- At the outset of Bush's second term, Vice President Dick
Cheney dropped a bombshell. He hinted, in no uncertain terms, that Iran
was "right at the top of the list" of the rogue enemies of
and that Israel would, so to speak, "be doing the bombing for
without US military involvement and without us putting pressure on them
"to do it":
- "One of the concerns people have is that Israel
might do it without being asked... Given the fact that Iran has a stated
policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis
might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about
cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards," (quoted from an MSNBC
Interview Jan 2005)
- A.html Israel is a Rottweiler on a leash: The US wants
to "set Israel loose" to attack Iran.
- Commenting the Vice President's assertion, former
Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in an interview on PBS, confirmed
with some apprehension, yes: Cheney wants Prime Ariel Sharon to act on
America's behalf and "do it" for us:
- "Iran I think is more ambiguous. And there the issue
is certainly not tyranny; it's nuclear weapons. And the vice president
today in a kind of a strange parallel statement to this declaration of
freedom hinted that the Israelis may do it and in fact used language which
sounds like a justification or even an encouragement for the Israelis to
- The foregoing statements are misleading. The US is not
"encouraging Israel". What we are dealing with is a joint
military operation to bomb Iran, which has been in the active planning
stage for more than a year. The Neocons in the Defense Department, under
Douglas Feith, have been working assiduously with their Israeli military
and intelligence counterparts, carefully identifying targets inside
- Seymour Hersh,
- Under this working arrangement, Israel will not act
without a green light from Washington. In other words, Israel will not
implement an attack without the participation of the US.
- Covert Intelligence Operations: Stirring Ethnic Tensions
- Meanwhile, for the last two years, Washington has been
involved in covert intelligence operations inside Iran. American and
intelligence and special forces (working with their Israeli counterparts)
are involved in this operation.
- "A British intelligence official said that any
against Iran would not be a ground war like the one in Iraq. The Americans
will use different tactics, said the intelligence officer. 'It is getting
- Evening Standard, 17 June 2003,
- The expectation is that a US-Israeli bombing raid of
Iran's nuclear facilities will stir up ethnic tensions and trigger
change" in favor of the US.
- See Arab Monitor,
- Bush advisers believe that the "Iranian opposition
movement" will unseat the Mullahs. This assessment constitutes a gross
misjudgment of social forces inside Iran. What is more likely to occur
is that Iranians will consistently rally behind a wartime government
foreign aggression. In fact, the entire Middle East and beyond would rise
up against US interventionism.
- Retaliation in the Case of a US-Israeli Aerial
- Tehran has confirmed that it will retaliate if attacked,
in the form of ballistic missile strikes directed against Israel (CNN,
8 Feb 2005). These attacks, could also target US military facilities in
the Persian Gulf, which would immediately lead us into a scenario of
escalation and all out war.
- In other words, the air strikes against Iran could
to unleashing a war in the broader Middle East Central Asian region.
- Moreover, the planned attack on Iran should also be
in relation to the timely withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, which
has opened up a new space, for the deployment of Israeli forces. The
of Turkey in the US-Israeli military operation is also a factor, following
an agreement reached between Ankara and Tel Aviv.
- In other words, US and Israeli military planners must
carefully weigh the far-reaching implications of their actions.
- Israel Builds up its Stockpile of Deadly Military
- A massive buildup in military hardware has occurred in
preparation for a possible attack on Iran.
- Israel has recently taken delivery from the US of some
5,000 "smart air launched weapons" including some 500 http://www.f-16.net/f-16_news_a
BLU 109 'bunker-buster bombs. The (uranium coated) munitions are said
to be more than "adequate to address the full range of Iranian
with the possible exception of the buried facility at Natanz, which may
require the [more powerful] http:
BLU-113 bunker buster ":
- "Given Israel's already substantial holdings of
such weapons, this increase in its inventory would allow a sustained
with or without further US involvement."
- See Richard Bennett,
- The Israeli Air Force would attack http://www.globa
Iran's nuclear facility at Bushehr using US as well Israeli produced bunker
buster bombs. The attack would be carried out in three separate waves
the radar and communications jamming protection being provided by U.S.
