Clinton: Iran morphing into military dictatorship

Jerusalem Post – October 27, 2011

Iran is morphing into a military dictatorship, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said in a Thursday interview with BBC Persian.

“It’s been a little confusing because we’re not quite sure who makes decisions anymore inside of Iran,” Clinton said.

“There is a lot of evidence,” to support the allegations, Clinton said, citing: The confession of Manssor Arbabsiar, the 56-year-old Iranian American held in custody for the plot, information from the supposed Mexican gang member that the Arbabsiar tried to hire to carry out the assassination, phone records between the two and overseas money wires traceable to the Quds Force in Iran.

The Quds Force is a shadowy subset of the powerful Revolutionary Guard in Iran charged with “exporting” the Islamic revolution beyond Iran’s borders.

Addressing the bizarre nature of “what seems like the most absurd” plot, Clinton pointed to “a pattern of increasingly reckless behavior by the Quds Force over the past years,” including the use of proxy terrorist groups like Hezbollah.

Clinton also said there was “reason to believe” that the Quds Force was involved in the assassination of Saudi security official Hassan al-Qahtani in Karachi, Pakistan on May 16.

While the problems with Iran are immense, nuclear negotiations are not off the table, Clinton said. 

“We do not want a conflict with Iran but we do want to see the rulers of Iran change their outlook and their behavior.”


Comment – October 28, 2011

Washington is escalating its war of words against Iran, using claims about an Iranian plot to assassinate a Saudi diplomat as a pretext. No matter that many experts have expressed doubts about the allegations, it provides Obama’s envoys sufficient ammunition to ramp up the rhetoric.

Of course this also overlooks the fact that the U.S. has never been averse to making friends with military dictatorships when it suited them.

Nonetheless, even as U.S. Secretary of State Clinton claimed that Iran was transforming into a “miltary dictatorship”, a U.S. House subcommittee was being urged on Wednesday to wage a covert war against Iran.

“Why are we permitting the Quds Force leaders who have been organizing this killing of us for 30 years to go around still walking around?” retired Gen. Jack Keane, an influential military thinker who helped craft the 2007 troop buildup in Iraq was quoted as saying. “Why don’t we kill them? We kill other people who are running terrorist organizations against the United States.”

Unfortunately General Jack Kearne is not alone. Across the media spectrum the drums of war are pounding. Even a supposedly ‘liberal’ website like Huffington Post echoes it with articles like (Another) Act of War and what We Can Do About It.

Despite serious doubts having been expressed about the alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi envoy, U.S. politicians and commentators have sounded off on the topic at length.

Just as they once did over Iraq’s alleged weapons of Mass Destruction – until it was far too late. By then the U.S. had already invaded Iraq and many thousands of innocent lives had been wasted.

Will the U.S. repeat the same mistake with Iran? We had better hope not because Iran could prove a much more formidable adversary than Iraq.

What’s more Russia and China are watching the face-off keenly and if it escalates into more than diplomatic sparring don’t put it past either to enter the fray.

Nonetheless, Western politicians are edging toward an increasingly confrontational position with Iran. Do they know where this could ultimately lead or are they just doing as they’ve been told?

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