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Thread: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    U.S. Navy won't let Iran shut Gulf, will defend ships
    uk.reuters ^ | Wed Jul 2, 2008 5:14pm BST | By Lin Noueihed

    The United States will not allow Iran to block the Gulf, which carries crude from the world's largest oil exporting region, and would defend its ships in the waterway, the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday.

    "I believe ... Iran will not attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz and we will not allow them to close the Strait of Hormuz. I can't say it anymore clearly than that," Vice-Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, the commander of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, told a conference on Gulf naval security in Abu Dhabi.

    (Excerpt) Read more at uk.reuters.com ...
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    Military strike on Iran would be 'catastrophic:' Russian ministry
    AFP ^ | 07/02/2008

    Any military attack on Iran would have a "catastrophic" effect on the Middle East, a Russian foreign ministry official said Wednesday after reports that Israel might launch such an attack.

    "All this is very dangerous. If force is used it will be catastrophic for the whole Middle East," the official told journalists on condition of anonymity. (And what he didn't do is ID himself or say "And for Russia!" - RD

    The official also said Iran was "ready to look seriously at proposals" presented on June 14 by six world powers aimed at getting the Islamic republic to suspend uranium enrichment. He called Iran's attitude a "positive signal."

    The comments came after US media reported on June 20 that Israeli jet pilots had trained for a possible strike on Iranian nuclear sites.

    Western powers fear Russia is developing a nuclear weapons programme under cover of its stated aim of developing civilian nuclear energy. However Tehran denies such claims.

    Russia, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has a section of border close to northern Iran in the Caucasus mountains and has been cautious about Western efforts to punish Iran over its nuclear activities.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iran says would strike Israel, US navy if attacked

    by Stuart Williams Tue Jul 8, 5:28 AM ET

    TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran would "set on fire" Israel and the US navy in the Gulf as its first response to any American attack over its nuclear programme, an aide to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned on Tuesday.
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    "The first US shot on Iran would set the United States' vital interests in the world on fire," said Ali Shirazi, a mid-ranking cleric who is Khamenei's representative to the naval forces of the elite Revolutionary Guards.

    "Tel Aviv and the US fleet in the Persian Gulf would be the targets that would be set on fire in Iran's crushing response," he said, according to the Fars news agency.

    The United States and its top regional ally Israel have never ruled out attacking Iran over its nuclear drive, which the West fears could be aimed at making nuclear weapons.

    There has been concern an attack against Iran could be imminent after it emerged Israel had carried out manoeuvres in Greece that were effectively practice runs for a potential strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

    Shirazi said "the Zionist regime is pressuring the White House leaders to plan a military assault on Iran" and Iran would react "if they commit such a stupidity."

    It was not clear if he was referring to Tel Aviv as a city or as shorthand for the Jewish state as a whole, which the Islamic republic does not recognise.

    His comments came as the Revolutionary Guards embarked on a new round of war games to sharpen their combat readiness amid continued tensions in the Iranian nuclear crisis.

    The Great Prophet III manoeuvres by the missile and naval sections of the Revolutionary Guards are aimed at "improving the combat capability" of the forces, Fars reported.

    The Guards are responsible for Iran's most significant ballistic missiles including the Shahab-3 missile, whose range puts Israel and US bases in the Gulf within reach.

    However diplomatic efforts are also continuing. Iran has responded to an offer from world powers to end the nuclear crisis and diplomats are analysing what is said to be a complex answer from Tehran.

    The offer from world powers proposes that Iran suspends uranium enrichment -- the process which they fear could be used to make a nuclear weapon -- in exchange for technological incentives.

    But in the latest sign that Iran is not willing to compromise on the key question of enrichment, its envoy to London said world powers were "wasting their time" by insisting on this issue.

    "The question of suspending uranium enrichment has become part of history and the West is just wasting its time by insisting on this illegal and illogical demand," Rassoul Movahedian told the official IRNA news agency.

    There had been speculation that Iran was softening its hardline stance after several officials sounded optimistic notes about the package from world powers.

    The comments calmed oil markets which had seen crude prices surge to record levels over fears that OPEC's number two producer was about to be the target of an attack.

    Iran's response is a "complicated and difficult letter that must be thoroughly analysed," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who presented the package, said on Monday.

    He said he did not want to "give the impression of being too optimistic".

