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Thread: War with Iran about to start?

  1. #101
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Well, Mal, you called that one wrong.

    Not a "student":

    Bulgaria Suicide Bomber Identified As A Swedish Extremist Released From Guantánamo
    Michael Kelley | 37 minutes ago | 2,569 | 38


    Channel 10 (Bulgaria)

    Mehdi Ghezali


    Bulgarian media have named the reported suicide bomber who killed six Israeli tourists and two Bulgarians when he exploded a bus yesterday as Mehdi Ghezali.

    The Times of Israel reports that Ghezali was Swedish citizen of Algerian and Finnish origins who had been held at the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay from 2002 to 2004.

    In 2009 Michael Moynihan of the Weekly Standard reported that Ghezali was released from Guantánamo and sent to Sweden on a government jet after an intense lobbying effort by Swedish prime minister Göran Persson.

    Bulgarian news agency Sofia reports that Ghezali was carrying a U.S. passport and a fake Michigan drivers license, noting that an FBI database check did not find an individual with such documents and it remains unclear how he obtained the fake passport and the circumstances surroudning his entrance in Bulgaria.

    Sofia also reported that the Bulgarian Interior Ministry managed to recover fingerprints of the bomber, which they gave to the U.S. – who has joined Israeli and Bulgarian officials in the investigation – as well as Interpol.

    Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov did not indicate how the police came to the conclusion that the man walking around the airport shortly before the blast was the suicide bomber, according to the Times of Israel.

    Ghezali had been detained during the battle at Tora Bora, Afghanistan, in late 2001 and being handed over to the U.S. military and sent to Guantánamo Bay. Ghezali – who reportedly studied a religious school mosque in Britain in addition to traveling to Saudi Arabia – told his captors that he crossed into Afghanistan from Pakistan to study Islam, according to Moynihan.

    Ghezali was arrested a second time in September 2009, this time in Pakistan, while travelling with a group of multinational extremists who crossed the border from Iran on their way to the al-Queda stronghold of Waziristan. The group, according to Pakistani authorities, had $10,000 cash and maps indicating Western embassies along with explosive belts.

    The Bulgarian police released a brief video clip that claimed to show the alleged suicide bomber walking around the Burgas International Airport:

    More to come as the story develops.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mehdi...#ixzz215S7PyW8
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  2. #102
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Of course I called it incorrectly too (However I do NOT doubt for ONE SECOND that those maggots in Michigan, Dearborn specifically made him the D/L)
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  3. #103
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Bulgaria bombing confirmed as suicide attack

    Reports say badly damaged male body has been found on bus carrying a fake US passport issued in Michigan








    CCTV video footage shows a man suspected of carrying out the suicide bombing at Burgas airport Link to this video A suicide bomber detonated the fatal blast that killed five Israelis and their bus driver in Bulgaria on Wednesday evening.
    The Israeli foreign ministry stated on Thursday that initial speculation on the part of the Bulgarian authorities that a bomb had been planted on the side of the bus or in its boot was incorrect.


    Within hours of the explosion, conflicting reports of how the attack was carried out and the number of those killed and injured in the explosion poured from Bulgarian and Israeli news sites. However, the Bulgarian and Israeli authorities have both confirmed that the attack was a suicide bombing.


    Unsubstantiated reports claim an additional and badly damaged male body has been found on the bus carrying a fake US passport issued in Michigan.


    Boyko Borisov, the Bulgarian prime minister, said on Thursday that video tapes from Sarafovo airport terminal capture a Caucasian man with long hair dressed in sportswear roaming the area around the buses apparently waiting for the Israeli tourists for more than an hour. This man is the suspected suicide bomber.


    "At this point everything is still fluid, nothing is 100%," said Paul Hirschson, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry.
    Hirschson corrected reports that six Israelis rather than five were killed in the terror attack along with the Bulgarian driver of the bus carrying them from the airport to their Black Sea resort.


    "In an attempt to be transparent too much information has been released too quickly. A person with critical injuries was mistakenly counted as a casualty," he explained.


    Israeli and Bulgarian authorities have launched a joint investigation into the deadly attack. If the reports of a fake passport belonging to the terror suspect are correct, the US intelligence and security services will also be involved.


    Diverting blame for the intelligence failure that allowed the attack to happen, Rosen Plevneliev, the Bulgarian president, has complained that Bulgarian authorities had met with the Mossad only a month ago but were given no warning that a terror attack was expected in the area. If they had, they would have taken serious preventative action, he added.


    Security officials said a similar plot to bomb an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria was foiled earlier in the year.


    Israel reacted with restraint to a series of simultaneous attacks on diplomatic targets in Georgia, India and Thailand this year. But on Wednesday, the Israeli prime minister immediately and unequivocally blamed Tehran and its Shia allies Hezbollah for the terror attack.


    Binyamin Netanyahu's weighty threat to bring to justice those responsible for Wednesday's tragedy has prompted intense speculation that the attack may push into action long-debated plans in Israel to take military action against Iran.


    John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN who advises the US Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, on foreign policy, told Fox News that Netanyahu's unflinching accusation "gives every indication" that Israel is preparing to strike.


    Netanyahu was "very clearly saying that Israel will not just respond proportionately but will go after several facilities of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards", Bolton added.


    The Israeli foreign ministry stressed that their immediate priorities were humanitarian. All but three of the 34 Israelis injured in the blast were expected to arrive back in Tel Aviv for medical treatment on Thursday afternoon.
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  4. #104
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    Pentagon: Signs that Hezbollah staged Bulgaria attack

    By JPOST.COM STAFF
    07/20/2012 19:18
    "The attack does bear some of the hallmarks of Hezbollah but we're not in a position to make any final determination on who was responsible," Pentagon spokesman says.

    Photo: Stoyan Nenov/ Reuters The Pentagon said Friday that there are signs that Hezbollah orchestrated the Wednesday suicide bombing which killed five Israelis in Bulgaria.
    Top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have maintained since immediately after the attack that Hezbollah and Iran were responsible.



    Pentagon spokesman George Little was quoted as saying by AFP on Friday that while the US was not prepared to say with certainty that the Israeli claims were true, there was evidence to that effect.
    "The attack does bear some of the hallmarks of Hezbollah but we're not in a position to make any final determination on who was responsible," Little stated.
    Both Iran and Hezbollah have denied any involvement in the attack.
    Bulgarian investigators said on Friday that they had managed to obtain DNA samples from the fingers of the bomber and were checking databases in an attempt to identify him. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov told parliament he hoped that would be done in 3-4 days.
    The interior minister added that the man who blew up a bus carrying Israeli tourists at a Bulgarian airport, killing himself and six others, was a foreign national and Sofia was trying to pin down details with the help of foreign spy services.
    "We are talking about a person that is not a Bulgarian citizen," Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov told a news conference. "We are exchanging information with our Israeli colleagues and the other services." Tsvetanov said investigators were working on several leads, including the possibility that the bomber had an accomplice, but he denied media reports that a local Hezbollah cell was behind the bombing.
    "Such topics, and such interpretations have not been talked about or discussed. At the moment we are focused on realistic options," he said.

