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Asia Times: Attack Iran and you attack Russia - Is Washington Listening

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This story is running in the Asia Times, and its implications should sound the alarm to Bush and Cheney that attacking Iran could bring on World War III, and in such a scenario, there are no winners:

THE ROVING EYE

Attack Iran and you attack Russia
By Pepe Escobar (excerpts)

A high-level diplomatic source in Tehran tells Asia Times Online that essentially Putin and the Supreme Leader have agreed on a plan to nullify the George W Bush administration’s relentless drive towards launching a preemptive attack, perhaps a tactical nuclear strike, against Iran. An American attack on Iran will be viewed by Moscow as an attack on Russia.

But then, as if this were not enough of a political bombshell, came the abrupt resignation of Ali Larijani as top Iranian nuclear negotiator. Early this week in Rome, Larijani told the IRNA news agency that “Iran’s nuclear policies are stable and will not change with the replacement of the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council [SNSC].” Larijani will keep attending SNSC meetings, now as a representative of the Supreme Leader. He even took time to remind the West that in the Islamic Republic all key decisions regarding the civilian nuclear program are made by the Supreme Leader. Larijani actually went to Rome to meet with the European Union’s Javier Solana alongside Iran’s new negotiator, Saeed Jalili, a former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), just like President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

In itself, the Putin-Khamenei meeting was extraordinary, because the Supreme Leader rarely receives foreign statesmen for closed talks, even one as crucial as Putin. The Russian president, according to the diplomatic source, told the Supreme Leader he may hold the ultimate solution regarding the endlessly controversial Iranian nuclear dossier. According to IRNA, the Supreme Leader, after stressing that the Iranian civilian nuclear program will continue unabated, said. “We will ponder your words and proposal.”

Larijani himself had told the Iranian media that Putin had a “special plan” and the Supreme Leader observed that the plan was “ponderable”. The problem is that Ahmadinejad publicly denied the Russians had volunteered a new plan.

Iranian hawks close to Ahmadinejad are spinning that Putin’s proposal involves Iran temporarily suspending uranium enrichment in exchange for no more United Nations sanctions. That’s essentially what International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohammad ElBaradei has been working on all along. The key issue is what - in practical terms - will Iran get in return. Obviously it’s not the EU’s Solana who will have the answer. But as far as Russia is concerned, strategically nothing will appease it except a political/diplomatic solution for the Iranian nuclear dossier. MUCH MORE

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To a sane administration, if this is indeed Vladimir Putin’s position on Iran, it has to significantly alter any clandestine plans to bomb Iran - and one statement in the story that we know is true is the probable reaction of Darth Cheney:

US Vice President Dick Cheney - who even Senator Hillary Clinton now refers to as Darth Vader - must be foaming at the mouth; but the fact is that after the Caspian summit, Iran and Russia are officially entangled in a strategic partnership. World War III, for them, is definitely not on the cards.

Another article in the New York Times demonstrates that the US may be backing down from an armed conflict with Iran, but in this writers opinion, other information suggests otherwise:

October 26, 2007

U.S. Plays Its ‘Unilateral’ Card on Iran Sanctions

By HELENE COOPER

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 — In announcing sweeping new sanctions against an elite unit of the Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran, Bush administration officials took pains to offer assurances on Thursday that at least for now, the United States is not going to war with Iran.

“We do not believe that conflict is inevitable,” said R. Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs. “This decision today supports the diplomacy and in no way, shape or form does it anticipate the use of force.”

The move designated the Quds force of the Revolutionary Guard and four state-owned Iranian banks as supporters of terrorism, and the Guard itself as an illegal exporter of ballistic missiles. The decision thus raised the temperature in American’s ongoing confrontation with Iran over terrorism and nuclear weapons.

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Note: To understand the significance of the failur... by William Cormier on Friday, Oct 26, 2007 at 11:12:32 AM
I predict that ultimately, somebody is going to ge... by daveys on Friday, Oct 26, 2007 at 12:26:00 PM