Page 4 of 8 FirstFirst 12345678 LastLast
Results 61 to 80 of 147

Thread: War with Iran about to start?

  1. #61
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Fujairah pipeline eases pressure on the Strait

    National Editorial
    Jul 17, 2012



    Snaking through, under and over sabkha, dunes and mountains before finally running 14 kilometres out into the Gulf of Oman, the UAE's newest crude oil pipeline is a model of modern engineering. It is also strategically vital, not only to the UAE's energy-export economy, but also to regional security.

    Related




    Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) employed firms from Europe, Japan and China to achieve the $4.2 billion (Dh15.4 billion) project, which began regular operation this week with a shipment destined for a refinery, partly owned by IPIC, in Pakistan. Five years in the making and 403 kilometres long, the line runs from the Habshan field, in Al Gharbia region of Abu Dhabi, to offshore docking stations in Fujairah.


    A glance at the map could make someone question the purpose of the technically challenging pipeline: Habshan is, after all, quite close to the Arabian Gulf. A glance at the headlines, however, answers the question: Iran keeps threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for the US and EU sanctions and the continuing argument over its suspect nuclear programme.


    The new pipeline, when it is at full capacity, will allow the UAE to move as much as 1.8 million barrels of oil per day - two-thirds of current exports - on to the Gulf of Oman and so to world markets while bypassing the Strait altogether.


    To be sure, there is very little logic behind the recurring Iranian threat. Its own oil, which is still the mainstay of its economy despite the international sanctions, must also move through the Strait. A conflict in such close proximity would harm everyone involved.


    Further, any gesture aimed at closing off the waterway would prompt a sharp reaction from the United States, which has a fourth aircraft carrier en route to the region as part of its military build up. The gunboat diplomacy is meant to influence Iran's decisions and allay fears of a closure of the Strait.


    Despite Tehran's sometimes seemingly erratic behaviour, open hostility should be a very distant prospect. But even the perception of instability can affect the world's oil markets.


    The headlines about the danger of the Strait being closed may be overwrought. This pipeline, however, will add to the accurate perception that the UAE is quietly working to maintain regional stability and safeguard energy security in any event.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  2. #62
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    'US Bolsters ME Missile Defense to Counter Iran'
    Tuesday, 17 July 2012

    Pentagon constructing radar station at secret Qatar site, organizing largest-ever minesweeping drill in Gulf, 'WSJ' reports.

    Amid increasing tensions over the vital Strait of Hormuz shipping lane, the United States is constructing a missile-defense radar station at a secret site in Qatar and organizing its largest-ever minesweeping exercises in the Persian Gulf, the Wall Street Journal quoted US officials as saying Monday.

    The bolstering of the US military in the Gulf is designed to defend the US, Israel and EU countries against Iranian rockets, officials said.

    The radar base in Qatar will supplement two similar X-band radars already in place in Israel's Negev and central Turkey, according to officials. Together, the three sites will form an arc to detect missile launches from within Iranian territory. The report also stated that the installations will also be linked to US missile interceptor batteries.

    The Journal report came after the US Navy deployed small underwater drones capable of destroying sea mines to the Persian Gulf, according to The Los Angeles Times. The US has also sent a navy ship, previously slated for decommissioning, to help with mine-clearing operations, part of a series of moves indicating a gradual US build-up as tensions with Iran smoulder.

    Four US minesweepers arrived in the Gulf last month to bolster the Fifth Fleet and ensure the safety of shipping routes in a waterway through which 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil exports flow.

    Tensions have simmered in the Gulf with big-power diplomacy to ease the nuclear dispute at an impasse and Israel renewing veiled threats to attack Iranian atomic sites from the air if sanctions and negotiations fail to curb Iran's nuclear advances.

    Iranian officials issued a string of hawkish statements over the past week, including a renewed threat to close the Strait and destroy US bases in the region "within minutes" of an attack .Iran has repeatedly warned of reprisals for any Israeli or US-led strike on its nuclear installations, whose activities it says are purely peaceful but the West suspects are geared to developing the means to produce nuclear arms.


    Tuesday, 17 July 2012
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  3. #63
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetaile...ed/Oil/8521756 Iran says foreign presence 'real threat' to security in oil-rich Persian Gulf

    Tehran (Platts)--17Jul2012/600 am EDT/1000 GMT


    Iran's foreign ministry said Tuesday that the presence of foreign forces constituted a "real threat" to security in the oil-rich Persian Gulf as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that Washington would use "all elements of its power" to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear state.

    "It would appear that countries which try to interfere in regional issues or pursue measures that make energy supply insecure and disturb the energy market's balance, are the real threats to the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a televised press conference.

    "They push the situation towards conflict so that the energy security of some countries is threatened and disturbed. They should accept the consequences of their wrong decisions," Mehmanparast said when asked if his ministry supports a motion proposed in the parliament to block the Strait of Hormuz to oil traffic.

    A number of Iranian parliament members have drafted a bill calling for the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, gateway for 20% of the world's tradeable oil to markets from the Persian Gulf, in the event of an attack by the US or its allies against Iranian nuclear installations.

    Mehmanparast's remarks came as Clinton said at the end of a visit to Jerusalem that Washington would use "all elements of American power" to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state, according to a transcript posted on the US State Department website.

    US President Barack Obama has said that Washington would prefer to pursue a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis but he has not ruled out military action should Tehran fail to comply with calls to halt its nuclear enrichment program. Israel, which has said that a nuclear Iran would pose an existential threat to the Jewish state, has also not ruled out a military strike against the Islamic Republic.

    Iran has insisted that its nuclear drive is a peaceful effort to generate electricity and manufacture medical isotopes. It has so far refused to buckle to international pressure to halt uranium enrichment and shut down an underground site where it is enriching uranium to 20% purity despite a slew of far-reaching sanctions targeting its oil exports and its economy.

    Clinton, who said the US and Israel were on the same page on Iran and were consulting on how to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, described recent talks between world powers and Iran as a "nonstarter."

    "As President Obama has said, the entire world has an interest in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Because of our work to rally the international community, Iran is under greater pressure now than ever before," she told a news conference in Jerusalem.

    "That pressure will continue and increase so long as Iran fails to meet its international obligations. We all prefer a diplomatic resolution and Iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision. The choice is ultimately Iran's. Our own choice is clear: We will use all elements of American power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

    With tensions already high in the Persian Gulf over the unresolved nuclear crisis and a buildup in US naval forces in the region, a shooting incident off Dubai's coast Monday involving a US naval vessel and a motor boat rattled oil markets amid fears it could spark a wider confrontation in the Persian Gulf, home to 60% of global oil reserves.

    The UAE said that one Indian fisherman was killed and three other Indian nationals were seriously injured when the USNS Rappahannock, a refuelling vessel, fired at a motor boat heading at speed towards the ship in the port of Jebel Ali in Dubai.

