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Thread: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

  1. #321
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    Iranian FM: U.S. is incapable to launch attack against Iran
    Xinhua ^ | 2/24/07 | Xinhua

    TEHRAN, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister said on Saturday that the United States was in no position to launch military strike against the Islamic Republic, stressing that talks were the only choice to resolve the nuclear standoff.

    "We do not see the U.S. in a position to impose another crisis on its tax payers by starting another war in the region," Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters during a press conference with his Bahraini counterpart, in a response to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's warnings over Tehran earlier Saturday.

    "But the Islamic Republic of Iran has prepared for two scenarios. We prefer the second one which is based on dialogue and constructive interaction," Mottaki added.

    During his trip to Australia, Cheney Saturday refused to rule out the possibility of taking military action against Iran, saying that "all options are still on the table" over Tehran's nuclear programs.

    Cheney said Washington was still working with other countries to persuade Tehran to abandon its nuclear programs and prefers to achieve the goal peacefully.

    "But all options are still on the table," Cheney said, adding that it is still being debated in the U.S. how to move next to deal with Tehran over the nuclear issue.

    In an interview with U.S. media, carried out in Australia and released on Friday, Cheney said that the United States will "do everything" it can to stop Iran's nuclear programs.

    Mottaki also stressed that dialogue was the only choice to resolve the current deadlock, urging the U.S. and its allies to return to the negotiation table.

    "The only way to reach a solution for disputes is negotiations and talks. Therefore, we want the London meeting to make a brave decision and resume talks with Iran," said the minister.

    The United States, along with some other Western countries, has been accusing Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of civilian nuclear programs. Tehran has rejected such accusations, saying that its nuclear programs are designed for peaceful use of nuclear energy.

    The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1737 on Dec. 23,2006, demanding Iran stop all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities including research and development, and work on all heavy water-related projects, in 60 days.

    Iran refused to heed the Security Council's demand by the deadline that fell on Feb. 21, 2007.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group Arrives in 5th Fleet
    Navy Newstand ^ | February 20, 2007 | Lt. Nathan Christensen, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet

    USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- The USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG) entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO) Feb.19 to conduct Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in regional waters, as well as to provide support for ground forces operating in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Led by Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn, Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3, the strike group includes the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON)21, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), guided-missile destroyers USS O’Kane (DDG 77) and USS Preble (DDG 88), and the fast combat-support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10). More than 6,500 Sailors and Marines are assigned to JCSSG.

    “The USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is here to help foster stability and security in the region,” said Quinn. “We look forward to working with our coalition partners to provide support for ground forces operating in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as conducting maritime security operations that help provide a safe environment for shipping within the region. We are ready, we are sustainable, we are flexible and we provide significant capabilities that contribute to regional peace and security.”

    MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

    U.S. 5th Fleet’s AOO encompasses 2.5 million square miles of water and includes the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.

    For related news, visit the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.
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  3. #323
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    From The Sunday Times
    February 25, 2007
    US generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack
    Michael Smith and Sarah Baxter, Washington

    SOME of America’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources.

    Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.

    “There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

    A British defence source confirmed that there were deep misgivings inside the Pentagon about a military strike. “All the generals are perfectly clear that they don’t have the military capacity to take Iran on in any meaningful fashion. Nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them.

    “There are enough people who feel this would be an error of judgment too far for there to be resignations.”

    A generals’ revolt on such a scale would be unprecedented. “American generals usually stay and fight until they get fired,” said a Pentagon source. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, has repeatedly warned against striking Iran and is believed to represent the view of his senior commanders.

    The threat of a wave of resignations coincided with a warning by Vice-President Dick Cheney that all options, including military action, remained on the table. He was responding to a comment by Tony Blair that it would not “be right to take military action against Iran”.

    Iran ignored a United Nations deadline to suspend its uranium enrichment programme last week. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted that his country “will not withdraw from its nuclear stances even one single step”.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran could soon produce enough enriched uranium for two nuclear bombs a year, although Tehran claims its programme is purely for civilian energy purposes.

    Nicholas Burns, the top US negotiator, is to meet British, French, German, Chinese and Russian officials in London tomorrow to discuss additional penalties against Iran. But UN diplomats cautioned that further measures would take weeks to agree and would be mild at best.

    A second US navy aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS John C Stennis arrived in the Gulf last week, doubling the US presence there. Vice Admiral Patrick Walsh, the commander of the US Fifth Fleet, warned: “The US will take military action if ships are attacked or if countries in the region are targeted or US troops come under direct attack.”

