[Documents menu] Documents menu

Newsgroups: alt.politics.radical-left,alt.activism,alt.politics.communism,de.soc.politik.misc,alt.politics.india.communist
Subject: Fwd: US/Israel May Put Iranian Nuclear Plant on Hit List
From: rolf.martens@mailbox.swipnet.se (Rolf Martens)
Message-ID: <Afr19.5868$t4.15606@nntpserver.swip.net>
NNTP-Posting-Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 09:29:36 MET DST
Organization: A Customer of Tele2
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 07:29:36 GMT

Fwd: US/Israel May Put Iranian Nuclear Plant on Hit List

To: <FreePalestine@yahoogroups.com>
From: Vectress <v3ctress@netcomuk.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 03:56:11 +0100
Subject: US/Israel May Put Iranian Nuclear Plant on Hit List


US may put Iranian nuclear plant on hit list

By Dana Priest in Washington, Sydney Morning Herald, 39 July 2002

A nuclear power plant being built in Iran has emerged as a potential test of the Bush Administration’s doctrine of pre-empting threats to United States security.

President George Bush has labelled Iran a part of the axis of evil, and some of his defence officials argue that a nuclear plant at Bushehr, on the country’s Persian Gulf coast, should be destroyed before it receives its first load of nuclear fuel from Russia, which is helping to build it.

There is some support for pre-emption within the Administration, said Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East expert.

Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have visited the Bushehr site. Although a pre-emptive strike appears to be supported by only a minority in the Administration, Israel has suggested it will not allow the plant to open.

Does Israel have a military option? The answer is yes, said a Washington official familiar with the Israeli position.

On June 7, 1981, Israeli F-15s and F-16s destroyed the French- built Osirak light-water nuclear reactor near Baghdad. The attack was criticised by the US at the time but is now regar- ded by US policymakers as a milestone in efforts to stop Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein from getting nuclear weapons.

In recent weeks Israel has publicly warned Iran that it con- siders the Bushehr plant, which Germany began building in 1974 and Iraq bombed three times in the mid-1980s during the Iran- Iraq war, a threat to its national security. Last month the Hebrew daily Ha’aretz reported that Israel’s National Security Council was reviewing its policy on Iran and quoted one official as saying that everything must be done, including using force to prevent Tehran from achieving nuclear weapons capabilities.

The Bushehr plant is scheduled to be completed in 16 months and operational 18 months later. Iran says the 1000-megawatt light-water reactor is for peaceful energy only.

Concern about the Bushehr plant follows tough jail sentences passed on a group of dissidents at the weekend. The feared Revolutionary Court sentenced more than 30 liberal Islamists to up to 10 years’ jail after they were convicted of seeking to overthrow the Islamic system.

On the same charge the court banned the Iran Freedom Movement, the country’s main non-violent opposition group, which advo- cates greater freedom and democracy.

The moves topped a two-year conservative clampdown on re- formists and intellectuals loosely grouped around President Mohammad Khatami.

Although reformers in Iran have won most elections in the past years and control the government and parliament, they lack the power to implement their mandate for reforms.

The armed forces, security apparatus and judiciary are in the hands of conservatives willing to force rivals into submis- sion.

The few opposition groups tolerated by the Islamic republic fear they will be the next target after the Freedom Movement is removed.