[Marxism] (fwd from Fred Feldman) Attack on Iran is way beyond planning stage: London Times

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Sat Mar 11 07:40:19 MST 2006


[Fred, this bounced for some reason]

NEWS: *Sunday Times* of London reports on US/Israel planning for attack
on Iran

[Foreign media continue to publish stories indicating how far advanced
are plans by the U.S. and Israel for aggression against Iran. -- Sarah
Baxter and Uzi Mahnaimi of the *Sunday Times* of London reported on Mar.
5 that while exhibiting an AWACS in Israel two weeks ago. Maj. Gen. Axel
Tüttelmann, head of NATO’s Airborne Early Warning and Control Force,
said: "We would be the first to be called up if the NATO Council decided
we should be [involved in a strike on Iran]." -- John Pike of
Globalsecurity.org thinks consultations with NATO are just for show: "I
think we are attempting to bring the alliance along politically so that
when all diplomatic initiatives have been exhausted and we blow up their
sites, we can say, 'Look, we gave it our best shot.'" -- Meanwhile,
"Israel’s special forces are said to be operating inside Iran in an
urgent attempt to locate the country’s secret uranium enrichment sites.
. . . They are operating from a base in northern Iraq, guarded by
Israeli soldiers with the approval of the Americans, according to
Israeli sources." --Mark]

http://www.ufppc.org/content/view/4192/

World

NATO MAY HELP U.S. AIRSTRIKES ON IRAN By Sarah Baxter (Washington) and
Uzi Mahnaimi (Tel Aviv)

Sunday Times (London) May 5, 2006

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2070420,00.html

When Major-General Axel Tüttelmann, the head of NATO’s Airborne Early
Warning and Control Force, showed off an AWACS early warning
surveillance plane in Israel a fortnight ago, he caused a flurry of
concern back at headquarters in Brussels.

It was not his demonstration that raised eyebrows, but what he said
about NATO ’s possible involvement in any future military strike against
Iran. “We would be the first to be called up if the NATO Council decided
we should be,” he said.

NATO would prefer the emphasis to remain on the “if,” but Tüttelmann’s
comments revealed that the military alliance could play a supporting
role if America launches airstrikes against Iranian nuclear targets.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will tomorrow confirm
Iran’s referral to the United Nations Security Council for possible
sanctions.

Iran insists it is developing peaceful nuclear energy, a claim regarded
as bogus by America and Britain, France, and Germany, which believe it
wants to develop nuclear weapons. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s
remarks about wiping Israel “off the map” have added to fears.

America and Israel have warned that they will not tolerate a
nuclear-armed Iran. If negotiations fail, both countries have plans of
last resort for airstrikes against Iran’s widely dispersed nuclear
facilities.

Porter Goss, the head of the CIA, visited Recep Erdogan, the prime
minister of Turkey, a NATO country, late last year and asked for
political, logistical, and intelligence support in the event of
airstrikes, according to Western intelligence sources quoted in the
German media.

The news magazine *Der Spiegel* noted: “Washington appears to be
dispatching high-level officials to prepare its allies for a possible
attack.

NATO would be likely to operate air defenses in Turkey, according to Dan
Goure, a Pentagon adviser and vice-president of the Lexington Institute,
a military think tank.

A former senior Israeli defense official said he believed all NATO
members had contingency plans.

John Pike, director of the U.S. military studies group
Globalsecurity.org, said America had little to gain from NATO military
help. “I think we are attempting to bring the alliance along politically
so that when all diplomatic initiatives have been exhausted and we blow
up their sites, we can say, ‘Look, we gave it our best shot.

A senior British defense official said plans to attack Iran were pure
speculation. “I don’t think anybody has got that far yet,” he said.
“We’re all too distracted by Iraq.

Israel’s special forces are said to be operating inside Iran in an
urgent attempt to locate the country’s secret uranium enrichment sites.
“We found several suspected sites last year but there must be more,” an
Israeli intelligence source said. They are operating from a base in
northern Iraq, guarded by Israeli soldiers with the approval of the
Americans, according to Israeli sources.

The commander of Israel’s nuclear missile submarines warned Iran
indirectly in a comment to an Israeli newspaper last week that “we are
able to hit strategic targets in a foreign country.

The Israelis fear Iran may reach the “point of no return” -- at which it
has the capacity to enrich uranium to bomb-grade purity -- in the next
few months. The Americans are more interested in the point at which Iran
is close to developing an actual bomb, thought to be at least three
years away.

Two Iranian opposition groups claimed this weekend that Iran had
increased its production of Shahab 3 missiles, which have a range of
1,200 miles, sufficient to reach Israel.

Diplomatic efforts to contain Iran are likely to proceed slowly, given
Russian and Chinese opposition to punitive action. A Foreign Office
official said although the IAEA would refer Iran to the Security
Council, any sanctions would be a “strictly step-by-step process.

--Additional reporting: Tom Walker





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