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General Analysis on the Threat of US Intervention in Iran


US and Iran: Is Washington Planning a Military Strike? (December 30, 2005)

Journalist and intelligence expert Udo Ulfkotte argues that Washington is preparing for a military strike against Iran's suspected nuclear sites early in 2006. Ulfkotte interprets CIA Director Porter Goss's visit to Turkey as an attempt to win support from Ankara for Washington's possible attack against Iran. While Washington discusses the use of force to bring Tehran "into line," critics argue that an attack could instead increase support for Ahmadinejad's regime in the region. (Spiegel)

A Possible Israel-Iran War (December 11, 2005)

If the Security Council fails to put the Iranian nuclear issue on the agenda by the end of March 2006, Israel, backed by the US, declared it will attack secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran. Israel fears that by April 2006, Iran will have the technical expertise to enrich uranium in sufficient quantities to build a nuclear warhead. (Sunday Times)

Iran and the United States: A Clash of Perceptions (November 3, 2005)

According to this openDemocracyarticle, Washington has viewed Tehran as the "real problem" in the Middle East since the downfall of the Shah. When Iran insisted on enriching its nuclear program, the Bush administration's view hardened still further. This article argues that following the intervention in Iraq, Washington has established permanent bases in the region to achieve greater control of the Middle East's energy resources. This move can only lead to an increased tension between Washington and Tehran.

Are We Going to War with Iran? (October 18, 2005)

Is the US threat to go to war with Iran real or is it just a scare tactic to get Iran to halt its nuclear program? Dan Plesch writes in the Guardianthat Washington regards Iran as enough of a critical threat to warrant an attack. Indeed, US intelligence considers that while Iran is years from a nuclear weapons capability, "the technological point of no return is now imminent." US Ambassador John Bolton warned that if the Security Council failed to deal with Iran's alleged breach of its commitments on nuclear proliferation, "the US would solve the problem on its own."

Experts Predict US Attack on Iran (October 7, 2005)

Dan Plesch, Scott Ritter and Fred Halliday discuss the possibility of a US military operation against Iran. Focusing on the causes and consequences of a confrontation with Iran, these experts base their arguments on the Iraq experience, the Cold War era, and the history of US-Iran relations. Although the feasibility of military action or overthrow of the regime by Iranians may seem like a "fantasy," Ritter asserts that "fantasy is reality in the neo-con's Washington." (Democrat's Diary)

Iran's Nukes: Jack's Straw Man (September 19, 2005)

During his speech at the UN World Summit 2005, Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad defended Iran's right to develop nuclear technology in accordance with international treaties and regulations. The US and EU officials claimed that the speech was "very aggressive," "disappointing and unhelpful." His speech, however, emphasized "the double standards" over nuclear weaponry "that [allow] powerful states to access materials...while denying access to less powerful states." (spiked)

US Deploys Slide Show to Press Case against Iran (September 14, 2005)

During an August 2005 briefing in Vienna, US officials tried to convince their allies that Iran's energy program aims at producing nuclear weapons. Although UN inspectors did not find "proof of a weapons program," Washington wants to increase pressure on the Iranian government, and insists that the UN should impose sanctions against it. This article compares the briefing to the "the flawed presentation on Iraq's weapons program" in the Security Council, and warns that the Iraq experience is still "fresh in the minds of international decision-makers." (Washington Post)

Don't Make Hollow Threats (August 22, 2005)

This Newsweekarticle argues that the Bush administration uses "hollow threats" against Iran to make it stop its nuclear development. US President George Bush stated that "all options are on the table," in his response to Iran's decision to resume its nuclear program. However, because Iran has well-hidden and scattered facilities and good economic relations with China and Russia, neither a military intervention nor comprehensive economic sanctions would likely produce a desired outcome for the US. Therefore, these threats, rather than influencing Iran's nuclear development, help "cheapen [the US] credibility around the world."

