Wednesday, September 01, 2004

MSNBC - Bush rules out war against Iran

MSNBC - Bush rules out war against Iran: "Bush rules out war against Iran
President says circumstances not the same as Iraq
NBC, MSNBC and news services
Updated: 9:29 a.m. ET Aug. 31, 2004Despite U.S. allegations that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, the administration is not considering a military option against Tehran because diplomacy has just started, President Bush told NBC News in an interview aired Tuesday on the "Today" show.

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Asked if he would act preemptively against Iran just as he did against Iraq, the president said the Iraq war came only after "we had tried diplomacy" with Saddam Hussein for over a decade.

"The military option is always the last option for a president, not the first," Bush said, noting that the diplomatic effort was only starting in the case of Iran.

"We can work with others to continue sending a message [to Tehran]," Bush said. "We expect them to give up their nuclear ambitions."

The president also said he would have still waged war on Saddam had he known he didn't have weapons of mass destruction stockpiled in Iraq.

"I would have made the same decision knowing what I know today," he said in the interview with NBC's Matt Lauer. "Saddam had the capability of making weapons, and he could have passed that capability on to an enemy."

A key argument made by Bush in seeking international support for the war was that U.S. intelligence indicated such stockpiles existed."

ABCNEWS.com : Bush: Diplomacy Is Best Option With Iran

ABCNEWS.com : Bush: Diplomacy Is Best Option With Iran: "Bush: Diplomacy Is Best Option With Iran
Bush Will Continue Pursuing Diplomatic Options to Try to Get Iran to Halt Nuclear Program

The Associated Press



TAYLOR, Mich. Aug. 31, 2004 — Calling war divisive for the country, President Bush said he will continue pursuing diplomatic rather than military options to try to get Iran to halt its nuclear program.
Earlier this month, Iran confirmed it had resumed building nuclear centrifuges, which can be used to enrich uranium to weapons grade, and declared it should have the right to advanced nuclear technology.






While he's "deeply concerned" by Iran's actions, Bush said diplomatic efforts are just beginning there and he's hopeful they will be successful. He noted military action to topple Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq came only after more than a decade of failed diplomacy.

"The military option is always the last option for a president, not the first," he said in an interview broadcast Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show.

Bush comments came as he continued a campaign swing that will take him to New York, where he'll speak Thursday night to the Republican National Convention.

Republicans are using this week to hail Bush's leadership in the war on terror before a public that has grown more skeptical about his presidency. But in the past several days, Bush has made a series of remarks that seem to undercut the image of him being broadcast from the convention the decisive commander in chief securing America's safety and sure of the course on which he has set the nation.

In a flurry of interviews timed to coincide with this week's convention, Bush acknowledged a "miscalculation" about what the United States would encounter in postwar Iraq after the fall of Saddam's regime and said the "catastrophic success" of a swift military victory there helped produce the still-potent insurgency.

Then, in an interview shown Monday on NBC, he suggested that the war on terror could not be won.

No matter that Bush's comments reflected just the kind of nuanced, deliberative thinking that Democratic challenger John Kerry has often said he is proud to display, but which has also gotten him into political hot water. Democrats wasted no time making the most of Bush's remarks.

"First George W. Bush said he miscalculated the war in Iraq, then he called it a catastrophic success and blamed the military," Kerry spokeswoman Allison Dobson said. "Now he says we can't win the war on terror. Is that what (chief Bush political strategist) Karl Rove means when he calls for steady leadership?"

"What if President Reagan had said that it may be difficult to win the war against communism? What if other presidents had said it'd be difficult to win the war the Cold War?" Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards said on ABC's "Nightline" program. "The war on terrorism is absolutely winnable."

Bush's words sent aides scrambling to clarify, taking attention away from the carefully crafted convention and the president's appearances in one battleground state after another.

On Monday, as Bush campaigned in the battleground states of New Hampshire and Michigan, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said that what the president had meant was that the war on terror won't be won "in the conventional sense" with formal surrenders or treaties signed. He said Bush's statement was no different from others he made in the past.

The campaign professed not to be worried that the president had gone off-message.

"The American people have watched the president lead the war on terror decisively for three years," Bush-Cheney spokesman Steve Schmidt said. "The people of this country know what his leadership is."

