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Thread: War with Iran about to start?

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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    And... did their rockets hit targets or random locations?
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Iran threatens swift retaliation on US bases

    Published July 04, 2012
    FoxNews.com


    TEHRAN, Iran – Iran declared Wednesday that it can destroy nearby U.S. military bases and strike Israel within minutes of an attack on the Islamic Republic, reflecting tensions over Iran's suspect nuclear program.

    The veiled threat came during a military drill that has included the firing of ballistic missiles. The elite Revolutionary Guards, conducting the war games in Iran's central desert, said that the missiles were aimed at mock-ups of foreign military bases.


    Israel and the U.S. have hinted at the possibility of military strikes against Iran if sanctions and diplomacy do not rein in Iran's nuclear development program. The West suspects Iran may be aiming to build nuclear weapons. Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes.


    The semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh of the Revolutionary Guards as saying U.S. bases are in range of Iran's missiles and could be hit in retaliatory strikes. He referred to Israel as "occupied territories."


    "Measures have been taken so that we could destroy all these bases in the early minutes of an attack," said Hajizadeh, chief of the Guards' air-space division.


    Israeli officials refused to comment. There was no immediate comment from Washington.


    Hajizadeh said the Guards also successfully test fired an anti-ship missile that could sink U.S. warships in the Gulf. Gen. Hajizadeh told state TV that the shore-to-sea ballistic missile, called "Persian Gulf," has a range of 180 miles.


    State TV showed video of the launching of a white missile that hit a huge target in Gulf waters.


    The U.S. reportedly bolstered its air and naval presence in the Persian Gulf. It is an effort to strengthen the U.S.'s position at the Strait of Hormuz, which is a key world oil route Iran has threatened to block amid tightening sanctions over its nuclear program, the New York Times reports.


    The message to Iran is, ‘Don’t even think about it,’ ” one senior Defense Department official told the New York Times. “We’ll clear the mines. Don’t even think about sending your fast boats out to harass our vessels or commercial shipping. We’ll put them on the bottom of the gulf.”


    The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain, an island in the Gulf about 120 miles from Iran, well within range of Iranian missiles.
    On Tuesday Iran said it launched a variety of missiles during the desert drill, including Shahab-3 missiles with a range of 1,200 miles that could reach Israel and southern Europe.


    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/...es_785591.html


    Iran test fires anti-ship missiles


    Last Updated: Wednesday, July 04, 2012, 23:51
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    Tags: Iran, Missile, Anti-ship missiles, US, Iran warship


    Moscow: Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) test-fired anti-ship missiles Wednesday, Iran's FARS news agency said.

    According to RIA Novosti, the IRGC fired several Khalid Farzh (Persian Gulf) missiles, but the location of the tests was not revealed.


    The Khalid Farzh missile, which entered service in 2011, can hit targets travelling at high speed and is capable of flying at Mach-3, according to Arabic channel Al Alam. The weapon has a 650-kg warhead and range of 300 km (180 miles).

    Revolutionary Guard Navy commander Vice Admiral Ali Fadavi told scientists the weapon was highly accurate, FARS reported.

    According to Xinhua, the IRGC's aerospace division commander, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, told reporters that in the drill dubbed "Great Prophet 7" more than 100 hypothesized spots in the central desert would be targetted by various kinds of missiles.

    On Tuesday, the Revolutionary Guard carried out a series of ballistic missile test firings as part of the exercises.
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    From FARS
    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9103085062

    Iranian Mines, Missiles Can Easily Shut Hormuz
    TEHRAN (FNA)- As Iranian lawmakers are preparing a bill requiring the government to close the Strait of Hormuz, some in the West are asking how Tehran can do so, except for drowning an oil tanker in the midst of the waterway which is the easiest way of cutting the world oil lifeline for months.


    In addition to its short, mid, and long missiles, Tehran has a range of other weapons it can use to close down the vital oil artery.

    These include the hard-to-detect "rocket mine" that's triggered by the distinctive magnetic our acoustic signature of a ship, such as a US aircraft carrier, and then launches a propelled 600-popund warhead at the target.

    Then there's the Russian MDM6, equally difficult to detect, that can tackle multiple targets. It lies on the seabed that fires a torpedo-like warhead when it senses a vessel.

    Both these mines can be laid by Iran's Kilo-class submarines.

    As the United States builds up its forces in the Persian Gulf, including the recent arrival of four new mines countermeasures ships to boost US-British minesweeping strength to 12, the New York Times quoted a senior Defense Department official as saying:

    "The message to Iran is, 'Don't even think about it'. Don't even think about closing the strait. We'll clear the mines.

    "Don't even think about sending your fast boats out to harass our vessels or commercial shipping. We'll put them on the bottom of the gulf."

    Iran isn't planning to fight a conventional war with the US and its allies. Rather it plans to employ what's known as asymmetric warfare, in which the weaker forces uses unconventional means to overcome the power of a strong opponent.

    Asymmetric warfare is specially appropriate for the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz which are too narrow for the huge US warships to maneuver.

    That means mines, anti-ship missiles and swarm attacks by small heavily armed boats.

    By some accounts, Iran is believed to have as many as 3,000 sea mines. Some estimates go as high as 5,000, but no one knows the exact number as Iran never discloses all its capabilities and arsenals.

    Whatever, it's the fourth largest sea mine arsenal in the world after the United States, Russia and China.

    The EM-52 is probably the most dangerous mine Iran has. But the bottom-influence EM-11 and the EM-31 moored mine can also play havoc with surface craft.

    So the United States and its allied naval forces face a formidable foe.

    "Iran's ability to lay a large number of mines in a short period of time remains a critical aspect of the stated capability to deny US forces access to the Persian Gulf and impede or halt shipping through the strait," cautioned US analyst Anthony Cordesman in a March analysis by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

    Iran has hundreds of anti-ship missiles, including 300 C-201 Seersucker weapons and 200 C-801 indigenous Noor systems, deployed along its long Persian Gulf coastline, as well as air-launched weapons and cruise missiles.

    "It's notable that the US never successfully targeted Iraq's anti-ship missile assets during the Kuwait war, although they were deployed along a far smaller coastal area," Cordesman observed.

    Iran's army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, a combined force of some 400,000 troops, vastly outnumber US and allied ground forces. You may also add millions of Basij (volunteer) forces.

    But it's from the sea the Iranians will out up their main fight. How long the shooting will last is anyone's guess.

    Hormuz could be closed to tanker traffic for several weeks, and the disruption in oil supplies will trigger severe global economic problems.
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    July 5, 2012 Iranian General's Hare-brained Chutzpah

    Russ Vaughn


    What do you suppose is it about the leaders, particularly the generals and admirals, of so many Middle Eastern nations, that leads them to be so boastful? Is it a cultural thing? Or is their psychological indoctrination as young officers so intense and irresistible that it overwhelms their common sense? One could almost wonder if Middle Eastern military academies include in their curricula such courses as Basic Battlefield Saber Rattling I&II, Advanced War Zone Saber Rattling and then perhaps post-graduate courses in Geo-Apocalyptic Saber Rattling?



    We all remember Saddam Hussein's bravado prior to the Gulf War, him standing on balconies brandishing automatic pistols or assault rifles, firing them into the air above the heads of adoring throngs of loyal Iraqis who believed his boasts about destroying the infidel Americans in the "Mother of All Battles." He got his Mother of All Battles, alright, and it didn't go too well for his supposedly indestructible Revolutionary Guards, much less his lesser units. Proving that the ingrained tendency to bluster is undeterred by hard lethal lessons, Saddam repeated his public demonstrations of bravado preceding the Second Gulf War, the MoAB that resulted in the total destruction of his vaunted Guards units as well as his own ignominious execution by hanging.


