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Cheney Is Pushing Israeli Strikes
Against Iran With Arab Allies

May 9, 2007 (EIRNS)—Arab sources continue to insist that the number-one item on Vice President Dick Cheney's agenda, as he continues his six-day, five-nation tour of the Arab world, is to prepare backing for an Israeli pre-emptive strike against Iran. Today, Cheney made an unannounced stop in Baghdad, to confer with Iraq's Prime Minister al-Maliki and receive a briefing from American military commanders.

While Iraq has been publicly identified by the Bush Administration as the top priority in Cheney's trip, Arab sources pointed out that there is very little for the Vice President to say or do about the Iraq situation, which is rapidly degenerating into a fullscale ethnic-cleansing civil war. The sources emphasized that Saudi Arabia is pouring money and material support into the Sunni tribes in the western Anbar Province, to encourage them to wipe out the foreign Al-Qaeda fighters, before they return home to spread instability throughout the Persian Gulf and North Africa — as happened at the close of the Afghanistan war in 1989. Arab sources emphasized today that the Saudis will not halt this activity, no matter what the Vice President says to King Abdullah. In effect, the Saudis are feeding the Sunni insurgency, through the overlap between the Sunni tribes in the western part of the country, and the major Sunni resistance organizations.

Since this is an intractable problem, which the Vice President cannot solve, the Arab sources insisted in interviews today with EIR, that Cheney's message in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan will be: Diplomacy with Iran has failed over the past year to halt Iran's nuclear program, and now it is time to escalate the pressure on the Tehran regime. According to one source, Cheney will also alert the Arab leaders that Israel is preparing contingency plans for strikes against Iranian nuclear sites, and that the United States is prepared to assist the Sunni Arab regimes in countering any retaliation in the event that the Israelis actually launch such attacks.

In an interview with Al Arabiya television, that aired on May 9, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, referring to Iran, declared that "The American president will not abandon the military option, and I believe that we do not want him to do so." While Rice also emphasized that the Bush Administration preferred a diplomatic solution, her words echoed enough of the Cheney sentiments that they will be read as a further indication that the Bush Administration is still looking to depose the regime in Tehran through military action.