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Thread: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iran's Ahmadinejad Far Weaker Than He Lets On
    Real Clear Politics ^ | December 28, 2006 | Victor Davis Hanson



    The Iraq Study Group, prominent U.S. Senators and realist diplomats (realists my ass: Rick's note) all want America to hold formal talks with the government of Iran. They think Tehran might help the United States disengage from Iraq and the general Middle East mess with dignity. That would be a grave error for a variety of reasons - the most important being that Iran is far shakier than we are.


    The world of publicity-hungry Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not expanding, but shrinking. Despite his supposedly populist credentials, his support at home and abroad will only further weaken as long as the United States continues its steady, calm and quiet pressure on him.


    In Iran's city council elections last week, moderate conservative and reformist candidates defeated Ahmadinejad's vehemently anti-American slate of allies. At a recent public meeting, angry Iranian students - tired of theocratic lunacy and repression - shouted down their president.


    By supporting terrorists in Iraq and Lebanon, enriching uranium and insanely threatening to destroy a nuclear Israel, Ahmadinejad is only alienating Iranians, who wonder where their once vast oil revenues went and how they can possibly pay for all these wild adventures.


    (Excerpt) Read more at realclearpolitics.com ...
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    Iran To Produce Nuclear Fuel Soon
    all headline news ^ | 1/4/07 | Komfie Manalo



    Tehran, Iran (AHN) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday said his country is ready to push the button to start the full production of nuclear fuel for industrial uses.


    Speaking at a public gathering in Gatvand, Khuzestan province in Iran, Ahmadinejad said, "Iran has access to full nuclear fuel cycle and we will soon push the button on nuclear fuel production for industrial uses. The Iranians are determined to achieve peaks of success and defend its interests powerfully."


    The president said every country in the world has the right to peaceful nuclear technology and Iranians "call for nothing but their rights."
    He adds, "The bullying powers are seeking hegemony over the whole world and they should give up in the face of the Iranian people and officially recognize our rights."


    Ahmadinejad issued the statement as his government continues to reject the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1737 adopted on December 23, 2006 which imposes sanctions against Tehran for its refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program.
    Uranium enrichment at low levels can be used to produce fuel to generate electricity but at higher levels can be used to make atomic bombs. Iran has already claimed that it has enriched uranium to levels of around five percent.


    Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Mostafavi said in December that Iran's first step toward producing nuclear fuel on industrial scale would begin during the Ten-Day Dawn celebrations in February.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    www.debka.com


    DEBKAfile: Two new steps taken by President Bush support the revised Iraq strategy under development in the White House
    January 4, 2007, 9:01 AM (GMT+02:00)


    The US president has decided to shift John Negroponte out of the job of National Intelligence Director after 20 months and appoint him deputy secretary of state, as weighty backup for Condoleezza Rice. The USS John C. Stennis strike group will this month join the USS Dwight Eisenhower aircraft carrier group and USS Boxer strike force in the Persian Gulf “as a warning to Syria and Iran” in face of acts seen as provocative, and to give commanders more flexibility in the region. Continuation of Iran’s banned nuclear activities would come under the heading of “provocative.”

    This is the second buildup of US naval, air and marine strength in the strategic waterway in four months. Deployment of the Stennis group puts a total of 16,000 US sailors in the region as well as another nuclear carrier and 7 escort warships, 10 air squadrons, 2 submarines and helicopters to support amphibious landings on enemy soil.

    DEBKAfile’s military experts see in the new deployment evidence that President George W. Bush has rejected the key Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group’s recommendation to engage Iran and Syria for an exit strategy on Iraq. He has instead come down finally behind his own fundamental conviction that the Iraq war is winnable and Iran can be simultaneously confronted.

    Tuesday, Jan. 2, The New York Times reported that the commander of US forces in Iraq Gen. John Casey was on his way out, accused of placing a policy of withdrawal ahead of winning the war. This grave charge is tantamount to flouting the commander in chief’s directives. Reports of Casey’s coming dismissal are further evidence of Bush’s resolve to pursue a proactive policy on Iraq and Iran rather than accept defeat.

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    'The Straw Powers Must Accept the Undeniable Reality
    MEMRI ^ | 1-3-07

    Posted on 01/03/2007 4:41:00 PM MST by SJackson
    'The Straw Powers Must Accept the Undeniable Reality: In Today's World There Is a Rising Power Challenging Their Baseless Ideologies' – Iranian Reactions to U.N. Sanctions Resolution 1737
    U.N. Sanctions Resolution 1737 against Iran, adopted December 23, 2006, prohibits any trade relations with Iran that might help advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The resolution further decrees that the financial assets of figures and companies involved in these programs will be frozen. Iran's reaction to the sanctions, as expressed by top officials in the regime, is that Iran will disregard the U.N. resolution and will continue to advance its nuclear program in full force.
    The following are some of the main reactions, as published in the Iranian press:


    President Ahmadinejad: "Iran Will Be a Nuclear State, Whether They Like It or Not"; "The Iranian Nation Will Give Its Enemies An Historic Slap [in the Face]"

    In a December 24, 2006 speech, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that the sanctions would not keep Iran from developing nuclear capabilities: "They [the countries represented in the Security Council] will soon regret their superficial move... [The development of] nuclear fuel cycle technology is [solely] Iran's business; nobody can take this technology away from the Iranian nation. During this year's 10 days of Fajr, the entire Iranian nation will celebrate the nuclear festival... [1] Today, the Iranian nation is more united than ever, and it will resolutely insist on its nuclear rights. Whether they like it or not, Iran is a nuclear state, and [this] benefits those that stand by it...
    "[The West] does not want our country to make progress, because they know full well that if we advance [in] nuclear technology, we will also be able to progress more rapidly in other areas by utilizing this technology." [2]
    In a January 2, 2007 speech in Khuzestan, Ahmadinejad repeated these statements and added that "[Iran's] enemies will not be able to stand in the way of the aspirations of the Iranian nation, which is going to give them an historic slap [in the face]." In another speech he said: "The nations will soon see the fall of the criminal Zionist regime and America." [3]

    Ali Larijani: "Our Immediate Response to These Sanctions is that Tomorrow Morning, 3,000 Centrifuges Will Begin to Operate in Natanz"

