Saturday, April 08, 2006

Nuclear threat from Washington

Is the Bush administration preparing to attack Iran with nuclear weapons? According to this piece by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker, Washington is making plans for air strikes against Iran, and the nuclear option is on the table. The idea would be to use "tactical" nuclear weapons to destroy underground facilities that Iran may be using in its own nuclear programme. Iran claims that it is developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but there is widespread belief internationally that the religious zealots in charge in Tehran are aiming to develop nuclear weapons, something that the U.S. says it will not tolerate. After all, what need would Iran, which floats on a sea of oil, have for a nuclear-energy programme? But from the point of view of any country that feels threatened by powerful opponents like the political and religious zealots in Washington, having nuclear weapons is a pretty good guarantee against being attacked.

Hersh says that top U.S. military brass are not happy with the nuclear option, which is being pushed by the Rumsfeld clique. The rhetoric now being employed to prepare the U.S. public for attacking Iran is similar to that employed in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. It hardly need be said that the international fallout (nuclear, political, economic, or otherwise) from an attack on Iran would be anywhere from serious to catastrophic.

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