The Iran War Buildup (July 21, 2005)

Michael Klare warns that there are striking similarities between the Bush administration's activities before the invasion of Iraq, and its current attitude towards Iran. Citing evidence that the Defense Department has begun serious planning for military action against Iran, he urges the US government to halt such moves before it has built up an unstoppable momentum towards war. (The Nation)

Anatomy of a Neocon Smear (July 6, 2005)

The US Neocons attempted to demonize Iran's new president before he even took office, says TomPaine. From dismissals of the elections as "fixed" to claims that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was one of the 1979 hostage takers at the US embassy, in the face of strong evidence to the contrary, the neocon establishment is trying to portray Iran's leader as a hard-line fanatic the US cannot negotiate with.

The US War with Iran Has Already Begun (June 19, 2005)

Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter compares the process which led to war in Iraq with current US-Iran relations to reach the frightening conclusion that the Bush administration's policy of forcible regime change is well underway. "From its "liberation/democracy rhetoric" and the conditioning of public opinion, to covert operations and advanced logistical planning, he argues that the US march to war has begun. (al-Jazeera)

Bush and Hawks Try Pre-Emptive Strike Vs. Iran Vote (June 18, 2005)

US President George W. Bush and a group of hard-line US "hawks" tried to discredit the Iranian elections before they took place, "the better to justify some kind of attack leading to regime change," according to experts interviewed by Inter Press Service. Iran specialists say "some hardliners are trying to fit the facts into their preferred policy." The hawks' "orchestrated public-relations campaign" depicting the election as a sham is "simplistic at best, a deliberate distortion at worst."

Letter from Tehran: In Washington's Cross-Hairs (June 13, 2005)

The US "has not waited for the first ballot to be cast before dismissing Iran's presidential election as rigged." Truthoutargues that this is "wishful thinking" stemming from the Washington neocons' "delusion that they can overthrow the Iranian regime with plenty of missiles." In fact, American "bombast" is undermining genuine grassroot democratic change underway in Iran, strengthening the hand of hardliners for whom "a missile strike against Iran would be a godsend."

Trade Group to Start Talks to Admit Iran (May 27, 2005)

The United States has dropped a long-standing veto, allowing Iran to begin membership negotiations with the World Trade Organization (WTO). The US change of heart comes as an apparent reward for Iran's agreement to halt its nuclear program. The US holds significant clout over WTO decisions, and although politics is not supposed to play a role in issues relating to WTO membership, membership negotiations with Iran are clearly conditional on the status of its nuclear program. (New York Times)

Iran: Tehran Opposes US Pro-Democracy Initiatives (April 22, 2005)

The US has appropriated millions of dollars for Iran's pro-democracy movement under the Iran Freedom Support Act, which ominously calls for holding the Iranian government accountable and supporting a "transition to democracy." Radio Free Europe/Radio Libertyreports that the initiatives have fostered "hatred against America" and that Iranian officials object to US meddling. However, the article fails to consider these enterprises as a cover-up for more aggressive US-sponsored regime change.

Cheney's Other Trick NIE? (March 28, 2005)

Former CIA officer Ray McGovern refutes the Bush administration's claims about dangers in Iran, likening the rising threats to the fabricated weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2002 and warning that the real US reasons for intervention include "oil, Israel and a strategic presence in the region." McGovern calls for an "honest" national intelligence estimate on Iran and hopes government officials will not "take the course of least resistance" in arguing about foreign policy. (TomPaine)

US May Aid Iran Activists (March 4, 2005)

In another effort to spur regime change in Iran, the Bush administration may earmark $3 million for Iranian activists. But the administration's inclination for "more creative solutions" to further "spread freedom" could backfire; several Iranians have harbored strong anti-US sentiments since the CIA-sponsored coup in 1953, and any US-sponsored activity could incite violence. As US-Iranian relations in the past make it clear, the administration "can't buy political action." (Los Angeles Times)

Doomed to Fail (February 22, 2005)

Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter writes in the Baltimore Sunthat the Bush administration must separate nonproliferation policies from those of regime change. Using Iraq as an example, Ritter warns that weapons of mass destruction do not serve as a good excuse for military intervention. Iran and North Korea have begun to develop nuclear weapons because of US aggression, he says, and the world could see a "nuclear apocalypse" if the US does not back down.

