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U.S. is studying military strike options on Iran
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/Israel_Attack_on_Iran/2008/06/06/102217.html?s=al&promo_code=63E4-1


Israel Attack on Iran 'Unavoidable':
Olmert Deputy

Friday, June 6, 2008 8:17 AM

An Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites looks "unavoidable" given the apparent failure of sanctions to deny Tehran technology with bomb-making potential, one of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's deputies said on Friday.
"If Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective," Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz told the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

"Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable," said the former army chief who has also been defense minister.

It was the most explicit threat yet against Iran from a member of Olmert's government, which, like the Bush administration, has preferred to hint at force as a last resort should U.N. Security Council sanctions be deemed a dead end.
Iran, which denies seeking nuclear weapons, has defied Western pressure to abandon its uranium enrichment projects. The leadership in Tehran has also threatened to retaliate against Israel -- believed to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal -- and U.S. targets in the Gulf for any attack on Iranian turf.
Mofaz also said in the interview that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, "would disappear before Israel does."
Mofaz's remarks came as he and several other senior members of Olmert's Kadima Party prepare for a possible run for top office should a corruption scandal force the Israeli prime minister to step down.

Iranian-born Mofaz has been a main party rival of the Israeli prime minister, particularly following the 2006 elections when Olmert was forced to hand the defense portfolio to Labor, his main coalition partner, at Mofaz's expense.

Mofaz, who is also designated as a deputy prime minister, has remained privy to Israel's defense planning. He is a member of Olmert's security cabinet and leads regular strategic coordination talks with the U.S. State Department.

Israel sent warplanes to destroy Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981.

A similar Israeli sortie over Syria last September razed what the U.S. administration said was a nascent nuclear reactor built with North Korean help. Syria denied having any such facility.

Independent analysts have questioned, however, whether Israel's armed forces can take on Iran alone, as its nuclear sites are numerous, distant and well-fortified.


http://news.newsmax.com/?Z6CvXin7upv2hy7ii0qemBUHD3bftfR1Z


1. Former German Diplomat: Israel Readying Strike on Iran

A prominent political observer is predicting that Israel is likely to attack Iran's nuclear facilities before President Bush leaves office.

"The threat of another military confrontation hangs like a dark cloud over the Middle East," declared Joschka Fischer, who was Germany's foreign minister and vice chancellor from 1998 to 2005.

Writing in the Beirut-based English-language newspaper The Daily Star, Fischer notes that a nuclear-armed Iran would be "Israel's worst security nightmare," and the Jewish state takes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threat to annihilate Israel very seriously.

He points to several factors that indicate Israel could be readying a strike on Iran:

When President Bush recently visited Israel as the country celebrated its 60th birthday, it was expected that Palestinian-Israeli relations would be the chief topic discussed. Instead, it was Iran.
It has been speculated that during his visit, Bush gave Israel the green light for an attack on Iran.


Political pressure is mounting in Israel for action to halt the Iranian threat.

The outgoing commander of the Israeli Air Force has said that the air force is capable of any mission, no matter how difficult, to protect Israel's security.

With the Bush presidency approaching its end and uncertainty about his successor's policy toward Israel and Iran, the "window of opportunity" for an Israeli attack is potentially closing, and that window "is now, during the last months of Bush's presidency."
Fischer observes: "Although it is acknowledged in Israel that an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would involve grave and hard-to-assess risks, the choice between acceptance of an Iranian bomb and an attempt at its military destruction, with all the attendant consequences, is clear. Israel won't stand by and wait for matters to take their course."

As Newsmax reported in December, Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official and senior adviser to three presidents, said after talks with Israeli officials that the Jewish state would launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities on its own if the rest of the world does not take action.

Fischer concluded: "Iran must understand that without a diplomatic solution in the coming months, a dangerous military conflict is very likely to erupt. It is high time for serious negotiations to begin."
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/Israeli_Warplanes_iran/2008/06/20/106248.html?s=al&promo_code=64B3-1

Warplanes Practice for Raid on Iran Nukes

Friday, June 20, 2008 12:42 PM


WASHINGTON -- A large Israeli military exercise this month may have been aimed at showing Jerusalem's abilities to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

In a substantial show of force, Israel sent warplanes and other aircraft on a major exercise in the Eastern Mediterranean early this month, Pentagon officials said Friday.

Israel's military refused to confirm or deny that the maneuvers were practice for a strike in Iran.

Russia's foreign minister Friday warned against the use of force on Iran, saying there is no proof it is trying to build nuclear weapons with a program that Tehran says is for generating power.

U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the sensitive matter for the record.

"They have been conducting some large-scale exercises - they live in a tough neighborhood," one U.S. official said, though he offered no other recent examples.

The big exercise the first week of June was impossible to miss and may have been meant as a show of force as well as a practice on skills needed to execute a long-range strike mission, one U.S. official said.

The New York Times quoted officials Friday as saying that more than 100 Israeli F-16s and F-15s staged the maneuver, flying more than 900 miles, roughly the distance from Israel to Iran's Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, and that the exercise included refueling tankers and helicopters capable of rescuing downed pilots.

"It was noticed that a significant exercise took place - dozens and dozens of aircraft participated," one U.S. officials said Friday. "We watch globally everyday, and this was noted."

A second U.S. defense official said the maneuver could be taken as a demonstration that Israel is serious about the need to challenge Iran's nuclear program - and could be prepared to do so militarily. "That's one of the assessments you could make out of the exercise," the official said.

Asked to comment, the Israeli military issued a statement saying only that the Israeli air force "regularly trains for various missions in order to confront and meet the challenges posed by the threats facing Israel."

