Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:04 am Post subject: Iran on war alert over US, Israel in Azerbaijan
Iran on war alert over US and Israeli concentrations in Azerbaijan
The northwestern border of Iran is Kurdistan.
Iran has been crossing the border into IRAQ to kill Kurds.
Perhaps the US is protecting our allies the Kurds.
Iran calls this 'offensive' - perhaps its defensive.
June 23, 2010 In a rare move, Iran has declared a state of war on its northwestern border, debkafile's military and Iranian sources report.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps men and equipment units are being massed in the Caspian Sea region against what Tehran claims are
US and Israeli forces concentrated on army and air bases in Azerbaijan ready to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.
The announcement came on Tuesday, June 22 from Brig.-Gen Mehdi Moini of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), commander of the forces tasked with "repelling" this American-Israeli offensive.
He said: "The mobilization is due to the presence of American and Israeli forces on the western border," adding,
"Reinforcements are being dispatched to West Azerbaijan Province because some western countries are fueling ethnic conflicts to destabilize the situation in the region."
In the past, Iranian officials have spoken of US and Israel attacks in general terms. debkafile's Iranian sources note that this is the
first time that a specific location was mentioned and large reinforcements dispatched to give the threat substance.
Other Iranian sources report that in the last few days, Israel has secretly transferred a large number of bomber jets to bases in Azerbaijan, via Georgia, and that
American special forces are also concentrated in Azerbaijan in preparation for a strike.
No comment has come from Azerbaijan about any of these reports.
Iranian Azerbaijan, the destination of the Revolutionary Guards forces reinforcements, borders on Turkey, Iraq and Armenia.
Witnesses say long IRGC convoys of tanks, artillery, anti-aircraft units and infantry are seen heading up the main highways to Azerbaijan and then further north to the Caspian Sea.
On Tuesday, June 22, Dr. Uzi Arad, head of Israel's National Security Council and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's closest adviser, said
"The latest round of UN Security Council sanctions on Iran is inadequate for thwarting its nuclear progress. A preemptive military strike might eventually be necessary."
debkafile's intelligence and Iranian sources point to three other developments as setting off Iran's war alert:
1. A certain (limited) reinforcement of American and Israeli forces has taken place in Azerbaijan.
Neither Washington nor Jerusalem has ever acknowledged a military presence in this country that borders on Iran,
but Western intelligence sources say that both keep a wary eye on the goings-on inside Iran from electronic surveillance bases in that country.
2. Iran feels moved to respond to certain US steps: The arrival of the USS Harry S. Truman Strike Group in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea and its
war games with France and Israel, which included live-fire bombing practices against targets in Iran.
3. The execution of Abdolmalek Rigi, head of the Sunni Baluchi rebel organization (including the Iranian Baluchis), on June 20 was intended as a deterrent for Iran's other minorities.
Instead, they are more restive than ever. Several Azeri breakaway movements operate in Iranian Azerbaijan in combination with their brethren across the border.
Tehran decided a substantial buildup in the province would serve as a timely measure against possible upheavals.
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Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:46 pm Post subject: The anatomy of an attack on Iran
The anatomy of an attack on Iran
July 1, 2010 In mid-June, Hugh Tomlinson in the Times of London wrote that the government of Saudi Arabia conferred on Israel the "green light" for use of its airspace for an attack on Iran.
This revelation was said to be conventional wisdom inside the Saudi military.
Tomlinson also quoted an unnamed United States military source stating to the effect that the US Department of State and the Defense Department had both said "grace" over this arrangement.
The Saudis and Israelis immediately denied the report, while US officials made no specific comments on the subject. The silence and denials nixed further media speculation.
First reported in the Times of London in July 2009 and referred to again in Tomlinson's recent article is word of a supposed meeting between Israel's Mossad chief Meir Dagan and
unnamed Saudi intelligence leaders to discuss such an arrangement that both governments denied then and now.
Given the apparent regional political status quo, how might the Israeli Air Force (IAF) strike Iran undetected on approach and at the very least unacknowledged on return if the decision is made in
Jerusalem that the existential threat posed by Iran's arc of nuclear progress can no longer safely be tolerated?
