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Nuclear War-fear

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  • Nuclear War-fear

    Pentagon plans
    blitz on Tehran
    Submarine-launched ballistic missiles, bombing raids
    'more than just the standard military contingency'

    Posted: February 12, 2006
    1:00 a.m. Eastern


    Planners with the Pentagon's Central Command and Strategic Command are working closely with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to develop working plans for a devastating strike on Iran's nuclear facilities in order to block its efforts to produce nuclear weapons, reports the London Telegraph.

    The increasing number of threats against Israel and the West by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the growing disclosures about Iran's nuclear program have forced the administration to assess all military options.

    As reported by WorldNetDaily, Ahmadinejad told a large crowd in Tehran yesterday that Israel would be "removed" by the Palestinians and "other nations," and dismissed the West as "hostages of the Zionists."

    "The people of the U.S. and Europe should pay a heavy price for becoming hostages to Zionists," Ahmadinejad declared. "We ask the West to remove what they created sixty years ago and if they do not listen to our recommendations, then the Palestinian nation and other nations will eventually do this for them. Do the removal of Israel before it is too late and save yourself from the fury of regional nations."

    Ahmadinejad also threatened to abandon previous commitments to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty if harsh measures were taken against Iran for its nuclear program.

    Iran has restarted its uranium enrichment program and removed International Atomic Energy Agency surveillance cameras from its nuclear research sites following last week's U.N. vote to submit the matter to the Security Council.

    The most likely military strategy, it is believed, will depend on heavy bombing by B2 bombers flying from bases in Missouri and refueling in mid-air. Each plane is capable of carrying 40,000 pounds of precision weapons, including bunker-busting bombs. Air strikes would be supported by ballistic missiles carrying conventional warheads fired from Trident nuclear submarines if an attack is delayed for two years. That is the length of time required to convert the highly accurate missiles from their current nuclear configuration to conventional explosives.

    In December, the German press reported suspected U.S. diplomatic efforts to prepare its allies in the region for a first strike on Iran. A series of high level contacts, including CIA Director Porter Goss, the head of the FBI, NATO General Secretary Jaap De Hoop Scheffer and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made stops in the Turkish capital. Other Mideast leaders were visited as well.

    But now, the London Telegraph is reporting the development of operational plans if a diplomatic offensive fails to convince Iran to bring its program to a halt.

    "This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment," said a top Pentagon adviser. "This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months."
    "All truth passes through three stages:
    First, it is ridiculed;
    Second, it is violently opposed; and
    Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

  • #2
    Azeris reinforcing border with Iran due to possible US attack

    ANS TV, Baku
    10 Feb 06

    [Presenter] The Azerbaijani-Iranian border is being reinforced in
    connection with a possible [US] attack on Iran. The border is being
    reinforced under a project within the framework of the EU's New
    Neighbourhood Policy. The project will go ahead in May.

    [Correspondent] The EU is set to implement the project which is being
    carried out within the framework of the New Neighbourhood Policy. The
    EU has singled out the Bilasuvar-Astara stretch as the most difficult
    section of the Azerbaijani border.

    Elcin Quliyev, head of the State Border Service, held talks with
    representatives of the EU and the International Organization for
    Migration [IOM] on the subject a few days ago, Ahmad Sirinov, head of
    the national programme of the IOM office in Azerbaijan, has told ANS.

    Under the project, which will cost 2m euros at the preliminary stage,
    a 249-km section of the Iranian-Azerbaijani border will be provided
    with special equipment and the infrastructure in that section will be
    improved, Sirinov said. The IOM will allocate nearly 200,000 euros to
    this project.

    The reinforcement of the Azerbaijani-Iranian border is connected with
    a possible attack on Iran.

    [Passage omitted: Sirinov says Azerbaijan can see an influx of Iranian
    refugees if the USA attacks Iran; he said the reinforcement of the
    border with Iran will also help fight drug trafficking]
    "All truth passes through three stages:
    First, it is ridiculed;
    Second, it is violently opposed; and
    Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


    • #3
      US shield blunts Israeli military option on Iran

      Sunday, February 12, 2006

      After years of speculation on whether Israel could launch unilateral strikes on the Iranian nuclear program, some experts now see a major shift in the Jewish state's strategy At the core of the change was a vow by Bush, in a Reuters interview last week, to 'rise to Israel's defense' in the face of increasingly tough talk from Tehran


      JERUSALEM - Reuters

      Israel has long pursued a policy of preemptive attack as its preferred form of defense.

