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Iran Super Thread- Merged

ctipz said:
Bush Protested Planned Israeli Strike on Iran
President Bush reportedly revealed to the Israelis that he already had authorized a covert U.S. effort to sabotage Iran's nuclear capabilities.

That strikes me as grey psyops.  I'm not buying it. 
I'm curious about everybody's opinion on weather Pres -Elect would attack Iran, if yes under what conditions would he order it?  Personally I'm not sure that he would even if Iran tested a nuc thus removing all doubt.
thunderchild said:
I'm curious about everybody's opinion on weather Pres -Elect would attack Iran, if yes under what conditions would he order it?  Personally I'm not sure that he would even if Iran tested a nuc thus removing all doubt.

Doubtless it would be a clear, sunny day.  Barometer steady with only a bit of high altitude clouds and only around a 10% chance of rain.  A high of 25c with a humidex of only 27c. Winds steady from the SE at 8km/h.  But I am certain he would want to have a good 7 day forecast. 
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s Globe and Mail, is a somewhat different take on the Gaza conflict:

Caution: this has a “point of view” and the author is not an ‘unbiased source.’

Welcome to the new Middle East
The conflict is no longer about Arabs and Israelis. It's about Arab nationalists and Islamists


From Thursday's Globe and Mail
January 15, 2009 at 12:00 AM EST

JERUSALEM — In Iran, elements from within the regime are reportedly offering a $1-million reward for the assassination of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak because of his opposition to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In Lebanon, the leader of Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran and Syria, merely calls for the Egyptian government's overthrow.

In response to this, Tariq Alhomayed, a Saudi who is editor-in-chief of the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, describes Hamas as Iran's tool, and argues that "Iran is a real threat to Arab security." Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, agrees, and he is not alone. When Arab states met to discuss the Gaza crisis, Saudi Arabia vetoed any action. Even the Palestinian Authority blames Hamas for the fighting. Activists in Fatah, which runs the Palestinian Authority and is Hamas's nationalist rival, make no secret of their hope that Hamas loses the war.

Welcome to the new Middle East, characterized no longer by the Arab-Israeli conflict but by an Arab nationalist-Islamist conflict. Recognizing this reality, virtually all Arab states - other than Iran's ally, Syria - and the Palestinian Authority want to see Hamas defeated in Gaza. Given their strong self-interest in thwarting Islamist revolutionary groups, especially those aligned with Iran, they are not inclined to listen to the "Arab street" - which is far quieter than it was during previous conflicts, such as the 1991 war in Kuwait, the 2000-2004 Palestinian uprising or the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah war.

Today's Middle East is very different from the old one. First, the internal politics of every Arab country revolves around a battle between Arab nationalist rulers and an Islamist opposition. In other words, Hamas's allies are the regimes' enemies. An Islamist state in Gaza would encourage those who seek to create similar entities in Egypt, Jordan and every other Arab country.

A tremendous price has already been paid for this conflict. The violence has included civil wars among Palestinians and Algerians, the bloodshed in Iraq and terrorist campaigns in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In the Palestinian case, after winning an election and making a deal with Fatah for a coalition government, Hamas turned on its rival and drove it out of Gaza by force. In return, the Palestinian Authority has been repressing Hamas in the West Bank. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has been trying to bully its more moderate Sunni Muslim, Christian and Druze rivals into submission.

Second, because Arab states confront an Iranian-Syrian alliance that includes Hamas and Hezbollah, in addition to internal conflicts, there is a regional battle between these two blocs. An aspect of this is that the largely Sunni Muslim-led states face a largely Shia Muslim-led competitor for regional hegemony.

These two problems pose far greater dangers to the existing states than does any (largely fabricated) Israeli threat, and the region's rulers know it.

On the other side of the divide, Iran and its allies have put forward the banners ofjihad and "resistance." Their platform includes Islamist revolution in every country; Iran as the region's dominant state, backed up by nuclear weapons; no peace with Israel and no Palestinian state until there can be an Islamist one encompassing all of Israel (as well as the West Bank and Gaza); and the expulsion of Western influence from the region.

This is a very ambitious program, probably impossible to achieve. Nevertheless, it is a prescription for endless terrorism and war: Both pro- and anti-Iranian revolutionary Islamists believe they will win because God is on their side and their enemies are cowardly, and they are quite prepared to spend the next half-century trying to prove it.

