February 19, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2088

Senior Iranian Official Recommends that Iran Mark London as a Target – In Order to Deter Bush from Attacking Iran in Last Months of Presidency

February 19, 2009
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 2088

In an October 18, 2008 article on the Iranian website Aftab, Wahid Karimi, director of the Europe and U.S. department in Iran's Foreign Ministry, recommends that Iran mark London as a target, since it is the capital of the country that is the U.S.'s closest ally in Europe. This, says Karimi, would be with the aim of ensuring that the Bush administration does not attack Iran in its final weeks, after the U.S. presidential election next month and before Bush officially leaves office on January 20, 2009.

Following are the main points of Karimi's article:

Karimi: "The Most Appropriate Means of Deterrence that Iran Has, in Addition to a Retaliatory Operation in the [Gulf] Region, Is to Take Action against London"

"... It is clear to everyone that George Bush will remain the official president of the United States until January 20, 2009. U.S. presidents are usually adventuresome in their second terms... [among them Richard] Nixon, disgraced by the Watergate scandal; [Ronald] Reagan, with the Irangate adventure; [and Bill] Clinton, with Monica Lewinsky - and perhaps George Bush, the sitting president, will create a scandal connected to Iran's legitimate nuclear activity so as not to be left behind.

"In the past, Iran has marked as a target the U.S. military bases in the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, so as to deter American adventurism. Shortly after that, it gave the requisite warnings regarding [a possible Iranian move to] paralyze 'the Jerusalem-occupying regime [i.e. Israel],' so as to deter American adventurism...

"Although a U.S. military attack on Iran's nuclear installations is not likely... the last two months of Bush's presidency, from late November 2008 to January 20, 2009, will be the worst possible days of his presidency [for Iran, and during them he can] exploit his power to carry out political adventurism and a ill-conceived operation. If so, how can we restrain him?

"It is possible that after the next president of the United States is determined in November - that is, [either John] McCain or [Barack] Obama - Bush and the president-elect will reach an agreement about an ill-conceived operation against Iran.

"In the worst-case scenario, George Bush may perhaps persuade the president-elect to carry out an ill-conceived operation against Iran, prior to January 20, 2009 - that is, before the regime is handed over and he ends his presence in the White House. The next president of the U.S. will have to deal with the consequences...

"If we agree that such a scenario - with America, England and Israel at its center - is conceivable, then it would seem that the most appropriate means of deterrence that Iran has, in addition to a retaliatory operation in the [Gulf] region, is to take action against London. Experience proves that the [part played] by politicians in Tel Aviv and in London, in the [fanning of the] flames against Iran and in the urging of America to strike Iran, is no less than [the part played] by Bush."

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