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U.S. is studying military strike options on Iran
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cyrus
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 4:18 pm    Post subject: central banker for terrorism in the Middle East Reply with quote

Sean McCormack wrote:
On Tuesday, US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said Iran "is the central banker for terrorism in the Middle East. It's probably the most significant state sponsor of terrorism around the world. It is a supporter of Hizbullah. It is a supporter of Palestinian rejectionist groups."


cyrus wrote:
Iran Rafsanjani meets radical Palestinian leaders

Friday, April 14, 2006

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=41994&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs

LONDON, April 14 (IranMania) - Iran's influential former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani met with leaders of the radical Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad as well as the head of the Shiite Lebanese Hezbollah movement, Iranian sources said, according to AFP.

Rafsanjani is on a four-day visit to the Syrian capital amid worldwide alarm over Iran's announcement Tuesday that it had successfully enriched uranium, a process that can lead to the production of fuel for nuclear power plants or the fissile core of an atomic bomb.

"The Palestinian resistance has today reached a new phase which requires the support of all Muslim countries... to reach victory," Rafsanjani said, according to an Iranian source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Rafsanjani met Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah late Wednesday at the Iranian embassy in Damascus, the source said.

Nasrallah said that Iran's ability to enrich uranium would "be a large moral boost to the resistance."

An Iranian diplomatic source also said that on Wednesday night Rafsanjani met Hamas's political supremo Khaled Meshaal and Islamic Jihad's secretary-general Ramadan Shaleh, AFP noted.

"The Muslim world is proud that Tehran has acquired nuclear technology," Meshaal reportedly said during their meeting.

"Uranium enrichment provides a great deal of moral support to the Palestinian people and heroes of the resistance," he said.

Rafsanjani assured that Iran would continue its support for the Palestinian resistance and criticized "Western states that have suspended aid the Palestinian Authority."

Rafsanjani also met with Syrian Prime Minister Naji Otri and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem over "external pressures confronting Syria and Iran," the official SANA news agency said.

On Wednesday, Rafsanjani vowed Tehran would not give in to UN pressures to halt its enrichment of uranium, which he hailed as a great achievement.

Tehran's announcement put Iran on a collision course with the UN Security Council, which has given the country until April 28 to accede to demands that it halt enrichment or face possible sanctions.

Iran insists that its nuclear program is aimed purely at producing nuclear power, but the country is widely suspected of using it to conceal efforts to develop atomic weapons.

Asked about international pressures on Syria over issues ranging from its alleged interference in neighboring Lebanon to alleged support for Iraqi rebels, Rafsanjani said Wednesday: "Iran and Syria are in the same boat."

Rafsanjani, who heads Iran's powerful Expediency Council, is slated to hold talks with President Bashar al-Assad at some point during his visit.

On Friday, Rafsanjani is to visit the tomb in Qarhaba of the president's father and predecessor in office, Hafez al-Assad. The following day, he is set to visit Shiite Muslim holy sites in Damascus before heading home.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 5:06 pm    Post subject: including assets freezes and travel restrictions on its lead Reply with quote



http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/060414/photos_pl_afp/553ab873b4120cc4177f6d00e5500b1d

US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, seen in New York, in March 2006. The United States is mulling various UN sanctions against Iran for its controversial nuclear program, including assets freezes and travel restrictions on its leaders, US officials said(AFP/File/Stan Honda)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 6:02 pm    Post subject: US will push for asset freeze, sanctions on Iran Reply with quote

US will push for asset freeze, sanctions on Iran
By Sue Pleming


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060414/ts_nm/nuclear_iran_usa_plans_dc_2

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will push its allies next week to consider targeted sanctions on Iran that include a freeze on assets and visa restrictions, the State Department said on Friday.

Political directors from the main powers involved in trying to rein in Iran's nuclear programs are due to meet in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss what action to take after Tehran announced this week it had become a nuclear power by enriching uranium.

The senior officials from France, Germany, Britain, the United States, Russia and China will look at "real actions" the United Nations can take to get Iran to change its behavior, said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

The options under a Chapter 7 resolution under the U.N. charter could include a freeze on assets and travel restrictions on some members of the Iranian government, said McCormack.

"These are all levers at the disposal of the international community," McCormack told reporters.

While pushing for sanctions, U.S. officials said they would not look at imposing restrictions on the oil and gas sectors, pointing out the intention was not to create further hardship for the Iranian people.

In an interview with Voice of America's Persian language television program, senior State Department official Nicholas Burns said Tehran would face sanctions and that Iran had left itself "no exit points" on the Iran issue.