But Bill Carrick, a California-based Democratic consultant, said the comments even if they were merely unfortunately phrased expressions of mostly obvious truths are politically dangerous because they speak to the very heart of the president's re-election pitch.

Carrick saw no hypocrisy in Democrats playing the issue, even though they have cried foul over similar attacks on Kerry. For instance, Vice President Dick Cheney criticized Kerry for saying he could fight "a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror" by singling out for mockery his use of the word "sensitive."

"Turnabout is fair play on this," Carrick said. "Exploit this to the hilt."

On Tuesday, Bush continues his pre-convention barnstorming, traveling to Nashville, Tenn., to speak to the national convention of the American Legion and to Alleman, Iowa, to attend a farm show. He ends the long day of campaigning in another crucial state, Pennsylvania, where he makes a late-evening appearance at a picnic before returning to Washington.

Kerry is speaking before the American Legion, the country's largest veterans' organization, on Wednesday."

Iran poses problems for next US administration

Daily Times - Site Edition: "Iran poses problems for next US administration

Iran, by many standards, poses a greater threat to the United States than Saddam ever did

Iran, a country that has bedevilled the United States for decades, could prove to be the biggest foreign policy challenge facing whoever is the next president. The messy Iraq war and a spy scandal linking Pentagon and Israeli officials could complicate US hopes of halting Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Both President George W Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry say they want to use diplomacy - although with different approaches - to prevent what could be a nightmare scenario for the United States: a nuclear-armed, hostile Islamic state in the volatile Middle East.

But the United States’ ability to sound an international alarm on Iran has been damaged after much of its intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s weapons progarmmes proved to be wrong. And its credibility could be further hurt by suspicions that a Pentagon official passed secrets about Iran to Israel. Neither Bush nor Kerry advocates a pre-emptive strike on Iran. “The military option is always the last option for a president, not the first,” Bush said in an interview broadcast on Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show.

Yet Iran, by many standards, poses a greater threat to the United States than Saddam ever did.

As they did with Iraq, US officials suspect Iran has chemical and biological weapons. But Iran’s nuclear progarmme is much more advanced than Saddam’s progarmme was believed to be. US officials say Iran could produce weapons-grade uranium within a year and a nuclear weapon three years after that. Iran says its nuclear progarmme is for making electricity, not weapons.

The United States has long considered Iran the world’s most active state sponsor of terror. Iran has supported militant Palestinian groups and US officials say it has provided safe-haven for Al Qaeda members.

And even though Iran is more democratic than other nations in the region, the United States continues to condemn its human rights record.

In 2001, Bush called Iran part of an “axis of evil,” along with Iraq and North Korea. Yet his administration has been divided on how to deal with it. Some, mostly in the Pentagon, favour a tougher approach. Others, mostly in the State Department, believe some accommodation is possible with Iranian moderates.

Tehran has offered some signs of seeking better relations with the United States, providing some cooperation on narcotics policy and in the war in Afghanistan. A State Department paper says relations with Iran “are frequently confused and contradictory due to Iran’s oscillation between pragmatic and ideological concerns.”

In a speech on Monday, Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards said the Bush administration “has stood on the sidelines” while both Iran and North Korea “advanced their nuclear progarmmes.” Kerry holds out some hope that a negotiated solution with Iran is possible. He said the United States and other nations should “call their bluff” by offering nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes, then taking back the spent fuel so it can’t be used for weapons.

If that process fails, the United States could try to ensure that the International Atomic Energy Agency takes the issue to the UN Security Council, where Iran could face sanctions. Bush administration officials have suggested that it is too late for incentives. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice said recently that Iran “has to be isolated in its bad behaviour, not engaged.”

The administration is expected to request Security Council action if the IAEA condemns Iran at a meeting Sept 13. Yet prospects for action at the UN are uncertain. Russia, which is building Iran’s nuclear reactor, has a veto. Other council members also have trade relationships with Iran.

Bush has demanded that Iran give up its nuclear progarmme, but it’s unclear what he would do if Iran refuses and the United Nations doesn’t act. Winning either domestic or international support for military action against Iran would be difficult.

