Iran tests new anti-ship missile in Gulf of Oman – TV

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

TEHRAN, December 7 (RIA Novosti) – Iran has test-launched a new anti-ship missile as part of large-scale naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman, Iranian television said on Sunday.

The new missile, called Nasr-2 (Victory-2), was launched on Saturday in the Gulf of Oman close to the border with Pakistan. The missile, developed by the Iranian defense ministry’s specialists, was launched from a warship and hit the target at a distance of 30 km (19 miles), the Iranian television said.

Over 60 warships, as well as other military hardware and equipment, are involved in a large-scale naval exercise, code-named Unity-87, that will last through December 7.

Iranian Deputy Navy Commander Adm. Qasem Rostamabadi earlier said the aim of the exercises was to “increase the level of readiness of Iran’s naval forces and also to test and to use domestically-made naval weaponry,” and also to “enhance the country’s deterrence capability.”

http://en.rian.ru/world/20081207/118735113.html

Obama Vows to Stop Nukes in N. Korea, Iran

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U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, while announcing his national security team led by Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, vowed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in North Korea and Iran.

“ There is much to do ― from preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to Iran and North Korea, to seeking a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, to strengthening international institutions. I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton is the right person to lead our State Department, and to work with me in tackling this ambitious foreign policy agenda,” said Obama. He made the comment at Monday’s press conference to officially announce his choice for national security officials in Chicago.

“Hillary’s appointment is a sign to friend and foe of the seriousness of my commitment to renew American diplomacy and restore our alliances.”
Obama said national security challenges are “just as grave and just as urgent as our economic crisis.”
“The spread of nuclear weapons raises the peril that the world’s deadliest technologies could fall into dangerous hands,” he said. “We are fighting two wars. Our old conflicts remain unresolved, and newly assertive powers have put strains on the international system.”

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/12/116_35441.html

Obama remarks on Iran nuclear issue come under fire

Barack Obama has said he is in favor of launching a dialogue with Iran
©2008 Google – Map data ©2008 LeadDog Consulting, AND, Europa Technologies – Terms of Use

Obama remarks on Iran nuclear issue come under fire

TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani slammed US president-elect Barack Obama on Saturday for saying Tehran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons was “unacceptable,” the official IRNA news agency reported.

“This signifies a pursuit of the same erroneous policy as in the past,” Larijani said when asked about Obama’s comment on Friday.

“If the United States wants to change its standing in the region it should send good signals,” he said.

“Obama understands that change does not only mean a change of colour and superficial differences, change must also have a strategic basis,” the agency quoted Larijani as saying.

Obama told his first news conference since winning the US presidential election on Tuesday that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons was unacceptable and also that he would “respond appropriately” to a congratulatory letter from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon I believe is unacceptable. We have to mount an international effort to prevent that from happening.”

Obama added “Iran’s support of terrorist organisations, I think, is something that has to cease.”

IRNA also quoted Larijani as saying Iran’s leaders had chosen to pursue the country’s nuclear programme “having calculated the risks” and was well aware that they would come under international pressure.

“But this was necessary for the future of Iran,” he said, adding that the Islamic republic would not suspend its controversial programme of uranium enrichment despite UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions against it.

Enrichment is at the heart of Western fears that Iran could be seeking nuclear weapons as it can be diverted to make the fissile material for an atomic bomb as well as fuel for nuclear power plants.

Tehran insists that its nuclear ambitions are strictly peaceful and solely aimed at generating electricity.

Six major powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — have put forward the possibility of a package of technological, economic and political incentives if Iran suspends uranium enrichment.

Early in his election campaign, Obama said he favoured unconditional direct talks with Tehran, but he has since hardened his position.

Iran and the United States have not had diplomatic relations since Islamist students took American diplomats hostage for 444 days following the 1979 Islamic revolution which toppled the US-backed shah.

But in an unprecedented move, Ahmadinejad on Thursday sent a letter to Obama congratulating him on his election victory.

Conservative dailies also criticised Obama.

Kayhan headlined “Obama’s men pro-Israeli,” in reference to his appointment of Rahm Emanuel, a Jew, as White House chief of staff. It called him “a member of a terrorist Zionist group.”

Jomhuri Islami’s headline read: “Obama gives green light to the Zionist regime.”

realtipof54150Google News

NOTE:Next 2 of three stories are complete opposite of one another?

Tries to use WordPress Poll Daddy account, but it isn’t functioning right now. So let go with some comments, please?

Which story do you believe is true?

YES Iran is ready to have a nuke weapon by Feb, 2009 or NO Iran is nowhere near ready to have nukes?

Me I believe that Yes Iran is closer than ever to having a one or more nuke weapons in the near future. What DO YOU think?

Thanks for any and all responses. gregor, editor

Israel Asked US for Green Light to Bomb Nuclear Sites in Iran

Israel Asked US for Green Light to Bomb Nuclear Sites in Iran

US president told Israeli prime minister he would not back attack on Iran, senior European diplomatic sources tell Guardian

by Jonathan Steele

Israel gave serious thought this spring to launching a military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites but was told by President George W Bush that he would not support it and did not expect to revise that view for the rest of his presidency, senior European diplomatic sources have told the Guardian.