Although the coordination of logistics and tactics of such a long distance mission - 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) on the straight line from Tel Aviv to Iran's uranium enrichment facility in Natanz - is daunting, the strategic or political realities must be defined before all else.
Overflight of Iraq on a direct bearing to Iran is out of the question. Such a path would cause friction between the US, responsible for Iraq's aerial sovereignty, and the next Iraqi government sure to be of delicate composition. It's safe to assume that the US views stability in Iraq far higher on the national interest meter than say apartments in east Jerusalem, thus for Israel the straight line over Iraq comes at a price that it can ill afford to pay.
The likely route to Iran, beginning at regional dusk preferably in the dark a new moon, is to fly a great circle around Iraq. Only careful planning carried out with precision timing and execution will ensure success. For this route, almost every applicable IAF logistics and support asset would be utilized.
The first leg for any F-15I and F-16I fighter bombers is a low-level run up the Mediterranean in the area of the Syrian town of Latakin, where up to three KC-707s (aerial tankers) in race track orbit would top up the tanks of the strike group. This tankage is absolutely necessary for the shorter-legged F-16I (range 1,300 miles). Refueling the F-15I (range 2765 miles) is desirable but not a necessity unless intelligence suggests targets beyond eastern Iran.
To skirt Turkish airspace and the ability of the Turkish military to raise an alarm heard throughout the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the strike group with two pairs of Gulfstream G-550s: one of each outfitted as a network-centric collaborative targeting (NCCT) and one each employing Senior Suter technology must fly low across northern Syria. The G-550 is a small package with the range the speed to accompany the strike group round trip without refueling - therefore up to the challenge.
The NCCT aircraft ferrets out air defense radars. The Suter partner beams a data stream containing, what in computer parlance is called a a "worm", into air defense radars with the capability of incapacitating an entire air defense network, if such a network is under centralized control.
This technology pioneered by the US Air Force and part of the code named the "Big Safari" program is heady stuff said to work wonders over Syria during the IAF's strike on Syria's North Korean-designed nuclear reactor in September 2007. The support of the G-550s will be instrumental every mile of the mission.
Non-networked anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) in states hostile to Israel may necessitate F-16Is in the tried and true AGM-88 high speed anti-radiation missile (HARM) mission.
Yet another application of high technology was the launch on June 11, 2007, of Ofek-7, as noted by Richard B Gasparre, also a source on G-550s in IAF service at airforce-technology.com, is a "... reconnaissance satellite, which gives Israeli intelligence specialists site and system mapping capability of unprecedented accuracy". Ofek-7 undoubtedly contributed to strike planning for the IAF's mission to Syria.
These powerful tools will be counted on to enable the strike package to skirt either Turkish or Iraqi airspace for a short jump of 150 or so miles to reach Iranian airspace undetected. The distance on a straight line from Latakin to Tabriz in Iran is 618 miles. The flight is shorter if the Israelis avoid Turkey and cut the Kurdish corner.
At a designated point over northern Iran, the strike group splits into Q and E-flights. Q-Flight flies southeast 348 miles to reach the known uranium-enrichment sites in Qom (under construction) and Natanz (operational). E-Flight homes in on the gas storage development site at Esfahan and the heavy water reactor complex at Arak on a more southerly path of 481 miles.
All the while in Iranian airspace, the G-550 Suter and NCCT aircraft work in tandem and with F-16I aircraft to suppress radars and AAA, while F-15Is designated top cover guard against any air-to-air threat put up by Iran's air force.
The strike package can count on aid in the form of Popeye Turbo cruise missiles launched by at least one Israeli submarine from the Arabian Sea against targets in Iran designed to shield the Israeli planes, degrade enemy responses and sow confusion among the Iranian military.
At some point, one of the three US Air Force RC-135 Rivet Joint ELINT (electronic intelligence) platforms in the area will "see" Iranian air defense radars and hear an explosion of Iranian voices on open airwaves and quickly piece together events in Iran. This collected product will be immediately passed through Central Command to Washington for dissemination to the principles of the National Security Council, including US President Barack Obama.