    In an interview, Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani, who is in charge of Iran's nuclear dossier, told the Iranian daily Kayhan, which is affiliated with Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, that the sanctions would have no impact on Iran's nuclear program, and would only spur Iran towards its goals: "Our immediate response to these sanctions is that tomorrow morning, 3,000 centrifuges will begin to operate in Natanz. We are [continuing] our program at full speed... We have already said, on several occasions, that even if the West decides to use the Security Council as a lever [to exert pressure on Iran], this will have no impact whatsoever on our aspirations; on the contrary, we will only become more determined to accomplish our nuclear goals with all possible speed..." [4]

    Foreign Relations Steering Council Member: "The Sanctions Will Have No Impact on Iran's Nuclear Progress"
    Foreign Relations Steering Council member Ali Akbar Velayati, who serves as advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said in a December 31, 2006 interview with the conservative Iranian news agency Mehr: "The Security Council resolution, which was passed under American and British influence in order to exert pressure on Iran, has no impact on Iran's nuclear progress... Passing this anti-Iranian resolution was not an unexpected [move on the part of] the Security Council... but the important point is that the fate of Iran's nuclear program, which is intended for peaceful purposes, [will be determined] domestically, and has nothing to do with anyone else's decision... These sanctions will not keep Iran from continuing the nuclear-technological process, and from completing the research; [in fact], they make the nation and the regime [even] more determined in this respect." [5]

    Chairman of Iran's Parliamentary Committee for National Security and Foreign Policy: "The 3,000 Centrifuges Will Very Soon Be Put into Operation"
    Iran's Parliamentary Committee for National Security and Foreign Policy chairman 'Alaa Al-Din Boroujerdi announced that the sanctions resolution would not adversely affect the progress of Iran's nuclear development. Rather, he said, it would accelerate it: "Not only does the sanctions resolution not help the West's goal [to stop Iran's nuclear program], it has brought about an acceleration of Iran's nuclear activity. As stated in the [Foreign Ministry] statement, 3,000 centrifuges will very soon be put into operation, in accordance with the decision of the Supreme National Security Council…" [6]
    In addition, Boroujerdi said that "at a joint meeting next week of the three councils - National Security, Energy, and Industry - the construction of a nuclear facility relying on local know-how will undergo a final assessment… All the stages, starting from finding uranium and extracting it up to converting it to energy, are today being carried out by the country's native-born experts… The entire regime stands firm in a determined decision on this issue. The American threat, which began 20 years ago, to [bring about a] boycott [of] the Iranian nation by exploiting its weight in the Security Council, will have no effect on the national aspiration and goal." [7]

    Revolutionary Guards Political Bureau Head: "Iran is Entering the Nuclear Club"
    In a January 1, 2007 article in the weekly Sobh-e Sadeq, which is the mouthpiece of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei among the Revolutionary Guards, Revolutionary Guards Political Bureau head General Yadallah Javani stated that Iran was entering the nuclear club after it chose not to surrender to the West's pressures:
    "…Any country that wants to be independent and to ensure its rights and its interest must rely on its capabilities and stand firm in the face of [international] pressures, through [national] unity and solidarity. [This is] the path that the Iranian nation and regime have now chosen in the nuclear conflict. The Iranian nation is now acquiring know-how and technology, and is entering the nuclear club. Given its national strength, [it can] stand firm against the pressures and against the weakness of the enemies. [Therefore] there is no reason… to surrender to the threats of those who speak the language of force." [8]
    Another article on the sanctions in the same issue of Sobh-e Sadeq read: "…Without a doubt, Iran's going nuclear will change the balance of power in the region and will make Iran an influential and active player, such that the regional superpowers have understood that the management of the Middle East's regional system will evade them, and that a great part of the region will come under the moral influence of Iran's Islamic Revolution…" [9]

    Sobh-e Sadeq: "Iran Can, and Must… Continue Its Nuclear Program with Greater Resolve and Vigor"
    In a December 23, 2006 editorial, Sobh-e Sadeq stated that sanctions would not prevent Iran from attaining nuclear technology, as Iran had already passed the difficult stage in the development of its nuclear program, and thus would continue to its completion without hesitating:
    "In light of the elections [for the Assembly of Experts and the municipal councils] that were held December 15, 2006… and that reflected the national support and the [mighty] military strength that relies on the popular backing of the nation itself, Iran can and must [adopt] a firmer stance, and continue its nuclear program with greater resolve and vigor… It should be noted that Iran has gone through the difficult passages alone, and that the present situation is no graver than the path that has [already] been traversed. Thus, [we] should continue on the path with wisdom and perspicacity, and without hesitation, until [we] achieve the final result." [10]

    Revolutionary Guards: The Imposition of Sanctions is Illegitimate
    A statement released by the Revolutionary Guards on December 25, 2006 said: "[The sanctions resolution] is a step lacking in any kind of international legitimacy… The Revolutionary Guards will not allow any council to do even the least bit of harm to Iran. The enemies of this nation know that any kind of encroachment on their part will receive a resounding answer from the Iranian nation… The straw powers must accept the undeniable reality that in today's world, there is a rising power that is challenging their baseless ideologies." [11]

    Ayatollah Nouri-Hamedani: "We Will Under No Condition Freeze Our Scientific Activities for Peaceful Purposes"
    In a December 24, 2006 meeting with senior officers of the Revolutionary Guards land and naval forces, Ayatollah Hossein Nouri-Hamedani, one of the Iranian regime's senior religious authorities, said that Iran would continue in its concerted effort to acquire nuclear technology. Following are excerpts from Kayhan's report on the meeting:
    "Ayatollah Hossein Nouri-Hamedani described the decision of the U.N. Security Council as oppressive and unacceptable… He said: 'Unfortunately, when the U.N. Security Council looked into Iran's nuclear dossier, it left justice and rectitude behind and adopted a resolution under American pressure… We are courageously and without any fear of [these] threats continuing our activities in the field of the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes… The U.N. Security Council has lost its independence, [and so] Iran no longer recognizes the resolutions of this council, which are adopted under the influence and pressure of other countries… We see our nuclear attainments for peaceful purposes as our absolute right, and we will never implement the resolutions of the Security Council…" [12]

    Jomhouri-ye Eslami: "We Can… Be the Final Victors In This Battle"
    A December 27, 2006 editorial in the Jomhouri-ye Eslami daily, which is close to the religious seminaries in Qom, said that the unity of Iran's ranks will bring about its final victory in the battle for its right to develop nuclear capability:
    "…Now is the time for all of us to fight together in order to defeat the [sanctions resolution] of the enemies of the Iranian nation. We must all… lay aside the issue of the elections… and support [our] leaders. People in positions of authority, political activists, and the various sectors of the people must unquestioningly obey the leader's [i.e. Khamenei's] orders, and must prefer the general interest over anything else… The enemy's threats are still hollow… We can, through reliance on unity of the ranks, return to the [negotiating] table without accepting the enemy's conditions, and [thus] be the final victors in this battle." [13]

