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Israel, US & UK Consider Attack On Iran: Corporate-Fascists Clamor for Iran War
11-07-2011, 10:32 PM,
Rainbow  Dissecting the Iran ‘Terror Plot’
Dissecting the Iran ‘Terror Plot’

by Gareth Porter
Global Research, November 7, 2011
Consortiumnews - 2011-11-05

As Israel again ratchets up its threats to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, anti-Iran propaganda, which could rally the American people behind another Middle East war, becomes critical. At this key moment, Gareth Porter takes a deeper look at an alleged Iranian assassination plot.

At a press conference on Oct. 11, the Obama administration unveiled a spectacular charge against the government of Iran: The Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had plotted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, right in Washington, DC, in a place where large numbers of innocent bystanders could have been killed.

High-level officials of the Qods Force were said to be involved, the only question being how far up in the Iranian government the complicity went.

The U.S. tale of the Iranian plot was greeted with unusual skepticism on the part of Iran specialists and independent policy analysts, and even elements of the mainstream media. The critics observed that the alleged assassination scheme was not in Iran’s interest, and that it bore scant resemblance to past operations attributed to the foreign special operations branch of Iranian intelligence.

The Qods Force, it was widely believed, would not send a person like Iranian-American used-car dealer Manssor Arbabsiar, known to friends in Corpus Christi, Texas, as forgetful and disorganized, to hire the hit squad for such a sensitive covert action.

But administration officials claimed they had hard evidence to back up the charge. They cited a 21-page deposition by a supervising FBI agent in the “amended criminal complaint” filed against Arbabsiar and an accomplice who remains at large, Gholam Shakuri. [1]

It was all there, the officials insisted: several meetings between Arbabsiar and a man he thought was a member of a leading Mexican drug cartel, Los Zetas, with a reputation for cold-blooded killing; secretly recorded, incriminating statements by Arbabsiar and Shakuri, his alleged handler in Tehran; and finally, Arbabsiar’s confession after his arrest, which clearly implicates Qods Force agents in a plan to murder a foreign diplomat on U.S. soil.

A close analysis of the FBI deposition reveals, however, that independent evidence for the charge that Arbabsiar was sent by the Qods Force on a mission to arrange for the assassination of Jubeir is lacking. The FBI account is full of holes and contradictions, moreover.

The document gives good reason to doubt that Arbabsiar and his confederates in Iran had the intention of assassinating Jubeir, and to believe instead that the FBI hatched the plot as part of a sting operation.

Case of the Missing Quotes

The FBI account suggests that, from the inaugural meetings between Arbabsiar and his supposed Los Zetas contact, a Drug Enforcement Agency informant, Arbabsiar was advocating a terrorist strike against the Saudi embassy.

The government narrative states that, in the very first meeting on May 24, Arbabsiar asked the informant about his “knowledge, if any, with respect to explosives” and said he was interested in “among other things, attacking an embassy of Saudi Arabia.”

It also notes that in the meetings prior to July 14, the DEA informant “had reported that he and Arbabsiar had discussed the possibility of attacks on a number of other targets,” including “foreign government facilities associated with Saudi Arabia and with another country,” located “within and outside the United States.”

But the allegations that the Iranian-American used-car salesman wanted to “attack” the Saudi embassy and other targets rest entirely upon the testimony of the DEA informant with whom he was meeting. The informant is a drug dealer who had been indicted for a narcotics violation in a U.S. state but had the charges dropped “in exchange for cooperation in various drug investigations,” according to the FBI account.

The informant is not an independent source of information, but someone paid to help pursue FBI objectives.

The most suspicious aspect of the administration’s case, in fact, is the complete absence of any direct quote from Arbabsiar suggesting interest in, much less advocacy of, assassinating the Saudi ambassador or carrying out other attacks in a series of meetings with the DEA informant between June 23 and July 14.

The deposition does not even indicate how many times the two actually met during those three weeks, suggesting that the number was substantial, and that the lack of primary evidence from those meetings is a sensitive issue.

And although the FBI account specifies that the July 14 and 17 meetings were recorded “at the direction of law enforcement agents,” it is carefully ambiguous about whether or not the earlier meetings were recorded.

The lack of quotations is a crucial problem for the official case for a simple reason: If Arbabsiar had said anything even hinting in the May 24 meeting or in a subsequent meeting at the desire to mount a terrorist attack, it would have triggered the immediate involvement of the FBI’s National Security Branch and its counter-terrorism division.

The FBI would then have instructed the DEA informant to record all of the meetings with Arbabsiar, as is standard practice in such cases, according to a former FBI official interviewed for this article. And that would mean that those meetings were indeed recorded.

The fact that the FBI account does not include a single quotation from Arbabsiar in the June 23-July 14 meetings means either that Arbabsiar did not say anything that raised such alarms at the FBI or that he was saying something sufficiently different from what is now claimed that the administration chooses not to quote from it.

In either case, the lack of such quotes further suggests that it was not Arbabsiar, but the DEA informant, acting as part of an FBI sting operation, who pushed the idea of assassinating Jubeir. A possible explanation is that Arbabsiar was suggesting surveillance of targets that could be hit if Iran were to be attacked by Israel with Saudi connivance.

“The Saudi Arabia” and the $100,000

The July 14 meeting between Arbabsiar and the DEA informant is the first from which the criminal complaint offers actual quotations from the secretly recorded conversation. The FBI’s retelling supplies selected bits of conversation — mostly from the informant — aimed at portraying the meeting as revolving around the assassination plot. But when carefully studied, the account reveals a different story.

The quotations attributed to the DEA informant suggest that he was under orders to get a response from Arbabsiar that could be interpreted as assent to an assassination plot. For example, the informant tells Arbabsiar, “You just want the, the main guy.”

There is no quoted response from the car dealer. Instead, the FBI narrative simply asserts that Arbabsiar “confirmed that he just wanted the ‘ambassador.’” At the end of the meeting, the informant declares, “We’re gonna start doing the guy.” But again, no response from Arbabsiar is quoted.

Two statements by the informant appear on their face to relate to a broader set of Saudi targets than Adel al-Jubeir. The informant tells Arbabsiar that he would need “at least four guys” and would “take the one point five for the Saudi Arabia.”

The FBI agent who signed the deposition explains, “I understand this to mean that he would need to use four men to assassinate the Ambassador and that the cost to Arbabsiar of the assassination would be $1.5 million.” But, apart from the agent’s surmise, there is no hint that either cited phrase referred to a proposal to assassinate the ambassador.

Given that there had already been discussion of multiple Saudi targets, as well as those of an unnamed third country (probably Israel), it seems more reasonable to interpret the words “the Saudi Arabia” to refer to a set of missions relating to Saudi Arabia in order to distinguish them from the other target list.

Then the informant repeats the same wording, telling Arbabsiar he would “go ahead and work on the Saudi Arabia, get all the information that we can.” This language does not show that Arbabsiar proposed the killing of Jubeir, much less approved it.

And the FBI narrative states that the Iranian-American “agreed that the assassination of the Ambassador should be handled first.” Again, that curious wording does not assert that Arbabsiar said an assassination should be carried out first, but suggests he was agreeing that the subject should be discussed first.

The absence of any quote from Arbabsiar about an assassination plot, combined with the multiple ambiguities surrounding the statements attributed to the DEA informant, suggest that the main subject of the July 14 meeting was something broader than an assassination plot, and that it was the government’s own agent who had brought up the subject of assassinating the ambassador in the meeting, rather than Arbabsiar.

The government reconstruction of the July 14 meeting also introduces the keystone of the Obama administration’s public case: $100,000 that was to be transferred to a bank account that the DEA informant said he would make known to Arbabsiar.

The FBI deposition asserts repeatedly that whenever Arbabsiar or the DEA informant mention the $100,000, they are talking about a “down payment” on the assassination. But the document contains no statement from either of them linking that $100,000 to any assassination plan. In fact, it provides details suggesting that the $100,000 could not have been linked to such a plan.

The FBI deposition states that the informant and Arbabsiar “discussed how Arbabsiar would pay [the informant],” but offers no statement from either individual even mentioning a “payment,” or any reason for transferring the money to a bank account. Furthermore, it does not actually claim that Arbabsiar made any commitment to any action against Jubeir at either the July 14 or 17 meetings.

And when the informant is quoted in the July 17 meeting as saying, “I don’t know exactly what your cousin wants me to do,” it appears to be an acknowledgement that he had gotten no indication prior to July 17 that Arbabsiar’s Tehran interlocutors wanted the Saudi ambassador dead.

The deposition does not even claim that Arbabsiar’s supposed handlers had approved a plan to kill Jubeir until after the Iranian-American returned to his native country on July 20.

Nevertheless, Arbabsiar is quoted telling the informant on July 14 that the full $100,000 had already been collected in cash at the home of “a certain individual.” Preparations for the transfer of the $100,000 had thus commenced well before the assassination plot allegedly got the green light.

The amount of $100,000 does not even appear credible as a “down payment” on a job that the FBI account says was to have cost a total of $1.5 million. It would represent a mere 6 percent of the full price.

Bearing in mind that the DEA informant was supposed to be representing the demand of a ruthlessly profit-motivated Los Zetas drug cartel for a high-stakes political assassination well outside its purview, 6 percent of the total would represent far too little for a “down payment.”

The $100,000 wire transfer must have been related to an understanding that had been reached on something other than the assassination plan. Yet it has been cited by the administration and reported by news media as proof of the plot — and key evidence of Iran’s complicity therein. [2]

The Qods Force Connection

The FBI account of the July 17 meeting shows the DEA informant leading Arbabsiar into a statement of support for an assassination. The informant, obviously following an FBI script, says, “I don’t know what exactly your cousin wants me to do.”

But the deposition notes “further conversation” following that invitation for a clear position on a proposal coming from the informant, indicating that what Arbabsiar was saying did not support the administration’s allegation that assassination plot was coming from Tehran.

After the FBI evidently sought again to get the straightforward answer it was seeking, however, Arbabsiar is quoted as saying: “He wants you to kill this guy.”

The informant then presents a fanciful plan to bomb an imaginary restaurant in Washington where Arbabsiar was told the Saudi ambassador liked to dine twice a week and where many “like, American people” would be present.

“You want me to do it outside or in the restaurant?” asks the informant, to which question the Iranian-American replies, “Doesn’t matter how you do it.” At another point in the conversation, Arbabsiar goes further, saying, “They want that guy done. If the hundred go with him, fuck ‘em.”

These statements appear at first blush to be conclusive evidence that Arbabsiar and his Iranian overseers were contracting for the assassination of Jubeir, regardless of lives lost. But there are two crucial questions that the FBI account leaves unanswered: Was Arbabsiar speaking on behalf of the Qods Force or some element of it?

And if he was, was he talking about a plan that was to go into effect as soon as possible or was it understood that they were talking about a contingency plan that would only be carried out under specific circumstances?

The deposition includes several instances of Arbabsiar’s bragging about a cousin who is a general, out of uniform and involved in covert external operations, including in Iraq — clearly implying that he belongs to the Qods Force.

Arbabsiar is said to have claimed that the cousin and another Iranian official gave him funds for his contacts with the drug cartel. “I got the money coming,” he says.