"We very much hope that these sanctions will not be implemented bluntly in a way that would be damaging to the Iranian people, but it is going to be sanctions that will get the attention of the Iranian government," said Burns, who will represent the State Department at Tuesday's Moscow meetings.

CONSIDER SANCTIONS

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said a day earlier that the United Nations should consider a Chapter 7 resolution against Iran when it reconvenes, probably at the end of this month, to discuss Iran.

Chapter 7 makes a resolution mandatory under international law for all U.N. members. It can lead to sanctions and eventually the use of force if it specifically calls for them or threatens "all necessary measures."

Russia and China, key players on the Iran issue with veto rights in the Security Council, strongly oppose sanctions or the use of military force against Tehran. All other council members, including close ally Britain, oppose military action.

Earlier on Friday, Rice spoke to Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, over his trip to Iran where he met officials to discuss the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

"He reaffirmed that he sent a strong, clear message to the Iranian leadership that it needs to comply with the just demands of the IAEA board of governors," said McCormack. "I did not get the impression he heard anything new from the Iranians."

Iran's president said on Friday the existence of Israel was a threat to the Islamic world, a statement that McCormack called "reprehensible" and made strong action against Iran even more necessary.

"This is the kind of rhetoric that has only added to the fears and concerns of the international community as it relates to Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon," said McCormack.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:04 pm    Post subject: Animation of Nuclear Bunker Buster: Reply with quote

Animation of Nuclear Bunker Buster: Destructive impact on civilian population in Iran and beyond
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 13:53:12 -0700

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_security/nuclear_weapons/nuclear-bunker-buster-rnep-animation.html
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:34 pm    Post subject: Peres: 'Ahmadinejad represents Satan' Reply with quote

Peres: 'Ahmadinejad represents Satan'
Former Israeli leader also compares Iranian president to Hussein

Sunday, April 16, 2006; Posted: 12:41 p.m. EDT (16:41 GMT)
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/04/15/peres.iran/index.html

Shimon Peres compared Iran's president to history's "madmen."


"Ahmadinejad represents Satan, not God," said Peres, who shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with the late Palestinian and Israeli leaders, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin.

"History knew how to denounce madmen and those who wave their sword, and all those who acted this way ended their careers accordingly," Peres added.

Speaking Saturday on Israel Radio, Peres said the Iranian president's statements reminded him of those by Hussein, the deposed Iraqi leader on trial for war crimes charges.

"Iran is a United Nations member state threatening another U.N. member state, and the international organization will not let this go unheeded," Peres said.

On Friday, Ahmadinejad called Israel a threat to Islamic nations, saying, "The Zionist regime is a dying tree, and soon its branches will be broken down." He was speaking in Tehran to representatives from various Middle Eastern and African governments at a conference "on Jerusalem and support for the rights of the Palestinian people." (Full story)

In October he said that Israel "must be wiped off the map" and in December called the Holocaust a "myth." The U.N. General Assembly in November passed a resolution condemning such comments and rejecting "any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part."

On Friday, Ahmadinejad once again questioned whether the killing of 6 million Jews during World War II really happened, calling it a story "many countries believe" and one that Israel uses to build support. (Watch Ahmadinejad deliver his explosive remarks about Israel -- 1:53)

Peres, a leading figure in Israel's ruling Kadima Party, previously has called Iran "the greatest danger" to the world and urged the international community to stop the Islamic republic from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

"The Iranian president is uniting the entire world against him," Peres said Friday. "Israel is following his statements and actions closely, but does not wish to respond to them."

Ahmadinejad's comments came days after he declared Iran a nuclear power after Iranian researchers announced they had enriched uranium.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 4:22 pm    Post subject: Bombs That Would Backfire Reply with quote

Bombs That Would Backfire

April 16, 2006
The New York Times
Richard Clarke and Steven Simon
http://www.nytimes.com/glogin?URI=http://www.nytimes.com/




White House spokesmen have played down press reports that the Pentagon has accelerated planning to bomb Iran. We would like to believe that the administration is not intent on starting another war, because a conflict with Iran could be even more damaging to our interests than the current struggle in Iraq has been. A brief look at history shows why.

Reports by the journalist Seymour Hersh and others suggest that the United States is contemplating bombing a dozen or more nuclear sites, many of them buried, around Iran. In the event, scores of air bases, radar installations and land missiles would also be hit to suppress air defenses. Navy bases and coastal missile sites would be struck to prevent Iranian retaliation against the American fleet and Persian Gulf shipping. Iran's long-range missile installations could also be targets of the initial American air campaign.

