YESTERDAY the United States Secretary of Defence and Secretary of State, Gates and Clinton, threatened Iran with extreme sanctions if it insisted on its right to develop its nuclear technology, and warned South American states, such as Venezuela and Bolivia who are both threatened by the establishment of seven US bases in Colombia, not to associate with the enemy, that is Iran.
Gates said that Iran faces ‘significant’ new sanctions if it does not halt its independent nuclear development, stressing that military action against it remains on the table.
Gates was addressing US troops during a visit to northern Iraq when he informed them of the prospect of a rapid movement towards a US or US-sponsored Israeli strike on Iran.
Spelling out that increased sanctions were imminent, Gates added: ‘I think that you are going to see some significant additional sanctions imposed by the international community, assuming the Iranians don’t change course.’
Iran is already subject to UN sanctions over its nuclear programme, which the Western powers say is for military purposes. The US and UK have thousands of nuclear weapons, while their allies Israel and Pakistan have hundreds.
Iran, meantime, is not to be allowed an independent nuclear technology and is to be kept in a state of backwardness.
Since heavier UN sanctions on Iran could well be vetoed by either Russia or China, a military strike against Iran could be closer than many think.
So far, Russia, China, the US, UK, France and Germany have suggested uranium enrichment for civilian nuclear energy could be regulated if Iran hands over its uranium to Russia to manage the process.
Iran is not opposed to the process being ‘managed’ but wants this done on Iranian soil so that it cannot be held to ransom by the withholding of nuclear fuel.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Clinton has been busy in the Americas.
She has instructed Bolivia and Venezuela, key oil and gas producing states which are strategic suppliers of energy for US imperialism, not to get too close to Iran.
She said Venezuela and Bolivia should ‘think twice’ about ‘the consequences’ of their ties with the Islamic Republic.
Iran’s President Mahmud Ahmadinejad last month visited Brazil, Venezuela and Bolivia which all voiced support for Iran’s right to a nuclear programme, with Bolivia and Venezuela proclaiming a revolutionary alliance.
Clinton added: ‘I think if people want to flirt with Iran, they should take a look at what the consequences might well be for them. And we hope that they will think twice and we will support them if they do.’
The consequences could be military, since the US is establishing seven military bases in Colombia, the state where hundreds of trade unionists are murdered annually.
Clinton continued: ‘We can only say that is a really bad idea for the countries involved.’
Clinton represents the major world imperialist power which has killed millions of people since World War Two. She added about Iran: ‘This is the major supporter, promoter and exporter of terrorism in the world today.’
President Obama has just announced the sending of 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan. Clinton and Gates are threatening Iran, Bolivia, Venezuela and even Brazil with ‘consequences’.
Trade unions in the UK must begin a national campaign in defence of Bolivia, Venezuela and Iran which must include the defence of Iran’s right to develop nuclear power, and the end of all US and UK bases in the Americas.