Iran : World War III?bibliotecapleyades.net | Sep 7th 2008 9:53 AM
by JPOST.com Staff
from TheJerusalemPost Website
Updated Sep 7, 2008 17:55
Russia may use nuclear aid to Iran as a method of responding to increased tensions between Moscow and Washington over the conflict in Georgia, the Sunday Times reported.
According to the report, a source close to the Russian military told the paper that Moscow is furious over the form of continued US overtures to Georgia and the Ukraine.
Since hostilities in Georgia ended two weeks ago, the United States has called for a NATO expansion which would include the two nations, has sent warships to the region to deliver emergency supplies, has promised huge sums of aid to help rebuild the country and has sent US Vice President Dick Cheney to personally express Washington's firm support for its allies.
"Everything has changed since the war in Georgia," the source told the paper. "What seemed impossible before, is more than possible now, when our friends become our enemies and our enemies our friends. What are American ships doing off our coast? Do you see Russian warships off the coast of America?
"Russia will respond. A number of possibilities are being considered, including hitting America there where it hurts most - Iran," he warned.
Last Thursday, Cheney condemned Russia for what he called an "illegitimate, unilateral attempt" to change Georgia's borders by force.
Speaking during the closely watched trip to the US-allied South Caucasus nation, Cheney also assured Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili that the United States was "fully committed" to his country's efforts to join NATO.
"Georgia will be in our alliance," Cheney said.
On the eve of Cheney's arrival, the White House announced a $1 billion commitment to help the small but strategically located nation recover from its war with Russia.
Sarkozy - Attack on Iran Could be Catastrophic
Sep 4, 2008 12:27 | Updated Sep 5, 2008 6:14
The Iranian nuclear program is a dangerous gamble which may lead to a "catastrophic" Israeli military strike, French President Nicholas Sarkozy warned on Thursday.
"Iran is taking a very big chance when it continues with the process of attaining nuclear weapons - and on that we are certain," Sarkozy said during a press conference in Damascus. "We may wake up to the day when Israel - regardless of who is in charge - attacks."
"The question here is not whether an attack of this sort is legitimate or worthwhile," he continued. "The question is what will be done in that instance."
"It would be a catastrophe and we must prevent it," Sarkozy concluded.
The French president spoke at a news conference which marked the opening of a summit in Damascus with the leaders of Syria, Turkey and Qatar to discuss Mideast stability and peace.
After arriving in Damascus on Wednesday, Sarkozy encouraged Syrian President Bashar Assad to persuade its ally Iran to cooperate with the international community and end its nuclear standoff.
"Iran must not have a nuclear weapon.... Nuclear weapons in Iran are a threat to peace in the region and the world. Everybody, in their own way, should get the message through," Sarkozy said.
Assad, who recently visited Teheran but apparently failed to persuade Iranians on the nuclear question, said he would continue that dialogue with the Iranian and French sides.
"We hope to reach a resolution to this problem. No one in the world can bear the consequences of any non-peaceful resolution because it will be a catastrophe," Assad said.
Dutch Intelligence - US to Strike Iran In Coming Weeks
Sep 1, 2008 19:32
The Dutch intelligence service, the AIVD, has called off an operation aimed at infiltrating and sabotaging Iran's weapons industry due to an assessment that a US attack on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program is imminent, according to a report in the country's De Telegraaf newspaper on Friday.
The report claimed that the Dutch operation had been "extremely successful," and had been stopped because the US military was planning to hit targets that were "connected with the Dutch espionage action."
The impending air-strike on Iran was to be carried out by unmanned aircraft "within weeks," the report claimed, quoting "well placed" sources. The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the De Telegraaf report.
According to the report, information gleaned from the AIVD's operation in Iran has provided several of the targets that are to be attacked in the strike, including "parts for missiles and launching equipment."
"Information from the AIVD operation has been shared in recent years with the CIA," the report said.
On Saturday, Iran's Deputy Chief of Staff General Masoud Jazayeri warned that should the United States or Israel attack Iran, it would be the start of another World War.
On Friday, Ma'ariv reported that Israel had made a strategic decision to deny Iran military nuclear capability and would not hesitate "to take whatever means necessary" to prevent Teheran from achieving its nuclear goals.
According to the report, whether the United States and Western countries succeed in thwarting the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions diplomatically, through sanctions, or whether a US strike on Iran is eventually decided upon, Jerusalem has begun preparing for a separate, independent military strike.
AP contributed to this report
Aug 31, 2008 22:48
Should Israel or the United States attack Iran, it would be the start of another World War, Iranian Deputy Chief of Staff General Masoud Jazayeri warned on Saturday.