Subsequently, in one of the most extensive quotations from the recorded conversations, Arbabsiar says, “This is politics, so these people they pay this government … he’s got the, got the government behind him … he’s not paying from his pocket.”

The FBI narrative identifies the person referred to here as Arbabsiar’s cousin, a Qods Force officer later named as Abdul Reza Shahlai, but again, there is not a single direct quotation backing the claim. And the reference to “these people” who “pay this government” suggests that “he” is connected to a group with illicit financial ties to government officials.

This excerpt could be particularly significant in light of press reports quoting a U.S. law enforcement official saying that Arbabsiar had offered “tons of opium” to the drug cartel and that he and the informant had discussed what the New York Times called a “side deal” on the Iranian-held narcotics. [3]

If these reports are accurate, it seems possible that Arbabsiar approached Los Zetas on behalf of Iranians who control a portion of the opium being smuggled through Iran from Afghanistan, while seeking to impress the drug cartel operative with his claim to have close ties to the Qods Force through Shahlai.

But if the DEA informant then pressed him to authenticate his Qods Force connection, he may have begun discussing covert operations against Iran’s enemies in North America.

The only alleged evidence that Arbabsiar was speaking for Shahlai and the Qods Force is Arbabsiar’s own confession, summarized in the criminal complaint. But, at minimum, that testimony was provided after he had been arrested and had a strong interest in telling the FBI what it wanted to hear.

The deposition makes much of a series of three phone conversations on Oct. 4, 5 and 7 between Arbabsiar and someone who Arbabsiar tells his FBI handlers is Gholam Shakuri, presenting them as confirmation of the involvement of Qods Force officers in the assassination scheme.

But the FBI apparently had no way of ascertaining whether the person to whom Arababsiar was talking was actually Shakuri. After the Oct. 4 call, for example, the FBI account merely records that Arbabsiar “indicated that the person he was speaking with was Shakuri.”

On their face, moreover, these conversations prove nothing. In the first of the three calls, the person at the other end of the line, whom Arbabsiar identifies to his FBI contact as Shakuri but whose identity is not otherwise established, asks, “What news … what did you do about the building?”

The FBI agent again suggests, “based on my training, experience and participation in this investigation,” that these queries were a “reference to the plot to murder the Ambassador and a question about its status.”

But Arbabsiar is said to have claimed in his confession that he was instructed by Shakuri to use the code word “Chevrolet” to refer to the plot to kill the ambassador. In a second recorded conversation, Arbabsiar immediately says, “I wanted to tell you the Chevrolet is ready, it’s ready, uh, to be done. I should continue, right?”

After further exchange, the man purported to be “Shakuri” says, “So buy it, buy it.” Despite the obvious invocation of a code word, it remains unclear what Arbabsiar was to “buy.” “Chevrolet” could actually have been a reference to a drug-related deal, or a generic plan having to do with Saudi and other targets, or something else.

In a third recorded conversation on Oct. 7, both Arbabsiar and “Shakuri” refer to a demand by a purported cartel figure for another $50,000 on top of the original $100,000 transferred by wire earlier. But there is no other evidence of such a demand. It appears to be a mere device of the FBI to get “Shakuri” on record as talking about the $100,000.

And here it should be recalled that the account in the deposition shows that the transfer of the $100,000 had been agreed on before any indication of agreement on a plan to kill the ambassador.

The invocation of a fictional demand for $50,000, along with the dramatic difference between the first conversation and the second and third conversations, suggests yet another possibility: The second and third conversations were set up in advance by Arbabsiar to provide a transcript to bolster the administration’s case.

Terrorist Plot or Deterrence Strategy?

Even if Qods Forces officials indeed directed Arbabsiar to contact the Los Zetas cartel, it cannot be assumed that they intended to carry out one or more terrorist attacks in the United States. The killing of a foreign ambassador in Washington (not to speak of additional attacks on Saudi and Israeli buildings), if linked to Iran, would invite swift and massive U.S. military retaliation.

If, on the other hand, the Qods Force men instructed Arbabsiar to conduct surveillance of those targets and prepare contingency plans for hitting them if Iran were attacked, the whole story begins to make more sense.

Iran lacks the conventional means to deter attack by a powerful adversary. In its decades-long standoffs with the United States and Israel, amidst recurrent talk of “preemptive” strikes by those powers, Iran has relied on threats of proxy retaliation against U.S. and allied state targets in the Middle East. [4]

The Iranian military support for Lebanon’s Hizballah, in particular, is widely recognized as prompted primarily by Iran’s need to deter U.S. and Israeli attack. [5]

In one case in 1994-1995, Saudi Arabian Shi‘a militants carried out surveillance of potential U.S. military and diplomatic targets in Saudi Arabia, in a way that was quickly noticed by U.S. and Saudi intelligence. [6]

Although the consensus among U.S. intelligence analysts was that Iran was preparing for a terrorist attack, Ronald Neumann, then the State Department’s intelligence officer for Iran and Iraq, noted that Iran had done the same thing whenever U.S.-Iranian tensions had risen.

He suggested that Iran could be using the surveillance for deterrence, to let Washington know that its interests in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere would be in danger if Iran were attacked. [7]

Unfortunately for Iran’s deterrent strategy, however, Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda was also carrying out surveillance of U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia, and in November 1995 and again in June 1996, that group bombed two facilities housing U.S. servicemen.

The bombing of Khobar Towers in June 1996, which killed 19 U.S. soldiers and one Saudi Arabian, was blamed by the Clinton administration’s FBI and CIA leadership on Iranian-sponsored Shi‘a from Saudi Arabia, with prodding from Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, despite the fact that bin Laden claimed responsibility not once but twice, in interviews with the London-based newspaper, al-Quds al-‘Arabi. [8]

Hani al-Sayigh, one of the Saudi Arabian Shi‘a accused by the Saudi and U.S. governments of conspiring to attack the Khobar Towers, admitted to Assistant Attorney General Eric Dubelier, who interviewed him at a Canadian detention facility in May 1997, that he had participated in the surveillance of U.S. military targets in Saudi Arabia on behalf of Iranian intelligence.

But, according to the FBI report on the interview, al-Sayigh insisted that Iran had never intended to attack any of those sites unless it was first attacked by the United States. And when Dubelier asked a question later in the interview that was based on the premise that the surveillance effort was preparation for a terrorist attack, al-Sayigh corrected him. [9]

With threats of an Israeli or U.S. bombing attack on Iran, with Saudi complicity, mounting since the mid-2000s, a similar campaign of surveillance of Saudi and Israeli targets in North America would fit the framework of what the Pentagon has called Iran’s “asymmetric warfare doctrine.”

If Arbabsiar spoke of such a campaign in his initial meeting with the DEA informant, he certainly would have piqued the interest of FBI counter-terrorism personnel. And this scenario would also explain why the series of meetings in late June and the first half of July did not produce a single statement by Arbabsiar that the administration could quote to advance its case that the Iranian-American was interested in assassinating Adel al-Jubeir or carrying out other acts of terrorism.

A plan to conduct surveillance and be ready to act on contingency plans would also explain why someone as lacking in relevant experience and skills as Arbabsiar might have been acceptable to the Qods Force.

Not only would the mission not have required absolute secrecy; it would have been based on the assumption that the surveillance would become known to U.S. intelligence relatively quickly, as did the monitoring of U.S. targets in Saudi Arabia in 1994-1995.

The Qods Force officials were certainly well aware that the Drug Enforcement Agency had penetrated various Mexican drug cartels, in some cases even at the very top level. U.S. court proceedings involving Mexican drug traffickers who were highly placed in the Sinaloa drug cartel between 2009 and early 2011 reveal that the U.S. made deals with leaders of the cartel to report what they knew about rival cartel operations in return for a hands-off approach to their drug trafficking. [10]

Further underlining the degree to which the cartels were honeycombed with people on the U.S. payroll, the DEA informant in this case was not merely posing as a drug trafficker but is reportedly an actual associate of Los Zetas with access to its upper echelons, who has been given immunity from prosecution to cooperate with the DEA. [11]

When Did Arbabsiar Join the Sting?

The Obama administration’s account of the alleged Iranian plot has Arbabsiar suddenly changing from terrorist conspirator to active collaborator with the FBI upon his Sept. 29 arrest at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

He is said to have provided a confession immediately upon being apprehended, after waiving his right to a lawyer, and then to have waived that right repeatedly again while being interviewed by the FBI. Then Arbabsiar cooperated in making the series of secretly recorded phone calls to someone he identified as Shakuri.

For someone facing such serious charges to provide the details with which to make the case against him, while renouncing benefit of counsel, is odd, to say the least. The official story raises questions not only about what agreement was reached between Arbabsiar and the FBI to ensure his cooperation but about when that agreement was reached.

One clue that Arbabsiar was brought into the sting operation well before his arrest is the DEA informant’s demand in a Sept. 20 phone conversation with Arbabsiar in Tehran that he either come up with half the $1.5 million total fee or come to Mexico to be the guarantee that the full amount would be paid.

Yet the FBI account of that conversation shows Arbabsiar telling the informant, without even consulting with his contacts in Tehran, “I’m gonna go over there [in] two [or] three days.” Later in the same evening, he calls back to ask how long he would need to remain in Mexico.

Even if Arbabsiar were as feckless as some reports have suggested, he would certainly not have agreed so readily to put his fate in the hands of the murderous Los Zetas cartel — unless he knew that he was not really in danger, because the U.S. government would intercept him and bring him to the United States.

Making the episode even stranger, Arbabsiar’s confession claims that when he told Shakuri about the purported Los Zetas demand, Shakuri refused to provide any more money to the cartel, advised him against going to Mexico and warned him that if he did so, he would be on his own.

Further supporting the conclusion that Arbabsiar had become part of the sting operation before his arrest is the fact there was no reason for the FBI to pose the demand — through the DEA informant – for more money or Arbabsiar’s presence in Mexico except to provide an excuse to get him out of Iran, so he could provide a full confession implicating the Qods Force and be the centerpiece of the case against Iran.

The larger aim of the FBI sting operation, which ABC News has reported was dubbed Operation Red Coalition, was clearly to link the alleged assassination plot to Qods Force officers.

The logical moment for the FBI to have recruited the Iranian-American would have been right after the FBI recorded him talking about wiring money to the bank account and casually approving the idea of bombing a restaurant and before his planned departure from Mexico for Iran.

The only way to ensure that Arbabsiar would come back, of course, would be to offer him a substantial amount of money to serve as an informant for the FBI during his stay in Iran, which he would receive only upon returning.

If Arbabsiar had already been enlisted, of course, it would also mean the keystone of the case — the wiring of $100,000 to a secret FBI bank account — was a part of the FBI sting.

FBI Trickery in Terrorism Cases

FBI deceit in constructing a case for an Iranian terror plot should come as no surprise, given its record of domestic terrorism prosecutions based on sting operations involving entrapment and skullduggery.

Central to these stings has been the creation of fictional terrorist plots by the FBI itself. In 2006 the “Gonzales Guidelines” for the use of FBI informants removed previous prohibitions on actions to “initiate a plan or strategy to commit a federal, state or local offense.” [12]

Perhaps the most notorious of all these domestic terrorism sting operations is the case in which Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain, leaders of their Albany, New York, mosque, were sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for allegedly laundering profits from the sale of a shoulder-launched missile for a Pakistani militant group that was planning to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat in New York City.