    Now here we are years later and similar braggadocio is coming from Saddam's old nemesis, Iran. Faced with possible military action by western powers to halt Iranian development of nuclear weapons, Iran's generals and admirals are boasting that they will rain death and destruction on the United States and Israel. This time the bluster is coming from the Iranian version of the Republican Guards, the Revolutionary Guards, one of whose generals seems just a bit brash:
    The semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh of the Revolutionary Guards as saying U.S. bases are in range of Iran's missiles and could be hit in retaliatory strikes. He referred to Israel as "occupied territories."
    "Measures have been taken so that we could destroy all these bases in the early minutes of an attack," said Hajizadeh, chief of the Guards' air-space division.
    All these bases, huh? The swaggering general, commander of the air wing of the Guards, is also confident that his command is a match for the U.S. Navy vessels now in the Persian Gulf:
    Hajizadeh said the Guards also successfully test fired an anti-ship missile that could sink U.S. warships in the Gulf. Gen. Hajizadeh told state TV that the shore-to-sea ballistic missile, called "Persian Gulf," has a range of 300 kilometers (180 miles).
    Someone should inform the general that test firing a missile is a tad different situation from deploying and using missiles tactically. My advice to General Ali would be to go to this official Navy website and scroll through the warfighting capabilities explained there, keeping in mind that the information is several years old, meaning, no doubt, that the technologies and capabilities revealed there are even more advanced and effective by now. He should pay particular attention to the defensive, anti-missile systems such as the Aegis BMDS and the Sea Sparrow. His naval counterpart, on the other hand, might be more interested in the shipboard anti-surface (anti-fast boat) weaponry such as the Phalanx Close In Weapon System (CIWS) or the new, remotely-operated Typhoon chain gun created by Israel's Raphael Corporation and now on many U.S. vessels. Of course, none of this even takes into account the hundreds of combat aircraft, both carrier-borne jet fighters and attack helicopters available to the admiral commanding the battle area.


    Somehow, I don't think the United States Navy is breaking sweat over the warfighting prowess of the Revolutionary Guards. Many of our older Navy commanders are probably mindful of the supposedly invincible Republican Guards of Iraq and how most of them ended up. Do you suppose General Ali will still have such hare-brained chutzpah once his Revolutionary Guards have suffered a similar fate?


    If he's still alive, that is...
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    From the Russians:

    http://en.ria.ru/mlitary_news/20120704/174407329.html

    U.S. Warships in Gulf ‘Sitting Ducks’ Says Iran

    Iran conducted a three-day missile drill, codenamed Great Prophet 7
    © AFP/ Hassan Mousavi/ Fars News Agency


    23:47 04/07/2012
    MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti)

    Tags: Mohammad Marandi, Iran, Tehran, United States
    Related News





    U.S. naval ships in the Persian Gulf are within reach of Iranian missiles should the United States consider an offensive against the Islamic Republic, an Iranian expert said on Wednesday.
    “The United States knows that its ships in the Persian Gulf are sitting ducks when it comes to Iranian missiles,” Dr. Mohammad Marandi, a professor at Tehran University, said in an interview with Press TV.
    “If missiles are fired at American naval ships they will hit their targets very quickly.”
    He warned that Western countries would face severe consequences in case of a military attack against Iran.
    His comments come after the European Union brought in a new round of sanctions on Iran’s oil exports in a bid to force Tehran to give up its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.
    In response, Iran conducted a three-day missile drill, codenamed Great Prophet 7, which Marandi said was a message to Western nations that they should be concerned about escalating the situation further.
    Meanwhile, a senior military commander warned that Iranian missiles could “obliterate U.S. military bases in regional countries within minutes of an attack on Iran.”
    Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Aerospace Division, added that Iranian missiles could also easily reach Israel.
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Published: Thursday, 5 Jul 2012 | 12:13 PM ET
    Text Size
    By: Thomas Erdbrink and Clifford Krauss




    The hulking tanker Neptune was floating aimlessly this week in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, a fresh coat of black paint barely concealing its true identity as an Iranian ship loaded with hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil that no one is willing to buy.

    The ship’s real name was Iran Astaneh, and it was part of a fleet of about 65 Iranian tankers serving as floating storage facilities for Iranian oil, each one given a nautical makeover to conceal its origin and make a buyer easier to find. The Neptune had been floating there for a month, and local fishermen said there were two even larger tankers anchored nearby. Iran, faced with increasingly stringent economic sanctions imposed by the international community to force it to abandon any ambitions to develop nuclear weapons, has been reluctant to reduce its oil production, fearing that doing so could damage its wells. But Iran has insufficient space to store the crude it cannot sell. So while it furiously works to build storage capacity on shore, it has turned to mothballing at sea.



    “We have never seen so many just waiting around,” said Rostam, a fisherman and smuggler who regularly works these waters.
    After years of defiance and insistence that sanctions were barely being felt at home, Iranians are acknowledging the latest round with growing alarm. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that they were “the strongest yet.”
    International oil experts say Iranian exports have already been cut by at least a quarter since the beginning of the year, costing Iran roughly $10 billion so far in forgone revenues. Many experts say the pain is only beginning, since oil prices have been falling and Iran’s sales should drop even more with the European embargo that went into effect on Sunday.

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    “They are getting squeezed,” said Sadad Al Husseini, former executive vice president for exploration and development of Saudi Aramco, the state oil company. “It’s too much trouble to buy Iranian oil. Why alienate the United States and Europe? And the rest of OPEC is not very happy with Iran either.”
    On Wednesday, a Kenyan oil official told Reuters that the country was canceling an agreement to import up to 80,000 barrels of oil a day from Iran after Britain warned Kenya that it could run afoul of the sanctions. Meanwhile, South Korea said its imports of Iranian oil fell by nearly 50 percent in May, compared with April.
    The drop in crude sales has hit Tehran with multiple challenges. Besides the financial impact, Iran has to figure out what to do with all the oil it continues to produce. Iran is pumping about 2.8 million barrels a day — already down about one million barrels daily since the start of the year. But it is exporting only an estimated 1.6 to 1.8 million barrels a day.
    The unsold crude is being stored in what has been estimated to be two-thirds of the Iranian tanker fleet. Most of the ships are sailing in circles around the Persian Gulf as Iran tries to sell the mostly heavy crude at bargain-basement prices.
    International oil experts estimate that Iran is now warehousing as much as 40 million barrels — roughly two weeks of production — on the tankers. An additional 10 million barrels are in storage on shore.
    “We are now forced to sell our most valuable export product in secret,” said Nader Karimi Joni, an Iranian journalist specializing in oil. “Iran had a great reputation; now we have to falsify bills of lading, hide the oil’s origin and store oil on ships.”
    The subterfuge operates on several levels, but here, on the waters off Bandar Abase, it is all about the tanker, Neptune. Beneath the fresh black paint, the ship’s hulk bore the name in English and Persian of the tanker company, ITC.
    The ship, one of Iran’s smallest, was built in 2000 in South Korea. It carried no flag, and its home port — Bushier — had first been changed to Valletta, Malta, which had also been painted over. It now said Funafuti, the capital of the Pacific Ocean island nation of Tuvalu.

