Opinion: Iran allegations put the US on thin ice | World| Breakings news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 13.10.2011
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Opinion: Iran allegations put the US on thin ice

The Obama administration is calling for tougher international sanctions against Iran following US claims that it foiled an assassination plot against the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington.


The new motto within the Obama administration appears to be "to learn from Bush is to learn to be victorious." George W. Bush based his war against Iraq on lies about weapons of mass destruction, and on insider information fed to him by an apparently credible Iraqi informer, who later turned out to be a money-grabbing liar.

Now the talk among certain US government representatives has returned to those weapons of mass destruction. This time though, in connection with Iran, which allegedly tried to enlist the help of a Mexican drug cartel to detonate bombs outside Israeli and Saudi-Arabian embassies, and plant a device in a prominent restaurant near Capitol Hill where the Saudi Arabian ambassador likes to take his meals.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have now developed megalomaniac tendencies extreme enough for them to think they can kill the representative of America's most important oil supplier in the middle of Washington. Such at least is Barack Obama's message to the world, and it is almost as dangerous as Bush's 2003 speech about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Too outspoken

Obama might be considerably less trigger happy than his predecessor George W. Bush, but his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Justice Minister Eric Holder have made some rash statements in the context of Iran.

They have screamed out to the world that Teheran's state terrorists and nuclear bomb builders will stop at nothing. And those who will stop at nothing, have to be stopped before they go too far.

Israeli and Saudi-Arabian representatives regularly ask the US president why he doesn't follow his predecessor's lead and wage a preventative war against Teheran and its nuclear plants. Now Obama's government has provided reasons for this question to be asked even more pointedly.

Words of destruction

It increases the likelihood of a military attack against Iranian bomb and weapons bunkers. But an armed conflict is the last thing the Middle East, America and the crisis-riddled world needs. Words can be weapons, and the words used by America's Justice Minister, Secretary of State and head of the FBI in the context of Iran, are offensive weapons - aimed at Teheran.

Such verbal attacks are not only dangerous, but should be taboo for a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate such as Obama. At their heart they are based on information that an undercover agent hired by the US narcotics authorities collected from an Iranian he used to talk with. But the agent was a junkie himself who became a spy in order to escape a prison sentence.

The American government is walking on very thin ice, and even if the key witness did turn out to be credible, there is no need for a government to broadcast everything it thinks it knows. That is something Obama should have learned rather than copied from George W. Bush.

Author: Ralph Sina / tkw
Editor: Rob Mudge

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