By Ismail Salami – Tehran
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has recently described Iran as the hardest issue she has been dealing with as secretary of state.
In 30-minute keynote address at the annual US-Israeli forum, Clinton clearly enunciated that she has failed to find a solution to Iran issue.
“Iran is the hardest of the hard boards because of the dangers its behavior already poses and the geometrically greater danger that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose… It is an issue that has consumed a significant part of my time as secretary of state.”
What strikes fear into the heart of Washington is in fact the ever-increasing sway the Islamic Republic is gaining and that which can be used as a leverage to counter the influence of the United States and Israel in the region. In other words, Iran serves as an antidote to Washington’s influence in the Middle East.
In all clarity, Clinton revealed that the US is seized with fear over a politically powerful Iran in the Middle East and that a nuclear Iran to be feared by everyone in the world is just the child of her brain.
“They are relentless in their desire to exercise influence and to build a very intimidating, even hegemonic presence in the [Persian] Gulf, and then you get to what they’re doing internally with the oppression of the Iranian people, and then you’ve got the nuclear program.”
Anyone with an inkling of political savvy is privy to the fact that Washington is no well-wisher and that wherever it pops up, it harbors some ulterior motives which may include political, military or material ones.
That Washington is intent to launch a military expedition in Iran and add a few more pages to its history of violence and war is only a matter of grave speculation. However, it is manifest that the US is increasingly concerned over losing its military or political presence in the Middle East region in favor of a mightier influence i.e. Iran.
With this objective in mind, Washington has beefed up its espionage ops in Iran in order to stymie the spread of any such influence.
The recently seized US drone by Iranian military is to be seen as a celebration of military power for Iran on the one hand and as a testimony to the ever-increasing US espionage and intel ops within the Islamic Republic on the other.
Known as ScanEagle, drones of this nature are basically launched from large aircraft carriers.
In a Tuesday announcement, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said Iranian forces had “hunted down” the ScanEagle over the Persian Gulf after it violated Iranian airspace and had forced it to land electronically.
Just one day before the announcement, The Wall Street Journal reported that US intelligence agencies have stepped up spying operations on Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor.
Citing unnamed US officials, the paper said the increased US surveillance of Bushehr has been partly carried out by US unmanned drones operating over the Persian Gulf.
No wonder, the drone report was immediately denied by the US government. A spokesman for the United States Navy in Bahrain said that no American drones were missing.
“The U.S. Navy has fully accounted for all unmanned air vehicles (UAV) operating in the Middle East region. Our operations in the [Persian] Gulf are confined to internationally recognized water and air space,” a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain said, according to Reuters. “We have no record that we have lost any ScanEagles recently.”
The wall of denial is high indeed.
Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says Iranian airspace was violated eight times by the United States in October.
“In October we witnessed eight cases of airspace violations by the American fleet (US Navy) and we have told the UN … of course we have voiced our serious objection to the US,” he said.
Besides, he warned that “Any country violating our territory will receive a severe response from Iran.”
“We have written two separate letters to the (Security Council) and to the secretary general of the UN regarding the US violations, asking them to notify the US… to respect our sovereignty,” he added.
Iran has officially filed a complaint against the US with the UN. In a pair of letters submitted by Iran’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaee wrote that the US Navy had carried out “illegal and provocative acts.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Tuesday that the US ScanEagle drone would be used as evidence against the US at international courts.
“We have officially complained against such actions by the US and announced that we would defend our borders by any possible means,” Salehi said.
“We told the Americans that according to international conventions, we would not allow them to violate our borders, but unfortunately they did not comply… Of course, we had objected to the Americans before, but they claimed they were not present in our territories. We will use this drone as evidence to pursue a legal case against the US invasion at relevant international bodies,” he added.
Also, on December 4, 2011, Iran downed a US RQ-170 Sentinel spy drone, which was flying over the northeastern Iranian city of Kashmar.
In the same address, Clinton said that the US has “from the very beginning made it clear to the Iranians: We are open to a bilateral discussion and we have tried.”
One does not know what Clinton exactly means by ‘trying’ as all we have seen during the recent years is a literature of force, flying spy drone over the Iranian airspace, the imposition of sanction after sanction, targeting the Iranian population and endangering the health of terminally ill Iranian patients who are in desperate need of imported medicine.
Mrs. Clinton should know that Iran is not only her hardest case, but could become a worst nightmare as long as her governemnt keeps imposing brutal sanctions on the Iranian population and keeps refraining from engaging in a meaningful dialogue with the Islamic Republic.
– Dr. Ismail Salami is an internationally published author of several books and hundreds of articles. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.