    The Israeli tourists had arrived in Bulgaria on a charter flight from Israel and were in the bus in the airport car park when the blast tore through the vehicle.
    Closed-circuit video showed the bomber wore Bermuda shorts, a blue T-shirt and cap, blending in with other tourists as he roamed the airport for an hour before blowing up the bus.
    Some analysts believe Iran is trying to avenge the assassinations of several scientists involved in its controversial nuclear program that it blames on Israel and the United States. Israeli diplomats have been targeted in several countries in recent months by bombers who the Jewish state maintained had struck on behalf of Tehran.
    The Bulgarian blast occurred on the 18th anniversary of a bomb attack on Argentina's main Jewish organization that killed 85 people. Argentina blamed Iran, which denied responsibility.
    Reuters contributed to this report.
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  5. #105
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Bulgaria: Sophisticated conspiracy in suicide bomb
    By VESELIN TOSHKOV, Associated Press – 24 minutes ago
    SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A sophisticated group of conspirators was involved in the suicide bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver last week, and they spent at least a month in Bulgaria before the attack, the country's prime minister said Tuesday.
    Boiko Borisov's comments confirm suspicions that the suicide attacker who targeted a bus filled with Israeli vacationers last Wednesday did not act alone. However, the prime minister did not offer any evidence or give many more details. He didn't say how many people were believed to have been involved in attack on Israeli tourists in Burgas and also declined to back up Israel's claims that Iran and the militant group Hezbollah played roles.
    Those involved used "leased vehicles, they moved in different cities so as not to be seen together, and no two of them can be seen in one place on any security camera," Borisov said, speaking alongside visiting White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan.
    He described the people behind the blast as "exceptionally skilled" and said they operated under "strict conspiracy rules." He also said DNA samples from the suicide bomber have been shared with all partner security services, but no match has been found in their databases.
    "There was absolutely no chance of preventing such an act of violence," Borisov insisted. "We could have only detected it by chance or if we had been informed by the services that such activities were under way in Bulgaria."
    Brennan also stopped short of blaming Iran or Hezbollah, both of which are U.S. nemeses, though he noted both Tehran and the Lebanese group had been implicated in attacks on civilians in the past. He said the U.S. has been working with Bulgaria as the country tracks down those responsible.
    "Bulgaria will continue to have the full support of the United States in the weeks and months ahead," Brennan said.
    European security officials say that images of the attacker have not yet matched any of their databases but that it's possible the man was not on a watch list.
    Investigators know, however, that he was using multiple aliases and was wearing a wig and disguise when he was captured on closed circuit television, according to a European security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the investigation.
    Israel's military chief insisted Tuesday that Iran and Hezbollah were involved and vowed that Israel would respond to the attack.
    "We will have to find a way to respond to this attack, and not just a one-off," Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz was quoted as telling the Israeli parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee. "We will know how to do it judiciously. Ultimately, the response will come."
    His comments were relayed by a meeting participant who discussed contents from the closed session on condition of anonymity.

    Also Tuesday, Israeli and Bulgarian officials held a memorial ceremony at Burgas Airport to pay tribute to the victims of the attack, with a minute of silence and the playing of the national anthems. Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov laid a wreath.
    Misezhnikov said that some 180,000 Israeli tourists visit Bulgaria each year, and that they will continue coming in the future as well.

    Since the attack, however, thousands of Israelis have already canceled plans to vacation in Bulgaria this summer.
    Associated Press writers Paisley Dodds in London and Amy Teibel in Jerusalem contributed to this report.
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  6. #106
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Big shocker. A Guantanamo recidivist. Go figure.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Iran threatens cyber-attackers with "teeth-breaking"




    DUBAI | Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:58am EDT




    (Reuters) - The United States will face a "teeth-breaking" response if it continues to carry out cyber attacks against Iran, an Iranian official said on Wednesday.


    Iran has previously accused the United States and its allies of trying to sabotage its disputed nuclear program by using computer worms like Stuxnet, which caused centrifuges at the country's main enrichment facility to fail in 2010.


    "If the Americans' futile cyber attacks do not stop, it will face a teeth-breaking response," the Iranian Students' News agency quoted an unnamed cyber security official as saying. He gave no further details.


    Last month, Iran said it had detected plans by the United States, Israel and Britain to launch what it said was a massive cyber strike, after diplomatic efforts to curb Tehran's nuclear program broke down.


    Western powers believe Iran wants to produce atomic bombs, a charge Tehran denies. It says it only wants the technology to generate medical isotopes to treat cancer patients.


    The United States and the European Union have imposed tough sanctions on Iran, including an oil embargo, which have severely weakened its currency and driven up inflation.
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  8. #108
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Can't get to the actual web site from work, blocked.

    This is the headline though:

    US dares not to make aggression against Iran: speaker

    Xinhua - ‎22 minutes ago‎


    TEHRAN, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Majlis (parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani said Wednesday that the United States and its allies do not dare to make any aggression against Iran, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
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  9. #109
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    US says Iran plans Gulf attacks in retaliation for sanctions

    25 July 2012

    http://www.hazardexonthenet.net/arti....aspx?AreaID=2

    US government officials have told the Wall Street Journal that Iran has developed plans to disrupt international oil trade through attacks on Gulf oil platforms, pipelines and tankers. The Persian state is said to be seeking new ways to retaliate against sanctions that have cut its oil exports by 12.5% and to counter Israel's threats to bomb Iran's nuclear sites.


    This could take the form of attacks against facilities both inside and outside the Arabian Gulf, led by Iran’s elite forces or external proxies, officials said.

    Using new intelligence, the US military has conducted internal war-games and exercises to simulate how the international community could respond to an attack on an oil tanker, refinery or another part of the energy-transportation system, the Journal said.

    "It wouldn't be surprising to anyone if the Iranian regime was weighing a list of possible responses in the Gulf," a US official said. "This doesn't mean they would do something, as there are significant costs the Iranians would have to consider, but this is something to keep an eye on."

    Tehran has targeted international oil supplies in the past, most notably during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. In 1987, the US began patrolling the Gulf and Iran began mining the waters to slow warships and halt Gulf state oil exports.

    Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane through which 40% of the world’s seaborne oil shipments passes, in response to US-led oil sanctions.

    According to Reuters, more than half of Iran’s parliament last week backed a draft law to block the shipping channel to oil tankers, showing the strength of political support for the move.

    The US has increased its military presence in the Strait in an attempt to deter Iran from carrying out its threat. Measures include deploying a fleet of robot subs to prevent Iran from using mines, increasing the number of mine sweeping vessels in the region and sending a squadron of F-22 stealth fighters to a UAE air base.

    The UAE recently began its first exports from an overland pipeline that bypasses the Strait of Hormuz and may go some way to offsetting any disturbance to the regions’ water-borne oil trade. The 400-kilometre Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline carries oil from fields in the UAE’s western desert to Fujairah and will have total capacity of 1.5 million bpd of crude.

    Meanwhile Kayhan Barzegar, Director of the Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies in Tehran, gave an indication of Iranian thinking on Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government “Power and Policy” blog, quoted by The Nation.

    “While Iran’s economic interests dictate that it not close the Strait of Hormuz, it is likely that if Iran’s economic security is endangered, it will thus react because Iran’s energy exports are directly related to the country’s national security and the government’s legitimacy.

    “Iran’s reaction would be more focused on “defensive deterrence”-taking a “measured” reaction when confronting those states which have acted against Iran’s interests with sanctions. Iran had previously conducted this strategy during the Tanker War in the 1980s. In terms of conducting an asymmetric war, Iran is in a much more powerful position for conducting such operations today.”

    He said that outside of all-out war, Iran had a number of possibilities to increase pressure on its regional opponents, including the use of “smart control,” which might include inspection of transiting ships, which would increase oil side-costs such as insurance risk. Another lever might include spreading political-security instability by challenging the pillars of the Arab regimes’ legitimacy.
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    US Contradicts Israeli Official on Iranian Weapons





    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak (January 2012 file photo)





    Related Articles









    TEXT SIZE
    VOA News
    August 10, 2012

    The U.S. still believes that Iran is not on the verge of building a nuclear weapon, despite comments by Israel's defense minister that Washington has changed its assessment.

