Flynt Leverett Featured in Korea Times on Iran

October 30, 2007 |

John Bolton, America's recent U.N. ambassador, brags in his new tell-all memoir about thwarting efforts by his successive bosses, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, to open a dialogue with Iran over its nuclear program.

If you're disturbed to read about U.S. diplomats backstabbing one another while our nation drifts toward yet another Persian Gulf war, then don't pick up Esquire's November issue, because it features a story that will make your blood boil.

Titled "The Secret History of the Impending War With Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know," John Richardson's tale recounts the years-long efforts by two senior National Security Council staffers to trigger engagement with Iran that would serve America's strategic purposes throughout the Persian Gulf. Now out of government, Middle East experts Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann fear we're headed toward military strikes that will engulf the entire region in flames.

The scenario is easy to imagine: because of their overriding interests in Iran's energy sector, China, India and Russia won't go along with America's push to further isolate Tehran. As the Bush White House refuses any comprehensive engagement with Tehran until it ceases its nuclear program, it's purposely constructed a diplomatic Catch-22: Give us your main bargaining chip and then we'll negotiate!

With both President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney stating they will not leave office with a nuclear Iran, the stage is thus set for war sometime in 2008. We've already seen the dry run last month: our regional proxy Israel strikes a suspected nuclear site in Syria, Iran's regional proxy. Meanwhile, Tehran's continued meddling in Iraq provides a military rationale for expanding our target list far beyond Iran's nuclear sites, so when America finally bombs, it won't be "surgical."

As that point, Leverett and Mann warn, Iran will ramp up its attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and turn loose proxies Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. The result? Instability and conflict stretching from the Gaza Strip to teetering radicalized Pakistan. Mann opines, "As disastrous as Iraq has been, an attack on Iran could engulf America in a war with the entire Muslim world." ...

For the complete article by Scripps Howard News Service, please follow this link.