    Meanwhile, the United States said that the different responses by Iranian officials showed there was debate within its system over how to answer the package.

    It appears that "from... the varying public responses from various parts of the Iranian government that there is clearly a debate, or at least a discussion, going on within the Iranian government on how to respond," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

    Iran rejects the Western accusations and insists its nuclear programme is aimed solely at generating energy for a growing population whose fossil fuel reserves will eventually run out.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Ahmadinejad: US Hegemony on the World Comes to an End
    IRNA ^ | 07.07.2008 | Kuala Lumpur

    Malaysia-D8-Ahmadinejad President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by saying that the world is changing rapidly stressed the US hegemony over the world is coming to its end.

    President Ahmadinejad who is in Malaysia to attend the 6th summit meeting of the D8 Group, told a group of Malaysian parliament members here Monday evening that the US hegemony is collapsing tactically and theoretically, so it is necessary to get prepared for the period afterward.

    He added, "Nowadays, all people hate the US, so its dominance is coming to a dead end." The Malaysian parliament deputies by expressing pleasure with meeting President Ahmadinejad called for establishment of Iran-Malaysia parliamentary friendship group.

    They also expressed hope that the Islamic world can play a more active role in producing science in the world.

    1391**1771
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    Iran's Revolutionary Guards hold war games: media
    reuteurs ^ | 7/8/08 | reuteurs

    Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards began military maneuvers on Monday, news agencies said, the same day the U.S. Navy said it was carrying out an exercise in the Gulf.


    (Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
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    U.S. holds navy exercise after Iran comments on Gulf
    Reuters ^ | Mon Jul 7, 2008 4:29pm BST The U.S. Navy said on Monday it was carrying out an exercise in the Gulf, days after vowing that Iran will not be allowed to block the waterway which carries crude from the world's largest oil-exporting region.


    "The aim of Exercise Stake Net is to practice the tactics and procedures of protecting maritime infrastructure such as gas and oil installations," Commodore Peter Hudson said in a U.S. Fifth Fleet statement.


    (Excerpt) Read more at uk.reuters.com ...
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    WATCH HIM NOW, MORE THAN EVER BEFORE!!!!!!!!




    Iran leader plays down war talk


    Ahmadinejad said the US people would not allow Bush to strike

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has played down the threat of an armed conflict between his country and the United States or Israel.

    "I assure you... there won't be any war in the future," he said in Malaysia.
    Earlier, an aide to Iran's supreme leader said Tehran would strike Israel or the US navy in the Gulf if it was attacked over its nuclear programme.
    The comments come amid reports of possible Israeli or US plans to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.


    Tehran denies Western claims that it is seeking to build a nuclear weapon.


    It has repeatedly rejected demands to halt enriching uranium, which can be used as fuel for power plants - and as material for weapons if refined to a greater degree.


    The European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran in June.
    But it has offered a package of incentives to persuade Iran to suspend uranium enrichment.


    Iran has said it is prepared to negotiate with major world powers, but insisted the talks had to address Iran's nuclear rights.


    'Greatest threat'

    President Ahmadinejad was speaking through an interpreter at the end of a summit of the D8 Islamic developing nations in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur.



    The Iranian nation will never accept bullying... No army in the world can confront it


    Ali Shirazi
    Aide to Iran's supreme leader

    He said he believed that people in America would not let President George W Bush authorise an attack on Iran because it would be "political suicide".


    "The economic, political and military situation will not let Mr Bush do that," he said.


    But Mr Ahmadinejad warned that Iran was ready to defend itself, saying that "the greatest threat in the Middle East and the whole world... is the United States' intervention in other countries".


    He also suggested that Iran would not launch any attack on Israel - America's ally in the Middle East.


    "There is no need for any measures by the Iranian people" to bring about the end of the "Zionist regime" in Israel, Mr Ahmadinejad said.
    And asked if he objected to the government of Israel or Jewish people, he said that "creating an objection against the Zionists doesn't mean that there are objections against the Jewish".


    He added that Jews lived in Iran and were represented in the country's parliament.


    Mr Ahmadinejad's comments came after he was asked to clarify the statement that he wanted to "destroy" Israel.


    'Jihad and martyrdom'

    On Monday, a senior Iranian official warned that Tehran would retaliate if attacked by the US or Israel over its nuclear programme.