These contingencies seem familiar to us because we faced a similar situation as National Security Council staff members in the mid-1990's. American frustrations with Iran were growing, and in early 1996 the House speaker, Newt Gingrich, publicly called for the overthrow of the Iranian government. He and the C.I.A. put together an $18 million package to undertake it.

The Iranian legislature responded with a $20 million initiative for its intelligence organizations to counter American influence in the region. Iranian agents began casing American embassies and other targets around the world. In June 1996, the Qods Force, the covert-action arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, arranged the bombing of an apartment building used by our Air Force in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 Americans.

At that point, the Clinton administration and the Pentagon considered a bombing campaign. But after long debate, the highest levels of the military could not forecast a way in which things would end favorably for the United States.

While the full scope of what America did do remains classified, published reports suggest that the United States responded with a chilling threat to the Tehran government and conducted a global operation that immobilized Iran's intelligence service. Iranian terrorism against the United States ceased.

In essence, both sides looked down the road of conflict and chose to avoid further hostilities. And then the election of the reformist Mohammad Khatami as president of Iran in 1997 gave Washington and Tehran the cover they needed to walk back from the precipice.

Now, as in the mid-90's, any United States bombing campaign would simply begin a multi-move, escalatory process. Iran could respond three ways. First, it could attack Persian Gulf oil facilities and tankers as it did in the mid-1980's which could cause oil prices to spike above $80 dollars a barrel.

Second and more likely, Iran could use its terrorist network to strike American targets around the world, including inside the United States. Iran has forces at its command that are far superior to anything Al Qaeda was ever able to field. The Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah has a global reach, and has served in the past as an instrument of Iran. We might hope that Hezbollah, now a political party, would decide that it has too much to lose by joining a war against the United States. But this would be a dangerous bet.

Third, Iran is in a position to make our situation in Iraq far more difficult than it already is. The Badr Brigade and other Shiite militias in Iraq could launch a more deadly campaign against British and American troops. There is every reason to believe that Iran has such a retaliatory shock wave planned and ready.

No matter how Iran responded, the question that would face American planners would be, "What's our next move?" How do we achieve so-called escalation dominance, the condition in which the other side fears responding because they know that the next round of American attacks would be too lethal for the regime to survive?

Bloodied by Iranian retaliation, President Bush would most likely authorize wider and more intensive bombing. Non-military Iranian government targets would probably be struck in a vain hope that the Iranian people would seize the opportunity to overthrow the government. More likely, the American war against Iran would guarantee the regime decades more of control.

So how would bombing Iran serve American interests? In over a decade of looking at the question, no one has ever been able to provide a persuasive answer. The president assures us he will seek a diplomatic solution to the Iranian crisis. And there is a role for threats of force to back up diplomacy and help concentrate the minds of our allies. But the current level of activity in the Pentagon suggests more than just standard contingency planning or tactical saber-rattling.

The parallels to the run-up to to war with Iraq are all too striking: remember that in May 2002 President Bush declared that there was "no war plan on my desk" despite having actually spent months working on detailed plans for the Iraq invasion. Congress did not ask the hard questions then. It must not permit the administration to launch another war whose outcome cannot be known, or worse, known all too well.

Richard Clarke and Steven Simon were, respectively, national coordinator for security and counterterrorism and senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:30 pm    Post subject: Target: Iran By Thomas McInerney Reply with quote

Target: Iran

Thomas McInerney

http://news.yahoo.com/s/weeklystandard/20060417/cm_weeklystandard/targetiran_1


Washington (The Weekly Standard) Vol. 011, Issue 30 - 4/24/2006 - A MILITARY OPTION AGAINST Iran's nuclear facilities is feasible. A diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis is preferable, but without a credible military option and the will to implement it, diplomacy will not succeed. The announcement of uranium enrichment last week by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shows Iran will not bow easily to diplomatic pressure. The existence of a military option may be the only means of persuading Iran--the world's leading sponsor of terrorism--to back down from producing nuclear weapons.


A military option would be all the more credible if backed by a new coalition of the willing and if coupled with intense diplomacy during a specific time frame. The coalition could include Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Britain, France, and Germany. Solidarity is important and would surely contribute to potential diplomatic success. But should others decline the invitation, the United States must be prepared to act.

What would an effective military response look like? It would consist of a powerful air campaign led by 60 stealth aircraft (B-2s, F-117s, F-22s) and more than 400 nonstealth strike aircraft, including B-52s, B-1s, F-15s, F-16s, Tornados, and F-18s. Roughly 150 refueling tankers and other support aircraft would be deployed, along with 100 unmanned aerial vehicles for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and 500 cruise missiles. In other words, overwhelming force would be used.

