Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday that a wrong move in Syria almost ensures a war between Israel and Iran, challenging President Obama to articulate his case for military intervention in the region and telling his congressional colleagues to come up with a plan.
“I think the American people have to understand if this war goes another year, here’s what’s likely to happen: there will be tens of thousands of al Qaeda in Syria, there will be a toppling of the King of Jordan, the last moderate voice in the region and a close ally to us and Israel — he’ll be gone in another year because of the refugee problem,” Mr. Graham said on CNN’s “New Day.” “The chemical weapons will be loose and in the hands of Hezbollah and may come our way, so … Iran is watching every move we make in Syria.” Continue reading
Iran can produce a nuclear weapon in just over a year and diplomatic efforts have just less than that to halt Iran’s drive to the bomb, US President Barack Obama said Thursday, intimating that should diplomatic efforts fail this year or early next year, America will be forced to carry out military action against Iran.
Contrary to statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the moment of truth concerning Iran’s nuclear program was spring 2013, Obama said that the US estimates that Iran can produce a bomb only in about a year given its current rate of progress.
“There is a window, not an infinite period of time, a window of time where we can resolve this diplomatically,” Obama said. ”Right now we think that it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but we obviously don’t want to cut it too close.” Continue reading
Another stalling tactic that jeopardizes Israel’s existence or a solid commitment? Only time will tell.
When he visits Israel next month, US President Barack Obama will tell Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a “window of opportunity” for a military strike on Iran will open in June, according to an Israeli TV report Monday evening.
Obama will come bearing the message that if diplomatic efforts and sanctions don’t bear fruit, Israel should “sit tight” and let Washington take the stage, even if that means remaining on the sidelines during a US military operation, Channel 10 reported. Netanyahu will be asked to refrain from any military action and keep a low profile, avoiding even the mention of a strike, the report said, citing unnamed officials.
In London Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said an Iran with nuclear weapons was “simply unacceptable” and warned the time limit for a diplomatic solution was running out. Continue reading
Retired Adm. Gary Roughead, who stepped down a year ago as the top Navy officer, expressed concerns about the consequences of a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“I think a military strike into Iran would set off a whole set of events,” he said when asked about a possible Israeli or U.S. strike against Iran in the coming years. Continue reading
Military leader ties ‘last messiah’ to regime’s preparations for conflict
For the first time, Iran’s highest-ranking military official has tied the reappearance of the last Islamic messiah to the regime being prepared to go to a war based on ideology.
“With having the treasure of the Holy Defense, Valayat (Guardianship of the Jurist) and martyrs, we are ready for a big war,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said, according to Mashregh news, which is run by the Revolutionary Guards.“Of course this confrontation has always continued; however, since we are in the era of The Coming, this war will be a significant war.”
Shi’ites believe that at the end of time great wars will take place, and Imam Mahdi, the Shi’ites’ 12th imam, will reappear and kill all the infidels, raising the flag of Islam in all corners of the world.
Vahidi became the Revolutionary Guards intelligence officer after the 1979 Islamic revolution and later was promoted to chief commander of the Quds Forces. He is on the Interpol most-wanted list for the Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 and injured hundreds.
Speaking at a mosque in remembrance of the martyrs who died in service to Iran, Vahidi stated that, “The Islamic republic is going to create a new environment on the world stage, and without a doubt victory awaits those who continue the path of martyrs. … we can defeat the enemy at its home and our nation is ready for jihad. Martyrdom has taught us to avoid wrong paths and return to the right path. Martyrdom is the right path, it’s the path to God.”
…Meanwhile, a Revolutionary Guards report quoting the head of the Guards’ public relations, Ramezan Sharif, revealed that Iran has military assets in several countries.
…In a report Thursday in the Washington Times, Kevin L. Perkins, deputy director of the FBI, told a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the agency considered Iran’s assets a “serious threat.”
“Quds Forces, Hezbollah and others have shown they both have the capability and the willingness to extend beyond that (Middle East) region of the world and likely here into the homeland itself,” he testified.
Full article: Iran official: ‘Big war’ means Mahdi’s coming (WND)
Israel is prepared for a 30-day war on multiple fronts should it decide to strike Iran, and is “ready as never before” for such a clash, the outgoing home front defence minister said Wednesday.
In an interview with the Maariv newspaper, Matan Vilnai said Israel was ready to face the consequences of a clash with Iran that could be sparked if the Jewish state decides to launch a strike against Tehran’s nuclear programme.
“I can say in the most authoritative manner that the home front is ready as never before in the country’s history,” he said.
Vilnai declined to say whether he thought Israel should take military action against Iran, but warned any such decision required serious consideration.
“The only question is if a clash is necessary. War is something that is better to postpone and weigh carefully,” he said, adding that he thought the Jewish state should coordinate its military activity with Washington.
“I don’t want to be dragged into an argument, but I say that the United States is our greatest friend and we must always coordinate such things with it,” he said.
Full article: Israel ready for 30-day war after Iran strike (Defence Talk)
Iran’s nuclear program is approaching the “immunity zone”—the point when its equipment is too well defended for Israel to attack—Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported August 10.