    But General Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said recently there was “zero chance” of a war with Iran. He played down claims by US intelligence that the Iranian government was responsible for supplying insurgents in Iraq, forcing Bush on the defensive.

    Pace’s view was backed up by British intelligence officials who said the extent of the Iranian government’s involvement in activities inside Iraq by a small number of Revolutionary Guards was “far from clear”.

    Hillary Mann, the National Security Council’s main Iran expert until 2004, said Pace’s repudiation of the administration’s claims was a sign of grave discontent at the top.

    “He is a very serious and a very loyal soldier,” she said. “It is extraordinary for him to have made these comments publicly, and it suggests there are serious problems between the White House, the National Security Council and the Pentagon.”

    Mann fears the administration is seeking to provoke Iran into a reaction that could be used as an excuse for an attack. A British official said the US navy was well aware of the risks of confrontation and was being “seriously careful” in the Gulf.

    The US air force is regarded as being more willing to attack Iran. General Michael Moseley, the head of the air force, cited Iran as the main likely target for American aircraft at a military conference earlier this month.

    According to a report in The New Yorker magazine, the Pentagon has already set up a working group to plan airstrikes on Iran. The panel initially focused on destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities and on regime change but has more recently been instructed to identify targets in Iran that may be involved in supplying or aiding militants in Iraq.

    However, army chiefs fear an attack on Iran would backfire on American troops in Iraq and lead to more terrorist attacks, a rise in oil prices and the threat of a regional war.

    Britain is concerned that its own troops in Iraq might be drawn into any American conflict with Iran, regardless of whether the government takes part in the attack.

    One retired general who participated in the “generals’ revolt” against Donald Rumsfeld’s handling of the Iraq war said he hoped his former colleagues would resign in the event of an order to attack. “We don’t want to take another initiative unless we’ve really thought through the consequences of our strategy,” he warned.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    I do not buy the above report from a leftist leaning paper in the UK. It is posted for objectivity, to show what the left is pushing though.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    But General Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said recently there was “zero chance” of a war with Iran. He played down claims by US intelligence that the Iranian government was responsible for supplying insurgents in Iraq, forcing Bush on the defensive.

    Pace’s view was backed up by British intelligence officials who said the extent of the Iranian government’s involvement in activities inside Iraq by a small number of Revolutionary Guards was “far from clear”.

    Hillary Mann, the National Security Council’s main Iran expert until 2004, said Pace’s repudiation of the administration’s claims was a sign of grave discontent at the top.

    “He is a very serious and a very loyal soldier,” she said. “It is extraordinary for him to have made these comments publicly, and it suggests there are serious problems between the White House, the National Security Council and the Pentagon.”

    The rest is unclear, but a "house divided" appears clear.
    I can't blame you for not buying it. I've no idea how true if any it is. The mere thought of mutiny, treason, political guardians attacking the philosopher king... no order, no success. Who wants to buy failure?

    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
    Shema Israel

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    Ahmadinejad: U.S., Israel cause problems

    KHARTOUM, Sudan -
    Iran's president blamed the United States and
    Israel for the world's problems Thursday in a lecture to Sudanese officials and intellectuals during his visit to Sudan.

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments came as Iran and Sudan face mounting international criticism — Iran over its nuclear activities and Sudan over the conflict in Darfur.

    Meanwhile, a Saudi official said the hard-line president was planning a trip to Saudi Arabia on Saturday. The rival countries have been holding talks for weeks to try to defuse conflicts in the region, including the sectarian strife in Lebanon and
    Iraq. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

    The visit would come just weeks before Saudi Arabia hosts an Arab League summit. Iran is not an Arab country — its language and culture are Persian — but has a role and strong interest in many of the conflicts in the Arab world.

    In his lecture Thursday titled "Iran and the World," the hardline president reiterated arguments that he has made repeatedly throughout the standoff with the United States and its Western allies over Iran's nuclear activities.

    "There is no place in the world that suffers from divisions and wars unless America or the Zionists' fingerprints are seen there," Ahmadinejad told his audience in Farsi translated into Arabic.

    He urged Muslims to rally behind Iran and accused detractors of Iran's nuclear program of trying to prevent a developing country from making scientific advances.
    "Our strength and the cornerstone of the victory is in our (Muslims') unity ... we have to pay attention to the devils who want to cause divisions among us," the Iranian president said.

    "They want to keep science in their hands only ... they don't want the rest of the world to progress," he said referring Iran's nuclear program.

