Iranian leaders in Israel’s sights after calling for its destruction

This could also be considered a sign with the ongoing turmoil in Syria. Once the  highest ranking leaders start defecting or get picked off, Assad could decide to descend the entire Middle East into chaos.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was cheered by half a million demonstrators in Tehran shouting: Death to Israel! Death to America! when he declared Israel is a “cancerous tumor” that will soon be finished off in the new Middle East. He called “the Zionist regime’s existence an insult to all humanity.”

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said:  “The fake Zionist (regime) will disappear from the landscape of geography,”

And although both were severely rebuked by world leaders for their violent invective, it continued to pour out of Tehran in a comment by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force Chief, Brig. Gen. Amir Hajizadeh who said an Israeli attack would be welcome “as a pretext to get rid of Israel for good.”

Israel’s new Home Defense Minister Avi Dichter laid it out in plain language: While Syria, Lebanon and Gaza confront Israel with a strategic threat, Iran imperils our very existence.

Certain Western intelligence sources were reminded of a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 2006 when he quoted a Holocaust survivor as saying:  “My main lesson from the Holocaust is that if someone tells you he is going to exterminate you, believe him. And I add to that. Believe him and stop him!”

Six years later, those sources now suggest, after America’s top soldier Gen. Martin Dempsey offered the opinion that Israel can no longer destroy Iran’s nuclear weapon capacity – only delay it , that Netanyahu may be willing to go further: Not only to stop them, but kill them.

They are quietly using the term “decapitation.”

They point to the Israeli Mossad’s long record of targeted covert operations for dealing with past and would-be annihilators: In the fifties, the Mossad captured the Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann in Operational Finale.

In the seventies, Golda Meir ordered Operation Wrath of God to hunt down and pick off one by one the Palestinian Black September murderers of 11 Israeli sportsmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

In February 2008, Iran’s senior terrorist operations commander, Hizballah’s Imad Mughniyeh, was liquidated in Damascus, so ending a bloody career of assassinations, terrorism and abductions against US and other Western targets as well as Israel.

Hizballah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah knows the score: He has spent six years hunkered down in a fortified bunker, taking care never to  broadcast his inflammatory speeches calling for Israel’s destruction live, only by video.

It cannot be ruled out that this point, Israel may decide to disable Iran’s nuclear program by going for its leaders.

Full article: Iranian leaders in Israel’s sights after calling for its destruction (DEBKAfile)

Pentagon: Iran improving missiles to target vessels

Report submitted to Congress also reveals Tehran has ‘methodically cultivated network of sponsored terrorist surrogates capable of targeting US, Israeli interests’

WASHINGTON – The Iranian army is continuing to improve the accuracy and destructive power of its long-and-short-range ballistic missile force, according to a Pentagon report that was submitted to the US Congress.

The report, which was obtained by Bloomberg News, said that as part of the improvements, Iran’s military is designing a maneuvering weapon to target vessels.

The June 29 report, which was signed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, states that Tehran “has boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing systems by improving accuracy and developing new submunition payloads” that extend the destructive power over a broader area than a solid warhead.

According to Bloomberg, the report found that the improvements are in tandem with routine ballistic- missile training that “continues throughout the country” and the addition of “new ships and submarines.”

Bloomberg said the report also addresses the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program and the assistance it offers to Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and Iraqi Shiite groups. It also repeated the US assessment that Iran with “sufficient foreign assistance may be technically capable of flight-testing” an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015.

Full article: Pentagon: Iran improving missiles to target vessels (Ynet News)

Islamic world must have nuclear weapons, says Iran

Iran is now telling the world that in order to confront aggression from America and Israel, it must have nuclear weapons.

Official Iranian media outlets published a commentary Sunday titled “The necessity for the Islamic world to have the atomic bomb,” laying the groundwork for Iran’s refusal to accept limits on its illicit nuclear program.

