"It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world"
PARIS, 23 Jan. (IPS) Slowly but surely, the United States is preparing local and international public opinion for concrete action against the Islamic Republic of Iran, now tagged as the main "outpost of tyranny", Iranian and western analysts and diplomats say.
In his inaugural speech, President George W. Bush warned "the rulers of outlaw regimes" to ease restrictions on dissent and declared that victory over terrorism required promoting freedom around the globe.
"It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world", the 51 years-old US President said, pointing his fingers at regimes like those of Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea or Zimbabwe.
He was echoing earlier statements by both Vice-President Dick Cheney and the newly installed State Secretary Condoleezza Rice.
"You look around the world at potential trouble spots, Iran is right at the top of the list", Mr. Cheney said Thursday in an interview with radio host Don Imus, hours before being sworn in to a second term.
For her part, Ms. Rice labelled Iran as one of six "outposts of tyranny" around the world and warned that if Tehran does not renounce its nuclear ambitions, its case would be referred to the United Nations Security Council for bold economic sanctions.
“If Iran resists demands to rein in its nuclear program, the next step would be to take the matter to the U.N. Security Council and seek international sanctions to force them to live up to the commitments and obligations", he further said.
Though Mr. Bush has not ruled out any military action against the ruling ayatollahs, but European diplomats hopes that negotiations Britain, France and Germany are holding with Tehran over stopping Iran’s nuclear activities would yield positive results.
"These talks are being held with our German and British partners, in perfect consultation with the United States and our other European partners", assured a French diplomat, confirming the view of the German government that believes “there is no alternative to these discussions".
Amidst routine threats that it would renew enriching uranium in case the European troika did failed to stand to its engagements, mostly providing Tehran with advanced nuclear technologies for civilian purposes and signing a Trade and Cooperation Agreement, Iran has so far kept shut its most sensitive atomic sites.
“The suspension (of uranium enriching) that we signed with the European troika and ratified by the Board of Directors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (on 19 November 2004) is temporary, taken by us on a voluntary basis to build confidence. These measures are not indefinite”, warned Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council on National Security and the regime’s senior nuclear negotiator.
Iranians assure that their atomic projects are for peaceful aims, mostly producing electricity. But the Americans and Israelis, as well as many Europeans and Iranians insists that the ultimate goal of the ayatollahs is to produce nuclear weapon to match the military domination of the Jewish States and establish its supremacy in the Persian Gulf in the one hand and crush the growing dissidence at home on the other.
"You look around the world at potential trouble spots, Iran is right at the top of the list"
However, the Bush Administration is strongly sceptical that Iran is bargaining in good faith and Rice said U.S. differences with Iran go well beyond its nuclear program.
"It's really hard to find common ground with a government that thinks Israel should be extinguished," she told senators. "It's difficult to find common ground with a government that is supporting Hezbollah and terrorist organizations that are determined to undermine the Middle East peace that we seek".
Most Iranian and European diplomats are of the view that contrary to what many analysts thinks – and the Iranian hopes and works hard on that direction – there are no major divergences between Washington and its main European allies on the Iranian issue.
“The Americans are preparing the fire, starting with psychological side effects. They have made statements and they have to carry them out. It takes our diplomacy a delicate balance with Europe to prevent the disaster”, warned Mr. Mohammad Soltanifar, the Editor of the English-language “Iran News” published by the official news agency IRNA in an interview with rival Students news agency ISNA on Saturday.
Like other analysts invited by ISNA to comment on President Bush’s inaugural statement, Mr. Soltanifar believes that Washington is preparing the ground for intervention in Iran , unless Tehran gives necessary and satisfactory assurances to its European partners.
“American policy on Iran is directly connected to the situation here. Washington has placed human rights ahead of nuclear issue and is widening horizons for (action against Iran)”, predicted Dr. Hermidas Bavand, a Tehran University professor, taking to ISNA.
Writing in the influential French daily “Le Monde”, Mr. Daniel Vernet, a respected political analyst also said that Washington is considering several scenarios for regime change in Iran.
Quoting Saturday informed American sources, Mr. Vernet said the Committee on Present Danger, CPD, the same one that prepared for the collapse of the Soviet empire, has urged Mr. Bush to offer the ruling ayatollahs, including the leader of the regime, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i an “honorable way out” and help Iranian dissidents for a peaceful take over in Tehran.
In the view of this think tank, Reza Pahlavi, the 46 years-old son of the deposed Iranian monarch can be viewed as a possible future leader.
In recent interviews with the British media, including the BBC and the Sunday Telegraph, Mr. Pahlavi has strongly objected to any military intervention in his country.
“We don’t want a so-called freedom offered to us by American generals. This is against our national pride”, he told the Telegraph, adding that the international community, “instead of talking to a regime that is hated by the majority of the population, should support the Iranian people instead”.
Not only Mr Pahlavi rebuffs any sort of American intervention, but he also will not accept an American bombing of nuclear installations in Iran to pave the way for a popular uprising, arguing that this would “immediately strengthen the position of the Mullahs”. ENDS IRAN US NUKE 23105