      But when it comes to tackling arch-foe Iran, that option may have been put on hold under a protective "umbrella" on offer from the United States.

      After years of speculation on whether Israel could launch unilateral strikes on the Iranian nuclear program, some experts now see a major shift in the Jewish state's strategy.

      At the core of the change was a vow by U.S. President George W. Bush, in a Reuters interview last week, to "rise to Israel's defense" in the face of increasingly tough talk from Tehran.

      Bush's phrasing, with its overtones of Israeli dependency, departed from the language of past U.S. pledges that focused on preserving Israel's military superiority over Middle East foes. Given U.S. efforts to curb Iran's nuclear plans through international diplomacy, experts say Israel will have to shelve any plans for region-rattling, go-it-alone missions like its 1981 bombing sortie against Iraq's atomic reactor at Osiraq.

      This thinking is bolstered by the Bush pledge's echoes of Cold War pacts -- NATO in Europe, the "nuclear umbrella" over Japan -- which defended U.S. allies against the Soviets while obligating them to get Washington's nod for any military moves.

      "In political life there are no free lunches, and Bush's statements have a price. They remove the possibility -- if there ever was one -- of Israel taking matters into its own hands," wrote Aluf Benn, diplomatic correspondent for the influential Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

      "The decision if and when to act against Iran will be made in the White House, not in the underground headquarters of the (Israeli military command) General Staff."

      A senior Israeli official, who asked not to be named, acknowledged that Bush's pledge took bilateral ties to "a new level", but said Israel had not promised anything in return.

      Asked if Israel was considering military action on Iran, he said: "Our policy is to follow the U.S. lead in this matter."

      Iran says its nuclear program is for energy, not arms.

      According to Benn, the U.S. deal has already ushered in a rhetorical restraint among Israeli officials who had previously refused to rule out an Osiraq-style operation against Iran.

      So guided, Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expunged mention of Iran from a recent major policy speech, Benn said.

      Logic of limitation:Such reticence carries no great price for Israel, whose past veiled threats on Iran had rung hollow to many defense experts.

      Unlike Saddam-era Iraq, Iran has numerous, dispersed and fortified nuclear sites -- a challenge perhaps beyond the means of Israel's military, and which only U.S. forces could handle.

      "This (Bush's pledge) is a landmark bit of phrasing which I am sure was at least partly calculated," said Patrick Cronin of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

      But he added that an agreement by Israel to forgo unilateral action on Iran "would not cost a lot, as while tactically (Israeli) military options are not nil, they are close to nil".

      Weighed against such assessments are experts like David Ivry, the former Israeli air force chief who masterminded the Osiraq strike. He argues that even limited attacks on Iran's nuclear program could be enough to set it back by years. "Launching such an action is a matter of Israel setting a 'red line' for when the threat posed by Iran is unbearable and, when it is crossed, giving the order," Ivry said.

      Asked whether, in light of Bush's pledge, Israel would have to at least coordinate any military operation with its U.S. ally, Ivry said he thought it unlikely. "Coordinating would mean, essentially, asking for permission," he said.

      David Hartwell, editor of Jane's Country Risk, disagreed.

      "The strategic situation with today's Iran is not what it was with Iraq in 1981," he said. "U.S. policy in the region would be seriously undermined by an independent Israeli action."

      While he noted that the U.S.-Israeli understandings had yet to be ratified like the defense pacts of the Cold War, Hartwell saw them as similarly circumscribing future actions by Israel.

      "The assumption is that the provision of a nuclear umbrella means you forgo a certain amount of defensive action," he said.

      Historical precedent suggests Israel could eventually, under an upgraded U.S. alliance, come clean on an atomic arsenal it has never confirmed having, and even agree to limitations on it.

      In the 1960s, France pursued a nuclear program in part because President Charles De Gaulle said he did not want to rely on U.S. protection from the Soviets. By submitting to a U.S. umbrella, some see Israel being drawn in the opposite direction.

      "Part of the American strategy now may be to provide a nuclear umbrella to the Israelis, with the hope being that, one day, they disarm," Hartwell said.

