Washington: The United States appears
headed on a collision course with Iran that could lead to a
war with `disastrous" consequences, a former adviser to
ex-president Jimmy Carter has warned.
"We think we are going to avoid war by moving towards
compulsion," Zbignew Brzezinksi, who was national security
adviser to Carter in the late 1970s, told an audience at an
Atlantic Council think tank event in Washington yesterday.
"But the more you lean towards compulsion, the more
the choice becomes war if it doesn`t work. That narrows our
options in a very dramatic way," said the former official, who
remains an influential voice on US foreign policy.
Brzezinksi said he was concerned about an escalation
in "rhetoric," as the US approach to Iran`s nuclear program
appeared solely focused on forcing Tehran to comply with
international demands, leaving Washington little flexibility.
"A lot of small decisions are being made which in the
meantime narrow your freedom of choice in the future," he
Yesterday`s gathering featured four former national
security advisers, including president Richard Nixon`s
powerful deputy Henry Kissinger.
Brzezinksi warned repeatedly of his concerns that the
United States could stumble into a war with Iran.
"If we slide into a conflict with Iran, in this or
that fashion, the consequences for us will be disastrous,
disastrous on a massive scale and also globally at the same
time," he said.
Brzezinski was in office in 1979 when America`s ally,
the Shah of Iran, fell from power in a revolution that
resulted in an Islamic theocracy in Tehran.
After the seizure of the US embassy in Iran and the
taking of American hostages that same year, Brzezinski
presided over a plan to rescue the captives but the military
operation failed before it got off the ground.
Tensions have steadily grown between Iran and the
United States in recent months as Washington has pushed for
stricter sanctions to punish Tehran over its nuclear
activities and amid speculation Israel may be weighing
possible pre-emptive military action.