Air Force AWACS and other U.S. aircraft in the area".
- See W Madsen,
- Bear in mind that the bunker buster bombs can also be
used to deliver tactical nuclear bombs. The
B61-11 is the "nuclear version" of the "conventional"
113. It can be delivered in much same way as the conventional bunker buster
- (See Michel Chossudovsky,
- see also
- According to the Pentagon, tactical nuclear weapons are
"safe for civilians". Their use has been authorized by the US
- See Michel Chossudovsky,
- Moreover, reported in late 2003, Israeli
Dolphin-class submarines equipped with
US Harpoon missiles armed with nuclear warheads are now aimed at
- See Gordon Thomas,
- Even if tactical nuclear weapons are not used by Israel,
an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities not only raises the specter of a
broader war, but also of nuclear radiation over a wide area:
- "To attack Iran's nuclear facilities will not only
provoke war, but it could also unleash clouds of radiation far beyond the
targets and the borders of Iran." (Statement of Prof Elias Tuma, Arab
Internet Network, Federal News Service, 1 March 2005)
- Moreover, while most reports have centered on the issue
punitive air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities, there are indications
that the possibility of a ground war is also being contemplated.
- Iran's Military Capabilities
- Despite its overall weaknesses in relation to Israel
and the US, Iran has an advanced air defense system, deployed to protect
its nuclear sites; "they are dispersed and underground making
air strikes difficult and without any guarantees of success."
Post, 20 April 2005). It has upgraded its Shahab-3 missile, which can reach
targets in Israel. Iran's armed forces have recently conducted high-profile
military exercises in anticipation of a US led attack. Iran also possesses
some 12 X-55 strategic cruise missiles, produced by the Ukraine. Iran's
air defense systems is said to feature Russian SA-2, SA-5, SA-6 as well
as shoulder-launched SA-7 missiles (Jaffa Center for Strategic
- The US "Military Road Map"
- The Bush administration has officially identified Iran
and Syria as the next stage of the road map to war.
- Targeting Iran is a bipartisan project, which broadly
serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil conglomerates, the Wall
Street financial establishment and the military-industrial complex.
- The broader Middle East-Central Asian region encompasses
more than 70% of the World's reserves of oil and natural gas. Iran
10% of the world's oil and ranks third after Saudi Arabia (25 %) and Iraq
(11 %) in the size of its reserves. In comparison, the US possesses less
than 2.8 % of global oil reserves.
- See Eric Waddell, The Battle for Oil,
- The announcement to target Iran should come as no
It is part of the battle for oil. Already during the Clinton
US Central Command (USCENTCOM) had formulated "in war theater
to invade both Iraq and Iran:
- "The broad national security interests and
expressed in the President's National Security Strategy (NSS) and the
National Military Strategy (NMS) form the foundation of the United States
Central Command's theater strategy. The NSS directs implementation of a
strategy of dual containment of the rogue states of Iraq and Iran as long
as those states pose a threat to U.S. interests, to other states in the
region, and to their own citizens. Dual containment is designed to maintain
the balance of power in the region without depending on either Iraq or
Iran. USCENTCOM's theater strategy is interest-based and threat-focused.
The purpose of U.S. engagement, as espoused in the NSS, is to protect the
United States' vital interest in the region - uninterrupted, secure
access to Gulf oil.
- USCENTCOM, http://www.milnet.com/milnet/pentagon/centcom/chap1/stratgic.htm#USPolicy
- Main Military Actors
- While the US, Israel, as well as Turkey are the main
actors in this process, a number of other countries, in the region, allies
of the US, including several Central Asian former Soviet republics have
been enlisted. Britain is closely involved despite its official denials
at the diplomatic level. Turkey occupies a central role in the Iran
It has an extensive military cooperation agreement with Israel. There are
indications that NATO is also formally involved in the context of an
agreement reached in November 2004.
- Planning The Aerial Attack on Iran
- According to former weapons inspector Scott Ritter,
W. Bush has already signed off on orders for an aerial attack on Iran,
scheduled for June.