The essay’s author, Alireza Forghani, is the former governor of southern Iran’s Kish Province and an analyst and a strategy specialist in the camp of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“The fatwa from Imam Khomeini [the founder of Iran’s Islamic revolution] said ‘all Islamic countries have Islamic blood,’” Forghani wrote. “Therefore the Islamic world should rise up and shout that a nuclear bomb is our right, and disrupt the dreams of America and Israel.

Having a nuclear bomb is our right,” he argued. “Israel would have been destroyed completely 30 years ago” but has survived because it has nuclear weapons. 

In February, Forghani laid out the legal case for the annihilation of Israel and all Jewish people. That treatise, which ran in all the Iranian regime’s media outlets, openly called for a pre-emptive strike on Israel.

Among the state-run media carrying Forghani’s new piece — which argues that Iran should have an atomic bomb – is the major outlet Fars News Agency, which is run by the Revolutionary Guards and thus represents the views of the Islamic regime.

Full article: Islamic world must have nuclear weapons, says Iran (The Daily Caller)

Iran Oil Exports Continue Off Radar

Iran continues to show that there is no bottom for third world economies.

Iran is trying to counter Western sanctions on its oil industry that aim to cripple Iran’s economy and convince it to acquiesce to Western demands regarding its nuclear program.

Reuters cites sources in the oil industry, trading and shipping who say the National Iranian Tanker Company has ordered all its captains to “switch off the black box transponders that are used in the shipping industry to monitor vessel movements.”

Full article: Iran Oil Exports Continue Off Radar (Eurasia Review)

Ahmadinejad: Iran Can Go Years with No Oil Sales

Iran can survive for years without selling oil, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed Tuesday, according to Fars news. “Even if we didn’t sell oil for two to three years, the country would manage easily,” he said.

The European Union is planning to ban Iranian oil in an attempt to pressure Ahmadinejad to drop the country’s nuclear program.

Full article: Ahmadinejad: Iran Can Go Years with No Oil Sales (Arutz Sheva)

Russia, Iran set to counter US/Israeli strike against Iran. US-led naval drill

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issued a strong warning against a military attack on Iran Monday, April 2,, saying that a pre-emptive strike would violate international law. His comments, made during a visit to Armenia, stopped short of threatening (the US and/or Israel) of consequences. But they backed up and were in tune with the explicit threat from Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last Thursday of strong Iranian resistance to foreign intervention in Syria and vow to defend Damascus as the “center of resistance against Israel.”

Western military observers link the two statements as representing an evolving Russian-Iranian front. After their shared success in delivering Bashar Assad from the revolt against his regime, the two partners are preparing to fend off a potential strike against Tehran’s nuclear program as well as shore up Iran’s regional interests from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. They are getting set to counter two US-led steps, disclosed here by debkafile:

Full article: Russia, Iran set to counter US/Israeli strike against Iran. US-led naval drill (DEBKAfile)

Clinton: Iranian Diplomatic Window Not ‘Infinite’

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said the diplomatic track for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program is not “infinite”.

“So the sooner that we begin talks, the better it will be,” Clinton advised Terhan, adding that EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is still consulting with Iran on the time and venues of resumed nuclear dialog with Iran.

Full article: Clinton: Iranian Diplomatic Window Not ‘Infinite’ (Arutz Sheva)

Israel’s Secret Staging Ground

U.S. officials believe that the Israelis have gained access to airbases in Azerbaijan. Does this bring them one step closer to a war with Iran?

Why does it matter? Because Azerbaijan is strategically located on Iran’s northern border and, according to several high-level sources I’ve spoken with inside the U.S. government, Obama administration officials now believe that the “submerged” aspect of the Israeli-Azerbaijani alliance — the security cooperation between the two countries — is heightening the risks of an Israeli strike on Iran.

In particular, four senior diplomats and military intelligence officers say that the United States has concluded that Israel has recently been granted access to airbases on Iran’s northern border. To do what, exactly, is not clear. “The Israelis have bought an airfield,” a senior administration official told me in early February, “and the airfield is called Azerbaijan.”

