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Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver

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03/30/2006 09:27 AM
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Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver
Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver

Thursday, March 30, 2006

LONDON, March 30 (IranMania) - Thousands of Iranian troops will on Friday start a week-long military maneuver in the Persian Gulf to ready armed forces for warding off "threats", a senior commander announced on state television, AFP reported.

The commander of the navy of Revolutionary Guards Corps, Rear Admiral Mostafa Safari, did not specify the nature of the threat although the maneuver comes amid increasing tensions with the West over Tehran's nuclear programme.

"The Revolutionary Guards Corps navy and air force in collaboration with (Iran's regular) army, navy, (the volunteer militia) Basij, and the Iranian police will start a maneuver from 31 March until 6 April in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman," he said.

Iran has two armed forces in which both have their own ground, naval and air force all under the command of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He added: "We hope ... We will gain the necessary and needed readiness to decisively reply to any kind of threats."

"More than 17,000 soldiers and sailors will be used, along with 1,500 different kind of vessels, in addition to the different sorts of jet fighter planes, choppers and different missiles," he added, but did not say whether Iran will use its ballistic missiles, AFP noted.

Iran has medium-range Shahab-3 missiles with the capability of 2,000 kilometers (1,280 miles), able of hitting arch-enemy Israel and US bases across the Middle East.

"The exercise will cover an area stretching from the northern tip of the Persian Gulf all the way to the port city of Chah-Bahar in the Sea of Oman extending 40 kilometers (25 miles) into the sea," he said.

In addition, the spokesman of the maneuvers, Rear Admiral Mohammad Ebrahim Dehghan told state television that the strait of Hormouz will be one of the focal points of the exercise, AFP added.

"Some 80% of the Persian Gulf's oil is shipped out of this strait over which Iran has dominant and accurate control," he said.

"If the enemy wants to make the area insecure, he should be rest assured that he will also suffer from the insecurity, since we know the location of their vessels," he added.

The country is currently under mounting international pressure over its disputed nuclear energy drive, alleged by Israel and the West to be cover for weapons development. Tehran denies the charges, AFP stated.

Top diplomats from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany will meet in Berlin on Thursday to map out a long-term strategy on how to contend with Iran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment, which could be used to build a nuclear bomb.

In Israel, Tehran's arch foe, however, several officials have openly hinted at the possibility of pre-emptive strikes against Iran, seen as a threat to the existence of the Jewish state.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that any attempt at using force or coercion to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear program would be counter-productive.

"Any ideas about a coercive, forceful solution to the issue are highly counter-productive and cannot be supported," Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.

Iran's Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said nearly two months ago that Tehran will give an "extremely quick and destructive response" to any attack against its nuclear facilities, according to AFP.

However, Iran, OPEC's second biggest oil producer, has been sending mixed messages over whether it would use its oil exports as a weapon in the case of action from the UN Security Council.

[link to www.whatdoesitmean.com]

User ID: 74460
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03/30/2006 09:28 AM
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Re: Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver
bushfing his opinion not mine.
Anonymous Coward
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03/30/2006 09:29 AM
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Re: Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver
So? Doesn't every country with a military do excercises? Doesn't the US do them?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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03/30/2006 09:34 AM
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Re: Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver
Iran’s eager for peace, but beware of its nuclear might

3/30/2006 1:30:00 PM GMT

As heated debate over whether or not Iran has the right to pursue nuclear technology continues, some claim that the United States has the military might capable of destroying Iran’s nuclear plants in a few days.

Israel’s Jerusalem Post wrote recently that America has the ability to destroy Iran’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons.

But Gary Berntsen, the former senior CIA operative who led the search for Osama bin Laden, spoke to the newspaper and stressed that it is difficult to persuade Iran to suspend its nuclear program, however, suggesting that an attack on Iran can still be launched despite the American public’s disapproval of entering another war after the U.S. failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the declining approval ratings the U.S. president. Similar remarks were made earlier by Richard Perle, the former Pentagon advisor, who said that Iran’s nuclear facilities can be destroyed in an overnight operation.