In fact, there was no such terrorist plot, and the alleged crime was the result of an elaborate FBI scam directed against two innocent men. [13] It began when an FBI informant pretending to be a Pakistani businessman insinuated himself into Hossain’s life and extended him a $50,000 loan for his pizza parlor.

Only months after the informant had begun loaning the money did he show Hossain a shoulder-launched missile, and suggest that he was also selling arms to his “Muslim brothers.” It was a devious form of entrapment; the prosecutors later argued that Hossain should have known the loan could have come from money made in the sale of weapons to terrorists and was therefore guilty of money laundering.

The FBI approach to entrapping Hossain’s friend Aref was even more underhanded. Aref was never even made aware of the missile or the phony story of the illegal arms sale. But on one occasion, when he was present to witness the transfer of loan money, what was later said to have been the missile’s trigger system was left on a table in the room.

Prosecutors then argued the theory that Aref had seen the trigger, which looks much like a staple gun, and thus had become part of a conspiracy to “assist in money laundering.”

Many other domestic terrorism cases have involved deceptive tactics and economic inducements deployed by the FBI to involve American Muslims in fictional terrorist plots. The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University’s Law School found more than 20 terrorism cases that involved some combination of “paid informants, selection of investigation based on perceived religious identity, [and] a plot that was created by the government.” [14]

This history makes it clear that the Justice Department and FBI are prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to fabricate terrorism cases against targeted individuals, and that misrepresenting these individuals’ intentions and actual behavior has long been standard practice.

The trickery and deceit in past “counter-terrorism” sting operations provides further reason to question the veracity of the Obama administration’s allegations in the bizarre case of Manssor Arbabsiar.

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in 2006. [This article was originally published by Middle East Research and Information Project.]


[1] The full text of the “amended criminal complaint” is online at:
[2] See New York Times, October 12, 2011 and Reuters, October 12, 2011.
[3] See New York Times, October 12, 2011 and Bloomberg, October 12, 2011.
[4] For an official US recognition of Iran’s “assymetric warfare doctrine” as a tool of deterrence of “any would-be invader,” see Department of Defense, Unclassified Report on Military Power of Iran, April 2010, p. 1.
[5] See, for example, Michael Young, “Another Israel-Hezbollah War?” Middle East Security at Harvard, National Security Study Program, February 28, 2008:
[6] See Los Angeles Times, October 15, 1997 and Steve Coll, Ghost Wars (New York: Penguin Books, 2004), p. 276.
[7] Gareth Porter, “US Officials Leaked a False Story Blaming Iran,” Inter Press Service, June 24, 2009.
[8] Gareth Porter, “FBI Ignored Compelling Evidence of Bin Laden Role,” Inter Press Service, June 25, 2009.
[9] Gareth Porter, “US May Have Concealed Deterrent Aim of Iranian Plan,” Inter Press Service, October 21, 2011.
[10] New York Times, October 24, 2011.
[11] So said ProPublica reporter Sebastian Rotella in his podcast of October 18, 2011, online at:…
[12] Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Targeted and Entrapped: Manufacturing the “Homegrown Threat” in the United States (New York, 2011), p. 14.
[13] This account of the case is drawn from Petra Bartosiewicz, “To Catch a Terrorist,” Harper’s (August 2011).
[14] Targeted and Entrapped, pp. 50-52, fn 17.
11-07-2011, 10:43 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-07-2011, 11:00 PM by R.R.)
RE: Israel, US & UK Consider Attack On Iran
Quote:Russia warns against military strike on Iran

07 Nov 2011 20:16

Source: reuters // Reuters

By Thomas Grove and Gleb Bryanski

MOSCOW/ST PETERSBURG, Russia, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Russia and Iran warned the West against a military strike on the Islamic Republic on Monday, saying an attack targeting its nuclear programme would lead to civilian casualties and create new threats to global security.

The separate remarks by foreign ministers Sergei Lavrov of Russia and Ali Akbar Salehi of Iran coincided with speculation about a potential Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear sites ahead of the release of a U.N. watchdog report expected to cast more light on suspected military aspects to Iran's nuclear activity.

"This would be a very serious mistake fraught with unpredictable consequences," Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow when asked about reports that Israel was preparing for a possible pre-emptive military strike.

In St. Petersburg, Russia, Salehi said Iran "condemns any threat of military attack on independent states."

Salehi spoke alongside Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and other ministers from nations in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional grouping dominated by Russia and China in which Iran has observer status.

Germany's Foreign Ministry also rejected military action against Iran, suggesting that the dispute should be resolved through diplomatic pressure instead. "This continues to be the key way to move forward in dealing with this threat to regional and international security," a spokesman said.

A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, due out this week, may strengthen suspicions that Tehran is seeking to develop the capability to make atomic bombs and lead to Western calls for further U.N. sanctions on Iran.

Russia and China grudgingly supported four previous rounds of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme. But the two veto-wielding U.N. Security Council members have made clear any new sanctions would be an extremely tough sell.

Moscow is calling for a step-by-step process under which the existing sanctions would be eased in return for actions by Iran to dispel concerns over its nuclear programme, which Tehran says is purely peaceful.

Russia, which has built Iran's first nuclear power station, has vociferously opposed any military action.


"There is no military solution to the Iranian nuclear problem as there is no military solution to any other problem in the modern world," said Lavrov.

"This is confirmed to us every day when we see how the problems of the conflicts around Iran are being resolved -- whether Iraq or Afghanistan or what is happening in other countries in the region. Military intervention only leads to many times more deaths and human suffering."

Reflecting regional fear of blowback from any attack on Iran, a government official in Kuwait said the Gulf state would not let its territory be used to launch attacks on any of its neighbours. Kuwait was a launchpad for the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and lies a short distance from Iran across the Gulf.

Salehi echoed Lavrov's words hours later.

"Past experience has shown that wilful, unilateral military actions by certain countries have led to instability, to the murder of innocent people and to the emergence of new threats to the world," he said at the SCO meeting.

Israeli media have been rife with talk that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is working to secure cabinet consensus for an attack on Iranian nuclear installations.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman George Little said the United States remained focused on using diplomatic and economic levers to pressure Iran.

Asked whether he believed Israel would give the United States advance notice in the event of military action against Iran, Little said: "It would always of course be preferable on a matter as grave as this to work closely with the Israelis."

A military strike would likely provoke Tehran into hugely disruptive retaliatory measures in the Gulf that would sever shipping routes and disrupt the flow of oil and gas to export markets, political analysts believe.

It would sour ties between the West and Russia, where Putin is expected to return to the presidency in 2012.

Senior Russian security officials accept that the West has legitimate concerns about Iran's nuclear programme. But Putin has said several times in the past that there was no clear evidence that Iran is trying to develop a nuclear bomb.

Quote:Iran has mastered critical N-steps: Report

November 08, 2011

WASHINGTON: The Iranian government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon after receiving assistance from foreign scientists, according to the Washington Post.

Citing unnamed Western diplomats and nuclear experts familiar with new intelligence to be released to the United Nations, the newspaper said a former Soviet weapons scientist had allegedly tutored Iranians on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.

Crucial technology linked to experts in Pakistan and North Korea also helped propel Iran to the threshold of nuclear capability, the report said.

An intelligence update will be circulated among International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) members on Tuesday or Wednesday. It is expected to focus on Iran’s alleged efforts towards putting radioactive material in a warhead and developing missiles.

Iranian officials have already seen the Vienna-based Iaea’s information, diplomats told AFP, and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in comments published in Iran on Sunday that it was based on “counterfeit” claims.

However, Western officials said the intelligence reinforced concerns that Iran continued to conduct weapons-related research after 2003 when, according to US intelligence agencies, Iranian leaders halted such experiments in response to international and domestic pressures, the Post said.

The paper noted that one key breakthrough that had not been publicly described was Iran’s success in obtaining design information for a device known as a R265 generator.

The device is a hemispherical aluminum shell that is lined with pellets of high explosives and electrically wired so the detonations occur in split-second precision, the report said. The explosions compress a small sphere of enriched uranium or plutonium to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.

Creating such a device is a formidable technical challenge, and Iran needed outside assistance in designing the generator and testing its performance, the paper said.

According to the intelligence provided to the Iaea, key assistance in both areas was provided by Vyacheslav Danilenko, a former Soviet nuclear scientist who was contracted in the mid-1990s by Iran’s Physics Research Centre, the paper said.

I had to repeatedly check it was IraN and not IraQ I was reading about. Has the public learnt nothing since the WMD debacle?
Quote:IAEA says foreign expertise has brought Iran to threshold of nuclear capability

By Joby Warrick, Monday, November 7, 2:41 AM

Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.

Documents and other records provide new details on the role played by a former Soviet weapons scientist who allegedly tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction, the officials and experts said. Crucial technology linked to experts in Pakistan and North Korea also helped propel Iran to the threshold of nuclear capability, they added.

The officials, citing secret intelligence provided over several years to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the records reinforce concerns that Iran continued to conduct weapons-related research after 2003 — when, U.S. intelligence agencies believe, Iranian leaders halted such experiments in response to international and domestic pressures.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog is due to release a report this week laying out its findings on Iran’s efforts to obtain sensitive nuclear technology. Fears that Iran could quickly build an atomic bomb if it chooses to has fueled anti-Iran rhetoric and new threats of military strikes. Some U.S. arms-control groups have cautioned against what they fear could be an overreaction to the report, saying there is still time to persuade Iran to change its behavior.

Iranian officials expressed indifference about the report.

“Let them publish and see what happens,” said Iran’s foreign minister and former nuclear top official, Ali Akbar Salehi, the semiofficial Mehr News Agency reported Saturday.

Salehi said that the controversy over Iran’s nuclear program is “100 percent political” and that the IAEA is “under pressure from foreign powers.”

‘Never really stopped’

Although the IAEA has chided Iran for years to come clean about a number of apparently weapons-related scientific projects, the new disclosures fill out the contours of an apparent secret research program that was more ambitious, more organized and more successful than commonly suspected. Beginning early in the last decade and apparently resuming — though at a more measured pace — after a pause in 2003, Iranian scientists worked concurrently across multiple disciplines to obtain key skills needed to make and test a nuclear weapon that could fit inside the country’s long-range missiles, said David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector who has reviewed the intelligence files.

“The program never really stopped,” said Albright, president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security. The institute performs widely respected independent analyses of nuclear programs in countries around the world, often drawing from IAEA data.

“After 2003, money was made available for research in areas that sure look like nuclear weapons work but were hidden within civilian institutions,” Albright said.

U.S. intelligence officials maintain that Iran’s leaders have not decided whether to build nuclear weapons but are intent on gathering all the components and skills so they can quickly assemble a bomb if they choose to. Iran has consistently maintained that its nuclear activities are peaceful and intended only to generate electricity.

The IAEA has declined to comment on the intelligence it has received from member states, including the United States, pending the release of its report.

But some of the highlights were described in a presentation by Albright at a private conference of intelligence professionals last week. PowerPoint slides from the presentation were obtained by The Washington Post, and details of Albright’s summary were confirmed by two European diplomats privy to the IAEA’s internal reports. The two officials spoke on the condition of anonymity, in keeping with diplomatic protocol.