Invading Iran has never seemed a credible option, said Robert Malley, an adviser to President Clinton on Middle East issues. “I think it has become far less so after what has happened in Iraq,” he said. Yet Raymond Tanter of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he believes the next president will have little choice but to support the main Iranian opposition group, the MEK.

That group, however, is on the State Department’s list of terrorist organisations and few politicians openly support it.

And Tanter says support for either military action or for using the MEK could be undermined by the investigation into whether Larry Franklin, a Middle East analyst at the Pentagon, provided classified information on Iran to Israel. “Those people who would say unleash the MEK could be accused now of following a Zionist agenda,” Tanter said. “The Franklin flap is quite damaging. It plays into Iran’s hand.” ap"

Press Action ::: Larry Franklin: Just a Sideshow on the Road to Total War

Press Action ::: Larry Franklin: Just a Sideshow on the Road to Total War: "Larry Franklin: Just a Sideshow on the Road to Total War
By Kurt Nimmo

Isn’t it curious that right smack in the middle of an investigation of Israel spying on its best “friend,” Hamas pulls off back-to-back suicide bombings—after a lull of nearly six months—in Beersheba? Hamas declares the bombing was revenge for Israel’s assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi. Rantissi was assassinated on April 17 and Yassin on March 22.

Is there a reason Hamas waited so long to take revenge? Of course there is. Hamas is essentially an Israeli contrivance. It’s used for effect when politically expedient.

Israel “aided Hamas directly—the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO,” Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies, told the UPI’s Richard Sale in 2002. Hamas is a descendant of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic organization long ago penetrated by the CIA. “There is a long historic alliance between the CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood,” writes Peter Goodgame. “The entire Bin Laden-CIA created ‘mujahideen’ network came from the Muslim Brotherhood.” As we now know, Prince Turki of Saudi intelligence, in cahoots with William Casey of the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI, sent bin Laden to Afghanistan and bankrolled the Services Center (Makhtab al-Khidmat) of the Jordanian Palestinian Abdullah Azzam, in the offices of the World Muslim League and Muslim Brotherhood in Peshawar (see Rashid, Taliban, p.131). After Azzam was assassinated, Makhtab al-Khidmat became al-Qaeda, although bin Laden did not call his organization such.

It should be obvious by now that the CIA and Mossad manufactured a virulent strain of Islamic terrorism for their own purposes. For instance, as an excuse for the Zionists to never make peace with the Palestinians. “What does frighten Sharon,” Yossi Sarid, chairman of the Meretz party, told Haaretz in 2002, “is any prospect or sign of calm or moderation. If the situation were to calm down and stabilize, Sharon would have to return to the negotiating table and, in the wake of pressure from within and without, he would have to raise serious proposals for an agreement. This moment terrifies Sharon and he wants to put it off for as long as he possibly can.”

No doubt Sharon is also keen to deflect attention from the fact that Israel has a long-standing spy operation in America. Of course, considering how the Bushites and Congress bend over backwards to please the Likudites in Israel, such a spy operation may not even be necessary. Regardless, the casual relationship between the Zionist neocons in the Pentagon and the Zionists in Israel—for the moment splashed all over the front page—looks bad for Sharon, especially during the US election cycle. Hamas strikes when the Likudites need a diversion. Same thing for Bush and his facile cave dweller terror threats.

In addition, the latest terror attack in Israel gives Sharon all the more reason to push his 720-kilometre apartheid wall, as Reuters quoted Sharon as saying he would do hours after the attack. Last month the UN General Assembly put forward a resolution demanding Israel dismantle the apartheid wall after the International Court of Justice declared it to be in violation of international law. But then the Likudites and the Bushcons are above international law. International law is to be used as a crowbar against Iran as it scrambles to develop a few nukes, knowing full well what the Zionists in Tel Aviv and Washington have in mind for the Iranian people. As North Korea understands full well, saber-rattling enemies think twice when you have a few nuclear warheads under your belt.

