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US will go for other states after Iran and Iraq, says Margolis
Well-known journalist calls Bush’s statements on Iran’s N-programme ‘ridiculous and nonsense’
Pakistan Daily Times
LAHORE: Renowned American journalist Eric Margolis has said that the US will “go for” Pakistan and Saudi Arabia after Iraq and Iran.
“We have leaks from reliable sources that after Iraq and Iran, the US plans to go for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” Margolis said in an interview with IWT NEWS on Saturday. Margolis supported Iran’s nuclear weapons programme, saying that it poses no threat to the world community. US President George W Bush’s statements on Iran’s nuclear programme were “ridiculous and nonsense”, he said. “Iran has no nuclear bombs and no capability to bomb a country with these weapons,” Margolis said.
He said that Iran’s longest-range missile, Shahab-III, had a maximum range of 1,200-1,500 kilometres, which meant that Iran could not attack North America or Western Europe. “No substantial evidence has yet been found that Iran has nuclear weapons, and anyone saying that Iran is a threat to the world is lying and deceiving the world,” Margolis said. He said that Bush’s statement about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction had “proved baseless”. The US and Israel were planning to attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and major military installations, he said.
Margolis said that Iran had been trying to acquire nuclear weapons since 1970, when it signed an agreement with Israel to provide it with nuclear warheads and medium range missiles. He said that Pakistani intelligence sources had told him that decades ago, Iran had offered to pay for Pakistan’s entire defence budget for 10 years in exchange for nuclear technology. “Why shouldn’t Iran have nuclear weapons? It is surrounded by nuclear powers like Pakistan, Russia, Israel and India,” Margolis said. He said that the US was providing India with nuclear secrets and the latest nuclear technology in spite of the fact that the latter had not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. He said that India is developing submarine-launched missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles with a range of 7,000 miles. “With these weapons, India can strike even the US, but the Bush administration is still providing India with modern nuclear technology,” he said. He said that the US had supplied Israel with bomber airplanes, which could travel to Iran and even Pakistan. It had also given Israel around 500 “penetrating bombs, which are very lethal”.
He said that a US or Israeli attack on Iran could be “very dangerous”, as Iran had the ability to “punish American forces in Iraq”. He said that the present Iraqi government was a Shia government which is very close to Iran. “So an attack on Iran can outrage the Shia community of Iraq,” he said. Margolis said that Iran had the ability to launch “commando attacks” on US forces in the gulf. “Iran can attack US bases in Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. Iran can hamper oil exports from the area, which will create a major panic in the world and in the US,” he said.
“Iranians are prepared to take huge casualties (to defend themselves) because they are a dedicated and nationalistic nation, whereas the US lacks this advantage,” Margolis said, adding that Iran can even send troops to Iraq.