    Iran insists that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes

    "The first US shot on Iran would set the United States' vital interests in the world on fire," Ali Shirazi, an aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by Iranian news agencies.


    "Tel Aviv and the US fleet in the Persian Gulf would be the targets that would be set on fire," he said.


    "The Zionist regime is pressuring White House officials to attack Iran. If they commit such a stupidity, Tel Aviv and US shipping in the Persian Gulf will be Iran's first targets and they will be burned in Iran's crushing response.


    "The Iranian nation will never accept bullying. The Iranian nation is a nation of believers which believes in jihad and martyrdom. No army in the world can confront it," Mr Shirazi said.


    Last week, the top US military officer said opening up a new front in the Middle East - after Iraq and Afghanistan - would be "extremely stressful" for US forces.


    Adm Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was commenting on the likelihood of US or Israeli military action over Iran's nuclear programme.


    President Bush has maintained that all options are on the table but that military action against Iran will not be his first choice.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    On again, off again.

    Which ONE IS IT?>!?!?!?!


    Experts: Iran Has ‘Resumed’ A-Bomb Project
    newsmax.com ^ | July 8, 2008 | Rick Pedraza


    Intelligence information received by Western diplomats reports that Iran has resumed building equipment used for constructing atomic weapons.

    According to the London-based Daily Telegraph, the latest intelligence indicates that the work is aimed at developing a bomb according to a blueprint provided by Pakistani scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, father of the Pakistanian nuclear program who sold information on building atom bombs to Iran in the early 1990s.

    Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, along with senior officials from its Atomic Energy Agency, is reportedly directing the clandestine project that has been concealed from United Nation’s inspection teams.

    Iran, the world's fourth-biggest oil exporter, says its nuclear activities are peaceful. The United States and its Western allies suspect they are a cover to build atomic bombs.

    “If Iran’s nuclear intentions were peaceful there would be no need for it to undertake this work in secret,” says an official familiar with the intelligence reports.

    Construction of the highly sophisticated atomic weapons is being done on the outskirts of Tehran, The Telegraph reports, and includes the advanced P-2 gas centrifuge for uranium enrichment.

    Tehran last week announced to the world media that it has no intention of halting its uranium enrichment program.

    (Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...
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    War Games in the Gulf
    CNSNews.com ^ | July 08, 2008 | Patrick Goodenough

    On Monday, the 5th Fleet announced the start of an exercise involving two American, one British and one Bahraini vessel, focusing on protecting key economic infrastructure in the central and southern Gulf.

    The ships are part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 152, one of three maritime task forces operating in the Gulf and surrounding waters.

    CTF152 commander Commodore Peter Hudson said the operations aim was to practice the tactics and procedures of protecting maritime infrastructure such as gas and oil installations.

    Later Monday, Irans Fars news agency reported that the IRGC exercises were aimed at raising missile units capabilities. The Alalam satellite television networks Internet site said the missile exercises being held in the Gulf Tuesday were codenamed Great Prophet 3.

    (Excerpt) Read more at cnsnews.com ...
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    Iran warns against attack as G8 demands nuclear freeze
    AFP ^ | July 08 , 2008 3 hours ago | AFP

    TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran warned on Tuesday it would "set fire" to Israel and US forces in response to any attack over its nuclear drive, as the world's leading industrial powers told Tehran to freeze uranium enrichment.

    Leaders of the Group of Eight nations at a summit in Japan urged Iran to fully comply with UN Security Council resolutions "in particular to suspend all enrichment-related activities."

    They also urged Tehran to respond positively to a new package by six major powers aimed at bringing an end to the five-year-old nuclear standoff which has led to a string of sanctions against Iran.

    The United States and its top regional ally Israel have never ruled out military action against Iran over its nuclear drive, which the West fears could be aimed at building an atomic bomb.

    There has been concern a strike could be imminent after it emerged Israel had carried out manoeuvres in Greece that were effectively practice runs for a potential strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

    "The first US shot on Iran would set the United States' vital interests in the world on fire," said Ali Shirazi, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's representative to the naval forces of the elite Revolutionary Guards.

    "Tel Aviv and the US fleet in the Persian Gulf would be the targets that would be set on fire in Iran's crushing response," he said, according to the Fars news agency.

    Washington shrugged off the threat.

