Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Saturday, August 07, 2004

More signs of US action on Iran
Is Iran next? Pentagon policy in Iraq seem to reinforce that the Bush Administration is laying the foundations for potential action in Iran. Whilst the US press has been ramping up the stories of Iran's nuclear capabilities, and Iran hadn't been assisting the situation by extolling some fiery rhetoric, I had perceived that the Bush Administration was using it more as an election sub-strategy. But recent reports suggest that the Pentagon is actively preparing Iranian allies (similar to the Northern Alliance in Iraq). A report in the Christian Science Monitor states that:

"The US State Department officially considers a group of 3,800 Marxist Iranian rebels - who once killed several Americans and was supported by Saddam Hussein - 'terrorists.' But the same group, under American guard in an Iraqi camp, was just accorded a new status by the Pentagon: "protected persons".

According to analysts, this is "a function of the swiftly deteriorating US-Iran dynamic," and is "a victory for US hawks who favor using the Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization (MKO) or 'People's Holy Warriors,' as a tool against Iran's clerical regime."

Whether this is merely back-pocket insurance by the Pentagon remains to be seen, but it could be the first concrete signs that the Hawks are on the move again...