- See http://www.globalresea
- The June cut-off date should be understood. It does not
signify that the attack will occur in June. What it suggests is that the
US and Israel are "in a state of readiness" and are prepared
to launch an attack by June or at a later date. In other words, the
to launch the attack has not been made.
- Ritter's observation concerning an impending military
operation should nonetheless be taken seriously. In recent months, there
is ample evidence that a major military operation is in preparation:
- 1) several high profile military exercises have been
conducted in recent months, involving military deployment and the testing
of weapons systems.
- 2) military planning meetings have been held between
the various parties involved. There has been a shuttle of military and
government officials between Washington, Tel Aviv and Ankara.
- 3) A significant change in the military command
in Israel has occurred, with the appointment of a new Chief of
- 4) Intense diplomatic exchanges have been carried out
at the international level with a view to securing areas of military
and/or support for a US-Israeli led military operation directed against
- 5) Ongoing intelligence operations inside Iran have been
- 6) Consensus Building: Media propaganda on the need to
intervene in Iran has been stepped up, with daily reports on how Iran
a threat to peace and global security.
- Timeline of Key Initiatives
- In the last few months, various key initiatives have
been taken, which are broadly indicative that an aerial bombing of Iran
is in the military pipeline:
- November 2004 in Brussels: NATO-Israel protocol: Israel's
IDF delegation to the NATO conference to met with military brass of six
members of the Mediterranean basin nations, including Egypt, Jordan,
Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania. "NATO seeks to revive the
framework, known as the Mediterranean Dialogue program, which would include
Israel. The Israeli delegation accepted to participate in military
and "anti-terror maneuvers" together with several Arab
- January 2005: the US, Israel and Turkey held http://forum.keypublishing.c
military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean , off the coast of Syria.
These exercises, which have been held in previous years were described
- February 2005. Following the decision reached in Brussels
in November 2004, Israel was involved for the first time in military
with NATO, which also included several Arab countries.
- February 2005: Assassination of former Lebanese Prime
Minister Rafik Hariri. The assassination, which was blamed on Syria, serves
Israeli and US interests and was used as a pretext to demand the withdrawal
of Syrian troops from Lebanon.
- February 2005: Sharon fires his Chief-of-Staff, Moshe
Yaalon and appoints Air Force General Dan Halutz. This is the first time
in Israeli history that an Air Force General is appointed Chief of
- See Uri Avnery, http://www.globalresea
- The appointment of Major General Dan Halutz to IDF chief
of Staff is considered in Israeli political circles as "the
of the right man at the right time." The central issue is that a major
aerial operation against Iran is in the planning stage, and Maj General
Halutz is slated to coordinate the aerial bombing raids on Iran. Halutz's
appointment was specifically linked to the Iran agenda. "As chief
of staff, he will in the best position to prepare the military for such
- March 2005 NATO's Secretary General was in Jerusalem
for follow-up talks with Ariel Sharon and Israel's military brass,
the joint NATO-Israel military exercise. These military cooperation ties
are viewed by the Israeli military as a means to "enhance Israel's
deterrence capability regarding potential enemies threatening it, mainly
Iran and Syria." The premise underlying NATO-Israel military
is that Israel is under attack:
- "The more Israel's image is strengthened as a
facing enemies who attempt to attack it for no justified reason, the
will be the possibility that aid will be extended to Israel by NATO.
Iran and Syria will have to take into account the possibility that the
increasing cooperation between Israel and NATO will strengthen Israel's
links with Turkey, also a member of NATO. Given Turkey's impressive
potential and its geographic proximity to both Iran and Syria, Israel's
operational options against them, if and when it sees the need, could gain
considerable strength. "
- Jaffa Center for Strategic Studies, http://www.tau.ac.il/jcss/
- The Israel-NATO protocol is all the more important
it obligates NATO to align itself with the US-Israeli plan to bomb Iran,
as an act of self defense on the part of Israel. It also means that NATO
is also involved in the process of military consultations relating to the
planned aerial bombing of Iran.