    "Comments like that are not out of the norm and not unusual," State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said, adding: "We continue to stress our desire to resolve this issue diplomatically... continue with the process."

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it would be "political suicide" for US President George W. Bush -- whose term of office ends in January -- to attack Tehran.

    (Excerpt) Read more at afp.google.com ...
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    FOXNEWS.COM HOME > WORLD
    Ahmadinejad: No War With U.S., Israel

    Tuesday, July 08, 2008

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that he sees no possibility of a war between his country and the United States or Israel.

    He also predicted Israel would collapse without Iranian action.

    "I assure you that there won't be any war in the future," Ahmadinejad told a news conference during a visit to Malaysia for a summit of developing Muslim nations.

    The Israelis "are a complex political group, but you should know this regime will be eventually destroyed and there is no need of any measure by Iranian people," he said when asked to comment on whether he has called for the destruction of Israel.

    Ahmadinejad's comments came a day after Iran's Revolutionary Guards said the country would retaliate against any military strike by targeting Tel Aviv and U.S. warships in the Gulf.

    Iranian officials have been issuing a mix of conciliatory and bellicose statements in recent weeks about the possibility of a clash with the U.S. and Israel.

    Ahmadinejad has in the past called for Israel's elimination. But his exact remarks have been disputed. Some translators say he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," but others say that would be better translated as "vanish from the pages of time" — implying Israel would disappear on its own rather than be destroyed.
    Related

    *
    Stories
    o Iran Begins War Game With Warning to U.S., Israel

    Ahmadinejad also said Tuesday that the next U.S. administration "would need at least 30 years in order to compensate, renovate and innovate the damages done by Mr. Bush."

    "The greatest threat in the Middle East and the whole world ... is the United States' intervention in other countries," Ahmadinejad said.

    He urged Washington to heal its image by "relying on (the) basis of justice, humanitarian acts and respect for human beings."

    The Web site of the elite Iranian force posted a statement late Monday quoting guard official Ali Shirazi as saying that Iran would retaliate against any military strike by targeting Tel Aviv and U.S. warships in the Gulf.

    "The Zionist regime is pushing the White House to prepare for a military strike on Iran," Shirazi was quoted as saying.

    "If such a stupidity is done by them, Tel Aviv and the U.S. naval fleet in the Persian Gulf will be the first targets which will be set on fire in Iran's crushing response."

    Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev would not comment on Shirazi's warning other than to say "his words speak for themselves."

    Israel's military sent warplanes over the eastern Mediterranean for a large military exercise in June that U.S. officials described as a possible rehearsal for a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, which the West fears are aimed at producing atomic weapons.

    The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, headquartered in the Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain, is responsible for patrolling the Gulf, the Suez Canal and parts of the Indian Ocean.

    Shirazi is a cleric who represents supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the guards' naval force. Khamenei has the final say over all state matters.

    The Guards' Web site also announced the military drill, which it said involved "missile squads," but did not say where it was taking place.

    Iran's guards and national army hold regular exercises two or three times a year, but the statement did not say whether this drill was one of them or if it was a special exercise.
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  12. #552
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Since they're already attacking us in Iraq... Can't we just call that war? Then we can bomb them back into the stone age and be done with this non-sense.
    Brian Baldwin

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    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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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Those are my thoughts too. It's already a 'war'... and these dumbasses that keep putting off the inevitable are just giving the American public a chance to be desensitized to it. Then we won't mind as much if there are a few deaths here, there and everywhere.
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    Iran tests missiles, vows to hit back if attacked
    Reuters ^ | Wed Jul 9, 2008 8:06am EDT | Zahra Hosseinian and Fredrik Dahl

    TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran test-fired nine missiles on Wednesday and warned the United States and Israel it was ready to retaliate if they attacked the Islamic Republic over its disputed nuclear projects.(But... but... but... didn't they say in another article Iran isn't a threat to anyone and especially not the US or Israel??????)

    Washington, which says Iran seeks atomic bombs, told Tehran to halt further tests if it wanted the world to trust it. Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, insists its nuclear program aims only at generating electricity.

    Rising tensions have rattled financial markets. Oil prices, which had slipped from record highs, rebounded about $2 a barrel after Wednesday's tests.

    Speculation that Israel could strike Iran has mounted since its air force staged an exercise last month that U.S. officials said involved 100 aircraft. The United States has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the nuclear row.

