Regime change in Teheran?

SEYMOUR Hersh has returned to the Middle East once again. And the celebrated US journalist is focused once again on the Bush administration's preoccupation with Iran.

In his latest report in The New Yorker, Hersh has made startling revelations about this administration's continuing obsessions with the Islamic republic.

According to Hersh, the US congressional leaders agreed late last year to President Bush's funding request for a major escalation of operations against Iran, aimed at destabilising the Islamist regime in Teheran. The New Yorker report is based on the classified Presidential Finding by Bush that was "focused on undermining Iran's nuclear ambitions and the government through regime change."

Coming as this report does amid the growing talk of imminent Israel-US attack on Iran, it should be a serious cause of concern for the countries and people in the Middle East.

Even as the region battles the never-ending civil war in Iraq and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, this reckless enterprise of imposing yet another war on the Middle East is most disconcerting.

Iran's Arab and Muslim neighbours do share the US and Israeli concerns about Teheran's nuclear ambitions and its standoff with the West. However, attacking Iran or hitting at its nuclear installations is not the best way to deal with the issue. In fact, the use of force is the dumbest idea you could come up under the circumstances, given the mess its use has unleashed on Iraq and Afghanistan.

What is more disturbing than a possible attack on Iran is the idea of a forced regime change in Teheran according to the whims and fancies of the neocons in the Bush administration.

This is totally ridiculous and utterly insane! Has this administration drawn no lessons from the blunders they have made in Saddam Hussein's Iraq?

How could anyone think of opening yet another front in the Middle East, let alone regime change in Teheran? After all that they have inflicted on Iraq — a million dead and the Arab world's most modern country totally destroyed — for a lie, the neocons have no sense of shame in planning yet another disastrous war. Instead of focusing themselves on the business of Iraq and helping rebuild the country they have flattened, the neocons are once again deluding themselves with more visions of grandeur.

We have no love lost for Iran's Ayatollahs or the deliberately hawkish rhetoric of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

However, we must warn the US hawks that they would be walking into a trap far deadlier than Iraq if they ever attacked Iran. Saddam's Iraq, after many wars and long years of Western sanctions, was a helpless, disunited and significantly weakened country at the time of the Invasion in 2003. Iran, burning with nationalistic fervour and religious zeal, wouldn't take it lying down. So war on Iran is a silly idea, Mr President!

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