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Thread: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

  1. #421
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iranian Raises Possibility of an Intrusion Into Iraq

    Marko Georgiev for The New York Times
    Mohammad R. Baqiri, an Iranian official, right, issued a warning. With him was Hassan Kazemi Qumi, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq.





    By JAMES GLANZ
    Published: September 10, 2007


    BAGHDAD, Sept. 9 — In a sharp escalation of a dispute over border fighting, an official Iranian delegation at a diplomatic conference here warned Sunday that if the Iraqi government could not stop militants from crossing into Iran and carrying out attacks, the Iranian authorities would respond militarily.

    Reach of War

    Go to Complete Coverage »


    The Iranian delegation, led by a deputy foreign minister, Mohammad R. Baqiri, also charged that the United States was supporting groups believed to be mounting attacks from Iraqi territory in the Kurdish north.


    Mr. Baqiri did not specifically say that Iran would enter Iraq militarily, but his statements, couched in diplomatic terms, raised the clear possibility that Iranian forces could cross the border in pursuit of the militants. But however carefully phrased his statements, many of those distinctions are likely to be lost on hundreds of families on the Iraqi side who have been driven from their villages by weeks of intermittent shelling from Iran.
    Hundreds of Kurds demonstrated Sunday against the shelling in the northern provincial capital of Erbil. They gathered outside the Kurdish Parliament building and asked that the northern government and the United Nations intervene.


    Senior Iranian officials have privately acknowledged to their Iraqi counterparts that the shelling is taking place in response to guerrilla attacks by a group opposed to the Iranian government that has bases on the Iraqi side of the border. At the conference on Sunday, at the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, Mr. Baqiri did not directly address the shelling, but he told officials from 16 nations, the Arab League, the Islamic Conference and the United Nations that it was time for Iraq to take action.


    “Supporting military and political actions by terrorist elements in Iraq against neighboring countries is considered dangerous behavior that we cannot tolerate, and a major factor in the chaotic security situation and instability in the region,” Mr. Baqiri told the assembled delegates, according to an Arabic translation of his remarks, which were made in Persian. “We are waiting for the Iraqi government to do what it takes to resolve this issue.”


    Later, asked at a briefing about the shelling, Mr. Baqiri said that in dealing with “terrorists who want to enter Iranian soil,” the Iranian government “will confront them and stop them.”


    “We have a long history in standing against terrorist groups,” Mr. Baqiri said. “We have made many sacrifices because of this, and we know how to confront these groups.”


    Mr. Baqiri’s comments are likely to raise tensions against the bloody backdrop of the Iran-Iraq war, which lasted throughout much of the 1980s and began with a border dispute in the south. Perhaps by design, his words seemed especially jarring because they were delivered during a conference organized to promote harmony in the region.


    That conference was organized by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, led by Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd who fought Saddam Hussein’s government as a guerrilla commander, often operating essentially as an ally of Iran. But in a diplomatic meeting in Tehran last week, Mr. Zebari called the shelling indiscriminate and far out of proportion to the threat to Iran.


    On Sunday, Mr. Zebari acknowledged that the cross-border attacks were taking place, but described them as infrequent and more of a nuisance than a real threat. Still, Mr. Zebari agreed that it fell to the Iraqi government to rein in the groups.


    “But at the same time we want this shelling to stop or end because it’s causing a great deal of unease, and we don’t want to see the atmosphere of confidence to be compromised by these continuing acts,” Mr. Zebari said.


    The group that has claimed responsibility for the attacks, called Pezak or Pejak for its acronym, is believed to be made up mainly of Iranian Kurds seeking autonomy for Kurds in Iran. Asked specifically about that group, Mr. Baqiri stated publicly what Iranian officials have been claiming privately for months: that the United States supports the group.


    This support, Mr. Baqiri said, amounted to a “double standard” in American policy, given that the United States has repeatedly accused Iran of exporting deadly roadside bombs to Iraq and supporting armed groups here. Those weapons and support, American officials believe, have led directly to the deaths of American and Iraqi troops and other security forces.


    Told late Sunday of Mr. Baqiri’s accusations, a Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Withington, said, “I am not aware of any support being provided” to Pejak.


    While Mr. Baqiri’s comments appeared to be a direct response to the criticisms leveled by Mr. Zebari in Tehran, their precise timing was unlikely to be coincidental, occurring as they did the day before crucial reports on progress in Iraq were to be delivered to Congress by Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, and Ryan C. Crocker, the American ambassador to Iraq. Iran bitterly opposes the American presence in Iraq.


    For all the accusations leveled by the Iraqis and the Iranians, the conference, attended by this reporter at the invitation of the Foreign Ministry, offered an extraordinary glimpse into a regional dynamic that generally takes place behind closed doors.


    At a gathering in March, Mr. Zebari managed to bring the United States and Iran to the same conference table to discuss issues relating to Iraq. Along with representatives of Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and other nations, the United States and Iran were once again seated at the same table, albeit nearly as far apart as the table’s geometry would allow.
    And the chill between the two nations was palpable. “The fact is that because of our great love for Iraq, we agreed to come here and sit at one table with our enemies,” Mr. Baqiri said.