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev offered no comment beyond the military's statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said he prefers that Iran's nuclear ambitions be halted by diplomatic means, but has pointedly declined to rule out military action. Bush administration officials have said the same.

In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel published on Wednesday, Olmert said the current international sanctions against Iran would probably not succeed alone, saying there were "many things that can be done economically, politically, diplomatically and militarily."

Asked if Israel was capable of taking military action against Iran, Olmert said, "Israel always has to be in a position to defend itself against any adversary and against any threat of any kind."

Israeli military analyst Martin Van Creveld of Jerusalem's Hebrew University said military preparations for a possible attack are indeed under way.

"Israel has been talking about this possibility for a long time, that it would not take an Iranian nuclear weapon lying down. And it has been practicing the operation or operations for a long time," he said.

But though an Israeli strike would likely be able to "paralyze the most important Iranian nuclear installations," it probably wouldn't be able to destroy the program entirely, Van Creveld said. "I would be very surprised if Israel can really knock out every part of this program, which by all accounts appears to be large and well concealed and well dispersed," he said.

There are precedents for unilateral Israeli action in such cases. In 1981, Israeli jets bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear facility to end dictator Saddam Hussein's nuclear program. And last September Israel bombed a facility in Syria that U.S. officials have said was a nuclear reactor being constructed with North Korean assistance.

A U.S. intelligence report released late last year concluded that Iran has suspended its nuclear weapons program, but Israeli intelligence believes that assessment is incorrect and that work is continuing.


Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Iran should be engaged in dialogue and encouraged to cooperate with the U.N. nuclear monitoring agency.

Lavrov made the statement when asked to comment on an Israeli Cabinet member's statement earlier this month that Israel could attack Iran if it does not halt its nuclear program.

"I hope the actual actions would be based on international law," Lavrov said. "And international law clearly protects Iran's and anyone else's territorial integrity."
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.newsmax.com/borchgrave/israel_iran_nuclear/2008/06/26/107691.html


Israel: We Will Strike Iran Alone

Thursday, June 26, 2008 4:04 PM

By: Arnaud de Borchgrave

Israel's message to its only ally, the United States, was quite clear. Either President Bush orders military action on Iran, or Israel will have to strike on its own.

It can't wait till a new U.S. president is sworn in. Because the new White House tenant could well be Barack Obama. And Obama almost certainly would not approve an Israeli airstrike without first going several extra miles on the U.N. and Western diplomatic track. This could even lead to the kind of rift in Israeli-U.S. relations that occurred when President Eisenhower ordered French, British, and Israeli forces out of Egypt during the 1956 Suez War.

America's allies had sprung a strategic deception surprise on the United States by invading Egypt to put the Suez Canal, nationalized by Gamal Abdel Nasser, back under international control. The Soviet Union then ordered Warsaw Pact forces to invade Hungary to suppress an anti-communist revolution.

Thus, the invasion of Suez drained whatever propaganda advantage Eisenhower could have obtained from naked Soviet aggression. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev even felt free to rattle his nuclear "rockets" at the United States and took credit for the humiliatingly hurried Franco-British-Israeli withdrawal from Egypt.

The Hungarian Revolution and the Suez Crisis were two of the most dramatic upheavals in international affairs in the post-World War II era. If Israel were to attack Iran's nuclear facilities while Bush is still the commander in chief, China and Russia might be tempted to take a page out of Khrushchev's geopolitical playbook � and rattle a few threatening economic missiles.

This, in turn, would be designed to get Sen. Obama, D-Ill., to disassociate himself from any hostile action Israel might have taken against Iran. And if that didn't elicit the desired result, Iran's formidable asymmetrical retaliatory capabilities would be unleashed throughout the Gulf in particular and the Middle East in general. Iran also can make life hell for U.S. forces in Iraq and NATO forces in Afghanistan. With U.S. consumer confidence already at a 16-year low, oil would quickly skyrocket to $400 or $500 a barrel.

If, on the other hand, John McCain moves into the White House on the afternoon of Jan. 20, 2009, he presumably would approve of Israeli bombing raids and cruise-missile strikes against Iran's nascent nuclear weapons capability. There is only one thing worse than bombing Iran, McCain has said, and that is an Iranian nuclear bomb.
McCain is also privately critical of Bush's reluctance to cross the border from Iraq into Iran to attack Al Quds barracks housing the Revolutionary Guards' Special Forces who smuggled into Iraq a steady stream of improvised explosive devices that kill and maim American soldiers.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen will be in Israel next weekend, where he will hear the same simple message: If you don't, we have to � and will.

On May 28 and June 12, in a double-barreled exercise code-named "Glorious Spartan 08," more than 100 Israeli F-16s and F-15s and air-to-air refueling tankers engaged in exercises over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece, 900 miles from home bases. Greece cooperated in what Athens called joint maneuvers. For Jerusalem, it was a demonstration of Israel's capabilities and readiness to strike Iranian targets.
With French know-how at first, Israel began building a nuclear arsenal in the 1950s. Today, Israel is a major nuclear weapons power with an estimated 200 warheads. But Israel's political leadership, reflecting public opinion, is convinced it is living an existential crisis and that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's extremist threats to snuff out Zionism could destroy the Jewish state with one city-busting weapon in the nose cone of an Iranian missile.

Notwithstanding four unsuccessful U.N. Security Council sanction resolutions and countless juicy carrots spurned by Tehran (including technological and financial assistance for a modern nuclear power industry), diplomats recoil in horror at the mere mention of Israeli and/or U.S. attacks on Iran. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei says any attack on Iran would turn the entire region into a "ball of fire" and he would resign.