Albright said IAEA officials, based on the totality of the evidence given to them, have concluded that Iran “has sufficient information to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device” using highly enriched uranium as its fissile core. In the presentation, he described intelligence that points to a formalized and rigorous process for gaining all the necessary skills for weapons-building, using native talent as well as a generous helping of foreign expertise.

“The [intelligence] points to a comprehensive project structure and hierarchy with clear responsibilities, timelines and deliverables,” Albright said, according to the notes from the presentation.

Key outside assistance

According to Albright, one key breakthrough that has not been publicly described was Iran’s success in obtaining design information for a device known as an R265 generator. The device is a hemispherical aluminum shell with an intricate array of high explosives that detonate with split-second precision. These charges compress a small sphere of enriched uranium or plutonium to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.

Creating such a device is a formidable technical challenge, and Iran needed outside assistance in designing the generator and testing its performance, Albright said.

According to the intelligence provided to the IAEA, key assistance in both areas was provided by Vyacheslav Danilenko, a former Soviet nuclear scientist who was contracted in the mid-1990s by Iran’s Physics Research Center, a facility linked to the country’s nuclear program. Documents provided to the U.N. officials showed that Danilenko offered assistance to the Iranians over at least five years, giving lectures and sharing research papers on developing and testing an explosives package that the Iranians apparently incorporated into their warhead design, according to two officials with access to the IAEA’s confidential files.

Danilenko’s role was judged to be so critical that IAEA investigators devoted considerable effort to obtaining his cooperation, the two officials said. The scientist acknowledged his role but said he thought his work was limited to assisting civilian engineering projects, the sources said.

There is no evidence that Russian government officials knew of Danilenko’s activities in Iran. ­E-mails requesting comment from Russian officials in Washington and Moscow were not returned. Efforts to reach Danilenko through his former company were not successful.

Iran relied on foreign experts to supply mathematical formulas and codes for theoretical design work — some of which appear to have originated in North Korea, diplomats and weapons experts say. Additional help appears to have come from the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, whose design for a device known as a neutron initiator was found in Iran, the sources said. Khan is known to have provided nuclear blueprints to Libya that included a neutron initiator, a device that shoots a stream of atomic particles into a nuclear weapon’s fissile core at the start of the nuclear chain reaction.

One Iranian document provided to the IAEA portrayed Iranian scientists as discussing plans to conduct a four-year study of neutron initiators beginning in 2007, four years after Iran was said to have halted such research.

“It is unknown if it commenced or progressed as planned,” Albright said.

The disclosures come against a backdrop of new threats of military strikes on Iran. Israeli newspapers reported last week that there is high-level government support in Israel for a military attack on Iran’s nuclear installations.

“One of the problems with such open threats of military action is that it furthers the drift towards a military conflict and makes it more difficult to dial down tensions,” said Peter Crail, a nonproliferation analyst with the Arms Control Association, a Washington advocacy group. “It also risks creating an assumption that we can always end Iran’s nuclear program with a few airstrikes if nothing else works. That’s simply not the case.”
11-07-2011, 11:32 PM,
RE: Israel, US & UK Consider Attack On Iran
Quote:On “Nuclear Iran” Allegations: Nanodiamonds Ain’t Nuclear Bombs

Moon of Alabama | November 7, 2011

The Washington Posts alleges that the IAEA says foreign expertise has brought Iran to threshold of nuclear capability. This is of course a lie. The IAEA says nothing like that. This is simply an assertion made by the reporter and some “nuclear Iran” scare propagandists.

And what would “to threshold of nuclear capability” actually mean? That Iran would be capable, like Japan, Brazil, the Netherlands or some 40 other countries, to build a nuclear bomb if it would choose to do so? What would be new, wrong or dangerous with that?

The piece goes into some details, provided mostly by chief nuclear scare monger David Albright, about allegedly “new” stuff some secret services handed to the IAEA. To see how misleading these allegations are lets look at just one detail. A Ukrainian expert for creating nanodiamands is described as “weapon scientist” and “nuclear scientist” even when all his published work is about the synthesizing of very small diamonds:

Documents and other records provide new details on the role played by a former Soviet weapons scientist who allegedly tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction, the officials and experts said.

According to the intelligence provided to the IAEA, key assistance in both areas was provided by Vyacheslav Danilenko, a former Soviet nuclear scientist who was contracted in the mid-1990s by Iran’s Physics Research Center, a facility linked to the country’s nuclear program. Documents provided to the U.N. officials showed that Danilenko offered assistance to the Iranians over at least five years, giving lectures and sharing research papers on developing and testing an explosives package that the Iranians apparently incorporated into their warhead design, according to two officials with access to the IAEA’s confidential files.

Dr. Vyacheslav Danilenko is a well known Ukrainian (“former Soviet”) scientist. But his specialties are not “weapon” or “nuclear” science, indeed there seems to be nothing to support that claim, but the production of nanodiamonds via detonations (ppt). According to the history of detonation nanodiamonds he describes in chapter 10 of Ultrananocrystalline Diamond – Synthesis, Properties, and Applications (pdf) he has worked in that field since 1962, invented new methods used in the process and is related with Alit, an Ukrainian company that produces nanodiamonds.

This is a detonation tank to create nanodiamonds, not a nuclear device.

Very small diamonds are useful for many purposes, like polishing optics or PC hard disks. That is why, for example, Drexel University in Philadelphia invited Danilenko for a talk at its Nanotechnology Institute:

On January 29, the AJ Drexel Nanotechnology Institute sponsored a Nanodiamond Lecture, “Nanodiamonds: Reactor Design and Synthesis,” by noted Ukrainian scientist Dr. Vyacheslav Danilenko. Dr. Danilenko was among the first to demonstrate detonation synthesis of diamonds and has more than 30 years experience in the design of reactors for the synthesis of nanodiamonds.

Some years ago Iran launched a big Nano Technology Initiative which includes Iranian research on detonation nanodiamonds (pdf). Iran is planing to produce them on industrial scale. It holds regular international conferences and invites experts on nanotechnology from all over the world. It is quite likely that famous international scientists in that field, like Dr. Danilenko, have been invited, gave talks in Iran and cooperate with its scientists.

Producing nanodiamonds via detonations uses large confined containers with water cooling, for which Danilenko seems to have a patent. The Ukrainian company he works with, Alit, shows such a detonation chamber on its webpage as does the picture above. The detonation nanodiamond explanation thereby also fits with another allegation from the IAEA report:

The Associated Press reported that U.N. officials have acquired satellite photos of a bus-size steel container used by Iran for some of the explosives testing.

[Image: dettank.jpg]

See the picture above and the one on the Alit web page. Iran having a “bus-size steel container” for explosive testing and research cooperation with Danilenko both fit very well with Iran’s plans for nanodiamond production. They do not fit well with anything nuclear.

In his power-point presentation on detonation nanodiamonds on a bigger scale Danilenko recommends:

Use for industrial production of DND:
• charges ≥ 20 kg, explosion under water in close pool (in heavy metal cover), laser initiation;

• utilization of old ammunition under water in close pool;

Use of old ammunition in a closed water pool? Does that sound sound like something that “the Iranians apparently incorporated into their warhead design” as WaPo alleges? On what facts is that “apperently” inuendo based on?

But how or why should the production of detonation nanodiamonds relate to nuclear bombs at all? Why would someone even think they are related?

It may be because both use precise detonations. But they do so on a very different scales and in very different conditions. A sphere explosion for a nuclear device doesn’t use a confined container and water cooling. But a lot of other physics fields, for example seismological research, also use precise detonations. There is nothing especially “nuclear” about them.

Just because a certain method like precise detonations is used in Iran, does not imply that it is used for what Mr. Albright and some “western agencies” claim. Nanodiamonds ain’t nuclear weapons.

Danilenko’s lifelong expertise is with nanodiamonds, not with nuclear weapons. It is much more plausible, and fitting the evidence, that Iran is working with him in his original capacity than in a field outside his main expertise.

If this is the general quality of the “new evidence” on Iran then it is quite worthless. This seems to be just more innuendo and dirt thrown towards Iran with the hope that something, anything might stick.
11-08-2011, 02:29 AM,
RE: Israel, US & UK Consider Attack On Iran
Cheers for all helping to make this a comprehensive thread people! There's a good range of info here too. We are clearly on this one like flies to...well Wink But it's good.

R.R, no, I don't think people have learnt a thing since the Iraq WMD situation...sadly. We all can help this though simply by telling people, not that there is a plan to attack Iran, but why it's ridiculous to suggest Iran could pose a Nuclear threat at this time to anyone but themselves (through a power plant melt down, the only real way damage could be done with their facility for a fair while yet). So thanks for that post as well Bull Medicine!

It's got silly though, they don't even have the missile technology to deliver such a weapon even if they had one anyway. But the more pressure that is put on them, the more I can see them turning to China and Russia for military support/defence if attacked. If they enter a military situation that already would be far above and beyond the resistance faced in Afghanistan or Iraq, and rightly so, don't get me wrong.

Let's hope this is just "rumours of war" and doesn't lead into what we have seen enough of in recent times.
"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." -- 1 John 2:6
"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly... This is the interrelated structure of reality." -- Martin Luther King Jr.
"He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him." -- Proverbs 18:13
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." -- Leo Tolstoy
"To love is to be vulnerable" -- C.S Lewis

The Kingdom of God is within you! -- Luke 17:20-21
11-08-2011, 02:58 AM, (This post was last modified: 11-08-2011, 03:07 AM by R.R.)
RE: Israel, US & UK Consider Attack On Iran
Quote:Five reasons that Israel and the United States might want to think long and hard about preemptively striking Iran's nuclear facilities.


1. There's no good end state. Striking Iranian nuclear sites is like mowing the grass. Unless a strike succeeded in permanently crippling the Iranian capacity to produce and weaponize fissile material, the grass would only grow back again. And no strike -- or even series of strikes -- can accomplish this. Iran's hardened sites, redundancy of facilities, and secret locations present significant obstacles to a successful attack. Even in the best-case scenario -- an incomplete strike that, say, set back the Iranian nuclear program by two to three years -- the Iranians would reseed it with the kind of legitimacy and urgency that can only come from having been attacked by an outside power. Self-defense would then become the organizing principle of Iran's nuclear program; it would resonate tremendously throughout the Middle East and even in the international community.

The counterargument of course is that the Israelis would cut the grass periodically, striking Iran every 18 months or so. But this situation is probably untenable; it would put Iran and Israel in a permanent state of confrontation and keep the region burning for years to come.

2. No one can prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Except Iran. The fact is that India, Pakistan, North Korea, and even Israel -- nations with both a profound sense of insecurity and entitlement -- have all developed nuclear weapons secretly. Iraq and Syria were on their way, too. Iran, under the Shah, was also committed to a nuclear program and might, over time, have tried to weaponize.

