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Thread: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    Russia warns that Iran strike could trigger 'chain reaction'

    Moscow
    Thursday 19 January 2012



    The Russian Finance Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said he would veto any UN-led action against Iran

    Russia strongly criticised Western belligerence towards Syria and Iran yesterday, saying that a military assault on the Iranian regime could cause a "chain reaction" that would destabilise the entire world.

    The country's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, also said during his annual televised press conference that Russia would use its veto at the UN Security Council to block any resolution calling for military force to be used against Syria.

    Mr Lavrov said that Russia is "seriously worried" that military action against Iran may be under consideration, and vowed that Moscow would do all it could to prevent it. "The consequences will be extremely grave," he said. "It's not going to be an easy walk. It will trigger a chain reaction and I don't know where it will stop."

    Last week, a Russian newspaper revealed that the annual training exercises undertaken in southern Russia by the country's army will focus this year on scenarios related to the regional fallout of a possible military conflict in Iran.

    Russia has supported some sanctions against Iran, but has rejected any talk of new sanctions. The US has already applied new economic sanctions and the EU is considering whether to follow suit as concerns mount over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, but Mr Lavrov said that such moves were disingenuous and had "nothing to do with a desire to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation". Instead, Mr Lavrov added, the new sanctions were aimed at "stifling the Iranian economy and the population in an apparent hope to provoke discontent".

    On Syria, where the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime is in its 10th month, the Russian Foreign Minister was equally forthright, ruling out any support from Moscow at the UN for military intervention.

    Russia abstained from a Security Council vote on military intervention in Libya and was subsequently furious at what it felt was a bombing campaign that went far beyond the remit to "protect civilians" authorised by the UN.

    Moscow has since made it clear on several occasions that it will not tolerate a repeat in Syria, a message that Mr Lavrov reiterated yesterday. "If some intend to use force at all cost we can hardly prevent that from happening," he said.

    "But let them do it at their own initiative, on their own conscience; they won't get any authorisation from the UN Security Council."

    He was also unapologetic over claims that Russia has been delivering arms to the Syrian regime despite an EU arms embargo on the country. A ship believed to be carrying weapons from Russia was briefly detained in Cyprus earlier this month, before continuing to its final destination in Syria.

    Russia has not confirmed that it has been delivering arms to the country, but Mr Lavrov effectively told the West to mind its own business yesterday. "We haven't violated any international agreements or the UN Security Council resolutions," he said.

    He also accused Western countries of supplying munitions to the Syrian opposition, which he labelled as "unacceptable and absolutely counterproductive".

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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    EU has formally adopted the Iran Oil Embargo....

    EU formally adopts Iran oil embargo


    Published January 23, 2012
    | Associated Press



    • AP
      October 27, 2011: European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, right, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso participate in a media conference after an EU summit in Brussels.


    BRUSSELS – The European Union formally adopted an oil embargo against Iran on Monday and froze the assets of Iran's central bank, part of sanctions to pressure Tehran into resuming talks on its controversial nuclear program.
    Diplomats said the measures, approved in Brussels by the EU's 27 foreign ministers, include an immediate embargo on new contracts for crude oil and petroleum products. Existing contracts with Iran will be allowed to run until July.
    Some 80 percent of Iran's oil revenue comes from exports and any measures or sanctions taken that affect its ability to export oil could hit hard at its economy. With about 4 million barrels per day, Iran is the second largest producer in OPEC.

    Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful, but the United States and other nations suspect it is trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran is now under several rounds of U.N. sanctions for not being more forthcoming about its nuclear program.
    Two Iranian lawmakers, meanwhile, stepped up threats that their country would shutter the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's crude flows, in retaliation for the EU oil sanctions on Tehran.
    Lawmaker Mohammad Ismail Kowsari, deputy head of Iran's influential committee on national security, said Monday the strait "would definitely be closed if the sale of Iranian oil is violated in any way."
    Tensions over the strait and the potential impact its closure would have on global oil supplies and the price of crude have weighed heavily on consumers and traders. Both the U.S. and Britain have warned Iran not to disrupt the world's oil supply.
    Many analysts doubt that Iran could set up a blockade for long, but any supply shortages would cause world oil supplies to tighten temporarily.
    For its part, the United States has enacted, but not yet put into force, sanctions targeting Iran's central bank and, by extension, the country's ability to be paid for its oil.
    After news of the EU move, benchmark crude for March delivery rose 90 cents higher on the day at $99.23 a barrel in early morning European time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
    Brent crude was down 35 cents at $109.51 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.
    EU diplomats are calling the measure part of a twin track approach toward Iran: increase sanctions to discourage what they suspect is Iran pursuit of nuclear weapons but to emphasize at the same time the international community's willingness to talk.
    Iran says its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes, but EU foreign ministers are not convinced.
    "The recent start of operations of enrichment of uranium to a level of up to 20 percent in the deeply buried underground facility in Fordow near Qom further aggravates concerns about the possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program," they said in a statement.
    That accelerated enrichment is in violation of six U.N. Security Council resolutions and 11 resolutions by the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, "and contributes to rising tensions in the region," the statement said.
    British Foreign Secretary William Hague called the embargo part of "an unprecedented set of sanctions."
    "I think this shows the resolve of the European Union on this issue," Hague said.
    The EU also agreed to freeze the assets of the Iranian central bank. Together, the two measures are intended not only to pressure Iran to agree to talks but also to choke of funding for its nuclear activities.
    In October, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton sent a letter to Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, saying her goal was a negotiated solution that "restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program."
    She says she has not yet received a reply.
    Ahead of Monday's decision, negotiators worked hard to try to ensure that the embargo would punish only Iran -- and not EU member Greece, which is in dire financial trouble and relies heavily on low-priced Iranian oil.
    The foreign ministers agreed to a review of the effects of the sanctions, to be completed by May 1. And they agreed in principle to make up the costs that Greece incurs as a result of the embargo.
    "It is important to know what will happen to individual countries as a consequence of the sanctions," Ashton said before the meeting.
    The National Council of Resistance of Iran, an exile group opposed to Iran's clerical regime, welcomed the new sanctions and called for their implementation without delay.
    "For over two decades, the Iranian Resistance has called for comprehensive oil and financial sanctions against the religious and terrorist dictatorship ruling Iran," Maryam Rajavi, the organization's president-elect said in a statement.
    He said "the five-month delay in putting these sanctions in full force provides a significant amount of time for this regime to implement its ominous plots."
    The council, founded in 1981, is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, but not by the European Union.
    German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said it was critical that action be taken.
    "This is not a question of security in the region," he said. "It is a question of security in the world."