But ElBaradei still talks the talk, if not the walk, when he accuses Iran of holding back information needed to clarify intelligence reports it had secretly researched nuclear bomb-making, concealed from the prying eyes of his inspectors.

Ranking U.S. and European diplomats say there is still plenty of leeway for diplomacy coupled with increased sanctions pressure. They point out that verbal bomb-thrower Ahmadinejad does not control Iran's nuclear establishment, which is in the hands of Supreme Religious Leader Ali Khamenei, who keeps pledging Iran is not interested in nukes, only nuclear power.

Also encouraging is that one of Ahmadinejad's bitter political opponents, former chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, was recently elected to the powerful position of speaker of parliament and may unseat Ahmadinejad in 2009 elections.

That Iran is a wanna-be nuclear weapons power is beyond dispute.

A national hero at home for midwifing Pakistan's nuclear arsenal with plans for a uranium enrichment plant stolen from the Netherlands and a villain in the rest of the world for running a black market in nuclear secrets for the benefit of America's enemies, A.Q. Khan sold weapons secrets to Iran's mullahs beginning 23 years ago. It would be a miracle if Iran, which boasts thousands of scientists and engineers, does not have at least one powerful device in one of its many underground facilities, usually adjacent to population centers.

Three former CENTCOM four-stars, Anthony Zinni, John Abizaid and William J. Fallon, are on record against bombing Iran's nuclear facilities. Instead, they favor high-level negotiations with Iran's mullah regime. They believe the aim should be a geopolitical deal whereby Iran allows Iraq to consolidate its pro-Western democracy, reins in Hezbollah and Hamas, the United States restores full diplomatic relations, lifts all economic sanctions, and learns to live with an Iranian bomb.

As a sign of peaceful intent, the administration would offer to open a consular section in Tehran to facilitate visas for Iranians wishing to visit the United States.

Four of the world's eight nuclear powers, Russia, Israel, Pakistan and India, surround Iran to the north, west, and east. Next to these parvenus, Iran/Persia is the only ancient civilization. Like the shah the mullahs overthrew, Iran is determined to achieve the ultimate badge of power. But then, major Arab players, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, will want it next.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/bolton_israel_iran/2008/06/25/107224.html?s=al&promo_code=64FD-1



Bolton: Israel Will Strike Iran if Obama is Elected

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 4:32 PM

By: Rick Pedraza


Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton believes Israel will stage a raid against Iran's nuclear facilities if Democratic nominee Barack Obama wins the upcoming presidential election in November.

Bolton, often labeled a resolute neo-conservative, believes the Israeli attack would take place sometime between the day after Obama's win and his inauguration on January 20 of next year.

In an interview with FOX News, Bolton says, "I think if they are to do anything, the most likely period is after our elections and before the inauguration of the next President."

Bolton reasons Israel won�t be able to hold off a strike on Iran any longer than that given the Illinois senator's intended foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic.

"I don�t think they [the Israeli government] will do anything before our election because they don�t want to affect it,� he says, adding, �They�d have to make a judgment whether to [strike] during the remainder of President Bush�s term in office or wait for his successor."

Bolton points to Obama�s statements in which he says he would engage Iran in direct talks and take the military option for dealing with Iran's quest for nuclear weapons off the table, a position he believes will further embolden Tehran to build a nuclear bomb.

In a related interview with The Telegraph, Bolton says he believes Arab countries will support an Israeli strike, effectively ending Iran's nuclear ambitions, while publicly denouncing it.

Their reaction, he tells the British paper, "will be positive privately. I think there'll be public denunciations, but no action."

Bolton thinks Israel may consider postponing the attack, however, if Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., emerges as the victor in the presidential race. He says McCain's stance on Iran �is far more realistic than that of the Bush administration.�

Bolton doubts Iran would respond immediately with a counterstrike of its own, partially because Tehran would fear an American reprisal.

Earlier this month, Israel held a massive air force exercise over Greece that U.S., Israeli and Greek sources later confirmed was a test run for a strike on Iran's main uranium enrichment plant.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080702/ap_on_re_mi_ea/oil_congress


Iran says any attack would provoke fierce reaction
By GEORGE JAHN,

Associated Press Writer
Wed Jul 2, 9:46 AM ET

MADRID, Spain - With Middle East tensions building, Iran's oil minister warned Wednesday that an attack on his country would provoke an unimaginably fierce response.

Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said, however, that Tehran would not cut oil deliveries and would continue supplying the market even if struck by Israel or the United States.

Tehran "is not going to be quiet," if attacked, Nozari told reporters. It's "going to react fiercely, and nobody can imagine what would be the reaction of Iran," he added.

Over the weekend, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned that Tehran would respond to an attack by barraging Israel with missiles and could seize control of a key oil passageway in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz.

But a senior U.S. military commander said Wednesday that Washington would not allow that to happen.

Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff, commander of the 5th Fleet spoke to reporters after talks with naval commanders of Gulf countries in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi. The one-day meeting was to focus on the security of the region's maritime and trade routes and the threat of terrorism.

The 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain, across the Gulf from Iran. Cosgriff said that if Iran choked off the Strait of Hormuz, it would be "saying to the world that 40 percent of oil is now held hostage by a single country."

"We will not allow Iran to close it," he told reporters.

Minister Nozari addressed rising tensions outside the 19th World Petroleum Congress after a presentation on Iran's oil and gas industry to a packed audience, including representatives of European and U.S. energy companies.

Tehran is under U.N., U.S. and European sanctions because it has defied U.N. Security Council demands to suspend its uranium enrichment program. But with oil supplies tight and prices at unprecedented levels, the energy industry remains tempted by the possibilities of investing in Iran, OPEC's second largest oil producer and No. 2 in terms of the world's natural gas reserves.