But yesterday, official IRNA newsagency said that Iran is readying to launch a large-scale military maneuver in the Gulf tomorrow. The paper cited Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps naval chief's remarks.

IRGC will begin massive naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman on Friday by firing a Shahab-2 missile “to show Iran’s desire for peace and friendship with neighbouring countries” IRGC said, adding that naval and ground forces of the IRGC, the Armed Forces and the Disciplinary Forces (police) would participate in the war game.

"The entire armed forces are fully ready to defend the territorial integrity of the motherland, which will be displayed during the war game," Rear Admiral Morteza Saffari told a press conference in Tehran.

Iran's announcement of staging the large-scale military maneuver, which will last till April 6 near the northern coasts of the Gulf, with over 17,000 soldiers and 1,500 naval vessels of various types and sizes joining the operation, came while UN Security Council discuss future measures over the Islamic Republic's right to pursue nuclear technology.

The UN five permanent members agreed on a statement that demands the Islamic Republic halt all activities related to uranium enrichment, setting the stage for the first action by the world body over fears that Tehran seeks producing nuclear weapons as claimed by Washington and Israel.

While U.S. and the European Union push the Security Council to adopt tough measures against Iran, Russia and China, which are afraid that harsh means against Tehran would run counterproductive, hihappy_bunnyose the move.

Also last month, the Newsweek reported that the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rallied Iranians round their country’s right to develop a peaceful nuclear program, and that that they won't accept being not trusted with nuclear technology while other countries like the U.S., Israel, and Pakistan can be trusted with atomic bombs.

“Today, Iran is calling for its rightful demands with strength and national unity and these exercises will show an increase of strength and preparedness”, the navy commander added.

Dismissing efforts by the Bush administration that it is trying to build up international consensus against Tehran over its nuclear program, Saffari further stated that “It may seem that this country is trying to bring about international consensus and believes that it has been successful, but this is not the case. It is trying to force Iran into submission through its psychological warfare and its bullying propaganda”.

“We will resist and bear whatever costs that may entail”, Saffari said, noting that during the naval exercises unmanned airplanes will be used to “collect intelligence about the enemy” and anti-air missiles will be deployed to attack “enemy targets”.

[link to www.aljazeera.com]
Everything Tristan

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03/30/2006 09:34 AM
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Re: Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver
Kick some Amerika ass!
Great spirits have always experienced violent opposition from mediocre minds. -A. Einstein

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.. but I have promises to keep.. and miles to go before I sleep" ~Robert Frost
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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03/30/2006 09:45 AM
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Re: Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver
Will US use Iran military option?

By Paul Reynolds
World Affairs correspondent, BBC

If the current diplomatic efforts to get Iran to suspend its nuclear fuel enrichment activities do not work, it is inevitable that at some stage, attention will be turned to discussion of a military option.

That means, in practice, an air attack against Iran's nuclear facilities by the United States and/or Israel.

The US could certainly carry out such an attack, with cruise missiles and with B-2, other Stealth bombers and B-52 bombers armed with satellite guided bombs.

However Iran's nuclear plants are widely spread out and one is buried deep underground, so an attack would need to be sustained and wide-ranging.

Israel might also be able to do it. Not long ago it bought some bunker-busting bombs from the US, but it would be much more of a challenge.

'Civilian programme'

Nobody involved in the diplomatic round says this is an active proposition at the moment.

However, President Bush has stated that the US will not accept Iran as a nuclear-armed state.

Hawk John Bolton has said the US will use all tools at its disposal

It is possible that he will interpret Iran's programme as a threat, even though Iran says it will not build a bomb but wants the technology only to make fuel for civil nuclear power. It is allowed to do make its own fuel under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Vice-President Cheney said last year that Israel might act first and "let the rest of the world worry about picking up the diplomatic pieces afterwards".