    The American delegation, led by Patricia A. Butenis, the chargé d’affaires here while Mr. Crocker is in Washington, did not respond to that statement. But the overall dynamic in the room became starkly visible when Mr. Zebari proposed creating a “secretariat” to keep track of the Iraq issues being considered at the meetings.


    When it became apparent that the United States and Britain backed Mr. Zebari’s proposal, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and others quickly took the floor to shoot the proposal down. The conference ended with the issue unresolved.


    Ahmad Fadam contributed reporting from Baghdad, and an Iraqi employee of The New York Times from northern Iraq.
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  2. #422
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    Netanyahu favours military action against Iranian nuclear “threat”
    International Media Center ^ | 9/10/07 | International Media Center

    Knesset Member and leader of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday stated that military action should be initiated against Iran if the country obtains a nuclear weapon.

    Speaking at counter-terrorism conference, Netanyahu advocated increasing financial sanctions against the country, arguing that military action should be launched if the Iranian government develops a nuclear arsenal.

    “[Military action] should be used if we see that Iran’s nuclear weapons program is about to come alive, [meanwhile] the [country] should be squeezed,” Netanyahu stated.

    Netanyahu finished by comparing the current Iranian regime to Hitler’s third Reich, arguing that Iran now presents a similar threat to the Jewish population as that posed by the German administration in 1939.

    “One year ago, I said we are in 1938, and Iran is Germany. It is 1939 now. Hitler first embarked on a world conflict, and then attempted to obtain weapons of mass death. Ahmadenijad is going about it in the reverse order,” the opposition leader said.
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  3. #423
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    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296450,00.html

    WASHINGTON — A recent decision by German officials to withhold support for any new sanctions against Iran has pushed a broad spectrum of officials in Washington to develop potential scenarios for a military attack on the Islamic regime, FOX News confirmed Tuesday.

    Germany — a pivotal player among three European nations to rein in Iran's nuclear program over the last two-and-a-half years through a mixture of diplomacy and sanctions supported by the United States — notified its allies last week that the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel refuses to support the imposition of any further sanctions against Iran that could be imposed by the U.N. Security Council.

    The announcement was made at a meeting in Berlin that brought German officials together with Iran desk officers from the five member states of the Security Council. It stunned the room, according to one of several Bush Administration and foreign government sources who spoke to FOX News, and left most Bush administration principals concluding that sanctions are dead.

    The Germans voiced concern about the damaging effects any further sanctions on Iran would have on the German economy — and also, according to diplomats from other countries, gave the distinct impression that they would privately welcome, while publicly protesting, an American bombing campaign against Iran's nuclear facilities.

    Germany's withdrawal from the allied diplomatic offensive is the latest consensus across relevant U.S. agencies and offices, including the State Department, the National Security Council and the offices of the president and vice president. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, the most ardent proponent of a diplomatic resolution to the problem of Iran's nuclear ambitions, has had his chance on the Iranian account and come up empty.

    Political and military officers, as well as weapons of mass destruction specialists at the State Department, are now advising Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the diplomatic approach favored by Burns has failed and the administration must actively prepare for military intervention of some kind. Among those advising Rice along these lines are John Rood, the assistant secretary for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation; and a number of Mideast experts, including Ambassador James Jeffrey, deputy White House national security adviser under Stephen Hadley and formerly the principal deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs.

    Consequently, according to a well-placed Bush administration source, "everyone in town" is now participating in a broad discussion about the costs and benefits of military action against Iran, with the likely timeframe for any such course of action being over the next eight to 10 months, after the presidential primaries have probably been decided, but well before the November 2008 elections.

    The discussions are now focused on two basic options: less invasive scenarios under which the U.S. might blockade Iranian imports of gasoline or exports of oil, actions generally thought to exact too high a cost on the Iranian people but not enough on the regime in Tehran; and full-scale aerial bombardment.

    On the latter course, active consideration is being given as to how long it would take to degrade Iranian air defenses before American air superiority could be established and U.S. fighter jets could then begin a systematic attack on Iran's known nuclear targets.

    Most relevant parties have concluded such a comprehensive attack plan would require at least a week of sustained bombing runs, and would at best set the Iranian nuclear program back a number of years — but not destroy it forever. Other considerations include the likelihood of Iranian reprisals against Tel Aviv and other Israeli population centers; and the effects on American troops in Iraq. There, officials have concluded that the Iranians are unlikely to do much more damage than they already have been able to inflict through their supply of explosives and training of insurgents in Iraq.

    The Bush Administration "has just about had it with Iran," said one foreign diplomat. "They tried the diplomatic process. China is now obstructing them at the U.N. Security Council and the Russians are tucking themselves behind them.

    "The Germans are wobbling …There are a number of people in the administration who do not want their legacy to be leaving behind an Iran that is nuclear armed, so they are looking at what are the alternatives? They are looking at other options," the diplomat said.

    Vice President Cheney and his aides are said to be enjoying a bit of "schadenfreude" at the expense of Burns. A source described Cheney's office as effectively gloating to Burns and Rice, "We told you so. (The Iranians) are not containable diplomatically."

    The next shoe to drop will be when Rice and President Bush make a final decision about whether to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and/or its lethal subset, the Quds Force, as a terrorist entity or entities. FOX News reported in June that such a move is under consideration.

    Sources say news leaks about the prospective designation greatly worried European governments and private sector firms, which could theoretically face prosecution in American courts if such measures became law and these entities continued to do business with IRGC and its multiple financial subsidiaries.