President Bush has repeatedly said that a military strike on Tehran is possible as a last-resort if Iran continues to pursues uranium enrichment and fails to heed other Security Council demands.

Last month, Israel sent warplanes on a major exercise in the eastern Mediterranean that U.S. officials said was a message to Iran a show of force as well as practice in the operations needed for a long-range strike mission.

ABC News quoted an unnamed senior Pentagon official warning of an "increasing likelihood" that Israel will strike Iran's nuclear facilities before the end of the year.

Nozari said such any attack would send oil prices further into uncharted territory.

"We don't think the wise people in the world even think about any action like that," he said. "Can you imagine ... what would be the result in the oil market?"

Oil prices hit a record high above $143 this week.

But Nozari indicated Iran would not withhold its crude from the market even if attacked.

"Iran has always been a reliable source of supply to the market, and Iran remains a (reliable) source of supply," he said.

He dismissed suggestions that the standoff over Iran's nuclear program has diminished Iran's oil and gas exports, despite U.S. sanctions that prohibit American companies from doing business with Tehran and growing pressure from Washington on other countries to follow suit.

"We have increased our production in the past two years by 250,000 barrels a day and we have added to the production of our gas," he told the AP.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=NDkzMDUzNzA5

Washington boosts covert operations against Tehran
Published Date: June 30, 2008

WASHINGTON: The United States gave a major boost to covert operations against Iran with Congress's approval last year of President George W Bush's request for 400 million dollars, a US magazine reported yesterday. The move reveals a "major escalation" in clandestine operations aimed at destabilizing the Islamic republic's religious leadership amid concerns over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, said the report in the New Yorker magazine citing former military, intelligence, and congressional sources.

Among the methods being used are increased US support for minority and dissident groups and intelligence gathering about Iran's nuclear facilities, said the article, written and reported by Seymour Hersh. Although such covert activities in Iran are not new on the part of the United States, the magazine said the "scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded." The Congress app
roved Bush's request for funding late last year, according to sources with knowledge of the top secret Presidential Finding, which by law must be issued when covert intelligence operations get underway.

The Presidential Finding is conveyed to a select group of Congressional leaders and their intelligence committees, otherwise known as the Gang of Eight, the report said. "The Finding was focused on undermining Iran's nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change," and involved "working with opposition groups and passing money," the report said, quoting an unnamed "person familiar with its contents.

The report said some lawmakers were skeptical of the administration's aims, and there was "a significant amount of high-level discussion" about the Finding before the funding was eventually approved. The Bush administration's request for funding came around the same time as the December 2007 release of the National Intelligence Estimate, which said the Iran halted nuclear weapons work in 2003. The NIE was downplayed by Bush and other officials who called for urgent action to counter the Iranian nuclear thr
eat. Washington suspects Iran is secretly working to build an atomic weapons arsenal. Iran insists its nuclear activities are for civilian energy purposes. - AFP
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:01 pm    Post subject: Ambassador John Bolton Interview With Sivash Afshar Reply with quote

THE IRANIAN RENAISSANCE Site wrote:

Must Listen to Ambassador John Bolton Interview With FREE Iran Activist Mr. Sivash Afshar On Tuesday July 08, 2008 From Site bamanook.com Regarding Regime Change and Also Relaying Iranian People and Opposition Questions .....



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.newsmax.com/borchgrave/iranian_talks_nuclear/2008/07/07/110643.html

Arnaud de Borchgrave RSS ARCHIVE


Iran Softening the Rhetoric

Monday, July 7, 2008 4:43 PM

By: Arnaud de Borchgrave


Is the United States heading into a deadly confrontation with Iran?

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, the unsuccessful maverick Republican presidential candidate, warned millions of radio listeners this is now inevitable. He cited House Congressional Resolution 362, lobbied hard by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, as a "virtual Iran war resolution."
Since its introduction three weeks ago, and before the weeklong July 4 break, the resolution garnered 150 cosponsors. In the Senate, sister Resolution 580, introduced by Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh, was also gathering momentum.

After 11 "whereas" to build a casus belli against Iran, House 362 would require a naval blockade to "prohibit the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products, impose stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains and cargo entering or departing Iran." It also would ban "the international travel of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran's nuclear program."
If passed by both houses, the United States would be at war with Iran � alone, without allies, and oil would double in price immediately to $300 a barrel. The Bush administration has pledged it will keep the Strait of Hormuz open and protect tankers transporting 25 percent of the world's daily ocean-borne oil traffic through the 32-mile-wide strait. Tanker traffic between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea uses two lanes, each two miles wide, for inbound and outbound ships.

Iran's largest naval base, at Bandar Abbas, commands the northern side of the Strait of Hormuz. Three islands near the middle of the strait are under Iranian control with naval gun emplacements and concealed missiles. U.S. Fifth Fleet headquarters is in Bahrain, farther up the Gulf. Sinking or crippling a couple of the 50 supertankers as they pass each other every day in the strait would not be much of a challenge for Iranian gunners. U.S. retaliation by air would follow minutes later from a carrier in the Gulf of Oman, but meanwhile ship-owners the world over would ban any attempt to navigate around the shipwrecks. A barrel of oil would quickly jump to $500 and gas would reach $12 a gallon, a dollar less than what the Dutch already pay for their heavily taxed gas in the Netherlands. Iran's military chiefs warned last Saturday the Islamic republic would shut down the Strait of Hormuz and use "blitzkrieg" tactics in the Gulf if it came under attack.
A blockade of Iran would be an act of war. Last January small Iranian speedboats darted in and out between three U.S. warships sailing through the strait. Had they been suicide boats, at least one of the U.S. vessels would have been hit, as the USS Cole was in Aden in October 2000. U.S. Navy denials notwithstanding, Iran's capability to close the Persian Gulf is very real.
As the fighting in Lebanon demonstrated two years ago, Hezbollah militias deployed mobile missile launchers in large numbers against land-based and naval targets. Iran has purchased two types of anti-ship cruise missiles from China, the Silkworm and the C-802, whose capabilities are similar to the Exocet and Harpoon family of sea-skimming missiles.

