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Obama picks anti-Iran man for Iran post

Posted by seumasach on February 25, 2009


24th Feruary, 2009

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Why I support Barak Obama by Dennis Ross

The White House names controversial Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross as its special foreign policy adviser for Persian Gulf affairs.

The US State Department announced the veteran US diplomat’s appointment as special advisor on the Persian Gulf and southwest Asia to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday after weeks of speculation.

“This is a region in which America is fighting two wars and facing challenges of ongoing conflict, terror, proliferation, access to energy, economic development and strengthening democracy and the rule of law,” State Department spokesman Robert Wood said in a statement.

Ross will provide Mrs. Clinton with “strategic advice and perspective on the region, offer assessments and also act to ensure effective policy integration throughout the region,” Wood added.

“Ambassador Ross brings a wealth of experience not just to issues within the region but also to larger political-military challenges that flow from the area and have an impact outside of the [Persian] Gulf and Southwest Asia, and the secretary looks forward to drawing on that experience and diplomatic perspective,” explained the US spokesman.

Ross, who advised President Barack Obama during his campaign, is best known for his lengthy negotiations to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The appointment comes as US President Barack Obama has chosen to oversee US policy on Iran and has pledged to untangle 30 years of enmity toward Tehran by engaging the country diplomatically over its long-disputed nuclear case.

In light of its supposed “policy U-turn” toward Iran, the Obama administration has managed to raise eyebrows by giving the post to Ross as he seeks a tough anti-Iran approach.

In the heat of the presidential race, Ross co-chaired a group called United Against Nuclear Iran — an organization working to “stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons”.

Ross, as a member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, also put his signature on a September report saying that “the Europeans make war more likely if they do not strengthen sanctions against Iran and effectively end all commercial relations.”

The report by think tanks believed to be an integral part of the so-called Israel Lobby in the US described Iran’s nuclear program as “one of the most critical national security challenges facing the United States”.

“Only if Israeli policymakers believe that US and European policymakers will ensure that the Islamic Republic does not gain nuclear weapons will the Israelis be unlikely to strike Iran independently,” added the report.


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