Revolution #65, October 15, 2006


Sanctions—a Step Towards a U.S. War on Iran

For more on the U.S. war moves against Iran:
Bush’s Grand Ambitions and the Danger of War Escalation, by Larry Everest, issue #64
• From A World to Win News Service: Iran’s Maoists make plans in the shadows of war, issue #61
Hidden U.S. Plans for War on Iran: Imminent Danger…and Strategic Stakes, issue #59

On October 6, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, the U.S, and China met in London and agreed to discuss sanctions against Iran. U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said, “The decision has been made—we’ll go for sanctions; the question is what the extent of the sanctions will be.” The terms of the sanctions will likely be discussed next week, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told CNN that she expected the sanctions to be economic—and she stated that she was “quite, quite certain” that the UN would approve them.

Sanctions, Inspections, and War

The Bush Regime is on track for war with Iran, a war that might well involve the use of nuclear weapons by the U.S., with no significant opposition from the Democrats. Forging some kind of alliance with the European powers, Russia, and China to impose sanctions is not a diplomatic alternative to war, it is essentially diplomatic preparation for war. The October 7 Jerusalem Post quoted Rice making an ominous Godfather-type threat before meeting with Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair to discuss sanctions: “We cannot continue to extend deadline after deadline after deadline or nobody will take the international system seriously.”

We saw this before in Iraq, where sanctions were not an alternative for war—they were a step on the road to the U.S. invasion. In the buildup to the Iraq war, the U.S. first got the UN to impose impossible sanctions and arbitrary deadlines that it knew would not be met—and then, once those were violated, this was used as a justification for escalating to war. Speaking to those lulled by Bush’s talk of diplomacy in relation to Iran, Dave Lindorff wrote in The Nation, “War skeptics may be whistling past the graveyard. After all, it must be recalled that Bush also talked about seeking diplomatic solutions the whole time he was dead-set on invading Iraq, and the current situation is increasingly looking like a cheap Hollywood sequel.” (“War Signals?” online at

Both with Iraq, and now Iran, the U.S. has instructed its “intelligence community” to produce “analytic judgments” that justify war based on made-up “evidence” of “weapons of mass destruction.” When international agencies don’t fake reports that exactly fit U.S. war plans, they are attacked. Currently, the U.S. is putting pressure on the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] to manufacture a case for war. And, just as the U.S. used sanctions to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and prepare for war, sanctions against Iran are intended to be used to create a scenario that is invoked as “proof” of Iran’s unwillingness to cooperate with the “international community.”

Imperialist Logic for War on Iran

William Kristol’s newspaper, the Weekly Standard, is a neo-conservative insider’s journal for the Bush Regime. In July, he laid out the case for smashing the Islamic Republic of Iran as the key link in the larger Bush/neocon agenda of establishing the U.S. as the sole, unchallenged, and unchallengeable superpower:

“Regimes matter. Ideological movements become more dangerous when they become governing regimes of major nations. Communism became really dangerous when it seized control of Russia. National socialism became really dangerous when it seized control of Germany. Islamism became really dangerous when it seized control of Iran—which then became, as it has been for the last 27 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“No Islamic Republic of Iran, no Hezbollah. No Islamic Republic of Iran, no one to prop up the Assad regime in Syria. No Iranian support for Syria (a secular government that has its own reasons for needing Iranian help and for supporting Hezbollah and Hamas), little state sponsorship of Hamas and Hezbollah. And no Shiite Iranian revolution, far less of an impetus for the Saudis to finance the export of the Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam as a competitor to Khomeini’s claim for leadership of militant Islam—and thus no Taliban rule in Afghanistan, and perhaps no Hamas either.”

On Fox News (August 22), Kristol said, “I think we could be in a military confrontation with Iran much sooner than people expect. I don’t think this is an issue that’s going to wait two and a half years until President Bush leaves the presidency. I think he will decide at some point next year—in 2007—he’ll have to make some very tough decisions about what the U.S. and the world can tolerate in terms of this regime…”

A recent cover story in Time magazine, “What Would War Look Like,” noted that major U.S. navy strike force deployments in the region “suggest that a much discussed—but until now largely theoretical—prospect has become real: that the U.S. may be preparing for war with Iran.”

Stop the War on Iran!

What would be the actual consequences of this war with Iran that the U.S. is building towards? A U.S. attack on Iran may very well involve nuclear weapons, and in any event would take the initial form of a massive bombing attack, with terrible human consequences. The political consequences, in their own way, are just as terrible. In the absence of a visible, powerful movement in this country opposed to the whole Bush Regime, the U.S.-backed Israeli invasion drove even non-religious people in Lebanon into the arms of Islamic fundamentalists. Imagine what a nuclear strike on the world’s largest and most powerful Islamic theocracy would set in motion! All this would further strengthen the two poles of, on the one hand, U.S. imperialism rampaging the world with Bibles and nukes, and on the one hand, obscurantist religious-fundamentalist forces who are setting the terms of oppositional forces in many of the oppressed nations of the world.

The danger of a U.S. attack on Iran is still far too much of a secret. Many people don’t know, or can’t believe, that the Bush Regime would do this. It is critical and urgent for people to educate themselves and others about this threat, and join with others to protest and prevent a U.S. war on Iran!

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