    "An embarked security team aboard a US Navy vessel fired upon a small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the US ship near Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates," the Fifth Fleet said in a statement, adding that the matter was being investigated.

    The incident comes as the US Fifth Fleet naval force based in Bahrain has been boosted recently with the arrival of two aircraft carriers and additional minesweepers.

    The US State Department Monday voiced concern that escalating violence in Syria could spill over in the region as the Pentagon announced plans to speed up its naval deployment.

    "We all fear the worst-case scenario: this devolving into a conflict that spills widely across the borders that is even further sectarian carnage," State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters, French news agency AFP reported.

    It also quoted Pentagon spokesman George Little as saying the US navy would step up the pace of deploying an aircraft carrier group to the Middle East given the regional tensions, particularly in Syria and Iran.

    "It's no secret that the United States and our partners and our allies in the region face serious challenges, from a variety of sources," Little said.

    "Syria is obviously a top national security priority for the United States but I wouldn't get into whether or not these requirements as defined by Centcom are attached to the crisis in Syria."

    Iran's Mehmanparast said regional security could best be achieved through cooperation among countries concerned.

    "Foreign interference must stop," Mehmanparast said in response to the US deployment and the shooting incident. "Our recommendation is that provocative measures must be avoided and any action that could threaten this sensitive region must be avoided."

    --Aresu Eqbali, newsdesk@platts.com
    --Kate Dourian, kate_dourian@platts.com
    --Edited by Haripriya Banerjee, haripriya_banerjee@platts.com
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  4. #64
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    News you might have missed from the Pentagon’s Iran report

    By: Robert Maginnis
    7/17/2012 06:34 AM









    There has been plenty of breaking news about Iran, but the most important story earned little attention.


    Last week, the Pentagon declassified portions of a report to Congress that indicates Iran’s military is rapidly growing its conventional force’s lethality. That means the price of delaying military action to destroy Tehran’s nuclear weapons program, when sanctions inevitably fail, could soon become too costly.


    The U.S. and its partners face a stark choice: strike now to destroy Tehran’s nuclear facilities or accept the inevitable consequences of the rising nuclear armed Persian powerhouse with a credible, sophisticated conventional military.


    Three important Iran-related stories stole the limelight from the Pentagon report, however. First, the White House announced a fresh wave of sanctions against Iran to apply additional pressure on the Islamic rogue to open up to international inspectors its nuclear programs, which the West suspects are aimed at producing nuclear weapons.


    Second, the British spymaster forecasted Iran will likely achieve a nuclear weapons capability by 2014, according to The Daily Telegraph. Sir John Sawers, the head of Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, MI6, said “The Iranians are determingly going down a path to master all aspects of nuclear weapons; all the technologies they need.”


    Third, the U.S. deployed remotely operated submersible mine-clearing vehicles, or Sea Fox devices, to the Persian Gulf to upgrade our Avenger-class mine countermeasure ships. The Sea Fox is the latest asset to join a growing armada of allied forces — aircraft carriers, F-22 stealth fighters, MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters — to guarantee the free navigation of the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil exports pass.


    The build-up of allied forces is in response to renewed Iranian threats to close the strait. Earlier this month Arsalan Fathipour, an Iranian lawmaker among others, threatened the Islamic republic would close the strait “If we completely go under the sanctions” which are now in effect.


    These stories demonstrate the rapidly deteriorating crisis between the West and Iran over the regime’s suspected nuclear program. But they are not immediate threats if you believe Iran won’t have a deliverable nuclear weapon for years and the Chinese, Iran’s largest trade partner, most likely ordered Tehran’s mullahs to keep the strait open.


    By comparison the Pentagon’s new four part report is chock full of revelations about Iranian military capabilities that translate into real, tangible dangers for the region and America’s immediate interests and plans to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.


    Consider highlights from that report:


    First, Iran’s strategy is to challenge U.S. influence while becoming “the dominant power in the Middle East.” “Diplomacy, economic leverage, and active sponsorship of terrorist and insurgent groups” are tools Iran uses to increase its regional power that runs from the Hindu Kush to the Mediterranean Sea.


    Iran influences Afghanistan through a multifaceted approach that includes ties with Afghan president Hamid Karzai and humanitarian, economic, and cultural outreach activities. It supports insurgent groups like the Taliban, America’s Afghan enemy, and actively undermines U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization military operations by fomenting violence, according to the report.


    Iran rushed into Iraq as soon as the U.S. withdrew in December 2011. It exercises considerable leverage working with political leaders, the populace and Iraqi Shia militants and terrorists. Iran provides money, weapons, and guidance to radical groups and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF) trains them inside Iran.


    Tehran makes no secret about its support for Syria’s besieged president Bashar al-Asad. It supports Asad with military equipment and “probably” military trainers. Other sources indicate the IRGC-QF is embedded in Syrian combat units as are Iranian regime thugs — basij militia.


    Second, “Iran’s conventional military capabilities continue to improve,” according to the Pentagon. Iran added new ships and submarines and is expanding its bases on the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Earlier this year it deployed two separate surface groups to the Mediterranean Sea and Iranian ground forces conducted three large combined-arms maneuver exercises in northeastern and central Iran, a sign of a sophisticated force.


    Third, the IRGC-QF is Iran’s conduit to terrorist and militant proxies such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas. For the first time the Pentagon officially acknowledged the IRGC-QF provides money, training and equipment to Hezbollah such as “a wide array of missiles and rockets” capable of striking deep into Israel. The report also states Iran “provides funding and possibly weapons to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza strip.”


    Finally, the report documents Iran’s technical capabilities that could be applied to the production of nuclear weapons “if the decision is made to do so.” The report’s nuclear-related analysis is already well publicized elsewhere, but its analysis of Iran’s modernizing ballistic missile program is new.


    Brig. Gen. Amir Ali-hajizadeh, the commander of the air force of Iran’s IRGC, boasted during the recent Great Prophet 7 missile exercise the West would not attack Iran because of its missile strength. The general’s statement is not without merit based on the Pentagon’s latest report.


    The Pentagon report indicates Iran continues to grow its missile and rocket inventories and their effectiveness. The breaking news about missiles is “Iran has boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing systems with accuracy improvements and new submunition payloads.” And its medium range missiles specially made to target Israel are also improving in range, lethality, and accuracy.


    Further, the report indicates Iran’s missile force is mobile which provides it great flexibility and Iran has a multiple missile salvo capability, which was demonstrated in the recent Great Prophet 7 exercise. The report also indicates Iran “may be technically capable of flight-testing an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015” which eventually puts America’s homeland within striking distance.


    Iran also fields mobile short-range ballistic missiles with good survivability against missile defense systems, such as America’s Patriot anti-missile systems now on guard in the Persian Gulf. Some Iranian missiles also have sophisticated seekers to enable them to identify and maneuver toward ships during flight, which makes American warships in the Persian Gulf vulnerable.