    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/01...#ixzz1kIHVbG5p
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    Iran oil sanctioned by Europe


    By Steve Hargreaves @CNNMoney January 23, 2012: 10:00 AM ET Sanctions ban the import of Iranian crude to Europe and also target Iran's central bank.

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The European Union announced tough new sanctions on Iran Monday, banning the import of Iranian crude and other items, in a move designed to increase pressure against Tehran's nuclear program.
    The sanctions ban the import of Iranian oil and restrict Iran's trade in gold and precious metals, as well as freeze certain Iranian financial assets, according to a statement from the EU.
    Of the 2.2. million barrels of oil Iran exports a day, about 18% is bound for European markets, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The world consumes about 89 million barrels of oil per day.
    The sanctions have a grace period and allow current contracts to be executed until July.
    Iran's 'distressed' oil to keep flowing - at deep discount

    The grace period will allow European refiners to find new suppliers and Iran to find new buyers.
    The move, which was widely expected, follows similar actions by the United States and the United Kingdom. The actions are aimed at increasing pressure on Tehran to give up its nuclear program, which Iran says is for peaceful purposes but many suspect is intended to produce a bomb.
    The Iranian government gets about half of its revenue from oil exports, according to the EIA.
    Analysts have said that while the new sanctions are the toughest ever imposed, they still contain many loopholes.
    Iran is expected to still be able to sell its oil to places such as China, India and other Asian countries, but possibly at a discount of 10% to 15%. About 35% of Iran's oil exports currently go to China and India.
    Western leaders have been walking a fine line with Iran, working to come up with a plan that squeezes the country's finances yet doesn't result in a loss of Iranian oil exports, which could send crude and gasoline prices skyrocketing.
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War


    Envoy Stresses Failure of Oil Embargos against Iran
    TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian diplomat said oil embargos against Iran are ineffective and Tehran will certainly keep its traditional customers.


    "We will have our traditional customers for selling oil," Tehran's Ambassador to Moscow Seyed Reza Sajjadi said in news conference held at the Russian Rianovosti news agency.

    He added that some countries such as China will not abandon purchasing Iran's oil despite the US pressures.

    Meantime, Sajjadi called on the world states to avoid following US policies towards Iran, warning that they will have to pay the price for their obedience since Americans cannot help them.

    China made it clear that, whatever the commercial or political calculations driving ups and downs in its crude orders from Iran, it rejects in principle unilateral US sanctions.

    "Iran is also an extremely big oil supplier to China, and we hope that China's oil imports won't be affected, because this is needed for our development," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun told a news conference in answer to a question about whether Beijing could curtail crude from Iran under US pressure.

    "We oppose applying pressure and sanctions, because these approaches won't solve the problems. They never have," Zhai told the briefing about Wen's six-day visit to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

    "We hope that these unilateral sanctions will not affect China's interests."

    The European Union is to meet next week to discuss new measures against Iran's oil exports and its financial sector.

    A December meeting of the EU foreign ministers in Brussels failed to reach an agreement on such oil embargos against Iran.

    Despite long hues and cries about new sanctions against Iran, the EU and the US could only enlist some more Iranian officials in their sanctions list last month.

    Several members of the European bloc voiced opposition to any sanction on Iranian oil, pushing France, the most hawkish EU member, back.

    Crisis-hit Greece has said 'No' to an EU oil ban on Iran, causing relief among other member states. Britain and France, the most hawkish EU countries, failed to convince other member states to impose oil embargos on Iran in the December meeting.

    Iran has also warned that if the US-led West sanctions Iran's oil exports, Tehran would close the Strait of Hormuz. An estimated 40 percent of the world's oil supply passes through the waterway.

    Iran, the second-biggest OPEC player after kingpin Saudi Arabia, produces about 2.3 million barrels of oil per day - 450,000 barrels of which is exported to the European Union, according to the US Department of Energy.

    Manouchehr Takin, an analyst at the Center for Global Energy Studies ( CGES) research group, said a removal of Iranian oil exports would hurt Europe more than Tehran.

    "The Europeans are importing nearly half a million barrels per day ... Refineries in Greece, Italy and Spain are the main customers. They would suffer very much immediately financial loss (in event of sanctions) because they cannot easily replace that Iranian crude with other crude," he told AFP in December.

    "Financially, I think these refineries in Europe - specially those three countries that are having financial problems - would lose and suffer more than Iran would lose in finding other customers," Takin added.

    Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg agreed that sanctions would most affect the three eurozone nations which are in the grip of severe debt problems.

    Weinberg wrote in a research note "it remains to be seen whether this step (EU sanctions on Iranian oil supplies) is actually taken" as it would strike a heavy blow to the EU members.

    "After all, crisis-ridden Italy, Spain and Greece rely on oil from Iran; an embargo would force them to source their oil requirements elsewhere at considerably higher prices."

    The head of OPEC said in December he hoped that the EU would not press for sanctions on Iran's precious oil exports.

    "I really hope there will not be an EU embargo on Iranian oil," Secretary General Abdullah El-Badri told the World Petroleum Congress in Doha.

    "It will be very, very difficult to replace" the Iranian exports.
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    Iran steps up threats to shutter Strait of Hormuz


    Updated 1h 8m ago


    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Two Iranian lawmakers on Monday stepped up threats their country would shutter the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's crude flows, in retaliation for oil sanctions on Tehran.



    By Eric S. Powell, AP
    The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier sailed Sunday through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf without incident to conduct scheduled maritime security operations, the Navy said.

    The warnings came as EU nations agreed in Brussels on an oil embargo against Iran as part of sanctions over the country's controversial nuclear program. The measure includes an immediate embargo on new contracts for Iranian crude and petroleum products while existing ones are allowed to run until July.

    Iran has repeatedly warned it would choke off the strait if sanctions affect its oil sales, and two lawmakers ratcheted up the rhetoric on Monday.

    Lawmaker Mohammad Ismail Kowsari, deputy head of Iran's influential committee on national security, said the strait "would definitely be closed if the sale of Iranian oil is violated in any way."

    Kowsari claimed that in case of the strait's closure, the U.S. and its allies would not be able to reopen the route, and warned America not to attempt any "military adventurism."

    Another senior lawmaker, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, said Iran has the right to shutter Hormuz in retaliation for oil sanctions and that the closure was increasingly probable, according to the semiofficial Mehr news agency.

    "In case of threat, the closure of the Strait of Hormuz is one of Iran's rights," Falahatpisheh said. "So far, Iran has not used this privilege."