Iran Vows to Down US Spy Planes: Blast Near Dam Sparks Panic (February 16, 2005)

Following media and civilian reports of unmanned drones spying on Iran's nuclear sites, Tehran officials ordered the military not to engage but then authorized shooting down US spy planes. The announcement came after an unrelated explosion stirred tensions that the US was planning an attack, though US officials deny the allegation and instead claim the intelligence searches revolve around suspicions that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. (DAWN)

Iran's Choice (January 28, 2005)

The Wall Street Journalhas "substantial reservations and doubts about Iran's good faith" with respect to the country's pledge to cease its uranium enrichment program. This article argues that Iran avoided Security Council referral by "negotiating a departure from the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) normal safeguards standards" and warns that this may set a precedent for further IAEA inspections. Conservative criticism aimed at the IAEA echoes US justification to invade Iraq and could serve as propaganda to legitimize US action against Iran.

Military Rumblings on Iran (January 27, 2005)

This New York Times editorial likens the hints of US military intervention in Iran to the build-up of the Iraq war, and warns that the US has neither the troops nor the support to make such a move. Given the potential consequences of Iran gaining nuclear capabilities, the author urges the US government and European diplomats to present a firm line to the Iranian leadership: dismantle the nuclear program or "suffer severe economic penalties."

The Coming Wars (January 24, 2005)

Seymour Hersh uncovers a covert US military and intelligence campaign directed at Iran. The Pentagon, under Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, has used the guise of "intelligence reform" to take over some of the CIA's intelligence gathering and secret operations and place them even further outside of Congressional oversight. Pentagon operations may signal a growing commitment in Washington to topple Iran's government. (New Yorker)

Cheney Warns of Iran as A Nuclear Threat (January 21, 2005)

Denying Seymour Hersh's article on covert US military operations in Iran, Vice President Dick Cheney said the Bush administration plans to "pursue diplomacy first" and propose UN Security Council sanctions if diplomacy fails. But Cheney warned that "all options are on the table," and that Israel "might well decide to act first and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess." (Washington Post)


Persian Dilemmas (December 2, 2004)

This Slatearticle debates the uncanny similarities between "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and the current Iran situation, where the US refuses to follow Europe's advice for a "diplomatic solution." Instead of a military intervention, it suggests a "serious US strategy of regime change" focusing on constructive bilateral relations with Iran.

There Are Worse Things Than a Nuclear Iran (December 2, 2004)

This International Herald Tribunearticle challenges the US and EU assumption that they cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran, saying "if the price for a democratic Iran is Tehran's being allowed to develop limited nuclear capabilities, then so be it." The author argues against military action, citing the proven inefficiency of a top-down approach to democracy, and claiming that military strikes would only enrage Islamists and isolate reformists. He also rules out the possibility of sanctions, saying that the world economy needs Iran's oil, and, as with military action, veto-wielding Security Council members would be unlikely to authorize them.

Pentagon Turns Heat Up on Iran (November 21, 2004)

Following suspicions of uranium enrichment in Iran, the US government considers taking military action in the country, warning of "possible strikes on leadership, political and security targets." (Observer)

Today Iraq, Tomorrow Iran (August 11, 2004)

This article lists 21 mistaken predictions of the US administration in its invasion of Iraq. The author suggests that the US government may consider a "pre-emptive" attack on Iran to "distract the American people from their catastrophic and incompetent record." (

Shifting the War to Iran (July 29, 2004)

Columnist Charles Krauthammer supports a US war against Iran, but former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski recommends "selective political engagement" with the Iranian regime. This Znet commentary presents their arguments, concluding that Krauthammer and Brzezinski share the long-term goal of US control over the Middle East's energy reserves. Furthermore, the author suggests that Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard is the blueprint for US foreign policy, and not the Project for a New American Centuryas many people believe.