    A National Security Council spokesman confirmed Friday the U.S. government continues to assess that Iran is not on the verge of achieving a nuclear weapon, and believes there is time to continue diplomatic efforts to dissuade it from doing so.

    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio on Thursday that a new U.S. intelligence report brings Washington's assessment closer to the Israeli intelligence community's view that the Islamic Republic has made "significant" progress toward military nuclear capability.

    Barak was commenting in response to a question about a report by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz earlier Thursday. The report said President Barak Obama had received a new National Intelligence Estimate report echoing the Israeli assessment of Iran's progress toward nuclear weapons capability.

    Haaretz on Friday quoted an unnamed "senior Israeli official" as saying that due to the Iranian nuclear threat, the "sword at our throat is a lot sharper than the sword at our throat before the Six-Day War" in 1967, one of the four times Israel fought the armies of its Arab neighbors.

    The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said Friday that Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like to attack Iran's nuclear sites before the U.S. election in November but that the top officials of Israel's military and intelligence agencies all oppose attacking Iran at this time.

    The West suspects Iran wants to build nuclear weapons. Iranian officials have in the past threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. Israel has hinted at an attack if diplomatic efforts and sanctions fail to eliminate Iran's nuclear ambitions.
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  11. #111
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    10 AUG 2012 11:29 • VIEWS: 191RUSSIA MAY WITHDRAW SUPPORT FOR IRAN OVER S-300 LAWSUIT


    Russia has threatened to remove its support for Iran’s right to nuclear energy due to a lawsuit Iran has filed against Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state military export company, Kommersantreported Aug. 10, citing a source in the Russian government.
    The Iranian government filed a $4-billion suit against Rosoboronexport over its suspension of a contract to supply Iran with S-300 air defense systems.
    According to Kommersant, the Kremlin has considered Iran “ungrateful” for Russia’s consistent support to Tehran’s nuclear program.
    A source in the Russian government reportedly said that if the claim is not removed, “Iran will have to deal with the nuclear issue on the international stage alone.”
    Moscow has so far blocked sanctions against Iran. According to Kommersant, the removal of Russia’s support would reduce the risk for Israel should it decide to launch a preventive strike against Iran.
    Russia began to supply Iran with S-300 missile complexes in 2007. The contract stipulated purchases amounting to $800 million, but in 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree implementing a UN Security Council resolution, which banned the sale of advanced weapons systems to Iran.



    RELATED NEWS:





    Last edited by samizdat; August 12th, 2012 at 06:03. Reason: text color

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  12. #112
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    David Blair

    David Blair is the Chief Foreign Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph.




    Israel hints that it has already decided to bomb Iran

    By David Blair World Last updated: August 13th, 2012



    Israeli F-16. The decision to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities may already have been taken



    An extraordinary interview with an anonymous subject has appeared in Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper. In over 3,200 words of prose, the man answering the questions is referred to only as "the decision-maker". But the piece is filled with hints about his identity, to the point where anyone with the slightest grasp of Israeli politics can work out that the anonymous interviewee must be Ehud Barak, the defence minister. (To take one example, the "decision-maker" is interviewed in a room that boasts a "black grand piano". Barak is a concert pianist – there cannot be many others in the Israeli hierarchy).


    The significance of the interview is that the "decision-maker" says quite plainly that Israel cannot rely on America to take whatever action is necessary to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. And Israel’s own window for launching a preventive strike is closing more rapidly than Washington’s.


    "The gap between the two countries derives from the fact that the US and Israel have different abilities," says the interviewee.


    "As the Iranians continue to fortify their nuclear sites and disperse them and accumulate uranium, the moment is approaching when Israel will not be able to do anything. For the Americans, the Iranians are not yet approaching the immunity zone − because the Americans have much larger bombers and bombs, and the ability to repeat the operation a whole number of times. But for us, Iran could soon enter the immunity zone."


    Then the "decision-maker" (or Barak) reaches the crux of his argument: "And when that happens, it means putting a matter that is vital to our survival in the hands of the United States. Israel cannot allow this to happen. It cannot place the responsibility for its security and future in the hands of even its best and most loyal friend."


    Israel was founded to protect the Jewish people from existential threats. In the final analysis, the country’s leadership will trust no one else with this supreme responsibility. But Israel faces the danger of allowing the power to prevent Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold to slip from its hands, leaving the country with no option but to trust the US. And the interviewee is adamant that Israel would prefer to go to war rather than allow that moment to arrive.


    In fact, he gives the impression that the crucial decision has already been taken: unless American goes to war within Israel’s own time-frame for taking action (he lets slip that another year cannot be allowed to go by), then Israel will do the job itself.


    "If Israel forgoes the chance to act and it becomes clear that it no longer has the power to act, the likelihood of an American action will decrease. So we cannot wait a year to find out who was right: the one who said that the likelihood of an American action is high or the one who said the likelihood of an American action is low. We can’t wait to find out one morning that we relied on the Americans but were fooled because the Americans didn’t act in the end. We need to look at the reality right now with total clarity. Even a cruel reality must be looked at with total clarity. Israel is strong and Israel is responsible, and Israel will do what it has to do."


    The logic of these words is that Israel will act soon. Given the imminence of the US election, that probably means before November.


    Let me emphasise a few notes of caution. First, I’ve written in the past about the possibility that Israel lacks the military capability to strike decisively against Iran’s nuclear plants. Israel may simply be unable to do the job, however much its decision-makers might be convinced of the need for action.


    Second, whenever Israel talks up the possibility of war, America toughens its own rhetoric against Iran and more sanctions are imposed. This gives Israeli "decision-makers" a direct interest in upping the ante and making verbal threats.


    Finally, if the Israelis really were about to go into action – assuming they have the capability – they would not tell us beforehand. No tub-thumping belligerence would precede a war; on the contrary, it would come as a bolt from the blue.


    Nonetheless, this interview provides an extraordinary insight into Israeli thinking. Here’s what I find most striking: the whole tenor of the subject’s comments suggests that the key decision has already been taken: Israel will go to war if America does not take action itself. All that remains to be settled is the timing. If that’s a bluff, it is an extremely dangerous one.
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  13. #113
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    Israeli premier: Iran threat dwarfs all others

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012. With attack rhetoric heating up, Israel’s prime minister says the threat from Iran dwarfs all others. Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday, “Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons.” (AP Photo/Abir Sultan, Pool)

    By Amy Teibel Associated Press / August 12, 2012



    JERUSALEM—The threat from Iran dwarfs all other challenges the Jewish state faces, Israel's prime minister declared Sunday, as high-level hints of a possible Israeli attack on Iran's suspect nuclear program mounted.



    One indirect indication came Sunday, when Israel's military began sending mock text messages to cellphones warning of incoming missiles, part of a nationwide experiment that is to continue through Thursday and reach hundreds of thousands of cellphone users. Last week, defense officials confirmed that Israel's top-tier missile defense system has been upgraded.

    "All threats directed at the Israeli home front are dwarfed by another threat, different in its magnitude and substance, and so I have repeated and shall repeat: Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday.



    The prime minister's opening statement at the Cabinet meeting is open to reporters, providing him with a channel for a weekly public message.



    Skeptics say Israel is rattling its sabers as part of a diplomatic campaign but would hesitate to actually attack Iran, because of the real possibility that it could trigger an all-out war targeting Israel from several directions at once.



    Tehran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and designed to produce energy and medical isotopes, but Israel, like much of the international community, thinks it could be a cover to build bombs.