      Israeli officials, while maintaining a policy of ambiguity over the country's nuclear capabilities, have ruled out any open review of it in the absence of comprehensive Middle East peace.
      "All truth passes through three stages:
      First, it is ridiculed;
      Second, it is violently opposed; and
      Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

      Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


      • #4
        Iran resumes atom enrichment work

        Iran resumes atom enrichment work

        Tuesday, February 14, 2006

        The enrichment process involves feeding uranium UF6 gas into cascades of centrifuges, machines that purify the material by spinning at supersonic speeds

        VIENNA - Reuters

        Iran has resumed some uranium enrichment work, a first step towards making fuel for atomic reactors or bombs, in defiance of a vote reporting Tehran to the U.N. Security Council, diplomatic sources said on Monday.

        Iran had said it would restart enrichment, shelved for two years under Western pressure, by early March but gave no date.

        Tehran also announced talks due this week on a Russian proposal to avert a showdown in the Security Council had been postponed. However, Moscow said it was prepared to go ahead with the talks on Thursday as planned.

        An official in the Iranian capital would only say that "Iran was supposed to resume uranium enrichment on Sunday or Monday," without confirming whether the process had started.

        If confirmed, Iran's bold moves signaled it would try to overcome any action to rein in its nuclear program after the Feb. 4 decision by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to involve the Security Council, which could consider sanctions.

        Iran retaliated for the IAEA vote by halting short-notice inspections by agency personnel, a key tool in investigations to assess whether Iran's nuclear program was wholly peaceful or not, and vowing to resume uranium enrichment.

        The West fears that the Islamic Republic, which hid enrichment work and nuclear black-market purchases from the IAEA for almost 20 years and frequently calls for Israel's destruction, is secretly trying to build atomic bombs.

        Tehran denies this, saying it seeks only atomic energy for an expanding economy. Its leaders suggest they are confident Western efforts to clip its nuclear wings will run out of steam because of international dependence on Iranian oil exports.

        Natanz plant:

        "We heard from reliable sources that enrichment work resumed last night at Natanz," said one Vienna-based diplomat.

        He was referring to a pilot fuel-purification plant where Iran began renovating mothballed equipment last month, prompting the European Union to sponsor a resolution at the IAEA to notify the Security Council after diplomacy with Tehran broke down.

        "The (Feb. 4) board decision clearly called on Iran to re-establish full suspension of all enrichment-related activity. Unfortunately Iran seems to be ignoring these calls by the international community," said a senior Western diplomat.

        The enrichment process involves feeding uranium UF6 gas into cascades of centrifuges, machines that purify the material by spinning at supersonic speeds.

        If purified to levels of about 5 percent, uranium can fuel nuclear reactors. If enriched to about 90 percent, a longer and more difficult process, it would be capable of triggering the chain reaction for nuclear explosions.

        Diplomats could give no more detail for the time being.

        Greenpeace nuclear analyst William Peden said Iranian efforts to purify uranium at this stage would involve only testing of a few centrifuges, a long way away from the hundreds needed to produce fuel for atomic warheads.

        Diplomats and nuclear experts have estimated Iran would need between two and more than 10 years to perfect technology needed to create a nuclear arsenal, if it indeed wants one.

        In Tehran earlier, government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said this week's talks with Russia to discuss proposals to process nuclear fuel for Iranian reactors on Russian soil had been postponed.

        The proposal was put forward by Moscow to ease international concerns that enrichment via a joint venture inside Iran would not prevent possible diversions into a shadowy weapons project.

        New circumstances:

        "Talks with Russia have not been cancelled, but the date should be discussed," Elham told a weekly news conference.

        He said the proposal was acceptable only if it was in addition to enrichment facilities in Iran. "The government insists on enriching uranium on Iran's soil and the proposal should be adjusted based on the new circumstances."

        Russia's RIA news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexei Sazonov as saying: "We have not received from our Iranian partners any notification of talks planned for Feb. 16 being postponed for some reason."

        He said it was "premature" to talk about their cancellation or postponement.

        Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak was quoted as saying: "Our proposal to meet on February 16 still stands."

        Iran says it wants to enrich low-grade uranium only for use in nuclear power reactors and that, as a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has a right to do so.

        Elham repeated Iran's demand that Western countries recognize Iran's right to nuclear technology under the NPT. "But if our right was not recognized, there will be no reason to remain committed to international treaties," he said.