Iran in Bush's Sights (July 21, 2004)

The 9/11 commission's attempt to show links between Iran and al-Qaeda is part of a campaign to justify a US war against Iran, writes Middle East scholar Juan Cole. Arguing that the alleged relationship between Iran's regime and Sunni militants is extremely unlikely, Cole asks who benefits from these claims and the war that they could help to bring about. (Informed Comment)

Regime Change in Iran Now in Bush's Sights (July 18, 2004)

According to a government official, if US President George W. Bush wins the November election "there will be much more intervention in the internal affairs of Iran." The US will act to provoke revolts against the current Iranian regime, rather than using overt military action to overthrow it. (Sunday Herald)

The Next War (January 5, 2004)

In "An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror," Washington's hawks Richard Perle and David Frum present an agenda for how to proceed in the "War on Terror." The authors propose a US sponsored regime change in Iran, a military blockade of North Korea, and "economic quarantine" for Syria, and state that France should be treated as an "enemy." (TomPaine)


Revisiting Cold War Coups and Finding Them Costly (November 30, 2003)

The US overthrew the governments in Iran in 1953 and in Guatemala in 1954 for economic and political reasons. Iran was in a progress toward democracy and more "free" than at any time before or since. The Guatemalan intervention set the precedent for later US intervention in Latin America. (New York Times)

Iran and the Forgotten Anniversary (August 29, 2003)

This article puts US threats of regime change in Iran in the context of the CIA sponsored military coup in 1953 against Iran's elected government. "Far from being threatened with another one, its people are morally and legally entitled to compensation as well as a formal apology." (Foreign Policy In Focus)

Operation Iranian Freedom (August 18, 2003)

In this article, Tariq Ali reviews Stephen Kinzer's book "All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Terror in the Middle East." In his review, Ali details past US interventions in Iran and its century-old fight for independence from the colonial rule of the British and the US. (Nation)

Hostages of the Empire (July 1, 2003)

British soldiers risking their lives in Iraq are not only "victims of an overbearing and inept occupation policy," they may also end up entangled in the US' next campaign in Iran. "Thus is the traditional logic of 19th-century empire being replayed in the 21st: protecting one conquest requires an indefinite extension of conflict." (Guardian)

The Burnt Generation (June 20, 2003)

An Iranian student asks the US government for "moral support" to end the mullahs' regime, by not intervening militarily in Iran. (TomPaine)

Uneasy Iran: New Strains (June 20, 2003)

Bush administration officials have accused Iran of supporting terrorism and developing a nuclear weapons program, suggesting that the US invasion of Iraq could serve as a blueprint in Iran. (New York Times)

Special Forces 'Prepare for Iran Attack' (June 17, 2003)

The US and the UK lay the groundwork for a conflict with Iran within the next 12 months. "Iraq's support of terrorism was minuscule compared to Tehran's activities. If we are serious about winning the war against the terror masters, the Tehran regime must fall," says Michael Ledeen, of the American Enterprise Institute (Evening Standard)

Iranians Don't Need American Kingmakers (June 6, 2003)

The US would repeat its past mistakes if it overthrew the Iranian regime. Many Iranians bitterly remember the 1953 CIA coup that replaced the elected government of Mohammed Mossadeq with the dictatorship of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. (International Herald Tribune)

US Plans to Overthrow Iranian Regime (May 28, 2003)

ZNetspeculates that the Bush administration will try to achieve a regime change in Iran by encouraging "popular uprising" against Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei. Influential neconservatives try to convince Washington that preemptive military action against Tehran is needed.

Is Tehran Back in the Crosshairs of the Neocon Crusade? (May 28, 2003)

The neoconservatives' efforts to focus US attention on "regime change" in Iran have already borne fruit. The Bush administration is considering adopting a more confrontational stance vis-í -vis Teheran that could include covert efforts to destabilize the government. (Foreign Policy In Focus)

The CIA in Iran (May 28, 2003)

In the pre 9/11-world, regime change was commonly carried out in secret. This article discusses the role of US and British intelligence services in initiating and planning the coup against the Iranian regime in 1953. (CounterPunch)

US Weighs a Tougher Iran Stance (May 28, 2003)

Since 9/11, US policy towards the Iranian government "has been an odd mix of antagonism and engagement - both half-hearted." This Christian Science Monitorarticle says important people in the administration are now pushing for a regime change.