Seven hours earlier, at least three IAF KC-707s would have flown the 3,500 miles around the Arabian Peninsula, likely painted up like commercial 707 cargo aircraft, transiting international airspace to a meeting point over the northern Persian Gulf. At this extreme range, each KC-707 carries only an estimated 85,000 lbs of fuel to pass to the hungry F-16Is flying 451 miles from Qom and 350 miles from Esfahan.
Each F-16I will require at least 5,000 lbs of jet fuel for the final leg of nearly 1,000 miles through northern Saudi Arabia then home. Thus, a hinge point in IAF planning; the Israelis must determine the mix of F-16Is and KC-707s committed to the mission.
On and over the Persian Gulf, given the presence of US Navy and Air Force AWACS platforms such as the EC-2 Hawkeye and E-3 Sentry along with SPY-1 radars of US Navy cruisers and destroyers, the Israelis can have no expectation at all that the refueling scrum of the F-16Is will go undetected. During this evolution, any IAF planes too damaged to make it home can ditch close to a US Navy ship with a reasonable expectation of rescue.
Much will depend on what the US does with the information in hand. Does Obama choose to inform Iraqi and Gulf Cooperation Council allies of the situation, or will various US radars simply go into "diagnostic mode", as if operators cannot believe what they see?
If Obama's decision is to watch and listen, the strike group can try a run for home across northern Saudi Arabia. Here, the Saudis have a decision. The Saudi Air Force can defend the kingdom's airspace, possibly taking loses and handing out same, or the Israelis can bet on G-550s tricking out the kingdom's air defenses in a manner that gives the Saudis an excuse to say they were blinded by the IAF and the non-cooperation of the US.
By flying north, the IAF reaps the benefits of plausible deniability, a political necessity for US and allied Arab states. These states can honestly say they had no prior knowledge of IAF planes winging it to Iran with full racks of missiles and bombs.
Another option is available to the Israelis to increase the IAF's odds of flying the northern leg undetected. This choice is to strike the "Duchy of Nasrallah" - Hezbollah under Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon - to create cover and sow confusion. If the IAF is to strike Iran, immediate blowback is to be expected from Iran-supported Hezbollah's extensive inventory of unguided missiles.
On June 18, the aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman and task group including the German frigate Hessen in the company of an unidentified Israeli naval vessel made a fast transit of the Suez Canal. The Egyptians not only closed the canal to all traffic, all fishing boats where docked, while the Egyptian military lined the banks of the canal. All facets of this passage rank as extraordinary.
It is readily apparent that the US Department of State and the Pentagon collaborated closely with an Arab country to create a lane of fast transit not only for US Navy assets and an attached NATO ally, but for an Israeli ship.
One more element, the IDF launched their improved Ofek-9 reconnaissance satellite on June 22. Is this a matter of timing or of coincidence?
Tensions are high in the region, yet little could precipitate a full diplomatic meltdown quicker than for Iran to directly challenge Israel's blockade of Gaza. And this confrontation is in no way limited to Israel and Iran. Such a provocation could easily inflame public opinion in Sunni Arab states, where leaders are weary of Tehran's grandstanding on the question of Israel. Tehran's rhetoric of threats toward Israel politically undermines Arab governments seen as less fervent on the subject.
CNN reported on June 24 on Iran's canceled designs to directly test the Gaza blockade. Hossein Sheikholeslam, secretary general of the International Conference for the Support of the Palestinian Intifada, said, "In order not to give the Zionist regime an excuse, we will send the aid through other routes and without Iran's name."
Sheiholeslam's comment makes little sense, as the point of Iran's aid exercise was to win the propaganda war against Israel and Arab states. Whatever Iran's "excuse", there is reason now to suspect the Tehran regime will back down if decisively confronted by a motivated and unified coalition of area states.
David Moon is a regular contributor from the United States. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:28 am Post subject: Iran threatens oil routes
Iran threatens oil routes
July 2, 2010 A US-Iran showdown loomed closer early Friday, July 2, when president Barack Obama signed into law a series of energy sanctions, the toughest yet, for arresting Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Iran's defense minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi warned that searches of its ships or planes would have "dire consequences" for world security and the Middle East in particular.