The objective would be, first and foremost, to destroy or severely damage Iran's nuclear development and production facilities and put them out of commission for at least five years. Another aim would be to destroy the Iranian air defense system, significantly damage its air force, naval forces, and Shahab-3 offensive missile forces. This would prevent Iran from projecting force outside the country and retaliating militarily. The air campaign would also wipe out or neutralize Iran's command and control capabilities.

This coalition air campaign would hit more than 1,500 aim points. Among the weapons would be the new 28,000-pound bunker busters, 5,000-pound bunker penetrators, 2,000-pound bunker busters, 1,000-pound general purpose bombs, and 500-pound GP bombs. A B-2 bomber, to give one example, can drop 80 of these 500-pound bombs independently targeted at 80 different aim points.

This force would give the coalition an enormous destructive capability, since all the bombs in the campaign feature precision guidance, ranging from Joint Direct Attack Munitions (the so-called JDAMS) to laser-guided, electro-optical, or electronically guided High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) for suppression of Iranian surface-to-air missiles. This array of precision weapons and support aircraft would allow the initial attacks to be completed in 36 to 48 hours.

The destruction of Iran's military force structure would create the opportunity for regime change as well, since it would eliminate some or all of Ahmadinejad's and the mullahs' ability to control the population. Simultaneously or prior to the attack, a major covert operation could be launched, utilizing Iranian exiles and dissident forces trained during the period of diplomacy. This effort would be based on the Afghan model that led to the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Not only would the overt and covert attacks weaken the ability of Iran's leaders to carry out offensive operations in retaliation, they would cripple the leaders' power to control their own people.

Iran's diverse population should be fertile ground for a covert operation. Iran is only 51 percent Persian. Azerbaijanis and Kurds comprise nearly 35 percent of the population. Seventy percent are under 30, and the jobless rate hovers near 20 percent.

Iran's leaders have threatened to unleash a firestorm of terrorism in the event military action is taken against them. Any country involved in the attack would be subject to retaliation by Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and al Qaeda, the Iranians have claimed. If nothing else, this threat demonstrates how closely tied Iran is to terrorist groups. The United States and its allies would have to be prepared for stepped-up terrorist acts. Iran could also project forces into Iraq, but this is unlikely because they would encounter the full strength of the American military. However, Iran might encourage proxies among Iraq's militant Shiites. Coalition forces in Iraq would have to be ready to respond.

No doubt the Iranians would attempt to close the Gulf of Hormuz and block the extensive shipping that goes through it. American air and naval forces are quite capable of keeping the gulf open, though shipping might be slowed. The most adverse economic consequences of shipping delays would be felt in Iran itself.

President Bush is right when he says Iran cannot be permitted to have nuclear weapons. The prospect of leaders like Ahmadinejad, who advocates wiping Israel "off the map," with their hands on nuclear weapons is a risk we cannot take. Diplomacy must be pursued vigorously, but the experience with Iraq suggests there's little reason for optimism. Thus, a viable military option is imperative.

Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney (Ret.) served as assistant vice chief of staff of the United States Air Force.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:51 pm    Post subject: New Iran Nuke Claim Causes Concern Reply with quote

New Iran Nuke Claim Causes Concern

April 17, 2006
The Wall Street Journal
The Associated Press
http://online.wsj.com/public/us


Iran's recent claim it was conducting research and tests on a more sophisticated type of nuclear-enrichment centrifuge could significantly speed the process of making fuel for either electrical plants or bombs, analysts familiar with the technology said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told students Wednesday that the Islamic republic was testing the P-2 centrifuge -- a more sophisticated type. A day earlier, he trumpeted Iran's success in enriching uranium using a less-sophisticated type of centrifuge.

"Our centrifuges are P-1 type. P-2, which has quadruple the capacity, now is under the process of research and test in the country," Mr. Ahmadinejad told the students in Khorasan in northeastern Iran. His statement was the first time Iran has said officially it was seeking to develop the more advanced centrifuges.

Iran's move to enrich uranium has come in defiance of demands from the U.S., Europe and the United Nation's nuclear watchdog agency. The International Atomic Energy Agency is due to report to the U.N. Security Council on April 28 whether Iran has met its demand for a full halt to uranium enrichment. If Tehran has not complied, the council will consider the next step. The U.S. and Europe are pressing for sanctions against Iran, a step Russia and China have so far opposed.