    If the Bush administration moves forward with such a designation, sources said, it would be an indication that Rice agrees that Burns' approach has failed. Designation of such a large Iranian military institution as a terrorist entity would also be seen, sources said, as laying the groundwork for a public justification of American military action.
    I honestly never saw another solution to this problem. And with Syria doing similar activities we may end up having a second, albeit lesser, attack on the horizon with that nation.
    Brian Baldwin

    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil.... For I am the meanest S.O.B. in the valley.


    "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in... And how many want out." - Tony Blair on America



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  4. #424
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iran warns U.S. of crushing response
    Tehran Times ^ | 9/12/07 | Tehran Times




    TEHRAN (Press TV) -- Commander of the IRGC, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari here on Tuesday said that any attack against Iran would spark a crushing response from the country.


    Iran has boosted its defense capabilities based on the weak points of the enemies, which occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, General Jafari said on Tuesday.


    The newly appointed commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) warned that the IRGC is more than ready to defend Iran's against all security, political, cultural, and social threats.


    The Islamic Republic has repeatedly stated that it would not initiate any military actions against other countries, but it has always been prepared to respond to attacks
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    The newly appointed commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) warned that the IRGC is more than ready to defend Iran's against all security, political, cultural, and social threats.
    So was Saddam's army.... What's this guy's point? Granted, Iran is better equipped and better trained. Results will be the same.
    Brian Baldwin

    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil.... For I am the meanest S.O.B. in the valley.


    "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in... And how many want out." - Tony Blair on America



    It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

    It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

    It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

    It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

    -Father Denis O'Brien of the United States Marine Corp.


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    The 'proxy war': UK troops are sent to Iranian border
    Befast Telegraph ^ | September 12, 2007

    The 'proxy war': UK troops are sent to Iranian border

    British soldiers return to action as tensions between US and Iran grow

    September 12, 2007

    British forces have been sent from Basra to the volatile border with Iran amid warnings from the senior US commander in Iraq that Tehran is fomenting a "proxy war".

    In signs of a fast-developing confrontation, the Iranians have threatened military action in response to attacks launched from Iraqi territory while the Pentagon has announced the building of a US base and fortified checkpoints at the frontier.

    The UK operation, in which up to 350 troops are involved, has come at the request of the Americans, who say that elements close to the Iranian regime have stepped up supplies of weapons to Shia militias in recent weeks in preparation for attacks inside Iraq.

    The deployment came within a week of British forces leaving Basra Palace, their last remaining base inside Basra city, and withdrawing to the airport for a widely expected final departure from Iraq. Brigadier James Bashall, commander of 1 Mechanised Brigade, based at Basra said: "We have been asked to help at the Iranian border to stop the flow of weapons and I am willing to do so. We know the points of entry and I am sure we can do what needs to be done. The US forces are, as we know, engaged in the 'surge' and the border is of particular concern to them."

    The mission will include the King's Royal Hussars battle group, 250 of whom were told at the weekend that they would be returning to the UK as part of a drawdown of forces in Iraq.

    The operation is regarded as a high-risk strategy which could lead to clashes with Iranian-backed Shia militias or even Iranian forces and also leaves open the possibility of Iranian retaliation in the form of attacks against British forces at the Basra air base or inciting violence to draw them back into Basra city. Relations between the two countries are already fraught after the Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized a British naval party in the Gulf earlier this year.

    The move came as General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador to Iraq, made some of the strongest accusations yet by US officials about Iranian activity. General Petraeus spoke on Monday of a "proxy war" in Iraq, while Mr Crocker accused the Iranian government of "providing lethal capabilities to the enemies of the Iraqi state".

    In an interview after his appearance before a congressional panel on Monday, General Petraeus strongly implied that it would soon be necessary to obtain authorisation to take action against Iran within its own borders, rather than just inside Iraq. "There is a pretty hard look ongoing at that particular situation" he said.

    The Royal Welsh battle group, with Challenger tanks and Warrior armoured vehicles, is conducting out regular exercises at the Basra air base in preparation for any re-entry into the city. No formal handover of Basra to the Iraqi government has yet taken place and the UK remains responsible for maintaining security in the region.

    The Iraqi commander in charge of the southern part of the country, General Mohan al-Furayji, said he would not hesitate to call for British help if there was an emergency.

    While previous US military action has been primarily directed against Sunni insurgents, it is Shia fighters, which the US accuses Iran of backing, who now account for 80 per cent of US casualties.

    For the British military the move to the border is a change of policy. They had stopped patrols along the long border at Maysan despite US concerns at the time that the area would become a conduit for weapons into Iraq.

    The decision to return to the frontier has been heavily influenced by the highly charged and very public dispute with the United States. British commanders feel that they cannot turn down the fresh American request for help after refusing to delay the withdrawal from Basra Palace. They also maintain that the operation will stop Iranian arms entering Basra.

    Brigadier Bashall said: "We are not sitting here idly at the air bridge. The security of Basra is still our responsibility and we shall act where necessary. We are also prepared to restore order in Basra City if asked to do so."

    The US decision to build fortifications at the Iranian border, after four years of presence in Iraq, shows, say American commanders, that the "Iranian threat" is now one of their main concerns.