But denying Iran a weapon means more than taking away the toys; it means changing the national calculation and motivation of a power that historically has imagined itself as a great nation. Even in the unlikely event Iran became a democracy, its own regional image and ambitions might still impel it to develop a nuclear capacity. At a minimum, denying Iran nuclear weapons means fundamentally changing the mullahcracy in Tehran; a military strike by the Israelis might do just the opposite -- further legitimizing it, particularly if there were civilian casualties. There's no better way to mobilize a divided polity or bring out its nationalist and unified character than to demonize a foreign enemy. And the Israelis would be the target of a massive Iranian propaganda effort across the Arab world, an effort that would likely win a great deal of sympathy.

3. There are severe costs to the United States. When countries undertake actions that carry great uncertainty and risk, two questions need to be asked. First, can it be done? Second, what will it cost? The fact that Israel faces an existential threat may understandably lead it to downplay the costs to others, particularly to the United States. After all, it's easy enough for Americans to assume, living thousands of miles away, that Iran is a rational actor and would never use a nuclear weapon against Israel because of the expectation of its own obliteration at the hands of the Israelis or the United States. Israelis, of course, maintain that the threat of retaliation is not an acceptable deterrent and will look to their own interests first.

But let's look at what an Israeli strike might do to U.S. interests and an economy still in recession. Even if the Iranians could only temporarily block shipping in the Strait of Hormuz (through which 40 percent of all oil sails), the price of oil would spike exponentially, further undermining and sabotaging world markets -- and doing tremendous damage to the fragile economic recovery in the United States. These economic and financial uncertainties could be truly global and catastrophic. At the same time, the Iranians would certainly try to turn up the heat against U.S. forces in Afghanistan and those remaining in Iraq, further compounding an already tenuous security situation in both countries. Together with a resurgent al Qaeda in Iraq (a Sunni threat), U.S. forces would be faced with a Shiite one as well. At the precise moment U.S. forces are committed to leaving Iraq, they could get sucked back into staying. Iran might well lash out at foes and perceived foes across the region, including in the Persian Gulf, particularly in a place like Bahrain. The Iranian capacity to strike the continental United State may be limited, but the capacity to wage a clandestine war against U.S. and Israeli interests across the Middle East is far more formidable.

4. It will legitimize and popularize Iran in the Middle East.
George H.W. Bush's administration went to great lengths to prevent Israel from responding to Iraqi Scud attacks during the 1991 Gulf War. The logic was pretty compelling: Iraq was in defiance of the international community and U.N. Security Council resolutions, and a 34-country international coalition had formed to enforce the global good. The last thing needed was for Saddam Hussein to turn his invasion of Kuwait into an Arab-Israeli confrontation. The same applies here, to some extent.

Sanctions may never prevent the Iranians from acquiring a weapon, but they do have some impact; and Iran has become greatly isolated. An Israeli attack could undermine all that good work, particularly in the wake of this year's Arab revolutions. An Israeli attack might be quietly welcomed by the rulers of some Persian Gulf states, but it would be viewed on the Arab street as another example of Israeli aggression and U.S. double standards. The Arabs would love to see the Iranians taken down a notch or two; but Israel's involvement is going to complicate the post-strike environment and almost certainly undermine any U.S. effort to clean up the mess that will be left behind.

5. If the Israelis strike, the United States is necessarily involved. There's no way that an Israeli strike comes off without major complications and a military response against U.S. interests. Clearly, the assumption in Tehran will be that the Israeli attack was coordinated with the United States.
Likely responses include attempts to close off shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and proxy attacks against U.S. military installations and embassies. Even if the United States is actively not involved in the strike, it will likely be called upon to aid or support Israel against attacks from Hezbollah and Hamas using high-trajectory weapons. Washington's credibility, at an all-time low internationally, will be further undermined. The United States is now involved in the two longest wars in its history and still has thousands of forces on the ground in two Muslim countries. And let's be clear: The United States is not winning those wars. The last thing it needs is another war against a Muslim country whose staying power and effectiveness in striking back at America (albeit in asymmetrical ways) should never be underestimated.

All these concerns are offered up knowing full well that Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon is a major problem for the United States, Israel, and the international community. It might even be a game-changer. The IAEA report seems likely to conclude that Iran is determined to acquire such a weapon, and it will reinforce -- with clarity -- that neither sanctions nor diplomacy have proved effective in stopping Tehran. No one should trivialize the consequences of an Iranian bomb. We can't stick our head in the sand, but we shouldn't lose our heads either.

If there was a reasonable chance or expectation that an Israeli strike would eliminate Iran's nuclear capacity, then a more compelling argument might be made in defense of it. But there isn't. And that leaves us in a very tough spot, poised somewhere for the moment between two equally unpalatable choices: risky and potentially catastrophic military action, or learning to live with an Iranian bomb that could dramatically reshape the power balance in the Middle East.,0

11-09-2011, 12:29 AM,
RE: Israel, US & UK Consider Attack On Iran

Quote:Preparing for World War III, Targeting Iran
Part I: Global Warfare

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, August 1, 2010

Humanity is at a dangerous crossroads. War preparations to attack Iran are in "an advanced state of readiness". Hi tech weapons systems including nuclear warheads are fully deployed.

This military adventure has been on the Pentagon's drawing board since the mid-1990s. First Iraq, then Iran according to a declassified 1995 US Central Command document.

Escalation is part of the military agenda. While Iran, is the next target together with Syria and Lebanon, this strategic military deployment also threatens North Korea, China and Russia.

Since 2005, the US and its allies, including America's NATO partners and Israel, have been involved in the extensive deployment and stockpiling of advanced weapons systems. The air defense systems of the US, NATO member countries and Israel are fully integrated.

This is a coordinated endeavor of the Pentagon, NATO, Israel's Defense Force (IDF), with the active military involvement of several non-NATO partner countries including the frontline Arab states (members of NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative), Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, among others. (NATO consists of 28 NATO member states Another 21 countries are members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), The Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative include ten Arab countries plus Israel.)

In post 9/11 military doctrine, this massive deployment of military hardware has been defined as part of the so-called "Global War on Terrorism", targeting "non-State" terrorist organizations including al Qaeda and so-called "State sponsors of terrorism",. including Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan.

The setting up of new US military bases, the stockpiling of advanced weapons systems including tactical nuclear weapons, etc. were implemented as part of the pre-emptive defensive military doctrine under the umbrella of the "Global War on Terrorism".

The broader implications of a US-NATO Israel attack on Iran are far-reaching. The war and the economic crisis are intimately related. The war economy is financed by Wall Street, which stands as the creditor of the US administration. The US weapons producers are the recipients of the US Department of Defense multibillion dollar procurement contracts for advanced weapons systems. In turn, "the battle for oil" in the Middle East and Central Asia directly serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil giants.

Public opinion, swayed by media hype is tacitly supportive, indifferent or ignorant as to the likely impacts of what is upheld as an ad hoc "punitive" operation directed against Iran's nuclear facilities rather than an all out war. War preparations include the deployment of US and Israeli produced nuclear weapons. In this context, the devastating consequences of a nuclear war are either trivialised or simply not mentioned.

The "real crisis" threatening humanity, according to the media and the governments, is not war but global warming. The media will fabricate a crisis where there is no crisis:

The war on Iran is presented to public opinion as an issue among others. It is not viewed as a threat to "Mother Earth" as in the case of global warming. It is not front-page news. The fact that an attack on Iran could lead to escalation and potentially unleash a "global war" is not a matter of concern.

The global killing machine is also sustained by an imbedded cult of killing and destruction which pervades Hollywood movies, not to mention the prime time war and crime TV series on network television. This cult of killing is endorsed by the CIA and the Pentagon which also support (finance) Hollywood productions as an instrument of war propaganda.

A "humanitarian war" is upheld by the so-called international community. It is not condemned as a criminal act. Its main architects are rewarded for their contributions to world peace.

With regard to Iran, what is unfolding is the outright legitimization of war in the name of an illusive notion of global security.

A "Pre-emptive" Aerial attack directed against Iran would lead to Escalation

At present there are three separate Middle East Central Asia war theaters: Iraq, Af-Pak, and Palestine.

Were Iran to be the object of a "pre-emptive" aerial attack by allied forces, the entire region, from the Eastern Mediterranean to China's Western frontier with Afghanistan and Pakistan, would flare up, leading us potentially into a World War III scenario.

The war would also extend into Lebanon and Syria.

Of significance is the recent discovery in Iran of the second largest known reserves of natural gas at Soumar and Halgan estimated at 12.4 trillion cubic feet.

The planned attack on Iran is part of a coordinated global military road map. It is part of the Pentagon's "long war", a profit driven war without borders, a project of World domination, a sequence of military operations.

The medium term strategic objective is to target Iran and neutralize Iran's allies, through gunboat diplomacy. The longer term military objective is to directly target China and Russia.

While Iran is the immediate target, military deployment is by no means limited to the Middle East and Central Asia. A global military agenda has been formulated.

The deployment of coalition troops and advanced weapons systems by the US, NATO and its partners is occurring simultaneously in all major regions of the World.

The recent actions of the US military off the coast of North Korea including the conduct of war games are part of a global design.

Directed primarily against Russia and China, US, NATO and allied military exercises, war drills, weapons deployments, etc. are being conducted simultaneously in major geopolitical hotspots.

-The Korean Peninsula, the Sea of Japan, the Taiwan Straits, the South China Sea threatening China.

-The deployment of Patriot missiles in Poland, the early warning center in the Czech republic threatening Russia.

-Naval deployments in Bulgaria, Romania on the Black Sea, threatening Russia.

- US and NATO troops deployments in Georgia.

- A formidable naval deployment in the Persian Gulf including Israeli submarines directed against Iran.

Concurrently the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Caribbean, Central America and the Andean region of South America are areas of ongoing militarization. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the threats are directed against Venezuela and Cuba.

In turn, large scale weapons transfers have been undertaken under the banner of US "military aid" to selected countries, including a 5 billion dollar arms deal with India which is intended to build India's capabilities directed against China.

The US has military cooperation agreements with a number of South East Asian countries including Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia, involving "military aid" as well as the participation in U.S.-led war games in the Pacific Rim (July -August 2010). These agreements are supportive of weapons deployments directed against The People's Republic of China.

What is crucial in regards to US weapons transfers to partner countries and allies is the actual timing of delivery and deployment. The launch of a US sponsored military operation would normally occur once these weapons systems are in place, effectively deployed with the implementation of personnel training. (e.g India).

What we are dealing with is a carefully coordinated global military design controlled by the Pentagon, involving the combined armed forces of more than forty countries. This global multinational military deployment is by far the largest display of advanced weapons systems in World history.

In chorus, the Western media has branded Iran as a threat to global security in view of its alleged (non-existent) nuclear weapons program. Echoing official statements, the media is now demanding the implementation of punitive bombings directed against Iran so as to safeguard Israel's security.

The Western media is beating the drums of war. The purpose is to tacitly instil, through repeated media reports, ad nauseam, within people's inner consciousness, the notion that the Iranian threat is real and that the Islamic Republic should be "taken out".

A consensus building process to wage war is similar to the Spanish inquisition. It requires and demands submission to the notion that war is a humanitarian endeavor.

Known and documented, the real threat to global security emanates from the US-NATO-Israel alliance, yet realities in an inquisitorial environment are turned upside down: the warmongers are committed to peace, the victims of war are presented as the protagonists of war. Whereas in 2006, almost two thirds of Americans were opposed to military action against Iran, a recent Reuter-Zogby February 2010 poll suggests that 56 % of Americans favor a US-NATO military action against Iran.