    Kayhan: "The Partial Price That We Are Paying is Nothing Compared With What We Will Achieve"
    In a December 28, 2006 editorial, Kayhan said that the price that Iran was paying because of the sanctions resolution was unimportant in comparison with the nuclear technology that would ultimately be attained: "…More than 80% of the sanctions resolution… is psychological, [a tactic of] which Westerners are very fond… Resolution 1737 focuses only on Iran's nuclear program and ballistic missile program, and does not address any issue not connected with these programs. Even where it addresses travel restrictions on individuals, or the confiscation of bank accounts, it means only individuals or bank accounts connected to the nuclear program or the ballistic missile program, and has nothing to do with other aspects of Iran's relations with the nations of the world… In the end, the threats will not be so grave, and the partial price that we are paying is nothing compared with what we will achieve." [14]





    [1] During the 10 days of Fajr, which this year falls on February 1-10, Iran celebrates Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's return from exile and the victory of the Islamic Revolution. Iran's Deputy Interior Minister Mehdi Mostafavi likewise stated: "During this year's 10 days of Fajr, we will begin the first phase in the production of the nuclear fuel cycle in accordance with [our] industrial needs." (ILNA, December 26, 2006).
    [2] ISNA (Iran), December 24, 2006.
    [3] IRNA, January 2, 2007.
    [4] Kayhan (Iran), December 24, 2006.
    [5] Mehr News Agency, December 31, 2006.
    [6] ISNA, December 26, 2006.
    [7] Kayhan (Iran), December 30, 2006.
    [8] Sobh-e Sadeq (Iran), January 1, 2007.
    [9] Sobh-e Sadeq (Iran), January 1, 2007.
    [10] Sobh-e Sadeq (Iran), December 23, 2006.
    [11] Ansar News, December 26, 2006.
    [12] Kayhan (Iran), December 25, 2006. Another high-ranking cleric, Assembly of Experts member Ayatollah Emami-Kashani, said at the central Friday prayer on December 29, 2006 in Tehran: "[Standing] before billions of people in the world, Iran is proud, stands by its word, and will never stray from its positions… Although these actions and steps [i.e. the sanctions] generate inconvenience and worry in the country… the Iranian nation will neutralize the enemies' plots and will rout the enemy…" (Kayhan, December 30, 2006). The same message was delivered at all Friday prayers throughout Iran: "Islamic Iran will continue to consistently proceed in its path, will not bow to threats, and will not give up on reaching its goals, despite the political and economic pressures." (Jomhouri-ye Eslami, December 30, 2006).
    [13] Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Iran), December 27, 2006.
    [14] Kayhan (Iran), December 28, 2006.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    SECOND CARRIER SENT TO THE GULF
    NY Post ^ | 01/04/06

    SECOND CARRIER SENT TO THE GULF


    Post Wire Services


    USS BRIDGE
    Part of carrier group.



    January 4, 2007 -- WASHINGTON - The Pentagon will send a second aircraft carrier and its escort ships to the Persian Gulf, defense officials said yesterday, as a warning to Syria and Iran and to give commanders more flexibility in the region.


    Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Bremerton, Wash.-based USS John C. Stennis strike group would deploy this month. It will put 5,000 more U.S. sailors in the region, bringing the total to 16,000.
    The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier group entered the gulf in December.


    Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman declined to comment, saying the Defense Department would not discuss future deployments or ship movements. But military analysts said the move was intended to demonstrate U.S. resolve in the face of acts by Iran and Syria that it sees as provocative, such as Tehran's pursuit of its nuclear program.


    The Stennis had been scheduled to deploy to the Pacific region. But the Pentagon agreed instead to send the carrier group to the gulf after a request from U.S. Central Command, the military command responsible for Middle East operations.


    Senior defense officials have said that request was aimed at increasing Central Command's flexibility in a variety of operations and providing deterrence in the region.


    Washington has locked horns with Tehran over the Iranian nuclear program. American defense officials also regularly charge Iran and Syria with fanning sectarian violence in Iraq.


    The second carrier, while adding relatively few service members to the region, is valuable as a symbol of America's increased presence in the gulf, military analysts said.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    I've been seeing a DISTINCT INCREASE in traffic about Iran....

    I've been trying to post all I can find.

    I was wrong thinking that we'd be wacking them in the Fall.. now I think it will be SOON........
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, is dead.
    Pajamas Media ^ | January 4, 2007 | Michael Ledeen




    Nothing follows ...
    No mention on any other major news sites.
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    Ignoring politics of the site, apparently his death was expected quite soon.

    http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publ...le_19925.shtml

    "Iran's Supreme Mullah Leader Will Be Dead Soon
    Jan 2, 2007

    Iran's Supreme Mullah Leader, Ali Khamenei is seriously ill and will have to be replaced in the coming months as he is no longer capable of holding office, according to Assembly of Experts member mullah Nasseri. The powerful mullah body appoints and oversees the country's supreme leader. "Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei is gravely ill - he can no longer see very well, has difficulty hearing, and is no longer able to properly perform his duties," Nasseri told a women's group.

    Iranians have speculated for sometime about Khamenei's health. But talk of the 67 year-old Khamenei's health is taboo and officials have denied he is seriously ill, although United States sources had previously said Khamenei had cancer. He is widely regarded as the figurehead of mullahs' regime. The survivor of an assassination attempt, his supporters call him a "living martyr", and Iranians call him "cholaaq ali gedaa".

    The country's supreme leader since 1989, Khamenei succeeded the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, infamous mullah Khomeini, as president in 1981 and served two terms. His death or removal from office by the Assembly of Experts will trigger a power struggle within mullahs' regime, according to observers.

    The names of three possible successors to Khamenei are currently on the lips of Iranians: Khamenei's son, Mojtaba; Iran's former reformist president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; and Gholam Ali Mesbah Yazdi, the ultra-conservative ayatollah who is considered the spiritual father of Iran's current hardline president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. All mullahs."

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    Report: Irans Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Dead

    January 4th, 2007

    Reports are coming in that Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khameni has died from cancer at age 67.

    Iranians have speculated for sometime about Khamenei’s health. But talk of Khamenei’s health is taboo and officials have denied he is seriously ill, even though United States sources had previously said Khamenei had cancer. He is widely regarded as the figurehead of mullahs’ regime. The survivor of an assassination attempt, his supporters call him a “living martyr”, and Iranians call him “cholaaq ali gedaa”.