    Monday's EU measure also includes a freeze on the assets of Iran's central bank as part of sanctions meant to pressure Tehran to resume talks on its uranium enrichment, a process that can lead to making nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.

    For its part, the United States has enacted, but not yet put into force, sanctions targeting Iran's central bank and, by extension, the country's ability to be paid for its oil.

    About 80% of Iran's oil revenue comes from exports and any measures or sanctions taken that affect its ability to export oil could hit hard at its economy. With about 4 million barrels per day, Iran is the second largest producer in OPEC.

    Tensions over the strait and the potential impact on global oil supplies and also the price of crude have weighed heavily on consumers and traders. Both the U.S. and Britain have warned Iran over any disruption to the world's oil supply through he strait.

    Another Iranian lawmaker, Ali Adyani, sought to downplay the latest EU move, describing it as a "mere propaganda gesture," according to the semiofficial Fars news agency.

    Former intelligence minister, Ali Falahaian, suggested Iran should stop all its crude exports "so that oil prices would go up and the Europeans' sanctions would collapse."

    Threats to close the strait escalated during Iran's naval exercises in the Persian Gulf in January. Iran plans more naval war games in February.
    Last edited by American Patriot; January 23rd, 2012 at 15:35.
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    Russia to Sell 36 Yak-130 Jets to Syria

    Topic: Protests in Syria




    Russia and Syria have signed a $550-million contract on the delivery of 36 Yakovlev Yak-130 Mitten combat trainer
    © RIA Novosti. Anton Denisov

    13:04 23/01/2012
    MOSCOW, January 23 (RIA Novosti)

    Tags: Yak-130, Rosoboronexport, Ruslan Pukhov, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Russia, Moscow

    Related News



    Multimedia


    Russia and Syria have signed a $550-million contract on the delivery of 36 Yakovlev Yak-130 Mitten combat trainer, the Kommersant daily quoted on Monday a source close to Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport as saying.

    Under the deal struck in late December, the jets are to be supplied to Syria once Damascus makes a prepayment, the source said.

    A source in the aircraft production industry told the newspaper the aircraft construction company Irkut is able to produce the jets for Syria in a relatively short time.

    Contacted by RIA Novosti, both Rosoboronexport and Irkut declined to comment.

    Analysts say the contract is “risky” given the worsening satiation in Syria and the growing international pressure on President Bashar al-Assad over his crackdown on protesters.

    Ruslan Pukhov, who heads the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Stategies and Technologies, said the contract was “certainly a big success of Russia’s leaders and arms traders.” But it’s clear, he said, that “the international community, led by the United States, has made a decision to crush Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and this may lead to the contract being disrupted and Russia suffering image and financial losses.”

    The contract was apparently signed when the situation in Syria was “not as dramatic as it is now,” Pukhov said, adding that getting the Russian jets has likely lost its relevance for Damascus.

    “The Yak-130 plane is superfluous for attacking insurgents – these goals can be served by cheaper planes,” the analyst said. At the same time, he said, the jet cannot endure air battles with Israeli, Turkish, or Western coalition’s aircraft, should a military conflict erupt in Syria.

    Russia has opposed international sanctions, including an arms embargo, against Syria, where the death toll from clashes between protesters and government troops has reached 5,400, according to the United Nations.

    Earlier this month, the United States expressed concerns over weapons deliveries to Damascus following media reports about a Russian ship loaded with arms docking in the Syrian port of Tartus.

    Without explicitly confirming the report of the arms shipment, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week Russia was not going to justify its actions before the West because it was not violating “any international agreements or any [UN] Security Council resolutions.”

    “We are only trading items with Syria that are not banned by international law,” he said.

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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    Russia alarmed by EU ban on Iranian oil, sanctions





    MOSCOW | Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:47am EST



    (Reuters) - Russia expressed "regret and alarm" on Monday over the European Union's ban on Iranian oil and other economic sanctions, saying Tehran will not make concessions on its nuclear program when faced with increasing Western pressure.


    "It is obvious that what is happening here is open pressure and diktat, an attempt to 'punish' Iran for its intractable behavior," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement after EU nations agreed the measures.


    "This is a deeply mistaken line, as we have told our European partners more than once. Under such pressure Iran will not agree to any concessions or any changes in its policy," it said.


    Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier on Monday that Russia hopes international talks on Iran's nuclear program, which the United States and European allies fear is aimed at developing atomic weapons, can resume soon despite tension.


    (Writing by Steve Gutterman; editing by David Stamp)
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    WRAPUP 2-EU bans Iranian oil, Tehran responds with threats







    Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:31am EST

    (Adds rial drop, oil price, Lavrov, Netanyahu)
    By Justyna Pawlak and Hossein Jaseb


    Jan 23 (Reuters) - The European Union banned imports of oil from Iran on Monday and imposed a number of other economic sanctions, joining the United States in a new round of measures aimed at deflecting Tehran's nuclear development programme.


    In Iran, one politician responded by renewing a threat to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, an oil export route vital to the global economy, and another said Tehran should cut off crude shipments to the EU immediately.


    That might hurt Greece, Italy and other ailing economies which depend heavily on Iranian oil and, as a result, won as part of the EU agreement a grace period until July 1 before the embargo takes full effect. Angry words on either side helped nudge benchmark Brent oil futures above $110 a barrel on Monday.


    A day after a U.S. aircraft carrier, accompanied by a flotilla that included French and British warships, made a symbolically loaded voyage into the Gulf in defiance of Iranian hostility, the widely expected EU sanctions move is likely to set off yet more bellicose rhetoric in an already tense region.


    Some analysts say Iran, which denies accusations that it is seeking nuclear weapons, could be in a position to make them next year. So, with Israel warning it could use force to prevent that happening, the row over Tehran's plans is an increasingly pressing challenge for world leaders, not least U.S. President Barack Obama as he campaigns for re-election in November.


    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has voiced scepticism about the chances of Iran being persuaded by non-military tactics, called the EU sanctions a "step in the right direction" but said Iran was still developing atomic weapons.
    Israel, assumed to have the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, views the Iranian nuclear programme as a threat to its survival.


    Meeting in Brussels, foreign ministers from the 27-state EU, which as a bloc is Iran's second biggest customer for crude after China, agreed to an immediate ban on all new contracts to import, purchase or transport Iranian crude oil and petroleum products. However, EU countries with existing contracts to buy oil and petroleum products can honour them up to July 1.