Building a political consensus which is based on an outright lie cannot, however, rely solely on the official position of those who are the source of the lie.

The antiwar movement in the US, which has in part been infiltrated and co-opted, has taken on a weak stance with regard to Iran. The antiwar movement is divided. The emphasis has been on wars which have already occurred (Afghanistan, Iraq) rather than forcefully opposing wars which are being prepared and which are currently on the Pentagon's drawing board. Since the inauguration of the Obama administration, the antiwar movement has lost some of its impetus.

The scale of antiwar protest in relation to Iran has been minimal in comparison to the mass demonstrations which preceded the 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq.

When war is upheld as a humanitarian endeavor, Justice and the entire international legal system are turned upside down: pacifism and the antiwar movement are criminalized. Opposing the war becomes a criminal act.
11-09-2011, 05:42 AM,
RE: Israel, US & UK Consider Attack On Iran
Quote:China state paper warns of Iran conflict after U.N. report

By Chris Buckley

BEIJING | Tue Nov 8, 2011

Nov 9 (Reuters) - Confrontation between Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear plans is reaching "white hot" levels that could trigger a military attack, a Chinese state newspaper said, after a U.N. report that is likely to increase pressure on Beijing to curb ties.

The overseas edition of the People's Daily spelled out the fears facing Chinese policy-makers, caught between their demand for Iranian oil and worries that Washington and its allies will demand harsher sanctions against Tehran, even risk military action, after the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded Tehran appears to have worked on designing an atomic weapon.

"It is clear that contention between the various sides over the Iranian nuclear issue has reached white hot levels and could even be on the precipice of a showdown," said a front-page commentary in the newspaper on Wednesday.

If Tehran refuses to back down in the face of growing U.S. conviction that it is developing nuclear weapons, "the risks of war will grow," said the paper, noting reports that Israel could consider a military strike on Iranian nuclear sites.

"The situation is still developing and evolving, and the uncertainties mean a range of options remains open. But from their subjective viewpoint, sparing no means to get rid of Iran's nuclear ambitions suits the strategic interests of the United States, Israel and European countries," said the paper.

The People's Daily is the top newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party and broadly reflects official thinking. A commentary in the small-circulation overseas edition of the paper falls short of a formal government response, but it echoes the anxieties weighing on Beijing after the latest U.N. nuclear agency report.

Although the prospect of armed conflict over Iran remains slim, China faces difficult choices, especially as it tries to also keep steady ties with Washington, which is likely to introduce new unilateral sanctions on Tehran.

"The onus will really be on China, as the only country whose economic relations with Iran has grown," Suzanne Maloney an expert on Iran at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington D.C., said in a telephone interview.

Iran is China's third-largest crude oil supplier, shipping 20.3 million tonnes in the first nine months of the year, up by almost a third on the same time last year, according to Chinese customs data. Overall trade between the two countries grew to $32.9 billion in value, up by 58 percent.

"The sense is that the only heavy-hitter in on-going economic interests in Iran is China," said Maloney.

Over the past year or more, China has quietly stalled on oil and gas investments in Iran, seeking to ward off stricter unilateral sanctions from Washington while preserving a foothold in Iran. But that implicit deal will come under growing pressure, especially from Congress, said Maloney.

"They've had a compromise for the past eighteen months of a go-slow in investment. But it's difficult to see how that bargain can hold in the wake of the latest revelations," she said.

Citing what it called "credible" information from member states and elsewhere, the IAEA said Iran appears to have carried out activities applicable to developing nuclear weapons, such as high explosives testing and developing a trigger that could be used for an atomic bomb.

China has kept close bilateral ties with Iran, but also backed past U.N. Security Council resolutions criticising Tehran's position on nuclear issues and authorising limited sanctions.

But China has repeatedly resisted Western proposals for sanctions that could seriously curtail its energy and economic ties with Iran, a major supplier of crude. As one of the Security Council's five permanent members, China holds the power to veto any resolutions.

China has also denounced the United States and European Union for imposing their own separate sanctions on Iran, and said Washington and Brussels should not take steps reaching beyond the U.N. resolutions.

This week and last, China urged Iran to show flexibility over its nuclear programme and warned that the use of force to resolve the issue was the last thing the Middle East needed at the moment.
11-09-2011, 03:51 PM,
Rainbow  Chossudovsky: 'Impossible to attack Iran'
Chossudovsky: 'Impossible to attack Iran'

Quote:Iran to IAEA: Go ahead and publish 'counterfeit' report
Ali Akbar Salehi says crucial IAEA report on Iran's nuclear programme due in the next few days is based on ‘counterfeit’ claims.

Middle East Online
By Farhad Pouladi - TEHRAN

Salehi dares: IAEA documents are ‘baseless’

A crucial IAEA report on Iran's nuclear programme due in the next few days -- raised as a possible trigger for war by Israel -- is based on "counterfeit" claims, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in comments published on Sunday.

The update, expected to be released to International Atomic Energy Agency members on Tuesday or Wednesday, is believed to allege that Iran did theoretical modelling on nuclear warheads and is developing missiles to carry them, according to diplomats at the UN nuclear watchdog.

"I believe that these documents lack authenticity. But if they insist, they should go ahead and publish. Better to face danger once than be always in danger," several Iranian dailies quoted Salehi as saying.

His comments were made Saturday to media in Tehran during a visit by Burundian Foreign Minister Augustin Nsanze.
Continue to read:

Quote:Fabricated IAEA Report on Iran Released - by Stephen Lendman

Previous articles said US intelligence assessments through March 2011 (the latest one) found no evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons development.

During his December 1, 1997 - November 30, 2009 tenure as IAEA director general, Mohamed ElBaradei concurred. He carefully avoided anti-Iranian rhetoric and baseless charges.

As a result, Washington and Western allies replaced him with Yukiya Amano, known to be more amenable to their interests. Six ballots and heavy pressure eliminated South Africa's Abdul Samad Minty.

Under his tenure since December 1, 2009, IAEA became a Western tool, providing conjecture, dubious intelligence, and fabricated allegations about an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program. Despite no evidence proving one, Amano's report claims otherwise.

On November 8, New York Times writers David Sanger and William Broad headlined, "UN Finds Signs of Work by Iran Toward Nuclear Device," saying:

"United Nations weapons inspectors released a trove of new evidence Tuesday that they say makes a 'credible' case that 'Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device,' and that the project may still be under way."

Based on forged, otherwise suspect, long ago discredited, discounted, or nonexistent documents, IAEA's report lacks credibility. Moreover, nothing new was revealed. Material from 2004 and earlier was manipulated to look current. It's not!

Based on identical information, US intelligence and ElBaradei produced completely opposite conclusions. Now they're politicized, fraudulently hyped, and regurgitated by major media liars, political Washington, Israeli hard-liners, and supportive Western leaders.

Obama so far said nothing.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said:

"We're going to study it. We are not prepared to speak about any next steps at this point."

Haaretz headlined, "IAEA report: Iran working to produce a nuclear bomb," saying:

Documents released show "a series of tests, acquisition of material, and technology that suggests Iran has continuously worked to produce a nuclear weapon since 2003."

IAEA said "The agency has serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program."

Fact check

Israel is nuclear armed and dangerous. So is America. Both have first-strike priorities if allegedly threatened, including against non-nuclear states.

IAEA inspectors haven't investigated or discussed their programs, let alone cited their dangers or condemned them. Only Iran is targeted. Why is at issue?
Continue to read:
11-09-2011, 09:05 PM,
RE: Iran to IAEA: Go ahead and publish 'counterfeit' report
Heh. How many times have we the public seen the occurrences of numerous bullshit reports and organisations (including countries) act on the lot of them as though the sheer number of them was enough proof that they were factual?

"Go ahead and publish them." Sweet.
Truth appears in many forms. Find those that resonate with you.

- "If we do not believe in freedom of speech for those we despise, we do not believe in it at all." - Noam Chomsky
- "Humans are not a rational animal, but a rationalizing one." - Leon Festinger - The World In Action
11-13-2011, 12:12 AM,
The U.S. Is Already Attacking Iran Through Terrorist Proxies
Quote:The U.S. Is Already Attacking Iran Through Terrorist Proxies
CIA admittedly finances groups blamed for bloody attacks aimed at destabilizing Tehran
Paul Joseph Watson
Friday, November 11, 2011

Tehran’s contention that the United States is carrying out terror attacks inside Iran in an effort to destabilize the Ahmadinejad regime in preparation for a military assault was largely ignored by the establishment media, but it’s an admitted fact that the CIA uses terrorist proxies to do precisely that.

“Iran has irrefutable evidence that exposes the official involvement of the United States government in anti-Iran planning and the dispatching of elements to conduct acts of sabotage and terror in Iran and other regional countries,” secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili said last week, promising to send evidence of “US state-sponsored terrorism” to the United Nations

“We possess one hundred pieces of irrefutable evidence that reveal the US role in directing terrorists for conducting acts of terror in Iran and the region,” Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei added.

Because the story was reported by Iranian state media, the western press received it with a collective shrug of the shoulders. The new IEAE report claiming Iran was on the verge of developing a nuclear weapon was afforded about a thousand times more coverage.

However, the fact that the United States is training and bankrolling terrorist groups to destabilize Iran through violence and other acts of subversion is admitted.

As former CIA veteran Robert Baer explained in the documentary Vanguard: America’s Secret War With Iran, the U.S. has been at war with Iran through its terrorist proxies for years, notably the Kurdish militant nationalist group PJAK, which has been blamed for numerous attacks in Iran.

As the London Telegraph, ABC News and numerous other mainstream outlets reported back in 2007, the U.S. is also using the Al-Qaeda affiliated Sunni terrorist group Jundullah to carry out suicide bombings and other destabilization attacks in Iran, a policy crafted by the Bush administration which has been continued under Obama.

“President George W Bush has given the CIA approval to launch covert “black” operations to achieve regime change in Iran, intelligence sources have revealed. Mr Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs,” reported Telegraph.

Part of that destabilization campaign involved the the CIA “Giving arms-length support, supplying money and weapons, to an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, which has conducted raids into Iran from bases in Pakistan,” stated the report.

Jundullah is a Sunni Al-Qaeda offshoot organization that was formerly headed by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. In October 2009, Jundullah attacked the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at their headquarters in Pishin, near the border with Pakistan, killing 40 people.

The group has been blamed for a number of bombings inside Iran aimed at destabilizing Ahmadinejad’s government and is also active in Pakistan, having been fingered for its involvement in attacks on police stations and car bombings at the Pakistan-US Cultural Center in 2004.

In May 2008, ABC News reported on how Pakistan was threatening to turn over six members of Jundullah to Iran after they were taken into custody by Pakistani authorities.

“U.S. officials tell ABC News U.S. intelligence officers frequently meet and advise Jundullah leaders, and current and former intelligence officers are working to prevent the men from being sent to Iran,” reported ABC news, highlighting again the close relationship between the terror group and the CIA.

In July 2009, a Jundullah member admitted before a court in Zahedan Iran that the group was a proxy for the U.S. and Israel.