    The Pentagon’s declassified report is important because it confirms Iran is rapidly modernizing its conventional military to threaten even sophisticated American forces to “become the dominant power in the Middle East.” That means time is running out on any plans to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities before the consequences of Iran’s inevitable conventional blow-back become unacceptable.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  5. #65
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    USS John C. Stennis will deploy four months early to seas near Iran as tensions continue. (US Navy Photo)

    July 16th, 2012
    05:20 PM ET

    U.S. decides to keep beefed-up presence in Middle East waters


    By Barbara Starr
    CNN Pentagon Correspondent


    WASHINGTON (CNN) - A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier will head to the Persian Gulf four months earlier than scheduled as part of a Pentagon plan to maintain a beefed-up U.S. military presence in the region, according to Pentagon officials.


    The USS John C. Stennis will set sail in September and remain overseas until February 2013. As CNN's Security Clearance first reported last week, the Obama administration and military had been debating whether to keep a second carrier in the region beyond a 2010 mandate that was set to expire in September.


    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta approved the deployment at the request of Gen. James Mattis, head of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East, Pentagon spokesman George Little said Monday. The Stennis had been scheduled to deploy to the Pacific Command area.


    The action essentially keeps two aircraft carriers in the region for the next several months. One option that had been before Panetta would have kept two carriers on station until the end of 2013, but he approved the more limited action with the option of reviewing an extension in the spring.


    In addition to the Stennis, the USS Mobile Bay will join it, as well as the destroyer Paul Hamilton which will deploy straight to the Gulf instead of spending time in the Pacific region.


    Pentagon press secretary George Little said the deployment was not a direct response to the crisis in Syria or rising tensions with Iran.


    "This is about a wide range of security interests," he said.


    The military is "mindful of the challenges posed by Iran, but ... this is not a decision based solely on the challenges posed by Iran," Little said.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  6. #66
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Jul 16, 2012 Report: U.S. bolstering Persian Gulf military presence



    By Michael Winter, USA TODAY
    Updated 13h 2m ago





    CAPTION
    By Fars News, AFP/Getty Images



    The Obama administration is bolstering the U.S. presence in the Persian Gulf by building a secret missile-defense radar station in Qatar, sending an additional aircraft carrier and preparing for its biggest minesweeping exercises in the region, theWall Street Journal is reporting.

    Unidentified U.S. officials told the paper the moves are aimed at "a possible flare-up" with Iran.
    The Journal writes:
    The Pentagon's moves reflect concern that tensions with Iran could intensify as the full weight of sanctions targeting the country's oil exports takes hold this summer. Though U.S. officials described both the radar site and the naval exercises as defensive in nature, the deployments likely will be seen by Iran as provocations.
    The latest measures also could help the U.S. reassure Israel and other anxious allies that the Pentagon is taking steps to counter Iran after months of seemingly fruitless negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program. Top U.S. officials have privately voiced concern that Israel might strike Iran's nuclear sites. Iran denies its nuclear program is aimed at building nuclear weapons.
    The U.S. moves are intended to address the two Iranian offensive capabilities Pentagon planners most worry about: Tehran's arsenal of ballistic missiles and its threat to shut down the oil-shipping lanes of the Strait of Hormuz by mining them.
    The USS John C. Stennis is headed to the Middle East several months early to ensure two carriers are always present, the Pentagon said today. In December, Iran alleged the carrier crossed into a restricted zone during 10 days of Iranian war games.


    The September minesweeping exercises, expected to be announced Tuesday, will be the region's first multilateral drills of their kind.


    The news comes the same day that U.S. sailors aboard the supply ship Rappahannock fired on a small craft off Dubai after it ignored warnings to stop, killing one person.


    In retaliation for stricter sanctions over its nuclear program, Iran last week renewed the threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, the waterway for 20% of the world's oil. The Pentagon recently sent additional minesweepers, warships and robotic mini-subs to keep it open.


    The Israeli security-and-intelligence site DEBKAfile reported last week that "dozens of unmanned underwater craft for destroying mines" are being rushed to the Gulf. It also said the Stennis "arrives in August, raising the number of American aircraft carriers in waters off Iran to four, including the USS Enterprise and the USS Abraham Lincoln, with the French Charles de Gaulle due soon to make up a fifth."
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  7. #67
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    DOD confirms Middle East plans for USS Stennis

    By Kitsap Sun staff
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 4:36 p.m.

    BREMERTON — The Navy will deploy the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis and its strike group four months early and shift its destination to the Middle East, Department of Defense officials confirmed Monday. The Kitsap Sun announced the move on July 9 after the crew was told.

    The deployment in late August will affect 5,500 sailors aboard the Stennis and the cruiser USS Mobile Bay.

    Last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta approved a request from Central Command to accelerate the Stennis' deployment. The decision will reduce the gap caused by the upcoming departure of the USS Enterprise Strike Group, Pentagon press secretary George Little said.

    The Bremerton-based Stennis was scheduled to deploy at the end of the year to the western Pacific. It returned from the Middle East in March.

    The accelerated deployment to the Middle East isn't aimed at any specific threat, nor is it a direct response to tensions with Iran, Little said.

    The U.S. military is "always mindful of the challenges posed by Iran, but … this is not a decision based solely on the challenges posed by Iran," he said.

    Currently the USS Enterprise and USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike groups are deployed to U.S. Central Command. The USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is due to relieve the Lincoln group shortly. The Stennis group will relieve Enterprise.

    The Stennis strike group will be ready to deploy even given the accelerated time line, Little said.

    Navy leaders understand the impacts the accelerated deployment will have, including training cycle adjustments, crew and family uncertainty, and reductions to quality-of life port visits, Little said.

    The Stennis has been off the coast of California for three weeks, where it completed fleet replacement carrier qualifications and is training with its strike group. It is expected to return by July 23.

    Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2012/j...#ixzz20tKL0OOP
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  8. #68
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    http://www.defenseworld.net/go/defen...ian%20Missiles

    U.S To Build Missile Defense Radar Station In Qatar To Counter Iranian Missiles

    Our BureauViewed: 175 times
    Tue, Jul 17, 2012 11:46 CET


    The U.S. is setting up missile radar battery in the Middle East to counter the threat posed by Iran as it continues testing long range ballistic missiles.

    Earlier this month, Iran tested a surface-to-surface missile which successfully hit their targets. The so-called Shahab-3 missile is capable of reaching Israel and southern Europe. The missiles are also capable of hitting U.S. bases in the region.

    In an effort to protect U.S interests and allies against Iranian rockets, the Pentagon has chosen a secret site in Qatar to build a missile-defense radar station and is organizing its biggest-ever minesweeping exercises in the Persian Gulf.