    Ahmadinejad arrived in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, Wednesday in a show of solidarity with Sudan.
    Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declared support for Iran's nuclear ambitions while Ahmadinejad said Iran viewed Sudan's progress as important as its own.

    Permanent members of the
    U.N. Security Council and Germany have begun discussing a new round of sanctions on Iran for failing to halt uranium enrichment by late February.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070301/...u6zDDTiIHMWM0F

    Jag

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    Iran: Israel 'Is Satan' Says Ahmadinejad
    AKI ^ | March 1 2007



    Israel embodies Satan more than the United States, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by Iran's official news agency IRNA on Thursday.


    Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for the destruction of the Jewish state, made the remarks in a speech Wednesday night to Sudanese religious leaders in Khartoum where he is visiting to promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Neither Iran nor Sudan recognise Israel


    "Zionists are the true manifestation of Satan," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying. He also accused "many Western governments that claim to be democracy pioneers and standard bearers of human rights of ignoring the crimes committed by Zionists and, by keeping quiet, of supporting them in their edonistic and materialistic tendencies."


    (Excerpt) Read more at adnki.com ...




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    The Vanishing Iranian General: Did He Leave or Was He Taken?
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report with DEBKA-Net-Weekly Background
    March 2, 2007, 10:49 PM (GMT+02:00)
    Istanbul Ceyland Hotel. He never arrived

    Iran’s dep. defense minister for eight years up until 2005 - and before that a prominent Revolutionary Guards General, Alireza Asquari, 63, has not been seen since his disappearance in mysterious circumstances in Istanbul on Feb. 7.
    The missing general has been identified as the officer in charge of Iranian undercover operations in central Iraq, according to DEBKAfile’s intelligence and Iranian sources. He is believed to have been linked to – or participated in - the armed group which stormed the US-Iraqi command center in Karbala south of Baghdad Jan. 20 and snatched five American officers. They were shot outside the Shiite city.
    An Middle East intelligence source told DEBKAfile that the Americans could not let this premeditated outrage go unanswered and had been hunting the Iranian general ever since.
    The BAZTAB Web site reported that Feb. 6, two non-Turkish citizens made a reservation for Gen Asquari for three nights at the Istanbul Ceylan Hotel paying cash. He arrived the next day from Damascus and immediately disappeared.
    The Turkish foreign ministry said only: “It is a very sensitive intelligence matter and the Interior Ministry is dealing with this issue.”
    BAZTAB speaks for the faction associated with Mohsein Rezai, former Revolutionary Guards commander, deputy head of Iran’s most powerful governing council and a man very close to top intelligence circles in Tehran
    The Iranian general’s arrival at Ataturk international airport on a flight from Damascus is recorded at border control, but he never reached the hotel.
    Instead, he booked himself into the more modest and cheaper Hotel Ghilan. He left his luggage in the room, walked out of the hotel – and vanished.
    A police official in Istanbul said: “We are trying to find out whether he left or was taken. Clearly the reservation made for him at the luxurious Ceylan Hotel was made to mislead. Tehran’s application to Interpol, which has issued a yellow bulletin, means that the Iranians are not treating Asquari’s disappearance as a defection but as involuntary.
    DEBKAfile adds: Tehran sees the hand of US undercover agencies or contract gunmen and believes Washington has stepped up its war against Iranian officers running Tehran’s clandestine operations in Iraq. The kidnapping of an Iranian general outside Iraq would expand President Bush’s permission for the capture or killing of Iranian agents helping Iraqi insurgents and al Qaeda murder Americans in Iraq.
    DEBKA-Net-Weekly 288 reported on Feb. 2 that the gunmen who abducted the American soldiers in Karbala - and then shot them dead execution-style – belonged to a special commando team of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, which was sent to Iraq especially for this mission.
    To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click HERE .
    The team was made up of intelligence officers who speak American English and were trained to masquerade as US troops, kidnap US soldiers and hold them as hostages for bargaining.
    These officers are from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and other Arab countries, who studied in the US and can talk like Americans - even in the idiom of US troops. Teams of these masqueraders roam at large in Iraq, clad in American uniforms, armed with US weapons and driving stolen American vehicles.
    Tehran’s plan was to snatch a group of US soldiers and hold them hostage against the release of the 8 Revolutionary Guards paratroops in American custody. However, according to our intelligence sources, the plan went awry for some unknown reason and the Iranian commandos decided to execute their captives before making a fast getaway from the Karbala region.
    Tehran views this operation as a fiasco because it did not achieve its goal. At the same time, Iranian intelligence has not been put off its plan to take American soldiers hostage in Iraq. Its chiefs are determined to do whatever it takes to obtain the release of the third top man of the Revolutionary Guards al Quds division, Col. Fars Hassami, who DEBKA-Net-Weekly reports is not the only high-profile Iranian officer in American hands. Another is Mohammad Jaafari Sahra-Rudi, who was the kingpin of Iran’s terrorist operations in large parts of Iraq. His long record includes leading the Iranian death squad which assassinated Iran’s Kurdish Democratic Party leader Dr. Abdol-Rahman Qasemlou in Vienna in 1989.
    Austrian security services caught the assassin but sent him back to Iran as part of a secret transaction between the two countries.
    Qasemlou operated in Iraq under his real identity and even met with Iraqi president Jalal Talabani just a few days before he was captured in the American raid of the Iranian “liaison office” in Irbil Jan 11.
    The Iranians have explored every channel they can think of to break the agents out of American custody. When they realized that the United States was adamant about holding on to them, the heads of the Revolutionary Guards decided to go ahead with their campaign of abductions against US troops in Iraq. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad approved.