    "We warn the enemies who intend to threaten us with military exercises and empty psychological operations that our hand will always be on the trigger and our missiles will always be ready to launch," Revolutionary Guards air force commander Hossein Salami said, according to ISNA news agency.

    In televised comments, he said thousands of missiles were ready to be fired at "specific and pre-determined targets". Missiles were shown soaring from desert launchpads, leaving long vapor trails.

    (Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
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    Iran Test-Fires Missiles Capable Of Hitting Israeli, U.S. Bases
    FOX News ^ | July 9, 2008

    TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran test-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles Wednesday during war games that officials said aimed to show the country can retaliate against any U.S. or Israeli attack, state television reported.

    The exercise was being conducted at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway through which about 40 percent of the world's oil passes. Iran has threatened to shut down traffic in the strait if attacked.

    Gen. Hossein Salami, the air force commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, said the exercise would "demonstrate our resolve and might against enemies who in recent weeks have threatened Iran with harsh language," the TV report said.

    Footage showed at least six missiles firing simultaneously, and said the barrage included a new version of the Shahab-3 missile, which officials have said has a range of 1,250 miles and is armed with a 1-ton conventional warhead.

    That would put Israel, Turkey, the Arabian peninsula, Afghanistan and Pakistan within striking distance.

    "Our hands are always on the trigger and our missiles are ready for launch," the official IRNA news agency quoted Salami as saying Wednesday...

    (Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
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    BBC: Iran missile test 'provocative' ( US and Israel ... say - Video Footage of Iran missile test)
    BBC ^ | 16:38 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 17:38 UK | BBC Staff


    The US and Israel have condemned Iran after it test-fired a long range missile capable of reaching Israel.

    Iran state media said nine missiles were tested in total, including a new Shahab-3, with a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles).


    Iran has tested the missile before, but the latest launch comes amid rising tensions with the US and Israel over the country's nuclear programme.


    US Under-secretary of State William Burns said the test was "provocative".


    He told a Congressional hearing: "We view force as an option that is on the table but a last resort.







    Israel should prepare itself to do what is needed to do




    Ze'ev Boim
    Israeli minister





    "We do not believe we have exhausted all the diplomatic possibilities."


    Mr Burns also told a Capitol Hill foreign affairs committee that UN sanctions on Iran were having the desired effect - by putting the brakes on its nuclear programme.








    He said that although Tehran was trying to foster the perception its nuclear programme was advancing, "real progress has been more modest".


    He said Iranian scientists had not yet perfected the technique of enriching uranium. Iran insists its nuclear programme is purely for civilian energy.


    In the Israeli parliament, Housing Minister Ze'ev Boim said: "I suggest Israel will not talk, and Israel should prepare itself to do what is needed to do."



    The early morning launches at a remote desert site sent oil prices climbing.
    Two other types of missile with shorter ranges were also fired as part of the Great Prophet III war games being staged by Iran's military.
    Brig Gen Hoseyn Salami, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' air force, said: "Our missiles are ready for shooting at any place and any time, quickly and with accuracy.


    "The enemy must not repeat its mistakes. The enemy targets are under surveillance."


    HAVE YOUR SAY


    Why is it ok for Israel, the US and the UK to have WMDs or nuclear weapons but not for any other country?
    Mike, London, UK






    The tests are intended to deter any Israeli or US strike against Tehran's nuclear installations, says BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus.


    Our correspondent - who is in Israel - says the country has a fully operational anti-ballistic missile system, which Israeli military experts believe can counter any Iranian threat.


    But there is no room for complacency, he adds.


    On Monday, an adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader said it would retaliate against any military attack by hitting the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.


    'Joke'

    Other commanders have threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which a large part of the world's oil flows, and to target the US and its allies around the world if Iran comes under attack.


    A White House spokesman condemned the Iranian test, as did both the American presidential candidates.





    Iran insists that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes



    Describing Iran as a "great threat", the Democratic challenger, Barack Obama, called for tougher sanctions while his Republican rival, John McCain, said the test demonstrated the need for effective missile defence.
    The French, German and Italian governments also expressed concern at the missile tests.


    But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has insisted his country had no intention of attacking Israel.
    Speaking on a visit to Malaysia on Tuesday, Mr Ahmadinejad said Iran did not fear an attack by the US or Israel over its nuclear activities, dismissing the possibility as a "joke".