    The country’s supreme leader since 1989, Khamenei succeeded the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, infamous mullah Khomeini, as president in 1981 and served two terms. His death may trigger a power struggle within mullahs’ regime, according to observers.

    Three possible successors to Khamenei include: Khamenei’s son, Mojtaba; Iran’s former reformist president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; and Gholam Ali Mesbah Yazdi, the ultra-conservative ayatollah who is considered the spiritual father of Iran’s current hardline president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. All mullahs.

    Developing…

    Jag

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    I had posted something earlier in the week along the lines of "he will soon be dead" I am pretty sure in this thread. So we saw it coming.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Pajamas Media: Iran’s supreme leader dead

    posted at 4:19 pm on January 4, 2007 by Allahpundit
    Send to a Friend | printer-friendly


    This is either going to be a two-ton feather in Pajamas’s cap or a major embarrassment. I have my fingers crossed for them. There’s not a word about it on Google News and Iranian dissidents have been known to exaggerate, but this report at AKI that seemed dubious to me when I first read it two days ago now seems … less so.
    Iran’s top spiritual and political figure, Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei is seriously ill and will have to be replaced in the coming months as he is no longer capable of holding office, according to Assembly of Experts member Ayatollah Nasseri. The powerful clerical body appoints and oversees the country’s supreme leader.
    “Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei is gravely ill - he can no longer see very well, has difficulty hearing, and is no longer able to properly perform his duties,” Nasseri told a women’s group.
    Here he is voting on December 15th and out and about on Christmas eve. He doesn’t look stricken, but maybe he was going for a Willis Reed “playing in pain” thing. If he is dead, it’s probably the best time for him to go: Ahmadinejad’s influence in Iran is at ebb tide so the risk of his very own hand-picked Greg Stillson being chosen to replace Khamenei is as minimal as it’s going to get.


    Reuel Marc Gerecht says to expect a U.S.-backed Israeli attack on Iran sometime within the next two years. How about attacking now instead, says Robert Tracinski. How about not, replies Moran. Winner by TKO: Slick Rick.


    Update: See-Dubya notes that Moran embraces a “political settlement” as the best option for Iraq, which does indeed smack of Bakeritis. I didn’t notice that the first time through. Let’s call it Moran by decision, then, instead of TKO.
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    Nuclear plant target for stolen rocket launchers, police allege (5 in the hands of terrorist group)
    Sydney Morning Herald ^ | January 6, 2007 | Les Kennedy and Craig Skehan



    STOLEN Australian Army rocket launchers are in the hands of a home-grown terrorist group which planned to use them to attack Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, police allege.



    The Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty, said a man arrested in Leumeah yesterday and charged with possessing stolen weapons was linked to a group that had planned to attack buildings in Sydney, including the reactor.



    Mr Keelty would not publicly link the man, Taha Abdul-Rahman, directly to a plan to target the reactor, referring only to "evidence of a proposed target", and saying: "Clearly, there was a plan for the use of the weapon."



    But the NSW Assistant Commissioner, Nick Kaldas, said: "There were a couple of sites that were probably being considered and that's one of them."




    The target ... the nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights and inset, a rocket launcher similar to the ones missing.



    A source said an informant had specifically suggested there was a plan to attack the reactor with a rocket launcher.



    Abdul-Rahman, 28, was arrested yesterday after the third raid on his home since September 30. Police allege he sold seven rocket launchers for $5000 each to Adnan "Eddie" Darwiche, a Sydney drug dealer who is now in prison serving a sentence for double murder.



    In September, police from the NSW Middle Eastern Crime Squad bought one rocket launcher from Darwiche for $50,000 during an investigation into a bloody drug war in Sydney's south-west.



    They say another five launchers are in the possession of the terrorist group, and that Darwiche has the seventh one hidden.



    The Darwiche link came about as he tried to cut a deal to get a reduction in his life sentence for the murders of a woman and a rival member of the Razzak drug syndicate.



    When he sold the first launcher to police, through a go-between, he also passed on to them 20 kilograms of Power Gel explosive.



    On December 15, the Herald first reported the theft of up to nine launchers from the Army, and also revealed details of the extraordinary deal with Darwiche, in which police considered giving him a certificate of indemnity from prosecution. On that same day, Abdul-Rahman's home was raided again.



    Mr Keelty yesterday said police had established a link between Abdul-Rahman and others arrested under the high-profile Operation Pendennis between November 2005 and March last year.



    After the Pendennis raids, investigators said they had foiled imminent terrorist attacks in Sydney and Melbourne. The group of alleged Islamic terrorists was said to have been penetrated by an undercover police agent.



    Mr Keelty said that as those arrested as part of Operation Pendennis were still before the courts, there was a limit to how much he could say about alleged ties to yesterday's arrest over the stolen launchers.



    "We are continuing our investigations not only in relation to Operation Pendennis, but in respect of this aspect of the operation," Mr Keelty said.



    Asked if the man arrested yesterday was linked to the group that allegedly made threats to attack facilities including Lucas Heights, he said: "Yes, he is."



    The investigation into the stolen launchers is understood to focus on private security patrols of military facilities.



    After his arrest yesterday, Abdul-Rahman was charged with offences relating to the theft and procurement of the rocket launchers.



    According to court documents, police allege he is a second or third link in a chain that passed the weapons on to others after he acquired them from an unknown source, who got them from within the military. Abdul-Rahman is then alleged to have sold all seven to Darwiche for his alleged use in the drug war.



    It is alleged Darwiche, now serving a double life sentence in the supermax high-security prison at Goulburn, sold five of them to the terrorist group with cells in Sydney's south-west and Melbourne.



    Abdul-Rahman was taken to Sydney's Central Local Court late yesterday charged with 17 terrorism related offences.



    They include two counts of dishonestly receiving stolen property, and seven counts of unauthorised possession of a prohibited weapon.



    He was also charged with possession of ammunition under section 65 of the Ammunition and Firearms Act 1996.



    His solicitor, Sam Abbas, told the magistrate, Robyn Denes, he did not want his client to be taken from underground cells and brought before the court.

    With Abdul-Rahman's partner watching quietly from the public gallery, Mr Abbas said his client was not seeking bail, nor entering a plea but would make a bail application next Wednesday via video link.



    Mr Kaldas said there was a wider investigation into links between the criminal world and terrorism in Australia.



