February 3rd, 2012
A Necessary Diversion
NewsRescue- Spring season, discussed in this article, is the warmer post-winter season, when analysts project that US and Europe’s ‘Occupy’, anti government and corporate greed protests will pick up steam, after a winter cold recline. Political analysts also predicted that if the expected upsurge in Occupy protests does occur this spring, as is common US tactic, new wars and threats of wars will be engaged to divert the masses (the ‘99%’) attention. At the chaotic pinnacle of last years Occupy protests, the fantastic allegation of an Iranians alleged attempt to hire Mexican gangs to assassinate a Saudi Monarchy envoy in the United States was floated. It comes with no surprise, therefore, that the US and Israel are already in the wood-works of a war against Iran, slotted for Spring.
Related: NewsRescue, 02/03/2012- Occupy riots continue in America with over 6000 Arrests
Barbara Starr- U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has come to the conclusion there is a growing likelihood Israel could attack Iran sometime this spring in an effort to destroy its suspected nuclear weapons program, according to a senior administration official.
The official declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the information.
Panetta’s views were first reported by the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, who wrote Panetta “believes there is strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June – before Iran enters what Israelis described as a ‘zone of immunity’ to commence building a nuclear bomb.”
Asked by reporters in Brussels, where Panetta is attending NATO meetings, the defense secretary refused to comment. But Panetta told reporters the U.S. has “indicated our concerns” to Israel, according to the Agence France Presse news agency.
But the official also noted that Israel goes through cycles of making aggressive statements about its intentions toward Iran in an effort to pressure the United States and the West to take more action.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Thursday that Iran may be close to the point “which may render any physical strike as impractical,” according to Reuters.
But just a few weeks ago, Barak suggested things were not as urgent, saying an Israeli decision on whether to strike Iran’s nuclear program was “very far off.”
A “confluence’ of intelligence has led Panetta to this conclusion, the official told CNN, but declined to offer any specifics except noting that the United States conducts intelligence operations aimed at Israel as it does with many other allies.
The senior administration official also noted that there is a general understanding in the administration that Israel may have come to the firm conclusion Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. Just last week, the recently retired chief of Israeli military intelligence told CNN’s David McKenzie that the “Iranians have already decided that they want nuclear weapons,” he said. But he added they haven’t decided fully to go through with creating the weapons.
The official U.S. assessment is that Iran has not yet made that decision, the source said.
At a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus, who said he has regular discussions with Israel’s leadership and intelligence head, noted that “Israel does see this possibility as an existential threat to their country, and I think that it is very important to keep that perspective in mind.”
At the same hearing, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper noted the United States works closely with the Israelis and said the notion that Israel could strike is “a very sensitive issue right now.”
“This is an area that we are very, very concerned about,” Clapper said.
Panetta’s press secretary, George Little, declined to comment on the report. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently said it would be premature for the United States to consider striking Iran.
Related: NewsRescue- Terror car bomb blast kills Iran scientist
Moscow Cautions against Israeli Attempts to Push US into War with Iran
TEHRAN (FNA)– Russia fears Israel will push the United States into a military conflict with Iran which could retaliate by blocking oil shipments from the Persian Gulf, a confidant of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.
“There is a likelihood of military escalation of the conflict, towards which Israel is pushing the Americans,” Nikolai Patrushev, who heads the Kremlin’s Security Council, told Interfax news agency.
Patrushev, a former head of the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said Tehran could respond by blocking the Strait of Hormuz between Oman and Iran, through which 40% of the world’s seaborne traded oil passes.
“It cannot be ruled out that the Iranians will be able to carry out their threat to shut exports of Saudi oil through the Strait of Hormuz if faced with military actions against them,” Patrushev said in an interview published on Thursday.
Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads.
However, Patrushev said there was still no proof that Iran was on the brink of creating nuclear weapons.
“Talk about Iran creating an atomic bomb by next week we have heard for many years,” he said, adding that the United States was trying to topple the Iran’s leadership using “all available means” to make the country into “a loyal partner”.
Russia, the world’s biggest energy producer, opposes further UN Security Council sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program and has sharply criticized US and European Union sanctions.
The United States has said it would use force if Iran carried out its threat to block the strait and moved a new aircraft carrier strike group to the Arabian Sea this week.
Massive US Military Buildup on Two Strategic Islands: Socotra and Masirah
January 31, 2012
Debka Files – January 27, 2012
While quietly casting lines to draw Tehran into talks on their nuclear dispute, President Barack Obama is reported exclusively by DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military and Washington sources to have secretly ordered US air, naval and marine forces to build up heavy concentrations on two strategic islands – Socotra, which is part of a Yemeni archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and the Omani island of Masirah at the southern exit of the Strait of Hormuz.
Socotra is situated 80 kilometers east of the Horn of Africa and 380 kilometers southeast of the Yemeni coastline. It lies athwart the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. A military base there is in a position to oversee the shipping moving in and out of those strategic naval waterways.
Lushly verdant, Socotra is approximately 120 kilometers long by 40 kilometers wide. Its population of 55,000 has its own distinct language and culture. Since 2010, the US has been quietly building giant air force and naval bases on Socotra with facilities for submarines, intelligence command centers and take-off pads for flying stealth drones, as part of a linked chain of strategic US military facilities in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.
The Socotra facilities are so secret that they are never mentioned in any catalogue listing US military facilities in this part of the world, which include Jebel Ali and Al Dahfra in the United Arab Emirates; Arifjan in Kuwait; and Al Udeid in Qatar – all within short flying distances from Iran.
Additional US forces are also being poured into Camp Justice on the barren, 70-kilometer long Omani island of Masirah, just south of the Hormuz entry point to the Gulf of Oman from the Arabian Sea.
US military facilities were established there after the signing of an access agreement with Oman in 1980.
Up to 100,000 US troops present by early March
For the new buildup on Socotra, Washington had to negotiate a new deal with Yemen’s ousted ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Injured in an assassination attempt last year, Saleh demanded permission to travel to the United States for medical treatment. The Obama administration first refused, then relented when Saleh made it his condition for consenting to additional troops landing on the island.
Western military sources familiar with the American buildup on the two strategic islands tell DEBKA-Net-Weekly that, although they cannot cite precise figures, they are witnessing the heaviest American concentration of might in the region since the US invaded Iraq in 2003.
Then, 100,000 American troops were massed in Kuwait ahead of the invasion. Today, those sources estimate from the current pace of arrivals on the two island bases, that 50,000 US troops will have accumulated on Socotra and Masirah by mid-February. They will top up the 50,000 military already present in the Persian Gulf region, so that in less than a month, Washington will have some 100,000 military personnel on the spot and available for any contingency.
US air transports are described as making almost daily landings on Socotra and Masirah. They fly in from the US naval base of Diego Garcia, one of America’s biggest military facilities, just over 3,000 kilometers away. The US military presence in the region will further expand in the first week of March when three US aircraft carriers and their strike groups plus a French carrier arrive in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea: They are theUSS Abraham Lincoln, USS Carl Vinson, USS Enterprise and the Charles de Gaulle nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
A fourth US carrier will be standing by in the Pacific Ocean, a few days’ sailing time from the water off Iran’s coast. source