While this seems to be a very pessimistic assessment of the regional situation, the radical Islamist side has many weaknesses. Launching losing wars may make Islamists feel good, but being defeated is a costly proposition, for their arrogance and belligerence antagonize many who might otherwise be won over to their cause.

The situation also provides a good opportunity for Western policy-makers. The emphasis should be on building coalitions among the relatively moderate states that are threatened by radical Islamist forces, and on working hard to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons - a goal that is in the interests of many in the region.

The worst mistake would be to follow the opposite policy - an inevitably futile effort to appease the extremists or seek to moderate them. Such a campaign actually disheartens the relative moderates who, feeling sold out, will try to cut their own deal with Tehran.

The crisis in Gaza is only one aspect of the much wider battle shaking the region. Helping Hamas would empower radical Islamism and Iranian ambitions, while undercutting the Palestinian Authority and everyone else, not just Israel. Arab states don't want to help their worst enemy. Why should anyone else?

Barry Rubin is director of the Israeli-based Global Research in International Affairs Center.


It may be that Israel is not doing as badly in the global PR war as I have suggested.

The Arabs and Persians are, as I have also long hoped, turning on one another. It’s not quite what I had in mind but it will do. It remains to be seen if these tiny flames of internecine disputes can be carefully fanned into a full scale blaze that consumes Islamist passions for a while but that would, surely, be a ‘good thing.’ 


I suspect the new axis upon which the middle east turns became open for discussion once the "surge" had succeeded.  That is, Arab states and Israel being on the same side of anything together, was un-speakable until Iraq was approximately decided.

Or so it seems .... ::)

The President of Iran has stated that the state of Israel is "unfeasible" in the region.

So much for diplomacy.
Another reason for Israel to worry?

Iran: Satellite launch is 'source of pride'
Story Highlights
Iran's president hails launch of first satellite into orbit as "source of pride"

United States confirms Iran launched low-earth orbit satellite Monday night

Launch coincides with 30th anniversary of victory of Islamic revolution

In August, Iran said it tested rocket capable of launching satellite into orbit

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran Tuesday successfully launched its first satellite into orbit, a step hailed by Iran's president as a "source of pride" for the Islamic republic, according to state-run news outlets.

U.S. Department of Defense officials confirmed the launch, and the State Department expressed "grave concern."

"Developing a space launch vehicle that could ... put a satellite into orbit could possibly lead to development of a ballistic missile system," State Department acting spokesman Robert Wood told reporters. "So that's of grave concern to us."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to discuss Iran in meetings Tuesday with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

On Wednesday officials from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China will meet in Germany to discuss next steps on Iran. Wood said that Undersecretary William Burns, who is representing the United States, will seek input and discuss some ideas the Obama administration has about how to move forward. Watch Iran launch its first satellite »

Two U.S. officials confirmed that Iran had launched a low-earth orbit satellite, CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr said.

There were no indications of any weapons activity on the two-stage rocket, although the rocket is capable of launching long-range weapons, the officials said.

"I wouldn't think of this in terms of highly advanced technology," one U.S. official said. But it does suggest Iran's two-stage rockets are increasingly reliable.

The Pentagon said Tuesday the launch is "clearly a concern of ours."

"Although this appears to be satellite, there are dual-use capabilities that could be applied to missiles, and that's a concern to us and everybody in region," Department of Defense spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

The launch of the satellite Omid -- which means "Hope" in Farsi -- was timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Islamic revolution in Iran, according to Iranian media reports.

Iran said the satellite had already completed its first mission -- to transmit a message from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who spoke at the launching ceremony Monday night.

In his message, Ahmadinejad congratulated the nation and said the successful launch improves Iran's status in the world, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

He stressed that both the satellite and the Safir rocket used to launch it were made entirely by Iranian technicians.

Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said that despite the small size of the Omid satellite, it will open the way for an Iranian space program. He said Tehran plans to launch another satellite in the future.

In August, Iran performed a test of a rocket capable of launching a satellite into orbit. Iranian officials declared that mission a success, but U.S. officials disputed that.

Senior U.S. officials had expressed concerned about the test of the rocket, saying Iran could use the rocket to deliver warheads.

CNN's Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report.
Find this article at:
And all President Ahmadjinadad had to say was....Allah Akbar - God is great!
Very disturbing.