    Maj-Gen Rick Lynch, commander of the US Army's 3rd Infantry Division, said 48 Iranian-supplied roadside bombs had been used against his forces killing nine soldiers. "We've got a major problem with Iranian munitions streaming into Iraq. This Iranian interference is troubling and we have to stop it," he told The Wall Street Journal this week.

    Meanwhile at a conference in Baghdad on regional co-operation, Iran claimed the US was supporting groups mounting attacks from Iraqi territory in the Kurdish north.

    Said Jalili , Iran's deputy foreign minister, last night said: "I think [the US and its allies] are going to prevaricate with the truth because they know they have been defeated in Iraq and they have not been successful. And so they are going to put the blame on us, on the other side."
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    Bergner: Rocket Associated With Iran
    Associated Press Writer ^ | Sep 13 07:08 AM US/Eastern | DAVID RISING

    BAGHDAD (AP) - A fatal attack launched two days ago against the sprawling headquarters base of the American military in Iraq was carried out with a 240 mm rocket—a type of weapon provided to Shiite extremists by Iran, a U.S. general said Thursday.

    One person was killed and 11 were wounded during the "indirect fire" attack Tuesday against Camp Victory, which includes the headquarters of Multinational Forces-Iraq.

    The attack was overshadowed by congressional appearances by Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker in Washington.

    But such an attack with a sophisticated weapon against a nearly impregnable compound—far less vulnerable than the Green Zone in the heart of the capital—sends a strong message to the Americans that nowhere in Iraq are they safe, even in the nerve center of the U.S. mission.

    It represents a major confrontation between the U.S. and armed Shiite groups the Americans insist are supported by Iran.

    Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner said the rocket was launched from a populated area in the Rasheed district of west Baghdad, which he said was infiltrated by the Mahdi Army militia of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al- Sadr.

    Bergner said Shiite groups "have received" such weapons "from Iranian sources in the past" and "used them against coalition forces." A 240 mm rocket was fired against a U.S. base south of the capital in mid- August.

    "The Iranian... rocket is the only 240-milimeter rocket found or fired in Iraq to date, and Jaish al-Mahdi is the only group known to fire that rocket," Bergner said, referring to the Mahdi Army by its Arabic name.

    On Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected the congressional testimony of the top U.S. officials in Iraq accusing Iran of interfering in its war-torn neighbor.

    (Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...
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    Ahmadinejad: Iran can help secure Iraq, Israel is 'cruel'
    CNN ^ | Sept 12, 2007

    Iran wants "peace and friendship for all," the country's president said Wednesday while again denying Western assertions his nation is pursuing nuclear weapons and trying to destabilize Iraq.

    But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took a hard line against Israel, calling it "an invader" and saying it "cannot continue its life."

    Asked if Iran had launched a proxy war in Iraq -- something the U.S. ambassador and top military commander there both asserted this week -- Ahmadinejad said the United States is merely seeking a scapegoat for its failing campaign in Iraq.

    "Forces have come into Iraq and destroyed the security, and many people are killed," the Iranian president told Britain's ITN during an interview in the garden of the Iranian presidential palace in Tehran.

    "And there are some claims that may seem very funny and ridiculous. Those who have lots of weaponry and warfare and thousands of soldiers -- if they are defeated, they blame others. There is no way to escape for peace."

    Iranians do not believe in war and consider it a "last resort," he said.

    He further claimed that Tehran is a friend of Iraq -- maintaining "good relationships" with the Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish factions -- and "if Iraq is not secure, we are the first country that would be damaged."

    He added, "Responsible people should understand this: that Iran is against any sort of insecurity and attacks, and Iraq is able to defend themselves."

    (Snip)

    As for allegations that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, Ahmadinejad said he resents the notion that Iran "has to obey whatever was put to us" and asked why there is no similar furor over American and British nuclear programs.

    "Our bombs are dangerous, but American bombs are not dangerous?" he asked.

    (Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
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    Iran says will not halt nuclear work despite EU call
    Ynet.com (Is) ^ | Published: 09.12.07, 17:19 / Israel News

    Iran will not stop uranium enrichment, chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said on Wednesday, despite a call by the European Union and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to halt sensitive nuclear work.

    "We heard about this EU demand and we said our view," Larijani told a news conference, referring to Iran's repeated stance it would not stop enrichment. He said such an EU approach was "from the past" and added: "We need new initiatives."

    Western powers suspect Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is solely aimed at generating electricity.

    (Excerpt) Read more at ynetnews.com ...
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    Iran Scorns French Warning Of War
    BBC ^ | 9-17-2007



    Iran scorns French warning of war





    Bernard Kouchner said a nuclear-armed Iran would be a grave threat

    A warning by France's foreign minister that the world should prepare for war over Iran's nuclear programme has drawn a furious response in Iranian media. France was aping the US and its new president had "taken on American skin", the official Iranian news agency said.


    On Sunday Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said: "We have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war."


    Iran's nuclear programme is to be debated in Vienna, Austria, at the UN nuclear watchdog's annual conference.


    Iran denies it is trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and says it only wants nuclear power to generate electricity for civilian purposes.


    But it has repeatedly rejected UN demands to give up the enrichment of uranium, which the US and other Western states fear is being diverted to a nuclear weapons project.


