iran invasion to be catastrophe: nyt

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    NEW YORK, Nov 20: Invading Iran "would be a catastrophic mistake", The New York Times warned on Saturday in an editorial, which deemed recent administration statements reminiscent of statements made in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

    "We hope president Bush has learned enough from the Iraq adventure to understand the dangers of using flawed intelligence to create a false sense of urgency about a national security threat," the daily said.

    "Invading Iran, a country of nearly 70 million people, would be a catastrophic mistake," it said.

    "Stop us if you've heard this one before. The Bush administration creates a false sense of urgency about a nuclear menace from a Middle Eastern country. Hard-liners talk about that country's connections to terrorists. They portray European diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions as a feckless attempt to appease a rogue nation whose word can never be trusted anyway. Secretary of State Colin Powell makes ominous-sounding warnings about new intelligence, which turns out to be dubious," the editorial said.

    The Times called it a "welcome step" that Iran committed to freezing its nuclear enrichment activities after German, British and French diplomatic work.

    "Iran has long been a target of the hawks in the administration, who are undoubtedly feeling their oats after the election," the Times said.

    "That is how president Bush rushed the country into an unnecessary conflict with Iraq in his first term, and we have been seeing alarming signs of that approach all week on Iran" and "there is no military solution here," the daily said.

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