NATO estimates the C-802's single shot capability at 98 percent. It was this type of missile, also known as Yingji-82, Chinese for Eagle Strike, that scored two direct hits on the Israeli corvette INS Hanit in 2006, killing four and knocking it out of action. Some 60 Chinese-made missiles are camouflaged in Iranian coastal batteries, along with hundreds of less sophisticated but just as lethal homemade missiles along the Iranian coast from the Gulf of Oman through the strait and up its Persian Gulf coastline.
While the new commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, Vice Adm. William Gortney, reiterated his predecessor's guarantee to keep 17 million barrels a day passing through the strategic waterway, a congressional resolution to blockade Iran's ports would change the correlation of forces. Iran would see such a decision as an act of war, as any other country would.

Cooler heads now appear to have gained the upper hand in Tehran. Talk about talking is Iran's way of muzzling talk about war. At the United Nations in New York, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters in subdued tones he had received a proposal from world powers (5 plus 1, shorthand for the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany) that could prompt a "new process." The 5 plus 1 were hoping Iran would agree to freeze uranium enrichment at 3,000 centrifuges for the duration of the next round of talks, which Mottaki didn't exclude either. "The first word diplomats are taught is compromise," he told reporters over lunch.
Mottaki also said he is "optimistic talks on his country's nuclear program may begin based on a package of incentives offered by the United States and other countries" and that Iran's official reply would be forthcoming in a couple of weeks. The softening of rhetoric was in sharp contrast to firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threats of death and destruction against Israel. But Mottaki explained his president's views on Israel by saying a grave injustice had been done to the Palestinians to repair the damage Europeans had done to themselves in World War II.

Mottaki didn't believe the Israelis or the Bush administration would bomb Iran through January 2009. Neither Israel nor the United States could afford to incur the wrath of the world while talks are ongoing. With three former U.S. CENTCOM commanders on record against the military option, it was hard to see how Israel could strike on its own without shutting the Persian Gulf down.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/Iran_nukes/2008/07/08/110902.html?s=al&promo_code=6595-1



Experts: Iran Has Resumed A-Bomb Project
Tuesday, July 8, 2008 12:17 PM

By: Rick Pedraza

Intelligence information received by Western diplomats reports that Iran has resumed building equipment used for constructing atomic weapons.

According to the London-based Daily Telegraph, the latest intelligence indicates that the work is aimed at developing a bomb according to a blueprint provided by Pakistani scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, father of the Pakistanian nuclear program who sold information on building atom bombs to Iran in the early 1990s.

Iran�s Revolutionary Guard, along with senior officials from its Atomic Energy Agency, is reportedly directing the clandestine project that has been concealed from United Nation�s inspection teams.

Iran, the world's fourth-biggest oil exporter, says its nuclear activities are peaceful. The United States and its Western allies suspect they are a cover to build atomic bombs.

�If Iran�s nuclear intentions were peaceful there would be no need for it to undertake this work in secret,� says an official familiar with the intelligence reports.

Construction of the highly sophisticated atomic weapons is being done on the outskirts of Tehran, The Telegraph reports, and includes the advanced P-2 gas centrifuge for uranium enrichment.

Tehran last week announced to the world media that it has no intention of halting its uranium enrichment program.

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana tells The Jerusalem Post he hopes to hold talks with the Iranian nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, before the end of the month to diffuse tensions in the region.

�There�s been no response yet. We are still talking among ourselves, but we hope to have a response soon� hopefully by the end of the month,� Solana says.

Shabtai Shavit, adviser to the Israeli parliament's defense and foreign affairs committee, tells The Sunday Telegraph that time is running out to prevent Iran from creating an atomic bomb, predicting that Iran is less than 12 months from achieving its nuclear ambitions.

Shavit, who retired from the Israeli intelligence agency in 1996, warns that he has no doubt Iran intends to use a nuclear weapon once it has the capability.

"The time that is left to be ready is getting shorter all the time," he says in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph.

"As an intelligence officer working with the worst-case scenario, I can tell you we should be prepared,� Shavit says.

�We should do whatever necessary on the defensive side, on the offensive side, on the public opinion side for the West, in case sanctions don't work. What's left is a military action."

An Iranian official speaking on behalf the republic was quoted by Reuters Tuesday as saying Iran will hit Tel Aviv, U.S. shipping in the Gulf and American interests around the world if it is attacked over its nuclear activities.

"The first bullet fired by America at Iran will be followed by Iran burning down its vital interests around the globe," the students news agency ISNA quotes Ali Shirazi, an aide to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as saying in a speech to Revolutionary Guards.

More than 40 percent of all globally traded oil passes through the 35-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz, putting tankers entering or leaving the Gulf at risk from Iranian attacks, which Iran intends to use as leverage in the nuclear dispute.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/bush_iran_attack/2008/07/13/112320.html?s=al&promo_code=65E3-1

Report: Bush Backs Israel Strike Plans on Iran

Sunday, July 13, 2008 7:19 AM


The Sunday Times of London reported this weekend that "President George W. Bush has told the Israeli government that he may be prepared to approve a future military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities if negotiations with Tehran break down." The Times report quoted a senior Pentagon official as its source.
With increased resistance from the Pentagon and the November elections closing in, the White House may be choosing its next best option in dealing with Tehran: to have Israel launch strikes on Iran's nuclear weapons facilities.
The paper said Bush has told Israel it has an "amber light" to proceed.