And one of the administration's leading hawks, John Bolton, the US ambassador to the UN, warned Iran recently of "painful consequences" and of using "all tools at our disposal" if its nuclear programme was not stopped.

It was perhaps significant that Mr Bolton was speaking at a meeting of Aipac, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. This is a powerful lobbying group and its priorities are closely watched to see their effect on US policies. At the moment, one of Aipac's priorities is Iran.

In the final analysis, the US might face what is being called the McCain moment. This is what Senator John McCain said: "There is only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option. That is a nuclear-armed Iran."

Red lines

However, the dilemma might be more difficult than that because Iran might not became "nuclear-armed". It might simply become nuclear-capable.

If Iran chose to do so, and it says it will not so choose, it could be in a position to build a bomb by 2009 or 2010

The technology in question can be used for both civilian and military purposes.

If Iran does not go down the military road, and it says it will not, there will be many governments around the world who will argue that it should be allowed to enrich fuel, under inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The timetable is uncertain but an assessment by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in Washington says that Iran might be able to assemble enough centrifuges by 2007, and enrich significant amounts of fuel by 2008.

Those could be the red lines for the US and Israel. If Iran chose to do so, and it says it will not so choose, it could be in a position to build a bomb by 2009 or 2010, according to this assessment.

Iraqi reactor raid

So would the US agree to enrichment or would it attack? Or would it concentrate on encouraging a change of government and policy in Iran and marshalling its allies into imposing sanctions?

The UN Security Council as things stand is unlikely to do much in the way of sanctions, given Russian and Chinese opposition.

Both the US and Israel have probably made contingency plans for an attack. That would be no surprise. It is what the military does in many situations.

In June 1981, the Israeli air force bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak, south of Baghdad, and that raid is often used as the example of what might happen this time.

However, the raid illustrates both the feasibility of such a raid and its longer-term drawbacks.

The raid did indeed destroy the plant but it also spurred Iraq to develop a nuclear capability in secrecy - and it nearly succeeded.

'War declared'

The Israelis can argue that they achieved a delay that proved crucial. But history might not repeat itself.

Iran might, for example, simply leave the NPT, as it has the right to do, and go ahead with nuclear development anyway. That could set the scene for further attacks over a long period of time.

The United States has the capability to come out of the clear blue sky and destroy the Iranian military infrastructure

Analyst Dan Plesch

Iran might also retaliate, against US interests in Iraq and the Gulf, and might use the militant group Hezbollah in southern Lebanon to attack Israel. The region could be in uproar.

For all these reasons, and no doubt also because of the pressing US preoccupation in Iraq, the military option has not come to the fore.

There is a small group of experts and analysts, however, who think that it will come.

An article by veteran military watcher Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker in January 2005 helped lead the way.

He quoted a "former high level intelligence official" as saying: "Next, we're going to have the Iranian campaign. We've declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy."

Iran has a number of nuclear installations in operation

The "war" would not be an invasion of Iran but subversion leading, it would be hoped, to regime-change and an air attack if necessary. Mr Hersh indicated he felt such a subversion effort had already begun.

On this side of the Atlantic, Dan Plesch, Research Associate at the London School of Oriental and African Studies, is proclaiming the same message.

He gave a speech analysing the options recently and told the BBC News website: "The United States has the capability to come out of the clear blue sky and destroy the Iranian military infrastructure."

He went on: "You can say we are being hysterical and are a band of doom-mongers. But I fear the US has lost confidence in the UN or the EU to solve this. And it could do it militarily.

"It has reorganised its strategic forces in a doctrine known as Global Strike, meaning that from a standing start it can strike anywhere in the world in a short time. That gives it the capability."

All this does not mean it will happen. It does mean it is being debated.
[link to news.bbc.co.uk]
Anonymous Coward
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03/30/2006 10:18 AM
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Re: Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver
Before glp was hacked, someone posted about the prime window for attacking Iran being between the end of March and something like April 6th.

I don't recall what they were basing this on.

I find it an interesting 'coincidence' that Iran chooses the same window to do exercises.