    The new radar base will house a powerful AN/TPY-2 radar, also known as X-Band radar, and supplement two similar arrays already in place in Israel's Negev Desert and in central Turkey. In turn, the radar installations are being linked to missile-interceptor batteries throughout the region and to U.S. ships with high-altitude interceptor rockets.

    Forming an arc, the three radar sites together can detect missile launches from northern, western and southern Iran enabling U.S. officials and allied militaries to track missiles launched from deep inside Iran.

    U.S officials believe Iran could have a ballistic missile as early as 2015 that could threaten the U.S. Qatar was chosen to host the new radar site because it is home to the largest U.S. military air base with more than 8,000 troops stationed there.

    According to the Pentagon, it will cost $12.2 million to construct a pad for the radar, roads, barracks and security measures at the Qatar site.

    The move comes after months of futile negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program although Tehran disputes claims of building nuclear weapons.

    Although the U.S officials say the radar site and upcoming naval exercises are defensive in nature, the move could be reflected as provocative to Iran.

    According to reports, the U.S. moves are intended to address the two Iranian offensive capabilities Pentagon planners most worry about: Tehran's arsenal of ballistic missiles and its threat to shut down the oil-shipping lanes of the Strait of Hormuz by mining them.

    Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced on Monday that it is sending an aircraft carrier to the Middle East several months early to ensure two carriers are present in the region at all times.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  9. #69
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    http://www.defpro.com/news/details/3...3b8a995c7f5af8

    Panetta Accelerates Stennis Carrier Strike Group Deployment


    07:12 GMT, July 17, 2012 WASHINGTON

    The U.S. Navy will deploy the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis and its strike group four months early and shift its destination to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, DOD officials said here July 16.

    The deployment late this summer is in response to Central Command’s requirement for an extended carrier presence, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said. The move affects 5,500 sailors aboard the Stennis and the Aegis cruiser USS Mobile Bay.

    Last week, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta approved a request from Central Command commander Marine Corps General James N. Mattis to accelerate Stennis’ deployment. “The decision will help support existing naval force requirements in the Middle East and reduce the gap caused by the upcoming departure of the USS Enterprise Strike Group,” Little said. “It is in keeping with our long-standing commitments to the region.”

    Aircraft carrier strike groups provide commanders with ample and flexible air assets to enhance interoperability with partner nations and maintain strong military-to-military relations as well as respond to a wide variety of contingencies, Little said.

    The Bremerton, Wash.-based Stennis strike group was due to deploy at the end of the year to U.S. Pacific Command. The group returned from duty in the Middle East in March.

    The accelerated deployment to the Central Command area of responsibility is not aimed at any specific threat. “In keeping with Centcom’s requirements, this is a very important region for our defense strategy,” Little said. “We’ve had a presence in the region for decades and we have a range of interests that this extension of our capabilities will support.”

    Nor, he said, is the deployment a direct response to tensions with Iran. The U.S. military is “always mindful of the challenges posed by Iran, but … this is not a decision based solely on the challenges posed by Iran,” Little said.

    Currently the USS Enterprise and USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike groups are deployed to U.S. Central Command. The USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is due to relieve the Lincoln group shortly. The Stennis group will relieve Enterprise.

    The Navy continues to operate at a high operational tempo in order to meet U.S. security needs around the world,. “Our deployment strain is as great as or greater today than it has been at any time in the past 10 years,” a Navy official said.

    Sailors and their families have been informed of the change, Little said. Navy officials looked at a wide range of options to ensure Navy commitments and combatant commander mission requirements are met and to lessen the impact of schedule changes.

    The carrier strike group will be ready to deploy even given the accelerated timeline, Little said. “The U.S. Navy is well-equipped to ensure our sailors are trained and ready for this deployment,” he said.

    Navy leaders understand the operational and personnel impacts this accelerated deployment will have. These include training cycle adjustments, crew and family uncertainty and reductions to quality of life port visits.

    As more information becomes available, the Navy will release it, officials said, noting defense leaders are “committed to keeping sailors and their families informed about current and future deployments to the best of our ability.”


    ----
    Jim Garamone
    American Forces Press Service
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  10. #70
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    This from the Left (Dissident Voice). Damned funny going on about how Capitalism is the cause, yet they have their Socialist in Chief....

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/07/at...cipice-of-war/

    At the Precipice of War?

    U.S. Military Build-Up Accelerates in the Persian Gulf
    by Ben Schreiner / July 16th, 2012


    The familiar menace of U.S. war drums have resumed at a fevered pitch, as Iran finds itself once again firmly within the Pentagon’s cross hairs.


    According to multiple reports, the U.S. is currently in the midst of a massive military build-up in the Persian Gulf on a scale not seen in the region since prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. The military surge reportedly includes an influx of air and naval forces, ground troops, and even sea drones. Lest one forgets, the U.S. already has two aircraft carriers and their accompanying striker groups in the region.


    A growing sense of Iran war fever can also be seen mounting in Washington. For instance, in an effort to foil ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany), a bipartisan group of 44 U.S. Senators recently sent a letter to President Obama urging the administration to “focus on significantly increasing the pressure on the Iranian government through sanctions and making clear that a credible military option exists.”


    Such hawkish posturing occurs despite the fact that the U.S. intelligence community (as well as the Israeli intelligence community, for that matter) finds no evidence that Iran has decided to pursue a nuclear weapon–the ostensible reason behind Western sanctions and threats of attack. Moreover, as an April Pentagon report states, Iran’s military doctrine remains one of self-defense, committed to “slow an invasion” and “force a diplomatic solution to hostilities.” (Compare this to the U.S. military doctrine rife with notions of global “power projection” and one sees where the credible threat lies.)
    The nuclear issue, though, is but a pretext used to veil U.S. imperial designs in the region. As a senior U.S. Defense Department official recently let slip to the New York Times: “This is not only about Iranian nuclear ambitions, but about Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions.” In other words, it is about removing one of the last irritants to U.S. power projection in the resource-rich Middle East.


    Of course, Iran already finds itself under siege from a lethal trifecta comprised of U.S.-led cyber attacks, Israeli-led assassinations, and oppressive Western economic sanctions. The latter of which has left ordinary Iranians to confront a toxic mix of ballooning inflation and rampant unemployment. In short, as Conn Hallinan writes at CounterPunch, the West is “already at war with Iran.”


    The question, then, is just how far this “war by other means” shall ultimately escalate?


    Towards a Dangerous Escalation



    Although punitive economic sanctions are frequently sold as an alternative to war, history is replete with evidence to the contrary. In the end, sanctions are often but a prelude to military hostilities. (One only needs to cross over to Iraq and look at the history of Western sanctions and eventual U.S. invasion.)


    A recent report in the New York Times warned of much the same. The current round of Western economic penalties imposed on Iran, the paper wrote, “represent one of the boldest uses of oil sanctions as a tool of coercion since the United States cut off oil exports to Japan in 1940. That experiment did not end well: The Japanese decided to strike before they were weakened.”