Israel is truly an outlaw nation. Its criminal government is run by racist settlers who are pushing for war against Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians. Israel realizes it cannot possibly wage war against the Arabs and the Iranians without America’s military prowess—and its large supply of naive bullet-stoppers—so it has spent years undermining the US government and buying off Congress through AIPAC. It has exploited the mental problems of the Christian Zionists—who believe Israeli murder and hegemony are key to their fanatical biblical fantasies—and has worked tirelessly to subvert the highest reaches of the American government by installing the conniving Zionist neocons in the White House and Pentagon. Sharon really does not want John Kerry in the White House, but if push comes to shove Kerry will do in a pinch because he is also an avowed Zionist—some say more of a Zionist than even Bush—and he would be the first Jewish president of the United States (not only was his grandfather born Fritz Kohn, but his brother, Cameron Kerry, converted to Judaism when he married a Jewish woman, Kathy Weinman).

Lost in the chatter about Larry Franklin is the fact the neocons and Sharon are itching to invade Iran, possibly before the election in November. “News of the investigation of Larry Franklin, a middle-level functionary working for the Wolfowitz-Feith-Luti-Shulsky clique in the Pentagon, indicates that we are now approaching a critical choice-point on the road to war with Iran, and towards a synthetic terrorism attack inside the US which would be used as an additional pretext to start such a war,” Webster Griffin Tarpley warns. “War with Iran means a military draft, just for starters. If Iran can close the Straits of Hormuz, it might mean rationing of food and fuel. ... [The] goal is now to establish a neocon fascist dictatorship in the United States, complete with martial law, special tribunals, press and media censorship, and the full pervasive apparatus of the modern police state.” For the Straussian neocons, it would be a dream come true.

The FBI may copy the hard drive of Steve Rosen, AIPAC’s director of foreign policy issues—and it may even arrest a neocon or two (certainly not Douglas Feith or Paul Wolfowitz)—but this momentary sideshow will not put an end to or even slow down appreciably the demented neocon Master Plan for war against Islam in the name of Greater Israel. “This is not an Israeli problem. This time it is a world problem,” Yuval Steinitz, chairman of the Israeli parliament’s foreign affairs and defense committee, said last month. “Iran is seeking to become a world power.” In other words, Iran must be attacked soon, before it can patch together a few nukes and give Israel a run for its money—or, rather, a run for the money weaseled out of increasingly stressed American taxpayers. No number of FBI agents running around Washington, interviewing traitorous neocons and copying hard drives, will slow down the Zionists, not when the entire political establishment of the United States—both sides of the Property Party—are spoony over Arab killing Zionists.

Once again, Sharon has used Hamas—a Frankenstein monster devised by Mossad, as al-Qaeda was devised by the CIA—to not only distract from the minor problem presented by Larry Franklin, but also to remind the timorous and easily bamboozled (American and Israeli citizens alike) that terrorism is alive and well, even if it takes a long and inexplicable hiatus on occasion. Blowing up commuter buses drives home an unrelenting message: there is evil lurking out there, Muslim evil, and it is supported by malevolent mullahs in Tehran, the minions of Arafat in Ramallah, and the crafty cave dwellers of Osama. As Bush says, the war on terrorism cannot be won—terrorism is interminable, perpetual, and unending.

Next year, be it Bush or Kerry, Iran will be invaded."

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World: "AIPAC hires lawyers
By JANINE ZACHARIA

NEW YORK
The FBI has not contacted AIPAC employees or their lawyers to resume interviews since an initial visit to the pro-Israel lobby's office on Friday, when two staffers were questioned as part of an investigation into whether a Pentagon official passed a secret document on Iran policy to the group, sources familiar with the investigation said Wednesday.

The FBI began questioning the two staffers, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, and made a copy of Rosen's computer hard drive on Friday, sources said. The two then said they wanted to consult with attorneys before proceeding, but have made clear they are ready to continue to cooperate with authorities.

The lobby has hired Nathan Lewin, an experienced Washington attorney who specializes in white-collar criminal defense work and constitutional law. Throughout his career he has represented prominent officials, including former attorney general Edwin Meese.

Rosen and Weissman are being represented by Abbe Lowell, one of Washington's most prominent attorneys, who is known as an aggressive, criminal defense attorney. Lowell was the Democrats' chief investigative counsel in the impeachment hearings of president Bill Clinton.

It was not clear why FBI investigators have not resumed questioning of the AIPAC staffers – whether it was a sign that the FBI had all that it needed, or that the investigation had stalled. An FBI spokesman, Bill Carter, had no comment, except to say, "It's an ongoing investigation."