The current centrifuges that Iran has used to do small-scale enrichment are considered an inferior model, said David Albright, a former U.N. inspector and head of the Institute for Science and International Security.

But Iran also is known to have received plans for the German-made P-2 centrifuges through a black-market network run by A.Q. Khan, considered the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb. The P-2 centrifuges, more sophisticated and reliable, presumably would make it easier for Iran to ramp up the production of enriched uranium.

The U.N. has demanded Iran give up uranium enrichment amid accusations from the U.S. and Europe that the country seeks to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran denies those claims, saying the aim of its nuclear program is to generate electricity.

Iran Brushes Off Talk of U.S. Attack

Iran's former president said Monday that talk of a U.S. military attack on Iran was overblown because it would be "too dangerous" and no Persian Gulf countries would join forces with the U.S.

U.S. media reports have said the U.S. was developing contingency plans to use military force against Iran if it continues to challenge attempts by the West and the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency to force it to abandon its uranium enrichment program. The Bush administration has said it had a "number of tools," including a military option, if Tehran did not cease uranium enrichment activities, which can create fuel for a bomb.

"Reports about plans for an American attack on Iran are incorrect," former President Hashemi Rafsanjani said in an appearance before Kuwait's parliament. "We are certain that Americans will not attack Iran because the consequences would be too dangerous."

On Sunday, he said he believed the U.S. was "incapable of taking a risk or engaging in a new war in the region without discussing the subject seriously." Mr. Rafsanjani also said he was certain that Arab countries in the Persian Gulf would not join the U.S. But Iran's allies in the region were voicing their concern.

Kuwaiti lawmaker Mohammed al-Saqer told reporters Monday that "Iranians are escalating every day and this is terrifying not only for the international community but for the region." "We feel real concern although our ties with Iran are good and Iran is a brotherly country," said Mr. Al-Saqer, head of the parliament's foreign relations committee.

Iran Announces $50 Million Aid to Palestinians

Meanwhile, Iran said Sunday it would give the Palestinian Authority $50 million in aid, moving in for the first time with money after the U.S. and Europe cut off funding to the Hamas-led government.

Iran has long had close ties to the Islamic militant movement Hamas and is believed to have given money to the movement in the past -- though the Shiite clerical-led government in Tehran has denied that, saying its support has only been moral. But the new money, if given, would be the first time Iran has provided funds to the Palestinian Authority, the government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that until now was led by the moderate Fatah movement, which carried out peace negotiations with Israel, a policy shunned by Iran.

Tehran had previously promised to help the Palestinians if other international funds were cut off, but Sunday's remarks were the first time Iran has specified an amount. Mr. Ahmadinejad, called for other Islamic nations to give money as he met with Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:32 pm    Post subject: Bush: 'All Options on the Table' With Iran Reply with quote

Bush: 'All Options on the Table' With Iran
AP - Tue Apr 18, 11:37 AM ET


President Bush again brushed aside an intensifying clamor, Tuesday, April 18, 2006, among retired military...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060418/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_iran_2;_ylt=ApD3haL7lGOWT3z79WTnU3ZSw60A;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl


WASHINGTON - President Bush said Tuesday that "all options are on the table" to prevent Iran from developing atomic weapons, but said he will continue to focus on the international diplomatic option to persuade Tehran to drop its nuclear ambitions. "We want to solve this issue diplomatically and we're working hard to do so," Bush told reporters in the Rose Garden.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 10:07 am    Post subject: Who is responsible? Reply with quote

Who is responsible?
From:
Steve Beren
www.steveberen.com

Are we hearing the beat of war drums? If so, it is the dictatorial mullahs who are responsible!

Is the nuclear option on the table?

If so, it is the fascist ayatollahs who are putting the nuclear option on the table!
Are the Iranian people denied freedom and democracy?

If so, it is the Islamic fundamentalists who endanger the Iranian people!
Will a country be threatened with "death" (Denmark) or "being wiped off the map" (Israel)?

If so, it is the Iranian dictatorship who is the initiator.

As I said in my February 18, 2006 Seattle speech:
"There is a lot of talk about the 'military option' being 'on the table.'
But who put the military option on the table?
Who put the nuclear option on the table?
Who put the 'destroy Israel' option on the table?

The mullahs are on a war drive, they have put the military option on the table,

they have put the hatred option on the table,

they have put the 'destroy Israel' option on the table.

The world community must unite and say 'No! Enough! Stop the Ayatollahs' War Drive!'

