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The US and Iran

Now that US forces have settle in Iraq, attention focuses on Iran. Insight (6/24-7/7/03) provides details in an article entitled "Evidence Fuels Iran Terror Debate. As new light is shed on Iran's official involvement in terrorism, policy infighting has intensified between the White House, Pentagon and State Department". Richard Perle regrets that there is no Iran policy, presumably meaning as hard-line one. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has called the Islamic Republic of Iran a democracy and the State Department counsels dialog with Iran. The implication is that it is soft on terrorism. The Pentagon and the White House believe the US should assist in destabinizing and ultimately overthrowing the Iran regime.

Now surprisingly, Argentina, with its large Jewish population, enters the picture. There have been two attacks on Israeli/Jewish institutions there. In 1992 the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires was levelled, killing 28. In 1994 the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AIMA) was bombed, killing 85 Jews and injuring some 200 others. Abraham Sofaer of then Hoover Institution believes the attacks were in retaliation for Israeli attacks in southern Lebanon. They occurred during the presidency of Carlos Menem, who is of Arab origin. He controls a bank account in Switzerland, which allegedly contains money he received for impeding an investigation of the attacks. a charge he denies. Judge Juan Josť Galeano has conducted a nine-year investigation which has led to international arrest warrants for four Iranian government officials. It is not clear how the change in the Argentine presidency will affect the investigation. All this is tied in with the search for terrorists in the border area of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, a search which so far has yielded nothing.

A companion article "Defector Reveals New Links in the Chain Of evidence Involving Iran and al.Qaeda" suggests that this may lead to a charge similar to that made by the US Administration against Iraq. The main article concludes "So far, however, the Bush administration has not considered taking the AIMA case to the United Nations to demand international sanctions against Iran", "So far" means it might well do so, in which case there might be a repetition of the Iraq scenario. The UN might again fail to support the US, whereupon the Bush administration would decide to take pre-emptive action against Iran, with the help of another "coalition of the willing".The US might decide that Iran has nuclear bombs or is preparing them, and use that as a justification. It might simply decide to destabilize Iran. Anti-US activity in Iraq may become such that the US would decide not to undertake another international enterprise. The State Department will advise caution. The Pentagon will be more enterprising. Until now, the Bush administration has followed the advice of the Pentagon. Probably, but not certainly, it will continue to do so.

Ronald Hilton - 7/2/03