Archive for the ‘Israel/Iran Conflict’ Category

US envoy to Israel: US ready to strike Iran

May 17, 2012

By AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) — The U.S. has plans in place to attack Iran if necessary to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons, Washington’s envoy to Israel said, days ahead of a crucial round of nuclear talks with Tehran.

Dan Shapiro’s message resonated Thursday far beyond the closed forum in which it was made: Iran should not test Washington’s resolve to act on its promise to strike if diplomacy and sanctions fail to pressure Tehran to abandon its disputed nuclear program.

Shapiro told the Israel Bar Association the U.S. hopes it will not have to resort to military force.

“But that doesn’t mean that option is not fully available. Not just available, but it’s ready,” he said. “The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready.”

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, like energy production. The U.S. and Israel suspect Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, but differences have emerged in how to persuade Tehran to curb its program.

Washington says diplomacy and economic sanctions must be given a chance to run its course, and is taking the lead in the ongoing talks between six global powers and Iran.

Israel, while saying it would prefer a diplomatic solution, has expressed skepticism about these talks and says time is running out for military action to be effective.

President Barack Obama has assured Israel that the U.S. is prepared to take military action if necessary, and it is standard procedure for armies to draw up plans for a broad range of possible scenarios. But Shapiro’s comments were the most explicit sign yet that preparations have been stepped up.

In his speech, Shapiro acknowledged the clock is ticking.

“We do believe there is time. Some time, not an unlimited amount of time,” Shapiro said. “But at a certain point, we may have to make a judgment that the diplomacy will not work.”

The U.S. envoy spoke on Tuesday. The Associated Press obtained a recording of his remarks on Thursday.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany are gearing up to for a May 23 meeting with Iran in Baghdad. Shortly after the meeting, the U.N. atomic agency is to release its latest report card on Iran’s nuclear efforts.

In Tehran on Thursday, top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili warned against Western pressure at next week’s talks, which are a follow-up to negotiations in Istanbul last month that all sides praised as positive.

“Cooperation is what we can talk about in Baghdad,” Jalili said in comments broadcast on Iranian state TV.

“Some say time is running out for the talks,” he added. “I say time for the (West’s) pressure strategy is running out.”

Four rounds of U.N. sanctions have failed to persuade Iran to halt its uranium enrichment, a process that has civilian uses but is also key to bomb-making. But recent U.S. and European measures, including an oil embargo and financial and banking sanctions, have bludgeoned Iran’s economy by curtailing its ability to carry on economic transactions with the international community.

Israel says a nuclear weapon in the hands of Iran would threaten the Jewish state’s survival and has waged a fierce diplomatic campaign against the Iranian nuclear program for years. Israel cites Iranian calls for Israel’s destruction, Iran’s arsenal of missiles, and its support for anti-Israel militant groups.

Senior officials have expressed skepticism about the sanctions’ effectiveness, and believe Tehran is using the talks to stall the international community as Iran moves ever closer to a nuclear bomb.

The United States has urged Israel to refrain from attacking, at least at this point. Tough new economic sanctions are to go into effect over the summer, and American officials fear an Israeli strike could set off a regional war without significantly setting back the Iranian program.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argues the negotiations will fail unless Iran agrees to halt all uranium enrichment, ship its current stockpile of enriched uranium out of the country and dismantle an underground enrichment facility near the city of Qom.

Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, who until a few days ago commanded Israel’s air force, said in a Jerusalem Post interview Thursday that the air force is prepared for any scenario, including striking Iranian nuclear facilities.

Israel’s military chief told the Associated Press last month that other countries as well as Israel have readied their armed forces for a potential strike against Iran’s nuclear sites.


US Is Now Concerned That Israel May Strike Against Iran ‘At Any Given Moment’

May 12, 2012
An F-15 in its hangar in the Ovda air force base (photo credit: Ofer Zidon/Flash90)


US Officials Said To Be Fearful Of Looming Israeli Strike On Iran — Times of Israel

Channel 10 report says unity government has Washington worried about attack, even before November elections

US officials fear the unity government established earlier this week signals an impending Israeli attack on Iran, Channel 10 News reported Thursday evening.