EPA]A view of the nuclear enrichment plant of Natanz in central Iran. Photograph: EPA

The then prime minister, Ehud Olmert, used the occasion of Bush’s trip to Israel for the 60th anniversary of the state’s founding to raise the issue in a one-on-one meeting on May 14, the sources said. “He took it [the refusal of a US green light] as where they were at the moment, and that the US position was unlikely to change as long as Bush was in office”, they added.The sources work for a European head of government who met the Israeli leader some time after the Bush visit. Their talks were so sensitive that no note-takers attended, but the European leader subsequently divulged to his officials the highly sensitive contents of what Olmert had told him of Bush’s position.

Bush’s decision to refuse to offer any support for a strike on Iran appeared to be based on two factors, the sources said. One was US concern over Iran’s likely retaliation, which would probably include a wave of attacks on US military and other personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as on shipping in the Persian Gulf.

The other was US anxiety that Israel would not succeed in disabling Iran’s nuclear facilities in a single assault even with the use of dozens of aircraft. It could not mount a series of attacks over several days without risking full-scale war. So the benefits would not outweigh the costs.

Iran has repeatedly said it would react with force to any attack. Some western government analysts believe this could include asking Lebanon’s Shia movement Hizbollah to strike at the US.

“It’s over ten years since Hizbollah’s last terror strike outside Israel, when it hit an Argentine-Israel association building in Buenos Aires [killing 85 people]“, said one official. “There is a large Lebanese diaspora in Canada which must include some Hizbollah supporters. They could slip into the United States and take action”.

Even if Israel were to launch an attack on Iran without US approval its planes could not reach their targets without the US becoming aware of their flightpath and having time to ask them to abandon their mission.

“The shortest route to Natanz lies across Iraq and the US has total control of Iraqi airspace”, the official said. Natanz, about 100 miles north of Isfahan, is the site of an uranium enrichment plant.

In this context Iran would be bound to assume Bush had approved it, even if the White House denied fore-knowledge, raising the prospect of an attack against the US.

Several high-level Israeli officials have hinted over the last two years that Israel might strike Iran’s nuclear facilities to prevent them being developed to provide sufficient weapons-grade uranium to make a nuclear bomb. Iran has always denied having such plans.

Olmert himself raised the possibility of an attack at a press conference during a visit to London last November, when he said sanctions were not enough to block Iran’s nuclear programme.

“Economic sanctions are effective. They have an important impact already, but they are not sufficient. So there should be more. Up to where? Up until Iran will stop its nuclear programme,” he said.

The revelation that Olmert was not merely sabre-rattling to try to frighten Iran but considered the option seriously enough to discuss it with Bush shows how concerned Israeli officials had become.

Bush’s refusal to support an attack, and the strong suggestion he would not change his mind, is likely to end speculation that Washington might be preparing an “October surprise” before the US presidential election. Some analysts have argued that Bush would back an Israeli attack in an effort to help John McCain’s campaign by creating an eve-of-poll security crisis.

Others have said that in the case of an Obama victory, the vice-president, Dick Cheney, the main White House hawk, would want to cripple Iran’s nuclear programme in the dying weeks of Bush’s term.

During Saddam Hussein’s rule in 1981, Israeli aircraft successfully destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor at Osirak shortly before it was due to start operating.

Last September they knocked out a buildings complex in northern Syria, which US officials later said had been a partly constructed nuclear reactor based on a North Korean design. Syria said the building was a military complex but had no links to a nuclear programme.

In contrast, Iran’s nuclear facilities, which are officially described as intended only for civilian purposes, are dispersed around the country and some are in fortified bunkers underground.

In public, Bush gave no hint of his view that the military option had to be excluded. In a speech to the Knesset the following day he confined himself to telling Israel’s parliament: “America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions. Permitting the world’s leading sponsor of terror to possess the world’s deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

Mark Regev, Olmert’s spokesman, tonight reacted to the Guardian’s story saying: “The need to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is raised at every meeting between the prime minister and foreign leaders. Israel prefers a diplomatic solution to this issue but all options must remain on the table. Your unnamed European source attributed words to the prime minister that were not spoken in any working meeting with foreign guests”.

Three weeks after Bush’s red light, on June 2, Israel mounted a massive air exercise covering several hundred miles in the eastern Mediterranean. It involved dozens of warplanes, including F-15s, F-16s and aerial refueling tankers.

The size and scope of the exercise ensured that the US and other nations in the region saw it, said a US official, who estimated the distance was about the same as from Israel to Natanz.

A few days later, Israel’s deputy prime minister, Shaul Mofaz, told the paper Yediot Ahronot: “If Iran continues its programme to develop nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The window of opportunity has closed. The sanctions are not effective. There will be no alternative but to attack Iran in order to stop the Iranian nuclear programme.”

The exercise and Mofaz’s comments may have been designed to boost the Israeli government and military’s own morale as well, perhaps, to persuade Bush to reconsider his veto. Last week Mofaz narrowly lost a primary within the ruling Kadima party to become Israel’s next prime minister. Tzipi Livni, who won the contest, takes a less hawkish position.

The US announced two weeks ago that it would sell Israel 1,000 bunker-busting bombs. The move was interpreted by some analysts as a consolation prize for Israel after Bush told Olmert of his opposition to an attack on Iran. But it could also enhance Israel’s attack options in case the next US president revives the military option.

The guided bomb unit-39 (GBU-39) has a penetration capacity equivalent to a one-tonne bomb. Israel already has some bunker-busters.

Iran speed boats lethal to US navy: report

Iran speed boats lethal to US navy: report
Thu, 18 Sep 2008 08:10:00 GMT

Iran’s fleet has the capacity to inflict crippling damages on any US vessels in the Persian Gulf, a French newspaper reports.

In an article in Le Figaro published on Wednesday, George Malbrunot has written that Iran has a tactical defense scheme in the Persian Gulf to implement against any possible US attack.

Malbrunot noted that the Islamic Republic has mass-produced a large number of speed boats with rocket launchers and other sophisticated military equipment which are able to strike a heavy blow on any foreign warship if the country comes under attack.

Malbrunot said that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) is ready to deploy its submarines and battle boats to intercept vessels at the Straight of Hormuz.

He also referred to IRGC’s Qaem submarine which is capable of launching high-speed torpedoes with significant destructive powers.

The IRGC has recently developed long-range anti-ship missiles that can strike targets within 300 kilometers and its new unmanned reconnaissance planes have caused worries in Washington, Le Figaro reported.

Major General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, former commander of the IRGC and the current military advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, had earlier declared that the responsibility of Persian Gulf defense had been handed over to the IRGC and it will seal the strategic Straight of Hormuz in case the US launches any attack on Iran’s nuclear installations.

Iran warns any attack would start ‘world war’

Photo 1 of 2
Iranian marines sit in a military speed boat during a military parade in Tehran
©2008 Google – Map data ©2008 AND, Europa Technologies – Terms of Use

Iran warns any attack would start ‘world war’

TEHRAN (AFP) — A senior military commander warned on Saturday that any attack on Iran would start a new world war, as Tehran pressed on with its controversial nuclear drive despite the risk of further UN sanctions.

“Any aggression against Iran will start a world war,” deputy chief of staff for defence publicity, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, said in a statement carried by the state news agency IRNA.

Iran is under international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, a process which lies at the core of fears about Iran’s nuclear programme as it can make nuclear fuel as well as the fissile core of an atom bomb.

“The unrestrained greed of the US leadership and global Zionism… is gradually leading the world to the edge of a precipice,” Jazayeri said, citing the unrest in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Georgia.

“It is evident that if such a challenge occurs, the fake and artificial regimes will be eliminated before anything,” he said, without naming any countries.

Iran does not recognise Israel, which is often described by officials in Tehran as a “fake regime” and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has provoked itnernational outrage saying it should be wiped off the map.

The United States and its staunch ally Israel, the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear armed nation, accuse Iran of seeking atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme.

Iran, a leading OPEC member, has vehemently denied the allegations, insisting its only wants to provide electricity for a growing population when its reserves of fossil fuels run out.

The United States has never ruled out military action against Iran over its defiance of international demands for an enrichment freeze, but so far is pursuing the diplomatic route.

Iran has repeatedly vowed a crushing response to any attacks and has flexed military muscles in recent years by holding war games and showing off an array of home-grown weaponry including ballistic missiles.

Another top military commander said Iran was prepared to “take the enemies off-guard” and would unveil more weapons in case of an attack.

“Some of the equipment of our armed forces have been announced but there are important things hidden whose effect would be shown on the day (of any attack),” deputy army commander Abdolrahim Mousavi told Fars news agency.

“Offensives are part of the strategy of defence and if a country confines itself to its borders it has set a limit and eliminated part of its capability,” he said.

During war games in July which stoked international concern, aides to the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that Iran would target US bases and US ships in the Gulf as well as Israel if it was attacked.

Iran also test-fired its Shahab-3 missile which it says puts Israel within range.

In recent months, several Israeli politicians have talked of the possibility of a preemptive military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities to avoid any possibility of Tehran acquiring an atomic weapon.

Iran has repeatedly said it has no intention of halting enrichment despite three sets of UN Security Council sanctions and US and EU sanctions on its banking system.

Iran insists it has a right to enrich uranium for nuclear fuel as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is currently operating about 4,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges and installing several thousand more.

However, the country’s first Russian-built nuclear power plant is yet to come on line.

The Islamic republic risks further sanctions for failing to give a clear response to an incentives package offered in June by six world powers in return for a halt to the sensitive work.

World powers offered to start pre-negotiations with Iran during which Tehran would add no more uranium-enriching centrifuges and in return face no further sanctions.

The offer by permanent Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany included trade incentives and help with a civilian nuclear programme.

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