�Amber means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate attack and tell us when you�re ready,� the paper quoted a U.S. official as saying.
Military experts are not sure that Israel's military forces can do the job. Iran has dispersed its nuclear program sites around the country, and some weapons facilities are said to be deep within the earth. The U.S. has special bunker-busting bombs that could destroy such underground laboratories, but Israel does not.
Iran has made clear it will retaliate against Israel and the U.S. if either nation attacks it. Last week, Iran's military demonstrated its reach by firing nine long- and medium-range missiles -- including the modified Shahab-3 ballistic missile, which can easily strike Israel from western Iran.
Political factors may be playing a role in strike plans for both Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Bush is in lame-duck status, and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, the front-runner to win the presidency in November, says he favors the use of diplomacy over force when dealing with Iran.

Olmert is facing a political crisis as corruption charges threaten his hold on office. Some Israeli political analysts say Olmert may order an attack on Iran to bolster his political standing in Jerusalem.

The Times cited one of Olmert's closest friends as quoting the prime minister: "In three months� time it will be a different Middle East.�
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.newsmax.com/timmerman/iran_nuclear_plan/2008/07/29/117217.html


U.S. Intel: Iran Plans Nuclear Strike on U.S.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:00 AM

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman

Iran has carried out missile tests for what could be a plan for a nuclear strike on the United States, the head of a national security panel has warned.

In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee and in remarks to a private conference on missile defense over the weekend hosted by the Claremont Institute, Dr. William Graham warned that the U.S. intelligence community �doesn�t have a story� to explain the recent Iranian tests.

One group of tests that troubled Graham, the former White House science adviser under President Ronald Reagan, were successful efforts to launch a Scud missile from a platform in the Caspian Sea.

�They�ve got [test] ranges in Iran which are more than long enough to handle Scud launches and even Shahab-3 launches,� Dr. Graham said. �Why would they be launching from the surface of the Caspian Sea? They obviously have not explained that to us.�

Another troubling group of tests involved Shahab-3 launches where the Iranians "detonated the warhead near apogee, not over the target area where the thing would eventually land, but at altitude,� Graham said. �Why would they do that?�

Graham chairs the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, a blue-ribbon panel established by Congress in 2001.

The commission examined the Iranian tests �and without too much effort connected the dots,� even though the U.S. intelligence community previously had failed to do so, Graham said.

�The only plausible explanation we can find is that the Iranians are figuring out how to launch a missile from a ship and get it up to altitude and then detonate it,� he said. �And that�s exactly what you would do if you had a nuclear weapon on a Scud or a Shahab-3 or other missile, and you wanted to explode it over the United States.�

The commission warned in a report issued in April that the United States was at risk of a sneak nuclear attack by a rogue nation or a terrorist group designed to take out our nation�s critical infrastructure.

"If even a crude nuclear weapon were detonated anywhere between 40 kilometers to 400 kilometers above the earth, in a split-second it would generate an electro-magnetic pulse [EMP] that would cripple military and civilian communications, power, transportation, water, food, and other infrastructure," the report warned.

While not causing immediate civilian casualties, the near-term impact on U.S. society would dwarf the damage of a direct nuclear strike on a U.S. city.

�The first indication [of such an attack] would be that the power would go out, and some, but not all, the telecommunications would go out. We would not physically feel anything in our bodies,� Graham said.

As electric power, water and gas delivery systems failed, there would be �truly massive traffic jams,� Graham added, since modern automobiles and signaling systems all depend on sophisticated electronics that would be disabled by the EMP wave.
�So you would be walking. You wouldn�t be driving at that point,� Graham said. �And it wouldn�t do any good to call the maintenance or repair people because they wouldn�t be able to get there, even if you could get through to them.�

The food distribution system also would grind to a halt as cold-storage warehouses stockpiling perishables went offline. Even warehouses equipped with backup diesel generators would fail, because �we wouldn�t be able to pump the fuel into the trucks and get the trucks to the warehouses,� Graham said.

The United States �would quickly revert to an early 19th century type of country.� except that we would have 10 times as many people with ten times fewer resources, he said.

�Most of the things we depend upon would be gone, and we would literally be depending on our own assets and those we could reach by walking to them,� Graham said.

America would begin to resemble the 2002 TV series, �Jeremiah,� which depicts a world bereft of law, infrastructure, and memory.

In the TV series, an unspecified virus wipes out the entire adult population of the planet. In an EMP attack, the casualties would be caused by our almost total dependence on technology for everything from food and water, to hospital care.

Within a week or two of the attack, people would start dying, Graham says.

�People in hospitals would be dying faster than that, because they depend on power to stay alive. But then it would go to water, food, civil authority, emergency services. And we would end up with a country with many, many people not surviving the event.�

Asked just how many Americans would die if Iran were to launch the EMP attack it appears to be preparing, Graham gave a chilling reply.

�You have to go back into the 1800s to look at the size of population� that could survive in a nation deprived of mechanized agriculture, transportation, power, water, and communication.

�I�d have to say that 70 to 90 percent of the population would not be sustainable after this kind of attack,� he said.

America would be reduced to a core of around 30 million people � about the number that existed in the decades after America�s independence from Great Britain.

The modern electronic economy would shut down, and America would most likely revert to �an earlier economy based on barter,� the EMP commission�s report on Critical National Infrastructure concluded earlier this year.