    EU officials said they also agreed to freeze the assets of Iran's central bank and ban trade in gold and other precious metals with the bank and state bodies.
    Along with U.S. sanctions imposed by Obama on Dec. 31, the Western powers hope that choking exports and hence revenue can force Iran's leaders to agree to curbs on a nuclear programme the West says is intended to yield weapons.


    EU SEEKS TALKS


    The United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, confirmed plans for a visit next week by senior inspectors to try and clear up suspicions raised about the purpose of Iran's nuclear activities. Tehran is banned by international treaty from developing nuclear weaponry.


    "The Agency team is going to Iran in a constructive spirit, and we trust that Iran will work with us in that same spirit," IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said in a statement announcing the Dec. 29-31 visit. "The overall objective of the IAEA is to resolve all outstanding substantive issues."


    EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said of the new sanctions: "I want the pressure of these sanctions to result in negotiations ... I want to see Iran come back to the table and either pick up all the ideas that we left on the table ... last year ... or to come forward with its own ideas."


    Iran has said lately that it is willing to hold talks with Western powers, though there have been mixed signals on whether conditions imposed by either side make new negotiations likely.


    The Islamic Republic insists it is enriching uranium only for electricity and other civilian uses.


    It has powerful defenders against the Western action in the form of Russia and China, which argue that the new sanctions are unnecessary, and can also probably count on China and other Asian countries to go on buying much of its oil, despite U.S. and European efforts to dissuade them.


    Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, classifying the EU embargo among "aggravating factors", said Moscow believed there was a good chance that talks between the six global powers and Iran could resume soon and that Russia would try to steer both Iran and the West away from further confrontation.


    A member of Iran's influential Assembly of Experts, former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian, said Tehran should respond to the delayed-action EU sanctions by stopping sales to the bloc immediately, denying the Europeans time to arrange alternative supplies and damaging their economies with higher oil prices.
    "The best way is to stop exporting oil ourselves before the end of this six months and before the implementation of the plan," the semi-official Fars news agency quoted him as saying.


    He reiterated that Iran could close the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow channel between the Gulf and open sea through which a third of all oil tanker traffic passes to importers around the world.


    Washington has said it will not tolerate any closure, a position underlined by Sunday's passage through the strait of a U.S. flotilla around the carrier Abraham Lincoln, accompanied by two European frigates, Britain's Argyll and France's La Motte-Picquet.


    HORMUZ THREAT


    While Iran's Revolutionary Guards, possibly aware of the warships' impending arrival, had backed away on Saturday from a threat made by a vice president last month to prevent "even one drop of oil" passing through the strait if the West embargoed Iran's crude, a senior member of parliament said on Monday that the closure remained an option if exports were disrupted.


    "If any disruption happens regarding the sale of Iranian oil, the Strait of Hormuz will definitely be closed," Mohammad Kossari, deputy head of parliament's foreign affairs and national security committee, told Fars.


    Going further, he referred to previous U.S. warnings that it would use force to break any Iranian blockade of the channel and threatened wider violence against Washington's global interests.


    "If America seeks adventures after the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, Iran will make the world unsafe for Americans in the shortest possible time," Kossari said.
    "It is in America's interests to accept a powerful Iran and not seek military adventures."


    While the Western powers were at pains to describe their naval movement through the strait as routine, a view echoed by the Revolutionary Guards, they also stressed its symbolism.


    "On this occasion HMS Argyll and a French vessel joined a U.S. carrier group transiting through the Strait of Hormuz, to underline the unwavering international commitment to maintaining rights of passage under international law," Britain's defence ministry said in a statement.


    In Paris, spokesman Thierry Burkhard said: "It's a sign to Iran if they want to consider it like that."


    Iran, the world's No. 5 oil exporter and also rich in natural gas, says it is refining uranium and developing other nuclear technologies to meet rising energy needs. But the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency reported in November that it had evidence suggesting Iran had worked on designing an atomic bomb.


    The unprecedented effort to take Iran's 2.6 million barrels of oil per day off international markets has kept global prices high, pushed down Iran's rial currency and caused a surge in the cost of basic goods for Iranians.



    (Additional reporting by Robin Pomeroy and Mitra Amiri in Tehran, David Brunnstrom in Brussels, Adrian Croft in London, John Irish in Paris, Alexei Anishchuk in Sochi, Ari Rabinovitch and Jeffrey Heller in Jerusalem and Fredrik Dahl in Vienna; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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  9. #209
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    Posted about two minutes ago:

    EU raises stakes with Iran oil embargo
    DON MELVIN, Associated Press
    Updated 08:19 a.m., Monday, January 23, 2012

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union and Iran raised the stakes Monday in their test of wills over the Islamic republic's nuclear program, with the bloc banning the purchase of Iranian oil and Iran threatening to retaliate by closing the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's crude is transported.

    The escalating confrontation is fraught with risks — of rising energy prices, global financial instability, and potential military activity to keep the strait open.

    The EU's 27 foreign ministers, meeting Monday in Brussels, imposed an oil embargo against Iran and froze the assets of its central bank, ramping up sanctions designed to pressure Iranian officials into resuming talks on the country's nuclear program.

    EU officials say the tighter sanctions are part of a carrot-and-stick approach, an effort to ratchet up pressure while at the same time emphasizing their willingness to talk.

    But the initial response out of Tehran, the Iranian capital, was harsh. Two Iranian lawmakers threatened that their country would close the strait in retaliation.

    Lawmaker Mohammad Ismail Kowsari, deputy head of Iran's influential committee on national security, said Monday the strait "would definitely be closed if the sale of Iranian oil is violated in any way."

    The strait — just 34 miles (54 kilometers) wide at its narrowest point — runs alongside Iran and is the only way to get from the Persian Gulf to the open sea. Tensions over the potential impact its closure would have on global oil supplies and the price of crude have weighed heavily on consumers and traders. The U.S. and Britain both have warned Iran not to disrupt the world's oil supply.

    After news of the EU move, benchmark crude for March delivery rose 90 cents on the day to $99.23 a barrel in early morning European time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

    Brent crude was down 35 cents at $109.51 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.

    Many analysts doubt that Iran would maintain a blockade for long, but any supply shortages would cause world oil supplies to tighten temporarily. But Kowsari said that, in case of the strait's closure, the U.S. and its allies would not be able to reopen the route, and warned America not to attempt any "military adventurism."

    An American aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln entered the Gulf on Sunday without incident to conduct scheduled maritime security operations, and U.S. warships frequently operate in the Gulf. But when the carrier USS John Stennis departed the Gulf in late December, Iranian officials warned the U.S. not to return.