    Western leaders have been attempting to convince Tehran to stop enriching uranium, which it has continued despite the imposition of sanctions by the UN and the European Union.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iran Test-Fires Missiles in Response to Israeli, U.S. 'Threats'

    Wednesday, July 09, 2008
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    Reuters

    July 9: A video grab from Al Alam television shows three of nine long- and medium-range missiles being fired during a test in Iran.
    July 9: A video grab from Al Alam television shows three of nine long- and medium-range missiles being fired during a test in Iran.




    TEHRAN, Iran — Iran test-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles Wednesday during war games to "demonstrate our resolve and might against enemies who in recent weeks have threatened Iran with harsh language," a top Iranian general said of perceived U.S. and Israeli threats.
    "Our hands are always on the trigger and our missiles are ready for launch," the official IRNA news agency quoted Gen. Hossein Salami, the air force commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.
    Click here to view photos.
    VIDEO: Missile Test | Obama Calls Iran 'Great Threat'
    Officials told FOX News on Wednesday the missile test is a "clear response" to recent Israeli military exercises and they are investigating whether the missiles can, in fact, reach Israeli and other targets in the region, as Tehran claims.
    National Security Council Spokesman Gordon Johndroe called on Iran to "immediately" stop developing ballistic missiles, an act that he said isolates the Iranian people from the international community and violates U.N. Security Council resolutions.
    Related



    "President Bush and our partners in the United Nations Security Council, as well as Germany, are committed to a diplomatic path and have offered Iran a generous package of incentives if they will suspend their uranium enrichment activities," Johndroe said from Japan, where Bush was attending the Group of Eight summit.
    "They should also refrain from further missile tests if they truly seek to gain the trust of the world," he continued.
    A television report showed footage of at least six missiles firing simultaneously and said the barrage included a new version of the Shahab-3 missile, which officials have said has a range of 1,250 miles and is armed with a 1-ton conventional warhead. The television report did not specify where the launch took place.
    That would put Israel, Turkey, the Arabian peninsula, Afghanistan and Pakistan within striking distance.
    Oil prices jumped on news of the missile tests, rising $1.44 to $137.48 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
    The military exercise was being conducted at the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway at the mouth of the Persian Gulf through which about 40 percent of the world's oil passes. Iran has threatened to shut down traffic in the strait if attacked. It was not clear, however, whether the missile test also took place near the strait.
    The report comes less than a day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed fears that Israel and the United States could be preparing to attack his country, calling the possibility a "funny joke."
    "I assure you that there won't be any war in the future," Ahmadinejad told a news conference Tuesday during a visit to Malaysia for a summit of developing Muslim nations.
    But even as Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials have dismissed the possibility of attack, Tehran has stepped up its warnings of retaliation if the Americans — or Israelis — do launch military action, including threats to hit Israel and U.S. Gulf bases with missiles and stop oil traffic from the Gulf.
    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Wednesday's tests "evidence that the missile threat is not an imaginary one."
    "Those who say that there is no Iranian missile threat against which we should build a missile defense system perhaps ought to talk to the Iranians about their claims," Rice said while traveling in Sofia, Bulgaria.
    On Tuesday, Rice and Czech counterpart Karel Schwarzenberg signed a deal allowing the U.S. to base a missile defense shield in the Czech Republic.
    A White House spokesman called the tests "completely inconsistent with Iran's obligations to the world."
    Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said that Iran's missile tests highlight the need for direct diplomacy as well as tougher threats of economic sanctions and strong incentives to persuade Tehran to change its behavior.
    John McCain, the Republican seeking the presidency, said the tests demonstrate a need for effective missile defense, including missile defense in Europe and the defense system the U.S. plans with the Czech Republic and Poland.
    In late June, Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff, who was then the commander of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, said any attempt by Iran to seal off the Strait of Hormuz would be viewed as an act of war. The U.S. 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain, across the Gulf from Iran.
    Israel's military sent warplanes over the eastern Mediterranean for a large military exercise in June that U.S. officials described as a possible rehearsal for a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, which the West fears are aimed at producing atomic weapons.
    Iran says its nuclear program is geared only toward generating electricity, not weapons.
    The Israeli exercise was widely interpreted as a show of force as well as a practice on skills needed to execute a long-range strike mission.
    Shaul Mofaz, an Israeli Cabinet minister, set off an international uproar last month by saying in a published interview that Israel would have "no choice" but to attack Iran if it doesn't halt its nuclear program. Mofaz is a former military chief and defense minister, and has been Israel's representative in a strategic dialogue on Iran with U.S. officials.
    On Wednesday, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said Israel "does not desire hostility and conflict with Iran."
    "But it is clear that the Iranian nuclear program and the Iranian ballistic missile program is a matter of grave concern," Regev said.
    The Guards and Iran's regular army routinely hold exercises two or three times a year.
    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    US warns Iran on missile threat
    BBC News ^ | July 10, 2008