- Late March 2005: News leaks in Israel indicated an
authorization" by Prime Minster Ariel Sharon of an Israeli attack
on Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment plant "if diplomacy failed to
stop Iran's nuclear program". (The Hindu, 28 March 2005)
- March-April 2005: The Holding in Israel of Joint
military exercises specifically pertaining to the launching of Patriot
- US Patriot missile crews stationed in Germany were sent
to Israel to participate in http:/
the joint Juniper Cobra exercise with the Israeli military. The exercise
was described as routine and "unconnected to events in the Middle
East": "As always, we are interested in implementing lessons
learned from training exercises." (UPI, 9 March 2005).
- April 2005: Donald Rumsfeld was on an official visits
to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. His diplomatic
endeavors were described by the Russian media as "literally circling
Iran in an attempt to find the best bridgehead for a possible military
operation against that country."
- In Baku, Azerbaijan Rumsfeld was busy discussing the
date for deployment of US troops in Azerbaijan on Iran's North-Western
border. US military bases described as "mobile groups" in
are slated to play a role in a military operation directed against
- Azerbaijan is a member of http://www.guuam.org/
GUUAM, a military cooperation agreement with the US and NATO, which allows
for the stationing of US troops in several of the member countries,
Georgia, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. The stated short term objective is
to "neutralize Iran". The longer term objective under the
"Caspian Plan" is to exert military and economic control over
the entire Caspian sea basin, with a view to ensuring US authority over
oil reserves and pipeline corridors.
- During his visit in April, Rumsfeld was pushing the US
initiative of establishing "American special task forces and military
bases to secure US influence in the Caspian region:
- "Called Caspian Watch, the project stipulates a
network of special task forces and police units in the countries of the
regions to be used in emergencies including threats to objects of the oil
complex and pipelines. Project Caspian Watch will be financed by the United
States ($100 million). It will become an advance guard of the US European
Command whose zone of responsibility includes the Caspian region. Command
center of the project with a powerful radar is to be located in Baku."
( Defense and Security Russia, April 27, 2005)
- Rumsfeld's visit followed shortly after that of Iranian
President Mohammad Khatami's to Baku.
- April 2005: Iran signs a military cooperation with
which occupies a strategic position bordering Afghanistan's Northern
Tajikistan is a member of "The Shanghai Five" military
group, which also includes Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. Iran
also has economic cooperation with Turkmenistan.
- Mid April 2005: Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon meets
George W Bush at his Texas Ranch. Iran is on the agenda of bilateral talks.
More significantly, the visit of Ariel Sharon was used to carry out high
level talks between US and Israeli military planners pertaining to
- Late April 2005. President Vladmir Putin is in Israel
on an official visit. He announces Russia decision's to sell short-range
anti-aircraft missiles to Syria and to continue supporting Iran's nuclear
industry. Beneath the gilded surface of international diplomacy, Putin's
timely visit to Israel must be interpreted as "a signal to
regarding its planned aerial attack on Iran.
- Late April 2005: US pressure in the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) has been exerted with a view to blocking the
of Mohammed Al Baradei, who according to US officials "is not being
tough enough on Iran..." Following US pressures, the vote on the
appointment of a new IAEA chief was put off until June. These developments
suggest that Washington wants to put forth their own hand-picked nominee
prior to launching US-Israeli aerial attacks on Iran's nuclear
- See VOA http://www.voanews.co
- (In February 2003, Al Baradei along with UN chief weapons
inspector Hans Blix challenged the (phony) intelligence on WMD presented
by the US to the UN Security Council, with a view to justifying the war
- Late April 2005, Sale of deadly military hardware to
Israel. GBU-28 Buster Bunker Bombs: Coinciding with Putin's visit to
the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (Department of Defense) http://www.dsca.osd.mil/ announced
the sale of an additional 100 bunker-buster bombs produced by Lockheed
Martin to Israel. This decision was viewed by the US media as "a
warning to Iran about its nuclear ambitions."
- The sale pertains to the larger and more sophisticated
"Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) BLU-113 Penetrator" http:
the WGU-36A/B guidance control unit and support equipment). The GBU-28
is described as "a special weapon for penetrating hardened command
centers located deep underground. The fact of the matter is that the GBU-28
is among the World's most deadly "conventional" weapons used
in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, capable of causing thousands of civilian
deaths through massive explosions.