    Russia's Foreign Ministry said the sanctions are a severe mistake likely to worsen tensions. "It's apparent that in this case there is open pressure and diktat, aimed at 'punishing' Iran for uncooperative behavior. This is a deeply mistaken policy, as we have told our European partners more than once," the ministry said in a statement.

    "Under pressure of this sort, Iran will not make any concessions or any corrections to its policies," it said.

    The EU sanctions include an include an immediate embargo on new contracts for crude oil and petroleum products. Existing contracts with Iran will be allowed to run until July.

    Last month, the U.S. enacted new sanctions targeting Iran's central bank and its ability to sell petroleum abroad, but it has delayed implementing the sanctions for at least six months, worried about sending the price of oil higher at a time when the global economy is struggling.

    Other countries are steering clear of such measures altogether. China also does not support an embargo, and Japan's finance minister, Jun Azumi, has expressed concern about the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions on Iran — not to mention their potential impact on Japanese banks.

    Some 80 percent of Iran's foreign revenue comes from oil exports and any sanctions that affect its ability to export oil would hit its economy hard. With about 4 million barrels per day, Iran is the second largest producer in OPEC.

    "It means that we will paralyze, bit by bit, Iran's economic activity and keep the country from using a major part of its resources," said French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. "You can be skeptical, but it is better than making war."

    At the heart of the dispute is international unease about Iran's nuclear program. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful, but the United States and other nations suspect it is trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran is now under several rounds of U.N. sanctions for not being more forthcoming about its nuclear program.

    German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Monday it was critical that action be taken.

    "This is not a question of security in the region," he said. "It is a question of security in the world."

    Iran's denials of military intent have utterly failed to convince EU officials.

    "The recent start of operations of enrichment of uranium to a level of up to 20 percent in the deeply buried underground facility in Fordo near Qom further aggravates concerns about the possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program," the foreign ministers said in a statement Monday.

    That accelerated enrichment is in violation of six U.N. Security Council resolutions and 11 resolutions by the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, "and contributes to rising tensions in the region," the statement said.

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague called the embargo part of "an unprecedented set of sanctions."

    "I think this shows the resolve of the European Union on this issue," Hague said.

    The EU also decided to freeze the assets of the Iranian central bank. Together, the two measures are intended not only to pressure Iran to agree to talks but also to choke off funding for its nuclear activities.

    In October, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton sent a letter to Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, saying her goal was a negotiated solution that "restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program."

    She says she has not yet received a reply.

    Before Monday's decision, negotiators worked hard to try to ensure that the embargo would punish only Iran — and not EU member Greece, which is in dire financial trouble and relies heavily on low-priced Iranian oil.

    The foreign ministers agreed to a review of the effects of the sanctions, to be completed by May 1. And they agreed in principle to make up the costs Greece incurs as a result of the embargo.

    The National Council of Resistance of Iran, an exile group opposed to Iran's clerical regime, welcomed the new sanctions and called for their implementation without delay.

    ____

    Raf Casert contributed to this report
    Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/business/ar...#ixzz1kIdq1UlO
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    Four minutes ago:

    Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions on Iran

    Monday, January 23, 2012


    (01-23) 07:57 PST MOSCOW, Russia (AP) --

    Russia's Foreign Ministry is criticizing the new European Union sanctions against Iran, saying they are a severe mistake likely to worsen tensions.

    In a statement Monday, the ministry questions how the new sanctions could be seen as helping find a resolution of the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.

    The ministry said, "It's apparent that in this case there is open pressure and diktat, aimed at 'punishing' Iran for uncooperative behavior. This is a deeply mistaken policy, as we have told our European partners more than once. Under pressure of this sort, Iran will not make any concessions or any corrections to its policies."
    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...#ixzz1kIe4Pi4B
    [/quote]
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  11. #211
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War


    January 23rd, 2012
    04:12 PM GMT


    Saudi prince: Why Iran won’t shut Strait of Hormuz

    Posted by:
    CNN Anchor and Correspondent, John Defterios


    Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – For the past three years I have taken part in what is known within a group of 50 business and policy makers here in Riyadh as the “sand and snow expedition.” It starts from the capital of Saudi Arabia at the Global Competitiveness Forum and finishes at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


    From an editorial standpoint you can, in one week, capture the views of the world’s largest oil producer and the latest on the Arab Spring before moving on to an arena with some 2,600 chief executives and political leaders trying to share the stage perched high among the Swiss Alps.


    The visit in Riyadh included an exclusive interview with the wealthiest businessman in the Middle East, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (pictured), chairman of Kingdom Holdings. From the 67th floor of the tower that bears the name of his group, Prince Alwaleed delved into some of the most sensitive issues in the region, from the Arab Spring to sanctions on Iran.


    In the halls of the GCF, executives expressed deep concerns about potential conflict with Iran and the impact such a move would have. As he does with some of his investments, Prince Alwaleed took a contrarian view.



    “I don’t believe war is inevitable,” he said. “I don’t believe the Strait of Hormuz will ever be closed because Iran knows this is suicide.”


    A week ago Saudi Arabia, through oil minister Ali Al Naimi, offered to supply 2.5 million barrels per day in the event that Iranian crude was forced off the market. Alwaleed reaffirmed that pronouncement was indeed a correct one.


    “It is not only wise, but a very political and strategic phrase from our oil minister who reflects the views of King Abdullah. For Saudi Arabia to go public and say we will flush as much oil as needed to compensate for any loss of Iranian oil, that is a big message to Iran, don’t keep threatening the world economies.”


    The interview followed the release of 4th quarter earnings, which dropped 20 percent due to unrest in some of the key markets: Kingdom Holdings has hotels under the Four Seasons, Fairmont, Raffles and Movenpick brands. While not pleased with the latest results, Prince Alwaleed did say 2012 may be a turning point in the Arab Spring: “I can confirm we have seen the bottom in 2011 and we are seeing indications that as 2012 commences we are seeing an improvement in tourism industry in our region.”


    He was suggesting that violence – aside from Syria - may have reached its peak, but not so optimistic about how long it will take to reach political stability. “We are getting into unchartered territory. We cannot really judge where they are heading. We are seeing the aftermath of the revolutions.”


    And the prince drew historical comparisons to revolutions in France, Russia and Iran: “Really we cannot judge it is too early. Some revolutions take 20-30 years. We hope that is not the case in our region.”


    From outside the region looking in, many foreign investors have been alarmed at the rapid inroads made by Islamist parties in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Morocco.
    “No doubt that the Islamic path or factor is playing a role right now,” said the prince. “I believe they don’t have any choice but to be business friendly. They would like to continue to rule their countries.”