Abdolhamid Rigi, a senior member of the group and the brother of the group’s leader Abdolmalek Rigi, who was one of the six members of the organization extradited by Pakistan, told the court that Jundullah was being trained and financed by “the US and Zionists”. He also said that the group had been ordered by America and Israel to step up their attacks in Iran.

Jundullah is not the only anti-Iranian terror group that US government has been accused of funding in an attempt to pressure the Iranian government.

Multiple credible individuals including US intelligence whistleblowers and former military personnel have asserted that the U.S. is conducting covert military operations inside Iran using guerilla groups to carry out attacks on Iranian Revolution Guard units.

It is widely suspected that the well known right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), once run by Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence services, is now working exclusively for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and carrying out remote bombings in Iran.

After a bombing inside Iran in March 2007, the London Telegraph also reported on how a high ranking CIA official blew the whistle on the fact that America is secretly funding terrorist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear program.

A story entitled, US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran, reveals how funding for the attacks carried out by the terrorist groups “comes directly from the CIA’s classified budget,” a fact that is now “no great secret”, according to a former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to The Sunday Telegraph.
"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." -- 1 John 2:6
"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly... This is the interrelated structure of reality." -- Martin Luther King Jr.
"He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him." -- Proverbs 18:13
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." -- Leo Tolstoy
"To love is to be vulnerable" -- C.S Lewis

The Kingdom of God is within you! -- Luke 17:20-21
11-14-2011, 02:50 PM,
US confesses to covert ops against Iran
Quote:Speaking at the Republican presidential debate in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on Saturday former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich openly advocated increased covert terrorism against Iran.

He suggested employing “maximum covert operations to block and disrupt the Iranian program including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems. All of it covertly, all of it deniable.”

Gingrich advocated “actively funding every dissident group in Iran.”

US Senator Rick Santorum then explicitly advocated a preemptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities and said, “We would be working with Israel right now to do what they did in Syria, what they did in Iraq, which is take out that nuclear capability.”

Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, also criticized the US president for not being pretty tough on Iran. “If we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon.”

When asked whether he would choose to strike Iran militarily, Romney said “absolutely.”

The calls for assassination and terrorist acts come as Iran has lost a number of its scientists to terrorism in recent years.

On November 29, 2010, unidentified terrorists slapped adhesive bombs onto the vehicles of Iranian university professors Majid Shahriari and Fereydoun Abbasi. Professor Shahriari was killed immediately, but Dr. Abbasi and his wife sustained minor injuries and were rushed to hospital.

Professor Masoud Ali-Mohammadi, a lecturer at Tehran University, was killed by a booby-trapped motorbike in the Iranian capital, Tehran, in January 2010. The bombing took place near the professor's home in northern Tehran.

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi has said that necessary measures have been adopted to ensure the safety of Iranian scientists and university professors.

On Nov. 4, 2011 Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili announced that Tehran has irrefutable evidence that proves the US government was involved in anti-Iran conspiracies as well as in dispatching elements to carry out acts of sabotage and terror in Iran and other regional countries.

Jalili said that the documents show Washington has been directing and funding terrorist rings to achieve its regional objectives, adding that Tehran would be passing on the evidence to the UN.

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program. And have used this pretext to push for the imposition of sanctions on the country as well as to call for an attack on the country.

Iran argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Iranian officials have promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. - Che Guevara

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11-15-2011, 01:13 AM,
RE: Israel, US & UK Consider Attack On Iran: Corporate-Fascists Clamor for Iran War
Quote:Israel refuses to tell US its Iran intentions
Israel has refused to reassure President Barack Obama that it would warn him in advance of any pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear capabilities, raising fears that it may be planning a go-it-alone attack as early as next summer.
Israel is tight-lipped with US over Iran intentions

Israeli jets could target sites such as the nuclear power plant at Bushehr, right Photo: GARY DAWSON/AP
Adrian Blomfield

By Adrian Blomfield, in Jerusalem

7:49PM GMT 12 Nov 2011

The US leader was rebuffed last month when he demanded private guarantees that no strike would go ahead without White House notification, suggesting Israel no longer plans to "seek Washington's permission", sources said. The disclosure, made by insiders briefed on a top-secret meeting between America's most senior defence chief and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's hawkish prime minister, comes amid concerns that Iran's continuing progress towards nuclear weapons capability means the Jewish state has all but lost hope for a diplomatic solution.

On Tuesday, UN weapons inspectors released their most damning report to date into Iran's nuclear activities, saying for the first time that the Islamic republic appeared to be building a nuclear weapon. It was with that grave possiblity in mind that Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, flew into Israel last month on what was ostensibly a routine trip.

Officially, his brief was restricted to the Middle East peace process, but the most important part of his mission was a private meeting with Mr Netanyahu and the defence minister, Ehud Barak. Once all but a handful of trusted staff had left the room, Mr Panetta conveyed an urgent message from Barack Obama. The president, Mr Panetta said, wanted an unshakable guarantee that Israel would not carry out a unilateral military strike against Iran's nuclear installations without first seeking Washington's clearance.

The two Israelis were notably evasive in their response, according to sources both in Israel and the United States.

"They did not suggest that military action was being planned or was imminent, but neither did they give any assurances that Israel would first seek Washington's permission, or even inform the White House in advance that a mission was underway," one said.

Alarmed by Mr Netanyahu's noncommittal response, Mr Obama reportedly ordered the US intelligence services to step up monitoring of Israel to glean clues of its intentions.

What those intentions might be remains distinctly murky. Over the past fortnight, Israel's press has given every impression that the country is on a war footing, with numerous claims that Mr Netanyahu and Mr Barak are lobbying the cabinet to support the military option.

Two weeks ago Israel tested a long-range ballistic missile capable of reaching Iran, its first since 2008. Shortly before, the Israeli airforce took part in Nato exercises in Sardinia that involved air-to-air refuelling, a key component of an aerial strike on Iran. A separate exercise in and around Tel Aviv tested civilian readiness in the event of a missile strike against the city. In a sign of the febrility of the public mood, many beach-goers apparently mistook the air raid sirens for a genuine Iranian attack and fled in panic for their cars. There were similar jitters in Iran yesterday, when a huge but apparently accidental explosion at arms dump outside Tehran killed at least 27 soldiers and shook the city.

Speculation about an imminent Israeli military action has been a regular occurrence over the years, but rarely as fevered as now. Last week, a British official even suggested that an attack could come before Christmas.

Few in Israel believe that is likely and the difficulty of mounting an operation over winter, when cloud cover hampers aircraft targeting systems, means that if military action is being considered it will not come before the spring or summer of next year.

Many observers also believe that the bellicose rhetoric voiced by a number of senior Israeli figures in recent days is largely bluff, designed to goad the international community into imposing sanctions of such severity that Iran would be forced into economic ruin if it persisted with its nuclear ambitions. Israel says that if Iran's central bank were sanctioned and a ban on Iranian oil exports enforced by an international naval blockade, military action would not be necessary.

Mr Barak has already publicly stated that he does not believe the West can overcome Russian and Chinese opposition to the sanctions Israel wants, leaving military action increasingly as the only alternative.

Mr Netanyahu may have another reason to bluff. In recent months, Meir Dagan, who retired as director of Mossad at the beginning of the year, has made a series of unprecedented speeches countenancing against Israeli military action - describing it as "the stupidest idea I've ever heard".

His comments have infuriated the Israeli establishment - senior officials have said they would like to see him behind bars - because they fear it could convince Iran's Mullahs that Israel's sporadic talk of war is a fiction.

Hints by Mr Netanyahu that he is considering the military option may be designed to resurrect Iran's paranoia of Israel, something seen in the Jewish state as a powerful deterrent, says Yossi Melman, a leading intelligence analyst and journalist.

"Meir Dagan made a laughing stock of military action," Mr Melman said. "Netanyahu believes he damaged the deterrent and he wants to repair it."

Yet the fact that Mr Dagan chose to speak out - extraordinary in itself for a just-retired Mossad chief - suggests that he believes Mr Netanyahu is intent on attacking Iran.

Tellingly, until last year, Israel's four most powerful military and security chiefs, including Mr Dagan, were all strongly opposed to military action. All four have now been replaced by younger men who may be less able to stand up to Mr Netanyahu, not that Israeli prime ministers are necessarily bound to heed objections from their top military advisers anyway. In 1981, Menachem Begin did just that when he bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor at Osirak.

If Israel is to attack Iran, many in the country believe time is running out. Last week's report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) highlighted Iran's apparent determination to build a nuclear warhead, but did not indicate how long it might take.

Some in Israel, however, believe it is very close.

"It is my personal opinion that, if the Iranian regime decides to do so, it can produce a nuclear explosive device within a year, plus or minus a few months," said Ephraim Asculai, a former IAEA official and leading Israeli expert on Iran's nuclear programme.

Not everyone agrees. Some argue that a covert espionage operation has caused such delays that Iran still needs another three years to build a bomb. Sabotage efforts by Israeli, American and British intelligence have successfully slowed Iranian progress, most notably via the Stuxnet computer virus that caused the centrifuges at Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment plant to explode. Mossad agents on motorbikes are also believed to have planted magnetic explosives on the cars of at least two key Iranian nuclear scientists as they weaved through Tehran's traffic jams. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the scientist and Revolutionary Guards officer who is thought to be the ultimate mastermind of the nuclear programme, is now believed to be under round-the-clock protection as a result. But, whatever the time frame, some in Israel believe there is additional cause for urgency that could prompt military action sooner rather than later.

According to western intelligence assessments, Tehran is preparing to move the bulk of its nuclear production to a plant beneath a mountain near the holy city of Qom that would be far harder to hit from the air.

According to Ronen Bergman, senior military analyst for Israel's Yediot Ahronot newspaper and the author of a forthcoming book on Mossad, that makes a strike necessary well before Iran actually perfects its programme.

"Today Israeli intelligence talks of what is known as the 'framework of immunity'," he said. "In other words, it is not the point at which Iran acquires a nuclear device, but the point at which the project has reached such an advanced stage that a strike any time after would be ineffective."

An Israeli attack could probably manage at most a dozen targets, using more than 100 F-15 and F-16 aircraft.

Three German-designed Dolphin submarines equipped with conventional cruise missiles could also be ordered into the Persian Gulf to take part, although it is thought that Israel's Jericho-3 ballistic missiles are to inaccurate to play a role.

But how effective the mission would be is another matter. At best, Israel can hope to delay Iran from building a bomb by two to four years, experts assess. Optimists hope that within such a period, Iran's Islamist regime could collapse and give may to a more moderate government. But it could equally redouble its nuclear efforts, this time arguing that it now had every right to produce a weapon.

As Mr Panetta warned during a Pentagon briefing last Thursday, such a strike would also have a "serious impact" on the region. Iran could blockade the Straits of Hormuz, through which 25 per cent of the world's oil exports are shipped, sending energy prices soaring. US military assets in the Gulf could come also come under attack from Iranian Scud missiles.

Iran would almost certainly fire its Shahab ballistic missiles at Israeli cities and press Hizbollah and Hamas, the militant Islamist groups it funds and equips, to unleash their huge rocket arsenals from their bases in Lebanon and Gaza.

Despite this, last week Mr Barak - making a rare venture in such sensitive territory - predicted that fewer than 500 fatalities would arise "if people stayed at home".