    MORE FROM NYTIMES.COM













    To conceal their positions — and perhaps to hide just how many loaded ships are at sea — Iran’s oil tankers also frequently turn off their GPS tracking devices, according to HIS Fairly, a London-based ship tracking data company. It mapped out the last-known destinations of all ITC tankers, including the Iran Astaneh, and concluded that 21 were last seen in the Persian Gulf.
    “I hear there are a lot more up north close to the oil terminals,” said Rostam, the smuggler, as he pulled his small craft up alongside the tanker.
    Smugglers regularly zip across the Strait of Harms in small speedboats to the northern tip of Oman, Rostam and others said, picking up boxes of all kinds of black-market goods. Along the way, Rostam said, he sees the physical evidence of growing tension in the narrow waterway where one-fifth of the world’s oil must travel to get to market.
    “We constantly run into United States Navy,” Rostam said. “They only stop us when our boat is filled with people. Not when we are shipping merchandise.”
    Iran’s Revolutionary Guards navy is also present in the waters and has its headquarters in this port city, he said. The Iranian Navy operates mainly speedboats with missile launchers mounted on top, intending to swarm much larger American Navy ships with dozens of such boats in case of a confrontation.
    Such conflict has happened before, and a defeat prompted Iran to change its navy’s military doctrine. During a one-day conflict in these waters in 1988 between Iran and the United States, one Iranian frigate was sunk, while Iranian forces claimed to have brought down an American helicopter. Some months later, an American Navy ship shot down an Iranian civilian airliner, killing 290 people, an event that Iran commemorated on Monday. The country maintains the plane was deliberately shot down, while the United States says it was an accident.
    The prospect of a confrontation now could grow as the pressure builds on Iran while the sanctions, and dropping oil prices, cut deeper into Tehran’s financial lifeline.
    Oil prices have fallen by nearly 10 percent since the beginning of the year — and roughly 20 percent from their peak in March — because of weakening demand from Europe, the United States and parts of the developing world, as well as increased production from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya. Oil experts estimate that Iran’s oil export revenues are down about 35 percent compared with the beginning of the year.
    Increasingly, Iran’s officials are warning its citizens to prepare for tough times ahead. On Monday, Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s foreign minister, made comparisons to the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq when he discussed with reporters the mounting pressures on Iran.
    Iran’s vice president, Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, speaking during a religious conference on Sunday, said his country would never be stopped, and he asked for people’s support, state television reported.
    “Today, we are facing the heaviest of sanctions, and we ask people to help officials in this battle,” he said.
    Aboard the Neptune, the crew knew what that meant: killing more time baby-sitting for crude at sea. On Sunday, members of the crew trudged out beneath a blazing sun and hauled up the anchor. They knew they were not going anywhere, but they took the opportunity to clean off the rust. Then they shouted to passengers in a skiff below, trying to make a joke.
    “Wait five minutes,” a sailor said. “When we drop anchor again, you’ll get great pictures.”
    This story originally appeared in The New York Times
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Iran submarine plan may fuel Western nuclear worries


    • Fredrik Dahl Reuters
    • July 05, 2012 - 10:08 am EDT



    VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran's announcement that it plans to build its first nuclear-powered submarine is stoking speculation it could serve as a pretext for the Islamic state to produce highly enriched uranium and move closer to potential atom bomb material.
    EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to film or take pictures in Tehran. Military personnel place a flag on a submarine during the Velayat-90 war games by the Iranian navy in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran December 27, 2011. REUTERS/IIPA/Ali Mohammadi

    Western experts doubt that Iran - which is under a U.N. arms embargo - has the capability any time soon to make the kind of sophisticated underwater vessel that only the world's most powerful states currently have.
    But they say Iran could use the plan to justify more sensitive atomic activity, because nuclear submarines can be fuelled by uranium refined to a level that would also be suitable for the explosive core of a nuclear warhead.
    "Such submarines often use HEU (highly enriched uranium)," former chief U.N. nuclear inspector Olli Heinonen said, adding Iran was unlikely to be able source the fuel abroad because of the international dispute over its nuclear program.
    It could then "cite the lack of foreign fuel suppliers as further justification for continuing on its uranium enrichment path", Heinonen, now at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said.
    Any move by Iran to enrich to a higher purity would alarm the United States and its allies, which suspect it is seeking to develop the capability to make nuclear bombs and want it to curb its nuclear program. Tehran denies any atomic arms ambitions.
    It would also likely further complicate diplomatic efforts to resolve the decade-old row over Tehran's nuclear program and may add to fears of a military confrontation.
    Several rounds of talks between Iran and six world powers this year have so far failed to make significant progress, especially over their demand that the Islamic Republic scale back its controversial enrichment work.
    "LEVERAGE"

    "Iran is using this submarine announcement to create bargaining leverage," Shashank Joshi, a senior fellow and Middle East specialist at the Royal United Services Institute, said.
    "It can negotiate away these 'plans' for concessions, or use the plans as a useful pretext for its enrichment activity."
    Iranian deputy navy commander Abbas Zamini was last month quoted as saying that "preliminary steps in making an atomic submarine have started".
    He did not say how such a vessel would be fuelled, but experts said it may require high-grade uranium.
    Iran now refines uranium to reach a 3.5 percent concentration of the fissile isotope U-235 - suitable for nuclear power plants - as well as 20 percent, which it says is for a medical research reactor in Tehran.
    Nuclear weapons need a fissile purity of 90 percent, about the same level as is used to fuel U.S. nuclear submarines.
    "This is a bald excuse to enrich uranium above 20 percent," Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank in London, said.
    A Western diplomat agreed that it could provide another possible justification for making highly enriched uranium, adding Iran could also use medical isotope production as an excuse.
    "What it all means to me is that they could enrich above 20 percent, or even just say they intend to, and then point to some or all of these 'justifications'," the envoy said.
    Iran says its nuclear program is for purely peaceful energy and medical purposes and that it is its right to process uranium for reactor fuel under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a global pact to prevent the spread of atomic arms.
    An Iranian lawmaker this week said parliament planned to ask the government to equip Iran's naval and research fleet with "non-fossil" engines, Press TV state television reported in an apparent reference to nuclear fuel.
    While nuclear submarines generally run on highly refined uranium, merchant vessels can also operate on low-enriched fuel, Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said.
    The six powers - the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia - want Iran to halt 20 percent enrichment. If Iran not only rejected this demand but also started enriching to even higher levels, it would risk dramatically raising the stakes in the dispute.
    COSTLY SUBS

    The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, sparking fears of a possible escalation into a new Middle East war.
    The submarine statement and this week's missile tests by the Islamic Republic signaled Iranian defiance at a time when the West is stepping up the sanctions pressure on the major crude producer with a European Union oil embargo.
    "I see this as an effort to demonstrate Iranian resolve at a time when sanctions are getting unprecedentedly tight," Joshi, of the Royal United Services Institute, said.
    It is difficult and very expensive to make atomic submarines. "There is no way that Iran could build a nuclear-powered submarine," Fitzpatrick said.
    Such submarines - which the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain have - can be at sea without refueling and stay under water for much longer periods than those using diesel, experts said.
    Naval reactors deliver a lot of power from a small volume and therefore run on highly enriched uranium but the level varies from 20 percent or less to as much as 93 percent in the latest U.S. submarines, the World Nuclear Association, a London-based industry body, said on its website.
    Iran's announcement is another statement "that they are capable of producing the most-advanced and prestigious military technology and, as usual, there is little truth in what is being claimed", military expert Pieter Wezeman, of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute think tank, said.
    (Additional reporting by Yeganeh Torbati and Marcus George in Dubai; Editing by Alison Williams)
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Iran claims U.S. targets in reach



    The warning came as Iran conducted a third day of testing of its missile program. | AP Photo




    By STEPHANIE GASKELL | 7/5/12 1:11 PM EDT
    Iran declared Thursday that it can target U.S. bases in the Middle East and Israel within minutes of an attack, upping the ante in the war of words over security in the Persian Gulf.


    “The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps and the Iranian Army’s missiles can target and destroy any threatening target in the region,” Mansour Haqiqatpour, a member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, was quoted as saying by the Iranian Fars News Service.





    Haqiaqtpour said Iran regularly monitors American bases in the region and the “slightest mistake (on their part) will cause them and their regional allies regret.”
    “They will definitely incur losses,” he warned.


    The United States has military bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, as well as Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.


    The warning came as Iran conducted a third day of testing of its missile program, according to several news reports. The operation is dubbed “Payambar-e Azam 7” – or “The Great Prophet 7.”


    “The main aim of this drill is to demonstrate the Iranian nation’s political resolve to defend vital values and national interests,” said Revolutionary Guards Deputy Commander Hossein Salami, according to MSNBC.com.


    U.S. officials have begun moving “significant military reinforcements” into the region, including a buildup of Navy ships and minesweepers in the Strait of Hormuz to head off any military action over Iran’s nuclear program, according to The New York Times.


    “The message to Iran is, ‘Don’t even think about it,’ ” one senior Defense Department official told the Times. “Don’t even think about closing the strait. We’ll clear the mines. Don’t even think about sending your fast boats out to harass our vessels or commercial shipping. We’ll put them on the bottom of the gulf.”



