By Andrei Ptashnikov
News from Washington proves that the US is serious about its plan to carry out a military operation against Iran.
Washington has repeatedly threatened Iran on the highest level. US Defense Minister Leon Panetta has also publicly declared that such a development was quite realistic. In his interview for the CBS TV company he said:
“The United States – and the president’s made this clear – does not want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. That’s a red line for us, and it’s a red line obviously for the Israelis, so we share a common goal here. If we have to do it we will deal with it. If they proceed and we get intelligence that they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon then we will take whatever steps necessary to stop it. “
Panetta almost literally repeated US President Barack Obama’s message on the situation in the country which he sent to Congress several days ago. Obama also declared that America would not stop at anything to prevent Iran from creating nuclear weapons. Given all these belligerent declarations, one gets the impression that a military solution to the Iran problem seems most likely to Washington. Israel, a loyal US ally, is holding the same view. It seems that even Tehran’s readiness to resume the talks on its nuclear programme with six international intermediaries is not taken into consideration any more. Tough economic sanctions are being introduced against Iran and more and more US combat ships are patrolling the Persian Gulf.
One would like to hope that all these are only methods of political and economic pressure on Iran and no military actions will follow. But what if they do follow, like in Iraq and Afghanistan? At that time we also doubted that America would venture an armed invasion but it did venture an invasion, though without any special accomplishments. The same scenario may be repeated this year, especially ahead of the forthcoming presidential election in the US. It is common knowledge that a short victorious war usually raises the country’s leader’s popularity to the skies. The current US president needs this badly as his rating is rather low at present. However, the war against Iran is unlikely to be short and victorious. Iran is a much stronger enemy than Iraq or Afghanistan where the wars have already lasted for 10 years. Incidentally, the US invaded Iraq on the same charges it is using against Iran now. No nuclear weapons have been discovered in Iraq, so Washington has to think again.
Leon Panetta gave a touching detail in his TV interview.
“The toughest thing in this job, frankly, is writing the condolence letters to the parents of those young men and women who are killed in action.But I also say to them, … ‘Your son or daughter is really a true hero and patriot, because they were willing to give their life for their country. And that means that they’ll never be forgotten. And I hope that’s some measure of comfort for them – because, in the end, the only comfort I have is to know that these kids, when they put their lives on the line, are helping America be strong for the future.”
We can only say one thing definitely in this respect. America will not grow stronger in the war against Iran and the head of the Pentagon will have to sign much more mournful letters.