Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Has the War Already Started?

On May 7, Iran said a blast in a mosque that killed 13 people and wounded more than 200 in Shiraz in April was a bombing and the suspects responsible are believed to have links to the U.S. and Britain.

Fars News Agency quoted Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie as saying, “Through the efforts of the law enforcement forces... the main person involved in the Shiraz mosque explosion was arrested in one of the northern cities of the country. The main agent, who was directly an accomplice in the bombing, was arrested during an attempt to leave the country. The person was armed when arrested.” He also said that five other suspects had also been detained and that explosives and cyanide had been confiscated from them.

According to Ejeie, "This terrorist group had relations with Britain and the United States and these countries were notified about this matter by the foreign ministry. But they did not take any measure to prevent (this group's) terrorist actions and rather supported them. These people are all Iranians." He said that the group had plans to carry out similar operations in different places after the Shiraz bombing.

This new Iranian claim could bolster the theory that the U.S. and Iran are already engaged in a proxy war. Reporter Borzou Daragahi makes the case in an April 15 Los Angeles Times article that alleged Iranian attacks against the U.S. in Iraq may be an response to alleged U.S. support for various rebel groups along Iran’s border that are systematically killing Iranians.

If the U.S. and Iran are engaged in proxy wars, then Congress should take the advice of Patrick J. Buchanan who recently called for hearings to determine whether President Bush has already authorized funding or arming guerrillas to attack Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp, and to determine what is behind attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. Even before such hearings, Buchanan urges both Houses to “pass a joint resolution declaring that no appropriated funds may be used for any pre-emptive U.S. air strikes on Iran – unless and until Congress has authorized such acts of war.”

An even more salient approach would be for the U.S. and Iran to engage in direct, unconditional, bilateral, comprehensive talks to quickly resolve tensions and to stabilize relations. The time has come to talk it out, not fight it out.

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