    'Inflammatory'


    Mr Kouchner said negotiations with Iran should continue "right to the end", but that an Iranian nuclear weapon would pose "a real danger for the whole world".


    He said a number of large French companies had been asked not to tender for business in Iran.


    Iranian official media responded with contempt.


    "The occupants of the Elysee (the French presidential palace) have become the executors of the will of the White House and have adopted a tone that is even harder, even more inflammatory and more illogical than that of Washington," it said.


    The accepted wisdom in Iran is that the US is too wrapped up in Iraq and Afghanistan to launch another war in the region, says the BBC's Jon Leyne in the capital, Tehran.


    Mr Kouchner was visiting Russia on Monday, where he was expected to push for tighter UN sanctions to try to force Iran to give up enrichment.
    Russia has a UN Security Council veto over any new sanctions, and its support is seen as vital for any new approach.


    But Mr Kouchner said even in the absence of UN action, the European Union should prepare its own sanctions against Iran.


    Tougher approach


    Iran has warned that any new punishments could push it to stop co-operating with the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


    Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful


    The IAEA's members meet this week in Austria, with Iran likely to top the agenda.


    The director of the organisation, Mohamed ElBaradei, has been criticised in the West over a new deal with Iran to clear up questions about its past nuclear activities.


    The US and its allies believe the deal just gives Iran more time, during which they fear it will advance its nuclear programme.


    The BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says France has changed its approach to world affairs under its new President Nicolas Sarkozy, adopting a harder line on several issues, and seeking to improve relations with the US.


    The United States has not ruled out a military attack against Iran to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon.


    However, a top general in Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said any bombing raid on targets in Iran would provoke a tough response.


    US positions in neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan "are within our range", Gen Mohammad Hassan Koussechi told IRNA.
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    France: Prepare for war over Iran

    • Story Highlights
    • France's FM warns world should ready for war if Iran obtains nuclear weapons
    • Koucher says European leaders considering economic sanctions
    • Iran insists its atomic activities are aimed only at producing energy
    PARIS, France (AP) -- France's foreign minister warned Sunday that the world should prepare for war if Iran obtains nuclear weapons and said European leaders were considering their own economic sanctions against the Islamic country.


    French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner called for more effective sanctions on Iran.







    Negotiations and two sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions have failed to persuade Iran to stop its uranium enrichment program, a process that can produce fuel for nuclear power plants as well as material used in atomic weapons.


    Iran insists its atomic activities are aimed only at producing energy, but the U.S., its European allies and other world powers suspect Iranian authorities of seeking nuclear weapons.


    Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, speaking on RTL radio, called for "more effective sanctions" against Iran if it continues to resist the demands to suspend uranium enrichment.


    "We will not accept that such a bomb is made. We must prepare ourselves for the worst," he said, specifying that could mean a war. He did not elaborate on what kind of preparations that would entail.


    "We have decided, while negotiations are under way ... to prepare for eventual sanctions outside the United Nations, which would be European sanctions," he said.


    Kouchner was not specific about what penalties Europe might impose, other than to say they could be "economic sanctions regarding financial movements."


    "Our German friends proposed this. We discussed it a few days ago," he said.


    Sarkozy reportedly floated the possibility of European sanctions against Iran this summer. In a major foreign policy speech last month, he mentioned the possibility of an attack on Iran, which he said would be as "catastrophic" as Tehran getting a nuclear bomb.


    In Washington, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Bush administration is committed, for now, to using diplomatic and economic means to counter the potential nuclear threat from Iran.
    Don't Miss


    "I think that the administration believes at this point that continuing to try and deal with the Iranian threat, the Iranian challenge, through diplomatic and economic means is by far the preferable approach. That's the one we are using," the Pentagon chief said.


    Meanwhile, Iran's foreign minister was quoted as saying on state television that enriched uranium fuel is ready to be shipped from Russia to Iran's first nuclear power plant.


    The project has been beset by repeated delays due to payment problems on the Iranian side, according to the Russians. Iran, however, maintains it is because Moscow has been caving into Western pressure to halt the project.


    Sunday's announcement comes after talks in Moscow between Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Russian nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko to address delays in completing the $1 billion Bushehr power plant.


    Iran currently has the ability to enrich small amounts of uranium for nuclear fuel but still nowhere near enough to power a nuclear plant, much less create a weapon. Russian officials say the Bushehr plant cannot open until six months after the current fuel is delivered.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  12. #432
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    ElBaradei warns against striking Iran
    AP via JPost ^ | 9/17/7

    Invoking the war in Iraq, the chief UN nuclear inspector criticized talk of attacking Iran as "hype" Monday, saying such options should only be considered as a last resort and only if authorized by the UN Security Council.

    "I would not talk about any use of force," said Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in an indirect response to French warnings that the world had to be prepared for the possibility of war in the event that Iran obtains atomic weapons.

    Saying only the UN Security Council could authorize the use of force, ElBaradei urged the world to remember Iraq before considering any similar action against Teheran.

    "There are rules on how to use force, and I would hope that everybody would have gotten the lesson after the Iraq situation, where 700,000 innocent civilians have lost their lives on the suspicion that a country has nuclear weapons," he told reporters.

    He was alluding to a key US argument for invading Iraq in 2003 without Security Council approval - that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear arms. Four years later, no such arsenals have been found.