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    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/833020.html

    Last update - 16:39 04/03/2007
    Iran to issue new banknote with atomic symbol
    By Reuters

    Iran, embroiled in a row with the West over its nuclear ambitions, will issue a new banknote this month carrying an atomic symbol, newspapers reported on Sunday.

    The new note for 50,000 rials, worth the equivalent of about $5.40, will be the largest in circulation when it becomes available on March 12.

    Images of the banknote published in newspapers showed one side with an atomic symbol of electrons in orbit. The other side carried a picture of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, like other notes.

    Iran is facing mounting pressure over its nuclear plans, which the West says is a project to build atomic bombs despite Tehran's insistence its aims are peaceful.

    A central bank official was quoted by the business daily Poul as saying 50 to 60 designs were put forward before the current design was chosen by Economy Minister Davoud Danesh-Jafari. It did not give a reason for his choice.

    The biggest note now in circulation is for 20,000 rials, worth a little more than $2.

    With inflation officially running at about 16 percent - which economists say underestimates price rises for the goods most people worry about -Iranians carry increasingly large quantities of notes even for relatively modest shopping trips.

    Some Iranian banks issue travelers cheques for bigger denominations which are accepted by some outlets like cash. Some shops also accept Iranian credit cards, but international cards are not widely accepted.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    I want to reiterate something I stated almost 1 year ago. On April 11, 2006 I posted the following (post #59) to this thread.


    The US most certainly is NOT going to invade Iran. Period. And I have very serious doubts that the US will ever launch preemptive surgical strikes against the Iranian nuclear infrastructure. To do so would provide the Ayatollah and his Hojjatieh, Armageddon-loving sock-puppet president exactly what they both want.

    I know there is a larger war coming, but it's nexus to slightly to the west and will, at least in its initial phase, involve Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Any US strike will come ONLY if President Bush decides to risk total war as a direct consequence. I do not believe he will so opt.
    I am as firmly convinced today of the above as I was then.

    In July-August of 2006 I had thought that war would become the "larger war". Certain events did not transpire, but that war has become the precedent setter for what comes next in the same area. It just a matter of time.

    However, not mentioned in my assessment is the possibility of a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran.
    Such a strike would most certainly be a precipitator for the "larger war" -- which will certainly involve the large-scale use of WMD.
    Last edited by Sean Osborne; March 5th, 2007 at 20:44.

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    I'll state something I've been saying all along "I don't KNOW if we're going to invade, but ALL the information is POINTING in that direction."
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    Report: Missing Iranian former defense official has 'fled to U.S.'
    By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service
    Last update - 16:17 06/03/2007
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/833799.html

    The Iranian former deputy defense minister who disappeared in neighboring Turkey last month is said to have sought asylum in the United States. Tehran said was Ali Reza Asghari went missing while on a private trip to Turkey.

    The pan-Arab newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat on Tuesday quoted high-profile sources as saying that Asghari left for the U.S. shortly after arriving in the Turkish capital.

    Earlier Tuesday, Iran's top police chief accused Western intelligence services of possibly abducting Asghari, who is also a retired general in the elite Revolutionary Guards.

    Al-Sharq al-Awsat's sources, however, claim the official was not abducted but left for the United States "along with the secrets he carried."

    Security was beefed up in Israeli embassies worldwide Tuesday following reports that Iran suspected the CIA and the Mossad of involvement in Asghari's disappearance.