    Netanyahu said earlier this month that Israel has not decided whether to launch an attack. But he and other leading Israeli officials have noted that tough international sanctions have not pressured Iran to abandon its suspect uranium enrichment program -- a process that has civilian uses but could also be used to build bombs.



    Some senior officials have suggested in the past that Israel cannot wait beyond early fall to strike, as Iran moves key facilities into fortified underground bunkers out of the reach of Israeli bombs.



    Over the weekend, a senior "decision-maker" widely identified as Defense Minister Ehud Barak was quoted by an Israeli newspaper as saying that "the sword hanging over our neck today is a lot sharper than the sword that hung over our neck" before the Jewish state went to war with three Arab nations in 1967.



    Although Israeli leaders haven't explicitly threatened to attack, they have been saying for years that they would not tolerate a nuclear Iran, and "all options are on the table." The U.S. has a similar policy.



    Standing beside U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta earlier this month, Netanyahu warned that time was quickly running out to stop Iran from achieving nuclear capability.



    The United States has said it would be prepared to use military force to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. But with its superior firepower, it could wait longer than Israel could to strike at Iran's underground facilities, and experts have judged Washington has more than a year to act.



    Another factor in the timing could be the U.S. presidential election in November, where a Mideast flare-up sending oil prices soaring could harm President Barack Obama's re-election chances.



    White House spokesman Jay Carney said over the weekend that Obama "remains committed to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," but that the U.S. still thinks there is time to persuade Iran through sanctions and diplomacy.

    While Netanyahu and Barak have concentrated on the perceived nuclear threat, critics of an attack -- including a recently retired spymaster and onetime internal security chief -- have warned of its repercussions.



    At best, they say, Israel could set back Iran's nuclear development for two to three years, and at worst, trigger a harsh retaliation from Iran and its proxies in Lebanon and Gaza -- and possibly set off a region-wide war.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  14. #114
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    5 Signs that Israel is Close to Attacking Iran
    ForexCrunch | Aug. 12, 2012, 11:54 AM



    In the past year, it was easy to label the Israeli rhetoric about war as a diversion from burning internal affairs, such as social justice protests, tax reliefs for big companies, tax hikes for regular citizens and the issue of drafting ultra-orthodox Jews to the military. However, in the past few days, there are ominous signs that Israel is getting much closer to a strike on Iran.



    Is this another bluff? Here are 5 signs that point to higher chances that Israel might be more serious now:



    1. Prime minister given extended authority: In a fast move that was deemed by many as undemocratic, the Israeli government gave (Aug. 12th) extended decision making powers to PM Benjamin Netanyahu. The first modification of government rules since independence makes it easier to bypass opposition within the government to a strike on Iran.
    2. Israeli Home Front holds huge drill: A major drill is held this week (Aug. 13-17) to prepare the Israeli home front for the possible counter attack that Iran and / or its allies would launch on Israel.
    3. Bank of Israel gets ready: Israel highly regarded governor of the central bank, Stanley Fisher, said (Aug. 8) that he is taking steps to prepare the financial system for a possible Israeli strike on Iran.
    4. France is preparing mass evacuation: France has set up contingency plans for a mass evacuation of French nationals. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis also hold a French passport.
    5. Media Blitz: While the world is busy with so many economic issues, the debate about a strike in Iran flooded the Israeli media over the weekend, justifying such a move and preparing the public. These seem to be orchestrated by Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak, who hints that the window of opportunity is closing. This includes the usually left-leaning Haaretz, which reported (Aug. 12) that Iran made progress towards a nuclear bomb. PM Netanyahu declared that Iranian threat “dwarfs” all others. This was the first topic of his opening statement in the weekly government meeting.


    Netanyahu and Barak don’t have clear support in the Israeli public. While there’s no doubt that Israel cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran, many feel that an Israeli strike is not the way to go, and that it could be counterproductive. The current and former top military brass is opposed to the war, a


    The sanctions imposed by the US and Europe on Iran are weakening the country: oil production is falling and rising prices of food are angering the public. The public outrage, especially regarding the price of chicken, caused Iran’s national police chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moqaddam to call state television not to broadcast films where people eating chicken are seen.


    In case violence breaks out, oil prices would surely rise. The implications for currencies would be a stronger dollar and yen, with varying degrees of losses for other currencies. More details about potential currency movements are here.


    The peg of the Swiss franc to the euro could break in such an event, as the franc could attract even stronger demand. This is what happened during the Arab Spring.


    Libertatem Prius!


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  15. #115
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Report: Possible EMP Strike on Iran?

    U.S. sees signs Israel could use nuclear EMP attack against Iran



    AP



    BY: Bill Gertz

    U.S. intelligence agencies recently reported growing concerns that Israel will conduct a strike on Iran using a high-altitude nuclear burst aimed at disrupting all electronics in the country.


    The intelligence worries were triggered by recent publication of an article in the Israeli press suggesting the Jewish state should carry out an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack.


    U.S. officials said the article likely reflects official Israeli government thinking about a possible preemptive response to Iran’s expected emergence as a nuclear weapons state in the near future.


    Asked about the EMP report, an Israeli government spokesman declined to comment. A U.S. intelligence community spokesman also declined comment.


    A U.S. official said the article in question appeared Aug. 6 in the news outlet Israel National News. The article stated that an Israeli nuclear burst over Iran could “send Iran back to the Stone Age.”


    It was the first time the issue of a nuclear EMP attack by Israel had appeared in a mainstream Israeli press outlet.
    U.S. officials also suspect the article was written by someone in the Israeli government who favors such a strike. Another theory among analysts is that the Israeli government, at a minimum, encouraged publication of the article.


    The American author of the Israeli article, Joe Tuzara, wrote that growing signs Iran is speeding up development of nuclear weapons should lead Tel Aviv to launch the preemptive EMP attack.


    “For the most part, Israel’s dilemma is focused singly on the use of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) without informing the U.S.,” Tuzara stated.


    The attack could be carried out using a nuclear warhead detonated after launch by one of Israel’s Jericho III missiles at high-altitude over north central Iran.


    EMP affects computers and other electronics and would disrupt critical infrastructure that relies on electronics and electricity, such as communications, transportation, and other networks.


    The burst would create “no blast or radiation effects on the ground,” the article stated.


    “Coupled with cyber-attacks, Iranians would not know it happened except for a massive shutdown of the electric power grid, oil refineries, and a transportation gridlock,” the article said.


    “Food supply would be exhausted and communication would be largely impossible, leading to economic collapse. Similarly, the uranium enrichment centrifuges in Fordo, Natanz, and widely scattered elsewhere, would freeze for decades.”


    Around the same time the article was published, state-run media in Iran announced that Iran plans to take all key government ministries off the Internet in September to protect against cyber attacks.


    The announcement followed several cyber attacks that disabled Iranian computer networks, including those controlling the nuclear program.


    The Israeli EMP article mirrors the doomsday scenario contained in the 2009 novel “One Second After” by American writer William R. Forstchen. The book has been widely read in U.S. military and intelligence circles, and examines the aftermath of an EMP attack on an American town.


    Peter Pry, a former CIA analyst and a leading U.S. specialist on EMP, said he doubts the allegations that Israel is planning an EMP strike.


    “It is not based on any Israeli source, but is the result of the U.S. media recycling its own speculation,” Pry told the Free Beacon in an email.


    Pry said he was present at a meeting with a U.S. journalist who first advocated the idea. The notion was later picked up and reported by other U.S. reporters.


    Pry said the speculation “is creating a misimpression that there is some credible Israeli source behind it.”


    “In fact, I have been to Israel, at the invitation of their government, to help convince officials that Israel should protect its electric grid from EMP,” said Pry, who now heads a group called EMPact America.