    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories...#ixzz1zlpLNZPD
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    From the world socialists web site(LOL):

    US-Iran confrontation enters dangerous new stage

    5 July 2012

    The US-led confrontation with Iran over its nuclear programs has reached a dangerous new stage, following the stalling of international talks and the imposition of extra sanctions on Iran, designed to cripple its economy. The Obama administration has repeatedly declared that all options, including the military one, remain on the table if Tehran does not bow to US demands.


    Speaking this week to the New York Times, US officials detailed the military build-up already underway in the Persian Gulf under the guise of keeping shipping lanes open. Two aircraft carriers—the USS Lincoln and the USS Enterprise—are in the region, together with their associated battle groups. The US Navy has doubled the number of mine sweepers in the Gulf, and the US Air Force has reinforced its presence with F-22 stealth bombers and F-15C warplanes.


    The Pentagon has stationed a floating operations platform, the USS Ponce, in the Gulf. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including as a base for US special forces. As the platform is stationed in international waters, US troops could conduct operations inside Iran without having to consult regional governments regarding the use of their bases.


    A senior US Defense Department official told the Times: “This is not only about Iranian nuclear ambitions, but about Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions. This is a complex array of American military power that is tangible proof to all of our allies and partners and friends that even as the US pivots toward Asia, we remain vigilant across the Middle East.”


    The remarks highlight the fact that unsubstantiated US claims about Iran’s nuclear programs are simply the pretext for a reckless policy aimed at extending the hegemony of American imperialism in the energy-rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia. Washington regards the Iranian regime as a major obstacle to those ambitions.


    The reference to the US “pivot” to Asia—that is, the Obama administration’s escalating diplomatic and military efforts to undercut Chinese influence—points to the underlying strategy. The US aims to control energy supplies to its rivals, especially China, by ensuring its strategic dominance over the Middle East and also over key shipping routes through South East Asia to China’s ports.


    The Obama administration has now reached the end game of a confrontational strategy toward Iran that was mapped out from its first days in office. The supposed “carrot and stick” approach was laid out in considerable detail in a September 2008 report by the Bipartisan Policy Center, whose authors included, among others, Dennis Ross, who became Obama’s top adviser on Iran. Limited US inducements for Iran to negotiate were to be backed by escalating sanctions and the threat of military strikes.


    Obama’s offer of talks was never aimed at genuine negotiations with the Iranian regime. Rather it was meant to ensure the support of key European allies that had been alienated by the policies of the Bush administration. Washington’s intentions became obvious when, with the backing of Britain, France and Germany, Obama mounted a regime-change campaign in Iran during June 2009 to back the middle-class opposition “Green” movement and overturn the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
    Talks between Iran and the P5+1 group—the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany—all but collapsed in Moscow last month. Iran refused to accept the US-sponsored ultimatum that it end uranium enrichment to the 20 percent level, ship its stockpile of this material out of the country and shut its Fordow enrichment plant. Tehran was well aware that these were just a first instalment in a never-ending series of US demands for intrusive inspections and a halt to all uranium enrichment. Further low-level technical talks took place in Istanbul this week without setting a date for new discussions.
    The Obama administration has never negotiated with Iran in good faith, refusing even to countenance a delay or halt to the imposition of new American and European sanctions on July 1. A European Union embargo on Iranian oil imports came into force on Sunday, complementing US legislation penalising foreign corporations for doing business with Iran’s central bank. Iran’s crucial oil exports have already plunged by an estimated 40 percent, creating immense hardships for working people.
    Washington has now all but exhausted the “diplomatic option” and imposed what amounts to an economic blockade on Iran—itself an act of warfare. The next step is the military option. As the 2008 Bipartisan Policy Center report outlined: “We believe a military strike is a feasible option and must remain a last resort to retard Iran’s nuclear program.” The report explained that a US military attack “would have to target not only Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, but also its conventional military infrastructure in order to suppress an Iranian response.”
    Nearly four years later, the Pentagon’s build-up in the Gulf has established the military capacity to carry out these plans. The Obama administration further ratcheted up regional tensions with the announcement of large joint US-Israeli war games in October or November, designed to test missile defence systems. The New York Times reported that the US would hold a major anti-mine exercise with 19 other countries in the Persian Gulf in September. Washington is also taking other steps to expand military ties with Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states.
    These menacing moves against Iran, even as the US and its allies threaten military intervention against Iran’s ally, the Syrian regime of President Bashir al-Assad, have transformed the Middle East into a dangerous powder keg. Regardless of the Obama administration’s immediate intentions, any military miscalculation or incident could become the starting point for a war that would quickly boil over into a regional conflict that could draw in the major powers.
    The only social force capable of putting an end to the danger of war is the international working class, by abolishing the root cause of war—capitalism and its division of the world into rival nation states. Workers throughout the region must unite with their class brothers and sisters in the US, Europe and internationally against the predatory actions of US imperialism and its allies, in a joint struggle for socialist internationalism.
    Peter Symonds
    Libertatem Prius!


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  11. #31
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Side Notes about this:
    Aegis Gets Better
    Next Article → INTELLIGENCE: China Raids India
    July 5, 2012: On June 27th, for the second time, a U.S. Navy SM-3 Block IB anti-missile missile successfully intercepted an incoming warhead. A year ago the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) bought twenty SM-3 Block 1B anti-missile missiles. This included research and development work on the Block 1B improvements. Aegis has been very successful at knocking down incoming ballistic missile warheads. At the moment, Aegis anti-missile systems are hot. The U.S. government, encouraged by the high success rate (82 percent) of Aegis SM-3 missile tests, has been expanding the number of SM-3 equipped ships. With 18 Aegis anti-missile equipped ships in service now, and plans to have more than twice as many in the next few years.
    Converting Aegis ships to fire anti-missile missiles costs about $15 million a ship; mainly for new software and a few new hardware items. This is seen as a safe investment. To knock down ballistic missiles, an Aegis equipped ship uses two similar models of the U.S. Navy Standard anti-aircraft missile, in addition to a modified version of the Aegis radar system, tweaked to also track incoming ballistic missiles.
    Now the government wants to use Aegis more aggressively to block Iranian or North Korean ballistic missiles. This means buying over a thousand SM-3 missiles. These currently cost about $10 million each, and the next upgrade (which will deliver more accuracy and reliability) will raise that to $15 million each. While the expanded Aegis program will cost about $20 billion, it's seen as the cheapest way to provide reliable anti-missile defense against Iran and North Korea.
    SM-3 is also known as the RIM-161A. It has a range of over 500 kilometers and max altitude of over 160 kilometers. The Standard 3 is based on the anti-missile version of the Standard 2 (SM-2 Block IV). This SM-2 version turned out to be effective against shorter range ballistic missiles. One test saw a SM-2 Block IV missile destroy a warhead that was only 19 kilometers up. An SM-3 missile can destroy a warhead that is more than 200 kilometers up. But the SM-3 is only good for anti-missile work, while the SM-2 Block IV can be used against both ballistic missiles and aircraft. The SM-2 Block IV also costs less than half what an SM-3 costs.
    The SM-3 has four stages. The first two boost the interceptor out of the atmosphere. The third stage fires twice to boost the interceptor farther beyond the earth's atmosphere. Prior to each motor firing it takes a GPS reading to correct course for approaching the target. The fourth stage is the 9 kg (20 pound) LEAP kill vehicle, which uses infrared sensors to close on the target and ram it.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  12. #32
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    http://www.countercurrents.org/auken040712.htm