    A British newspaper reported Monday that Asghari is likely to possess information on missing Israel Air Force navigator Ron Arad.

    Arad, an IAF navigator, was captured by the Lebanese Shiite Amal militia after ejecting from his warplane, shot down over southern Lebanon in 1986. Media reports have said the pro-Iranian Hezbollah took Arad from Amal security chief Mustafa Dirani the following year.

    Reports have also said that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard took Arad in 1988 and transported him to Iran.

    Asghari had arrived in Turkey on a private visit from Damascus, Syria, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Tuesday.

    Iran's top police chief, General Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghaddam, said Iran was investigating Asghari's fate with the cooperation of the Turkish police.

    "It is likely that Asghari has been abducted by the Western intelligence services," IRNA quoted the Iranian police general as saying. The general did not elaborate.

    Turkey's Foreign Ministry said Monday that the Iranian Embassy there had reported Asghari's disappearance and had asked Turkey's Interior Ministry to investigate.

    In Israel, defense officials are concerned that there may be an attempt to kidnap embassy workers and strike Israeli targets.

    According to a British Daily Telegraph report, Iranian intelligence official Asghari is also likely to have intimate knowledge of Iran's defense establishment and nuclear development program.

    Although Asghari's disappearance in Turkey sparked allegations of a Mossad and CIA-linked kidnapping, Haaretz has learned that he may have defected.

    Asghari served in the senior defense post under former defense minister General Ali Samahani. Israeli media have said that for many years, Asghari was the most senior Iranian intelligence official in Lebanon, with responsibility for Iran's ties with Hezbollah.

    Israel Channel 10 television said late Sunday that Asghari was kidnapped on February 7, after arriving in Istanbul from Damascus, Syria.
    Last edited by American Patriot; March 6th, 2007 at 16:53. Reason: Fixed formatting (deleted the preceeding text that was supposed to be part of formating but was messing up frames)

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    Iran Builds Wale Class Submarine
    fars ^ | 3/6/07 | fars



    TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian researchers designed and manufactured a wale-class submarine.


    Project spokesman Majid Heidari Mourche Khorti told FNA that the vessel, which has passed 700 hours of operational tests and has been used in the recent 'Great Prophet' war games, has already establish its capabilities in comparison with foreign rivals.


    The submarine is an advanced military vessel with various operational performances proper for the environmental conditions of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, he added.


    The design and production projects have been carried out by Iranian scientists and researchers of Malik-e Ashtar Industrial University and Subsurface Research Center within a period of 10 years and in compliance with the needs of the Iranian army, the spokesman said.


    Resources of over 49 academic, research and industrial centers as well as 70 scientific articles have been used during the design and production process, he further pointed out.


    Stating that the home-made wale-class submarine is now ready to join the army fleet, he said that it is a vessel appropriate for the shallow and salty waters of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.
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    Iran to conduct air defense exercises
    RIA Novosti ^ | 3/6/2007

    TEHRAN, March 6 (RIA Novosti) - Iran will conduct air defense exercises Tuesday in preparation for a possible air strike on its uranium ore conversion center at Isfahan, the IRNA news agency said Tuesday.

    The international press has in recent months actively discussed the possibility of U.S. and Israeli air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, but almost all key figures in the Bush administration have repeatedly refuted the existence of any plans to do so.

    However, U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney has not ruled out a military strike, saying all options were on the table.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors convened Monday at its Vienna headquarters for a five-day session to discuss the possible suspension of at least 20 aid projects in Iran following a recent report by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, which concluded that Iran has ignored a UN Security Council demand to halt its uranium enrichment program and was in fact seeking to expand it.

    Iran has been at the center of international concerns since January 2006 over its nuclear program, which some countries, particularly the United States, suspect is geared toward nuclear weapons development. Tehran has consistently denied the claims, saying it needs nuclear power for civilian purposes.

    In response to Iran's unwillingness to give up its nuclear ambitions, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1737 last December, which provided for sanctions against Iran banning activities involving uranium enrichment, chemical reprocessing, heavy water-based projects, and the production of nuclear weapons delivery systems.

    The nuclear center dealing with uranium ore conversion in Isfahan has an area of 120,000 square meters (360,000 square feet). Uranium ore is processed into a gaseous hexafluoride of uranium, which is then fed into a centrifuge cascade for enrichment.

    Uranium enrichment using centrifuges is conducted at a plant in Natanz.