The federal prosecutor handling the case, Paul McNulty, the US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, has a "very good reputation" as a "hard-core, very aggressive prosecutor," one formal federal prosecutor said."

IranMania News

IranMania News: "'Iran waiting to see policy of next US president'

Sunday, August 29, 2004 - �2004 IranMania.com

Related Pictures



LONDON, August 29 (IranMania) - Iran's Foreign Ministry said Sunday it was waiting to see what policy the United States would adopt towards the Islamic republic after the presidential election in November so it can 'react accordingly', AFP reported.
'We have to see what policies the United States adopts towards Iran after the elections, and we will react accordingly,' Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.
'It is natural that if the United States changes its policies, the Islamic republic will adjust its own.'Iran and the United States cut off diplomatic relations in 1980. In January last year, US President George W. Bush lumped the Islamic republic in an 'axis of evil' due to its alleged support of terrorism and quest for weapons of destruction.
But Iranian officials have so far been cautious in voicing their preference ahead of the race between Bush and his Democratic challenger, John Kerry.
When asked to comment Saturday, President Mohammad Khatami replied only that US policy towards Iran 'never stops getting worse'.
'We hope the Americans will prevent the adventurism of their leaders. The problem is not changing the men, but changing the policies,' he said.
"

Iran's transport minister accuses hardliners over airport closure

Channelnewsasia.com: "Iran's transport minister accuses hardliners over airport closure

TEHRAN : Iran's reformist transport minister has accused the Islamic republic's hardline Revolutionary Guards of shutting down the capital's new airport as part of a wider campaign against foreign investment.

In an interview with AFP, Ahmad Khorram suggested one of the other reasons the new showpiece international airport was dramatically stormed in May could have been because the ideological army had failed to win a lucrative operating contract.

"Iranian companies also took part in the tender process. Among them were companies run by the armed forces... and the Revolutionary Guards. But their prices were higher and they were not selected," Khorram said in the interview Saturday.

The Revolutionary Guards, one of the most powerful institutions in the Islamic republic, shut down the sprawling capital's new Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) on May 8 after just one flight landed.

Reports said military vehicles blocked off the runway, warplanes were scrambled and an approaching commercial passenger jet was diverted with a warning of anti-aircraft fire.

The elite army argued the 200 million dollar contract signed with Tepe-Akfen-Vie (TAV) -- an Austrian-Turkish consortium -- endangered the Islamic republic's security because the operators were foreign and also had business dealings with Israel.

"When they talk about security, this is groundless. There are some 300 foreigners who work at Mehrabad airport. And if the presence of foreigners at an international airport is a danger to national security, then by definition all international airports should be closed," the minister asserted.

IKIA, situated in the middle of the desert about 45 kilometres (30 miles) south of the capital, was built at a cost of at least 350 million dollars.

It is designed to take the strain from Mehrabad airport -- situated in the city centre and doubling as a military base.

Embattled President Mohammad Khatami inaugurated the airport's Terminal 1 with much fanfare on February 1 -- the 25th anniversary of the return from exile of the founder of the Islamic republic, the late Ayotollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

But the move by the Revolutionary Guards was seen as a major blow to efforts by Iran's reformist government to attract foreign investors.

Khorram asserted the problem appeared to be a mix of money and hardline, isolationist politics.

"There is a mentality that is against foreign investment in our country," he said.

"But you cannot get economic growth without foreign investment. Now is not the time to close our doors to the outside world."

"We are not against the Revolutionary Guards winning contracts," he went on to say. "Some of their companies already have contracts with us, but first they have to win the tender."

Khorram said negotiations to reopen the airport -- a three-decade-old project -- were still ongoing and that he hoped for a solution in the "next 10 days or so".

He said it could reopen after "two to three weeks", but did not elaborate on how a solution to the stand-off could be found.

The minister, whose three-year term in office has coincided with the usual string of transport disasters, is also facing impeachment by the new conservative-controlled parliament.

Conservative deputies said Sunday they had gathered enough signatures to force an impeachment vote. Khorram is obliged to appear before them before September 9.