    "The line between criminality and politically motivated acts of terrorism is blurring worldwide," Mr Kaldas said. "We are open minded on whether other rockets have fallen into the hands of terror groups."
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    ALERT! (ok well, it comes from the UK, waddaya want?)

    EXCLUSIVE: IRAN WAR 'IN 2YRS'
    Mirror.co.uk ^ | 4 January 2007 | By Bob Roberts




    A WAR against Iran could be launched within the next two years, a senior adviser to George Bush warned last night.


    CIA specialist on Iran Reuel Marc Gerecht said there had been a "tidal shift" of opinion towards military action, especially in Israel.


    He added: "I think it has now become highly likely the Israelis will launch a strike before the end of George Bush's presidency."


    An Israeli attack before the US election in November 2008 risks sparking a military explosion in the Middle East.


    It is likely to be backed up by American and possibly British air support from Iraq.


    Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could retaliate by sending the Republican Guard across the border with Iraq to attack British forces.


    Experts warned there would be a massive surge in Iranianbacked suicide attacks.


    The UN has voted unanimously to impose sanctions against Iran over its failure to halt its nuclear programme.
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    Aircraft Carrier Heads to Persian Gulf as Iran Warning
    newsmax ^ | Jan. 4, 2007



    Aircraft Carrier Heads to Persian Gulf as Iran Warning NewsMax.com Wires
    Jan. 4, 2007


    WASHINGTON -- The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis is scheduled to leave the United States this month for the Persian Gulf region in a Naval buildup aimed partly as a warning to Iran.


    Officials decided to send the Stennis strike group on top of a carrier group already in the region on a request late last year from the U.S. Central Command, the military unit in charge of activities there as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a senior Pentagon official said Thursday. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the Defense Department perfers not to publicly announce upcoming ship movements for security reasons.


    Pentagon officials said last month that the extra ships would serve as a show of force to Iran, at odds with the United States over its nuclear program and alleged support of violence in Iraq. They said the ships also would be available to help in the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - and possibly nearby in Indian Ocean waters off the coast of Somalia, a lawless nation that authorities say has been a haven for Islamic radicals.


    The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower left its Norfolk, Va., port in September and is already in the gulf region. The Stennis is homeported in Bremerton, Wash.
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    Time Is Running Out
    http://regimechangeiniran.com/2007/0...s-running-out/

    Patrick Clawson, World Jewish Digest reminded us that Ahmadinejad told Kofi Annan that though Britain and the United States had won the last world war, Iran would win the next. A few excerpts:

    “It wasn’t the tone and the content that stunned us,” the aide told the Times. “It was the fact that he talked like he meant it and believed it.” After all, Annan and his colleagues hadn’t realized there would be a next world war.

    In the eyes of the Ahmadinezhad and his supporters, however, that war has already begun. ...

    The even worse news is Iran’s revolutionary leaders deeply believe they can carry out their ambitious agenda.

    The full text:

    In early September, as Kofi Annan passed through the Middle East on a farewell journey as United Nations secretary general, he made a stop in Tehran. There, in a meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad, Iran’s president, he heard something startling.

    As later recounted to the New York Times by an Annan aide, Ahmadinezhad told Annan that though Britain and the United States had won the last world war, Iran would win the next. “It wasn’t the tone and the content that stunned us,” the aide told the Times. “It was the fact that he talked like he meant it and believed it.” After all, Annan and his colleagues hadn’t realized there would be a next world war.

    In the eyes of the Ahmadinezhad and his supporters, however, that war has already begun. In their way of thinking, radical Islamists have already brought the collapse of one superpower (the Soviet Union, which they believe fell because of the Afghan war) and are on route to victory in Europe. America is next.

    The good news about the Iranian Ahmadinezhad’s wild rhetoric is that he is not a particularly important figure in Iran’s peculiar system in which the revolutionary institutions matter more than the state. Real power is wielded by the hardline clerics, especially Supreme Leader Ayatalloh Ali Khamenei, whose title accurately reflects his unchecked authority.

    The bad news is that Khamenei and the other hard-line clerics entirely agree with Ahmadinezhad’s dangerous views. They are just more careful about letting Westerners know what they really think.

    To audiences in the Middle East, Khamenei is more open. He has long met with Holocaust deniers and warmly endorsed their disgusting lies. In Persian, he regularly calls the state of Israel a “cancer” that must be cut out and urges Muslims never to accept the existence of the Jewish state. He has been the force behind Iran’s longstanding arms supplies to Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist group, and he has constantly urged that group to keep up the fight against Israel no matter what concessions Israel might make. He has pushed Iran to provide more support for Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza because of the group’s refusal to accept the state of Israel. Iran has pledged to give Hamas $250 million this year, about half of which has been delivered, making Iran by far the largest funder of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

    The even worse news is Iran’s revolutionary leaders deeply believe they can carry out their ambitious agenda. To us, that sounds bizarre because we see Iran as a middle-sized country that causes an amazing amount of trouble. Things look very different to Iran’s hardliners. They see themselves as the leaders of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims who are destined to dominate the world.

    To their conviction that God is on their side, Iran’s hardliners add a strong dose of nationalism. Iran’s history is 2,500 years old; by contrast, Islam has been around for a mere 1,300 years. For most of that time, Iran (the ancient Persia) has been a much larger country than it is today. After all, the Bible tells us that it was the Persian Emperor who ended the Jews’ Babylonian captivity, freeing them to return to build the Temple in Jerusalem and giving them the money with which to do so. Coming to a more recent time, only 200 years ago, Iran was more than twice its present size. No wonder Iran expects to be the regional superpower, especially when its population is three times that of Saudi Arabia and all the other Gulf Arab monarchies combined.

    While its self-conceit may be impressive, Iran’s only real chance to be able to dominate its neighborhood, much less to accomplish its often stated goal of eliminating Israel, is through its nuclear program. That is why U.S. policy toward Iran has appropriately focused on the nuclear issue. President Bush and his top officials have made many strong statements about the dangers from Iran, calling a nuclear-armed Iran unacceptable. But the sad reality is that over the last year, Iran has made slow but steady progress with its nuclear program, creating facts that will be hard to reverse. Perhaps diplomacy can rescue the situation, but only stronger pressure can produce results.

    To date, diplomacy has not produced much. U.S. policy about Iran has focused on the U.N. Security Council ever since Iran’s clandestine nuclear activities were first revealed in 2003. The Bush administration felt it made a great leap forward when, in September 2005, it was finally able to persuade a reluctant Europe to take Iran to the U.N. However, the Security Council has lived up to its reputation as being a place for much talk and little action.

