Cheney Warned Musharraf on Iran War

US Vice President Dick Cheney had conveyed to Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf a clear message that opponents of a possible military confrontation with Iran would no longer be treated as "allies", sources privy to the President House.

Cheney Warned Musharraf on Iran War

"Cheney discussed with Musharraf issues relating to possible US invasion of Iran and joint strategy to counter the purported Taliban spring operation in war-hacked Afghanistan," the sources said, requesting anonymity for the sensitivity of the information.

The sources quoted Cheney as telling the Pakistani leader that even without support from Islamabad, US forces are capable of taking military action against Iran from Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Gulf.

Cheney air dashed Islamabad on Monday, February 26, on a one-day surprise visit amid unprecedented security.

He held a two-hour long meeting with Musharraf, during which they remained one-on-one for an hour.

The spokespersons of both Cheney and Musharraf have refused to brief reporters about details of the hour-long one-on-one meeting.

Award-winning American investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has revealed that the Pentagon recently formed a special group to plan an attack against Iran that can be implemented, upon orders from the president, within 24 hours.

He believes the Bush administration is intent on striking Iran and would do that with or without the UN authorization as was the case with Iraq in 2003.

Washington has been upping the ante against Tehran recently, restoring to the same aggressive rhetoric that preceded its invasion of Iraq.

The Bush administration has beefed up the US military presence in the Gulf to its highest level since the Iraq war.

The Sunday Telegraph revealed Sunday that Washington was secretly funding militant separatist groups in Iran in an attempt to destabilize the regime.

Dangerous

The sources said Musharraf highlighted the serious repercussions of any military confrontation with Iran.

"President Musharraf made it clear to the US Vice-President that if America attacks Iran, the consequences will have to be faced by the whole world," they added.

"General Musharraf also told Cheney that the region could not afford another war as it will fuel the already increasing extremism and anti-US sentiments in the whole region."

According to the sources, the Pakistani leader refused to provide any kind of logistic support to US forces in case of an attack on Iran.

"Pakistan is already facing problems related with Afghanistan and wants to dissolve the standoff between the US and Iran through dialogue," Musharraf reportedly said.

Meeting in Islamabad on Sunday, February 25, the foreign ministers of seven heavyweight Muslim states pressed for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Iran's nuclear program.

"It is vital that all issues must be resolved through diplomacy and there must be no resort to use of force," said they in a joint statement.

The US and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran refutes the charge insisting that its program is for peaceful civilian use.

Cornered

Professor Nazir Hussein, an Islamabad-based security analyst, believes that Pakistan is between the devil and the deep blue sea.

"Pakistan is under an extreme pressure. If it supports US invasion, it will have to face serious internal resistance, and if it opposes that, it will have to bear an immense external pressure" he told IOL.

"The best option for Pakistan is to work to resolve the issue through diplomacy with the help of other Islamic countries," Hussein believes.

He said that in case of a military action against Iran, Pakistan might be implicated due to its demography and strategic location.

Musharraf said in an interview last September that Washington blackmailed Pakistan by threatening to bomb it "back to the Stone Age" after the 9/11 attacks unless it supported the so-called war on terror.

Azim M. Mian, a New York-based Pakistani journalist, sees a possibility of an attack on Iran.

"There is a serious threat of attack on Iran, however, I don't think it is imminent," he told IOL.

"America is already grappling with domestic compulsions on Iraq war, and a majority of US people do not support another war," Mian said.

"The Bush administration will also have to take the international community onboard to legitimize its attack."

Mian noted that the international community was divided on any military action against Iran, arguing it would be a Herculean task for Bush to convince China, Russia and France.

"Before taking any extreme action, America also has to see how effective its logistics are in Afghanistan, Gulf or Central Asia to use against Iran.

"If Pakistan refuses to provide logistics to US forces, the Bush administration might have to reconsider its plans."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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