THE Iranian government has welcomed the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report, to which all the US spying agencies contributed, which states that Iran is not trying to develop nuclear weapons, pulling the rug from beneath the feet of the make war on Iran brigade, headed by President Bush of the US.
The NIE report says it is now believed Iran stopped its nuclear weapons programme in 2003.
The Iranian government has always maintained that its nuclear programme is being developed purely for peaceful industrial purposes.
The Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki yesterday welcomed the intelligence report. ‘It’s natural that we welcome it when those countries who in the past have questions and ambiguities about this case . . . now amend their views realistically,’ he said.
Iranian state TV hailed the report as a ‘victory’. It said Iran was ‘honest’ and had been ‘vindicated’.
The International Atomic Energy Agency also responded positively. It said the report backed up its statements that it had no evidence of an undeclared nuclear weapons programme anywhere.
Even the US Democrats called for a major policy rethink in the light of the NIE report.
What appears to have happened is that the intelligence agencies have refused to manufacture the evidence that Bush requires to attack Iran, when in relation to Iraq, pre-2003, they reacted in quite the opposite way and fabricated what was required.
What has restored the objectivity of the US intelligence services is not a burning love for the truth.
It is the fact that the US army has taken such an enormous battering in Iraq in the last four years, that the military chiefs dread being dragged into a land war in Asia with Iran and its many supporters, throughout the Middle East, the Gulf and central Asia.
This would certainly happen after Iran replied to a US-Israeli onslaught on its nuclear facilities by either blockading the Straits of Hormuz, choking the strategic oil artery from the Gulf to the rest of the world, or by organising attacks on US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yesterday, as is to be expected, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said it was vital to continue US-led efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Earlier his Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, took issue with the report, saying Iran had probably restarted its suspected weapons programme.
While in the US, members of Vice-President Cheney’s staff insisted that there had to be military action against Iran.
However, it is now expected that both Russia and China will resist US attempts to strengthen UN sanctions against Iran, and will call for concrete negotiations to take place on the basis that Iran’s right to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes must be facilitated.
Workers in Britain through their trade unions must demand from the Brown government, that after this latest US intelligence report, all British forces be withdrawn from the Gulf, and also from Iraq to allow the peoples of the area to settle their own affairs without the intervention of the imperialist powers.
Similarly, the British government must be forced by the trade unions to take a step forward for peace in the area and reclaim the Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia base from the United States. This was leased to the United States by the Wilson government, and has already been used to launch attacks on Iraq and Somalia and is now being geared up for an assault on Iran.
In fact, the base must be dismantled and the people who were ethnically cleansed from the Chagos Islands to make way for the US base, restored to their lands, along with their children and grandchildren.
This means that the British government must be made to withdraw its appeal to the House of Lords against the High Court decision to allow the Chagos islanders to begin to return to their islands.
British workers must take action on these issues straight away.