    Ali Larijani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said Tuesday that any military strike against Iran would be ineffective.

    "Any military actions against Iran will not only be ineffective, but would make the Iranian nation even more resolute," he said.

    Larijani said the Iranian nuclear issue could only be resolved through talks.

    Russia's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have discussed the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear program by telephone.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Here's your answer on the missing Iranian General...

    A former Iranian deputy defense minister who once commanded the Revolutionary Guard has left his country and is cooperating with Western intelligence agencies, providing information on Hezbollah and Iran’s ties to the organization, according to a senior U.S. official.
    Ali Rez Asgari disappeared last month during a visit to Turkey. Iranian officials suggested yesterday that he may have been kidnapped by Israel or the United States. The U.S. official said Asgari is willingly cooperating. He did not divulge Asgari’s whereabouts or specify who is questioning him, but made clear that the information Asgari is offering is fully available to U.S. intelligence…
    Another U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, … suggested that Asgari’s disappearance was voluntary and orchestrated by the Israelis…
    An Iranian official, who agreed to discuss Asgari on the condition of anonymity, said that Iranian intelligence is unsure of Asgari’s whereabouts but that he may have been offered money, probably by Israel, to leave the country. The Iranian official said Asgari was thought to be in Europe. “He has been out of the loop for four or five years now,” the official said…
    Former Mossad director Danny Yatom, who is now a member of Israel’s parliament, said he believes Asgari defected to the West. “He is very high-caliber,” Yatom said. “He held a very, very senior position for many long years in Lebanon. He was in effect commander of the Revolutionary Guards” there.
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    Here's the whole thing

    Former Iranian Defense Official Talks to Western Intelligence

    By Dafna Linzer
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, March 8, 2007; Page A16




    A former Iranian deputy defense minister who once commanded the Revolutionary Guard has left his country and is cooperating with Western intelligence agencies, providing information on Hezbollah and Iran's ties to the organization, according to a senior U.S. official.


    Ali Rez Asgari disappeared last month during a visit to Turkey. Iranian officials suggested yesterday that he may have been kidnapped by Israel or the United States. The U.S. official said Asgari is willingly cooperating. He did not divulge Asgari's whereabouts or specify who is questioning him, but made clear that the information Asgari is offering is fully available to U.S. intelligence.

    Asgari served in the Iranian government until early 2005 under then-President Mohammad Khatami. Asgari's background suggests that he would have deep knowledge of Iran's national security infrastructure, conventional weapons arsenal and ties to Hezbollah in south Lebanon.


    Iranian officials said he was not involved in the country's nuclear program, and the senior U.S. official said Asgari is not being questioned about it.
    Former officers with Israel's Mossad spy agency said yesterday that Asgari had been instrumental in the founding of Hezbollah in the 1980s, around the time of the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.


    Iran's official news agency, IRNA, quoted the country's top police chief, Brig. Gen. Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqaddam, as saying that Asgari was probably kidnapped by agents working for Western intelligence agencies. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Asgari was in the United States. Another U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, denied that report and suggested that Asgari's disappearance was voluntary and orchestrated by the Israelis. A spokesman for President Bush's National Security Council did not return a call for comment.


    The Israeli government denied any connection to Asgari. "To my knowledge, Israel is not involved in any way in this disappearance," said Mark Regev, the spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry.


    An Iranian official, who agreed to discuss Asgari on the condition of anonymity, said that Iranian intelligence is unsure of Asgari's whereabouts but that he may have been offered money, probably by Israel, to leave the country. The Iranian official said Asgari was thought to be in Europe. "He has been out of the loop for four or five years now," the official said.


    Israeli and Turkish newspapers reported yesterday that Asgari disappeared in Istanbul shortly after he arrived there on Feb. 7. Iran sent a delegation to Turkey to investigate his disappearance and requested help from Interpol in locating him.


    Former Mossad director Danny Yatom, who is now a member of Israel's parliament, said he believes Asgari defected to the West. "He is very high-caliber," Yatom said. "He held a very, very senior position for many long years in Lebanon. He was in effect commander of the Revolutionary Guards" there.


    Ram Igra, a former Mossad officer, said Asgari spent much of the 1980s and 1990s overseeing Iran's efforts to support, finance, arm and train Hezbollah. The State Department lists the Shiite Lebanese group as a terrorist organization.


    "He lived in Lebanon and, in effect, was the man who built, promoted and founded Hezbollah in those years," Igra told Israeli state radio. "If he has something to give the West, it is in this context of terrorism and Hezbollah's network in Lebanon."