The law drafted by Congress shuts US markets to firms that provide Iran with refined petroleum products, such as gasoline and jet fuel, invest in its energy sector, or provide financing, insurance or shipping services.
Non-US banks doing business with blacklisted Iranian entities, primarily Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps organizations, will be banned from US markets.
These measures complement and strengthen the new UN Security Council sanctions and European measures and will hit every Iranian. The oil-rich country Islamic Republic imports 40 percent of its refined oil needs because of its own inadequate refining capacity. Any investors in projects for developing this sector would be punishable under the new US law.
Earlier, Gen. Vahidi warned world powers against implementing certain UN sanctions: "As regards inspection of (Iranian) ships, there are one or two countries which pursue the issue and have made some comments about it and this indicates that these people don't pay any attention to security issues in the region and the world," said.
Tuesday, June 26, debkafile's military sources reported the arrival of the USS Nassau-LHA-4 at the head of a strike group of amphibian craft to the Gulf of Aden-Red Sea sector with 4,000 Marines aboard, including special units trained in operations behind enemy lines. Our sources disclosed that their presence caused Tehran to hold back the ships destined for breaking Israel's sea blockade of the Gaza Strip for fear they would be intercepted and searched as UN sanctions permits.
The Speaker of the Iranian parliament (Majlis) Ali Larijani and the Revolutionary Guards commander Gen. Ali Fadavi have both threatened harsh reprisals against all vessels, including American warships and oil tankers sailing through the Persian Gulf and Straits of Hormuz, for any attempts to search ships or planes carrying cargoes to Iran.
The new US law will make shipping and insurance costs for Iran's gasoline imports prohibitive. They are the first sanctions to bite really deep into Iran's economy and hit the Guards' commercial empire. Their control of refined oil imports is a major source of revenue and those profits provide funding for their operations, the foremost of which is the development and manufacture of nuclear weapons.
debkafile's Iranian sources have no doubt that Iran will not take the new penalties lying down and will strike back - possibly, in the first instance, by impeding Persian Gulf shipping carrying Saudi and Gulf oil out to the United States, Europe and the Far East, with immediate effect on world oil prices.
Interception of an Iranian ship suspected of carrying contraband energy products could well spin into a showdown.
Obama indicated that this time the United States is determined to follow through on its punitive measures against Iran. As he signed the new sanctions, he said: "There should be no doubt, the US and the international community are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The new sanctions would strike at its capacity to finance its nuclear program." He went on to say, "If Tehran persists in its course, the pressure will continue to mount and its isolation continue to deepen."
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Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:01 am Post subject: Moscow to have Iran's Bushehr reactor running by September
Moscow to have Iran's Bushehr reactor running by September
July 9, 2010 Moscow and Tehran have announced that the nuclear reactor Russia is building Iran at Bushehr - its first - has completed all its test-runs and will be up and running in early September - ahead of schedule.
debkafile's military sources reported several times in recent months that the Iranian reactor at Bushehr is not just a power plant but also has military applications. Chief among them is the reuse of its fuel rods to produce plutonium as atomic weapon fuel.
Wednesday, July 7, Ali Akbar Salehi, chairman of the Iranian Atomic Energy Commission, said: "Today we passed the hot water test, one of the Bushehr power plant's most important and final tests before its inauguration."
He admitted UN, US and European sanctions would slow the pace of the Iranian nuclear program - but not affect the activation of the Bushehr reactor.
Thursday, July 8, Atomstroyexport, the Russian company building the Iranian reactor, confirmed this: "Efficiency tests of the reactor equipment and supporting technological systems were held," said the firm's spokesman in Moscow. "We finished the so-called hot operational testing that was the final stage before launch."
The Russian company did not mention when the reactor would go on stream, but back on March 18, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a summit of senior Russian officials in southern Russia: "The first reactor at Iran's nuclear power plant in Bushehr is to be launched already in the summer."
Since he made this remark while US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Moscow, it was taken as a Russian signal to Washington that while willing to support expanded UN sanctions, Russia had no intention of abandoning its nuclear cooperation with Tehran.
