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George Galloway: The Hawks Are Circling Over Iran

Talk about Iran's nuclear weapons sounds eerily familiar. It's time to end the Bush-era bellicosity

By coincidence, I was in the very hotel in Geneva as the world's media descended for the next day's talks on Iran. Judging by the excited war-babble of the Fox, Sky and CNN correspondents, the scene was set for a showdown.

The cold war with Iran, warmed up by the Pittsburgh moment when the US, Britain and France "revealed" the existence of a "secret" Iranian nuclear facility in Qom (in fact declared by Iran a full year before they were required to under the IAEA rules), seemed set to go nuclear – metaphorically, one hopes.

In fact, by the end of the day both the US and Iranian foreign ministers were hailing the outcome as "productive" (Clinton) and "constructive" (Mottaki). You could almost feel the disappointment among the fox-hole journalists and in the British, French and German camps.

Most media reaction, including the BBC's, to news that Iran had revealed a second facility was ominously reminiscent of their mendacious complicity over Iraq. Sober interventions by the head of the international nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, that there was no evidence of Iran pursuing a nuclear weapons programme were brushed aside. The testing by Iran of a missile within its borders was treated as if the Kaiser had ordered a Zeppelin over Edwardian London.

On full parade was Britain's post-empire arrogance, which treats a sophisticated state as an errant child in need of a good slap from an authoritarian parent.

George Galloway is the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow.

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