    Record youth unemployment - one of the key drivers of the Arab Spring - needs to be addressed quickly suggested the chairman of Kingdom Holdings and member of the Saudi royal family as a nephew of King Abdullah.


    We then addressed the issue on many minds here - the eventual succession of the king and whether reforms he has put in place will far outlive him. “I believe there is no choice for Saudi Arabia and whoever succeeds King Abdullah, God forbid after he lives long, that they have to go down the reform path.”
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  12. #212
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    After Iran threat, U.S. aircraft carrier goes through Strait of Hormuz without incident

    By the CNN Wire Staff
    updated 5:27 AM EST, Mon January 23, 2012


    The USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS John Stennis are in the Gulf. The Lincoln moved through the Strait of Hormuz Sunday.

    STORY HIGHLIGHTS

    • The USS Abraham Lincoln heads into the Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy says
    • British and French ships accompany the U.S. carrier group, Britain's military says
    • Iran had threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz
    • The U.S. defense secretary says the U.S. will continue to have a presence in the Gulf



    (CNN) -- Flanked by British and French ships, the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier moved through the Strait of Hormuz without incident Sunday despite recent threats from Iran.
    The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement that the Lincoln "completed a regular and routine transit of the strait ... to conduct maritime security operations." The Lincoln is in the region with the USS Carl Vinson, giving the U.S. Navy its standard two-carrier presence there.
    A British defense ministry spokesman, who was not named per policy, said Sunday that the "HMS Argyll and a French vessel joined a U.S. carrier group" going through the strait "to underline the unwavering international commitment to maintaining rights of passage under international law."
    "Britain maintains a constant presence in the region as part of our enduring contribution to Gulf security," the spokesman said.
    Ramping up pressure on Iran
    Tensions rise in the Strait of Hormuz
    Several weeks ago, as the USS John Stennis left the Persian Gulf and headed back to the western Pacific, Iranian officials warned the United States not to send in another carrier.
    "We have always stated that there is no need for the forces belonging to the countries beyond this region to have a presence in the Persian Gulf," Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said in early January, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency. "Their presence does nothing but create mayhem, and we never wanted them to be present in the Persian Gulf."
    Tehran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the only outlet to and from the Persian Gulf between Iran and the United Arab Emirates as well as Oman, as Iran faces increased scrutiny over its nuclear program and possible sanctions on its oil exports. The critical shipping lane had 17 million barrels of oil per day passing through in 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has responded by threatening to "respond" if Iran attempts to shut down traffic. He said that the U.S. naval and military presence in the region will not change and the current level is sufficient to deal with any situation that could arise.
    "We have always maintained a very strong presence in that region," Panetta said earlier this month. "We have a Navy fleet located there. We have a military presence in that region. And ... we have continually maintained a strong presence in the region to make very clear that we were going to do everything possible to help secure the peace in that part of the world."
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  13. #213
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    I didn't have to connect it. lol

    You did a fine job.
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  14. #214
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    Even without Hormuz blockade, Iran has options



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    Iran and the Strait of Hormuz – next steps

    Mon, Jan 23 2012








    By Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent
    LONDON | Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:25am EST