    The US has said it will not hesitate to defend its interests and those of its allies as Iran continues missile tests.

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the US had increased its security in the region and Iran should not be "confused" about US capabilities.

    Iran tested missiles on Wednesday that could reach Israel, and on Thursday carried out further tests.

    Meanwhile French energy giant Total has said it will not invest in Iran because it is too politically risky.

    New tests

    Condoleezza Rice was speaking during a visit to Georgia.

    She said: "We take very strongly our obligation to defend our allies and we intend to do that.

    "In the Gulf area, the United States has enhanced its security capacity, its security presence and we are working closely with all our allies... to make [sure] they are capable of defending themselves."

    The Iranian military said on Thursday its Revolutionary Guards had carried out further medium- and long-range missile tests overnight.

    The tests included the first night test of the Shahab-3 missile, said to have a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles), along with shore-to-sea, surface-to-surface and sea-to-air missiles, state media reported.

    The BBC's Jon Leyne in Tehran says this appears another gesture of defiance following the international condemnation of Wednesday's tests. Media reports appeared to be delivered as a matter of pride.

    Ms Rice said it was about time Iran "got on the right side of the international community".

    The first test of the updated Shahab-3 missile, which could strike Israel, was on Wednesday.

    Gen Hoseyn Salami, the Guards' air force commander, said the tests demonstrated Iran's "resolve and might against enemies who in recent weeks have threatened Iran with harsh language".

    State media quoted him as saying: "Our hands are always on the trigger and our missiles are ready for launch."

    William Burns, the top official handling Iranian issues at the US state department, said the launch was "very disturbing, provocative and reckless".

    On Thursday, Israel responded to the missile tests by saying it would exhibit publicly an advanced aircraft that could spy on Iran.

    'Big blow'

    Meanwhile, the head of Total, Christophe de Margerie, told the Financial Times the company's planned development of the huge South Pars gas field in southern Iran would not go ahead.

    "Today we would be taking too much political risk to invest in Iran because people will say: 'Total will do anything for money'," he said.

    Total was the last major Western energy group to have seriously considered investing in the country's huge gas reserves.

    Analysts say the move will be a big blow to the Iranian energy industry.

    It means Iran is now unlikely to significantly increase its gas exports until late into the next decade, they add.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  19. #559
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iran's dangerous game

    Leaving the world in doubt as to your nuclear intentions may be a canny diplomatic trick, but look where it got Saddam
    All comments (200)


    The key phrase is "strategic ambiguity" – fancy terminology meaning "just keep them guessing". Saddam thought he could stay in power by pretending he might have some kind of exotic weaponry which would confound his enemies at the last minute. We now know that he had to reveal to his revolutionary command council in February 2003 that his cupboard of biological and chemical weapons was more or less bare: he had very little with which to stop the invading Americans in their tracks.

    For years he had kept the world guessing. It is now known that there was virtually no development of nuclear weapons after 1991. There is still a modicum of doubt, and some mystery, as to what Saddam did with all those precursors and agents for his biological and chemical arms programmes. But his mistake was to continue to pretend to have what he didn't – hence five years of terror, blood and civil war in his land.

    Tehran is now running its own game of blind man's bluff with the international weapons watchdogs of the UN. It is not quite the same tactic as Saddam's, but the end result could be the same – a military strike, and not necessarily at a convenient time. There may be "strategic ambiguity" about its nuclear capability, but with its latest missile test, Iran has sent a decidedly unambiguous message that, if it were to have the warheads, it would definitely have the means to deliver them – with Israel within range.