According to the report, officials are holding marathon talks in Washington out of concern that an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program may take place before the US presidential elections in November.

Undisclosed Washington sources told Channel 10 that they worry Kadima was offered a place in the coalition to shore up support for a preemptive attack aimed at halting the Islamic Republic’s nuclear drive, and that Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz would approve of such an attack.

Read more

Update: U.S. Concerned Netanyahu, Mofaz May Attack Iran — Arutz Sheva

My Comment: These concerns are justified …. especially when Netanyahu’s new coalition partners are now rationalizing their decision to join this coalition government by stating the following …..

…. ‘We might have a regional war soon, and then we’d have had to join the government anyway,’ says Kadima MK Nachman Shai

You cannot get more blunt than that.


March 29, 2012

The factors that could influence an Israeli decision to attack Iranian nuclear targets and the implications of such an act were assessed in a new report from the Congressional Research Service.  The report surveys the multiple dimensions of the issue at length, though it does not appear to provide much new information or original analysis.  See Israel: Possible Military Strike Against Iran’s Nuclear Facilities, March 27, 2012.

Other new or updated CRS reports that Congress has not made directly available to the public include the following.

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses, March 23, 2012

Fact Sheet: The FY2013 State and Foreign Operations Budget Request, March 19, 2012

Foreign Assistance to North Korea, March 20, 2012

China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities — Background and Issues for Congress, March 23, 2012

Cybersecurity: Selected Legal Issues, March 14, 2012

Refugee Admissions and Resettlement Policy, March 7, 2012

How Israel Might Strike At Iran

February 29, 2012


How Israel Might Strike At Iran — Jonathan Marcus, BBC

For all the myriad challenges facing Israel over the past decade it is the potential threat from a nuclear-armed Iran that has preoccupied the country’s military planners.

It is this that in large part has guided the development of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) over recent years.

The IAF has purchased 125 advanced F-15I and F-16I warplanes, equipped with Israeli avionics and additional fuel tanks – tailor-made for long-range strike missions.

In addition, Israel has bought specialised bunker-busting munitions; developed large, long-endurance, unmanned aircraft; and much of its training has focused on long-range missions.

Israel has a track-record of pre-emptive strikes against nuclear targets in the region.


My Comment: Iraq’s air defense are still weak and they do not have the resources to stop an Israeli fly-over …. my prediction …. Israel will use the direct path (route 2) to it’s targets in Iran.

Israel Blames Iran For Assassination Attempt On Israeli Diplomats In India And Georgia

February 13, 2012

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Car Bombs ‘Target Israel Envoys’ In India And Georgia — BBC

Bombers have targeted staff at Israeli embassies in India and Georgia, officials say, with Israel accusing Iran of masterminding the attacks.

An explosion in Delhi injured one diplomat and three other people. Witnesses told local TV a motorcyclist had placed a device on the embassy’s car when it stopped in traffic.

A bomb underneath a diplomat’s car in Tbilisi was found and defused.

Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran was behind the two incidents.

“Today we witnessed two attempts of terrorism against innocent civilians,” he told a meeting of his Likud party MPs.

“Iran is behind these attacks and it is the largest terror exporter in the world.”


More News On Israel Blaming Iran For Bomb Attacks In India And Georgia

Four hurt in bombing of Israeli Embassy car in India — CNN
Bombers target Israeli diplomats in Georgia, India — AP
Israel says bombs target embassies in India, Georgia — Reuters
Bombs target Israeli diplomats in India, Georgia; 2 injured — Washington Post
Explosion Hits Israeli Diplomat’s Car in New Delhi — Wall Street Journal
Israeli embassy car explodes in New Delhi — The Telegraph

Israel Blames Iran for Attacks in India and Georgia — New York Times
Binyamin Netanyahu accuses Iran over bombs targeting Israeli diplomats — The Guardian
India, Georgia Bombings: Israel Accuses Iran — Time/AP
Netanyahu: Iran is behind attacks on Israeli embassies — Jerusalem Post
Netanyahu: Iran behind attack on Israeli officials in New Delhi — Haaretz
Israeli prime minister accuses Iran of being behind car bombings in New Delhi, Tbilisi — Times of India/AFP