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Keller, Bill

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El País - Spain | 24/01/2012

Bill Keller warns against war with Iran

Following the EU's lead the US stepped up sanctions against Iran and froze Iranian assets in its banks on Tuesday. In an article published in the left-liberal daily El País, Bill Keller, former executive editor of the New York Times, warns against carelessly risking a war with Iran: "The point of tough sanctions, of course, is to force Iranians to the bargaining table. But the mistrust is so deep, and the election-year pressure to act with manly resolve is so intense, that it's hard to imagine the administration would feel free to accept an overture from Tehran. Anything short of a humiliating, unilateral Iranian climb-down would be portrayed by the armchair warriors as an Obama surrender. Likewise, if Israel does decide to strike out on its own, Bibi Netanyahu knows that candidate Obama will feel immense pressure to go along.That short-term paradox comes wrapped up in a long-term paradox: an attack on Iran is almost certain to unify the Iranian people around the mullahs and provoke the supreme leader to redouble Iran's nuclear pursuits, only deeper underground this time, and without international inspectors around. Over at the Pentagon, you sometimes hear it put this way: Bombing Iran is the best way to guarantee exactly what we are trying to prevent."

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