    But much like the attempted torpedoing of Japan’s economy prior to the Second World War, the current attempt to bring Iran to its knees via economic sanctions may very well be designed to draw an attack from Iran–thus creating a justification for a full-fledged U.S. military campaign to impose “regime change.”


    And much the same as in the 1940s, a global crisis of capitalism greases our current path to war. After all, war enables the forcible opening of new markets, along with bounties galore to be wrought via “creative destruction”; both of which are desperately needed for the sustenance of an imperiled economic system predicated on limitless growth and expansion. Indeed, this enduring allure of war has already reared its ugly head amidst the current crisis.


    The colonial smash-and-grab that was the 2011 N.A.T.O. intervention into Libya, as Alexander Cockburn has deemed it, was our first evidence that Western elites have settled on war as a means to resolve the current intractable capitalist crisis. But the spoils from Libya have proven to be insufficient to revive growth stymied since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis.


    A heavily sanctioned Iran, on the other hand, boasts a G.D.P. over five times larger than pre-“liberated” Libya, while also sitting atop the world’s third largest oil reserves and the second largest natural gas reserves. A defeated and placated Iran able to be enveloped more fully into the U.S.-dominated capitalist system thus holds great potential for global capitalism’s needed regeneration. Of course, in seizing control over Iran’s energy resources, the U.S. and its allies would also come to possess a monopoly over the Middle East’s energy resources–a strategic key in any future conflict with rivals Russia and China.


    And so it is that under the imperative of renewing global capitalism that the U.S. swiftly amasses its military hardware to the Persian Gulf under to cloak of combating nuclear proliferation. The accompanying talk of military hostilities and of using “all options” against Tehran by elites in Washington thus ought not to be taken as idle threats.


    Clearly, we stand at the very precipice of outright war.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  11. #71
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Jul 16, 2012 6:09pm
    Pentagon Sends Carrier to the Middle East Early




    The Pentagon is sending the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis to sea four months ahead of schedule to ensure that there are at least two carriers in the Middle East.


    The U.S. Navy has had two carriers operating in the Middle East for quite some time. It usually rotates one of the two carriers into the Persian Gulf for several weeks at a time while the other operates in the Arabian Sea, providing air support for the war in Afghanistan.


    Today, Pentagon spokesman George Little confirmed that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has agreed to a recent request from U.S. Central Command to maintain a two-carrier presence in the Middle East.


    In September the U.S. was going to go down to one carrier, as the USS Enterprise would not be replaced after it left the region. To prevent that from happening the Stennis has had its deployment orders changed from the Pacific to the Middle East.


    Little says the Stennis is being sent so that there is no gap in between two carrier assignments to the region. Also being sent on the deployment will be the cruiser USS Mobile Bay.


    Little said the need to send the carrier early was “not a decision based solely on the challenges posed by Iran.”


    On Sunday, the USS Eisenhower replaced the other carrier in the region, the USS Abraham Lincoln, which is headed to Norfolk for maintenance work.


    In order to make the Stennis/Enterprise swap possible, the Enterprise’s deployment will be extended for what officials say will be “a few days.” It also means the crew of the Stennis will be out to sea for longer than they had expected. Originally slated for a four-month Pacific Ocean deployment, the Stennis will now leave four months early to serve a seven month deployment that will last through April 2013.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  12. #72
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9404627/Hillary-Clinton-US-will-use-all-elements-of-American-power-to-stop-Tehran-developing-nuclear-weapons.html

    Hillary Clinton: US will use 'all elements of American power' to stop Tehran developing nuclear weapons


    Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, warned Iran on Monday that it would use “all elements of its power” to prevent Tehran developing a nuclear weapon as US aircraft carriers were deployed in the Gulf amid escalating tensions.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem Photo: AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski












    By Amy Willis, Los Angeles

    8:00AM BST 17 Jul 2012





    Mrs Clinton, who was speaking in Jerusalem at the end of a one-day visit, sought to reassure Israel about US support stressing that both countries would work "in close consultation" to halt Iran's alleged nuclear weapons programme.

    "We will use all elements of American power to prevent Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon," Mrs Clinton told reporters in a late-night press conference.



    "I think it is fair to say we are on the same page at this moment, trying to figure our way forward to have the maximum impact on affecting the decisions that Iran makes."



    Mrs Clinton indicated that proposals made by Iran so far had fallen short of resolving the stand-off, calling them "non-starters".



    "Iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision. The choice is ultimately Iran's” she said.



    Washington has made several veiled threats about military force against the Middle Eastern state but the timing of Mrs Clinton's remarks yesterday coincided with rising tensions in the area.


    A few hours before her statement, America deployed an aircraft carrier to the Gulf, a sign widely seen as the US looking to strengthen forces in the oil-rich region. The US ship, which was sent four months ahead of schedule, was said to have been sent to address "security issues", according to officials at the Pentagon.


    In a further mark of growing pressure, US sailors shot and killed the occupant of a motor boat near the Strait of Hormuz the same day after it failed to halt its approach to an American supply vessel, despite warnings by the crew.


    “An embarked security team aboard a US Navy vessel fired upon a small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the US ship,” Greg Raelson, a media officer for the US Navy, said in an email.


    Mrs Clinton's visit to Israel, her first in two years, marked the end of a nine-nation tour, holding talks with top officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.


    During talks with Benjamin Netanyahu, who has recently shown frustration at international efforts to negotiate with Iran, Mrs Clinton had been expected to explain a wave of fresh sanctions imposed by Washington.


    Renewed sanctions were placed on Tehran last week by the United States, following reports that Iran had been circumventing international sanctions by swapping oil for goods with Turkey and China.


    The latest measures ensure Iranian oil tankers are prevented from docking in many international ports, with analysts estimating it to lead to as much as a 60 per cent drop in Iranian crude oil sales.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  13. #73
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Floating Base Gives U.S. New Footing in the Persian Gulf

    Blake Midnight/U.S. Navy, via Associated Press
    The Ponce, one of the Navy’s oldest transport ships, transits the Persian Gulf en route to Bahrain on July 4.

    By THOM SHANKER

    Published: July 11, 2012 126 Comments



    WASHINGTON — One of the Navy’s oldest transport ships, now converted into one of its newest platforms for warfare, arrived in waters off Bahrain late last week, a major addition to the enlarged presence of American forces in the Persian Gulf designed as a counter to Iran.







    The keel for the ship, the Ponce, was cast in 1966, and the vessel, nearing the end of its service, was to have been scrapped. But the Ponce was reborn as a floating forward base for staging important military operations across the region — the latest example of the new American way of war.


    The first mission of the reborn Ponce was designed to be low profile and defensive, as an operations hub for mine clearing in the Strait of Hormuz, a counter to threats from Tehran to close the vital commercial waterway. In that role, the Ponce will be a launching pad for helicopters, a home to underwater diver teams and a seaborne service station providing fuel and maintenance for minesweeping ships.