The blame does not belong to Condoleeza Rice or Dick Cheney or President Bush.

The finger must point at those responsible for putting the 'options' on the table.

The Iranian mullahs must be forced to take the nuclear option off the table!"

Steve Beren
www.steveberen.com
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 2:33 pm    Post subject: Nicholas Burns refused to rule out unilateral action by US Reply with quote



US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns, seen here in March 2006, refused to rule out unilateral action by the United States to curb Iran's nuclear program but said it would be "best" to work with other countries in doing so.(AFP/File/Stan Honda)


Russia, US divided on Iran after Moscow talks


http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060419/wl_afp/irannuclearpolitics_060419195347

"We also think it is important for countries to stop cooperation with Iran on nuclear issues, even on civilian nuclear issues like the Bushehr facility," Burns said. Russia is Iran's biggest nuclear partner and is building the country's first atomic power station at Bushehr.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:26 am    Post subject: Bush and Iran Reply with quote

Bush and Iran

April 21, 2006
The Wall Street Journal
Review & Outlook
http://online.wsj.com/public/us


Bill Clinton often complained that history had denied him the sort of historic challenge -- a Great Depression or war -- that might have made his Presidency great. We suspect that, after five tumultuous years, President Bush has more than once wished that he could have been so lucky.

But that is not the fate of this President, who has had to confront the consequences of the holiday from history that was the 1990s: September 11, continuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now his most severe test yet, the looming crisis over Iran's drive for nuclear weapons.

* * *

Iran's announcement this month that it has enriched uranium to reactor-grade levels marks a watershed, and there is no point putting a hopeful gloss on it. Iran now owns the entire nuclear fuel cycle, from mining uranium ore from its own deposits, to milling it, crushing it, converting it to hexafluoride gas and enriching it in homemade centrifuges.

Technically, uranium enrichment to reactor-grade constitutes the most difficult phase of the process; moving from there to bomb-grade is much easier. "You can have a lot of problems with the first [centrifuge cascade]," a knowledgeable U.S. government source recently told us. "But once you master it, then you just replicate it elsewhere."

Nor is that all. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims Iran is "conducting research" on an advanced centrifuge obtained from rogue Pakistan scientist A.Q. Khan, and which it has previously denied using. This means Iran has once again admitted lying to the International Atomic Energy Agency. It also indicates Iran has a more extensive covert nuclear program than previously recognized, and that it is much closer to its goal of developing an industrial-scale nuclear base than generally assumed.

Put simply, the idea that Iran is still a decade away from a bomb -- as was suggested by last year's National Intelligence Estimate -- now looks like wishful thinking. The Iranian bomb will thus be a crisis for this Administration, not the next, and Mr. Bush will have no choice but to offer the kind of leadership he has so far outsourced to the Europeans and the United Nations.

This does not yet mean giving up on diplomacy, although it does mean being realistic about its limits and clear about the alternatives. The threat of comprehensive sanctions that would put Tehran under a trade and oil embargo, bar Iranian officials from traveling abroad and forbid Iranian athletes from participating in international sporting events might persuade Iran's religious leaders that there is a prohibitive price to pay for going nuclear. But we doubt it.

Far from deterring the mullahs, sanctions are likelier to hasten their quest for a bomb, if only because nuclear-armed regimes are harder to isolate and contain than non-nuclear ones. Sanctions on Pakistan and India, imposed after their nuclear tests in 1998, barely lasted a few years.

In any case, the chances of the international community imposing sanctions -- and sticking to them -- are vanishingly small. Russia and China have made their opposition plain. China will not allow itself to be cut off from supplies of Iranian oil and natural gas. And Russia increasingly sees Tehran as a valuable customer: Iran's nuclear reactor at Bushehr is being built by Russia, which also supplies advanced anti-aircraft missiles to defend it.

As for the Europeans, three years of fruitless diplomacy have at least persuaded them of Tehran's bad faith. But neither Germany nor France (which has extensive trade links with Iran) appear prepared to go along with serious sanctions, while British Foreign Minister Jack Straw has made a career of trying to cultivate the mullahs.

Instead, the "international community" and U.S. foreign policy establishment are likely to press the Administration to pursue what's being called a "Grand Bargain": direct talks between Washington and Tehran leading to an end to the U.S. embargo and a resumption of diplomatic relations in exchange for an Iranian promise to abandon its nuclear program. The bargain idea has just got a boost from Richard Lugar, the Indiana Republican who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Talking to the mullahs, he recently told ABC's George Stephanopoulos, "would be useful," adding that the Administration needed to "make more headway diplomatically."

