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U.S., Allies In Gulf Naval Exercise As Israel, Iran Face Off

 
Sleeping Giant
Army of the Chosen One

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United States
09/17/2012 11:29 AM

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U.S., Allies In Gulf Naval Exercise As Israel, Iran Face Off
The United States and its allies have launched a major naval exercise in the Gulf that they say shows a global will to keep oil shipping lanes open as Israel and Iran trade threats of war.

Publicly announced in July, the operation, known as IMCMEX-12, focuses on clearing mines that Tehran, or guerrilla groups, might deploy to disrupt tanker traffic, notably in the Strait of Hormuz, between Iran and the Arabian peninsula.

The start of the event, with a symposium for officers from more than 30 navies, came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. television viewers on Sunday that Tehran was close to being able to build a nuclear bomb; his words fuelled talk of an Israeli strike, and of Netanyahu pressuring President Barack Obama to back Israel as Obama battles for re-election.

Military officials, diplomats and analysts - as well as Iran itself - all sought to play down the significance of the timing and to stress the defensive and hypothetical aspects of the exercise, which moves on to the water from Thursday with ships from a much smaller number of nations taking part in maneuvers.

However, it was a clearly deliberate demonstration of the determination on the part of a broad coalition of states to counter any attempt Iran might make to disrupt Gulf shipping in response to an Israeli or U.S. strike on its nuclear facilities - a form of retaliation Iran has repeatedly threatened.

[link to www.chicagotribune.com]
"And I know that when I leave savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard. We are not the wolves at the gate, we are the ones who face them."

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