The parliament has taken issue with the IKIA deal, a runaway freight train explosion in February that left hundreds dead as well as the ongoing chaos and carnage on the Islamic republic's roads.

"There are a lot of accidents all over the world, and how many ministers resign because of them?" Khorram asserted, referring to the Neishabour freight train blast.

"But questioning the ministry and the minister is the right and duty of the parliament, and I treat this impeachment affair as an opportunity to elaborate on my performance," he asserted, blaming Iran's shoddy transport system and congested roads on his predecessors.

"I knew that when I took this portfolio it was a ministry of disasters. There has been 20 years of mismanagement," he explained, asserting that he had merely exposed a large number of failings.

Khorram may be impeached, but even that fate would be better than the one suffered by his predecessor -- who died in a plane crash."

Boston.com / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Editorials / Iran intrigue

Boston.com / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Editorials / Iran intrigue: "Iran intrigue
August 31, 2004

THE MOST instructive aspect of the FBI's interest in Larry Franklin, an Iran desk officer in the Defense Department, is the light it casts on the incoherence of policy-making in the Bush administration rather than any conspiracy to pilfer American secrets for Israel.

There is a crucial background to the FBI's investigation of Franklin, who has come under suspicion for supposedly passing a classified presidential policy directive about Iran to a leader of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who allegedly passed the material on to an Israeli official.

A neoconservative colleague of Franklin in the Defense Department, Harold Rhode, and the neocon promoter Michael Ledeen had been involved in secret back-channel meetings in Paris starting as early as December 2001 with the shady Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar, a key figure in the Reagan-era folly remembered as the Iran-Contra affair.

The CIA had long since proscribed dealings with Ghorbanifar. The agency had him classified as a chronic liar. When a US ambassador in Italy got wind of the meetings, he and the CIA station chief in Rome notified superiors at the State Department and the CIA. George Tenet, the former CIA director, in turn persuaded the number two official on the National Security Council, Stephen Hadley, to prohibit further meetings with the Iranian arms merchant and the so-called Iranian dissidents he was presenting to neocons avid for regime change in Tehran.

This White House prohibition against the back-channel meetings arranged by Ghorbanifar was to no avail. There were at least two and possibly several more meetings. Ghorbanifar, living up to his reputation for indiscreet gabbiness, has boasted about further meetings to reporters for the Washington Monthly.

This is the outline of a policy quarrel that one faction has been waging surreptitiously. Not only the FBI but also the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have been investigating the neocons' secret meetings in Paris to promote regime change in Tehran.

The regime in Tehran does pose a threat by virtue of its nuclear program, its sponsorship of the Lebanese Shi'ite militia Hezbollah, and its meddling in Iraq. The Bush administration, however, has been unable to settle on a coherent strategy to cope with the challenge from Tehran.

It is quite possible that no prosecution will result from the FBI's interest in Franklin's suspected disclosure of classified infomation about President Bush's Iran policy, as it is unlikely Israel would permit an intelligence operation that targeted the Bush administration. But if Bush does not take control of his own administration's policy-making process, the nation could be drawn into another Gulf war by one faction of the conservative constellation in his own administration.
"

99% chance of attack on Iran

99% chance of attack on Iran: "99% chance of attack on Iran
30/08/2004 11:28 - (SA)

Amman - A prominent Jordanian journalist on Monday expected the United States or Israel to launch a 'pre-emptive strike' against Iran in September or October with a view to enhancing President George Bush's re-election chances.
'A pre-emptive strike is coming 99% either in September or October before the US presidential elections early in November,' said Fahd Fanek in an article in the daily Al-Rai.
'If the United States decides to carry out the strike, the timing will be before the elections so as Bush guarantees his re-election. If Israel launches the attack, it will do that for the avowed aim of ensuring Bush will be the next president,' added Fanek, an economics expert and respected newspaper columnist.
Fanek contended that Iran 'was well aware of this and, accordingly, it was heating up the war language with the Americans'.
'What Moqtada al-Sadr did in Iraq could be part of an Iranian plan designed to foil any American blueprint to proceed eastward,' he said, alluding to the recent bloody confrontation between al-Sadr's militias and the US troops at the holy town of Najaf. - dpa
Edited by Andrea Botha"