        • #5
          Iran confirms enrichment resumed

          Vaidi said it would be "unacceptable" to halt research
          A senior nuclear negotiator has confirmed Iran's resumption of small-scale uranium enrichment work, saying it began at Natanz last week.
          But Javad Vaidi said Tehran would now send a delegation to Russia for talks on 20 February to discuss a proposal to enrich uranium on Russian soil.

          Iran had postponed the talks and vowed to resume enrichment after it was reported to the UN Security Council.

          Western nations suspect Iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons.

          Iran insists its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes.


          Before making a speech at a student conference in Tehran, Mr Vaidi confirmed small-scale enrichment work had been restarted at Natanz.

          "In accordance with parliament's ratification, the president ordered work to resume," he said.

          The Iranian parliament, or Majlis, passed a law obliging the government to take this step if it was reported to the Security Council by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

          However, Mr Vaidi denied Iran had restarted large-scale enrichment by injecting uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas into centrifuges, as alleged by diplomats in Vienna on Monday.

          "We need time to make 60,000 centrifuges," he said.

          'Interaction and understanding'

          Despite the IAEA resolution, Mr Vaidi revealed Iran was still prepared to discuss Russia's proposed compromise on uranium enrichment at talks now scheduled for next week.

          "We are still ready for negotiations with everyone including the Europeans, the Non-Aligned Movement, China, Russia and others. We want to achieve a formula through interaction and understanding," he said.

          "We call on the West not to create any problems for us, because we do not intend to cause any for them."

          The IAEA's board is expected to meet at the beginning of March to consider whether to recommend action on Iran by the Security Council.

          Mr Vaidi said it would be "unacceptable" for Iran to halt research on the enrichment process, whatever the IAEA decided.

          "Iran will not compromise its independence and national security," he said.


          • #6
            EU Warns Iran Again About its Nuclear Program
            By Cihan News Agency, Strasbourg
            Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2006

            If Iran does not stop its nuclear program, the European Union will take furthers steps with the auspices of the United Nations to do so, an announcement by EU Commissioner for Justice Franco Frattini said earlier today. “If things continue to deteriorate further, we will need to consider options for further action through UN Security Council,” the Justice Commissioner cautioned.

            The international community should be united in their stance on Tehran, Frattini added, but at the same time, the door is still open for negotiations.

            Iran should take clear and reliable steps to gain the confidence of the international society, the commissioner said in a European Parliament session.


            • #7
              Iran sets new date for atomic talks
              TEHRAN - Reuters and AFP

              Iran announced on Tuesday it was deferring until next week talks with Russia on its nuclear plans, but gave no sign it was ready to stop enriching uranium on its own soil -- the key element in Moscow's plan.
              Russia's proposal to enrich uranium on Iran's behalf is designed to allay world fears about Iranian scientists diverting nuclear material into bombs and to defuse a standoff that has already seen Tehran reported to the U.N. Security Council. Iranian nuclear negotiator Javad Vaeedi said the talks would now start in Moscow on Feb. 20.

              "We still want to reach a formula to prove that we will not divert uranium enriched on Iranian soil," he told reporters.

              Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talked by telephone on Tuesday about the Iranian nuclear issue and the situation in the Middle East, Putin's press office said.

              "Both sides voiced satisfaction at the high level of mutual understanding and underlined their intention to continue close coordination," the Kremlin said in a statement.

              They also discussed plans for "high-level" Russian-German consultations in April, the statement said, without elaborating


              • #8
                A Dangerous Deal With India-By Jimmy Carter

                A Dangerous Deal With India

                By Jimmy Carter
                Wednesday, March 29, 2006; Page A19

                During the past five years the United States has abandoned many of the nuclear arms control agreements negotiated since the administration of Dwight Eisenhower. This change in policies has sent uncertain signals to other countries, including North Korea and Iran, and may encourage technologically capable nations to choose the nuclear option. The proposed nuclear deal with India is just one more step in opening a Pandora's box of nuclear proliferation.

                The only substantive commitment among nuclear-weapon states and others is the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), accepted by the five original nuclear powers and 182 other nations. Its key objective is "to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology . . . and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament." At the five-year U.N. review conference in 2005, only Israel, North Korea, India and Pakistan were not participating -- three with proven arsenals.