    “I have been invited to return to continue this mission in October,” he said. “If Israel has such high confidence in the efficacy of an EMP attack, why do they need to be educated on the consequences to their own grid by me?”


    Pry also said it is not clear an EMP attack would shut down the Iranian nuclear program since Iran’s centrifuges, which are being used to spin uranium gas into nuclear weapons fuel, are underground in bunkers protected from earth-penetrating weapons.


    He also said the electromagnetic shockwave produced by an EMP blast could affect centrifuges, but the wave cannot penetrate too deeply into the earth.


    “The EMP would certainly take down Iran’s national electric grid, and nuclear weapons programs do require vast amounts of electricity (less so when based on centrifuges),” Pry said. “But the underground facilities probably have emergency generators.”


    “An EMP attack could conceivably stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program, not by destroying nuclear facilities, but by paralyzing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and allowing the people to successfully revolt and achieve regime change,” Pry said.


    Tuzara said his analysis of the prospect of a preemptive strike is based on five signs that Iran has reached what Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has called a “zone of immunity.”


    They include Iran’s plans to speed up uranium enrichment to 80 to 90 percent or weapons grade; along with indications that Iran has tested its ballistic missiles in an EMP mode with help from North Korea.


    Other indicators include reports that Iran can further enrich its stocks of low-enriched uranium for weapons; and satellite photos that show recent fortification of underground nuclear facilities in Iran.


    Last, the Iranians have begun loading fuel rods into the core of the Bushehr nuclear power plant reactor.


    “In light of the latest developments, there is no question that Iran is now a de facto nuclear state—a ‘casus belli’ for Israeli military action,” Tuzara said.


    U.S. intelligence analysts and military intelligence officials are on high alert for any indications Israel will conduct a strike on Iran that could lead to a large-scale regional conflict.


    Some U.S. officials believe Israel could conduct some type of action against Iran in October, prior to the U.S. presidential election.


    America’s closest ally in the Middle East might act without warning.


    U.S. concerns over an Israeli attack were heightened by Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, who said July 25 that any military strikes to set back Iran’s nuclear program would be costly, but that the loss of human life in a future Iranian nuclear attack on Israel would be far greater.


    Iran has threatened counterattacks against Israel if it conducts a strike.


    Iranian legislator Avaz Heidarpour was quoted in state-run Fars News Agency that if Israel attacks Iran, Iran could not guarantee that even one single Zionist living in the occupied Palestinian territories will survive.


    “We have no doubt that the Zionists’ claims about attacking Iran are nothing but psychological warfare,” he said.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  16. #116
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Here we go...

    US disowns Israel over Iran strike: No weapons or military backup

    DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 1, 2012, 10:04 AM (GMT+02:00)


    Putin gave Comrade Obama more time

    US Gen. Martin Dempsey’s assertion Thursday, Aug. 30 that the US would not be “complicit” in an Israel strike against Iran, together with the drastic reduction in the scale of next month’s joint US-Israeli war game disclosed by TIME, add up to a blunt message from US President Barack Obama to Israel: You are on your own! See how you manage without special US weapons and US military backup, including a shield against missile counter-attack, if you decide to defy us and go through with a military operation against Iran.

    Instead of the 5,000 US troops originally assigned for Austere Challenge 12, the annual joint exercise, the Pentagon will send only 1,200 to 1,500 service members. The missile interception systems at the core of the joint exercise will be reduced in number and potency: Patriot anti-missiles will come without crews and maybe one instead of two Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense warships, according to the magazine.

    debkafile’s military sources: The Obama administration has put Israel on harsh notice that an attack on Iran to disrupt or delay its nuclear armament will be refused US missile backup - both in the course of the operation and to cover Israel’s back in the event of a counter-strike widening into a general Middle East conflict. The Netanyahu government will bear full and exclusive responsibility for the consequences of attacking Iran.

    Obama, who has repeatedly pledged his commitment to Israeli security, is the first American president to cut Israeli adrift against a major threat to its security explicitly posed by Iran.

    The US president has put his campaign for reelection next month at great albeit calculated risk. His rival Mitt Romney will not doubt follow up on the charges he made during his acceptance speech to the Republican convention Thursday that Obama threw “allies like Israel under the bus” and failed utterly to stop Iran’s centrifuges spinning.

    Obama may find the Jewish vote and campaign contributions fading. For Romney an incumbent president throwing Israel to the wolves against the ayatollahs is a dream come true.

    Binyamin Netanyahu and his defense minister Ehud Barak must bear some of the onus for one of the most damaging ruptures US-Israel relations have ever faced - as will be discussed later. However, the prime cause must be sought elsewhere.

    In the last month, Obama has undergone a change of face: The top US soldier and ambassador Dan Shapiro were told to start treating Israel like a pest and telling its leaders that the administration is fed to the teeth with their clamor for action on Iran.

    This change did not come out of the blue. debkafile’s Washington and Moscow sources report it evolved from three events:

    1. During this month, President Vladimir Putin severed Russia’s military ties with Iran and Syria as debkafile reported earlier: Obama reciprocated by cutting Israel down to size. Moscow informed Tehran and Damascus that there would be no more Russian arms supplies after the delivery of the last items in the pipeline. Putin therefore left both Iran and Syria high and dry amid war dangers in return for Obama cutting Israel off from advance military hardware at a time of peril.

    The Russian and American leaders thus put in place the first bricks of an accord for resolving their disputes over a nuclear Iran and the Syrian crisis by the device of slashing the military capacity of Iran, Israel and Syria.

    The Russian president took another step as a gesture to Obama: He pulled Russian warships out of the Syrian base of Tartus and the eastern Mediterranean, leaving only a floating dry dock.

    In return, he counted on Washington forcing Israel to abandon any plans to strike Iran.

    2. But this exercise in symmetrical reciprocity ran into a major snag: Obama found a tough nut in Jerusalem: Binyamin Netanyahu held out for a pledge of US military action against Iran as his price for holding back. Despite the massive pressure Obama threw at the Israeli government, both through the highest ranking US political and military channels and by mobilizing the government’s most vocal opponents and anti-war circles at home, Netanyahu and Barak did not budge.

    They understood, despite Obama’s concealment, that the secret US-Russian deal would in fact preserve Iran’s nuclear program at a point at which Iran’s leaders could have a weapon assembled and unsheathed at any moment.

    The also realized that as long as Israel’s military option against Iran was alive, the Obama-Putin deal was stuck, because both Iran’s Ali Khamenei and Syria’s Bashar Assad would likewise refuse to fall into line.


    When Romney said he would give America’s friends “more loyalty” and Putin “a little less flexibility and more backbone,” he was referring to President Obama’s request from Putin on June 18, at the G20 conference in Mexico, for more time against his promise to the Russian leader of “more flexibility” later.

    To keep his deal with Putin in motion, the US president will have to tighten his squeeze on Israel’s leaders to forego an attack on Iran.

    3. The Netanyahu government, for its part, committed three tactical errors:


    One: They dragged out the dialogue on Iran with the US administration for far too long - three years or more – and come away for it empty-handed. If their purpose was to persuade the United States to carry the can against Iran, as many Israelis believed, they failed. No Israeli leader has the right to procrastinate to this extent on action affecting its fundamental security, if not existence. Netanyahu fell into the trap of crying wolf by shouting year after year that Iran must be stopped – and doing nothing.

    Two: Israel’s deterrent capacity, already sapped by inaction, was further eroded by US General Martin Dempsey’s assertions that Israel lacks the capacity to destroy the Iranian nuclear program.

    Three: They failed to act expeditiously to prevent the political opposition using a campaign against an attack on Iran as a stratagem for bringing the government down.

