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Petraeus, Obama’s spare wheel !

David Petraeus, the commander of the American Army who is in charge of the Middle-East, stated on Sunday on CNN that his general staff “considered several scenarios” and among them the “bombing of Iranian nuclear plants”. But Petraeus specified that the “Iranian nuclear crisis could be still resolved through the diplomatic way” because “some delay is still remaining before we reach this crucial point”. His sentiments kindled the web while Washington has always taken this yes-but line.

Petraeus’ warlike speech is clashing because we didn’t hear him for months. Since Obama’s arrival, dialogue and even a sanctions halt were emphasized despite Tehran’s refusal of any dialogue. Such choice was forced by a necessity : to be able to dominate China, Washington needs to come to an understanding with Tehran. On the one hand this would make it reach Central Asia which provides China in gas. On the second hand, it would control the mullahs and use them to trouble China’s Muslim regions that are also rich in hydrocarbon.

Such agreement that is vital for the maintenance of the American hegemony is pending because the mullahs think they would be the losers of such deal. As soon as they came to power with other Islamists and with the support of the US for the installing of a troubling Islamic Republic in Central Asia, they expelled the US-like Islamists and kept the power for themselves. In case of any agreement, they would be forced to open every election to those expelled ones and thus they would risk losing their monopole on power. In order to overcome such reluctances, Washington sanctions them but it cannot reinforce its sanctions for fear of making them sinking. Moreover it cannot attack them all the more that they are very unpopular and that Iranians expect for something that would neutralize the Pasdaran. Despite the fact that a strike would go against their interest, under Bush, American have always mentioned their will to strike Iran and preferably the Pasdaran’s barracks.

So to understand such threats, it’s necessary to put them into their chronological context : they were formulated after Iraq’s controversial invasion. Actually, Washington uttered those threats but they were not aimed at the mullahs but at those who were opposed to Iraq’s invasion : i.e. the States that appeared hostile to any spread of the US influence in those oil regions. Those permanent threats prompted those States that are also Iran’s partners to request the file to be transferred to the Security Council in order to lessen the possibility of any military intervention. At the Security Council, those States that are Iran’s partner issued unanimously statements regarding their worries about the Iranian nuclear programme and the necessity of sanctions -instead of invasion. This is exactly what Washington wished for : the acknowledgement of its accusations of nuclear threat as well as the necessity of economic sanctions. Right after the adoption of such resolutions, it has stringed American sanctions together and the States that approved the necessity of sanctions appeared then unable to refuse to implement them.

This American policy of sanctions is currently in a blind alley because the mullahs who have too many things to lose refuse to give in and more sanctions would topple this regime that is in conformity with the Americans’ regional expectations. In such conditions, the strike threat replaces the sanctions Washington told about -even recently- while it cannot implement them. One more time, Washington’s interlocutor is not the mullahs’ regime. This time, the interlocutor is the American opinion which wonders about the pertinence of the policy that is lead by Obama since it ignores the hidden agenda of this policy. Petraeus, the military politician, is used as the President’s spare wheel : he reassured with the promise of an attack plan and then he stated that “the Iranian nuclear crisis could be still resolved through the diplomatic way”-of the President Obama.

The french version of this article :
- Iran : Petraeus, roue de secours d’Obama !
- (12 JANVIER 2010)

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| Mots Clefs | Enjeux : Option militaire |

| Mots Clefs | Enjeux : Sanctions Ciblées en cours d’application |

| Mots Clefs | Décideurs : OBAMA |
| Mots Clefs | Enjeux : Garanties Régionales de Sécurité : le DEAL US |
| Mots Clefs | Enjeux : Apaisement |