    Earlier this summer it looked as if Europe, the US, the UN and Iran were involved in a sort of diplomatic fandango – but one that would in the end lead to reconciliation and productive talks about resolving the nuclear issue in Iran.

    At the end of May, Mohamed el-Baradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a brief, worrying report on Iran's nuclear activities – which, at the time, was overlooked. It said that there were too many things in Iran's nuclear programmes that couldn't be seen by the UN. Furthermore, the IAEA thought it was almost certain that there were concealed programmes for nuclear weapons, particularly for warheads for intermediate range missiles.

    This brought howls of derision from Tehran. Then came last month's exercise by the Israeli Air Force to refuel in midair up to 100 strike aircraft for a mission of over 750 miles – roughly the distance from Israel to the main nuclear plant at Natanz. The Greeks lent air space south of Crete for part of the manoeuvre. This should have raised eyebrows, as Greece is now regarded as the EU and Nato ally with the warmest diplomatic relations with Iran.

    Following the exercise, there was a flurry of rumour that Tehran was in the business of talking, after all, without precondition. Talks have been conducted through back channels for some four or five years now. The New York Times reported that a message had been sent from the main nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, to the EU foreign affairs high representative Javier Solana, to tell him he would be welcome for wide-ranging discussions this week.

    Suddenly the diplomatic weather turned into a tropical storm. No sooner had suggestion of talks with Solana been in print than the official spokesman for Ahmadinejad's government turned off the charm. It was thought that the latest round of talks was being pushed by Ali Akbar Velayati, the former foreign minister, who is now the senior foreign policy and security adviser to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – who takes the ultimate decision on nuclear issues.

    "Iran's stance regarding its peaceful nuclear programme has not changed", said the official spokesman, Gholam Hossein Elam, last Saturday. A longer response from the foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki was bitingly critical of the six-power panel, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the US. It was made plain that Iran would continue to expand its programme, and to enrich nuclear fuel. This, said the spokesman, was in line with "exercising Iran's peaceful nuclear right".

    This week Professor Peter Zimmerman, former scientific adviser to the Senate foreign relations committee and emeritus professor of science and security at King's College London, has spelled out just how dangerous the game of strategic ambiguity can be. In an article in the International Herald Tribune, Zimmerman points out that there are such peculiarities about the Iranian nuclear programme, particularly at Natanz, that suggest they can only be aimed at acquiring nuclear weapons, and this is happening in very short order.

    The plant at Natanz, he points out, is too small to be the cornerstone of a nationwide nuclear civil power programme. There are aspects of the known work, such as the use of high explosive to implode a hemispherical shell of heavy metal, which can only be for lightweight nuclear projectiles. Continuing work on nuclear detonators points to the same conclusion. Natanz could produce enough high-grade material for some 100 small nuclear warheads (roughly the power of the Hiroshima bomb) within two years.

    A familiar voice from the shadows has added to the weight of anxiety. A Q Khan, father of the Pakistani, Libyan and North Korea nuclear weapons programmes, has revealed from his comfortable retreat that he was encouraged all along by President Pervez Musharraf to swap good nuclear knowledge and missile technology with North Korea. Musharraf denied this initially, but now his cover is well and truly blown.

    So might the cover of the "nukes for peace" crowd in Tehran by these latest indiscretions of Pakistan's very own Dr Strangelove. Khan ran a business empire in the centre of which was the triangle of Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran.

    Something is definitely up. The worry is that some in Iran seem truly to believe that they can keep the whirligig of strategic ambiguity spinning like a perpetual motion machine. Saddam thought that, too – and look where it got him.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iran's Photoshopped Missile Launch
    Little Green Footballs ^ | 7-9-08 | Charles Johnson, hat tip webs87

    At least one of the photographs released today by Iran and published by an unquestioning Western media has been Photoshopped:




    1 day ago: In a handout picture released on the news website of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, four long and medium range missiles rise into the air after being test-fired at an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert on July 9, 2008. Iran today test-fired a missile it said is capable of reaching Israel, angering the United States amid growing fears that the standoff over the contested Iranian nuclear drive could lead to war.

    (Can you guess which one??? And... can you guess where they got the image? Look carefully a missiles # 3 and # 4 as you move from left to right. Note CAREFULLY the smoke on the bottom, look at the missile trail on # 3 and look at the sky beyond # 3 -- RD)




    Libertatem Prius!


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