Iran: Explosion near Iran's Nuclear Facility

Jon Kofas writes: European news services have just announced (16 February) an explosion in or near one of Iran's nuclear facilities. Apparently, the explosion resulted from an air strike of unknown origin, prompting an immediate upward spike in petroleum prices and down trend in financial markets around the world. The explosion comes just hours after the government in Tehran warned about U.S. spy drones, and after the U.S. recalled its ambassador from Syria, without actually accusing Syria of complicity in Rafik Hariri's assassination. U.S.-EU relations, which appeared on the surface to be improving last week, may sour over these latest developments which undercut EU efforts to rely on diplomacy of engagement, rather than confrontation, which Washington and Tel Aviv obviously prefer. These events may also determine is secretary of state Rice has the ability to forge closer ties with the EU by overcoming objections from Cheney and the neo-cons in the Bush cabinet, or drive a bigger trans-Atlantic gap at a time that the U.S. is also trying to secure China's backing for North Korea's nukes.  

Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: February 27, 2005