    The organization, led by Hasan Nasrallah, is believed to have been behind several attacks against U.S., Jewish and Israeli interests worldwide, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Americans, and the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed more than 80 people.


    Israel fought a bloody, month-long war with Hezbollah last summer in south Lebanon after the group seized two Israeli soldiers. The soldiers have not been returned and their fate is unknown. Other Israeli soldiers have vanished in Lebanon during decades of conflict along the countries' shared border, most notably an Israeli airman named Ron Arad. Yatom said it is possible Asgari "knows quite a lot about Ron Arad."


    In a January briefing to Congress, then-Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte described Hezbollah as a growing threat to U.S. interests. "As a result of last summer's hostilities, Hezbollah's self-confidence and hostility toward the United States as a supporter of Israel could cause the group to increase its contingency planning against United States interests," Negroponte said.


    U.S. intelligence officials said they had no evidence that Hezbollah was actively planning attacks but noted that the organization has the capacity to do so if it feels threatened.


    Correspondents Scott Wilson in Jerusalem and Anthony Shadid in Beirut and staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    According to my information, Ali Reza Asgari is also the IRGC founder of Hezbollah and the overall field commander of their operations in Lebanon during the 1980s and early 1990s.

    That would make him the man responsible for the bombing of the Marine Barrracks, the murder of William Buckley ( http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/wbuckley.htm ) and all the rest of Hezbollah's terrorism.

    His information will also make or break the case for a preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities in the near term.

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Osborne View Post
    I know there is a larger war coming, but it's nexus to slightly to the west and will, at least in its initial phase, involve Syria, Lebanon and Israel.

    Again, as I was saying... This coming war should catch no one here by surprise. I've done my best to that end.

    This coming war will in no way be "low intensity" anything. It will be full-scale, extremely violent war.

    This coming war could also very well be the "fly in the ointment" for everything the US has attempted to accomplish in the SouthWest Asia AO/Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom. This war will eventually involve Russia and Iran due to their military alliance with Syria.

    I will post another link for this soon. The current one is blowing out the frames for this thread.



    Friday, March 9, 2007
    Syria deploys thousands of rockets on Israel border: sources
    by Ron Bousso - AFP - Fri Mar 9, 4:50 AM ET
    Syria has positioned on its border with Israel thousands of medium and
    long-range rockets capable of striking major towns across northern Israel,
    military and government sources told AFP.

    This deployment, coupled with other recent reports of Syrian troop
    mobilisation, is seen in Israel as an indication that Damascus may be
    preparing for future "low intensity warfare," they said.

    The report comes only two weeks after Israel held war games on the occupied
    Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967, in a bid to learn the lessons of
    last summer's conflict in neighbouring south Lebanon.

    The Syrian army accelerated its deployment of medium and long-range rockets
    in the wake of the Lebanon war, during which
    the Hezbollah militia fired moe than 4,000 rockets against northern Israel.

    "We have noticed that in recent months Syria has deployed hundreds, possibly
    thousands, of medium and long-range rockets
    along the border (with Israel)," one military source said.

    "Many of the rockets are hidden in underground chambers and in camouflaged
    silos, which make them very difficult to locate," the source said.

    Three of the sources were from the military and two from the government, and
    they all spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity. They said Syria has built a
    system of fortified underground tunnels along its border with Israel.

    Most of the rockets deployed are 220 millimetre, with a range of 70
    kilometres (43 miles), and 302 millimetre rockets capable of striking
    targets at a distance of more than 100 kilometres (56 miles).

    The latter would be well within range of the main population centres in
    northern Israel such as Tiberias and Kiryat Shmona.
    These long-range rockets could also reach Israel's third largest city of
    Haifa and its industrial zone, which is home to several essential
    industries, including oil refineries and a deep-water port.

    It is also believed that Syria has deployed several FROG rocket launchers,
    with a a 550-kilogram (1,200-pound) warhead and 70-kilometre range, in areas
    between the border and the capital Damascus, 40 kilometres (25 miles) away.

    According to the sources, such a massive deployment of well entrenched
    rockets poses "a real strategic threat" to Israel.
    While Syria concentrates most of its long-range surface-to-surface missile
    arsenal in the north of the country, its decision to deploy rockets so close
    to the border may indicate that Syria is mulling an attack on Israel,
    experts say.

    "Syrian President Bashar al-Assad realised after the Lebanon war that Israel
    was not as strong as it seems and that it could be
    threatened by simple means rather than an advanced army," the director of
    the Begin-Saadat Centre for Strategic Studies, Ephraim Inbar, told AFP.