    (Reuters) - Under pressure over its nuclear ambitions, Iran might never act on its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz but could retain enough tricks in its playbook to keep its enemies, shippers and global markets on edge.
    As Western states tighten sanctions and its enemies wage an apparent covert war against its uranium enrichment program, Tehran has warned several times it may seal off the waterway, choking the supply of Gulf crude and gas.
    Few intelligence, military and security experts contacted by Reuters either in or outside government, however, believe that is genuinely likely. Instead, they say, Iran's leaders will be looking for ways to harass enemies and cause disruption while falling short of triggering a massive U.S.-led retaliation.
    Possible Iranian gambits could include harrying tanker traffic in the Gulf with fast attack boats, seizing uninhabited Gulf islands claimed by other states, grabbing hostages from passing civilian or military ships, stoking trouble in Sunni Muslim-ruled Arab states with restive Shi'ite Muslim communities and orchestrating attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere using militant "proxies" such as Hezbollah.
    The risk inherent in all this, however, is that someone on either side miscalculates and triggers a full-blown conflict.
    "These scenarios make sense as likely actions falling short of actively blocking the Strait -- but they will certainly raise tensions," says Nikolas Gvosdev, professor of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island.
    "Iran's goal in raising tensions in the Gulf may be to get other countries to put pressure on the United States to show restraint (and) as a way to create some breathing room for Tehran to maneuver."
    Iran's Revolutionary Guard plans more military exercises for February, sending more swarms of gunboats into international waters and showing off its anti-ship missile arsenal.
    That in itself could close some areas of the Gulf to shipping, as well is rattling neighbors and shipping firms.
    Iran's 2007 capture of 15 British naval personnel proved hugely embarrassing for London. Tehran may be looking for similar ways success in humbling Western powers without inflicting physical harm.
    Already, U.S. and allied naval officers say their vessels are often shadowed by Iranian gunboats, and some worry that if matters escalate further those confrontations could intensify.
    "They could easily keep it coming and make it more harassing," said one Western naval officer with considerable experience in the region, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
    "But short of an Iranian small boat actually attacking one of our ships, our responses will be within the letter of the law and non-lethal in nature."
    HEAVY POSTURING
    Beyond the waters of the Gulf, many analysts expect Iran to further raise its support for regional proxies, from militants attacking U.S. forces in Afghanistan to Shi'ite protesters and militants in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.
    It could add to the growing sense of regional confrontation arising from Iran's defiance of several U.N. resolutions demanding that it suspend its atomic energy program, seen in the West as a camouflaged bid for nuclear weapons capability, and engage in negotiations with world powers on a solution.
    Washington seems keen to stress its resolve and showcase its military strength. This week, the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln passed through Hormuz flanked by British and French warships - in open defiance of Tehran's warning earlier this month that Washington should keep its carriers out of the Gulf.
    In reality, naval sources say the move was likely planned months or longer in advance - every time a giant U.S. carrier docks anywhere, dozens of contracts need to be in place for it to be serviced and supplied.
    But this time, given the Iranian threat and the heightened tension, the warships' entry would have been approved at the highest level and deliberately publicized to an unusual degree.
    "Both sides are engaged in heavy posturing right now," said Reva Bhalla, director of strategic intelligence for U.S.-based consultancy Stratfor. "Iran is focused right now on highlighting its deterrence tools in the Persian Gulf ... This, of course, increases the risk of miscalculation."
    Whilst some analysts believe the Islamic Republic may already worry it has overreached itself, others worry that pulling back may become increasingly difficult politically.
    The conventional military mismatch between Iran and its enemies remains colossal.
    As well as the Abraham Lincoln, the United States routinely retains a second carrier in the Indian Ocean - currently the USS Carl Vinson - within easy striking distance.
    Between them, the two battle groups have the capacity to carry well over 120 aircraft, while escort ships will be carrying dozens if not hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles. Then there are U.S. combat aircraft based in the Gulf and Afghanistan, together with other well-equipped local air forces, particularly that of Saudi Arabia, not to mention Israel.
    Long-range stealth and other bombers based either in the continental United States or the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia could also hit Iranian targets with virtual impunity.
    "Closing Hormuz is a myth. Iran tried to do that for eight years during the (1980s) Iran-Iraq war, and it wasn't successful even for one hour," said Mustafa Alani, head of Security and Terrorism Studies at the Gulf Research Center.
    "They put mines, hit ships, but traffic through the strait continued. They were hit very hard and learned their lesson when they hit an American ship. The U.S. president ordered the U.S. navy to attack, and two-thirds of the Iranian navy was destroyed in one day. We saw that and we know their limitations," he said.
    "This is why there are clear statements coming from Saudi Arabia and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) saying, indirectly, that they will replace Iran's oil."
    "ASYMMETRIC WARFARE" THREAT
    Iran's functional air force is limited to perhaps as few as a few dozen strike aircraft, either Russian or aging U.S. models acquired before the 1979 Iranian revolution and for which Tehran has long struggled to find spare parts.
    The conventional Iranian Navy (IRIN) is also weak by modern standards. In any war, its corvettes and relatively advanced three Russian-built Kilo diesel electric submarines -- the pride of its navy -- would almost certainly be destroyed.
    Its missile, torpedo and sea mine-equipped mini submarines are also seen as likely to be sunk within days.
    More of a worry to Western strategists and shippers are the hardline Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Naval Forces (IRGCNF) with their focus on "asymmetric warfare" designed to work around Tehran's conventional military inferiority.
    Firing their truck-mounted missiles directly at a warship or commercial vessel would be swiftly judged an act of war and prompt the immediate U.S. destruction of coastal batteries. But hundreds of Iranian small boats - believed to include suicide craft modeled on those once used by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers -would offer more options.
    Operating in international waters, they can perform threatening passes of both commercial and military shipping, perhaps even firing warning shots and essentially daring international forces to respond. Individual craft could even conduct damaging and perhaps deniable attacks.
    For many -- including the insurance companies nervously watching Gulf waters as they determine premiums -- the key question is whether such forces are under responsible control.
    "Whereas the IRIN (Iran's mainstream navy) is a conventional military force and likely to be under tight control, the same is not true of the IRGCN," said John Cochrane, senior global risk forecaster at Exclusive Analysis, a London-based consultancy advising foreign firms in the region, including insurers.
    "We assess there is a higher risk of a low-level IRGC small boat commander taking unsanctioned action - or just making a mistake - that would result in an incident in which lethal force was used by one side or the other."
    Many of the commercial ships passing through Hormuz now carry their own often heavily armed private security details to protect against Somali pirates in the wider Indian Ocean.
    Already accused of sometimes shooting unnecessarily at fishing boats, some worry that private security units could spark wider confrontation by inadvertently firing the first shots against Iranian forces.
    But ultimately, many believe, wiser heads would probably prevail before matters spiraled out of control.
    Such action would not be without precedent.
    After frigate USS Samuel B Roberts was heavily damaged by an Iranian mine during the so-called "tanker war" in 1988, the U.S. military launched a limited retaliatory strike that wiped out much of Iran's navy.
    But outright war was avoided, as it was again a month later after the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian airliner, killing 290 in what Washington said was a tragic accident.
    "I think it's unlikely to escalate -- Iran has too much to lose... and our forces are too professional to let any kind of a localized event blow up into a larger conflict," said the senior Western naval officer.
    "If there is an incident, we will quickly get our forces into our respective corner, establish a defensive posture - albeit ready to go on the offensive if directed... - and wait to see what Iran's next move on the chessboard will be."
    (Additional reporting by William Maclean in London and Joseph Logan in Dubai; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    I just want to say... "Screw you Iran"... and yes WE SHOULD HAVE turned that ship around when they were shaking their fists at our carrier as they were leaving.

    Now that two carrier groups have gone back in, what happened to all the bluster, saber rattling and screaming?

    I TOLD YOU SO.

    They have neither attacked our forces nor have they blockaded the straits.

    So FUCK you Iran.
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    Iran preparing now for Armageddon

    Select fighters being described as 'Soldiers of Imam Mahdi'

    By Reza Kahlili

    Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has held several secret meetings with his economic and military advisers in recent days to prepare for the possibility of war with the United States.

    Sources report the preparations are to include the execution of those Iranians who oppose the regime. Khamenei has been heard to say that the coming of the last Islamic Messiah, the Shiites’ 12th Imam Mahdi, is near and that specific actions need to be taken to protect the Islamic regime for upcoming events.

    Mahdi, according to Shiite belief, will reappear at the time of Armageddon.

    Selected forces within the Revolutionary Guards and Basij reportedly have been trained under a task force called “Soldiers of Imam Mahdi” and they will bear the responsibility of security and protecting the regime against uprisings. Many in the Guards and Basij have been told that the 12th Imam is on earth, facilitated the victory of Hezbollah over Israel in the 2006 war and soon will announce publicly his presence after the needed environment is created.

    According to SepahOnline, sources within the Vali’eh Amr, the revolutionary forces in charge of the supreme leader’s protection, report that Khamenei held several meetings in recent days at which the leader instructed his advisers to tighten the grip on anyone who opposes or might oppose the regime in case of war.

    These actions include investigations of every person or group that was pro-regime but now hold opinions contrary to regime policies. Also being created is a list, to be presented to Khamenei, to decide the fate of any opponents.

    It also was decided that those political prisoners who will not repent will be executed, the sources said.

    This action also was taken by the founder of the Islamic regime in 1988, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

    In the book, “A Time to Betray,” it is documented when Khomeini announced the campaign, he said, “If the person at any stage or at any time maintains his (or her) support for the opposing groups, the sentence is execution. Annihilate the enemies of Islam immediately.”



    The fatwa led to the execution of thousands of innocent men and women of all ages in a very short period.

    The list of actions by Khamenei includes investigation of private business owners. If records show that at any time in the past they have not supported the Islamic regime, their businesses and belongings could be confiscated.