In his recent congressional testimony, Graham revealed that Iranian military journals, translated by the CIA at his commission�s request, �explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that would gravely harm the United States.�

Furthermore, if Iran launched its attack from a cargo ship plying the commercial sea lanes off the East coast � a scenario that appears to have been tested during the Caspian Sea tests � U.S. investigators might never determine who was behind the attack. Because of the limits of nuclear forensic technology, it could take months. And to disguise their traces, the Iranians could simply decide to sink the ship that had been used to launch it, Graham said.

Several participants in last weekend�s conference in Dearborn, Mich., hosted by the conservative Claremont Institute argued that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was thinking about an EMP attack when he opined that �a world without America is conceivable.�

In May 2007, then Undersecretary of State John Rood told Congress that the U.S. intelligence community estimates that Iran could develop an ICBM capable of hitting the continental United States by 2015.

But Iran could put a Scud missile on board a cargo ship and launch from the commercial sea lanes off America�s coasts well before then.

The only thing Iran is lacking for an effective EMP attack is a nuclear warhead, and no one knows with any certainty when that will occur. The latest U.S. intelligence estimate states that Iran could acquire the fissile material for a nuclear weapon as early as 2009, or as late as 2015, or possibly later.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld first detailed the �Scud-in-a-bucket� threat during a briefing in Huntsville, Ala., on Aug. 18, 2004.

While not explicitly naming Iran, Rumsfeld revealed that �one of the nations in the Middle East had launched a ballistic missile from a cargo vessel. They had taken a short-range, probably Scud missile, put it on a transporter-erector launcher, lowered it in, taken the vessel out into the water, peeled back the top, erected it, fired it, lowered it, and covered it up. And the ship that they used was using a radar and electronic equipment that was no different than 50, 60, 100 other ships operating in the immediate area.�

Iran�s first test of a ship-launched Scud missile occurred in spring 1998, and was mentioned several months later in veiled terms by the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, a blue-ribbon panel also known as the Rumsfeld Commission.

I was the first reporter to mention the Iran sea-launched missile test in an article appearing in the Washington Times in May 1999.

Intelligence reports on the launch were �well known to the White House but have not been disseminated to the appropriate congressional committees,� I wrote. Such a missile �could be used in a devastating stealth attack against the United States or Israel for which the United States has no known or planned defense.�

Few experts believe that Iran can be deterred from launching such an attack by the threat of massive retaliation against Iran. They point to a December 2001 statement by former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who mulled the possibility of Israeli retaliation after an Iranian nuclear strike.

�The use of an atomic bomb against Israel would destroy Israel completely, while [the same] against the Islamic only would cause damages. Such a scenario is not inconceivable,� Rafsanjani said at the time.
Rep. Trent Franks, R, Ariz., plans to introduce legislation next week that would require the Pentagon to lay the groundwork for an eventual military strike against Iran, to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and EMP capability.

�An EMP attack on America would send us back to the horse and buggy era � without the horse and buggy,� he told the Claremont Institute conference on Saturday. �If you�re a terrorist, this is your ultimate goal, your ultimate asymmetric weapon.�
Noting Iran�s recent sea-launched and mid-flight warhead detonation tests, Rep. Franks concluded, �They could do it � either directly or anonymously by putting some freighter out there on the ocean.�

The only possible deterrent against Iran is the prospect of failure, Dr. Graham and other experts agreed. And the only way the United States could credibly threaten an Iranian missile strike would be to deploy effective national missile defenses.
�It�s well known that people don�t go on a diet until they�ve had a heart attack,� said Claremont Institute president Brian T. Kennedy. �And we as a nation are having a heart attack� when it comes to the threat of an EMP attack from Iran.

�As of today, we have no defense against such an attack. We need space-based missile defenses to protect against an EMP attack,� he told Newsmax.

Rep. Franks said he remains surprised at how partisan the subject of space-based missile defenses remain. �Nuclear missiles don�t discriminate on party lines when they land,� he said.

Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, a long-standing champion of missile defense, told the Claremont conference on Friday that Sen. Obama has opposed missile defense tooth and nail and as president would cut funding for these programs dramatically.

�Senator Obama has been quoted as saying, �I don�t agree with a missile defense system,� and that we can cut $10 billion of the research out � never mind, as I say, that the entire budget is $9.6 billion, or $9.3 billion,� Kyl said.

Like Franks, Kyl believes that the only way to eventually deter Iran from launching an EMP attack on the United States is to deploy robust missile defense systems, including space-based interceptors.

The United States �needs a missile defense that is so strong, in all the different phases we need to defend against . . . that countries will decide it�s not worth coming up against us,� Kyl said.

�That�s one of the things that defeated the Soviet Union. That�s one of the ways we can deal with these rogue states . . . and also the way that we can keep countries that are not enemies today, but are potential enemies, from developing capabilities to challenge us.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.newsmax.com/morris/israel_elections_iran/2008/07/29/117219.html


Israeli Election Could Impact Decision on Iran
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:40 AM

By: Dick Morris & Eileen McGann


The most important primary for our 2008 election may be yet to come � the Kadima Party primary in Israel in mid or late September. It pits liberal-leaning Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni against hardliner and former Army Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz. (Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to sit out the contest and concentrate on staying out of jail.)

The polls are neck and neck; in the most recent, Livni's once-formidable lead has shrunk to two points. Hanging over the battle is the Iranian nuclear program.

Livni is thought unlikely to attack Iran precipitously; she largely sees eye-to-eye with advocates of diplomatic solutions to the various problems her country faces. But Mofaz has openly said he'd resort to bombing Iran if it were necessary to stop the mullahs from getting the bomb.