    US Escalates Military Threat Against Iran
    By Bill Van Auken
    04 July, 2012
    WSWS.org
    The Obama administration has ordered a major buildup of American military forces in the Persian Gulf, as punishing economic sanctions imposed by both the US and the European Union within the last week have sharply escalated tensions with Iran. The Pentagon has deployed both a large number of warships in the Gulf itself, as well as advanced warplanes in neighboring countries.
    The purpose of this buildup, according to a report published Tuesday in the New York Times, is to send various “signals”—to warn Iran against any attempt to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, to convince Israel not to carry out its own strike on Iranian nuclear facilities and to deflect Republican criticisms of Obama as “weak” on Iran.
    Whether or not these are the real intentions of the US military buildup, the effect is to put a hair trigger on the threat of an armed confrontation that could provoke a devastating and potentially nuclear war with untold consequences in terms of human life, physical destruction and economic disruption throughout the region and internationally.
    The US Navy, the Times reports, “has doubled the number of minesweepers assigned to the region to eight vessels,” while the Air Force has, since late spring, deployed “stealthy F-22 and older F-15C warplanes” at US bases in the region. These warplanes are in addition to “combat jets already in the region and the carrier strike groups that are on constant tours of the area.”
    According to the Times, “Those additional attack aircraft give the United States military greater capability against coastal missile batteries that could disrupt shipping, as well as the reach to strike other targets deeper inside Iran.”
    In addition, the military has sent the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport and docking ship specially converted into an “Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB),” into the Persian Gulf. Equipped with a helicopter landing deck, field hospital and a large number of bunks for Special Operations troops, it can be used as a floating staging area for sea, air and land attacks on Iran.
    The Times report, which appears to stem from a deliberate attempt by the Obama administration and the Pentagon to intimidate Iran, is laced with highly provocative and bellicose rhetoric from unnamed “senior administration officials.”
    “When the president says there are other options on the table besides negotiations, he means it,” said one official, referring to the military buildup in the gulf.
    “The message to Iran is, ‘Don’t even think about it’” the Times quoted an unnamed “senior Defense Department” official as saying. “Don’t even think about closing the strait. We’ll clear the mines. Don’t even think about sending your fast boats to harass our vessels or commercial shipping. We’ll put them on the bottom of the gulf.”
    The real message is that Washington is treating the Persian Gulf like an American lake under conditions in which the US and its European allies are ratcheting up economic sanctions that more and more resemble a blockade, an act of war.
    On Sunday, the European Union, which previously accounted for one fifth of Iran’s oil exports, put into effect a total embargo on Iranian oil. The move followed even more sweeping sanctions imposed by the United States, which penalizes third countries by denying access to the US banking and financial system to banks and corporations that do business with Iran’s central bank.
    These measures come on top of a host of previously enacted sanctions that together have reportedly cut Iran’s oil exports by approximately 40 percent since last year. The real impact of this economic warfare is felt by working people in Iran in the form of sharply rising prices of basic necessities and growing unemployment.
    The ostensible purpose of these sanctions is to force the Iranian government to bow to Western ultimatums regarding the country’s nuclear program. The US and its allies have repeatedly made unsubstantiated charges that the Iranian government is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran has denied these allegations, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
    Another round of the stalled talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries—the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany—took place in Istanbul on Tuesday, although on a lower level than previous negotiations. The session was held between nuclear experts from Iran and the major powers to determine whether differing technical interpretations were impeding the talks.
    Talks held in Moscow last month stalemated, however, because the US and its allies issued a series of ultimatums to Tehran—that it halt its enrichment of uranium to the 20 percent level, relinquish its stockpile of enriched uranium and shutter its enrichment plant at Fordow. The US and its allies, however, brushed aside Iranian demands that they recognize Iran’s right under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to enrich uranium and lift economic sanctions.
    Tehran has questioned Washington’s stated desire to resolve the nuclear issue by means of diplomacy. “Many people are starting to conclude that maybe there are specific goals in dragging out the talks and preventing their success,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a weekly briefing. “One option is that perhaps there is a link with the US [presidential] election.”
    The senior Pentagon official quoted by the New York Times Tuesday openly indicated that the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program was largely a pretext for using economic and military aggression in pursuit of US strategic interests.
    “This is not only about Iranian nuclear ambitions, but about Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions,” the Defense Department official told the Times. “This is a complex array of American military power that is tangible proof to all our allies and partners and friends that even as the US pivots toward Asia, we remain vigilant across the Middle East.”
    In other words, Iran is seen as an obstacle to US “hegemonic ambitions” in the oil-rich regions of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia. Having spent the last decade fighting two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is now preparing a third and far more dangerous one against the country that lies between them, Iran.
    The Iranian parliament, the Majlis, has responded to the escalating Western aggression with a threat to close down the strategic Strait of Hormuz to shipping from the US, the EU and other countries supporting the embargo against Iranian oil. A resolution to that effect was passed by the body’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, with 120 members of parliament signing their support. A government spokesman said that if the measure was approved by the full body, Tehran would be obliged to act upon it.
    Meanwhile, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards initiated three days of military exercises Monday, firing medium range ballistic missiles at mock enemy bases in the Iranian desert. One of the missiles, the Shahab-3, has a range of 800 miles, able to reach both Israel and US military bases throughout the region.
    “It is a response to the political impoliteness of those who talk about all options being on the table,” Gen. Hossein Salami said in explaining the test firings.
    Also on Monday, Iranian officials joined relatives of the 290 people, including 66 children, killed in the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 on July 3, 1988. The 24th anniversary commemoration was held just off Bandar Abbas, the Iranian port where the flight was hit by a missile fired by the USS Vincennes just after it took off.
    In a statement issued Monday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said: “This inhumane crime is clear proof of the innocence of the Iranian nation and [provides] clear evidence that the United States is not committed to any international legal and ethical principles and norms, and (it) will remain in the historical memory of the Iranian nation.”
    Libertatem Prius!


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  13. #33
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    Default Re: Syria

    Gulf sabers rattle as Iran sanctions bite










    By Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent
    LONDON | Fri Jul 6, 2012 9:03am EDT