    But with the relatively simple addition of a modular barracks on the deck, the Ponce can also be a mobile base for several hundred Special Operations forces to carry out missions like hostage rescue, counterterrorism, reconnaissance, sabotage and direct strikes. Even with the addition of the barracks, there is ample room for helicopters and the small, fast boats favored by commandos.


    Allies and friends are important, but they can veto American missions initiated from bases on their territory. The Ponce operates from international waters. Surprise and speed are critical to military success; the Ponce can sail close to areas of conflict. And having the ability to carry out different missions for different branches of the armed services is more valuable than having a weapons platform that does just one thing for one branch of the military.


    Iranian leaders see the Ponce differently, of course, and they have lashed out at the American deployments, accusing Washington of mounting a provocative military buildup. (The American reinforcements also include a doubling of minesweepers to eight and the addition of Air Force fighter and attack jets.) An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander even threatened that his nation would counter the moves by ordering a buildup of missiles that could endanger American warships and allied bases in the region.


    The Navy is convinced that the capability provided by the Ponce is essential to future military operations, and it has proposed that Congress continue a four-year, $1.2 billion program to build two new vessels dedicated solely to be what the service terms “afloat forward staging bases.” Allison F. Stiller, the Navy’s deputy assistant secretary for ship programs, said the two ships, now under construction, were the first vessels built specifically for the job, as opposed to warships temporarily assigned the mission.


    The first of the new ships should be available by 2015, and the second a year later, if Congress approves the budget requests.


    “The afloat forward staging base gives us the ability to deliver this mine countermeasure capability directly to the scene of operations,” said Rear Adm. Kenneth M. Perry, vice commander of the Navy’s mine and antisubmarine warfare command.


    Admiral Perry is based in San Diego, but he described the Ponce’s role in a telephone interview from the Navy’s Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, where he has moved to oversee mine-clearing exercises and, potentially, mine-clearing missions.


    For decades, the military has used various warships and service vessels as platforms for staging operations, whether the Pacific island-hopping campaign of World War II or the river campaigns of the Vietnam War. In a more recent and creative example, the Navy emptied the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk of attack jets before the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and turned it over to Special Operations forces for raids against Taliban targets.


    The idea of creating a dedicated fleet of floating bases gained traction in the 1990s, as the military retrenched after the collapse of communism and looked for ways to operate independently near contested areas. One idea was to tow giant offshore oil platforms to a conflict zone and lash them together to form an airport large enough for helicopters and even transport planes. It was ultimately dismissed because the platforms would have been too vulnerable to attack and insufficiently mobile.


    The design of the floating bases expands on what is called the mobile landing platform, which is used to get Marines and their war-fighting equipment from ship to shore. Those landing platforms are built by General Dynamics Nassco, which is also constructing the new basing ships. To the untrained eye, the vessels look very much like an oil tanker.


    To accommodate the many missions of different military branches aboard the floating base, the vessels will be outfitted with a helicopter hangar on the deck and with access portals for small, fast boats. A hospital suite and a water purification facility also are on board.


    “It will be a ship that is ‘purpose built’ to have that capability, whereas we have taken Ponce and converted her to provide that capability, or we have taken another ship offline to do the mission,” said Ms. Stiller, the Navy official.


    Pentagon and Navy officials note that the decades-old quest for an afloat forward staging base was accelerated, and finally became a reality, owing to pressure from the global combatant commanders — especially from senior officers at Central Command and Special Operations Command.


    “Mine countermeasures operations are critical to protecting sea lines of communication by mapping out and neutralizing sea mines,” said Lt. Col. T. G. Taylor, a Central Command spokesman. “Sea mines are indiscriminate to their victims and require a robust countermeasures program to ensure the safety of all maritime vessels.”
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  14. #74
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Here we go.....

    Israeli citizens were attacked in Bulgaria today. Several killed. Homicide bomber.

    Netenyahu has stated the indications point to Iran.

    The PM went on to state "There will be a very strong response" to this.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  15. #75
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Israelis killed in Bulgaria terror attack, minister says

    By the CNN Wire Staff
    updated 1:49 PM EDT, Wed July 18, 2012


    Smoke rises over Bulgaria's Burgas Airport on Wednesday after an explosion on a bus carrying Israeli tourists.

    STORY HIGHLIGHTS

    • NEW: The explosion is "clearly a terrorist attack," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says
    • NEW: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu points the finger at Iran over the attack
    • Man saw the bus explode, helped drag unconscious woman to safety
    • "I cannot forget the sight of body parts scattered around the bus," he says



    (CNN) -- A deadly explosion on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria is "clearly a terrorist attack," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday.


    "We have several people killed and dozens of wounded people," Barak said.
    He said the attack was probably initiated by a group under the auspices of "either Iran or other radical Muslim groups," and named Hezbollah and Hamas as likely suspects.


    "We are in a continued fight against them. We are determined to identify who sent them, who executed and to settle the account," Barak said.


    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed the finger at Iran, saying it has been behind a string of recent attempted attacks on Israelis in Thailand, India and Georgia, among others.


    "All the signs (are) leading to Iran," he said, according to a statement from his office.
    Netanyahu said his country "would respond with force to Iranian terror."


    Venelin Petkov, a reporter for bTV in Bulgaria, said more than 30 people were taken to the hospital, three in a critical condition.


    Vania Valkova, director of the Bulgarian interior ministry press office, earlier confirmed at least three people were in the blast on a bus outside Burgas Airport, on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast. She was not able to confirm the nationalities of those killed but said the flight came from Tel Aviv.


    Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon also said there were three dead in the explosion.
    He told Israel Radio, "We cannot confirm yet that this is a terrorist incident, but Iran and Hezbollah have been responsible for incidents like this in the past."


    The incident comes on the 18th anniversary of the attack on a Jewish community center in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were killed.


    The tourists' plane landed in Bulgaria at 5 p.m., the Israeli Foreign Ministry said. Valkova said the bus was in the parking zone when the blast occurred.


    Oran Katz, an Israeli who was on a bus next to the one that blew up, together with his wife and three children, described a bloody scene.


    "The moment we got on (the bus), we heard a very loud explosion. It was the third bus next to us. Everyone started running in all directions. There was a big chaos," he said.
    "We took our children with us and ran as far as we could away from the explosion. My oldest daughter is handicapped, so I decided to run back in order to pick up her wheelchair.
    "There was a big blaze of fire, and we were not allowed to come near. Suddenly, I noticed an unconscious woman laying next to me, very close to the burning bus. I picked her up together with another man, and we managed to drag her out of the fire that was about to catch her body in seconds.
    "I cannot forget the sight of body parts scattered around the bus. Ambulances and fire trucks have just started to arrive."
    Katz, who then ran back to his family so they could get to the safety of their hotel, said he saw at least six people around him who were injured and bloodied.
    "I was not able to see anything of what was happening inside the bus that exploded. It was burning heavily," he added.
    Israeli travelers were on seven buses outside the terminal; they had arrived on the same flight from Israel, Katz said.
    Israel's Channel 10 station reported that there had been a combined attack of gunfire and explosives outside Burgas airport.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  16. #76
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Explosion hits bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, 4 dead and 27 wounded


    By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 12:03 PM

    SOFIA, Bulgaria — A bus carrying Israeli youth exploded Wednesday in a Bulgarian resort, killing at least four people and wounded more than two dozen, police and hospital officials said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “an Iranian terror attack” and promised a tough response.