This is precisely what Mr. Clinton tried with North Korea in the 1990s, when Pyongyang was offered economic and technical assistance in exchange for promising to give up its nuclear ambitions. As we now know, the North pocketed that American commitment, went ahead covertly with its weapons programs, and is now demanding further U.S. concessions.

In the same way, nothing Iran has done in recent years offers any indication it would honor such a bargain. It has consistently lied to the IAEA, trashed its agreements with Europe, openly flouted a U.N. Security Council resolution, provided explosives to insurgents in Iraq, developed ballistic missiles of increasing range, selected a president with apocalyptic religious impulses, and engaged in vitriolic anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric.

This is not the behavior of an ordinary state -- a "status quo power," in diplomatic jargon -- that aims to "normalize" its position in the world through diplomacy. Rather, they are the acts of a revolutionary regime seeking to spread its ideology and power by force and intimidation.

Most of all, the U.S. should think very carefully about making deals with a despotic regime that enjoys the support of only 20% of its own people, at least if our aim is to see the regime toppled peacefully from within. In his 2006 State of the Union address, Mr. Bush addressed the Iranian people directly, saying "we respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom." A "grand bargain" of the kind suggested by Mr. Lugar would betray that promise and assist the mullahs in retaining power.

* * *

The task now for the President is to begin speaking publicly about why a nuclear Iran is, as he calls it, "unacceptable." Far from preparing for war with Iran, the Administration has barely begun to confront the tough choices at hand. The reasons for this reluctance are easy to appreciate: The future of democratic Iraq is far from assured; Mr. Bush's approval ratings are in the tank and his political capital is depleted; and the military options against Iran have their own limitations and risks. But Mr. Bush remains President for 33 more months, with a Constitutional responsibility to ensure our safety. And there is no more clear and present danger than Iran's nuclear programs.

Our point today is not to advocate any specific course of action. But the Administration can't postpone any longer a candid discussion about the nature and urgency of the Iranian threat. That discussion must include the Congress; this would be helpful not least as a way of smoking out exactly what Senator Lugar and his fellow-grand bargainers are really proposing as an alternative to sanctions or force. If they think an Iranian nuke is acceptable, they should say so.

Above all, the President must begin to educate the American public about what is at stake in Iran and what the U.S. might be prepared to do about it. Until he does so, he will be hostage to a series of increasingly distressing Tehran "announcements," the pace and timing of which will be dictated by the clerics and zealots who wish us ill.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:55 am    Post subject: Russia: Proof needed for Iran sanct Reply with quote

Quote:
Russia: Proof needed for Iran sanctions
Updated 4/21/2006 5:16 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-04-21-russia-iran_x.htm?csp=34

MOSCOW (AP) Russia's Foreign Ministry said Friday the U.N. Security Council cannot consider levying sanctions against Iran until it's proven Tehran's nuclear program is not exclusively for peaceful purposes, a Russian news agency reported.



In order to sell more Junk Russian Arms to Islamofascist traitor fools in Iran and Milk Iran More, The Russian Strategist Are Pushing The US to War as The Only Choice and Final Solution. The Russian Delay Tactic for Regime Change is for The Russian to Sell Maximum Amount Of Arms to Islamofascist in short period of time ....
This is the Russian strategy to push US to war strategy trap as only solution. We should not forget that the Russian are Milking Islamist traitors in Iran for buying as much as arms from Russia and delay regime change. Mullahs, Revolutionary Guard Fools and Islamofascist Militia are doing anything to stay in power for a little bit longer.

Russian strategist fools are thinking short term and making 70 million Iranian people as their No. 1 enemy for long time to come.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Russia: Proof needed for Iran sanct Reply with quote



US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, seen during a news conference in Moscow, 19 April 2006.
The United States, seeking to step up pressure on Iran,
urged an embargo on the sales of arms and sensitive equipment to Tehran
unless it gives up its suspected nuclear arms ambitions(AFP/Pool/File/Mikhail Metzel)


cyrus wrote:
Quote:
Russia: Proof needed for Iran sanctions
Updated 4/21/2006 5:16 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-04-21-russia-iran_x.htm?csp=34

MOSCOW (AP) Russia's Foreign Ministry said Friday the U.N. Security Council cannot consider levying sanctions against Iran until it's proven Tehran's nuclear program is not exclusively for peaceful purposes, a Russian news agency reported.



