Iran’s Mullahs Breathing a Little Easier?

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For much of the past year, two U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups have been patrolling the Persian Gulf in what VP Dick Cheney called “a clear message to friends and adversaries alike [that] we’ll stand with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating this region.” Recent reports, however, suggest the U.S. build-up could be drawing down. The USS Enterprise — now underway to the Persian Gulf from its homeport in Norfolk, Virginia — is due to relieve the departing USS Stennis in a few weeks. But unless there’s some change of plans, the USS Nimitiz will not be immediately replaced when it returns home in late September, making the Enterprise the sole carrier in the region. The Navy is calling the move routine, but according to one Bush Administration official, it is part of a conscious effort to reduce pressure on Iran. Meanwhile, Israeli Military Intelligence reported on Tuesday that Iran might be nearing a “technological threshold” that could enable it to begin producing nuclear weapons sometime within the next two years. Could it be that the Bush Administration will favor a diplomatic track? Maybe, but, as the inside source pointed out, U.S. warplanes at land bases in Turkey, Iraq, and Afghanistan are all within easy striking distance of Tehran.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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