January 18, 2005
The Financial Times

Neocons Turn Their Attention to Iran

by Guy Dinmore

Having adopted legislation in the past aimed at Cuba and Iraq, similar groups of Republicans and Democrats in Congress are currently setting their sights on promoting "regime change" in Iran.

As a result, new exiled Iranian opposition groups backed by some of Washington's neoconservatives are springing up in the hope of seeing large doses of US funding.

One such group the Alliance for Democracy in Iran is taking shape, strategically located in the heart of the capital's think-tank quarter. Activists described it as an opposition umbrella group that would act as a "clearing house" for US taxpayers' money dedicated to advancing the cause of democracy. . . .

The Alliance says it is in partnership with the rightwing Hudson Institute. Alliance members are also inspired by Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, an influential neoconservative policy group, who is a veteran campaigner for regime change. . . .

A prominent backer of the Alliance is Jerome Corsi, well known for his role in the Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth campaign against John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate. He believes the freeze on nuclear development agreed between Iran and the European Union will collapse by March and that Israel, supported by the US, will then launch military strikes. . . .

The State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative has sought to identify pro-democracy groups inside Iran for funding, but has not found any. . . .


Enver Masud, "U.S. Violating Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," The Wisdom Fund, March 11, 2003

Julian Borger, "The Spies Who Pushed for War," The Guardian, July 17, 2003

"U.S./Israel Threaten Illegal Attack on Iran," The Wisdom Fund, September 22, 2004

[An attack from a weapons state is highly unlikely; an accidental nuclear launch is far more worrisome. As remote as the possibility is, all-out nuclear war has the potential to end human life on the planet--still the true doomsday scenario.--Linda Rothstein, Catherine Auer and Jonas Siegel, "Rethinking Doomsday," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, November/December, 2004]

["This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone," the former high-level intelligence official told me. "Next, we're going to have the Iranian campaign. We've declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy. This is the last hurrah-we've got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism."--Seymour M. Hersh, "The Coming Wars: What the Pentagon can now do in secret," New Yorker, January 17, 2005]

[. . . Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Burma and Belarus.--"Rice names 'outposts of tyranny'," BBC, January 19, 2005]

Joshua Frank, "The Democrats and Iran: Look Who's Backing Bush's Next War," CounterPunch, January 20, 2005

Paul Richter, "U.S. Adds Israel to the Iran Equation," Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2005

Michael Hirsh, "Closing the Neocon Circle," Newsweek, January 25, 2005

Richard Sale, "USAF playing cat and mouse game over Iran," UPI, January 26, 2005

Gordon Prather, "Targeting Iran,", January 29, 2005

Dafna Linzer, "U .S. Uses Drones to Probe Iran For Arms," Washington Post, February 13, 2005

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