    Russia and China, who have so far blocked Security Council action on Iran, are hard to read. The pessimistic view is that they do not care much about a nuclear Iran: yes, a militant Islamist Iran could threaten them (both have large Muslim populations), but a nuclear Tehran’s greater threat to the West would be welcomed by some in Moscow and Beijing.

    Under the best of circumstances, the Security Council may in the near future adopt some largely symbolic measures, threatening to progressively ratchet up the pressure if Iran does not cooperate. This incremental approach will allow Iran to adjust at each new rung in the sanctions ladder, ensuring that U.N. resolutions have little effect.

    At the moment, Tehran’s hard-line mullahs think America is weak while Iran is on top of the world, so they will not halt their nuclear program. To them, the West, especially the United States but also Israel, is a paper tiger, unwilling and indeed unable to act forcefully. America’s problems in Iraq and Israel’s mixed record in the summer war against Hezbollah reinforced its hand.

    But we may be able to turn that around. Iran has fundamental weaknesses and we have abiding strengths, and if we can delay the Iranian nuclear program long enough, that reality may become clearer. If the price of oil were $30 a barrel; if there were so much spare oil-production capacity that Iranian oil was not needed; if the United States was not bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan; if Hezbollah, Hamas and other Iranian allies had been set back in their drive for power, then Iran would not be so cocky. We may not succeed, but it is worth the effort. It is not yet the time to bomb.

    If we can stall Iran’s nuclear program, if Iran’s situation weakens and ours strengthens, if the international community’s resolve can be demonstrated with sufficient credibility, then Iran’s hardline leaders may possibly draw back from the path of confrontation with the world. To make this strategy work, the main change needed is less reliance on the Security Council. The United States should augment steps taken at the U.N. with parallel measures taken outside that body. Here are several examples of the steps which could be taken in concert with the U.N. process to make Iran’s choices starker and to slow Iran’s nuclear program.

    Financial Pressure

    Already this last year, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has been warning banks about doing business in Iran to great effect: Iranian businessmen complain they are having problems arranging a way to pay for goods they want to import. While financial sanctions will not bring Iranian hardliners to their knees, economic problems could contribute further to popular discontent with the government. While Iranians may always want nuclear weapons in their heart of hearts, we want them to decide that nuclear weapons come at too a high a price to be worthwhile.

    Proliferation-Proofing

    Iran’s nuclear program has moved forward at a snail’s pace; after all, its clandestine work began 19 years ago. The basic reason is that the world community has actually been pretty good at blocking Iran’s access to dangerous nuclear technology. The only real breach was Pakistan’s provision of some designs and centrifuge machines, and that was a decade ago. Since then, Iran has been on its own, sweating out solutions for tricky technical problems. The one step the Security Council is likely to take is to ban Iranian access to the most dangerous nuclear technology. The challenge is to turn those words on paper into reality. That will require gathering intelligence on Iran’s procurement activities and working with countries where Iran may be shopping for apparently innocuous materials that are actually destined for its nuclear program.

    Inducements

    Inducements are worth offering to Tehran to test the potential for diplomatic progress and to persuade public opinion—in Iran, in the United States and around the world—that Washington is making every reasonable effort to settle the dispute diplomatically. Appropriate inducements should be mutually beneficial, rather than looking like bribes that reward bad behavior. One potential inducement would be for the United States to offer Iran what it has provided some other countries that gave up their nuclear program, namely an assurance that the United States will not attack Iran if Iran does not attack the United States. Such a commitment is very different from Tehran’s demand that the Bush administration recognize the legitimacy of the unpopular and autocratic Islamic Republic.

    Deterrence and Dissuasion

    The United States should step up its security presence in the region so as to show Iran that its nuclear program is starting an arms race that Iran will lose. On this issue, we may get some modest cooperation from Saudi Arabia and other Arab monarchies in the Gulf. They are worried about the Iranian threat, especially in light of Iran’s breakthroughs in the Arab world in Iraq and Lebanon, where pro-Iranian forces have made great gains. The Arab monarchs have agreed to more active military cooperation with the United States, such as an October exercise in the Gulf, which practiced inspecting ships suspected of carrying nuclear materials. But more can be done; for instance, exercises to protect the Strait of Hormuz, which Iran regularly threatens to shut if any actions are taken against Tehran’s nuclear program.

    Military Planning

    Iran’s leaders seem to believe that the United States lacks the will and the capacity to take preventive military action. Washington should consider identifying “red lines” that would prompt preventive action should lastminute diplomacy fail. That moment has not yet arrived. If the United States or Israel acted militarily now, most of the world would see them, rather than the Iranians, as the warmongers.

    Only when Iran has sufficiently scared the Arab Gulf States, the Europeans and hopefully the Russians will the United States or Israel be able to act without provoking outrage. How the world views a military attack on Iran’s nuclear program matters because that will influence the post-strike environment. If the world tells Iran that the strikes were its fault, it may dissuade Iran from rebuilding the nuclear program. At the least, a supportive international reaction could lay the groundwork for further strikes if Iran does rebuild.

    Besides stepping up the pressure, perhaps the next most important step is, first, do no harm. Many proposals are currently circulating on accommodating Iran. The Iraq Study Group, led by James Baker III and Lee Hamilton, recommended engaging Iran about the future of Iraq. Since Iran has for years been arming and funding those fighting the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, it is hard to see why Iran would change that policy unless Washington offered something in return. Iran’s U.N. ambassador, Javad Zarif, is reported to have told Baker and Hamilton that Tehran would demand an end to pressure on the nuclear program before it would help in Iraq. That would be a heavy price indeed. And the benefits would be very limited; as the Baker-Hamilton group’s own report shows, the instability in Iraq has become homegrown, with Iran and all other outside players only playing a minor supporting role.

    Realistically, diplomacy may not work. But Washington has to make its best effort, if for no other reason than to show the publics in Iran, the United States and around the world that every peaceful option was being explored. Then, the U.S. hand will be strengthened if it is forced to resort to more severe measures.
    Patrick Clawson is deputy director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. This essay owes much to Michael Eisenstadt, who is the co-author with Dr. Clawson of The Washington Institute’s recent Policy Focus, Forcing Hard Choices on Tehran: Raising the Costs of Iran’s Nuclear Program.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    I've been seeing a DISTINCT INCREASE in traffic about Iran....

    I was wrong thinking that we'd be wacking them in the Fall.. now I think it will be SOON........
    Rick,

    Welcome to the club.


