By Trish SchuhNYC IndyMedia
May 15, 2004
Undeterred by the results of pre-emptive war in Iraq, the House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution May 6 authorizing pre-emptive military strikes against Iran. The vote was 376-3. "It [Iran] has engaged in a systematic campaign of deception and manipulation to hide its true intentions and keep its large scale nuclear efforts a secret," said Dan Burton (R-Indiana). The resolution urges nations that have signed the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (See P. 13) to "use any and all appropriate means to deter, dissuade and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons." It also demands that the European Union, Asian nations, and Russia cease future commercial and energy trade with the Islamic Republic. Russia is the main contractor for Iran's nuclear grid.
House members said the legislation is in line with the Bush Doctrine of preventive war, and creates a legal framework for later sanctions and "military options" against Iranian nuclear sites. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Pete Stark (D-Calif.) both condemned the bill, noting its similarity to the law that permitted a preemptive war on Iraq. The bills' adoption capped a year of anti-Iranian efforts in Congress. A U.S. plan for military action against Iran has been complete since May 2003, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Under the plan, the U.S. would strike the Arak, Natanz, Isfahan and Bushehr installations with precision missiles launched from Iraq as well as Iran's northern neighbors, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
British and American intelligence and special forces units have been put on alert for an Iran conflict within 12 months, according to British news sources. Also. the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz recently revealed that a special Mossad unit has been activated to draw up "Osirik II" (a reference to the 1981 Israeli bombing raids that destroyed the Osirak nuclear complex near Baghdad). Mossad chief Meir Dagan declared Iranian nuclear capability to be the greatest threat ever faced by Israel. In December 2003, he informed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that an operation to annihilate Iran's facilities had been finalized.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz also announced that "under no circumstances would Israel tolerate nuclear weapons in Iranian possession," warning that by the end of 2004 Iran's atomic development would have reached "the point of no return." In response, former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said, "If Israel committed such an error, we would give it a slap it would never forget- not only now but for all its history."
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