Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Threats against Iran increase

"Can you imagine what tactical strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities would do...this is barmy to suggest such a thing." This was the reaction by Labour MP Fabian Hamilton speaking on BBC's Newsnight programme to suggestions made by Dr Nile Gardiner. Recent warnings from the US and escalations of violence in Iraq against British troops, which are believed to have Iranian links, are now putting Iran firmly on the map of George Bush's 'War on Terror'. Dr Nile Gardiner, a former advisor to Margaret Thatcher, claimed that the Iranians were deliberately trying to undermine the reconstruction policy in Iraq. "We've already caught intelligence officers on the ground...and there must be consequences," said Dr Gardiner, "We need to crack down on the leadership of these organizations...and send a clear message that ultimately the use of force may be necessary".
"No-one is proposing an invasion of Iran...but to take out Iranian nuclear facilities if they proceed with their nuclear program, but we must explore all avenues of diplomacy first," he added. A senior British official had earlier accused Iran of supplying a Shia militant group and claimed that the group were responsible for attacks on British troops recently. "It would be entirely natural that they would want to send a message 'Don't mess with us'. It would not be outside the policy parameters of Tehran," the official was reported to have said on Sky News. It is believed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had been responsible for supplying the explosives technology used in a series of deadly attacks on British troops over the summer. "We think it has come from Lebanese Hizbollah via Iran," the official added.
But Iran denies any involvement. "From the very beginning, we have stated our position very clearly - a stable Iraq is in our interests and that is what the Iraqi authorities have said themselves on many occasions," Hamid Reza-Asefi told the BBC. A stable Iraq is far from certain. Further attacks on a mosque today killed 25 and injured 87 according to CNN . The bombing in Hilla was a further strike at the Shi'ite population. The general theory discussed throughout the media, is that the Sunni insurgents are attempting to provoke the Shia majority into civil war. There is, however, occasional messages released by insurgents and Shia clerics citing solidarity for each other. The truth is far from clear as is the future.
[23:16 GMT 06/10/2005]

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