Just as the United States and Europe were holding a closed-doors conference in Rome, secretly discussing implementing “ultimate sanctions” toward Iran, Iran’s representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency announced on [Dec. 20] that Iran has invited International Atomic Energy Agency officials to [conduct] an “on-site inspection” of the country’s nuclear facilities. Yet at this moment, the U.S. Secretary of Defense claimed, “Iran at the fastest could acquire nuclear weapons within a year,” and emphasized that “America and Israel’s red line” is to “absolutely not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.”*

Analysts believe that an Iran war may have already been put on America’s schedule. Yury Rogulev, director of Moscow University’s American Research Foundation, predicts that the Obama administration won’t carry out a military operation before the general election in November next year. However, if he wins, the chance of military action against Iran can’t be eliminated. Thus, the West wants to find a sufficiently effective method of punishing Iran as soon as possible. But according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, U.S. Army Chief of Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey recently stated that the U.S. has already made preparations to go to war with Iran; they’re just waiting for President Obama’s order.

Regarding the Iranian nuclear weapons issue, the U.S., Europe and Israel have seemingly become impatient. In the past, Western countries have implemented multiple rounds of sanctions, unilaterally and through the UN framework, but none have had much influence on Iran and thus haven’t satisfied the resolution to stop Iran from developing their nuclear program. As Iran carries out its nuclear program, Western countries are feeling threatened by Iran. Previously, Western countries have on numerous occasions sent signals that they would make a military strike against Iran but have faced strong opposition from China, Russia and other countries, as well as the uncertainty that would be created after an attack on Iran. In the past, Western countries didn’t take military action, but looking at the present situation, negotiations and sanctions were unable to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem. Israel and the West have limited patience in dealing with this problem. As soon as the Iranian nuclear problem surpasses the limits of their restraint, a pre-emptive military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities by Western countries will be unavoidable.

U.S. and Israeli officials recently asserted that Iran will manufacture a nuclear weapon within a year, but the American and Israeli standpoint on the Iranian nuclear weapon issue is extremely clear: to not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. If the U.S. believes that Iran is on the verge of producing a nuclear weapon, they will inevitably take military action and destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. But Iran has always stressed that it is using nuclear energy peacefully, and not developing nuclear weapons, and the International Atomic Energy Agency has also claimed that it is not yet possible for Iran to create nuclear weapons. A few military technology specialists have also claimed that Iran isn’t able to make nuclear weapons.

So why have American and Israeli officials claimed that Iran will have nuclear weapons within one year? It’s very possible that Western countries are looking for a pretext for attacking Iran. We know that America is always making groundless accusations and loves to seize a few phony justifications to interfere in others’ internal affairs. At the moment, America’s intention in making a military attack on Iran is extremely obvious: to remove the threat posed by Iran to Israel and to U.S. Middle Eastern hegemony. But they need to name the reason they are sending in the troops, so they use Iran's manufacturing nuclear weapons as an excuse.

Looking at the present situation, a U.S.-Israeli military strike on Iran is increasingly likely, maybe even unavoidable. But Iran is important for Chinese and Russian Middle Eastern strategic interests, an indispensable ally. If Iran is occupied by the West, it will be hard for China and Russia to keep a foothold in the Middle East; thus the Middle East will unavoidably become a domain of the West, China and Russia will lose a valuable tool for checking U.S. power and China’s interests in Iran’s oil will be threatened!

But even though Iran is extremely important to China and Russia, if Western countries decide to take military action against Iran, there is nothing that China and Russia can do; they won’t start a conflict with Western countries over Iran, because publicly becoming enemies with Western countries doesn’t fit China’s national interests, or Russia’s. Therefore the two countries’ support for Iran will be limited to political and diplomatic contests, but weapons support can’t be ruled out. Furthermore, this help may be of no use to Iran; it might be unable to prevent a U.S.-Israeli military attack on Iran.

*Editor's note: The quote, although accurately translated, could not be independently verified.