    Originally posted by Sean Osborne 28 DEC 2006:

    The games afoot and now we have a full-blown nuclear showdown and crisis which will reach critical mass in just 3 months time (March 2007).

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    2007: War Clouds Thicken on the Horizon

    Amir Taheri, Asharq Alawsat argued that in 2007 the storm-bearing clouds that have been gathering since the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are unlikely to dissipate. An excerpt:

    Let us fix three criteria and then try to see what the world, measured by them, might look like at the end of 2007.

    The full text:

    As always towards the end of the year, the question has been debated for the past weeks in political circles, business boardrooms, and military planning councils.

    Let us fix three criteria and then try to see what the world, measured by them, might look like at the end of 2007.

    The first criterion is security, a concern that has topped the international agenda for the past five years. There was a time after the end of the Cold War that most nations regarded security as a given rather than an aspiration. As 2006 draws to a close, however, more and more nations feel insecure for many different reasons. Sharing that confidence, the business world focused more on the threat of losing markets, to new competitors, than on actual physical threat to its interests, indeed its very existence.

    In 2006 a staggering 57 nations lived with medium to high security alerts, against a wide range of terrorist threats. The figure included virtually all Western democracies, most of the Arab states, and a dozen Asian countries.

    This new form of terrorist threat is substantially different from the classical one that focused on specific political and military targets. New terrorism aims at killing as many people as possible at random, at times through suicide operations.

    It is almost certain that, by this criterion at least, the world be as unsafe, if not more so, next year than at this year's end.

    So far, the conventional wisdom has been to urge more attention to the political grievances that are supposed to be at the root of this new phenomenon. The truth, however, is that terrorism is not always necessarily connected with any particular grievance. At its deadliest, it could be the expression of an ideal, if not an actual ideology. The Red Brigades in Italy and the Red Army Faction in Germany in the 1970s had no particular grievances that they could not have expressed through peaceful means in their democratic societies. They did not want anything in particular the granting of which would persuade them to end their killings. They wanted everything.

    Their successors, the Islamist terrorists of the new century go even further because they want everything and more. The Red Brigades and the Red Army Faction would have been content with seizing political control and imposing a dictatorship of the proletariat, whatever that meant. The Islamists, however, look beyond mere political power. They want to control every aspect of the lives of every individual, including what one eats, wears and does in the privacy of one's home.

    To treat this new terrorism as a purely political phenomenon is intellectually dishonest and potentially suicidal for the afflicted societies.

    The most effective means of dealing with this new terrorism is to treat it as a new form of warfare, with the body of the suicide-bomber as a new weapon. Like all other forms of warfare and all other weapons, this new terrorism and the suicide-bombers it deploys are impressive, disconcerting and effective beyond their real impact because no way has yet been found to cope with them effectively.

    The most dramatic example of the effect that this new terrorism can achieve can be seen in Iraq. This new terrorism has caused many thousands of deaths without winning any battles or securing any territory. Nor has it been able to stop the political process it has vowed to sabotage. And, yet, this new terrorism has succeeded in persuading a majority of the Americans and Europeans, and many Arabs, that Iraq is already lost to groups that do not represent even five per cent of the Iraqi population. The only people who know that this form of terrorism cannot win are the Iraqis who represent its principal victims.

    There are, however, signs that some of the countries targeted by this new kind of terrorism are beginning to develop the methods needed to defeat it. Egypt and Algeria have already achieved success while Saudi Arabia is well on the way to join them on that account. Pakistan has moved onto the offensive against new threat while the Philippines and Indonesia have managed to break the principal terrorist groups that threatened their security.

    In 2007, therefore, we should look for more successes against terrorism, including the development of new methods and weapons.

    The second threat to security comes from nuclear proliferation. With North Korea declaring itself a nuclear power and the Islamic Republic of Iran seeking the scientific and industrial wherewithal needed to make atomic weapons, proliferation is no longer a hypothetical threat. At least eight countries are now known to have embarked upon preliminary probes to develop nuclear capacities of their own, largely in response to the perceived threat from Iran.

    Thus, measures from preventing a nuclear free-for-all are likely to dominate the international agenda in the new year.

    The second criterion is regional stability. In Latin America new chinks have appeared in the status quo as shaped after the end of the Cod War. No one knows what Cuba may look like once Fidel Castro is finally laid to rest, possibly in 2007. In Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez's latest election victory may have the paradoxical effect of forcing his opponents to challenge his increasingly authoritarian rule through non-institutional means. In Bolivia only one thing is certain: President Evo Morales is dancing around a powder keg with a lit match. In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega's return to power has already persuaded the anti-Sandinist groups to start rearming while the new president is also setting up his own militia.

    Africa includes even more potential black holes that could affect regional stability next year.

    But the impact of instability in Latin America and Black Africa will be minimal beyond the affected regions.

    The same cannot be said of the Middle East, still arguably the world's most important source of energy. The low intensity wars that have been going on in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2003 are certain to continue for at least another year, and may even be amplified. The region as a whole, however, has already taken both wars into account, and shown that it can live with them as an irritant rather than an existential threat. The question for 2007 is whether or not that perception changes, one way or another.

    The new imponderable danger in the region is that of a war waged over Iran's attempts at dominating the Middle East. Such a war was waged by proxy in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories last summer and autumn. It also led to a shift of power in Syria in favour of those who seek an alliance with Iran and others who urged switching to the American side.

    The proxy war could heat up in a number of ways including civil war among the Palestinians, a new civil war in Lebanon, an Israeli attack on Syria and American military strikes against Iranian targets.

    The storm-bearing clouds that have been gathering since the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2005 are unlikely to dissipate on their own. Any thunderclap and lightening strike could unleash one mighty storm needed to clear the air.

    The third criterion concerns the effectiveness of diplomacy and international political organisations in dealing with rising tension in the Middle East and beyond. If both prove ineffective, war could reassert itself as the inevitable continuation of politics by other means.

    Amir Taheri
    was born in Iran and educated in Tehran, London and Paris. Between 1980 and 1984 he was Middle East editor for the London Sunday Times. Taheri has been a contributor to the International Herald Tribune since 1980. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Taheri has published nine books some of which have been translated into 20 languages, and In 1988 Publishers'' Weekly in New York chose his study of Islamist terrorism, "Holy Terror", as one of The Best Books of The Year. He has been a columnist Asharq Alawsat since 1987
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    BBC: Iranians 'up to no good' in Iraq ~ were on a covert mission to influence Iraq's government
    BBC ^ | Thursday, 4 January 2007, 22:50 GMT | BBC Staff



    Iranians 'up to no good' in Iraq







    The Iranians reportedly discussed the Maliki government's future


    Five Iranians arrested by US troops in Baghdad last month were on a covert mission to influence Iraq's government, British officials have told the BBC.

