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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 09:25, August 19, 2004
Iranian nuclear issue: A hard fast knot for US to undo
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US President George W. Bush recently expressed that Iran must abandon her nuclear ambitions and vowed to stand with US allies to pressure Tehran to do so. There is every indication that the White House is considering on how to tamper the issue.

Condoleezza Rice, assistant to the US president for National Security Affairs said recently in a TV interview that Iran would put the world in a dangerous state as it was trying to implement her nuclear program. She appeals to the international society to join hands in restraining Iranian nuclear activities. Following Bush's announcement last month that Iran might be connected with 9/11 incident, US political leaders made public remarks against Iran once more. US repeated the Iran nuclear issue as Iran pronounced last month that it would restore the production of enriched uranium hydro-extractor, which is a vital link to develop nuclear weapons. As a result, the Iranian nuclear activities caused strong US concerns. When delivering a State of the Union address in US congress on January 29, 2002, Bush dubbed Iran, Iraq and DPRK as "Axis of Evils" for the first time. One of the "accusations" is that they actively develop weapons of mass destruction. In the past more than two years, US government has refused to consider direct talks with Iran, suggested by some think-tank personages. The relations between US and Iran are in a standoff.

What is worth mentioning is that Bush has more than once expressed US will not tolerate Iran to have nuclear weapons. However, he has never stated what actions the US congress will take to restrain Iran from implementing its nuclear program. Rice also repeatedly stressed that US would by no means allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. But she did not say if US congress would ask its allies to impose sanctions on Iran.

Judging from this, in dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue, US does not want to apply strong measures. US encourages the "international society'' to do something and hopes the international organizations involving its allies and international nuclear watchdog will apply restraint policy in co-operation with US.

The observers here noticed that although the Bush administration takes Iran as a thorn in his flesh, it has not marked a "red line" impassable for Iranian government to cross. It also has no plans to resort to force against Iran. That is because US President Bush is restricted by many factors including the coming US president election.

Since the outbreak of Iraqi war in March last year, more than 900 US soldiers have died. In addition, there are repeated bloodshed conflicts and terrorist activities of kidnapping and killing hostages in Iraq. All these make the Bush administration meet with strong criticisms from the public opinions at home. Analysts pointed out if taking actions on Iran, Bush will run a big risk and bring many troubles to his coming reelection.

In view of the Iraqi situation and the president election, US officials think that it is impossible for the Bush administration to put forward a strategic policy against Iran other than to continue to pressure Iran to make public its nuclear program and facilities in accordance with UN resolutions. At present, there exist two US opinions on the Iran issue. One is to take tampering actions including toppling Iranian regime while another is to suggest that US government come into contact with the present Iranian government instead of making it fall down. The Bush government prefers the former. However, as the Russian "Red Star" pointed out that US has a very slim hope to subvert Iran from within. So it is necessary for US to make choice of its Iranian strategy.

By People's Daily Online

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