Such are both the political and military risks involved that many Israelis say it is inconceivable that Mr Netanyahu would go to war without the United States alongside him.

"I think personally that if such action is taken, there will be come kind of consultation with the United States," said Ilan Mizrahi, Mossad's former deputy director and Israel's national security adviser until 2007.

"If Iran breaks all the rules, then military action will be needed, but definitely not alone by a tiny country like Israel," added Uzi Eilam, a retired general who held senior positions at the Israeli defence ministry.

But not everyone is so sure. Mr Obama's willingness to take on Iran militarily is openly questioned in Israel. And while many Israelis do not believe Iran has any intention of actually firing a nuclear missile at them, the the key question is whether their prime minister is one of them.

In Mr Netanyahu's eyes, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is another "Hitler" whose aim is to complete what the Holocaust failed to do by wiping out the Jewish race.

"People outside Israel don't understand how profound memories of the Holocaust are, and how they affect future policy making," said Mr Bergman, the military analyst. "At the end of the day, this policy of 'never again' would dictate Israel's behaviour when intelligence comes through that Iran has come close to a bomb."

Some of this report makes it sound like the US actually cares what Israel does or wants diplomacy Roflmao .The US,UK and Israel the greatest threat to peace and the earth the world has ever known!
What kills me makes me stronger !

No favor asked no quarter given !

Your sitting in your comfort you don't believe I'm real,
You cannot buy protection from the way that I feel.

11-15-2011, 07:31 PM,
CIA operations in Iran underway to take out Tehran bigs in mission to dismantle weapo
Seems like the Wright wing Zionists and Nazis are putting Obama on the hot plate. They want Obama to take drastic actions against Iran, and if he does not, then the Wright wing monsters are willing to take action on their own hands without Obama’s blood signature. Certainly, these USS Nazis do not car about the effects it would have on the Iranians Citizens, they could care less as they cared so much for the Iraqis, the Libyans or the children of Palestinians. These Monsters are out of control… all for an Agenda to take over the middle east, steal its resources without no opposition. They need to convince china and Russia to step back and watch, something China and Russia are not willing to do because that cuts in to the resources of the middle East being hijacked by the USSA Nazi Regime and in essence the entire planets resources with no opposition from anybody to do what it wants, how it wants it done, and when it wants it done. What we might be seeing is a very rogue government being played before our backyard.
CIA operations in Iran underway to take out Tehran bigs in mission to dismantle weapons program
Explosions and assasinations at Iran nuke base pinned to Israel may have been CIA
BY Helen Kennedy
Monday, November 14 2011, 12:11 AM

Vahid Salemi/AP
In public Sunday, President Obama was at a summit unsuccessfully leaning on Russia and China to back diplomatic efforts to curb Iran’s nuke program.
In private Sunday, there was more evidence of an efficient and brutal covert operation that continues to degrade Iran’s military capabilities.
Iranian officials revealed that one of the 17 men killed in a huge explosion at a munitions depot was a key Revolutionary Guard commander who headed Iran’s missile program. And the IRNA state news agency reported that scientists had discovered a new computer virus in their systems, a more sophisticated version of the Stuxnet worm deployed last year to foul up Iran’s centrifuges.
Iran said the army base explosion was an accident and the new Duqu virus was contained. But Israeli newspapers and some U.S. experts said it appeared to be more from an ongoing secret operation by the CIA and Israel’s Mossad to eliminate Iran’s nuclear threat.
The covert campaign encompasses a series of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and a similar explosion at another Iranian missile base two years ago both widely attributed to the Mossad.
“May there be more like it,” was all Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said when Army Radio asked about the new blast.
There was a third mysterious event: The son of a top Iranian hard-liner was found dead — a seeming suicide — in a Dubai hotel on Sunday. His father called it “suspicious” and linked to the base explosion, without elaborating.
Israel was accused of deploying the 11 agents who killed a top Hamas terrorist in a Dubai hotel last year.
Tension has risen in recent weeks between Iran and the United States as a key United Nations report said Iran was close to being able to build a nuclear weapon.
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Hawaii, Obama tried to get Russia and China to back a bid to tighten sanctions on Iran, meeting individually with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Afterward, Hu didn’t even mention Iran, and Medvedev said only that he had spoken with Obama about Iran.
Obama came under withering fire from the GOP presidential candidates at a debate Saturday, when the front-runners agreed he had been too weak on Iran and vowed to go to war to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions if needed.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) slammed Obama for not being “smart” on Iran.
Gingrich said he would launch “maximum covert operations” against Iran, “including taking out their scientists. . . . All of it covertly, all of it deniable.”
White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters that pressure on Iran had put its leadership in disarray, and “the Iranian economy has ground to a halt.”

Read more:
Unite The Many, defeat the few.

Revolution is for the love of your people, culture, knowledge, wisdom, spirit, and peace. Not Greed!
Soul Rebel Native Son
11-26-2011, 04:38 PM,
RE: Israel, US & UK Consider Attack On Iran: Corporate-Fascists Clamor for Iran War
There goes the neighbourhood..

Quote:Nato Air Strike On Pakistan Troops 'Likely'
3:29pm UK,
Saturday November 26, 2011

A spokesman for Nato troops in Afghanistan has admitted that it is "highly likely" coalition aircraft attacked Pakistani troops while hunting insurgents near the border.

"Close air support was called in, in the development of the tactical situation, and it is what highly likely caused the Pakistan casualties," Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said.

"We are aware that there are Pakistani casualties, we don't know numbers, we don't know the magnitude of the incident," he said.

Up to 28 soldiers died and 14 others were wounded in the strike at checkpoints near the border with Afghanistan, according to reports.

In response to the alleged incursion, Pakistan has blocked the vital supply route for Nato troops fighting in Afghanistan.

"We have halted the supplies and some 40 tankers and trucks have been returned from the check post," senior government official Mutahir Zeb said.

Pakistan's foreign office condemned the pre-dawn raid.

Full Story + Video Statement:


‘US to deploy troops if Pak nukes come under threat’

Satellite Images Reveal Pakistan Weapons-Grade Nuclear Reactor Built in 17 Months; Who's Side are They on .. China?

China Claims Air Supremacy With Its New J-20 Stealth Fighter

Pakistan gets Chinese military aid in the face of US threats

China warns US on Pak aggression.

Iran: A Bridge too Far? The weapon that could defeat the US in the Gulf

SCO: India, Pakistan To Become Full Members, Turkey Dialogue Partner, Afghanistan ...
There are no others, there is only us.
12-02-2011, 05:28 AM,
RE: Israel, US & UK Consider Attack On Iran: Corporate-Fascists Clamor for Iran War
In case you hadn't heard.. and is this for real? Hard to differentiate fact from fiction from behind a computer screen, isn't it? Might be the reason CBC (Canada Public News Agency) has just cut 2400 staff; followed suit with the private sector in CTV who gutted out local news last year.

I'm sure the rest of the world are cutting back/ controlling their field journalism as well. That's why places such as ConCen need to report more news from the ground. Unlike the clouded conjecture I'm posting here and now.

Critical Thinking Question. Where Do ConCeners Get Their News From?

Here's the story from MOSSAD .. erm .. the Jerusalem Post.

Quote:Blast in Iran struck uranium enrichment facility'
11/30/2011 12:30

Satellite imagery confirms Isfahan facility rocked by blast was a nuclear facility, 'The Times' reports, citing Israeli intel officials.

Officials from Isfahan have been denying that the city had been hit by an explosion.

Mohammad-Mahdi Esma'ili, Isfahan's deputy governor in political and security affairs, called the reports "sheer lies" according to the IRNA news agency. An official from the city's fire department also denied that there had been an explosion.

The mysterious explosion Monday rocked the Iranian city of Isfahan, which hosts a nuclear facility involved in processing uranium fed to the Natanz fuel enrichment facility.

The source and target of the explosion were initially unclear. Some reports claimed it took place in a military base and others said it was a gas explosion.

Two weeks ago, on November 12, an explosion hit an Iranian military base near the town of Bid Kaneh, killing 17 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Maj.-Gen. Hassan Moghaddam, chief architect of the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program. Israel’s Mossad has been accused of orchestrating the blast.
Head of the Military Intelligence Research Directorate Brig.-Gen. Itay Brun told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday that the November 12 blast at the missile base could delay Tehran’s development of long-range missiles.

“The explosion at the site to develop surface-to-surface missiles could stop or delay activities on that track and in that location, but we must emphasize that Iran has other development tracks in addition to that facility,” Brun said.

Reuters contributed to the report.

AP, Reuters et al are highlighting this fence climbing incident to justify sanctions and ratchet up the tension.

Quote:World outrage as protesters storm British embassy in Tehran
November 30, 2011 10:08AM

BRITAIN has led a chorus of international outrage over the storming of its embassy in Tehran by protesters, with even staunch Iran ally Russia joining condemnation of the raid.

[Image: 740813-iran-british-embassy.jpg]

"The attack on the British Embassy in Tehran today was outrageous and indefensible," Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement today.

"The failure of the Iranian government to defend British staff and property was a disgrace ... We hold the Iranian government responsible."

"The Iranian government must recognise that there will be serious consequences for failing to protect our staff," vowed Cameron, adding that "we will consider what these measures should be in the coming days."

The protests came after Britain last week said it would cut off all relations with Iran's financial sector as part of a raft of sanctions co-ordinated with the United States and Canada.

In Washington, US President Barack Obama said he was "deeply disturbed" by the attack.

"That kind of behaviour is not acceptable, and I strongly urge the Iranian government to hold those who are responsible to task," he told reporters at the White House.

"And for rioters to basically be able to overrun the embassy and set it on fire is an indication that the Iranian government is not taking its international obligations seriously.

"So obviously we're deeply concerned about that situation and expect some sort of definitive action some time very quickly," he added.

At the United Nations headquarters in New York, the Security Council warned Iran that it must protect diplomatic personnel, though it made no threat of action against Tehran.

"The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attacks" against the British embassy in Tehran, said a statement agreed by the 15-nation body that has passed four rounds of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

Highlighting the Vienna conventions which protect diplomats, the council "called on the Iranian authorities to protect diplomatic and consular property and personnel, and to respect fully their international obligations in this regard."

In Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement of her "extreme concern" over the incident and called on Tehran "immediately to fulfill its international obligations... to protect diplomats and embassies."

In Berlin, Germany summoned the Iranian ambassador.

"We condemn the storming of the British embassy in Iran, in which the German school there was also damaged, in the strongest terms. This storming is in violation of international law, it is in no way acceptable," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters.

Close Iran ally Russia also slammed the attacks as "unacceptable and deserving condemnation," according to a foreign ministry statement.

Moscow said it hoped "the Iranian authorities undertake necessary measures to immediately restore order, investigate what happened, and prevent a repetition of such incidents."

It added that the raid "was conducted in contravention of generally accepted norms of international law" and expressed support for the British diplomats.

Moscow is Tehran's closest ally among the major world powers, conducting regular consultations with Iranian officials even as they face growing diplomatic isolation from the West.

Iran's foreign ministry later expressed regret over the "unacceptable" storming, adding that "the relevant authorities have been asked to take the necessary measures and look into this issue immediately."
There are no others, there is only us.

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