From Frank Brodhead’s Iran War Weekly. Please read the entire report at WarisACrime.org.
It is too soon to tell whether Israel’s weekend bombing of Syria will irrevocably change the course of the war and engulf the region in death and fire. Israel has intimated that further attacks are on the way, and the Obama administration has stated that US strikes against Syria’s air defenses and air fields are under discussion. Syria (via the Arab League) seems about to take the issue to the UN Security Council, where we can expect the United States to defend Israel by blocking discussion. What will Syria then do after further Israeli aggression?
This newsletter, of course, attempts to track the war being waged – “low intensity” so far – against Iran. But from the outset most observers agreed that one of the forces motivating the United States and its allies to support the revolt against Syria’s Assad was the hope that it would weaken the “main enemy,” Iran. Now the tail is wagging the dog, and what was thought to be a means to an end has become an end in itself. Unless Israel disengages itself quickly, which seems unlikely, it is hard to see the Obama administration withstanding pressures from Israel, the neo-cons, and Congress to intervene militarily in Syria. What Iran will do then, of course, we don’t know.
Beyond the obvious insanity of military intervention, a significant problem for the Hawks is the strong popular opposition in the United States to such a war. Depending on the question asked, polls show popular opposition to US military intervention or involvement running about 2-1 or 3-1. Given the state of our democracy, public opposition to war is a weak reed; but we can expect sustained media attention to “WMD”-type non-issues such as the threat of chemical weapons, or Hezbollah’s involvement, or Iran’s supposed nuclear weapons program as reasons why the United States must go to war against Syria. US peace advocates have a role to play in trying to counter this war propaganda.
Meanwhile, the US-Iranian stand-off over Iran’s nuclear program continues to unfold. On May 15 Iran and the IAEA will hold another meeting in Istanbul to discuss unresolved issues, especially those related to “further military studies” and allegations that nuclear-related military tests were conducted at Iran’s military base at Parchin. On the sidelines of this meeting the P+5 representative Catherine Ashton will meet her Iranian counterpart Saeed Jalili to discuss further steps in the negotiations that might reduce economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iranian concessions or modifications of its nuclear enrichment program. The status of these negotiations, as well as further issues about Iran’s nuclear program, US media coverage about Iran, sanctions against Iran, the recent US arms sale to Israel, Iran’s presidential election, and much more are addressed in some good/useful readings linked below.
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