    ElBaradei, speaking outside a 144-nation meeting of his agency, urged both sides to back away from confrontation, in comments addressed both to Iran and the US-led group of nations pressing for new UN sanctions on Teheran for its refusal to end uranium enrichment.

    "We need to be cool," he told reporters, adding: "We need not to hype the issue".

    On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner warned that the world should prepare for war if Iran obtains nuclear weapons and said European leaders were considering their own economic sanctions against the Islamic country.

    Negotiations and two sets of UN Security Council sanctions have failed to persuade Iran to stop its uranium enrichment program, a process that can produce fuel for nuclear power plants as well as material used in atomic weapons.

    Iran insists its atomic activities are aimed only at producing energy, but the US, its European allies and other world powers suspect Iranian authorities of seeking nuclear weapons.

    Kouchner, speaking on RTL radio, said that if "such a bomb is made... We must prepare ourselves for the worst," he said, specifying that could mean a war.

    The United States also has refused to rule out the possibility of force against Iran if it continues to defy Security Council demands on enrichment. Still, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday the US administration is committed, for now, to using diplomatic and economic means to counter the potential nuclear threat from Iran.

    "I think that the administration believes at this point that continuing to try and deal with the Iranian threat, the Iranian challenge, through diplomatic and economic means is by far the preferable approach. That's the one we are using," the Pentagon chief said.

    Iran does not directly figure on the agenda of the IAEA general conference, which opened a five-day meeting Monday. But comments, both inside and outside the plenary hall, reflected the world's concerns over Teheran's nuclear aims.

    In comments alluding to the US and its Western allies, Iranian Vice President Reza Aghazadeh accused unnamed countries of forcing the international community onto the "unjustified, illegal, deceptive and misleading path ... by imposing restrictions and sanctions."

    And he again ruled out scrapping Iran's uranium enrichment program, telling delegates Iran would "never give up its inalienable and legal right in benefiting from peaceful nuclear technology."

    ElBaradei, architect of a recent pact with Teheran committing it to stop stonewalling his experts and lift the shroud of secrecy on past suspicious nuclear work, defended the agreement against criticism it could be used by Teheran as a smoke screen to draw attention from its defiance of the Security Council.

    "What we need to do is encourage Iran to work with the agency to clarify the outstanding issues," he said.

    "I do not believe at this stage that we are facing a clear and present danger that requires we go beyond diplomacy," ElBaradei said, said, adding that his agency had no information that "the Iran program is being weaponized."

    "We are not using a stick, we are not using a carrot, but we are trying to be impartial and objective," he said, alluding to Western criticism that he was being too soft on Iran. If "in time of hype telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act ... I will continue to be a revolutionary."
    Libertatem Prius!


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  13. #433
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Documentary
    Iran: “We Have 600 Missiles Pointed At Israel” - US Iraq Bases Also Targeted

    September 17th, 2007 Posted By Pat Dollard.

    Six hundred Iranian Shihab-3 missiles are pointed at targets throughout Israel, and will be launched if either Iran or Syria are attacked, an Iranian website affiliated with the regime reported on Monday.

    “Iran will shoot at Israel 600 missiles if it is attacked,” the Iranian news website, Assar Iran, reported. “600 missiles will only be the first reaction.”

    According to the report, dozens of locations throughout Iraq, which are being used by the US Army, have also been targeted.

    The Shihab missile has a range of 1,300 km, and can reach anywhere in Israel.

    On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that the nuclear Iranian crisis forces the world “to prepare for the worst,” and said that in this case it “is war.”

    Kouchner emphasized, however, that negotiations should still be the preferred course of action.

    Kouchner, quoted by French daily Le Figaro, added that “Iran does whatever it pleases in Iraq … one cannot find in the entire world a crisis greater than this one.”

    In response to Kouchner’s comments, Iran’s state-owned news agency accused France of pandering to the interests of the United States.

    “The new occupants of the Elysee (Presidential palace) want to copy the White House,” the IRNA news agency said in an editorial. The editorial added that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was taking on “an American skin.”

    Kouchner’s statements came just hours after US Defense Secretary Robert Gates reiterated the Bush administration’s commitment, at least for the time being, to using diplomatic and economic means to counter the potential nuclear threat from Iran.