    (Reuters) - Iran and the United States might be talking up their readiness for war in the Gulf but beneath the rhetoric, all sides appear keen to avoid conflict and prevent accidental escalation - at least for now.
    This week, a string of hawkish Iranian statements - including a renewed threat to close the Strait of Hormuz and destroy U.S. bases "within minutes" of an attack - helped push benchmark Brent crude oil prices above $100 for the first time since June.
    Western military officials and analysts say Tehran does have the capability to wreak regional havoc. But the current saber-rattling, they believe, is more about moving markets and trying to give the West second thoughts over the ever-tightening oil sanctions aimed at cutting back Tehran's nuclear program.
    A European Union ban on trading Iranian oil announced earlier in the year entered force on July 1, while the United States is also tightening financial restrictions. Even Asian buyers such as China that had hoped to keep taking Iranian crude appear to be scaling back purchases, struggling to find shipping insurance or banking - leaving Iran increasingly isolated.
    "What we tend to see is that rhetoric from Iran tends to peak when you have developments around the sanctions issue," U.S. Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Vice Admiral Mark Fox told a naval conference at London's Royal United Services Institute.
    "We saw this in 2010, we saw it in January this year. They use rhetoric and military exercises to make their point ... but it is always best to be prepared, and we always are."
    Washington has highlighted its own military buildup, pointing to new minesweepers, patrol craft and the assault ship USS Ponce joining its Fifth Fleet, which includes the USS Abraham Lincoln and Enterprise carrier battle groups.
    Iran has often threatened reprisals for any Israeli or U.S.-led strike on its nuclear sites, whose activities it says are purely peaceful but the West suspects are geared to developing arms. But this week's statements were more aggressive than most.
    In one headline on its website, state-run Press TV described Western warships in the Gulf as "sitting ducks". An Iranian parliamentary committee said it would pass a bill allowing Tehran to block passage through Hormuz, the conduit for all Gulf oil exports, to ships of any country backing sanctions.
    "Iran is essentially reminding the U.S. and its regional allies that if it were attacked, it is capable of responding," said Michael Connell, an Iran specialist at the Centre for Naval Analysis, which provides analysis to military and other clients as part of larger U.S. government-funded think tank, CNA.
    "There is also a domestic component - reassuring their own populace that their armed forces are respected and feared."
    Four months before a U.S. presidential election in which the economy could prove the deciding factor, Iran probably sees the ability to influence global oil prices as a potent and much more usable weapon than actual military action.
    "As the impact of European sanctions ... begins to create some economic hardship for Tehran, the timing of this announcement suggests that Iran is trying to imply that it in turn can cause economic pain for the world," said Nikolas Gvosdev, professor of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College.
    MIDDLE EAST "TINDERBOX"
    Whatever the intent, the growing number of military forces in close proximity brings obvious dangers.
    "The risk of Iran actually carrying out the actions they are threatening is low," said Ari Ratner, a former Middle East adviser to the State Department earlier in the Obama administration and now a fellow at the left-leaning Truman National Security Foundation.
    "However, there is an increasing danger that this rhetoric or the increasing provocative actions by the Iranian side ... could result in a miscalculation ... The Gulf is becoming a tinderbox and an accidental spark may come at any time."
    Military experts say the opening salvos of any such conflict could prove hugely damaging, with even sophisticated warships vulnerable to suicide speedboats, midget submarines or truck-mounted missiles. But the ultimate outcome, they say, would never be in doubt: a massive U.S.-led retaliation that left Iran's military devastated.
    For all the talk, however, naval officers say tensions in the Gulf between U.S.-led forces and their Iranian counterparts are if anything lower than several years or even months ago, with clear signals that Tehran itself is holding back.
    Last week, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert told a news briefing that the Iranian navy continued to be "professional and courteous". Confrontations with Revolutionary Guard naval units - in which they came too close to U.S. warships for comfort - were also down in number, he said.
    Despite occasional talk of Iran refusing to allow U.S. carriers through Hormuz, U.S. naval officers say that in fact Iranian units appear to have had instructions to steer well clear when the giant ships transit the strait.
    When foreign warplanes approach Iranian air space, they find themselves swiftly warned off with a simple but firm radio warning in English.
    For its part, the U.S. Navy says it has rescued dozens of Iranian sailors from Gulf and Indian Ocean waters, including several from a dhow held captive by Somali pirates.
    "I have never worked harder to prevent a conflict," said Vice Admiral Fox, formerly commander of U.S. naval forces in the region. "We are going out of our way to send the message that we are not there to over pressurize (the situation)."
    The current increase in forces in the Gulf, naval insiders say, was planned months ago - but tough choices lie ahead.
    Washington says it plans to keep two carriers in the region for at least the next fiscal year and will shortly decide on the next. Maintaining those forces in the longer run, particularly given the planned U.S. "pivot" to Asia, may be harder to sustain.
    But the focus on Hormuz, some suggest, may simply be missing the bigger picture.
    EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED?
    "Yes, we're seeing another spike in saber-rattling from Iran and to a lesser extent from the United States," said Henry Smith, regional analyst at London-based consultancy Control Risks. "But neither of those countries has any intention of starting a war in the Persian Gulf. The country you need to watch as the protagonist is Israel."
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government has long said it reserves the right to strike directly at Iran if it does not believe Washington and others are doing enough - through diplomacy or sanctions - to stop it going nuclear.
    Such action could still take place this year, despite doubts among many analysts that Israel has the capability to deliver a truly knockout blow and could simply end up motivating the Iranians to work faster to achieve nuclear capability.
    But there are growing perceptions that this prospect may already be receding, with Israel and the United States likely instead continuing to rely on covert tactics such as the computer worm Stuxnet to slow Iran's nuclear progress.
    Netanyahu may himself already have decided to wait, hoping that a newly elected Republican president, Mitt Romney, would prove more supportive and at least give Israel the sophisticated bunker-busting munitions needed to reach buried laboratories.
    With perhaps no one genuinely willing to risk escalation for now, the face-off in the Gulf is likely to continue largely unchanged, albeit with periodic market-moving bouts of high profile tension.
    Even if an accidental clash were to down an aircraft or damage a warship, some believe all parties would find a way to swiftly de-escalate.
    "This rise in tensions was to be expected," said Reva Bhalla, head of strategy at U.S.-based geopolitical risk consultancy Stratfor. "But to an extent, both sides are indulging in theatre. They know what they are doing and they have too much to lose from an actual confrontation."
    Not everyone, however, believes that pattern is sustainable.
    With Tehran believed to be moving closer to the ability to produce a workable nuclear device - most intelligence services believe Iran has not so far made a political decision to do so - and sanctions inflicting worsening economic hardship on ordinary Iranians, they say something must eventually give.
    Pushed too far, the fear is that the Islamic Republic's leaders might start a fight in the hope of uniting the people behind them against a common enemy.
    "We're essentially backing them into a corner," said one veteran naval officer with much experience in the region. "As an old fighter pilot, we used to say: 'When you are out of options, redefine the fight that you're in' ... They'll have to either capitulate or do something unexpected. I believe they'll do anything if it comes down to defending the regime's existence."
    (Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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  14. #34
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    Default Re: Syria

    "Heads-Up" America! You have been warned! Come to think of it -- so has Iran

    Obama’s Surprising October Surprise


    - J.D. Longstreet Friday, July 6, 2012


    The famous (or infamous) October surprise has become a thing of dread as presidential elections wind down to the last month, or so, of an election cycle.

    Many are beginning to wonder what Obama will pull out of his magician’s hat this fall.
    The first thing that springs, instantly, to mind is war.
    It’s not as if America is not already preparing for war. We are. There can be no doubt that the presence of such a vast number of US warships is causing a rise in the waters of the Indian Ocean and the so-called Persian Gulf. Let us not forget the warships of US allies, too.
    US troops are already on the ground in small Middle Eastern nations in the Persian Gulf area and Eastern Africa as well as US aircraft. Back in my day we called those pieces of geography “staging areas.” Nowadays we say those same concentrations of combat troops in countries near the enemy are “forward deployed.”

    Out in the Indian Ocean air bases leased from US allies are staging areas for US warplanes and recon aircraft—and the now ubiquitous drones.
    There can be no doubt that America is rattling its sabres ... loudly.
    The preparations for war against Iran has reached such a stage of readiness in the area that the US could go to war at a moment’s notice.
    Considering all the above, is it any wonder that many, including yours truly, feel Obama will commit the US to war this fall? In fact, the only REAL surprise would be if Obama FAILED to attack Iran prior to the election .
    Americans are loath to change Commanders-in-Chief during wartime. Obama knows this. He will not be, in my opinion, reluctant to use the blunt force instrument provided him by the US military to help him secure his second term as President.
    Come this fall, if Mr. Obama is behind, or trending behind, in the polls, grab your flak jackets, we will be at war.
    Don’t misunderstand, I’m all for giving Iran the back of our hand, right across the chops. But I DO detest the idea that American blood might be sacrificed to secure a politician’s political future. That, to be blunt, just sucks!
    If the current polls can be believed, Obama and Romney are in what amounts to a dead heat. But remember, the REAL campaign has not even begun.
    The GOP is famous for their ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory so, I along with a few million other GOP voters, are deeply concerned they’ll do it again in the contest against Obama.
    Conservatives approach politics wearing hazmat suits. It is a dirty, filthy, business and we’d really rather be doing something else, something, well, cleaner. Frankly, we’re just not as good wallowing around in the gutter of politics as are the democrats.
    Then there is the fact that every republican candidate must go up against—not only the democratic candidate—but the mainstream media, which is the propaganda machine of the political left in America. Republican candidates must fight and win on two fronts—simultaneously—to win an election in America.
    The point is—it will be difficult enough to defeat Obama without an October surprise. With that event, especially a war, it will be darn near impossible for Romney to defeat Obama and secure the Oval Office.
    Now, if an ole swamp rat like yours truly knows that, you can be sure the political elite on the left know it and, I suspect, have planned accordingly.
    There is one problem, however. That is—how to drag out a war with Iran from October past Election Day. US forces should be able to absolutely decimate and route Iran’s military in under two weeks. Ordinarily that’s a good thing. But Obama will need the war to get him safely past the election before it (the war) ends. THAT will take some doing.
    Unless the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is made of stronger stuff than Iraq’s Republican Guard within 48 hours of the war’s beginning they’ll be looking for an American or Brit, or anyone who LOOKS like an American or a Brit, and failing that, anyone who might KNOW an American or Brit to whom they can surrender.
    Not to put to fine a point on it, but a quick end to the war could really foul Obama’s October Surprise.
    In any event, it would behoove the Romney camp to be prepared. But—how DO you prepare for an unforeseen (even a foreseen) bit of chicanery by an incumbent socialist president that late in the election cycle?
    There is only so much a challenger can do. Challenging a Commander-in-Chief’s decision to take the nation to war—in advance—is extremely tricky and full of a host of pitfalls for the challenger. That’s why making war against Iran is so invitingly delicious for Obama! And THAT’S why I think the October surprise will be an attack on Iran.
    Have you noticed that democratic presidents seem to NEED a way to make them look more “manly” in the eyes of their base. We are all aware of the numerous attempts Obama’s minions have made to inflate the masculinity of their Supreme Leader. Had there not been a possible threat to the national security of the United States, their efforts toward “puffery” of the Number One Progressive Socialist in America would have been funny. (Oh, heck. Let’s be truthful here. They WERE funny!)
    The endeavor to make a “metrosexual male” look threateningly masculine is, well, a lost cause. (If you look up metrosexual in the dictionary you’ll most likely find a photo of Obama right beside the definition.)
    As I see it, at this point in the campaign, the only move the GOP has is to make Obama—and the public—aware that they EXPECT an October Surprise from the Obama team. At least that will remove much of the shock value from any outlandish move the Obama team might feel it necessary to spring on an otherwise unsuspecting American electorate in the eleventh hour of this election cycle.
    So—“Heads-Up” America! You have been warned! Come to think of it—so has Iran.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    As far as Iranian mines, naval vessels and swarm patrol boats go, I fail to see the problem. Call me ignorant of warfighting strategy if you wish. But, I'm fairly certain that if we develop special rules of engagement specifically for the Gulf and the Straight of Hormuz Iran would feel the pain in a hurry.