    It has been four weeks since the former Mossad director Ephraim Halevi said that if he was an Iranian, he would be worried in the next twelve weeks.

    That was on Aug. 2.

    Thursday, Aug. 30, Halevi said: “It is important for Israel’s military threat to be credible.”


    He was throwing down the gauntlet for Netanyahu and Barak to show they were serious about striking Iran – or else back down completely.

    His timeline gives them another eight weeks to show their mettle. During that time, they will be under heavy bombardment from Washington.

    Barack Obama poised to announce the 'red lines' that would trigger a US attack on Iran

    Barack Obama is ready to set out the "red lines" that would trigger a US attack on Iran if it continues to press ahead with its nuclear programme, it was claimed on Monday.


    President Barack Obama takes the stage to speaks at a campaign event at Scott High School in Toledo, Ohio Photo: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

    By Adrian Blomfield, Middle East Correspondent and Robert Tait

    6:45PM BST 03 Sep 2012

    As his naval forces prepare to stage unprecedented manoeuvres in the Persian Gulf, the president is said to be seeking to match growing military pressure on Tehran by making an explicit declaration of what the US will not tolerate.

    Mr Obama has faced mounting criticism from Israel for failing publicly to state how far he is prepared to allow Iran to go before ordering military action.

    Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, accused the president of lacking "resolve" on Sunday when he denounced the international community for not "placing a clear red line" for Iran.

    Anxious to prevent Israel launching a unilateral attack, Mr Obama is considering complying with Mr Netanyahu's demand, the New York Times said.

    An internal debate is under way within the White House as to how specific a warning to Iran should be, with some advisers reportedly urging him that only a strong public commitment to military action will serve to restrain Israel.

    Related Articles




    With persistent speculation that Mr Netanyahu could order an attack before the US elections in November, Mr Obama has faced a delicate balancing act in his attempts to offer his ally a credible alternative to a military strike.

    While he wants to demonstrate the sincerity of his warning that he will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, he also wants to ensure that Tehran has a peaceful way out if it chooses to take it.

    Seeking to demonstrate the seriousness of the president's intent, the United States and 25 other states will lead the largest-ever minesweeping exercise in the Persian Gulf later this month.

    Officials say the manoeuvres are in direct response to Iran's threats to seal the Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important waterway. At the same time Washington is to place a new X-Band radar in Qatar, complementing two other systems erected in Israel and Turkey, that will be able to detect missile launches from across Iran.

    The United States is also understood to be considering reviving intelligence attempts to sabotage Iran's nuclear facilities.

    But even taken together, these steps are considered less important to Israel than a public declaration by Mr Obama about what would bring about American military action.

    Disagreements over where the red lines should be drawn are still thought to persist, however. Israel wants to ensure that Iran is stopped before it develops the capacity to build a nuclear weapon and is pressing the Americans to impose a deadline after which sanctions will be replaced with force.

    Mr Obama is believed to want more leeway and even as he has sought to reassure Israel he has taken steps to restrain it as well.

    Washington is reported to have greatly reduced the scale of US participation in a joint military exercise to be held in Israel next month, slashing the number of troops to be deployed by two-thirds.

    More significantly, the number of missile interceptors that were to be sent to Israel for the manoeuvres has also been reduced.

    Some in Israel had seen the exercises as a cover to help the country defend itself from retaliation by Iran and its proxies if Mr Netanyahu launched an attack on Tehran's nuclear facilities. The scaled-back participation by the US could be meant to reinforce American warnings against a unilateral Israeli military strike, a former Israeli government official said.

    Meanwhile, Iran sought to demonstrate that it had honed its ability to withstand an attack on its nuclear facilities yesterday, claiming that it was on the path to installing a sophisticated domestically-produced air defence system.

    Brig Gen Farzad Esmaili, commander of the Khatam al-Anbiya air defence base, said that the Bavar 373 would be an improvement on the S300 missiles Iran was thwarted from acquiring from Russia because of international sanctions.

    "The new system has higher and more developed capabilities than the S300 for discovering, identifying and destroying the targets while tracking them," he told a conference in Tehran.



    U.S. denies secret deal with Iran to stay out of future war with Israel

    Mark Felsenthal, Reuters | Sep 3, 2012 3:25 PM ET
    More from Reuters


    Amos Ben Gershom/GPO via Getty Images

    Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu talks with U.S. president Barack Obama in March 2012. The two have a frosty relationship.

    TOLEDO, Ohio – The White House on Monday denied an Israeli newspaper report that accused Washington of secretly negotiating with Tehran to keep the United States out of a future Israel-Iran war.

    The Jewish state also played down the front-page report in its biggest-selling daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, which followed unusually public disagreement between the allies about how to tackle Iran’s controversial nuclear program.

    “It’s incorrect, completely incorrect,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told Reuters while accompanying President Barack Obama on a campaign trip in Ohio. “The report is false and we don’t talk about hypotheticals.”

    Related




    Without naming its sources, Yedioth said Washington had approached Tehran through two unidentified European countries to convey the message that the United States would not be dragged into fighting if Israel carried out threats to attack Iran.

    Yedioth said the United States told Iran it should in return refrain from retaliating against U.S. interests, including its military in the Gulf.

    In Jerusalem, an Israeli official, who asked not to be identified, described the report as illogical.

    “It doesn’t make sense,” the official said. “There would be no need to make such a promise to the Iranians because they realize the last thing they need is to attack U.S. targets and draw massive U.S. bombing raids.”

    In appearances on Sunday and Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged world powers to set a “clear red line” for Tehran’s atomic program that would convince Iran they were determined to prevent it from obtaining nuclear arms. Such remarks have been portrayed in Israel as criticism of Obama.

    Obama, who seeks re-election in November, is fighting accusations from his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, that he is lax in support for Israel.

    The Obama administration says it is strongly committed to Israel’s security and to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear program is entirely peaceful and has vowed far-ranging reprisals if attacked.


    David Buimovitch/AFP
    /Getty ImagesIsraelis in Tel Aviv protest against a possible Israeli strike on Iran. Tensions between the two countries have risen over Iran's nuclear program, which Israel says is meant to eventually produce nuclear weapons.


    The United States and Israel both accuse Iran of secretly seeking the means to make nuclear arms and say they reserve the right to take military action to prevent Iran from getting them.

    However, the Obama administration has repeatedly made clear in public that it thinks diplomacy and tough new sanctions have not yet run their course, even as Israeli officials say the window for effective military action is rapidly closing.

    Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said he still believed Obama’s assurances that Washington was prepared to use force if needed to prevent Iran from developing a bomb.

    “I don’t know what kind of messages Yedioth Ahronoth heard,” Meridor said. “But I think the Iranians understand … that if they cross a line towards a bomb, they could encounter very strong resistance, including all the options that are on the table – as the American president has said.”

    Obama has had frosty relations with the right-wing Netanyahu, who is due to visit the United States this month.

    The Nov. 6 presidential election is seen hinging mostly on the U.S. economy with foreign policy taking a back seat. But support for Israel is an important issue for many U.S. voters, including evangelical Christians as well as Jews who could prove critical in battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania.
    The Iranians realize the last thing they need is to attack U.S. targets and draw massive U.S. bombing raids
    Obama wants to shore up his advantage among Jewish voters. He received 78% of the Jewish vote in the 2008 election, but a nationwide Gallup poll in June showed him down to 64% backing versus Romney’s 29%.

    Administration officials have also made clear they regard the prospect of an Israeli attack on Iran with alarm.

    General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was quoted in Britain’s Guardian newspaper as saying of a prospective Israeli attack on Iran: “I don’t want to be complicit if they choose to do it.”