Pentagon General: Iran On Way to Long-Range Threat

Published: 10 Feb 16:41 EST (21:41 GMT)

WASHINGTON - Iran displayed a "rudimentary" space launch capability when it put a satellite into orbit earlier this month, but is now on a path to having a long-range missile, a top Pentagon official said Feb. 10.

Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the launch of the Omid (Hope) satellite was of concern because the technologies involved were "compatible with, commensurate with, an intercontinental ballistic missile-type capability."

"That's not an automatic," he cautioned. "It doesn't happen in a day or two. And the work that they have done thus far is, at best, rudimentary, very low orbit, very minimal energy to get up there.

"This is not a long-range missile but it is the path toward that, so we have to worry about that," he told reporters.

Cartwright's remarks were the first of any substance by the U.S. military since the Feb. 3 launch, which was hailed in Tehran but viewed with alarm and concern in the West.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who joined Cartwright at a Pentagon news conference, meanwhile responded cooly to prospects of a breakthrough in relations with Iran.

"Any kind of official outreach from Ahmadinejad to the president or to other senior U.S. officials is news to me," he said.

In a speech Feb. 10, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran "will welcome true changes and is ready for dialogue in a climate of equality and mutual respect."

His comments came after U.S. President Barack Obama on Feb. 9 renewed his call for direct talks with Iran, saying he hoped to create the conditions for face-to-face dialogue in the months ahead.

Russia: Iranian Missiles Have 'Worldwide Reach'

Published: 5 Feb 11:27 EST (16:27 GMT) 

MOSCOW - Iran's successful launch of a satellite with its own technology shows that the country's missiles "can reach any point on the globe," a senior Russian space sector official said Feb. 5.

"I take my hat off to the Iranian scientists," said Vitali Lapota, manager of the RKK Energuia space construction company. "They have shown their missiles can reach any point on the globe."

Iran's launch Monday of the Omid (Hope) satellite carried by the home-built Safir-2 rocket has set alarm bells ringing among Western powers because of the implications for the range of its ballistic missiles.

U.S. experts fear that Iran could eventually equip ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads capable of striking Europe or the U.S.

Monday's launch comes at a time when Iran has been ignoring repeated U.N. Security Council demands to freeze its uranium-enrichment activities.
This sounds like an admission that Iran has been aiding insurgent forces in Iraq, along with a threat.

Iran Wants Giveback to Stop Iraq Attacks: Diplomat

Published: 21 Feb 08:19 EST (13:19 GMT) 

LONDON - Iran offered to stop attacking troops in Iraq if the West dropped opposition to its nuclear program, a top British official said in comments to be broadcast Feb. 21.

Sir John Sawers, Britain's current ambassador to the United Nations, told the BBC that Iranian officials had privately admitted their role in roadside bomb attacks on British and U.S. troops.

But the proposed deal, floated in teatime meetings at London hotels, was rejected by the British government.

It was not clear exactly when it was suggested from prereleased extracts of the interview, which will appear in a documentary later Feb. 20.

"The Iranians wanted to be able to strike a deal whereby they stopped killing our forces in Iraq in return for them being allowed to carry on with their nuclear program," Sawers told the BBC.

He paraphrased the terms of the proposed deal as: "'We stop killing you in Iraq, stop undermining the political process there, you allow us to carry on with our nuclear program without let or hindrance.'" It was proposed in a series of meetings between Iranian and European officials, he added.

"There were various Iranians who would come to London and suggest we had tea in some hotel or other," Sawers told the broadcaster. "They'd do the same in Paris, they'd do the same in Berlin, and then we'd compare notes among the three of us."

The revelation is one of several in the documentary about backroom talks between the West and Iran since 2001.

Quoting Iranian and American officials, the program also says Tehran cooperated closely with the U.S. to oust the Taliban in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, even providing intelligence information to help with bombing raids.

Hillary Mann, a senior official under former U.S. President George W. Bush, told the BBC how one Iranian military official "unfurled the map on the table and started to point to targets that the U.S. needed to focus on".

Iran's then president Mohammad Khatami was reportedly willing to help get rid of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, saying he was also Iran's enemy.

But relations reportedly soured when Bush labeled Iran part of the "axis of evil" in 2002.