    First send out an international warning to all navies and merchant ship companies. "We're on the warpath. Not fucking around. Get in our way and you die." A couple of Los Angeles Class subs patrol the floor of the gulf sinking (not playing with) every Iranian Naval ship or any ship (NKs or Russians) that comes within a couple nautical miles of our Naval vessels. Fast patrol craft and Apaches (or the Naval equivalent) sink every stupid little-ass swarm patrol boat Iran's got... immediately, no waiting. Mine sweepers remove that threat and anti-sub aircraft eliminate Iranian subs.

    Every other asset needs to protect itself from missiles and air sorties.

    Then, for grins, we mine the crap out of every Iranian port that exists or ever intended to exist. Shut down their economy and even force us to pursue our own oil resources.

    Am I being too simplistic? We need to play to our own advantages and utterly destroy their capabilities. Period.
    Last edited by MinutemanCO; July 6th, 2012 at 14:54.

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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    We have anti-mining folks out there right now to prevent the Iranians from doing just that haha
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  17. #37
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Iran’s parliament speaker Larijani calls for end to West, Israel

    July 6, 2012
    (JTA) -- An Iranian official said the West and Israel should disappear.


    “Today, the time has come for the disappearance of the West and the Zionist regime (Israel) -- which are two dark spots in the present era -- from the face of the universe,” Ali Larijiani the speaker of Iran's parliament, told a news conference in Iran on Thursday, Iran's PressTV reported.



    “The U.S. and the Zionist regime are the prime sources of tyranny and gloom in the current age. The Muslim world is fed up with the injustice and abuse by these governments,” he added.


    Larijani also said the West's interference in Syria“is merely due to Syrian resistance against the Zionist regime; the U.S., therefore, tries to employ such notions as reforms to harm the resistance front in this nation," Press TV reported.
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  18. #38
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    US probes shipment of high-tech gear to Iran, N. Korea by U.N. agency
    By msnbc.com and NBC News

    The U.S. State Department is investigating the shipment of computers and other sophisticated high-tech gear to the governments of Iran and North Korea by a United Nations organization, despite U.S. and U.N. sanctions against the nations for their alleged efforts to build nuclear weapons, a spokesman confirmed Thursday.

    Fox News, which first reported the North Korean sale last month and the subsequent investigation on Thursday, said that the U.N.’s World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, sent 20 Hewlett-Packard Compaq desktop computers to Iran’s Industrial Property Office and sophisticated computers and data-storage servers to North Korea.

    The computers were apparently sent to Iran and North Korea to help them better enforce U.N.-sponsored treaties on trademarks and other aspects of intellectual property, including the worldwide patent system.

    Fox said WIPO, which sent experts to both nations before the shipments to orchestrate the deliveries and make payments, carried out the sale to North Korea using complicated methods that seemed designed to bypass safeguards imposed after previous controversies involving U.N. shipments to North Korea:

    “Among other things, procurement and payment for the WIPO goods appears to have been arranged between WIPO’s Geneva headquarters and China, bypassing the U.N. offices in North Korea. Those North Korean offices operate under a special oversight regime established after the last scandals erupted in 2008 over financial and technology transfers in North Korea, to ensure that money and goods do not end up in the regime’s nuclear programs.”

    The payment, however, was halted by Bank of America after officials realized that delivering computers to North Korea likely violated U.N. sanctions against supplying technology to the country.

    A memorandum written by a WIPO attorney and addressed to the agency’s director general, Francis Gurry, said the computers sold to North Korea did not violate the U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang.

    At a briefing Thursday, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell declined to discuss the specifics of the case, but confirmed an investigation is under way.

    “We’re reviewing their development projects both for Iran and the DPR,” he said. “We’re working with both the Director General and other member-states to institute reforms that will ensure future development projects are properly reviewed prior to being approved and implemented. And we’re working in New York to ensure that the U.N. Security Council Sanctions Committees play a more active role in advising international organizations on how to remain compliant with UN sanctions.”

    Asked if the incident undercut the United Nations’ credibility and the effectiveness of the sanctions, Ventrell said, “I don’t know enough about where we are in terms of the evidence that’s coming … forth in terms of this review. What I do know is that the Obama administration has, for our national security interests, engaged very constructively and broadly with the U.N. And we think that that’s shown real results for our national security whether it comes to Iran’s sanctions or North Korea or a number of other issues.”
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  19. #39
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    From Russia:
    The war of nerves around the Hormuz Strait resumed



    Volkhonsky Boris (Boris Volkhonsky)
    Jul 5, 2012 22:51 Moscow Time
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    The US and Iran have renewed their exchange of belligerent statements and symbolic deeds aimed at demonstrating their firm stance in the years-long standoff.


    On Monday, as reported by London's Daily Telegraph, Iranian parliament introduced legislation to authorize a blockade of oil tankers in the Hormuz Strait, through which a fifth of the world's traded oil passes. That followed a ban on EU imports of Iranian oil which came into force on Sunday.


    On Tuesday, the Pentagon disclosed that it has for the first time sent an amphibious vessel, the USS Ponce, into the Persian Gulf region. The ship, having a capacity of about 900 troops, can be used to transport a landing force.


    The US Defense Department has also doubled the number of minesweepers assigned to the Gulf to eight vessels and added an unspecified number of F-22 stealth fighters and F-15C warplanes on two of its bases.


    The message sent to Iran is clear: Washington warns Tehran against any moves that can be seen as attempts to block the Strait.


    Iran sent a reciprocal message starting three-day military exercise designed to simulate attacks on Western and Israeli targets in northern Semnan Desert. During the exercise, Iran's Republican Guard test-fired missiles against a model of an American base in the Gulf.


    On Wednesday, commander of the Revolutionary Guards Amir Ali Haji Zadeh said that Iran could destroy U.S. military bases across the Middle East and target Israel within minutes of being attacked.


    The developments prompted many observers to express fear that among the growing tension it might be Israel who may launch the first preventive strike.
    The big question still remains the same as it was several months ago, when many thought that the situation had gotten out of control and the full-scale war is imminent.


    Still, most experts on Iran whom your correspondent has talked to, agree on several points.


    First. Israel will hardly launch a strike without the Big Brother's consent. Therefore, whatever belligerent statements come from Jerusalem, 99 percent of them should be regarded as pure verbal pressure aimed at frightening the foe (and probably at extracting some aid from Washington's bosses).


    Second. Iran will never launch a first strike, since such kind of action would be totally suicidal. That means that even threats to block the Hormuz Strait or attack oil tankers are no more that a continuation of the war of nerves.