    The explosion took place in the Black Sea city of Burgas, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of the capital, Sofia. TV images showed smoke billowing from the scene — a parking lot at the local airport, where the Israeli tourists had apparently just landed. Several buses and cars were on fire near the shell of the exploded vehicle.




    Bulgaria, an eastern European nation bordering Greece and Turkey, is a popular tourist destination for Israelis.
    It was not yet certain what caused the blast — whether it was the result of a suicide bomber or a device remotely detonated — and no group immediately claimed responsibility.


    But Israelis often have been targeted in attacks outside their country, and Wednesday’s bombing coincided with the 18th anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina that killed 85 people.


    Israel suspects Iran of being behind several of those assaults, which have added to the tensions between the two nations already exacerbated by Israeli warnings against Iran’s alleged pursuit of a nuclear weapons program.


    The Israeli premier noted that Wednesday’s attack followed similar attacks or attempted attacks in India, Georgia, Thailand and Kenya and Cyprus in recent months. He said that once again, “all signs point to Iran,” though he did not offer any evidence to back up the claim.


    “This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading across the world,” Netanyahu said. “Israel will react strongly to Iran’s terror.”


    Tehran did not immediately issue any comment.


    Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Jonathan Rosenzweig said a flight from Tel Aviv had landed at 4:45 p.m. at the airport and that the blast took place about 40 minutes later. The tourists were apparently boarding the buses to go to their hotels.


    Witness Gal Malka told Israel’s Channel 2 TV that she saw someone board the bus before it exploded. Malka, who was lightly wounded, said the bus was full of Israeli teenagers. “We were at the entrance of the bus and in a few seconds we heard a huge boom,” she said.


    Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov told Bulgarian national TV from Burgas that a person died in the hospital, bringing the death toll to four. Prior to that announcement, a doctor at the Burgas city hospital told Bulgarian radio that there were 27 people hurt — and at least three had severe injuries. He was not identified.


    The Burgas airport was closed and traffic redirected. In Sofia, meanwhile, Mayor Yordanka Fandakova ordered a stronger police presence at all public places linked to the Jewish community. There are some 5,000 Jews in Bulgaria and most live in the capital.


    Iran, which insists its nuclear program is peaceful, has in the past accused Israel of being behind deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists.


    Israel has not admitted a role in those strikes, but it and others have accused Iran of alleged reprisal missions, including a February bombing in New Delhi that wounded an Israeli diplomat’s wife and the discovery of a cache of explosives in Bangkok that Thai officials claim was linked to a plot to target Israeli diplomats. Iran has denied involvement.


    In Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, security officials in March announced the arrest of 22 suspects allegedly hired by Iran for terrorist attacks against the U.S. and Israeli embassies and other Western-linked sites.


    Wednesday’s attack also coincided with the 18th anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. An Argentinian magistrate has concluded Iran was behind that attack.


    Israeli officials also have long feared that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrilla group would try to attack Israelis abroad. Hezbollah has accused Israel of assassinating a top leader in Damascus in 2008 and vowed to avenge the killing. Israel has never admitted involvement in the mysterious explosion.


    Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Israel’s Channel 2 TV said there was no advance intelligence on an attack in Bulgaria. But counterterrorism expert Boaz Ganor said Iran and Hezbollah were the most likely culprits. He told The Associated Press that all the indications pointed toward them. He also cited the arrest of a Hezbollah operative in Cyprus in recent days who was suspected of preparing a similar attack.


    “This is probably a parallel operation and likely not the last in a series,” he said. “All this looks like Hezbollah, Iran or a combination of the two.”
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  17. #77
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    9 Missing, 33 in Hospital in Terrorist Attack on Israelis in Bulgaria - Mayor

    July 18, 2012, Wednesday| 1086 views







    Nine Israelis are deemed missing, and 33 have been hospitalized after the terrorist attack on a bus with Israeli tourists at Bulgaria's Burgas Airport Wednesday, reports say.


    Initial reports said a number of Israelis were dead and wounded in the explosion which hit their bus at the Sarafovo Airport near Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Burgas at about 5:30 pm EET.


    The Bulgarian authorities have confirmed there are casualties but have not confirmed their number. The site of the Burgas Airport says the Israeli tourists arrived on a flight of Air Via from Tel Aviv at 4:50 pm. After that, they got on a bus to reach Bulgaria's largest Black Sea resort Sunny Beach.


    According to reports, there were about 40 Israeli tourists on the bus. A total of three buses caught fire on the Burgas Airport parking lot, a local news site.


    A total of 33 people were hospitalized after the blast, three of them critical, and one of those three dying shortly after that, Burgas Mayor Dimitar Nikolov told bTV Wednesday night, about 2.5 hours after the explosion.


    The bus driver, who is Bulgarian, is also in a critical condition, he said.


    According to the bTV correspondent, nine Israeli tourists are deemed missing, with reports stating the death toll at 3, 5, or 7.


    All flights from the Burgas Airport have been redirected north to the Varna Airport after the explosion.
    According to Mayor Nikolov, there was "a very strong explosive that was deliberately placed or brought into the baggage compartment of the bus".


    He said the Israelis arrived to Burgas on a flight from Tel Aviv with 151 people on boad, including one American and one Slovenian citizen. He said also that the Bulgarian authorities have managed to create an organization to investigate "a very severe incident."
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  18. #78
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    July 18, 2012 12:07 PM




    Israel blames Iran in deadly Bulgaria bus blast




    Smoke rises into the sky after an explosion at Burgas airport, outside the Black Sea city of Burgas, Bulgaria, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of the capital, Sofia, Wednesday, July 18, 2012. (AP Photo/ Burgasinfo)




    (CBS/AP) SOFIA, Bulgaria - A bus carrying Israeli youth in a Bulgarian resort city exploded Wednesday, killing at least three people and wounding at least 27, police said. Witnesses told Israeli media that the huge blast occurred soon after someone boarded the vehicle.


    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "all signs point to Iran" being behind the blast.


    Netanyahu said that "this is an Iranian terrorist attack that is spreading across the world," noting there have been similar attempts in India, Georgia, Thailand, Kenya and Cyprus in recent months
    "Israel will react strongly to Iran's terror," he said.