    Journalists, writers and publishers who are deemed to be against the regime would be arrested and punished. Even high religious authorities who do not fully support Khamenei will be put under surveillance and dealt with if they become outspoken about the direction of the country.

    Several journalists already have been arrested in the past week. In a recent speech, Khamenei hinted of a warlike environment and warned those clerics who might doubt his direction of the country that their survival is tied to the survival of the Islamic regime. Many Iranians who resent the regime resent the religion it promotes, so even opposition clerics might not fare well should the regime fall.

    The plan by the leader calls for total control of Tehran, the capital where the presence of the Basij and Hezbollah militias would be quite visible so that no one would dare to challenge the regime.

    This news comes in light of the formation of the “Removal Committee,” which secretly would eliminate all deemed as opponents, even within the military and the government.

    Khamenei’s extraordinary measures are based either on an understanding that war could be imminent or that the regime has decided to announce it has nuclear capability and is getting ready for a possible reaction from Israel or America.

    Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, an influential cleric and a radical Twelver, previously had stated that Khamenei ascends to the sky every year to take direction from Imam Mahdi, and sources close to the cleric have disclosed that Khamenei has been ordered by Imam Mahdi to continue with the nuclear program despite worldwide objection as it will facilitate his coming.

    Last March, a Iranian secret documentary, “The Coming Is Upon Us,” was revealed to depict Khamenei as the mythical figure who creates the environment for the reappearance of Mahdi by leading Iran to destroy Israel.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



  17. #217
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    This friends is what happens when people believe in religious prophecy and "expect" even WANT it to come true.
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  18. #218
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    When I was in Egypt... for several months, I heard the call to prayers every day.

    Today, when I hear it, the sounds grate on my nerves and just make me want to grab a weapon and defend myself - against those making the damned screaming noises.

    So... even I have been "brainwashed" now I guess.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  19. #219
    Postman vector7's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    Iran Turns Embargo Tables: To Pass Law Halting All Crude Exports To Europe

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/27/2012 11:54 -0500

    In what is likely a long overdue move, Iran has finally decided to give Europe a harsh lesson in game theory. Instead of letting Euro-area politicians score brownie points at its expense by threatening to halt imports and cut off the Iranian economy, the Iranian government will instead propose a bill calling for an immediate halt to oil deliveries to Europe. The move, with most reports citing the Iranian news agency Mehr, has come about in response to the EU agreement to impose sanctions against Iran, which were announced earlier this week. And why not? After all if Europe is indeed serious, sooner or later Iran will be cut off but in the meantime experience significant policy uncertainty, which is precisely what the flipflops on the ground need. The one thing that Europe, however is forgetting, is that all that whopping 0.8 Mb/d in imports will simply find a new buyer.Quickly.



    So with China, India and Russia already having bilateral agreements with Iran in place, we are confident that said buyer will have a contract signed, sealed and delivered within an hour of the proposed bill's passage.

    Furthermore, as SocGen speculated, the fact that Europe will be even more bottlenecked in its crude supplies (good luck Saudi Arabia with that imaginary excess capacity), and which just may force the IEA to release some more of that strategic petroleum reserve (and thus give JPM some more free money on the replenishment arbitrage) will send Brent to $125-150 - something which Iran will be delighted by. That is of course unless some "experts" discover that Iran may or may not have a complete arsenal of shark with fricking nuclear warheads attached to their heads (despite what Paneta has already said) which gives the US the green light for a full blown incursion, which in turn will send oil over $200, and the world economy into a global coordinated re-depression.

    From Spiegel:
    "If this bill is passed, the government will be forced to stop selling oil to Europe before the actual implementation of their sanctions," said Emad Hosseini, spokesman for the Iranian parliament's energy commission, reportedly said. The bill is set to become law on Sunday.

    The EU sanctions allow for oil deliveries from Iran until July 1. Any pre-empting of this timescale by Tehran could prove problematic for countries like Italy, Greece and Spain, who would need to urgently find new suppliers.

    China, meanwhile, a major importer of Iranian oil, has also criticized the EU sanctions. The Xinhua news agency quoted the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday as saying: "To blindly pressure and impose sanctions on Iran are not constructive approaches."

    Many members of the EU are now heavily dependent on Iranian oil. Some 500,000 barrels arrive in Europe every day from Iran, with southern European countries consuming most of it. Greece is the most exposed, receiving a third of all its oil imports from Iran, but Italy too depends on Iran for 13 percent of its oil needs. If this source were to dry up abruptly, the economic conditions in the two struggling countries could become even worse.

    Already on Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned of the economic consequences of the EU's planned embargo. Stopping deliveries from the world's fifth largest producer could drive up the price of oil by 20 to 30 percent.
    Perhaps instead of doing its best at crippling the world energy markets, and crushing the global economy, Europe should stick to bailing itself out, and other activities in which it has extensive experience.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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  20. #220
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    Default Re: Prepare Now for the Coming Middle East War

    'Iran will stop EU oil exports this week'

    Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:23PM GMT
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    Iran could halt its oil exports to Europe as early as next week.

    A senior Iranian lawmaker says Majlis (parliament) will discuss a bill in the coming week which seeks to cut off Iran's oil exports to Europe.

    Deputy head of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Hossein Ebrahimi said on Friday that Iranian lawmakers would debate a “double-urgency” bill on Sunday which calls for the ban of oil exports to Europe as early as next week.

    The move comes after EU foreign ministers reached an agreement in Brussels on Monday to impose sanctions on oil imports from Iran as of July 1. The sanctions involve an immediate ban on all new oil contracts with the Islamic Republic and freezing the assets of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) within the EU.

    The Majlis motion would deny Europe the six-month phase-in period that the bloc has considered to adjust and find alternative sources to Iran's crude.

    The recent EU sanctions on Iranian oil are merely a “psychological warfare,” as the 27-member bloc is delaying the implementation of the embargoes under various pretexts, Ebrahimi added.

    “Europe is uncertain about enforcing these sanctions and seeks to project [its own woes] and manipulate public opinion,” the lawmaker said.

    The EU accounted for 18 percent of Iranian crude oil sales in the first half of 2011, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), making it Iran's second biggest customer after China.

    The EU sanctions came after US President Barack Obama signed into law fresh unilateral economic embargoes against the Central Bank of Iran on New Year's Eve in an apparent bid to punish foreign companies and banks that do business with the Iranian financial institution. The bill ultimately takes aim at Iran's oil revenue.

    The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to push for the imposition of four rounds of UN sanctions and a series of unilateral embargoes against the Islamic Republic.

    Iran has refuted the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to use nuclear technology for peaceful use.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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