    Third. Any war (if it is ever going to be started) will be started by the US only. The current moment, though, is rather unfavorable for the US to start any unprovoked activity. The crisis in Syria is not over yet, and the US at the moment is mostly preoccupied with the task of toppling Bashar al-Assad (and replacing him with something like Al Qaeda?) rather than thinking of shifting its attention to other areas.


    Still, it is definitely true that toppling Assad is not an aim in itself, but rather a preparatory step for doing the same with the present Iranian leadership. But in this case it should be noted that Americans seldom get involved in any war which bears a risk of a retaliatory slap in their face. And this one surely bears such risk.


    Of course, Barack Obama, being criticized by his GOP opponents for being "too soft", might be willing to launch a quick victorious war in his election year. But the fact is that a war against Iran will definitely be a long one and the ultimate victory is by no means guaranteed. In any case, the price would be too high.


    All this only means that this year most probably will not witness the transformation of the present war of nerves into a full scale war. As for the year 2013, experts differ in their estimates. Much will depend on a whole array of factors, of which the outcome of the US presidential elections is important, but not the only one.


    Then why has the tension around the Hormuz Strait escalated right now? One of the possible answers can be drawn from another piece of latest news that came relatively unnoticed against the belligerent background. And that is the information published by Wednesday's Washington Post that after more than 15 hours of expert-level talks, the United States and other world powers agreed with Iran to move toward a resumption of full negotiations on Iranian nuclear program. The talks stalled last month, and many observers expressed doubts that they would ever been resumed. On Wednesday, however, the participants reached an agreement to implement the "Moscow plan".


    Against such background the exchange of belligerent statements on both sides can be seen as a part of propaganda campaign aimed at making the other side more compliant at the negotiation table.


    Boris Volkhonsky, senior research fellow, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies
    Libertatem Prius!


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  20. #40
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    http://etfdailynews.com/2012/07/06/i...t-uso-uco-xle/





    “It’s Final” U.S. Will Strike Iran, Says Saudi Informant (USO, UCO, XLE)

    July 6th, 2012




    Dominique de Kevelioc de Bailleul: The triggering event to WWIII could be as early as October, according to Debka-Net-Weekly’sintelligence moles. Iran cannot be allowed to sell Iranian oil for any other currency other than the U.S. dollar—a fatal mistake Iraq’s Saddam Hussein made in his quest to lead the charge to undermine U.S. dollar hegemony in 2000.


    “It is already decided,” one Saudi prince told an unnamed European official, according to Debka-Net-Weekly. When asked by the ‘European’ if America will back out of the hatched plan to strike Iran, the prince said, “Anything can happen, of course. But this time we’re sure the American decision to attack is final and we are already making appropriate preparations.”


    However, according to the source, the prince doesn’t know if a strike on Iran will come before or after the elections in November. But, “the question now isn’t if the Americans will attack Iran, but when,” the prince said.


    And the Saudis should know best. Fears of an Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia run deep in the kingdom for its role in allowing a formidable US presence in the Persian Gulf for more than four decades, a sin for which Saudi Arabia will never be forgiven by the Muslim alliance in the region, and has necessitated a close U.S.-Saudi alliance to counter threats from Iraq (no longer an issue), Saudi Shiites and Iran.


    Iran’s hatred for the U.S. can be traced to 1953, the year of a successful coup by MI6 and the CIA to overthrow the Mohammad Mosaddegh government. But after the fall of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, in 1979, decades of Iranian defiance of American demands to open Persian oil fields to the West, in a similar manner to the Saudi kingdom’s quid pro quo with Washington regarding access to Saudi Arabia’s abundant Ghawar oil fields, have been repeatedly spurned by Iran’s secular and religious leadership. But as long as the Iranians continued to transact in U.S. dollars for Persian oil, a strong case for averting a high-risk war with Iran at this time could be made.


    But, Feb. 27, 2012, Iran crossed the proverbial line in the sand following an American-led effort to cut Iran from the international bank clearing system, called SWIFT. The Persian central bank announced that, not only will any country doing business with Iran be allowed to pay in any currency other than the U.S. dollar, but those countries wishing to transact in gold (anti-dollar) are encouraged to do so, with the latter option especially troublesome and defiant.


    “Significant difficulties in making dollar payments to Iranian banks have forced Iran’s trading partners to look for alternative ways to settle transactions, including direct barter deals,” according to Reuters.


    “In its trade transactions with other countries, Iran does not limit itself to the U.S. dollar, and the country can pay using its own currency,” Reuters quoted central bank governor Mahmoud Bahmani as saying. “If a country should so choose, it can pay in gold and we would accept that without any reservation.”


    That latest transgression, just as all the other transgressions of Iran since 1979, this time, the de-linking of the U.S. dollar to Iranian oil, must be punished, according to MIT professor and U.S. foreign policy expert Noam Chomsky.


    “Iran broke ranks with the United States in 1979, and this is a crime for which it has to be punished,” said Chomski in a discussion with Gilbert Archcar for the book, Perilous Power. “And it goes way beyond rational state interests. As with Cuba, it’s the Mafia mentality: You can’t allow disobedience to exist; it’s too dangerous because other people might get the idea that they can be disobedient as well. So Iran’s going to have to be punished for that act of disobedience.”


    Punishment of Iran through sanctions for an uncooperative regime regarding U.S. interests in the Middle East is one thing, dropping the U.S. dollar is quite another—an act so grave that, if the U.S. allows Iran to go unchallenged or unpunished, other countries seeking to ditch the poorly managed dollar will do so, as well. That’s the line in the sand that must lead to military action, according to William Clark, author of The Real Reasons Why Iran is the Next Target: The Emerging Euro-denominated International Oil Marker.


    Written some time prior to Feb. 2012, Clark, at that time, focused his discussion on the dollar-euro rivalry for international trade as it relates to Iran’s Oil Bourse. Iran’s goal of only accepting euros for its oil is enough to find Iran in hot water, but Iran’s one-step-further threat to U.S. dollar hegemony by including gold in its February 2012 announcement, the Achilles’ Heel of the nonredeemable U.S. dollar, only serves to underscore Clark’s thesis that much more.


    “In 2005-2006, The Tehran government has a developed a plan to begin competing with New York’s NYMEX and London’s IPE with respect to international oil trades – using a euro-denominated international oil-trading mechanism,” Clark wrote. “This means that without some form of U.S. intervention, the euro is going to establish a firm foothold in the international oil trade.


    “Given U.S. debt levels and the stated neoconservative project for U.S. global domination, Tehran’s objective constitutes an obvious encroachment on U.S. dollar supremacy in the international oil market.”


    And Tehran’s “obvious encroachment” comes at a very bad time—for the U.S., that is—but comes at an opportunistic time for Iran, as it will be able to count on a strong Russian and Chinese alliance against U.S. aggression for control of crude oil in the Middle East—oil badly needed by the Chinese and strategically aligned Russia.


    At this stage, odds now seem to favor WWIII, a risk Washington must take to achieve an all-or-nothing outcome to the alternative: the inevitable end to the U.S. dollar as the world’s premiere reserve currency and the dire implications of second-world status for the United States, hyperinflation and civil unrest, or worse.


    Clark stated, “Clearly, there are numerous risks regarding neoconservative strategy towards Iran. First, unlike Iraq, Iran has a robust military capability. Secondly, a repeat of any ‘Shock and Awe’ tactics is not advisable given that Iran has installed sophisticated anti-ship missiles on the Island of Abu Musa, and therefore controls the critical Strait of Hormuz.


    “In the case of a U.S. attack, a shut down of the Strait of Hormuz – where all of the Persian Gulf bound oil tankers must pass – could easily trigger a market panic with oil prices skyrocketing to $100 per barrel or more. World oil production is now flat out, and a major interruption would escalate oil prices to a level that would set off a global Depression. Why are the neoconservatives willing to takes such risks? Simply stated – their goal is U.S. global domination.

    Oil already trades at $100, partly as risk premium to a closing of the Persian Gulf. When an attack on Iran is underway, all bets are off for any graceful transition to new global reserve currency scheme.
    Libertatem Prius!


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