- The Israeli Air Force are slated to use the GBU-28s
on their F-15 aircraft.
- See text of DSCA news release at http://www.dsca.osd.mil/PressReleases/36-b/2005/Israel_05-10_corrected.pdf
- Late April 2005- early May: Turkey's Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan in Israel for follow-up talks with Ariel Sharon. He was
accompanied by his Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, who met with senior
military officials. On the official agenda of these talks: joint defense
projects, including the joint production of Arrow II Theater Missile
and Popeye II missiles. The latter also known as the Have Lite, are
small missiles, designed for deployment on fighter planes. Tel Aviv and
Ankara decide to establish a hotline to share intelligence.
- May 2005: Syrian troops scheduled to withdraw from
leading to a major shift in the Middle East security situation, in favor
of Israel and the US.
- Iran Surrounded
- The US has troops and military bases in Turkey, Pakistan,
Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and of course Iraq.
- In other words, Iran is virtually surrounded by US
bases. These countries including Turkmenistan are members of part of
NATO`s partnership for Peace Program. and have military cooperation
- In other words, we are dealing with a potentially
scenario in which a number of countries, including several former Soviet
republics, could be brought into a US led war with Iran.
IranAtom.ru, a Russian based news and military analysis group has
in this regard:
- "since Iranian nuclear objects are scattered all
over the country, Israel will need a mass strike with different fly-in
and fly-out approaches - Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and other
Azerbaijan seriously fears Tehran's reaction should Baku issue a permit
to Israeli aircraft to overfly its territory." (Defense and Security
Russia, 12 April 2005).
- Concluding remarks:
- The World is at an important crossroads.
- The Bush Administration has embarked upon a military
adventure which threatens the future of humanity.
- Iran is the next military target. The planned military
operation, which is by no means limited to punitive strikes against Iran's
nuclear facilities, is part of a project of World domination, a military
roadmap, launched at the end of the Cold War.
- Military action against Iran would directly involve
participation, which in turn is likely to trigger a broader war throughout
the Middle East, not to mention an implosion in the Palestinian occupied
territories. Turkey is closely associated with the proposed aerial
- Israel is a nuclear power with a sophisticated nuclear
arsenal. (See text box below). The use of nuclear weapons by Israel or
the US cannot be excluded, particularly in view of the fact that tactical
nuclear weapons have now been reclassified as a variant of the
bunker buster bombs and are authorized by the US Senate for use in
war theaters. ("they are harmless to civilians because ther explosion
- In this regard, Israel and the US rather than Iran
a nuclear threat.
- The planned attack on Iran must be understood in relation
to the existing active war theaters in the Middle East, namely Afghanistan,
Iraq and Palestine.
- The conflict could easily spread from the Middle East
to the Caspian sea basin. It could also involve the participation of
and Georgia, where US troops are stationed.
- An attack on Iran would have a direct impact on the
movement inside Iraq. It would also put pressure on America's overstretched
military capabilities and resources in both the Iraqi and Afghan war
(The 150,000 US troops in Iraq are already fully engaged and could not
be deployed in the case of a war with Iran.)
- In other words, the shaky geopolitics of the Central
Asia- Middle East region, the three existing war theaters in which America
is currently, involved, the direct participation of Israel and Turkey,
the structure of US sponsored military alliances, etc. raises the specter
of a broader conflict.
- Moreover, US military action on Iran not only threatens
Russian and Chinese interests, which have geopolitical interests in the
Caspian sea basin and which have bilateral agreements with Iran. It also
backlashes on European oil interests in Iran and is likely to produce major
divisions between Western allies, between the US and its European partners
as well as within the European Union.
- Through its participation in NATO, Europe, despite its
reluctance, would be brought into the Iran operation. The participation
of NATO largely hinges on a military cooperation agreement reached between
NATO and Israel. This agreement would bind NATO to defend Israel against
Syria and Iran. NATO would therefore support a preemptive attack on Iran's
nuclear facilities, and could take on a more active role if Iran were to
retaliate following US-Israeli air strikes.