The former third-highest ranking official at the U.S. State Department, Nicholas Burns, told the documentary: "We had a very threatening posture towards Iran for a number of years. It didn't produce any movement whatsoever."
As far as I know we are still holding several hundred captured members of the Quds force including a number of senior officers - all captured in Iraq.
So does anyone think that Israel will strike before it's completed?

Iran says moves closer to nuclear plant launch
By Hossein Jaseb, Reuters | 02/26/2009 12:41 AM

BUSHEHR, Iran - Iran said on Wednesday it had carried out successful tests at its Russian-built Bushehr atom power plant in a step toward its launch, part of a nuclear program which the West fears also has military aims.

The visiting head of Russia's state nuclear company, Sergei Kiriyenko, hailed "significant improvements" in the Islamic Republic's first such plant to produce electricity.

The West, which suspects Tehran's nuclear program is a cover for a drive to build bombs, has been critical of Russia's involvement in building Bushehr. Russia says it is purely civilian and cannot be used for any weapons program.

Iranian officials said they had conducted tests to inject "virtual" fuel into rods, using lead instead of enriched uranium, over the past 10 days.

"We're celebrating Bushehr's pre-commissioning which means we are getting closer to the launch of the plant," Gholamreza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, told reporters at the site in the country's southwest.

"This virtual fuel testing was successful," he said

Worries that Russia would not complete Bushehr for political reasons had now been removed, Aghazadeh told state television, adding further tests would be carried out in coming months.

Kiriyenko said on February 5 that Russia aimed to start up Bushehr's nuclear reactor, located on Iran's Gulf coast south of the city of the same name, by the end of the year.

The launch of Bushehr has been delayed frequently. Russia last year completed delivery of nuclear fuel to the station under a contract estimated to be worth about $1 billion.

"In recent months there have been significant improvements. I'm very satisfied with what I saw," Kiriyenko said on Wednesday at the dome-shaped Bushehr facility, which is surrounded by anti-aircraft guns.

Nuclear dispute

State television showed images of a fuel rod being lowered into position inside the reactor.

Analysts say Iran could become a central issue in relations between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and new U.S. President Barack Obama, who has said that the United States is prepared to talk to Tehran in a break from his predecessor's approach.

They say Russia has used Bushehr as a lever in relations with Tehran, which is suspected by the United States and some European countries of seeking to build nuclear weapons.

Iran, the world's fourth-largest crude producer, rejects such allegations and says its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity so that it can export more oil and gas.

It plans to build other power plants by 2020 as part of a planned network with a capacity of 20,000 megawatt.

Tehran's refusal to halt its most sensitive nuclear work has drawn three rounds of limited U.N. sanctions since 2006.

Russia started deliveries of nuclear fuel for the plant in late 2007, a step both Washington and Moscow said removed any need for Iran to have its own uranium enrichment program.

Moscow says Iran will return all spent fuel rods to Russia.

Enriched uranium can be used as fuel for power plants and also provide material for bombs if refined much further.

The U.N. nuclear agency watchdog said on Thursday Iran had slowed the expansion of its own uranium enrichment plant at Natanz but that it had built up a stockpile of nuclear fuel.
Contradicting statements from Mullen and Gates as well as other officials?  ???

U.S.: Iran has material for nuclear bomb but still 'not close'

(CNN) -- Iran likely has enough material to make a nuclear weapon, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen told CNN's John King on Sunday.

"We think they do, quite frankly," Mullen said on "State of the Union," when asked whether Iran "might now have enough fissile material to make a bomb."

"Iran having a nuclear weapon, I believe, for a long time, is a very, very bad outcome for the region and for the world," Mullen added.

A spokesman for Mullen later emphasized that Mullen was referring to "low-grade" material, and that to be used for a weapon, it would have to be highly enriched.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaking Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," said of Iran, "They're not close to a stockpile, they're not close to a weapon at this point and so there is some time."

Last week, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told the House Intelligence Committee, "We continue to assess Iran probably has imported at least some weapons-usable fissile material but still judge it has not obtained enough for a nuclear weapon."

Mullen was traveling later Sunday and could not be reached immediately to clarify his statement. 

Tehran has denied pursuing nuclear weapons and insists the country's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Last month, a Washington think tank, the Institute for Science and International Security, released a report examining the latest data from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency. The institute concluded that Iran has reached "nuclear weapons breakout capability."