Clinton's response was: "In the absence of those reassurances (from Iran regarding the nature of its nuclear program), we (the Americans) think it would be premature to go forward with any project at this time."
And indeed, on June 9, Russia voted with 11 UN Security Council members in favor of the US motion to expand sanctions against Iran for failing to comply with international obligations on its nuclear program.
At the same time, Moscow remained opposed to unilateral sanctions outside the world body.
This was stated by special emissary to Tehran, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, after the European Union and the United States imposed their own sanctions, including President Barack Obama's signature on an embargo on refined fuel products and a ban on business with Iranian banks.
Thursday, July 8, Moscow then leaned further in Tehran's favor, calling for the world powers to consider Iran's proposals for a compromise on their nuclear controversy, not just their own, when negotiations are resumed.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that the negotiations can only begin in September.
It would therefore seem that the concatenation of the two events - diplomacy and the launching of the Bushehr reactor - points to Russia's new emphasis on improving its relations with Iran and willingness to take its side in the forthcoming nuclear dialogue.
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War council in Lebanon
IRAN is Feeling the Heat!
President Ahmadinejad to visit to Beirut, Lebanon
July 12, 2010 | 1 Av, 5770 DEBKAfile Exclusive
IRAN is realizing that the US embargo on gasoline and other refined oil products are for real.
Iranian, Syrian, Qatari and Lebanese leaders will hold a war conference.
They have already decided to attack Israel in September or October.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Beirut, Lebanon for the first time near the end of July or early August,
as a confrontational exercise to warn the US and Israel that full implementation of the tough new
UN, US and European sanctions will provoke war on Israel from both Iran and Lebanon. (And Syria and Gaza)
TIMING of ATTACK?
Rosh HaShanah, GOD's New Year, begins September 9th.
Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews, begins September 18th.
Sukkot begins September 23 and continues for 7 days until the 29th.
This time period from Av 1 to Av 9 is a historical tragic time for Jews
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Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:32 pm Post subject: Iran energy plant explosion
Iran energy plant explosion
August 4, 2010 Huge Iranian energy plant explosion coincides with bid on Ahmadinejad's life.
A massive explosion killed at least 5 workers at the giant new Pardis petrochemicals complex in Assaluyeh in southern Iran Wednesday,
about the time an explosive device was hurled at Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as his armored convoy drove through Hamadan in north Iran.
Assaluyeh is situated on Persian Gulf coast not far from the Bushehr nuclear reactor.
Large sections of the complex were destroyed which Iran attributed to a ruptured gas pipe.
The plant was hit by 5 explosive devices.
Iran is trying to play down the attempt on Ajad's life by a bomber present in the large audience surrounding his convoy.
But they put the Hamadan and Pardis attacks together for a joint investigation. They suspect an may have struke at 2 major targets in opposite ends of the country.
Exactly what Arab states are doing to Israel.
Assaluyeh is the hub of Pars Energy industries fueled by the natural gas piped in from the giant South Pars field.
Iran UAV chief killed
August 16, 2010 Reza Baruni, the father of Iran's military UAV program, died in an explosion that destroyed his villa.
He lived in the secluded southern town of Ahwaz, Khuzestan.
DEBKA reports that bombs were planted at the corners of the building and rigged to explode and bring the ceilings down on its occupants.
His death could put Iran UAVs in mothballs. My guess is special ops, either Israeli or U.S.
Iranian fighter jet crashes near nuclear plant
Aug 17 2010 A semi-official Iranian news agency says an Iranian F4 fighter jet has crashed in the country's south, near a nuclear power plant that is expected to be launched next month.
Local government official Gholam Reza Keshtkar says the Iranian airforce plane crashed, about 4 miles north of the city of Bushehr. (AP)
Pilot and co-pilot ejected from the plane before it crashed but were rushed to the hospital in the city. He didn't provide other details.
The Bushehr nuclear power plant — Iran's first such facility — is expected to start fueling up this week.
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Israel has only 3 days to strike
before Russia begins the fueling process for the Bushehr reactor this Friday.