    http://patdollard.com/2007/09/17/ira...also-targeted/


    Jag

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Cool, a chance to check out our Patriot Missile batteries and several other things "up our sleeves"
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    DEBKAfile’s military sources assert that Iran does not have as many as 600 Shehab-3 missiles capable of a simultaneous barrage - as threatened on an Iranian Web site Monday - nor sufficient launchers to fire that number. The threatening statement followed the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner’s warning Sunday, Sept. 17 that in view of Iran’s nuclear crisis, the world must “prepare for the worst, and the worst is war.”
    A top Revolutionary Guards general, Mohammad Hassan Koussechi, told the Iranian News Agency Monday that any bombing raid on targets in Iran would provoke a tough response. He said US positions in Iraq and Afghanistan “are within our range.” The Iranian foreign ministry accused Paris of adopting a tone “even more inflammatory” than that of Washington.
    DEBKAfile’s military sources report that what Iran does have is several dozen Shehab-3 missiles fitted with new warheads containing thousands of tiny cluster bombs. Since early summer, they have been pointed at Israel’s Negev desert nuclear reactor at Dimona and US military targets in the Gulf and Iraq, in the hope of deterring the US and Israel from attacking Iran and Syria. The US and Israel have since upgraded their defenses for intercepting the new Iranian missiles. Furthermore, the Israeli operation in Syria ten days ago showed Iran’s deterrent effort to be a washout. Tehran failed to come to its ally’s aid.
    The 600-missile threat was in fact Tehran’s first real response to the Israeli operation, amid reports that missiles and materials the Islamic Republic had transferred to Syria were damaged. Sunday, Sept. 16, Israel’s military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin conveyed to the Knesset foreign affairs and defense committee Sunday Sept. 16, the information that Israel had recovered its deterrent strength (which many claimed to have been forfeited as a result of the 2006 Lebanon War). Iran moved to refute this claim Monday by purporting to possess what amounted to a devastating second-strike capability in the form of hundreds of Shehab-3 missiles poised to go.
    However, our military sources say that, notwithstanding Tehran’s big talk, Israeli warplanes generated some new facts:
    1. According to US media reports, Syria’s electronic defensive systems were jammed so effectively that neighboring Lebanon’s electronic communications were down for several days. If this is true, it is also possible that Iran’s electronic systems can be similarly immobilized, thereby leaving Iranian missiles vulnerable to attack from the moment they are placed in their ready-to-launch positions. The US air force would then make short work of destroying them, lofted by the highly effective network of early warning stations with which the Americans have encircled Iran and positioned at big air force bases facing Iran from inside Iraq. What is more, ranged against Iran are the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier, which is patrolling the Persian Gulf and the USS Nimitz strike group, which is deployed in the northern Arabia Sea opposite Iran’s shores.
    If Iran and its war planners appear to racing against time, their first priority must be to shield their purported 600 missiles from attack before launching them to target.
    2. The precise quality and range of Iran’s deterrent missile force remains to be established. US intelligence agencies inferred from their 2007 war games that the Revolutionary Guards were staging a big show to display a large number of long-range Shehab-3 missiles, when in fact their real number was not very high. They also gained the impression that the missiles on show were not even the Shehab-3, but the inferior Shehab-2, whose range is less than 1,000 km and whose performance cannot be termed reliable or accurate.
    3. Of equal importance is the type of warhead with which Iran’s missiles are armed. According to US media, the Syrian missiles destroyed carried nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Does than mean the 600 Iranian missiles are similarly equipped?

    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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  16. #436
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Yes. The world is close to being ready for the big party. Iran will be the smallest footnote in it though. So sad for them.
    Brian Baldwin

    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil.... For I am the meanest S.O.B. in the valley.


    "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in... And how many want out." - Tony Blair on America



    It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

    It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

    It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

    It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

    -Father Denis O'Brien of the United States Marine Corp.


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  17. #437
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iran threatens missile attacks on US targets
    Telegraph ^ | September 18, 2007 | David Blair

    Iran threatened to fire long-range missiles at American targets in the Middle East yesterday as the war of words between Teheran and the West continued to escalate.

    A senior commander of the Revolutionary Guard, the largest component of the Islamic republic's armed forces, chose this moment to outline the capability of his country's ballistic missiles.

    The Shahab-3 rocket has a range of 1,250 miles, allowing it to strike an array of Western targets across the Middle East.

    "Today the Americans are around our country but this does not mean that they are encircling us. They are encircled themselves and are within our range," said Gen Mohammed Hassan Koussechi.

    "If the United States is saying that they have identified 2,000 targets in Iran, then what is certain is that it is the Americans who are all around Iran and are equally our targets," he told the official IRNA news agency.

    Gen Koussechi added: "We have reached capacities that allow us to hit the enemy at a range of 2,000 kilometres."

    A wide array of possible targets faces Iran across the Gulf. Dubai, filled with Western companies, tourists and expatriates, is only 105 miles away.

    Iran's armed forces already occupy Abu Musa, an island claimed by the United Arab Emirates, 40 miles from Dubai.

    Other potential targets include the oilfields in Saudi Arabia's Eastern province, the headquarters of America's Central Command in Qatar and the main harbour of the US Fifth Fleet in Bahrain. RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus is also in range.

    Tension over Iran's nuclear programme is now building. Teheran continues to defy three UN resolutions by enriching uranium, which could produce the essential material for a nuclear bomb.

    Later this month, America will probably seek the Security Council's support for a new resolution imposing more sanctions on Iran.

    President Nicolas Sarkozy has toughened France's approach towards Teheran, with Bernard Kouchner, his foreign minister, giving warning at the weekend that the world should "prepare for the worst and the worst is war".

    Teheran responded yesterday by accusing Mr Sarkozy of being an American stooge.

    Iran is enriching uranium using centrifuges. It aims to install 3,000 at the underground nuclear plant in Natanz.

    Once it has succeeded — and the technical barriers are formidable — Iran would need about one year to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one bomb.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reached a new agreement with Iran designed to lay to rest any fears that Teheran is developing a nuclear bomb.

    But Western diplomats say the IAEA agreement contains one flaw — it does not specify that Iran must stop enriching uranium. However, Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the IAEA, said that any talk of war was "hype". He added: "People need to bear with us."

