TFF logoFORUMS Meeting Point

TFF Home | About us


Iraq Forum

Features by others

Links to all issues

New stuff

Other associate articles

Burundi Forum

Publications on-line

Paul McCartney

Nyt på nordisk

Jonathan Power

EU conflict-handling

The 100 best books

Annual Reports

TFF Associates


Reconciliation project

Øbergs Kalejdoskop

Support TFF on-line

Activities right now

Gandhi & India

Teaching & training

Oberg's photos

Support TFF off-line

PressInfos - Analyses

Macedonia Forum

Lærestof på dansk

TFF News Navigator


USA & UK versus Iran:
A Transcend perspective




Johan Galtung, TFF Associate


June 21, 2006


1. Diagnosis

There are obvious similarities to USA/UK vs Iraq, but possibly less obvious that UK will follow suit or even play a major role ("The Downing Street Memorandum") this time.

The goals of the USA seem to be diverse, like these nine:

- regime change, like in 1953, possibly also to reinstate the Shah family, again assuming Iranians will be receptive;

- Middle East political control, fearing that control is slipping from USA-Israel to Iran-Hamas and shia/radical Islam;

- revenge for the 52 hostages-444 days humiliation;

- eliminating any Iranian threat to the US/UK Iraq construction;

- eliminating any Iranian threat to Israel, nuclear or not, given the statements by president Ahmadinejad;

- securing Iranian oil flow at affordable prices;

- protecting the use of dollars against euros for oil trade;

- expanding further the military bases encircling Russia-China;

- eliminating any Iranian nuclear weapon capability.

The last goal is the public text, the others are subtexts. That text may also be a pretext, for public consumption and - like the WMD-Al Qaeda connection for the case of Iraq - without substance.

Iran's public text is the NPT right to enrich uranium up to industrial grade, e.g. to diversify energy. Subtext goals include:

- Never more 1953! Sovereignty, no more humiliation/intervention;

- surrounded by 3 nuclear powers and 3 more, USA/Israel/France, threatening, keeping the nuclear option is understandable;

- with the dollar falling opting for the euro is understandable;

- Islamic/shia solidarity in an Islam world divided by the West;

- an open, high level dialogue of civilizations with the West.

Would you be reading this now,
if it wasn't useful to you?
Get more quality articles in the future


2. Prognosis

There is enough raw material here to process into a war if so wanted, with air strikes without Security Council authorization (economic sanctions are less likely as they may hurt the West more than Iran). But, can Bush afford it economically and Blair politically? The answer is probably no. And, air strikes may lead to attacks on US/UK soil by major bombs assembled in US/UK for remote detonation. A ground attack would make the resistance in Iraq look like a tea party; an opportunity welcomed by some. Closing the Strait of Hormuz is a minor part of the response.


3. Therapy

The keys to acceptable and sustainable ways out are in the subtexts, not in the texts. In the text focus, uranium enrichment, IAEA inspection might be helpful. But it is difficult to see why Iran should submit when Israel and India have enriched up to weapons grade and gotten away with it. Unless, that is, USA reverses its Israel/India policy, like it did during the 1962 Cuba crisis by the tit-for-tat of taking US missiles out of Turkey.

It is a sad reflection on the spiritual poverty of the West that the obvious way out is not traveled: Bush-Blair apologizing for the CIA-MI6 overthrow of a legally elected prime minister, Mossadegh, and support of 25 years Shah autocracy; combined with a joint fact- finding historical commission. And Bush-Blair accepting the invitation by the former Iran president, Khatami, to a high level, open dialogue, also using the Spanish-Turkish-UN Alliance of Civilizations for that purpose. Needless to say, recognition of some truths is needed to clean up the past before turning to the pragmatics of opening for a cooperative, peaceful future.

Do that, and almost for sure the negotiation road would open up, including over what kind of Israel Iran might accept, like, for instance, the Israel of 4 June 1967? (Today's Israel not).

The onus is on the West. Only the weak cannot admit mistakes of the past.

Is Anglo-America strong enough? Or are they still so addicted to belligerence that they prefer another major mistake?


Get free articles & updates

© TFF & the author 2006  



Tell a friend about this article

Send to:


Message and your name




S P E C I A L S & F O R U M S

Iraq Forum

Gandhi & India

Burundi Forum

Photo galleries

Nonviolence Forum

TFF News Navigator

Become a TFF Friend

TFF Online Bookstore

Reconciliation project

EU conflict-management

Make an online donation

Foundation update and more

TFF Peace Training Network

Make a donation via bank or postal giro

Basic menu below












The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research
Vegagatan 25, S - 224 57 Lund, Sweden
Phone + 46 - 46 - 145909     Fax + 46 - 46 - 144512

© TFF 1997 till today