    Inbar, as well as the military sources, believe that "Assad could be
    preparing for low intensity war, a type of war of attrition with Israel,
    where Syria fires several rockets against Israel without provoking
    full-fledged war."

    "Israel has absolute superiority in several fields in warfare," a senior
    government official said, referring mainly to Israel's advanced air force
    and "smart" weapons.

    "So Syria is investing in fields where it can have an edge. It has invested
    in recent years in anti-aircraft weapons, rockets, missiles and bunkers. The
    war in Lebanon proved to the Syrians they were right to do so."

    Israel's military intelligence chief, Major General Amod Yadlin, told the
    government's annual intelligence assessment that while
    Syria was beefing up its military, war between the two neighbouring
    countries was unlikely in 2007.

    "Syria is continuing its military build-up and preparing for war," he told
    the cabinet.

    "The chances of a full-scale war initiated by Syria are low, but the chances
    of Syria reacting militarily against Israeli military moves are high."

    Government sources told AFP that Syria was close to concluding a deal with
    Russia to procure thousands of advanced anti-tank missiles, of the sort
    Hezbollah used with great success against Israeli armour last year.

    Tensions between Israel and Syria have peaked in recent months, with Israel
    rejecting peace overtures from Damascus and both sides toughening rhetoric.

    Damascus has repeatedly demanded the return of the Golan Heights, a
    strategic plateau which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Arab-Israeli
    war and annexed in 1981. It is now home to more than 15,000 settlers.

    Peace talks between Israel and Syria collapsed in 2000.
    Last edited by Sean Osborne; March 10th, 2007 at 10:59.

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    UK paper: Missing Iranian general at NATO base, spied on Iran for years


    http://hotair.com/archives/2007/03/1...ran-for-years/

    posted at 1:26 pm on March 11, 2007 by Allahpundit
    Send to a Friend | printer-friendly


    If not for Captain Ed, I might have missed this entirely. Which would have been tragic, because it. is. sweet.
    AN Iranian general who defected to the West last month had been spying on Iran since 2003 when he was recruited on an overseas business trip, according to Iranian sources.
    This weekend Brigadier General Ali Reza Asgari, 63, the former deputy defence minister, is understood to be undergoing debriefing at a Nato base in Germany after he escaped from Iran, followed by his family.


    A daring getaway via Damascus was organised by western intelligence agencies after it became clear that his cover was about to be blown. Iran’s notorious secret service, the Vavak, is believed to have suspected that he was a high-level mole…
    Asgari is said to have carried with him documents disclosing Iran’s links to terrorists in the Middle East. It is not thought that he had details of the country’s nuclear programme.
    An Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Aharonot, claimed this weekend that Mossad, Israel’s external security service, had orchestrated his defection.
    Ed thinks this might especially help with code-breaking. There’s something I don’t get, though: if this guy’s been on our side for years and if his main value as an intel asset is his encyclopedic knowledge of Hezbollah’s operations, why didn’t Israel have an easier time in Lebanon this summer?


    Granted, rarely will a single informant determine the outcome of a war, but I saw a quote from one Israeli analyst the other day referring to Asgari as the de facto “founder” of Hezbollah. Hard to believe the IDF armed with that kind of information advantage couldn’t have broken the organization.


    Update: Iranian expat Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi is following Turkish media on this and tells Gateway Pundit Asgari might have info on the Hezbollah bombing in Argentina in 1994. That could be hugely embarrassing given whom Argentina has issued an arrest warrant for — Akbar Hasehmi Rafsanjani, the former president and likely future supreme leader of Iran.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iran to hit back at US "kidnaps".
    The Sunday Times ^ | March 18, 2007 | Uzi Mahnaimi



    IRAN is threatening to retaliate in Europe for what it claims is a daring undercover operation by western intelligence services to kidnap senior officers in its Revolutionary Guard.


    According to Iranian sources, several officers have been abducted in the past three months and the United States has drawn up a list of other targets to be seized with the aim of destabilising Tehran’s military command.


    In an article in Subhi Sadek, the Revolutionary Guard’s weekly paper, Reza Faker, a writer believed to have close links to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, warned that Iran would strike back.


    “We’ve got the ability to capture a nice bunch of blue-eyed blond-haired officers and feed them to our fighting cocks,” he said. “Iran has enough people who can reach the heart of Europe and kidnap Americans and Israelis.”


    (Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
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