Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Increasing Evidence of Coming War with Iran

Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran

By: Uzi Mahnaimi in Tel Aviv
The Sunday Times
May 30, 2010

Israel stations nuclear missile subs off IranUzi Mahnaimi in Tel Aviv
Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.

The first has been sent in response to Israeli fears that ballistic missiles developed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, a political and military organisation in Lebanon, could hit sites in Israel, including air bases and missile launchers.

The submarines of Flotilla 7 — Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan — have visited the Gulf before. But the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels.

The flotilla’s commander, identified only as “Colonel O”, told an Israeli newspaper: “We are an underwater assault force. We’re operating deep and far, very far, from our borders.”

Each of the submarines has a crew of 35 to 50, commanded by a colonel capable of launching a nuclear cruise missile.

The vessels can remain at sea for about 50 days and stay submerged up to 1,150ft below the surface for at least a week. Some of the cruise missiles are equipped with the most advanced nuclear warheads in the Israeli arsenal.

The deployment is designed to act as a deterrent, gather intelligence and potentially to land Mossad agents. “We’re a solid base for collecting sensitive information, as we can stay for a long time in one place,” said a flotilla officer.

The submarines could be used if Iran continues its programme to produce a nuclear bomb. “The 1,500km range of the submarines’ cruise missiles can reach any target in Iran,” said a navy officer.

Apparently responding to the Israeli activity, an Iranian admiral said: “Anyone who wishes to do an evil act in the Persian Gulf will receive a forceful response from us.”

Israel’s urgent need to deter the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance was demonstrated last month. Ehud Barak, the defence minister, was said to have shown President Barack Obama classified satellite images of a convoy of ballistic missiles leaving Syria on the way to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, will emphasise the danger to Obama in Washington this week.

Tel Aviv, Israel’s business and defence centre, remains the most threatened city in the world, said one expert. “There are more missiles per square foot targeting Tel Aviv than any other city,” he said.


Transfer of ammunitions to Israel for a possible attack against Iran
by Manlio Dinucci
Non-Alligned Press Network
4 July 2010
Rome (Italy)

The White House hasn’t stopped heaping pressure on Iran to force it to cooperate in Afghanistan and in Iraq. While the State Department has triggered the start of an anti-Iranian blockade by way of resolution 1929, the Pentagon has been sending ammunitions to Israel and opening air corridors to provide Tsahal with the opportunity to strike the Iranian economy. Will Iran succumb to the threat?-

"Saudi Arabia would never allow Israeli bombers to cross its airspace in order to strike Iran’s nuclear sites", declared Prince Mohammed Bin Nawaf, sent from Riyadh to London, thus refuting what was reported in the Times. Has the alarm been turned off? Nothing could be less certain. No one in Washington has denied the information, emanating from the Pentagon, to the effect that an Israeli attack against Iran’s nuclear sites "has been planned in agreement with the U.S. State Department" and that another air corridor is contemplated, especially intended for an attack against Bushehr, going through Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait. But, over and above the words, it is the facts that indicate that preparations for a possible attack against Iran are building up.

During his Washington visit, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak secured some large military equipment, in particular JDAM bombs manufactured by Boeing. These are high-potential bombs which, with the addition of a new GPS-guided tail section, acquire a range of more than 60 Km beyond their automatic target. Recently, they have also been equipped with a laser-guided system, further enhancing their precision. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, they were employed in the second war against Lebanon in 2006 and in the Cast Lead onslaught against Gaza in 2008.

In addition, Barak called on Washington to increase by 50% the "emergency stockpiles" set up in Israel by the U.S. army last December following a decision by Obama’s Administration. As reported in Haaretz, these depots contain missiles, bombs, aircraft ammunition, armored vehicles and other weapons, which are categorized at the time of their arrival to ensure "quick and easy access" at the Israeli end. For sure, even if not said, part of the weapons sent to the "emergency stockpiles" come from the Camp Darby U.S. military and logistical base [Translator’s note: located in Italy, between Pisa - civilian and military airport, control tower manned by military staff only - and Leghorn, commercial harbor.]: according to Global Security, the 31st Air Base supply squadron has, for a long time, also been in charge of the arsenals located in Israel, a kind of Camp Darby outlet that supplied the Israeli forces for its attacks against Lebanon and Gaza.

The weapons provided to Israel by the United States include "heavy penetrating warheads", such as the 1-ton Blu-117, apt for an attack against Iranian bunkers. For months these same weapons have been amassed at the U.S. Diego García base in the Indian Ocean to where B-2 bombers with air defence penetration capabilities have been transferred.

According to Dan Plesh, Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London, "U.S. bombers are already on stand-by to destroy 10 000 targets inside Iran in just a few hours". Concurrently, Saudi Arabia is upgrading its 150 F-15 fighter bombers supplied by Boeing, equipped with the most advanced technology to boost their effectiveness in night attacks and to make them fully inter-operational with U.S. forces.


Act of war: Harsh new US penalties against Iran

If fully enforced, the new U.S. sanctions against Iran — signed into law by President Obama on July 1st — will potentially destroy the country’s economy. Killing several birds with one stone, the punitive measures will also impact some of Washington’s other rivals and are likely to pinch some of its allies as well. Whereas the Obama Administration calmly portrays economic sanctions as “peaceful” solutions to political problems, they are tantamount to an act of war ... an option which the U.S. has also been actively pursuing. Ultimately, the march to war begun by Bush is picking up momentum under Obama.

By: Peter Symonds
Non-Alligned Press Network
5 July 2010

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is seen at International Mehrabad Airport, Tehran, in September 2009. On 5 July 2010, an Iranian official said the country’s aircraft had been denied fuel in Germany, Britain and the United Arab Emirates as a result of tighter U.S. sanctions. Credit: Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl/Files

US President Barack Obama signed into law last Thursday Congressional legislation against Iran that has the potential to heighten tensions, not only with Tehran, but America’s European and Asia rivals.

The legislation broadly targets foreign banks and corporations doing business in Iran and sets out unilateral US penalties against those that do not fall into line. Companies could be denied access to the US Export-Import Bank, restricting their ability to sell into the US market, or denied US government contracts.

The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act requires the US Treasury Department to bar access to the American financial system to any foreign bank conducting transactions with Iranian entities blacklisted by the UN or the US government. The list includes some major Iranian banks, the Iranian energy sector, and businesses associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The legislation provocatively targets foreign companies selling refined petroleum products, such as gasoline and diesel, to Iran, including producers, insurers and those involved in transportation. While Iran has huge reserves of oil, its energy infrastructure and refining capacity are badly rundown due to a lack of investment, forcing the importation of gasoline.

Washington has accused Tehran of seeking to build nuclear weapons. Last month the US and its European allies pushed a fourth resolution through the UN Security Council, imposing new penalties on Tehran over its refusal to shut down its uranium enrichment facilities and halt the construction of a heavy water research reactor. Following the UN resolution, the European Union (EU) foreshadowed further tough sanctions against Iran, including a ban on investment in its energy sector.

The Iranian regime has repeatedly denied it has any plans to build nuclear weapons, and denounced the UN and US sanctions as illegal. Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which Iran has signed, countries have the right to develop any aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing, for peaceful purposes. Iranian nuclear facilities, including the Natanz uranium enrichment plant, are subject to regular International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections, which include a stock take of enriched uranium to ensure it is not used for military purposes.

The US legislation goes far further than the proposed EU sanctions and the UN resolutions, to which Russia and China only reluctantly agreed under pressure from Washington. Any significant constriction of the sale of refined petroleum products to Iran could impact heavily on its economy. Although Tehran has been building up its strategic reserves and is cutting back on imports, Iran still buys an estimated 25-30 percent of its gasoline needs on the international market.

The ramifications of the laws are even wider. Democrat congressman Ron Klein told the Wall Street Journal: “Foreign companies are going to have to make a choice: Do they want to do business with us or with the Iranians?” By threatening to penalise foreign banks and companies for activities that are not banned under UN resolutions, the law will inevitably fuel international resentment and intensify frictions.

Total CEO Christophe de Margerie Last week the French oil company Total ended sales of gasoline to Iran and Spain’s Repsol pulled out of a development contract with Royal Dutch Shell for Iran’s South Pars gas field. Total CEO Christophe de Margerie told an economic forum: “We do not think an embargo on the delivery of petrol products is a good way to settle differences of a political nature.” He complained that “too many things are politicised these days”.

In the US, the National Foreign Trade Council and the US Engage alliance of companies and associations also raised concerns, particularly over possible penalties against US parent companies for violations by their foreign subsidiaries. In a press statement, council president Bill Reinsch warned: “We are deeply concerned about the timing of this legislation and its unintended consequences for legitimate global commerce.”

Total is just the latest company to pull out of gasoline sales to Iran. Over the past six months, Russia’s LUKOIL, India’s Reliance Industries, Malaysia’s Petronas, Royal Dutch Shell and the Swiss firm Glencore, each announced a halt to sales. At the same time, several major Chinese corporations, including the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, reportedly increased their sales to Iran earlier this year.

Under the legislation, the US administration can waive penalties on countries, such as China, that backed the UN resolution against Iran. If Obama took action against Chinese oil companies, tensions would escalate between Washington and Beijing, which only agreed to support the latest UN sanctions if Iran’s energy sector were excluded. China imports roughly 15 percent of its crude oil from Iran and has signed several major agreements to develop energy projects there.

The new US sanctions point to the motivations underlying Washington’s continuing threats and provocations against Iran. American banks and corporations will be largely unaffected, as Washington has effectively blockaded Iran economically for more than three decades following the overthrow of the Shah in 1979. But the penalties will impact on US rivals, including close US allies such as Germany and Japan, that have substantial economic interests in Iran.

The Wall Street Journal pointed out last Thursday: “Among those that could face legal challenges and fines are Japan’s Big Three Banks—Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group Inc—as well as European firms such as Commerzbank Bank AB and Deutsche Bank AG, all of whom have businesses inside Iran.” Japan’s oil and gas producer Inpex Corp also has significant interests, including a 10 percent stake in the Azadegan oil field in southwestern Iran.

Iran not only has huge oil and gas reserves but is strategically located between the key regions of the Middle East and Central Asia. The nuclear issue is simply a convenient pretext for Washington to apply pressure in a bid to fashion a regime in Tehran that is more conducive to US ambitions for regional domination. The Obama administration’s overt support for the oppositional Green movement inside Iran, following last year’s presidential poll, had the same aim.

There is a dangerous logic to US attempts to choke off gasoline supplies to Iran. As several articles in the US press have pointed out, even if major foreign corporations pull out of the gasoline trade with Iran, Tehran will still have access to refined petroleum products—at a price—through various black markets operating in the Persian Gulf. If financial penalties fail to stop gasoline supplies and bring the Iranian economy to its knees, a clamor in the US for a military blockade is certain to intensify.

Like his predecessor Bush, President Obama has repeatedly refused to rule out military action against Iran, including air strikes against its nuclear facilities. Any attempt to enforce an economic blockade of Iran through military force—regarded internationally as an act of war—would create an explosive situation in the Persian Gulf.

For further information see "US, Israel Warships in Suez May Be Prelude to Faceoff with Iran"HERE...

Editor's NOTE:

It is pure insanity to start a war with Iran a country which represents absolutely no existential threat to the United States whatsoever! Even Fidel Castro can see that to start a war in the Persian Gulf is to once again (as in 1962) risk a global nuclear conflagration. Once again it is Zionist control of US government foreign policy vis a vis Iran that is responsible for the latest push to war.

Please e-mail, phone, send post cards to your representative, senators and the Obama administration in protest. The latest bellicose moves against Iran are blatantly immoral and extremely dangerous.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert