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USA Theme B-2 - Page 6

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The ideal locations for such bases would be Iraq and Pakistan. Since Musharraf's visit to the US in February last year, there has been speculation that he has agreed to the US intelligence agencies setting up clandestine stations in Balochistan for monitoring developments in Iran and that it was due to unhappiness over this that Abdul Sattar, the then Foreign Minister, resigned, ostensibly on health grounds.  

It is understood that this subject figured during the recent discussions of Lt.Gen. Ehsanul Haq, the Director-General of the ISI, with US intelligence officials in Washington and that there would be further discussions on it during Musharraf's forthcoming visit to the US in the second half of June. The Pakistani collaboration with the US in this matter is being projected as part of the war against terrorism, intended to monitor the activities of Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists from the Iranian territory and not as part of any destabilisation project directed against Teheran. In its present unsettled state, Iraq is unlikely to be of any major use to the US though the MEK terrorists could prove handy.

A more likely possibility is a preventive strike to destroy the Iranian nuclear establishments before they are completed and commissioned next year. It would be similar to the Israeli pre-emptive strike against the Osirak nuclear reactor, which was being constructed in Iraq in the early 1980s with French assistance. Either the US could itself carry out the strike or encourage Israel to do so. The Israeli Government would be only too happy to oblige.   

The US calculation would be that a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear establishments would convey a suitable warning to Teheran to act more rigorously against terrorists and to keep off Iraq and at the same time prove immensely popular in the US in the run-up to next year's Presidential elections, without getting the US involved in a messy and protracted war which may not be advisable before the elections. |
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