Bush and Iran; a familiar script

June 11, 2008

Bush and MerkelGeorge W Bush’s final tour of Europe as president of the United States has so far been curiously uneventful and curiously familiar. More discussion of Iran, more talk of tougher sanctions if the Islamic republic refuses to stop enriching uranium and another warning that ‘all options’ are on the table to ensure it falls into line.

But despite three rounds of sanctions by the U.N. Security Council, Iran has refused to cooperate. Instead it has set about protecting assets at risk from such measures, for example by withdrawing funds from European banks.

In a televised speech on Wednesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Bush “era” had ended and promised that Iran’s foes would not be able to “harm even a centimetre” of its territory.

In the next few days, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana plans to present a revised package of political and economic incentives for Iran to give up enrichment. It is similar to an offer made in 2006 that was rejected.

Is there any more pressure Bush can bring to bear on Iran before he steps down in January? Would a United States government grappling with soaring energy bills want to take any action against the world’s fourth biggest crude exporter that would push the oil price higher still?


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Be prepared, however, Mr. & Mrs. Reader, if Mr. Bush makes some attempt to bring military action to bear on Iran from across the frontier with Iraq.

Note that I said “attempt”.

Unless he wants to risk a Constitutional confrontation with congress…there isn’t a snowball’s chance in heck that Mr. Bush will be able to use military action to make himself relevant between now and November…or between November and January for that matter.

This is so, even if Mr. Bush makes some surreal attempt to get Mr. Gates and Admiral Mullen (or even generals Petraeus or Odierno) to go along with a military adventure in the skies over Iran.

Even more surreal would be if Mr. Bush were to encourage a similar move by Israel…both he and Mr. Olmert knowing full well that the “grand adventure of preemption” is about to come to an end. Of course, Mr. Olmert is also just about at the end of his political (and military) rope…especially after what happened to Israel’s best & finest in southern Lebanon in 2006–the latter even with the usual unconditional support of the U.S. government.

OK Jack

Posted by OK Jack | Report as abusive

I think the Bush administratino had it chance to go after Iran however they decided to go into Iraq. I think it will be a grave mistake to go after Iran at this time. I do not think this administration knows how to manage a war and it will bring more instability to the region. We have to use diplomacy. I am not against a pin pointed strike against Iran if it is proven they are shifting toward a nuclear weapon.

Posted by Calvin Johnson | Report as abusive

“All options are on the table” constitutes a terrorist threat that violates international law. Both Germany and the US were giving chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein to use against Iran and his own people — and Iran’s enrichment program is entirely legal, so excuse me if I think the real “threat” to the world is not from Iran.

Posted by hass | Report as abusive

I think Bush will use Iran scare to prop up chances for McCain. Iran is too weak to think of any agressive move, unless provoked. Let’s end Bush’s mess.

Posted by westerner22 | Report as abusive

Does any one know the Bill that was pssed about “if the US finds itself in war prior to an election, then the current administration remains in place until such time as stabilization occurs” ?????? wo8ld greastle appreciate where I can get a copy and read.

Posted by anne | Report as abusive