However, an IAEA official who asked not to be named cautioned against drawing such dramatic conclusions from the data, saying Iran's stock of low-enriched uranium would have to be turned into highly enriched uranium to qualify as weapons-grade material. That hasn't been done, the official said.

Capt. John Kirby, Mullen's spokesman, told CNN Sunday, "There are two components here: having enough and having it highly enriched."

"The chairman concurs Iran has enough low-enriched to produce a nuclear weapon, but it's important to note it's low-grade, and to enrich it would take time," Kirby said.

Blair testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 12, before the latest report from the IAEA and the ISIS analysis. He repeated that testimony on Wednesday for the House committee.

"We cannot rule out that Iran has acquired from abroad or will acquire in the future a nuclear weapon or enough fissile material for a weapon," Blair said. "Barring such acquisitions, if Iran wants to have nuclear weapons, it would need to produce sufficient amounts of fissile material indigenously. We judge it has not yet done so."

Iran tested its first nuclear power plant on Wednesday.

In the test at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, "dummy" fuel rods were used, so no nuclear reaction began. Iranian officials said the next test will use enriched uranium, but it's not clear when the test will be held or when the facility will be fully operational.

On Thursday, Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the U.N. Security Council that the United States "will seek to end Iran's ambition to acquire an illicit nuclear capability and its support for terrorism."

Iran's U.N. ambassador, Mohammad Khazaee, responded to Rice's remarks with a letter to the Security Council chairman, saying he rejected "the same tired, unwarranted and groundless allegations that used to be unjustifiably and futilely repeated by the previous U.S. administration."

Earlier in February, President Obama said the United States is looking for opportunities for "face to face" dialogue with Iran, even though he has "deep concerns" about Tehran's actions. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded by saying that his country welcomes talks with the United States "in a fair atmosphere with mutual respect."

During his tenure, President George W. Bush refused to meet with Iran's president or engage in diplomatic dialogue with him. Bush labeled Iran a member of the "axis of evil" after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Meanwhile, Mullen suggested Sunday that he disagrees with Afghan President Hamid Karzai's decision to move up the country's elections and questioned whether Karzai has the authority to do so.

"The elections were scheduled for August and that was a date that was set by the international elections commission and they are, as I understand it ... the final authority in this," Mullen told King.

The comments came a day after Karzai decreed the presidential and provincial elections should take place in April, instead of the August date determined by the Independent Election Commission.

Karzai, whose term ends in late May, said the constitution requires an election at least 30 days before the end of the term. But opposition groups are crying foul.

Karzai has said he intends to run for a second term.

But Mullen said the earlier date hampers his efforts to ensure the elections are secure.

"I'm on a timeline to get security forces there to provide the kind of security for the elections," he said. "So moving those dates to the left certainly generates a higher level of risk with respect to security for those elections, which we want to be free and fair as well as secure."
This sounds like an admission that Iran has been aiding insurgent forces in Iraq, along with a threat.

Does it really warrant retaliation based on who Iran does and does not support?  It is simply looking out for it's best interests.

The Bush administration has essentially opened up the doors for Iran to annex Iraq, and why shouldn't they?

Since when has the US ever refrained from acting in their own interests if it meant innocent people would die?

You can stop the insurgents and weapons when they come over the border, but to take any sort of action militarily against Iran would be highly hypocritical. 
Xiang said:
Since when has the US ever refrained from acting in their own interests if it meant innocent people would die?

Innocent? Just what are you trying to say here pal?

Being direct, what do YOU know?

I was there, and the a$$holes (JAM) carrying weapons and setting IED/EFPs were not innocent. Plenty of Iranian $$$, smuggled kit, and Iranian insurgents among them.

What on earth would make you think I was referring to them?  My comment concerning the US supporting their interests even when it means innocent people may die was more towards US foreign policy.  Take the Contras in Nicaragua for example.

How many innocent people died because the US supported the contras.

And please, don't try to give me any life's lessons because you were there. It doesn't change the fact that the US has supported terrorists in the name of their interests, so why should Iran be faced with conflict for doing the same?
I don't know who this Xiang fellow is, but we've had a few on here who played the same game. Bait...troll....

Any ways, let's not play that game.
So simply because I am willing to call a spade a spade, and you "don't know who I am", I am suddenly a troll trying to bait someone?

Well look, I don't know you either, but I will refrain from passing judgment, how ever poor that first impression was.  ;)
How many innocents have died because of Iran's policies? Its a two way street.