August 17, 2010
Former American envoy to UN says Israel must attack Bushehr plant before Russian shipment of nuclear fuel arrives;
However, Bolton skeptical Israel will strike, says 'I'm afraid that they've lost this opportunity'
Air crash near Bushehr, 3 drones slam into reactor dome
August 17, 2010 DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
Two mysterious incidents are reported by debkafile in the run-up to the fueling up of Iran's first nuclear reactor Saturday, Aug. 21
Tuesday, Aug. 17, an Iranian F4 Phantom fighter jet was claimed by Tehran to have crashed 6 kilometers north of the Bushehr nuclear reactor in southern Iran.
Debka reports it was shot down by Russian-made TOR-M1 air-missile defense batteries guarding the reactor.
A local government official Gholam Reza Keshtkar said the pilot and co-pilot ejected from the plane before it crashed and were rushed to hospital.
The TOR-M1 is designed to intercept planes or missiles coming in at medium or very low altitudes in case of American or Israeli attack.
How did the Phantom penetrate to a distance of 6 kilometers from the reactor when its skies up to a 20-kilometer radius are a no-fly zone?
Perhaps the Bushehr air defense system is slow to pick up intruders, although it is known to have been on high alert since a previous incident on Aug. 1.
Or else it may been activated when inquiries to Iranian Air Force command about the jet's identity and mission failed to elicit a satisfactory reply.
Our Iranian sources report extreme edginess in Tehran ahead of August 21 when the Russian-built Bushehr reactor enters its first operational phase in the presence of high-ranking officials from Moscow.
Tuesday afternoon, after the fighter jet crashed, the foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast warned "any aggression against the Bushehr nuclear plant can provoke serious reactions. Based on international rules, a facility with nuclear fuel cannot be damaged"
All the Bushehr defensive systems have been on the highest alert since a previous incident first revealed on Aug. 6 by DEBKA-Net-Weekly 456:.
On Aug. 1, three unidentified UAVs slammed into the reactor buildings, scaring the townspeople who were sure the plant was under American or Israeli attack.
After the heads of government in Tehran put their heads together to try and identify the drones, without success, the defense ministry emerged with a communiqué reporting that
a single drone had crashed on the nuclear reactor's dome, but insisted it was launched by Iran.
Bushehr citizens were sure they heard 3 mighty explosions - not one. So the deputy district governor for security affairs, Mohammad Hossein Shenidi,
who is responsible for safeguarding Bushehr and its reactors against air or missile attacks, pitched in with a lighter version of the communiqué:
A single drone had indeed been fired, he admitted, but it carried no explosives because its only purpose was to simulate a loud bang to check the level of local alertness.
According to our sources, the townspeople were correct: Three drones hit the reactor killing at least 5 of its staff members.
Tuesday afternoon, another Iranian high-up, defense minister Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, talked to reporters. He declared that the "long range UAV called Karrar would be unveiled on this day" - an apparent reference to the debkafile report of Monday, Aug. 16, that the death of Iran's drone program head Reza Baruni had buried the program for years go come.
Regarding the delay in Moscow's delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft missile system, Vahidi declared:
"We build whatever we want inside the country, and the production of long-range air defense system in Iran is already on the agenda of the defense ministry."
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Israel Has Until Week's End to Strike Iran Nuclear Facility, Bolton Says
If they were going to do anything, they certainly wouldn't be talking about it
August 17, 2010 | FoxNews
Israel has until the weekend to launch a military strike on Iran's first nuclear plant before the humanitarian risk of an attack becomes too great, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Tuesday.
A Russian company is expected to help Iran start loading nuclear fuel into its plant on Saturday, after which an attack on the Bushehr reactor could trigger harmful radiation,
which Israel wants to avoid, Bolton said. So unless the Israelis act immediately to shut down the facility, it will be too late.
"Once it's close to the reactor the risk is when the reactor is attacked, there will be a release of radiation into the air," Bolton told FoxNews.com. "It's most unlikely that they would act militarily after fuel rods are loaded."
