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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: L’Iran dans la ligne de mire des États-Unis

by Pierre Barbancey

The US Sets its Sights on Iran

Translated Monday 29 January 2007, by John O’Neil

The Middle East

Supported by Arab allies, Bush is putting a strengthened military presence into place that is openly targeting Teheran.

More than ever, Iran is appearing in the US crosshairs.

George W. Bush’s speech presenting his "new" Iraq strategy marked it clearly: he denounced the Iranian operations in Iraqi territory, announced the possible pursuits of "enemies" in the country and made it known that he is refusing all dialogue with Iran, including about Iran’s nuclear program. To demonstrate his resolve, he had troops arrest employees of the Iranian consulate in Erbil (Iraqi Kurdistan) about whom there is still no news.

At the same time, the British tabloid The Sunday Times revealed Israeli plans for airstrikes in Iran.

Lastly, during her recent trip to the Middle East, US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice obtained, with little difficulty, support for the US plan, and in particular, for the deployment of additional troops to Iraq, from Egypt, Jordan as well as from the six countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates).
These same countries had already made it known that they would be opposed to Iran obtaining nuclear weapons and are not at all criticizing the intensification of the US air and sea forces in the Gulf.

Gradually, the increased US military presence has been put in place and with it a new danger of war in this area. Anti-war Americans are not deceived by this and are amplifying their mobilization. Will the EU go along with this new escalation or, to the contrary, promote dialogue with Iran ?

France prevaricates and is now talking about sending an envoy to Teheran. "A possible dialogue with Iran would involve reaffirming our positions on the regional issues.", the French Foreign Office explained, whereas the Elysee (the president’s office) informed us that "we are not acting in a unilateral fashion and we are in consultation with our partners."

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