In order to sell more Junk Russian Arms to Islamofascist traitor fools in Iran and Milk Iran More, The Russian Strategist Are Pushing The US to War as The Only Choice and Final Solution. The Russian Delay Tactic for Regime Change is for The Russian to Sell Maximum Amount Of Arms to Islamofascist in short period of time ....
This is the Russian strategy to push US to war strategy trap as only solution. We should not forget that the Russian are Milking Islamist traitors in Iran for buying as much as arms from Russia and delay regime change. Mullahs, Revolutionary Guard Fools and Islamofascist Militia are doing anything to stay in power for a little bit longer.

Russian strategist fools are thinking short term and making 70 million Iranian people as their No. 1 enemy for long time to come.


Russia must freeze arms deals with Iran: US
1 hour, 9 minutes ago

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060421/ts_nm/nuclear_iran_usa_dc_1

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia must stop any arms deals with Iran and other nations must bar the sale of dual-use technologies to Tehran to put pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear program, a senior U.S. official said on Friday

"It's time for countries to use their leverage against Iran," said senior State Department official Nicholas Burns, adding: "We think its very important that countries like Russia freeze any arms sales planned for Iran."

Robert Joseph wrote:

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/060421/photos_wl_me_afp/0e8504977fbd56b5e1cd22fe18d71488
US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, Robert Joseph, seen 13 April 2006. The United States, seeking to step up pressure on Iran, urged an embargo on the sales of arms and sensitive equipment to Tehran unless it gives up its suspected nuclear arms ambitions(AFP/File/Cris Bouroncle)
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cyrus
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 7:08 pm    Post subject: U.S. Wants Russia to Stop Iran Arms Sales Reply with quote

U.S. Wants Russia to Stop Iran Arms Sales

By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer
18 minutes ago

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060421/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_iran

WASHINGTON - The United States pressed Russia on Friday to halt missile sales to Iran amid international efforts to defuse a standoff with Tehran over its disputed nuclear program.

The U.S. wants other countries that are concerned about Iran's nuclear intentions to use their influence, be it cutoffs of trade ties or, in Russia's case, cancellation of a planned sale of Tor-M1 air defense missile systems.

"We think it's time for countries to use their leverage individually, and we think it's time for countries to band together collectively to make the same effort," said Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns.

The United States and its allies claim Tehran is seeking a bomb under cover of a peaceful civilian nuclear energy program; Iran denies it.

Burns' call for individual nations to do what they can to isolate Iran sets up an alternate way to apply pressure to the clerical regime outside the U.N. Security Council's current review of the Iranian nuclear program.

The United States pushed for more than two years to bring Iran's case before the powerful U.N. body for possible economic and political sanctions. U.S. officials have said that is the best way to deter Iran from pursuing nuclear know-how that could be used for a bomb.

The council is now divided, however, over whether to apply sanctions to the rich oil exporter.

Burns left Moscow after two days of meetings this week with an agreement that something must be done to stop Iran, but no public movement from Iran's commercial partners Russia and China toward supporting sanctions.

U.S. officials denied that asking countries to individually apply their own forms of sanctions shows lack of confidence in the Security Council process or undermines it.

"We're dedicating ourselves to the Security Council process, and you'll see the United States be as actively engaged as anybody," Burns said.

"But if the Security Council cannot act over a reasonable period of time, then there will be an opportunity for groups of countries to organize themselves together for the purpose of isolating the Iranians diplomatically and economically."

Russia dug in its heels Friday, saying there is not yet proof that Iran is pursuing a bomb and that the nuclear crisis should be resolved by the less powerful U.N. nuclear watchdog agency instead of the Security Council.

"There is no such issue (of sanctions) for us," Nikolai Spassky, deputy head of the Kremlin Security Council was quoted as saying by the RIA-Novosti news agency. "We are not discussing it."

Russia holds veto power as one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

"Those that might prevent the Security Council from acting effectively need to understand that the international community has to find a way and will find a way to express our displeasure with the Iranians," Burns said.

There should be no export of so-called dual-use technology to Iran, Burns said, a reference to hardware or computer equipment that Iran might legally buy abroad but that could be used to pursue a nuclear weapon.

Beyond those safeguards, "We think it's very important that countries like Russia, for instance, freeze any arms sales planned for Iran," Burns said.

Russia announced plans last year to sell 29 sophisticated Tor-M1 air defense missile systems to Iran under a contract worth about $700 million.

"We hope and we trust that that deal will not go forward because this is not time for business as usual with the Iranian government," Burns said.

Russian officials had said earlier Friday that the deal is still on, despite U.S. pressure.

"We'll continue to work at it," Burns said. "We felt it was important to press the issue."
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