                Our government has abandoned the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and spent more than $80 billion on a doubtful effort to intercept and destroy incoming intercontinental missiles, with annual costs of about $9 billion. We have also forgone compliance with the previously binding limitation on testing nuclear weapons and developing new ones, with announced plans for earth-penetrating "bunker busters," some secret new "small" bombs, and a move toward deployment of destructive weapons in space. Another long-standing policy has been publicly reversed by our threatening first use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states. These decisions have aroused negative responses from NPT signatories, including China, Russia and even our nuclear allies, whose competitive alternative is to upgrade their own capabilities without regard to arms control agreements.

                Last year former defense secretary Robert McNamara summed up his concerns in Foreign Policy magazine: "I would characterize current U.S. nuclear weapons policy as immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary, and dreadfully dangerous."

                It must be remembered that there are no detectable efforts being made to seek confirmed reductions of almost 30,000 nuclear weapons worldwide, of which the United States possesses about 12,000, Russia 16,000, China 400, France 350, Israel 200, Britain 185, India and Pakistan 40 each -- and North Korea has sufficient enriched nuclear fuel for a half-dozen. A global holocaust is just as possible now, through mistakes or misjudgments, as it was during the depths of the Cold War.

                Knowing for more than three decades of Indian leaders' nuclear ambitions, I and all other presidents included them in a consistent policy: no sales of civilian nuclear technology or uncontrolled fuel to any country that refused to sign the NPT.

                There was some fanfare in announcing that India plans to import eight nuclear reactors by 2012, and that U.S. companies might win two of those reactor contracts, but this is a minuscule benefit compared with the potential costs. India may be a special case, but reasonable restraints are necessary. The five original nuclear powers have all stopped producing fissile material for weapons, and India should make the same pledge to cap its stockpile of nuclear bomb ingredients. Instead, the proposal for India would allow enough fissile material for as many as 50 weapons a year, far exceeding what is believed to be its current capacity.

                So far India has only rudimentary technology for uranium enrichment or plutonium reprocessing, and Congress should preclude the sale of such technology to India. Former senator Sam Nunn said that the current agreement "certainly does not curb in any way the proliferation of weapons-grade nuclear material." India should also join other nuclear powers in signing the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

                There is no doubt that condoning avoidance of the NPT encourages the spread of nuclear weaponry. Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina and many other technologically advanced nations have chosen to abide by the NPT to gain access to foreign nuclear technology. Why should they adhere to self-restraint if India rejects the same terms? At the same time, Israel's uncontrolled and unmonitored weapons status entices neighboring leaders in Iran, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other states to seek such armaments, for status or potential use. The world has observed that among the "axis of evil," nonnuclear Iraq was invaded and a perhaps more threatening North Korea has not been attacked.

                The global threat of proliferation is real, and the destructive capability of irresponsible nations -- and perhaps even some terrorist groups -- will be enhanced by a lack of leadership among nuclear powers that are not willing to restrain themselves or certain chosen partners. Like it or not, the United States is at the forefront in making these crucial strategic decisions. A world armed with nuclear weapons could be a terrible legacy of the wrong choices.
                Former president Carter, a Democrat, is founder of the Carter Center.
                "All truth passes through three stages:
                First, it is ridiculed;
                Second, it is violently opposed; and
                Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

                Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


                • #9
                  Iran To Contribute To Stability And Development Of South Caucasus


                  05.04.2006 22:29 GMT+04:00

                  /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Iran will keep on contributing to the maintenance of
                  stability and development of the South Caucasus, Iranian Ambassador
                  to Armenia Alireza Haqiqian stated in Yerevan. "Our country will
                  exert every effort for the stability and development of the region,"
                  he said. At the same time he remarked Armenia and Iran belong to the
                  same ancient civilization. He also underscored that the development
                  and consolidation of age-old bilateral relations between Armenia and
                  Iran has acquired a new rate after Armenia became an independent state,
                  reported Novosti-Armenia.
                  "All truth passes through three stages:
                  First, it is ridiculed;
                  Second, it is violently opposed; and
                  Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

                  Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


                  • #10
                    Open letter to President Bush by an Iranian academic

                    "All truth passes through three stages:
                    First, it is ridiculed;
                    Second, it is violently opposed; and
                    Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

                    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)