US ignites cyber warfare through Stuxnet
The U.S.-Israeli Game Plan
How Barack Obama is willfully sabotaging negotiations for peace in Syria and Iran
What is US game plan?
By Patrick Seale
US President Barack Obamaâ€™s Middle East policies seem increasingly problematic. His expanded use of missile strikes by Predator drones against targets in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere – now being launched at a rate of about one every week – seem certain to create more â€œterroristsâ€ than they kill. They arouse fierce anti-America sentiment not least because of the inevitable civilian death toll. Obama is said to decide by himself which terrorist suspect is to be targeted for killing in any particular week, as if to confer some presidential sanction on operations of very doubtful legality.
Even more worrying is Obamaâ€™s apparently wilful sabotage of two diplomatic initiatives, one by Europeâ€™s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the other by Kofi Annan. Ashton has been leading an attempt by the P5+1 to negotiate a â€˜win-winâ€™ deal with Iran over its nuclear programme, while Annan has been struggling to find a negotiated way out of the murderous Syrian crisis. Obama seems intent on compromising both initiatives.
Ashton managed to launch the P5+1 talks with Iran in Istanbul on April 14, after having agreed upon the ground rules with the chief Iranian negotiator, Saeed Jalili. She pledged at that time that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would be â€œa key basisâ€ for the talks, thus sending a clear signal that Iran, as a signatory of the NPT, had the right to enrich uranium up to 3.5pc for power generation and other peaceful purposes. She also declared that the negotiations would â€œbe guided by the principle of step-by-step approach and reciprocity,â€ thus giving a strong indication that the sanctions would be lifted in stages once Iran gave up enriching uranium to 20 per cent and provided convincing evidence that it was not seeking nuclear weapons. Iran responded favourably to this approach and the talks got off to a good start.