    The five men were senior intelligence officers "up to no good", an unnamed official told the Newsnight programme.



    The arrests caused a diplomatic row when it became clear that the Iranians, who have since been released, had been invited by the Iraqi government.


    Tehran has protested to the US, saying some of the men were diplomats.


    The White House has suggested the arrests validated US claims of Iranian "meddling" in Iraq.


    'No smoking gun'
    A number of Iranians were arrested in the Iraqi capital on 21 December, when US forces raided a compound belonging to Abdul Aziz Hakim, leader of a powerful pro-Iranian Shia party.






    There were five senior officers in various Iranian intelligence organisations... these people have been collared, relatively speaking, up to no good




    British official










    Iran protests arrests in Iraq






    Inside were Iranian officials and documents that, Newsnight's diplomatic editor Mark Urban says, caused consternation among coalition military commanders.


    "There were five senior officers in various Iranian intelligence organisations... it was a very significant meeting... these people have been collared, relatively speaking, up to no good," an unnamed British official told the programme.


    Officials told Newsnight the arrests produced highly important intelligence, but no "smoking gun" about weapons supplies or attacks on coalition forces.


    They said that the arrested men were in Iraq to hold high-level meeting with representatives of several Iraqi Shia factions.



    "There was discussion of whether the [Prime Minister Nouri] Maliki government would succeed, who should be in which ministerial jobs," one official told the programme.


    "It was a very significant meeting... the fact of who some of the Iranians were is very important," the official said.


    Following the arrests, the Americans quickly released several Iranian diplomats and three intelligence officers.


    However, they continued for some time to hold two intelligence officers seized at the Hakim compound.


    A US military spokesman in Baghdad told the New York Times newspaper that the raid had produced "specific intelligence from highly credible sources that linked individuals and locations with criminal activities".


    The spokesman added that "some of that specific intelligence dealt explicitly with force protection issues including attacks on Multinational Forces".


    Washington now wants the Iranians concerned to be banned from returning to Iraq.


    The Iraqi government is reportedly considering such a step.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    In the very near term ( FEB-MAR 2007 ) there is a very high probability that a major clash between the U.S. and Iran will erupt, perhaps Syria as well, but that'll be an Israeli operation, more or less.

    I have come to learn in the past year that Iran has been working closely with AQ in a number of areas. I have also come to learn from my sources that:

    • Iran now has effective control of Al Qaeda terrorist operations.
    • Usama bin Laden is in Iran, with one of his wives (she's the daughter of Taliban Mullah Omar) and two of his sons, Saad and Mohammed bin Laden. The clothing worn by Usama bin Laden in his last two video's (2004-2005) was Iranian clothing.
    • Ayman al-Zawahiri slips in and out of Iran all the time.
    • Operational control of AQ - at Iranian insistence - has been given to Saif al-Adel, 46, former Egyptian special forces Colonel.

    AQ is determined to strike the U.S. with nuclear weapons. The Iranian nuke program is key to that strike as are their Russian benefactors.

    Bottom line for the near term:

    The U.S. Navy/Marine Corps does not place so many combat lethal carrier and amphibious strike groups in the ffice:smarttags" />lace w:st="on">Persian Gulflace> as we have there right now just for the Iranian's to practice their naval war gaming on. And a minimum of 8 additional Army combat brigades moving into Iraq are not going there for on a standard rotation. Something big is a afoot.

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    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/810048.html

    Last update - 07:32 06/01/2007
    Iran: If threatened, we may alter opposition to obtaining nukes
    By The Associated Press and Haaretz Service
    Iranian top nuclear envoy Ali Larijani said in a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao Friday that Iran is committed to peaceful use of
    nuclear technology.

    "We oppose obtaining nuclear weapons and we will peacefully use nuclear technology under the framework of the Nonproliferation Treaty," he said. "But," he warned, "if we are threatened, the situation may change."


    Advertisement

    Larijani also said Iran's situation is "totally different" from that of North Korea, which conducted its first atomic test Oct. 9. International talks aimed at Pyongyang's nuclear disarmament have failed.

    "North Korea already has nuclear weapons, we are not after nuclear weapons," Larijani said. "It is not part of our doctrine, political or national doctrine, to go after nuclear weapons.

    Hu Jinato urged Iran to give a "serious response" to UN sanctions for its nuclear program, applying rare diplomatic pressure on the regime. He said that the sanctions, which bar all countries from selling materials and technology to Tehran that could contribute to its nuclear and missile programs, reflect "the shared concerns of the international community."

    "We hope Iran could make a serious response to the resolution," Hu told
    Larijani, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

    Hu also said that "China continues to believe the Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved through diplomatic negotiation."

    China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has been in a
    difficult position. While it wants Iranian energy supplies to fuel the
    fast-growing, power-hungry Chinese economy, it also has a desire to work with the United States, which suspects Tehran's nuclear program is being used to develop weapons.

    Washington has led the drive to stop Iran from enriching uranium - a process that produces the material for either nuclear reactors or bombs - but it compromised on the sanctions to win the support of China and Russia, Iran's major trading partners.

    The resolution, passed last month, also froze the assets of 10 Iranian
    companies and 12 individuals related to those programs.

    In Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Friday that sanctions won't stop Iran from enriching uranium, state-run television reported.

    "Iran will stand up to coercion. ... All Iranians stand united to defend their nuclear rights," state-run TV quoted him as saying.

    "Enemies have assumed that they can prevent the progress of the Iranian nation through psychological war and issuing resolutions, but they will be defeated," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying on state-run TV.

    Larijani, who was in Beijing for a two-day visit, also delivered a letter from Ahmadinejad to Hu although details of the contents were not released. Chinese state television showed the two men shaking hands and talking at the cavernous Great Hall of the People, the seat of China's legislature in the heart of Beijing.

    Larijani indicated Friday that China's decision to support the resolution has not hurt ties between the two sides, calling them "long-term and
    long-lasting."

    "Countries who have strategic long-term relationships will not change their strategic relationships because of tactical issues," he said at a news conference. He added in reference to Washington: "We know who is really responsible, who is really behind the sanctions and nobody else can be blamed for this."
    I'm taking America back. Step 1: I'm taking my kids out of the public re-education system. They will no longer have liberal bias and lies like this from bullying teachers when I expect them to be taught reading, writing, and arithmetic:
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