"Any aggression against Iran will start a world war," the Iranian state news agency IRNA quoted the top Iranian official as saying. "The unrestrained greed of the US leadership and global Zionism... is leading the world to the brink of a precipice."
"It is evident that if such a challenge occurs, the fake and artificial regimes will be eliminated before anything," he said.
The news agency also quoted Jordan's King Abdullah II as saying that if an attack was launched against Iran, it would fail to achieve its objectives.
"Israel doesn't have the ability to completely destroy the atomic reactor in Teheran," Abdullah claimed, reiterating that the Islamic regime insists that its nuclear program is not for military purposes but rather for civilian use alone.
"What Iran is trying to tell us, in my opinion, is that we must recognize [the country] as a key international player," the Jordanian king said, warning that "any military action against Teheran will have serious consequences on all of the Middle East, and the states in the region will be forced to deal with the situation."
On Friday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Reza Sheikh Attar said that the country had increased the number of operating centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant to 4,000. The number was up from the 3,000 centrifuges that Iran announced in November that it was operating at its plant in the central city of Natanz.
Still, it was well below the 6,000 it said last year it would operate by Summer 2008, suggesting that the program may be behind schedule.
AP contributed to this report
Aug 30, 2008 16:50
Israel will not allow Iran to attain nuclear capability and if time begins to run out, Jerusalem will not hesitate to take whatever means necessary to prevent Iran from achieving its nuclear goals, the government has recently decided in a special discussion.
According to the Israeli daily Ma'ariv, whether the United States and Western countries succeed in thwarting the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions diplomatically, through sanctions, or whether a US strike on Iran is eventually decided upon, Jerusalem has begun preparing for a separate, independent military strike.
So far, Israel has not received American authorization to use US-controlled Iraqi airspace, nor has the defense establishment been successful in securing the purchase of advanced US-made warplanes which could facilitate an Israeli strike.
The Americans have offered Israel permission to use a global early warning radar system, implying that the US is pushing Israel to settle for defensive measures only.
Because of Israel's lack of strategic depth, Jerusalem has consistently warned in recent years that it will not settle for a 'wait and see' approach, merely retaliating to an attack, but will rather use preemption to prevent any risk of being hit in the first place. Ephraim Sneh a veteran Labor MK who has recently left the party, has reportedly sent a document to both US presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama.
The eight-point document states that,
"there is no government in Jerusalem that would ever reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran. When it is clear Iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons, an Israeli military strike to prevent this will be seriously considered."
MK Ephraim Sneh
Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski
According to Ma'ariv, Sneh offered the two candidates the "sane, cheap and the only option that does not necessitate bloodshed."
To prevent Iran's nuclear aspirations, Sneh wrote, "real" sanctions applied by the US and Europe were necessary. A total embargo in spare parts for the oil industry and a total boycott of Iranian banks would promptly put an end to the regime, which is already pressured by a sloping economy and would be toppled by the Iranian people if they have outside assistance, he said.
The window of opportunity Sneh suggests is a year and a half to two years, until 2010. Sneh also visited Switzerland and Austria last week in an attempt to lobby them against the Iranian threat.
Both countries have announced massive long-term investments in Iranian gas and oil fields for the next decade.
"Talk of the Jewish Holocaust and Israel's security doesn't impress these guys," Sneh said wryly.
Hearing his hosts speak of their future investments, Sneh replied quietly "it's a shame, because Ido will light all this up." He was referring to Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, the recently appointed IAF commander and the man most likely to be the one to orchestrate Israel's attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, should this become a necessity.
"Investing in Iran in 2008," Sneh told his Austrian hosts, "is like investing in the Krupp steelworks in 1938, it's a high risk investment."
The Austrians, according to Sneh, turned pale. In related news, a top official said Friday that Iran had increased the number of operating centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant to 4,000.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, who visited the Natanz plant last week, said that Iran was preparing to install even more centrifuges, though he did not offer a timeframe.
"Right now, nearly 4,000 centrifuges are operating at Natanz," Attar told the state news agency IRNA. "Currently, 3,000 other centrifuges are being installed."
Meanwhile, the pan-Arabic Al Kuds al Arabi reported Friday that Iran had equipped Hizbullah with longer range missiles than those it possessed before the Second Lebanon War and had also improved the guerrilla group's targeting capabilities.
According to the report, which The Jerusalem Post could not verify independently, Hizbullah was planning a massive rocket onslaught on targets reaching deep into Israel's civilian underbelly in case Israel launches an attack on Iran.
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