Global Ambitions and Decline- Emergence of the Interregional Asian Triangle and the Relegation of the US as a Hegemonic Power. The Reorientation of Europe
8. Iran’s nuclear policy – A political ball game in US containment strategy? 49
49 8. Iran’s nuclear policy – A political ball-game in US containment strategy? As pointed out earlier, the Bush administration could exploit Iran’s persistence on the nuclear energy front to initiate a containment policy against Russia and China. Until October 2007, many Europeans were fearful of an air-strike by Israel or the USA against Iran’s nuclear installations. Israel’s air force had already demonstrated its capability by destroying a Syrian military object near the border with Iraq; it had then proceeded to announce that its next attack could be aimed at a nuclear installation in Iran. The US Vice-president Dick Cheney had lent added weight to Israel’s impatience with Iran’s nuclear policy by holding out a similar threat, and US President George W. Bush had warned of a Third World War if Iran was not deterred from acquiring the capacity to build an atomic bomb (Frankfurter Rundschau, December 5, 2007, Tagesspiegel, October 18, 2007). But just a month later, the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) surprised the international community by stating that Iran had brought its atomic weapons programme to a halt way back in 2003 (Reuters-India, December 5, 2007). NIE’s report hit the general public world-wide like a bomb and, consequently, Bush’s warning of a direct military nuclear attack by Iran in the near future completely lost credibility. Obviously, the US secret service did not want to be the scapegoat once again. Since then, US policy has intensified its efforts to contain Iran and, with it, all the other countries that...
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