Press TV – February 13, 2012
A researcher says in his recent meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Barack Obama discussed the use of the Eurasian country’s soil for a strike on Iran.
“On January 30 US President Barack Obama met with his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili in the Oval Office at the White House for an unprecedented private meeting between the heads of state, a tête-à-tête initiated by Washington,” Rick Rozoff wrote on Stop NATO website on Friday.
Rozoff, who has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for 40 years, added that though the details of the meeting were not divulged, there has been speculation that Obama summoned the “ambitious and erratic” Georgian leader to Washington to propose “a quid pro quo.”
The deal, the journalist said, involved the “use of Georgian territory for American attacks on Iran in exchange for the US exercising its not inconsiderable influence in Georgia – with a population of only 4.7 million the third largest recipient of American foreign aid – to assist in securing Saakashvili’s reelection in the next year’s presidential poll.”
After his meeting with Obama, Saakashvili also reportedly met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, leading members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Pentagon.
Last week Georgian Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia announced the imminent arrival of a delegation of American military experts, asserting US-Georgia military relations were entering “an entirely new phase.”
Furthermore, a member of Georgian opposition disclosed in January that the United States is financing the construction of facilities in Georgia to prepare the grounds for “a military conflict with Iran.”
Elizbar Javelidze, a member of Georgia’s Public Assembly Movement, said the facilities, including 20-bed military hospitals, new air and naval sites, and the construction of “an American military town” in the city of Lazika, constitute an “American project” intended for war.
Former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, was quoted a week before the Obama-Saakashvili meeting as warning, “I don’t rule out that to retain the [presidential] chair Saakashvili may join a military campaign against Iran, which would become a catastrophe for our country.”
The United States has recently stepped up its war rhetoric against Iran to pressure the country into stopping its peaceful nuclear program. The threats come following the failure of US-led sanctions against Tehran.
President Obama has repeatedly threatened that all options are on the table regarding Tehran, including a military attack against nuclear facilities.
In an address in January, President Obama said that “America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.”
Meanwhile, Washington is increasing its military equipment and forces in the Persian Gulf. The oldest American aircraft carrier USS Enterprise is set to join two other US strike groups in the Persian Gulf by March.
Washington has also been busy arming its Persian Gulf allies in recent months. US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Kuwait, now stand at a staggering USD123 billion.
The US military threats against the Islamic Republic follow its allegations that Tehran’s nuclear program may include a militarized aspect.
Iran has categorically refuted the allegations, saying that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.