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Iran-US
 

 Antagonists

Iran

United States

Israel

Status

Potential

Connections

MiddleEastWars

First Iran War

Iraq

Turkey

 Nuclear weapons

Explanation

Iran is believed to be developing nuclear weapons. The government of Israel (Ariel Sharon and his successor Netanyahu) has said that if it does, Israel will act - it is presumed attack Iran's nuclear installations in the way Israel bombed a reactor in Iraq.

Iran may be assisting the Shi'ites in southern Iraq, possibly the guerrillas fighting the US forces in Iraq.

Turkey has an interest in the treatment of Kurds in Iran. In the past Iran has assisted the Kurds in Iraq and may be assisting the Kurdish would-be separatists in Turkey. The current Iranian president Ahmadinejad is hostile to Turkey because of Turkey's support for Israel, and its hostility to political Islam. He has expressed the wish to destroy Israel.

During the second Bush regime the United States seemed to be preparing a military strike of some kind against Iran, perhaps in 2008. How would that have developed? At the time critics of that regime urged that the US could not afford a second war in the Middle East.

Der Spiegal
In 2006 the danger is now that Iran has "elected" a president who has made and is making inflammatory speeches about destroying Israel (making the Zionists live in the same state as the Palestinians). He may be responsible for supplying the armed religious society in Lebanon known as Hizbullah (=Party of Allah) with the Katusha rockets it is using to fire at Israel (July 2006 -).

This brings it into conflict with the United States, the main protector of Israel. Israel's attack on Hezbullah in June 2006 thus is a proxy attack on Iran (and possibly Syria, Iran's ally) with weapons supplied by the US.

In Iraq the American forces arrested a group of Iranians in Kurdistan, claiming that they were assisting the guerrillas. The Iranian government claimed they were diplomats. Iranians arrested (March 2007) a group of Royal Navy personnel who were inspecting ships in the Gulf. Iran claimed they were in Iranian waters; Britain claimed they were in Iraqi waters.

Could incidents like this grow into a major war between the western powers and Iran? Some people in the US government seemed to be advocating a war with Iran.

Could this war escalate into a general war between the United States and Iran? Some commentators think there is a serious danger of this. It could be a war as serious as the First World War as it would suck in most of the Middle East (and cause world oil prices to rise to very high levels) (which would benefit Iran, as a seller of oil). In September 2007 Israel is reported to have bombed a target in Syria and the speculation is that this was a trial run for an attack on Iran.

Observer article Observer article

In December 2007 a US intelligence report said that Iran had abandoned the attempt to build nuclear weapons in 2003, despite the previous assertions of the US government. President Bush seemed to continue to wish to attack Iran (perhaps it was Richard Cheney the thenVice-president).

BBC report

Another military exercise by Israel in the eastern Mediterranean in 2008 was also interpreted as a practice in long distance flying for an attack on Iran - presumably with the approval of the United States.

Obama
In March 2009 the new president Obama seemed to be offering diplomatic relations with Iran and stopped the irrational references to the regime there as part of "the axis of evil". Perhaps this will decrease the mutual hostility.

2010 reports from a diplomatic defector seem to show that Iran is indeed pursuing nuclear weapons, with North Korean collaboration and assistance.

Last revised 19/05/10


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