    The Obama administration and the European Union imposed harsh new sanctions on Iran in July. U.S. officials say they hope that this will persuade Iran to curb its nuclear projects.

    Of Dempsey’s comments, Meridor said: “I’m sorry we’ve reached the situation where Dempsey said what he said, but this campaign [against Iran] is continuing and it must be conducted very wisely.”

    Netanyahu’s cabinet is divided over the wisdom of attacking Iran, and Israeli officials have dropped heavy hints of a retreat on their strategy, under which Netanyahu would shelve threats of an attack now in return for a stronger public pledge from Obama on conditions that would provoke U.S. action in the future.

    “The greater the resolve and the clearer the red line, the less likely we’ll have conflict,” Netanyahu said on Monday.

    Nasrallah: Iran could strike US bases if attacked

    By REUTERS
    09/03/2012 22:52
    "The response will be very great," Hezbollah leader says, but adds he doesn't believe J'em will launch a strike soon.


    Photo: REUTERS/ Ahmad Shalha

    Iran could strike US bases in the Middle East in response to any Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities, the leader of Lebanon's Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah said on Monday.

    "A decision has been taken to respond and the response will be very great," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview with the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen television.





    "The response will not be just inside the Israeli entity - American bases in the whole region could be Iranian targets," he said, citing information he said was from Iranian officials. "If Israel targets Iran, America bears responsibility."

    But Nasrallah said there were divisions in Israel over attacking Iran's nuclear facilities, which the West says could be part of a nuclear weapons program - a charge which Tehran denies.

    "Personally I do not expect the Israeli enemy - at least in the coming months or foreseeable future - (to wage) an attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran," he said.


    Yediot Ahronoth reported Monday that the US recently used two European countries to send messages to Iran saying the US would not be dragged into an Israeli attack, and in return expected Iran to refrain from striking US strategic targets in the region.

    The White House sharply denied that report.

    "It's incorrect, completely incorrect," White House spokesman Jay Carney said while accompanying Obama on a campaign trip in Ohio. "The report is false and we don't talk about hypotheticals."

    Intelligence Agencies Minister Dan Meridor said he did not "know what kind of messages Yediot Ahronoth heard, but I think the Iranians understand ... that if they cross a line towards a bomb, they could encounter very strong resistance, including all the options that are on the table - as the American president has said."

    Meridor, in an Israel Radio interview, said he did not sense a rupture in Israel's ties with the United States and stressed that it was very important to maintain Washington's support.

    Meridor added that the international effort against Iran was taking its toll on the Iranians, who may now fear enriching uranium to a higher, bomb-grade level because of the knowledge they could encounter very strong resistance if they crossed the line towards acquiring a nuclear bomb.

    'US to Iran: In case of Israeli strike, don’t fire on our bases’


    Washington tells Tehran that it will not join in an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program, Yedioth Ahronoth reports

    By Ron Friedman September 3, 2012, 8:16 am


    The flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln as it patrols the Persian Gulf (photo credit: AP/Hassan Ammar)


    The United States has no intention of joining in a preemptive Israeli strike on Iran and expects the Islamic Republic to refrain from attacking US targets in the case of such an attack, senior Washington officials told their Iranian counterparts, according to a report in Yedioth Ahronoth on Monday.

    In recent days, senior administration officials reportedly sent messages to Iran, through diplomats from two European states, addressing the possibility that Israel would launch a unilateral strike and establishing that the US expects Iran to not draw it into a conflict by firing on American army bases and aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf.

    Monday’s report came amid widespread debate over the level of coordination between Israel and the US on halting Iran’s nuclear program, which — despite assurances by US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro on Sunday that the relationship is as good as ever — appeared to be strained.

    While Israel has warned that the Iranians are quickly approaching a potential weapons capability and that the use of force must be seriously considered, the US says sanctions and international diplomacy must be given more time to work.

    Highlighting the disagreement between the two countries on the use of force were reports of a scaling-down of joint US-Israel missile defense exercises in October, and public comments by the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, who said last Thursday that he did not want to be “complicit” in an Israeli attack on Iran.

    Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at criticism of the US position on Iran, telling ministers at the weekly Cabinet meeting that the international community has failed to send a clear message to Iran regarding its nuclear program. Netanyahu said that while international sanctions have harmed Tehran, they haven’t done “anything to stall the progress of the nuclear program.”
    On Saturday, former minister Tzachi Hanegbi said the United States is not determined to halt Iran from getting a bomb and last eek’s IAEA report, which indicated that Iran has expanded its capacity for uranium enrichment, granted Israel even more legitimacy to strike Iran on its own.
    Meanwhile, the New York Times reported on Monday that the Obama Administration is installing new curbs against Iran as a way to calm Israel and keep Jerusalem from launching an attack. It asserted that the president was considering a declaration of American “red lines.”



    France: Israeli strike on Iran could backfire


    French FM warns that attack on Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities would allow Iran to cast itself as victim

    Attila Somfalvi

    Published: 09.03.12, 20:24 / Israel News
    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned on Monday that an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities would backfire, the DPA news agency reported.

    "I'm absolutely hostile to Iran having nuclear weapons but I think that if there were an Israeli attack, unfortunately it could come back to haunt Israel by (allowing) Iran to cast itself as a victim," Fabius, was quoted as saying. The minister made the remarks in an interview with France's BFM TV.

    Related articles:



    "We're saying we should increase sanctions and, at the same time, continue negotiating with Iran to make it give in," he said.

    The United Nations, US and European Union have imposed a series of sanctions on Iran over its uranium enrichment program.



    'Sanctions starting to take effect.' Fabius (Photo: Reuters)

    According to the report, Fabius said the sanctions, which were expanded in July to include an EU oil embargo, were "starting to be effective". He did not expand on what any forthcoming sanctions, saying only: "We are studying all formats."

    Clear red line


    Fabius' comments echoed remarks made recently by US officials, who appear to be making efforts to deter Israel from employing the military option.

    Last week Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey reiterated his stance that the IDF cannot stop Iran's atom aspirations, saying that "I don't want to be complicit if they (Israel) choose to do it."
    Two weeks ago, the US general stressed that an Israeli attack could only delay the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

    On Monday, Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the US indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli military operation against the country as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf.

    The White House adamantly denied the report.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with American and Israeli war veterans on Monday, said that the "cruel regime" in Iran is forging ahead with its nuclear program because it cannot see "a clear red line." He urged the international community to show its determination against the Islamic Republic's nuclearization in order to minimize the risk of conflict.

    Earlier Monday, Iran's air defense commander, Farzad Esmaili, said that his country has completed roughly 30% of a missile defense system that is meant as an alternative to the Russian S-300 system, which Moscow refused to sell Tehran. He said the system is slated to be completed by next year.

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  17. #117
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    My take.. Russia and the US have made a "deal"....

    "We will pull out of the area and leave Syria and Iran alone to fend for themselves, if you leave Israel alone"

    Or the mirror image:

    "We will stay out of assisting Israel if you will simply pull out of Iran and Syria long enough for Israel to hang itself"

    Either way works and a deal was cut.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  18. #118
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Either way, there's a LOT of on-going talk about this.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  19. #119
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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Iran 'will attack US bases in the Persian Gulf if Israel bombs its nuclear facilities'

    Iran will attack American military bases in the Persian Gulf if Israel bombs its nuclear facilities, the head of Hizbollah, the militant Lebanese Shia movement, has warned.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Photo: EPA/GALI TIBBON









    By Adrian Blomfield, Jerusalem

    6:38PM BST 04 Sep 2012




    Hasan Nasrallah, who has led Tehran's most powerful proxy group for 10 years, disclosed that Iranian officials were intent on dragging the United States into war if it fails to prevent Israel from taking military action.