Iran, Al-Qaeda and Weapons of Mass Destruction (May 26, 2003)

While the Bush administration still has no evidence of Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction or ties to al-Qaeda, the hawks of the administration are pushing for the next regime change. "If Iraq was not harboring al Qaeda and going nuclear, then certainly Iran is." (New York Times)

US Eyes Pressing Uprising in Iran (May 25, 2003)

Alarmed by intelligence suggesting that al-Qaeda operatives in Iran had a role in the suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia, the Bush administration appears ready to embrace an aggressive policy of destabilizing the Iranian government. (Washington Post)

The Oily Americans (May 19, 2003)

This Timearticle "illustrates the dark side of American oil policy" through the history of US covert action and foreign aid in Iran, and the fight against communism in the Middle East. Access to Iranian oil "came with a stiff price," as the US-supported Shah created "the first American-hating Islamic Republic," and Ayatollah Khomeini ended US-Iranian oil relations after his rise to power in 1979. These authors believe the US government's handling of oil issues has caused the US public to rely on "foreign intervention rather than domestic conservation."

Imperial Ambition (May 16, 2003)

Noam Chomsky reviews the consequences of the US-led war against Iraq for Palestine, Iran and the rest of the world. He also details the current imperial objectives of the Bush administration and speculates about a future attack on Iran. (Monthly Review)

Next Target: Iran? (May 6, 2003)

William Kristol, the chief editor of the Weekly Standard and a leading neo-conservative strategist, has urged the Bush administration to "take the fight to Iran," through "covert operations." (Inter Press Service)

Will Iran Be Next? (May 2003)

Since the 1950s, US governments have aggressively promoted nuclear energy for world economic development and after September 11 the Bush administration embraced a first-strike nuclear posture. Still, suspicions that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons might lead the US to launch a preemptive attack to destroy an Iranian nuclear reactor. (Klamath Basin Peace Forum)

More Wars Ahead, Americans Think (April 15, 2003)

According to a New York Times/CBS News Poll, a majority of US citizens thought it was "very or somewhat likely" that the Bush administration would turn its military forces on North Korea, Syria and Iran.

Practice to Deceive (March 27, 2003)

This Washington Monthlyarticle argues that the Bush administration sees the invasion of Iraq as a first move to reorder the power structure of the entire Middle East. Undersecretary of State John Bolton, said that after defeating Iraq, the US would "deal with" Iran, Syria and North Korea.

Britain's Role Is Crucial in Next Stage of War on Terror – Iran (March 7, 2003)

For Washington, it is crucial that Prime Minister Tony Blair remains in power after a war on Iraq. The Telegraphsays the US government will depend on Britain's support in the next stage of the war on terror, as it takes on Iran.

Perle: US Also Seeks Regime Change in Iran, Libya, Syria (February 25, 2003)

Richard Perle, one of the architects of the Bush administration's policy of toppling Saddam Hussein, says that Washington will seek regime change throughout the Arab world. After Iraq, the US will use different tactics to oust the regimes of Iran, Libya and Syria. (World


UN Defies Bush's Characterization of Iran (February 7, 2002)

Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, replies to US accusations that Iranians are arming Afghan warlords and destabilizing the new interim government. Mr. Brahimi describes Iran as a key player in sustaining peace and stability in Kabul. (Asia Times)

Iran Warns US Against Attack (February 4, 2002)

The US government charges Iran with hindering the campaign against terrorism and supplying weapons to factions within Afghanistan. Washington also accuses Iran of developing weapons of mass destruction as part of an "axis of evil" with Iraq and North Korea. This may signal that Iran is a potential military target. (BBC News)


Bush Aide Attacks Iran Terror Link (December 21, 2001)

President Bush's national security adviser Condoleezza Rice accuses the Iranian state of being involved in terrorist activity against US targets. These comments come as the US is expanding its war against terrorism. (BBC)


Secrets of History: The CIA in Iran (April 16, 2000)

An official CIA document, obtained by the New York Times, details the US and UK roles in the 1953 overthrow of elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran. The United States and Britain sought to maintain control over Iran's oil, which Mossadegh 's parliament had voted to nationalize. The coup set the stage for the Islamic revolution in 1979, and for a generation of anti-American hatred in one of the Middle East's most powerful countries?


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