Despite well-informed skepticism about the likelihood that the alleged “Iranian plot” was organized by the Iranian government, prominent U.S. hawks and neoconservatives are beating war drums for retaliatory trikes against Iran. According to IPS News Washington Bureau Chief, Jim Lobe:
- Key neo-conservatives and other right-wing hawks who championed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq are calling for military strikes against Iran in retaliation for its purported murder-for-hire plot against the Saudi ambassador here.
Leading the charge is the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), the ideological successor to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which played a critical role in mobilising support for “regime change” in Iraq in the late 1990s and subsequently spearheaded the public campaign to invade the country after the 9/11 attacks. The group sent reporters appeals by two of its leaders for military action on its letterhead Monday.
In a column headlined “Speak Softly …And Fight Back” in this week’s Weekly Standard, chief editor William Kristol, co-founder of both PNAC and FPI, said the alleged plot amounted to “an engraved invitation” by Tehran to use force against it.
“We can strike at the Iranian Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), and weaken them. And we can hit the regime’s nuclear weapons program, and set it back,” he wrote, adding that Congress should approve a resolution authorising the use of force against Iranian entities deemed responsible for attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, acts of terrorism, or “the regime’s nuclear weapons program”.
Kristol’s advice was seconded by Jamie Fly, FPI’s executive director, who called for President Barack Obama to emulate former presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton when they ordered targeted strikes against Libya in 1986 and Iraq in 1993, respectively, in retaliation for alleged terrorist plots against U.S. targets.