The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Behind U.S. and Israeli threats against Iran

Jul 14, 2008

On July 9, the Iranian military began exercises that included testing several missiles. Democrats and Republicans alike immediately denounced Iran. Said Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, “Iran is a great threat. We have to make sure we are working with our allies to apply tightened pressure on Iran.” Republican nominee, John McCain, said practically the same thing: “Working with our European and regional allies is the best way to meet the threat posed by Iran.

What incredible cynicism and hypocrisy! Over the last seven years, the U.S. military has invaded and occupied two of Iran’s neighbors, Iraq and Afghanistan, surrounding Iran with enormous armies. Besides that, the U.S. Fifth Fleet (with an air craft carrier and all of its jet bombers, missile-launching submarines, missile cruisers, destroyers, etc.) is a permanent military threat stationed right off Iran’s coast in the Persian Gulf.

And – on top of that – over the last six weeks, the U.S. and its allies have openly threatened to bomb Iran. In early June, a top Israeli official, Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, said that Israel was considering bombing Iran immediately. Days later, more than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters, as well as several dozen helicopters, carried out war games over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece that U.S. officials confirmed were rehearsals for a massive bombing attack on Iran. Since then, hardly a week goes by when one or another Israeli official doesn’t repeat these threats.

The main threat of war in the region doesn’t come from Iran – but from the U.S. and its allies – as they try to impose their rule over such a vital, but explosive region, including against the Iranian regime.

Of course, the U.S. military has not seemed overly eager to go down that road. Already bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff declared: “Opening up a third front would be extremely stressful on us... This is a very unstable part of the world, and I don’t need it to be more unstable.”

It’s why the U.S., even while threatening Iran, has been quietly, but steadily working with the regime in Iran. The U.S. and Iran have many interests in the Persian Gulf region that coincide. They both want stability in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran strongly backed the U.S. puppet government in Afghanistan. And in Iraq, the government of Nouri al-Maliki, which the U.S. supports, also has had long-standing ties to the Iranian regime, with Iran helping to build up the Iraqi military and police forces. In March, for example, when the Iraqi military provoked an uprising by trying to crack down in Basra on Muktada al-Sadr’s rival militia group, it was the Iranian government that brokered a ceasefire, restoring some kind of order for the U.S. and its Iraqi government.

It is this ongoing behind-the-scenes cooperation that most likely was behind the “surprise” finding last December in the U.S. National Intelligence Report, the product of the CIA and nine other U.S. intelligence agencies, that declared that Iran was NOT producing nuclear weapons. The State Department has more recently said the same thing – even if these statements didn’t get much attention in the news media.

But whatever the U.S. does – attacking Iran or working with it – it does with the aim of furthering its control of the region. And this cannot benefit the people of any country, neither in the region, nor here.