‘US, Zionist Regime, Britain bellicose ahead of Baghdad talks’

Interview with political commentator, Mark Dankof

The United States and Israel and Britain in my judgment have already poisoned the waters leading up to these talks. After all the fingerprints of the Israeli Mossad are all over these assassinations of these Iranian nuclear scientists, utilizing the [Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization] MEK as their proxy in these killings.”

The United States, Israel and Britain have already “poisoned the waters” prior to the upcoming talks between Iran and the P5+1 in Baghdad, a political analyst tells Press TV.

The comment comes as the latest round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group was held in the Turkish city of Istanbul on April 14. Both sides hailed the discussions as constructive.

They agreed to hold the next round of the talks in Baghdad on May 23, 2012.

Tehran and the P5+1 had previously held two rounds of talks, one in Geneva, Switzerland, in December 2010, and another in Istanbul, Turkey, in January 2011.

The US, Israel and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran has repeatedly dismissed the Western allegations over its nuclear activities, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and an IAEA member, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Press TV has conducted an interview with political commentator, Mark Dankof, to further discuss the issue.
The video also offers opinions of two additional guests, security analyst, Charles Shoebridge and professor of the University of Tehran, Mohammad Marandi.

What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: First of all let’s look at a useful and interesting timeline of Israeli and US information about an imminent Iranian nuclear weapon beginning 20 years ago. In 1992 current Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu predicted Iran was 3 to 5 years from having a nuclear weapon.

Again in 1992 current Israeli President Shimon Peres predicted an Iranian nuclear warhead by 1999 and then again in 1995 New York Times quotes US and Israeli officials saying that Iran would have the bomb by the year 2000. What do you make of these ongoing allegations?

Dankof: Well, I guess it’s an illustration historically of what the Israelis are up to. It seems to me that you have a situation where Israel and its neo-conservative allies and the American government and the American national security agencies are trying to make a case that there is some sort of an imminent threat from Iran when our own national intelligence estimate in the case that there isn’t.

This really mirrors what we did in the run-up to the war with Iraq and Saddam Hussein when there were all kinds of false reports being circulated about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction courtesy of Ahmad al-Chalabi in the Iraqi National Congress only until later discovered that all of the reports were fraudulent and the United States invaded that country under false pretenses.

The other thing that we might ask ourselves is this: Israel is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Israel is known to have somewhere between 200 and 300 nuclear warheads; Israel is in a situation where they have been conducting their own rogue nuclear program since at least the 1960s.

And no one is asking the question as to why they are not coming under the inspection regimen of the international atomic energy agency and all of the other relevant international agencies that are involved in this.

I think it’s transparent what’s going on here and it’s a situation where we might ask ourselves whether the so called militarized nuclear program of Iran is really the reason why Israel obviously wants a war with the Iranians and whether or not there are in fact other reasons for wanting this military conflict to happen just as I argue, [US] president Herbert Hoover argued that FDR had other reasons for wanting to go to war with Japan.

Press TV: The ball being now in the court of the Western side, do you think now it’s for the West to decide on how it should deal with the case when it comes to the Baghdad talks as our guest Mr. Marandi was saying there.

Iran has been giving its transparent responses that they’ve been asking for; Iran has itself been developing it says its peaceful nuclear technology does that mean that the West is now facing a situation that it has to come up with an idea to reach a compromise here?

Dankof: I think it does and I think it’s an important emphasize that the United States and Israel and Britain in my judgment have already poisoned the waters leading up to these talks. After all the fingerprints of the Israeli Mossad are all over these assassinations of these Iranian nuclear scientists, utilizing the [Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization] MEK as their proxy in these killings.

You have drone airspace violations of Iran’s airspace; you have aircraft carrier deployments that are extremely threatening, that are continuing even as we speak here.

In regard of the Persian Gulf region you have all these economic sanctions that have targeted Iran’s oil industry as well as its banking industry and now we have a situation of course where the United States Congress has passed a military appropriations bill which basically says that Iran has no right to civilian enriched uranium program of any kind whatsoever.

That’s in clear conflict with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty; that is in clear conflict with international law and it simply dovetails with the statements that people like Joseph Lieberman who was Netanyahu’s best buddy in the United States senate have been making.

The curious thing is that in recent days the Israelis have slightly changed their tune on this. They said they would not permit any form of Iranian enriched uranium program now Ehud Barak is saying that ‘Israel will permit Iran to enrich uranium up to something like 3.5 percent.’

Press TV: Mark Dankof, right now we are hearing some observers concluding that if this round of talks also fails this means that the military option is going to come forward. Do you think that that is the case and the US is going to be seriously considering that?

Dankof: There are mixed signals on this, certainly we’re hearing very bellicose things out of all of the Israeli assets and the American national security establishment and the American government.

There are others however who urge extreme caution with this; who are quite concerned that we are getting ourselves into something that we cannot control; that we cannot foresee all of the implications of.

My fear is that even if the United States government comes to sanity and decides that a military preemptive strike on Iran is not in the cards and that it’s not in anyone’s interests, I’m concerned that Netanyahu may start this war on his own and then drag the United States into it in an American presidential year when Israel controls both the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates.

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