U.S. intelligence officials recently produced a new National Intelligence Estimate (nie), which warned that Iran’s nuclear program has made “significant progress,” the paper claimed, citing “top U.S. officials.”
The nie warned that Iran recently installed 5,000 twin centrifuges in its under-mountain base in Fordo, near Qom. Israel fears it may not be able to completely destroy the Fordo facility. If Iran moves a significant amount of nuclear equipment to Fordo, the Israelis may be unable to stop Iran’s nuclear program short of using a nuclear missile themselves.
The U.S. has consistently refused to take any meaningful action against Iran, causing the problem to grow worse. The issue is driving a wedge between the U.S. and Israel. While both share intelligence, the two react to the material very differently. Israel is more urgent to attack Iran before it is too late, while America says there is still time and Israel should wait to see if sanctions work.
Watch for Iran to continue to push toward nuclear weapons. As it gets closer, Europe will become more worried and more urgent. Watch for Israel to draw closer to these European partners as America’s refusal to act further divides the two allies.
Full article: Intelligence Estimate: Iran’s Nukes Nearly Immune From Israeli Strike (The Trumpet)
The US-Arab Eager Lion 2012 exercise ends Wednesday, May 30, after 12,000 mostly American as well as Saudi, Jordanian, Qatari and UAE special forces troops staged three weeks of joint maneuvers in Jordan.
In the marine section, debkafile’s military sources report, around 3,000 US, Jordanian and Saudi special forces troops of three battalions practiced landings on Jordanian beaches and the rapid seizure of fortified mountain bases and command posts on Jordanian terrain resembling the three islands commanding the Strait of Hormuz where the Revolutionary Guards have established marine bases and other parts of Iran.
Meanwhile, Eager Lion 2012 is an important adjunct to international intervention in the Arab Revolt and preparations for war with Iran.
Last Thursday, May 24, a Russian arms ship, the Professor Katsman, was detected approaching the Syrian port of Tartus. Although the crew shut down communications systems and crept forward in silence, debkafile’s intelligence sources discovered the vessel dropping anchor in the Syrian port Friday. Military equipment was then unloaded behind tarpaulin screens and transferred to waiting Syrian military truck convoys.
Our sources identified the cargo delivered as consisting of large quantities of artillery and tank shells as well as spare parts for tanks.
The North Korean arms ships Odai is also reported on its way to Tartus with hardware for the Syrian army.
Our military sources report at the same time that Syrian rebels have started using German HK MG4 machine guns in their attacks on Syrian military targets. These weapons are in service with the German Bundeswher. It is the first time German military hardware has been seen in the Middle East in the 67 years since World War II ended. It is not known how the Syrian rebels procured the guns and who is supplying them with ammo.
Full article: US-Arab exercise drills Iran landing. Syrian rebels obtain German machine guns (DEBKAfile)
The Iranian newspaper Kayhan reported Thursday that in the first minutes of any American conflict with Iran, “Israel and all U.S. interests around the world will be targeted.”
The newspaper, which is under the supervision of Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ran the story under the headline “11,000 Missiles Ready to Launch.”
And on Saturday, Tehran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Qazanfar Roknabadi, confirmed during a public roundtable event that the Islamic regime is prepared to attack both Israel and U.S. bases in the region if its nuclear facilities are attacked.
In December it emerged that China sold Iran, for $11 billion, advanced DF-31 ICBMs which are capable of reaching U.S. soil with nuclear warheads. North Korean engineers are helping to get the missile system up and running.
“If the Zionist regime makes such a mistake with military aggression against Iran, it will face Iran’s crushing response,” he warned. “We have prepared ourselves and currently have 11,000 missiles ready to launch at the U.S. and Israel and their interests in the world.”
Full article: March 11, 2012 Iran rattles sabers: ’11,000 missiles ready to launch’ at Israel, US targets (The Daily Caller)
Channel 2 in Israel, sourcing a “senior American official”, says that the decision has already been made by the Israeli government to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“All U.S. intelligence officials are confident the Israeli leadership has already decided to attack Iran, unless a significant change happens in the coming weeks or months with the Iranian nuclear program,” Channel 2 reports.
The report comes just hours ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC in Washington.
Full article: Israel’s Channel 2: U.S. Officials Believe Netanyahu Has Already Decided to Strike Iran (The Algemeiner)
A successful joint exercise carried out Friday, Feb. 10, demonstrated the interoperability of the US Aegis and Israel’s Arrow 4 ballistic missile defense systems and, most importantly, of their two radars, the US AN/TPY-2 X-band and Israel’s EL/M-2080 Super Green Pine, debkafile’s military sources report.
It was a key milestone in the development of the US missile shield’s Middle East capabilities ahead of a potential war with Iran and the fourth significant preparatory step taken in the last ten days.
On the East Coast of the United States, the large-scale Bold Alligator 2012 exercise is drilling amphibian landings on a fictitious Iranian shore; in the Middle East, an American airlift this week ferried reinforcements to the Persian Gulf over Sinai; the Iranian army is in the middle of a major war game “under war conditions” opposite the Strait of Hormuz; and Israel is putting the finishing touches to its new Depth Command set up for operations behind enemy lines.
Full article: Successful US-Israel radar test launches US missile shield’s operational phase (DEBKAfile)