Full article: Israel’s Secret Staging Ground (Foreign Policy)

Turkey voices support for Iran nuclear programme

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on thursday expressed his support of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. In a statement issued by Ahmadinejad’s office, Erdogan was quoted as saying: “The government and nation of Turkey has always clearly supported the nuclear positions of the Islamic republic of Iran, and will continue to firmly follow the same policy in the future.”

Ahmadinejad thanked Turkey for its “clear and frank” stance on the issue, the statement added.

Full article: Turkey voices support for Iran nuclear programme (Ahram Online)

US Navy In Military Build-Up To Battle Strait Of Hormuz ‘Blockade’

While saying sanctions and political measures are preferable to respond to Iran’s controversial nuclear program, looks like the US is getting ready for plan B.

The US has been working of an array of military measures to counteract Iran, with President Obama saying “no options are off the table.”

The Pentagon has recently asked for an additional $100 million dollars to beef up its military presence in the Persian Gulf.

Full article: US Navy In Military Build-Up To Battle Strait Of Hormuz ‘Blockade’ (Eurasia Review)

Obama: window for diplomatic solution with Iran is shrinking

US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday the window for a diplomatic solution with Iran over its nuclear program was shrinking, and he encouraged Tehran to seize the opportunity of talks with world leaders to avert “even worse consequences.”

Obama, speaking at a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, said Iran’s tendency has been to stall and delay in talks with world powers.

Full article: Obama: window for diplomatic solution with Iran is shrinking (ynet)

North Korea nuke concessions raise doubt

“Years of getting duped by North Korea should tell us that verification on their turf is extremely difficult, if not impossible,” said Rep. Edward R. Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade.

“That applies to food aid distribution, where the military has stolen food aid, or nuclear disarmament. Last year, I passed legislation prohibiting food aid to any country that may divert it for unauthorized use,” the California Republican added.

Full article: North Korea nuke concessions raise doubt (Washington Times)

Former Islamic Insider Offers Warning

Last week I quoted from a book by Reza Kahlili, A Time to Betray. This week I had a chance to speak with Mr. Kahlili by phone, and ask him about the Iran crisis. As a former CIA operative who worked inside the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, he understands the strengths and weaknesses of the Islamic Republic.  He knows the Islamist mindset, and the errors that plague U.S. policy.

I asked Mr. Kahlili whether he thought a preemptive strike against Iran was a good idea. “The question is complex,” he answered. “You should never have allowed Iran to become what it is today. You have missed opportunity after opportunity.”

Perhaps it is no accident we are in such a difficult position today. Reza Kahlili is not alone in suggesting that the West has used bad judgment and shown poor leadership regarding Iran. To survive intact, our civilization must do better. We have deluded ourselves long enough. We have refused to accept that our enemies are enemies, that they intend our destruction. The hour is late, and time is running out.

Full article: Former Islamic Insider Offers Warning (JR Nyquist)

UN nuclear agency says Iran blocked attempts to probe alleged atomic arms work in Tehran talks

The double signs of defiance reflected Tehran’s continued resistance to demands that it defuse suspicions about its nuclear activities despite a growing list of international sanctions.

The International Atomic Energy Agency made little progress in talks that ended just three weeks ago, and hopes had been low that a visit by IAEA experts to Iran that ended late Tuesday would be any more successful even before the agency issued its statement.

It was issued early Wednesday, shortly after midnight and just after the IAEA experts left Tehran, reflecting the agency’s urgent wish to tell its side of the story.

Full article: UN nuclear agency says Iran blocked attempts to probe alleged atomic arms work in Tehran talks (Washington Post)

Iran threatens pre-emptive action amid nuclear tensions

“Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran’s national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions,” Mohammad Hejazi told the Fars news agency, NBC News reported.

Iran announced air defense war games to practice protecting nuclear and other sensitive sites, the latest in a series of military maneuvers viewed as a message to the West that Iran is prepared both to defend itself against an armed strike and to retaliate.

Full article: Iran threatens pre-emptive action amid nuclear tensions (MSNBC)