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The Big Question: Does the US intend to attack Iran, or is it only sabre-rattling?
UK Independent (reposted)
Why has this question arisen now? President Bush and other US officials have upped the anti-Iranian rhetoric alarmingly recently. The new verbal onslaught began with Mr Bush's address to the nation on 10 January this year, when he rejected the Iraq Study Group plan for Iraq, and specifically its recommendation to talk to Iran. He ratcheted up the language further in his State of the Union address last week, accusing Iran of sponsoring terrorism. Now, the US State Department's Iraq co-ordinator is touring Europe, inveighing against what the US sees as Iran's misdeeds in the region. Reinforcing the rhetoric in the US are television adverts, depicting Iran as a nuclear menace and demanding tougher UN sanctions. What is striking is how far the emotive and intemperate language now being directed against Iran echoes the tirades that preceded the war in Iraq.

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