    The incident took place in the Black Sea city of Burgas, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of the capital, Sofia. Images shown on Israeli media showed smoke billowing from the scene.


    Bulgaria, an eastern European nation, is a popular tourist destination for Israelis.
    Destroyed buses are seen at Burgas airport, outside the Black Sea city of Burgas, Bulgaria, some 250 miles east of the capital, Sofia, Wednesday, July 18, 2012.
    (Credit: AP Photo/ Bulphoto Agency)



    Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Jonathan Rosenzweig said a flight from Tel Aviv had landed at a quarter to 5 p.m. and that the blast took place about 40 minutes later.


    "We don't know if it was a terror attack," said Paul Hirschson, another spokesman for the ministry, at the time. "We do know it was an explosion."


    Witness Gal Malka told Israel's Channel 2 TV that she saw someone board the bus before it exploded. Other witnesses told CBS News reporter Jordan Jordanovich that flames were five meters high.


    Officials said Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had spoken with his Bulgarian counterpart and was being kept abreast of the developments.


    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the U.S. condemns the attack and that it stands with the people of Israel and Bulgaria.


    Wednesday's attack came on the 18th anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  19. #79
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    A "side bar" here:

    Mahdi 'Messiah' malware targeted Israel, Iran PCs

    Trojan with references to Islam, Farsi language, and Israel-Iran conflict is found on hundreds of PCs in the Middle East.
    by Elinor Mills
    Follow @elinormills

    This graphic shows the number of infections by country.
    (Credit: Seculert)



    A data-stealing Trojan capable of recording keystrokes, screenshots and audio and stealing text and image files has infected about 800 computers, mostly in Iran and Israel, over the last eight months, researchers said today.


    The malware, dubbed "Mahdi" (also "Madi") because of references in the code to the word for the Islamic Messiah, included strings in Farsi and dates in the Persian calendar format in communications with a command-and-control server in at least one of the variants, and a server that was located in Iran for at least one campaign, according to a blog post from Israel-based security firm Seculert. The victims included critical infrastructure companies, government embassies, financial services firms in Iran, Israel, Afghanistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, as well as the U.S. and New Zealand, Symantec reported.


    Despite the types of victims and countries affected, the researchers said it was unclear whether it was a state-sponsored attack or not.


    The campaigns started out with social engineering via an e-mail attachment. In one campaign, the attached file executed a malware dropper that contained a Word document of a news article with the headline "Israel's Secret Iran Attack Plan: Electronic Warfare," Seculert said.



    Other targets featured malicious PowerPoint attachments that displayed video stills showing a missile destroying a jet plane and a dialog box asking for permission to run an executable .scr file, according to Symantec researchers, who found a command-and-control server in Azerbaijan, while Seculert found some in Canada, as well.
    An "Activated Content" PowerPoint feature enables executable content within the spearphishing attachments to be run automatically and the embedded downloaders install backdoor services on the system, according to a Kaspersky blog post. One example delivered the executable within a confusing math puzzle slideshow, while another showed a series of religious, nature-themed images with messages in English and poor Hebrew. Kaspersky also saw images displayed of a nuclear explosion and a video, which were likely designed to trick the victim into thinking nothing untoward was happening, Russia-based Kaspersky said.


    This is just the latest piece of malware with links to Iran. Flame, Stuxnet and its cousin Duqu all targeted critical computer systems in Iran and neighboring countries. Flame and Stuxnet reportedly were developed by the U.S. and Israel.

    This is a screenshot of one of the nature-themed images that one variant of the malware displayed.
    (Credit: Kaspersky)
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




  20. #80
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    A Banana Republic, Central America
    Posts
    48,602
    Thanks
    79
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Washington seeks to soothe Israeli fears

    By Geoff Dyer in Washington


    “We are on the same page at this moment,” Hillary Clinton said earlier this week in Jerusalem, shortly after posing for photos with Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, at the David Citadel Hotel.


    The subject was Iran and its nuclear programme. Just in case that message was not loud enough, the US secretary of state has been getting a lot of back-up from her Obama administration colleagues. A few days before Mrs Clinton arrived in Jerusalem, she was preceded by Tom Donilon, the national security adviser, and before that by her number two at State, Bill Burns.



    After she left Israel on Tuesday, the local protocol team started to prepare for the impending visit of defence secretary Leon Panetta. Even in an election year and with Mitt Romney planning his own trip to Israel at the end of next week, that is a lot of official visits.


    The flurry of talks with Israel come as tensions between the US and Iran appear to be escalating again, the result of the apparent stalemate in the negotiations between Iran and the leading powers over its nuclear programme and the implementation of tough new sanctions by the US and Europe.


    Amid Iran’s repeated threats to close down the Straits of Hormuz, Monday’s incident near Dubai, when the US navy fired on a fishing boat that came close to one of its ships and killed one of the men on board, underscores the nervousness in the region.


    Over the past few weeks, the Pentagon has not missed an opportunity to remind Iran of the quiet military build-up it has put in place in the Gulf since the end of last year. An aircraft carrier, the USS Stennis, has been sent to the region four months ahead of schedule – as has the USS Ponce, a 46 year-old transport ship that has been remodelled as a potential floating base for special forces.


    The Pentagon said on Tuesday that the US would lead a big minesweeping operation in the Gulf in September, involving about 20 other countries. The choreographed announcements are a clear message to the Iranians not to try anything.
    Yet amid all the bluster and troop movements, the contours of the Iran nuclear issue remain little changed. For their own reasons, the US and Iran would both probably prefer to delay difficult decisions until next year.


    The Obama administration is acutely aware of the narrow political space in which it is operating over Iran, given the pressure it would come under from Republicans were it to make anything looking like a substantial concession. If President Barack Obama wins re-election, however, he will have more room to pursue a deal with Iran.


    And if Iran really is interested in negotiating over its nuclear programme – something which remains disputed – it too might wish to wait until after the election, even with the rising economic pain from sanctions. Not only would a re-elected Obama have a freer hand, but Tehran could worry that a future Romney administration might not accept any deal that is reached now.
    That means that the wild-card this year remains the reaction of the Israelis. Although the speculation about an Israeli military strike is nowhere near as intense as it was earlier in the year, it has not disappeared.


    The unofficial signals from Israel continue to play down the prospects of an attack. A recent interview by a former military planning chief, Giora Eiland, has attracted a lot of attention in Washington. Echoing the views of former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, he warned of the possibility that an Israeli strike might end up accelerating the creation of an Iranian nuclear bomb if Israel had little international support.


    But the unanswered question is whether Mr Netanyahu really believes the US would launch its own military strike if that were the only way to prevent an Iranian bomb. In Jerusalem, Mrs Clinton repeated the familiar promise that “all elements of American power [will be used] to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon”. However, the flurry of visitors from Washington suggests that the Obama administration is still not certain it has convinced Mr Netanyahu. The US and Israel are still not completely on the same page.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •