Iran

War fever in Israel points towards imminent attack on Iran

Harriet Sherwood - The Guardian

IN THE PAST FEW DAYS, the Israeli public has been hit by a blizzard of speculative articles suggesting a military strike against Iran's nuclear sites is imminent.

The talk is now of a timetable of weeks, rather than months and some observers believe that Israel will act in the run-up to the US presidential election – at a time when it could be difficult and damaging for President Obama to withhold his backing in the face of a hawkish and vehemently pro-Israel opponent, Mitt Romney, who has already indicated his support for unilateral action by the Jewish state.

On Tuesday an article in Ma'ariv suggested that Netanyahu and Barak have set a deadline of 25 September for Obama to clearly state that the US itself will take military action.

The date is the opening of the UN general assembly in New York, and also the eve of Yom Kippur, one of the most significant dates in the Jewish calendar.

The implication is that, in the absence of a public declaration, Israel will press on with its own plans to strike at the Iranian nuclear programme.

But it was two articles last Friday that kicked off the current storm. Writing in Israel's biggest-selling daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, Nahum Barnea and Simon Shiffer, both respected commentators, said: "Insofar as it depends on Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, an Israeli military strike on the nuclear facilities in Iran will take place in these coming autumn months, before the US elections in November."

But, it pointed out: "There is not a single senior official in the establishment - neither among the [Israeli Defence Forces] top brass nor in the security branches, or even the president - who supports an Israeli strike at the moment."

Carpet-bombing Iran's economy is war by any other name

Carpet-bombing Iran's economy is war by any other name
14 July 2012     Conn Hallinan     Iran

There is still no evidence that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. but evidence is irrelevant when the enormous economic power of the US and EU can force a country to its knees.

By Conn Hallinan
Dispatches from the Edge
9 July 2012

Does the same fate await the Iranian people as was suffered by Iraq, where half a million children died as a result of sanctions, about which then US secretary of state Madeleine Albright said, "We think the price was worth it".

NOW THAT the talks with Iran on its nuclear program appear to be on the ropes, are we on the road to war?

The Israelis threaten it almost weekly, and the Obama administration has reportedly drawn up an attack plan. But in a sense, we are already at war with Iran.

Carl von Clausewitz, the great theoretician of modern warfare, defined war as the continuation of politics by other means. In the case of Iran, international politics has become a de-facto state of war.

According to reports, the annual inflation rate in Iran is 22.2 percent, although many economists estimate it at double that. In the last week of June, the price of chicken rose 30 percent, grains were up 55.8 percent, fruits up 66.6 percent, and vegetables up 99.5 percent.

Iran’s Central Bank estimates unemployment among the young is 22.5 percent, although the Financial Timessays “the official figures are vastly underestimated.” The production sector is working at half its capacity.
The value of the Iranian rial has fallen 40 percent since last year, and there is a wave of business closings and bankruptcies due to rising energy costs and imports made expensive by the sanctions.

The Strategy of Intervention, Iran, Israel, Syria and the US

 

by Lola Hynes - Irish Anti War Movement

Despite ongoing negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and full compliance with the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran’s nuclear programme is still the subject of much media hysteria and deep mistrust from Israel and Western powers. The latest accusations relate to the ‘sanitization’ of a site at Parchin military complex, allegedly to hide evidence of nuclear weapons work. Satellite images showing the destruction of two buildings, the movement of earth and the flow of water coming from an existing building are being used as ‘intelligence’ of the ‘cleansing’ of a bomb containment chamber.

 

Meanwhile the diplomatic process continues without much promise, in April this year during talks in Istanbul, Iran, the US and the EU agreed to negotiate stricter NPT requirements for Iran in return for respect for their right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The next round of talks in the Iraqi capital reached a stalemate when the West offered no relief from sanctions in return for suspension of uranium enrichment at one of Iran’s facilities. Further talks are scheduled in Moscow in late June.

 

The peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program was reaffirmed by Iran’s envoy to the IAEA; Ali Asghar Solitanieh at a recent meeting of the board of governors of the agency, reminding that the UN nuclear watchdog agency has repeatedly confirmed non-diversion of Iran’s civilian nuclear activities after carrying out a record number of inspections in Iran during the last few years.

 

Preparing for war with Iran; US troops rehearse the invasion plan

Around 12,000 troops from more than 19 nations are wrapping up a massive military training drill in the Middle East.

But for some of those servicemen, these exercises might be just the beginning of something much bigger to come.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan are just a sampling of the many countries — along with European allies — that have been involved in the nearly month-long Eager Lion 2012 exercise expected to end this week.

Although much of the drills have been kept under wraps, it isn’t a secret that these states have spent the last month cooperating together through mock combat drills and comprehensive training.

Some sources overseas report, however, that as many as 3,000 troops aligned with US forces have conducted a simulated landing and attack on Iran, preparing America and its allies for a war that becomes more likely by the day.

Intelligence sources speaking to Israel’s Debka news agency report that US troops and other forces aligned with America recently staged a landing on a Jordanian beach that was immediately followed by a military seizure of fortified mountain bases and command posts. The exercise was meant to emulate an attack on Iran and accompanies other drills that witnesses say show off just what America’s foes face if they continue to put the heat on the United States and its pals abroad.

Speaking of a drill assumed to be a mockup of a raid on Syria, Major General. Awni el-Edwan, Chief of staff of the Jordanian Operations and Training Armed Forces, says, “The exercise is not connected to any real world event,” reports CNN. “This has nothing to do with Syria. We respect the sovereignty of Syria. There is no tension between the Syrians and us. Our objectives are clear.”

Most Israeli citizens don't want a war with Iran

Most Israeli citizens don't want a war with Iran

Binyamin Netanyahu and western hawks who seek an early strike are ignoring Israel's security experts and people

Mehdi Hasan
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 29 April 2012 18.35 BST
Article history

Time for a quiz question. Last week, who said Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak – Israel's prime minister and defence minister – "are misleading the public on the Iran issue" and making decisions "based on messianic feelings"? Was it (a) Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; (b) the Stop the War Coalition president, Tony Benn; or (c) the former Israeli spymaster Yuval Diskin?

It was (c). At a public meeting on Friday Diskin, former head of Shin Bet (Israel's MI5), described Netanyahu and Barak as "not fit to hold the steering wheel of power". He went on: "I have observed them from up close … They are not people who I, on a personal level, trust to lead Israel to an event on that scale and carry it off … They tell the public that if Israel acts, Iran won't have a nuclear bomb. This is misleading. Actually, many experts say that an Israeli attack would accelerate the Iranian nuclear race."
Andrzej Krauze Illustration by Andrzej Krauze

Iraq war criminals line up to wage war on Iran

Marina Hyde - The Guardian

The creatures of the US military-industrial complex, have somehow managed to pick themselves up from what should have been career-ending humiliation in Iraq and call for more of the same.

The thing about a supertanker is that at least you can turn it round. It takes a while, by all accounts, but you have to think any such vessel has the turning circle of a London taxi compared with the US war machine, which – like its erstwhile willing passenger Tony Blair – appears to relish its lack of a reverse gear.

Are we moving inexorably towards a strike on Iran? There is "a smell of fresh chum in the waters" again, as the rip-roaring journalist Matt Taibbi put it recently.

This week, not a decade after the Iraq invasion, several former officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency accused its head of mishandling the Iranian crisis. They levelled charges of western bias, relying on dodgy intelligence, and sidelining sceptics.

This may sound vaguely familiar. In fact, the situation has all the charmless nostalgia of those I Love 1982-style shows, which saw "expert" talking heads such as Vernon Kay and Kate Thornton reminisce about everything from deely-boppers to the Falklands with no modulation of tone.

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