iran

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Britain, the US and Israel have continued to intensify their pressure on Iran. Not content with trying to install a puppet regime in Iraq and undermine and isolate the democratically-elected government in Palestine, the imperialists are also planning an attack on Iran.

In an obvious mockery of their insistence that they want a diplomatic rather than a military solution to the so-called Iranian nuclear crisis, Britain and the US have taken part in a war game that simulates an invasion of Iran. The war game, codenamed Hotspur 2004, took place at the US base of Fort Belvoir in Virginia in July 2004. The disclosure of Britain’s participation coincided with a US report that the White House was contemplating a tactical nuclear strike and Tehran defying the United Nations Security Council.

The website of the MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, which helped run the war game, described it as the main analytical event of the year for the UK-US Future Land Operations Interoperability Study, whose purpose is to ensure that both armies work well together. The study was extremely well received on both sides of the Atlantic. Plans are being carried out by US Central Command which is responsible for the Middle East and central Asia area of operations, and by Strategic Command, which carries out long-range bombing and nuclear operations.

William Arkin, a former army intelligence officer who first reported on the contingency planning for a nuclear strike against Iran in Washington Post Online, said ‘The United States military is really, really getting ready, building war plans and options, studying maps, shifting its thinking.’

In addition, Jane’s Defence Weekly has reported that the US will conduct a high-explosives test in June this year at the U16B complex on the Nevada Test Site to determine how effectively a massive conventional bomb would perform against underground targets. Fortified and deeply buried targets are used to conceal and protect command-and-control facilities and store non-conventional weapons. Recent satellite imagery shows that Iran is defending its 16m-deep uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz from attack by burying them under 25m of dirt and concrete. Codenamed ‘Divine Strike’, the test will not involve a conventional bomb as such, but will detonate a vast pile (amounting to 700 tonnes) of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil (ANFO) with 136 kg of C-4 explosive – the US equivalent of Semtex – as the initiator. As part of a series conducted by the Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the explosion will be equivalent to more than half a kiloton or 500 tonnes of TNT, the largest conventional explosion to date.

Although Iran is at least five years away from developing a nuclear bomb (some experts put the estimate at ten years), the imperialists are also engaged in a fierce propaganda war similar to the one it conducted against Iraq in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion. The US and Britain would like us to believe that Iran is an evil regime, which supports terrorism and which, with access to Weapons of Mass Destruction, would not hesitate to wipe out the so-called ‘free world’.

Iran has every right to develop its own nuclear energy programme, but this right is an irrelevance to imperialism. The US, Britain and France have been keen to show how Iran is breaching UN agreements, especially the voluntary Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to force the UN to impose sanctions. In response Iran’s parliament has recently threatened to force a withdrawal from the NPT. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking at a summit of mainly Muslim states in Azerbaijan, said that certain bullies were insolently trying to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries: ‘We intend to continue our activity...until we manage industrial-scale production of nuclear fuel for our atomic power stations.’

The Iranian parliament statement came in a letter to the UN a day before key UN members discussed a tough draft resolution on the issue. Both Russia and China oppose the draft, which could lead to sanctions or even military action if Iran does not comply.

An imperialist attack on Iran would be another act of terror and criminal aggression, which will cost tens of thousands of innocent lives and will have devastating consequences not only for the region but also for the world. We need to unite with the Iranian people and mobilise our movement now to oppose any sanctions or attacks on Iran.

Yehya Ayesh

FRFI 191 June / July 2006

 

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