UK Preparing to Join In Attack On Iran?

That is what the Guardian is reporting. According to that paper, the U.S. government is increasingly alarmed over Iran’s belligerence and is organizing a pre-emptive strike, based in part on a soon-to-be-issued International Atomic Energy Agency report. So, in other words, Barack Obama is the latest convert to the Bush Doctrine:

The Ministry of Defence believes the US may decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities. British officials say that if Washington presses ahead it will seek, and receive, UK military help for any mission, despite some deep reservations within the coalition government.

In anticipation of a potential attack, British military planners are examining where best to deploy Royal Navy ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles over the coming months as part of what would be an air and sea campaign.

They also believe the US would ask permission to launch attacks from Diego Garcia, the British Indian ocean territory, which the Americans have used previously for conflicts in the Middle East. …

Hawks in the US are likely to seize on next week’s report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is expected to provide fresh evidence of a possible nuclear weapons programme in Iran.

The Guardian has been told that the IAEA’s bulletin could be “a game changer” which will provide unprecedented details of the research and experiments being undertaken by the regime.

One senior Whitehall official said Iran had proved “surprisingly resilient” in the face of sanctions, and sophisticated attempts by the west to cripple its nuclear enrichment programme had been less successful than first thought.

He said Iran appeared to be “newly aggressive, and we are not quite sure why”, citing three recent assassination plots on foreign soil that the intelligence agencies say were coordinated by elements in Tehran.

The Guardian assures us that President Obama would really prefer not to attack Iran prior to next year’s election:

They made clear that Barack Obama, has no wish to embark on a new and provocative military venture before next November’s presidential election. But they warned the calculations could change because of mounting anxiety over intelligence gathered by western agencies, and the more belligerent posture that Iran appears to have been taking.

Times certainly have changed since 2008. One of the West’s most left-wing newspapers reports that President Obama is planning a pre-emptive attack on a Middle Eastern country, and, rather than being critical of such a strike, the paper merely wishes to run interference against any suspicion that it may be politically motivated. It’s enough to give you whiplash.

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