    • American forces yesterday captured 12 Iraqis who they accuse of smuggling weapons from Iran. The men, who were detained in Baghdad, had prepared and stockpiled an especially lethal variety of roadside bomb, said the US military.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  18. #438
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    FOX news is currently reporting about Iran making statements of "600 missiles aimed at Israeli and US targets". Also being discussed is France making statements about "NO NUKES" in Iran.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  19. #439
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Secret US air force team to perfect plan for Iran strike
    The Times of London ^ | 09/23/07 | Sarah Baxter

    Secret US air force team to perfect plan for Iran strike

    Sarah Baxter, Washington

    THE United States Air Force has set up a highly confidential strategic planning group tasked with fighting the next war as tensions rise with Iran.

    Project Checkmate, a successor to the group that planned the 1991 Gulf Wars air campaign, was quietly reestablished at the Pentagon in June.

    It reports directly to General Michael Moseley, the US Air Force chief, and consists of 20-30 top air force officers and defence and cyberspace experts with ready access to the White House, the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

    Detailed contingency planning for a possible attack on Iran has been carried out for more than two years by Centcom (US central command), according to defence sources.

    Checkmates job is to add a dash of brilliance to Air Force thinking by countering the militarys tendency to fight the last war and by providing innovative strategies for warfighting and assessing future needs for air, space and cyberwarfare.

    It is led by Brigadier-General Lawrence Stutz Stutzriem, who is considered one of the brightest air force generals. He is assisted by Dr Lani Kass, a former Israeli military officer and expert on cyberwarfare.

    The failure of United Nations sanctions to curtail Irans nuclear ambitions, which Tehran claims are peaceful, is giving rise to an intense debate about the likelihood of military strikes.


    Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, said last week that it was necessary to prepare for the worst . . . and the worst is war. He later qualified his remarks, saying he wanted to avoid that outcome.

    France has joined America in pushing for a tough third sanctions resolution against Iran at the UN security council but is meeting strong resistance from China and Russia. Britain has been doing its best to bridge the gap, but it is increasingly likely that new sanctions will be implemented by a US-led coalition of the willing.

    Irans President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who arrives in New York for the United Nations general assembly today, has been forced to abandon plans to visit ground zero, where the World Trade Center stood until the September 11 attacks of 2001. Politicians from President George W Bush to Senator Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner in the 2008 race for the White House, were outraged by the prospect of a visit to New Yorks most venerated site by a state sponsor of terrorism.

    Bush still hopes to isolate Iran diplomatically, but believes the regime is moving steadily closer to obtaining nuclear weapons while the security council bickers.


    The US president faces strong opposition to military action, however, within his own joint chiefs of staff. None of them think it is a good idea, but they will do it if they are told to, said a senior defence source.

    General John Abizaid, the former Centcom commander, said last week: Every effort should be made to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but failing that, the world could live with a nuclear-armed Iran.

    Critics fear Abizaid has lost sight of Irans potential to arm militant groups such as Hezbollah with nuclear weapons. You can deter Iran, but there is no strategy against nuclear terrorism, said the retired air force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney of the Iran policy committee.

    There is no question that we can take out Iran. The problem is the follow-on, the velvet revolution that needs to be created so the Iranian people know its not aimed at them, but at the Iranian regime.

    Checkmates freethinking mission is to provide planning inputs to warfighters that are strategically, operationally and tactically sound, logistically supportable and politically feasible. Its remit is not specific to one country, according to defence sources, but its forward planning is thought relevant to any future air war against Iranian nuclear and military sites. It is also looking at possible threats from China and North Korea.

    Checkmate was formed in the 1970s to counter Soviet threats but fell into disuse in the 1980s. It was revived under Colonel John Warden and was responsible for drawing up plans for the crushing air blitz against Saddam Hussein at the opening of the first Gulf war.

    Warden told The Sunday Times: When Saddam invaded Kuwait, we had access to unlimited numbers of people with expertise, including all the intelligence agencies, and were able to be significantly more agile than Centcom.

    He believes that Checkmates role is to develop the necessary expertise so that if somebody says Iran, it says: here is what you need to think about. Here are the objectives, here are the risks, here is what it will cost, here are the numbers of planes we will lose, here is how the war is going to end and here is what the peace will look like.

    Warden added: The Centcoms of this world are executional they dont have the staff, the expertise or the responsibility to do the thinking that is needed before a country makes the decision to go to war. War planning is not just about bombs, airplanes and sailing boats.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iran's Ahmadinejad: No Attack on Israel
    FOX NEWS ^ | 24 SEPT 2007 | FOXNEWS

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday that Iran would not launch an attack on Israel or any other country, and he does not believe the U.S. is preparing for war against Iran.

    "Iran will not attack any country," Ahmadinejad told The Associated Press. Iran has always maintained a defensive policy, not an offensive one, he said, and has "never sought to expand its territory."

    Asked whether he beleved the U.S. is preparing for war, he responded: "That is not how I see it ... I believe that some of the talk in this regard arises first of all from anger. Secondly, it serves the electoral purposes domestically in this country. Third, it serves as a cover for policy failures over Iraq."

    In a 30-minute interview at a hotel near the United Nations, Ahmadinejad struck a soothing tone. He said Iranian foreign policy was based on humanitarian concerns and seeking justice.

    (Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
    Libertatem Prius!


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