Does anyone remember that post and what their reasoning was?
Anonymous Coward
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03/30/2006 10:32 AM
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Re: Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver
It was D. Bunker. She based it on very basic military doctrine. Essentially, it is a simple as the new moon and the US taking advantage of the cover of darkness.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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03/30/2006 10:37 AM
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Re: Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver
This may be nothing but what if this 'major training exercise' heads towards Iran?

US Navy prepares aircraft carrier strike group for "major training exercise"

The Virginian-Pilot (Jack Dorsey): The (US) Navy will send an aircraft carrier strike group, with four ships, a 60-plane air wing and 6,500 sailors, to Caribbean and South American waters for a major training exercise, it was announced Monday.

Some defense analysts suggested that the unusual two-month-long deployment, set to begin in early April, could be interpreted as a show of force by anti-American governments in Venezuela and Cuba.

The mission was sought by the US Southern Command, which has its headquarters in Miami and is responsible for all military activities in Latin America south of Mexico.
[link to www.vheadline.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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03/30/2006 11:52 AM
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Re: Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver

US to test 700-tonne explosive
Mar 30 11:26 AM US/Eastern
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The US military plans to detonate a 700 tonne explosive charge in a test called "Divine Strake" that will send a mushroom cloud over Las Vegas, a senior defense official said.

"I don't want to sound glib here but it is the first time in Nevada that you'll see a mushroom cloud over Las Vegas since we stopped testing nuclear weapons," said James Tegnelia, head of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Tegnelia said the test was part of a US effort to develop weapons capable of destroying deeply buried bunkers housing nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

"We have several very large penetrators we're developing," he told defense reporters.

"We also have -- are you ready for this - a 700-tonne explosively formed charge that we're going to be putting in a tunnel in Nevada," he said.

"And that represents to us the largest single explosive that we could imagine doing conventionally to solve that problem," he said.

The aim is to measure the effect of the blast on hard granite structures, he said.

"If you want to model these weapons, you want to know from a modeling point of view what is the ideal best condition you could ever set up in a conventional weapon -- what's the best you can do.

"And this gets at the best point you could get on a curve. So it allows us to predict how effective these kinds of weapons ... would be," he said.

He said the Russians have been notified of the test, which is scheduled for the first week of June at the Nevada test range.

"We're also making sure that Las Vegas understands," Tegnelia said.
[link to www.breitbart.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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03/30/2006 11:55 AM
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Re: Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver
Gold bursts through $580
30/03/2006 12:40 PM

London - The price of gold on Thursday broke above US$580 a troy ounce on general strength in metals and commodity prices, with the yellow metal lagging gains in silver and palladium, traders said.
At 12:20, gold was quoted at $579.63/oz, up $6.17/oz or 1% from the metals' previous close, climbing to the highest level since January 1981 of $580.70/oz minutes earlier.

Dealers said gold would now target $600.

"The way they are going, it could come quite quickly, although we should expect to see some profit-taking," said Robin Bhar, analyst at UBS Investment Bank.

"The $570 level was a quite big one. Once we got through there, we saw technical buying and other fund buying as well coming in to lift prices higher," he said.

The dollar slipped on Thursday, succumbing to profit-taking after scoring gains earlier this week on the Federal Reserve's signal that it was not quite finished raising interest rates.

A softer dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of other currencies and lifts gold buying.

But physical demand suffered in major consuming countries as buyers stayed on the sidelines because of volatile price moves.

Spot silver jumped to $11.40 an ounce, the highest since September 1983, and was last at $11.37/11.40, supported by speculative buying on hopes that an exchange-traded fund (ETF) will soon be launched.
[link to www.fin24.co.za]
Anonymous Coward
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03/30/2006 12:14 PM
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Re: Iran to stage massive Persian Gulf maneuver
There was a new weapons test in Florida as I recall of the new bunker buster 15K bomb as a display to Saddam. This is probably a similar type display, but 700 tons?!. Yikes!

This is shaping up to be a bad month.


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