    "A decision has been taken to respond and the response will be very great," Mr Nasrallah told Al Mayadeen, a Beirut-based television station.



    "The response will not just be inside the Israeli entity. American bases in the whole region could be Iranian targets. If Israel targets Iran, America bears responsibility."



    The purported Iranian threat appears to be designed to prey on President Barack Obama's greatest fear that he could become entangled in a war not of his own choosing.



    His administration has struggled in recent weeks to restrain Israel amid increasingly bellicose rhetoric from its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Related Articles

    Senior US government officials have spoken of not wanting to be "complicit" in a unilateral Israeli attack against Iran's nuclear installations, which some have speculated could come before Americans go to the polls in November.
    But if Israel were to take action, Mr Obama would come under pressure to side with Israel, seen by many Americans as their closest ally.


    If Iran were to make good its threat, he might have no choice but to become involved – presenting him with the most unwanted of distractions as he seeks a second term.


    For Israel, the risks of unilateral action are great, although Mr Netanyahu believes they could be even greater if he did nothing and Iran acquired a nuclear weapon.


    Apart from its own arsenal of long-range missiles, Iran could unleash proxies like Hizbollah, its Shia protégé, which has an arsenal of tens of thousands of rockets, some capable of reaching Tel Aviv.


    Mr Nasrallah did not specifically say he would order Hizbollah into action if Israel did strike at Iran, but he boasted that he could retaliate with huge force if the Jewish state attacked Lebanon. He even hinted that his militants could invade the Galilee.


    But he also insisted that Hizbollah would never use chemical weapons against Israel amid fears that Syria's stockpiles were becoming increasingly insecure as the country civil war grinds on.


    "We don't have chemical weapons and we cannot use them for reasons linked to the Sharia and for humanitarian reasons," he said.


    As tensions mount in the Middle East, the United States is preparing to escalate pressure on Iran by mounting the largest ever multi-nation minesweeping exercise in the Persian Gulf later this month.


    But Iran laughed of the manoeuvres on Tuesday.


    "The Americans live with the delusion that they are powerful," said Adm Ali Fadavi, the most senior naval commander in Iran's elite Republican Guards.


    "But the Islamic Revolution's power is derived from God's eternal power and it is incomparable."


    A second naval commander, Adm Habibollah Sayyari, repeated claims that Iran aims to station its warships in international waters off the American coastline "in the next few years".
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: War with Iran about to start?

    Canada closes embassy in Iran, expels Iranian diplomats

    CTV News: Canada closes embassy in Iran: Video

    The Canadian government has shut its embassy in Iran and ordered all Iranian diplomats to leave the country. Richard Madan reports.

    CTV Montreal: Iranians shocked at expulsion


    A diplomatic row has lead Canada to give Iranian diplomats their marching papers, Tarah Schwartz reports.

    Power Play: Iranian diplomats asked to leave



    Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, an Israeli ambassador and an expert look at Canada's decision to close Iranian embassies and give diplomats five days to get out.

    Photos


    The door of the Iranian embassy in Ottawa is shown Friday Sept. 7, 2012. (Fred Chartrand / . THE CANADIAN PRESS)


    Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announces Canada is breaking diplomatic relations with Iran during an availability at the APEC Summit in Vladivostok, Russia, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

    CTVNews.ca Staff
    Published Friday, Sep. 7, 2012 9:57AM EDT

    Canada abruptly closed its embassy in Iran and expelled Iranian diplomats in Ottawa Friday, citing safety concerns in Tehran and the long-standing view that Iran is a significant threat to global peace.

    "The Iranian regime has shown blatant disregard for the Vienna Convention and its guarantee of protection for diplomatic personnel," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Friday, formally listing Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism.

    "Under the circumstances, Canada can no longer maintain a diplomatic presence in Iran,” he said in a statement. “Our diplomats serve Canada as civilians and their safety is our No. 1 priority."

    Baird said the Iranian regime’s support of Syrian president Bashar Assad, Iran’s refusal to comply with the UN’s resolutions on its nuclear program and its regular threats to Israel make it “among the world’s worst violators of human rights.”

    “This was a decision that we took very seriously,” Baird told CTV’s Power Play Friday afternoon in a telephone interview from Russia, where he is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
    Baird denied that the move was a preemptive response to a planned Israeli attack on Iran, as some observers have speculated.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly hinted that he is prepared to authorize an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities if international sanctions and diplomatic measures don’t do the trick.

    “We’ve received no notice from any other country…that there is any imminent military action,” Baird said, adding: “Unequivocally no.”

    He said Ottawa waited to formally sever ties with Iran until all Canadian diplomats and embassy staff safely left the country. The last members of the group left Iran yesterday, he said.

    Iranian diplomats in Ottawa have been instructed to leave within five days.

    A note written in Persian and posted on the door of the Iranian embassy in Ottawa read: "Because of the hostile decision by the government of Canada, the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Ottawa is closed and has no choice but to stop providing any consular services for its dear citizens.”

    On Friday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada issued an advisory against all travel to Iran.

    “Because of heightened regional tensions, Canadians travellers in Iran will be closely watched by Iranian authorities,” reads a statement on the department’s website. “Iranian irritation at the recent Embassy closure may heighten this scrutiny of Canadians.”

    Canadians were warned that using cameras in public places in Iran, travelling beyond well-established tourist areas, and casual interactions with Iranians could lead to an investigation and harassment.

    “Canadian travellers may be arbitrarily questioned, arrested and detained for a long period,” the statement reads.

    Those seeking services of the Canadian consulate in Iran are being directed to the embassy in Turkey.

    Baird’s announcement ‘a bold stroke’

    Although Canada's relations with Iran have been strained at times since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, many political observers are questioning Ottawa’s sudden decision to sever diplomatic ties with the country.

    “I really can’t see the rationale of this move,” former Canadian ambassador to Iran, Kenneth Taylor, told CTV News Channel Friday.

    “It’s a very bold stroke to sever diplomatic relations and close the embassy within five days.”

    If, as Baird argues, Iran poses such a big threat, it’s more important to have Canadian officials on the ground who can “size up the situation and report from the spot,” Taylor said.

    He added that Iran will either “play this up big or shrug it off.”

    Miriam Ziv, Isreal’s ambassador to Canada, told Power Play that Baird’s announcement was “a very welcome move,” since Iran has not responded to condemnations from the international community over its nuclear program and human rights violations.

    Asked about a potential military strike against Iran, Ziv said that “all options are on the table,” reiterating the Israeli government’s previous responses to the question.

    At this point, Israel is still focused on exerting pressure on Iran by way of international sanctions, which must get tougher, Ziv said.

    A history of diplomatic tensions

    The Canadian embassy in Iran was also closed in the 1980s for eight years after Canadians spirited American diplomats out of Tehran during the post-revolution hostage crisis.

    The two countries eventually returned to normal diplomatic relations with an exchange of ambassadors in 1996.
    The relationship chilled again in 2003 after a freelance photographer with dual Canadian-Iranian citizenship was killed while in custody in Iran.

    Canada described the death as a state-sanctioned murder and recalled its ambassador.

    During a meeting with Russia’s foreign affairs minister on Friday, Baird said he delivered Canada’s condemnation of Iran “in no uncertain terms.”

    He also asked Russia to reconsider its support of the Assad regime.

    Russia has blocked UN Security Council resolutions that would have sanctioned the Assad regime, which has been trying to put down an 18-month uprising.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you’ll
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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