So if Mofaz wins, military action becomes much more likely. But when?

By most accounts, the Israeli Defense Force would need considerable American cooperation to pull off such a strike. No top-level Israeli politician has much confidence that Barack Obama would be forthcoming. But most are confident that President Bush or John McCain would give Israel the help that it needs.

So if Obama wins here, a Mofaz government would feel great pressure to attack before Bush leaves office. If McCain wins, Israel would have more time.

But Mofaz might not want to wait for our election. Why risk antagonizing a President-elect Obama by taking military action that he might vigorously oppose? If Obama, having won, were to counsel patience, what Israeli prime minister could ignore him?

Before the U.S. election, on the other hand, Obama might be reluctant to take a position � and the Israelis need feel no compulsion to conform to any advice from a man who isn't yet be president-elect.

Surely, an Israeli attack on Iran would bring a sharp and instant response from Iran and from its satellites, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as its pawns in Iraq. It would presage war in Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank along with an air war of Israeli missiles and bombers against Iranian missiles.

Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf states would criticize Israel in public but probably breathe a sign of relief in private that Iran's nuclear ambitions were thwarted or at least postponed.

The ensuing crisis would probably militate in McCain's favor if it erupted before the U.S. election. The more a foreign crisis intrudes on our politics, the more voters are apt to trust a seasoned hand like him and not to give an ing�nue like Obama his shot.

Polls show that voters trust McCain much more than Obama to handle a foreign crisis. An unavoidable national-security threat would give McCain a huge boost. Just as in 2004, if the issue is terrorism or foreign crises, the Republican will prevail. If the issues are domestic policy, the Democrat will win.

Of course, Mofaz would need other parties to form a governing coalition. The dovish Labor Party might not lend itself to any aggressive purpose � but a Mofaz determined to bring down Iran's nuclear program might reach across to Likud and bring in hardline ex-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make a war politically possible.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/netherlands_iran_attack/2008/09/01/126824.html?s=al&promo_code=6912-1

Dutch Paper: U.S. Will Attack Iran in Weeks

Monday, September 1, 2008 10:42 PM

The largest newspaper in the Netherlands, De Telegraaf, reported this past weekend that its nation's intelligence agency has been working closely with the CIA to help prepare the U.S. in a planned air attack on Iran.

The front-page story in De Telegraaf, published Friday and headlined "Attack on Iran Imminent," claimed that U.S. military strikes on Iran's nuclear and weapons facilities would happen in weeks.

The paper indicated Holland's military intelligence service (Algemene Inlichtingen-en Veiligheidsdienst, or AIVD), has pulled back from its operations inside Iran helping the U.S. to identify targets.

De Telegraaf reports that the decision has already been made by the U.S. to attack Iran using unmanned aircraft, hence the Netherlands' decision to remove its agents.

Excerpts from De Telegraaf follow:

"Good sources have declared to the Telegraaf that the AIVD Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst has been operating in Iran for the last few years with the purpose of the infiltration and sabotage of the weapons industry of the Iranian republic.

"The operations are said to have been 'very successful' but have recently been put to a halt because of American plans for an air attack. Information regarding the AIVD operation has been shared with the CIA in recent years, according to the sources.

"Iran is believed to be working towards an atomic bomb and refuses to comply to Western demands to stop enriching uranium. In June Israeli vice president Shaul Mofaz made the statement that an Israeli attack is inevitable if Iran continues its quest for atomic weapons."

2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/israel_bunker_buster_bomb/2008/09/14/130740.html?s=al&promo_code=6A36-1



U.S. Approves Bunker-Buster Bombs to Israel


Sunday, September 14, 2008 7:03 PM


The Pentagon has approved the sale of 1,000 bunker-busting smart bombs to Israel, a deal worth $77 million.

According to Haaretz.com, the bombs could be used to penetrate heavily fortified targets, such as suspected nuclear sites located in underground bunkers.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the Pentagon department responsible for evaluating foreign military sales, notified Congress over the weekend about the pending sale. Congress now has 30 days to voice its objections.

If the sale goes through, Israel will get other weapons as well. A DSCA news release states that "Israel has requested a possible sale of 1,000 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDB1), 150 BRU-61/A SDB1 Mounting Carriages, 30 Guided Test Vehicles, 2 BRU-61/A SDB Instrumented Carriages, 7 Jettison Test Vehicles, 1 Separation Test Vehicle, 2 Reliability and Assessment Vehicles, 12 Common Munitions BIT and Reprogramming Equipment with Test Equipment and Adapters, 3 SDB1 Weapons Simulators, and 2 Load Crew Trainers. Also includes containers, flight test integration, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and equipment, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $77 million.

"Israel�s strategic position makes it vital to the United States� interests throughout the Middle East. Our policy has been to promote Middle East peace, support Israel�s commitment to peace with other regional Arab countries, enhance regional stability and promote Israeli readiness and self-sufficiency. It is vital to the U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and mainproposed sale is consistent with those objectives."

The smart bomb, the GBU-28, is a laser-guided weapon whose warhead can burrow through more than 20 feet of concrete and up to 100 feet of dirt, according to AFP.

The sale comes despite concerns that the U.S. had been reluctant to sell the advanced weaponry out of fears that Israel would attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Iran is locked in a confrontation with the West over its nuclear program, which it claims is for civilian use only. The West suspects the program is aimed at developing weapons.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said last month that Israel would keep all options open regarding its stance toward Iran's nuclear capability.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oppenheimer wrote:
Dear James,

Remember, where it concerns the question of war or peace, the regime too, has a vote on that.

Albeit:as you mention to war and peace, the Mulah have already declared that on "any" woman in Iran...
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