Earlier Tuesday, Bolton told Fox Business Network the Israelis will have to move in the "next eight days" if they want to attack the Bushehr facility -- a reference to the window between when the start-up was announced last week and the loading date. Bolton said Tuesday that the date has fluctuated, but he described the start-up as the ultimate deadline.
Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, told Fox News that the nation is hopeful sanctions, passed by the United Nations, European Union and United States,
will "modify" Iran's behavior. Oren said Israel is "committed" to the sanctions program and will assess its impact at a later date.
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Likelihood of strike on Iran reactor dwindling Russian, Chinese personnel protect it
An attack probably precluded by the presence of Russian and possibly Chinese personnel at the complex.
August 18, 2010 dawn
There's been concern worldwide for many months that the United States or Israel would launch a military strike on Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor before it is started up in order to prevent the radical regime from acquiring a potential route to nuclear weapons.
But the likelihood is diminishing rapidly in light of announced plans by Russia to fuel the project later this week and almost eliminated by the fact that there are numerous Russian and Chinese engineers already on site who would be in the bull's-eye should an attack be launched.
The $6 billion complex, when fully operational in mid-2011, will boast two state-of-the-art 500 megawatt light-water nuclear reactors and be among the 20 largest nuclear power stations in the world, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s atomic watchdog
Possibly 1,000 Russians will remain in Bushehr to operate the power station. They will fill key roles in the plant's administration, including the site's security, say diplomats familiar with the project.
Bolton said while an Israeli attack is at this point unlikely, the results of no action are not pleasant.
More here on link
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Now this may be my overactive imagination, but let's play the game, Connect the Dots.
You assassinate the one person who is capable of upsetting your plan. Strategically placed and timed detonations of the UAV experts Villa was not accomplished by some disgruntled homegrown militia type.
This was Special Ops.
You then hack into the controls of their UAVs.
With the stretch of the imagination you might be willing to accept that one UAV coincidentally crashed into your reactor.
But no reasonable person would believe that three of them resulting in death of five people was a coincidence.
You then hack in and take command of the aging American built F-4.
Actually, you do not need to take full command, you simply need to aim it at their reactor and prevent it from responding to its pilot's commands.
Abort, Abort, Abort! You then have to destroy your own warplane.
How confident are your leaders now in repelling an attack from your adversaries? Especially when your adversaries are using your own weapons of war against yourself.
How can you prove blame when it is your own weapons? Are you going to be successful, and willing to shoot down every one of your own warplanes?
Maybe we should postpone activating the reactor and first try to think this through. HUH!
(Do you think someone more incompetent than Jimmy Carter, could pull this off?).
Washington has persuaded Jerusalem that Tehran would take one year or longer to build a nuclear weapon, dimming prospects of an imminent strike on IRAN.
Gary Samore said 'We think that they have roughly a year dash time.' (Shortest time Iran would take to build a nuclear weapon,
judging from its existing facilities and capacity to convert stocks of low-enriched uranium into weapons-grade material, a process known as (breakout.)
Israel believes Iran is only months away from this NOW. (Being a Muslim, regardless of his claim, Obama also wants Israel annihilated.)
The new US assessment is not clear on what problems Iran's uranium enrichment program is confronting.
The lag could be due to poor centrifuge design, difficulty in obtaining components or accelerated Western efforts to sabotage the nuclear program.
It would also take some time for Iran to convert its nuclear facilities to produce weapons-grade uranium.
Iran has added relatively few centrifuges this year, and only about half of those are working.
Israeli officials remain suspicious that Iran has a secret enrichment site.
LIES of WAR
Its very discourging to try to report accurately when my only sources are public reports.
Many things I can report with corrections based on biblical knowledge and my guesses.
I had heard Ariel Sharon was assassinated because he refused to attack Iran, which the US told him to do.
Muslims lie and brag. Thats a known fact. They dont want Israel to exist.
Rumor has it that Iran has had nukes and not used them. So why would there be all this hype?
I can only guess because the NWO wants Iran attacked. Well then why the delay?
NOTHING can occur outside GOD's permission! THAT is a great comfort!
I didnt realize til this morning that I had put US PULLS OUT of IRAQ in WORLD NEWS. Sorry about that!
Piece by piece, the carpet is being pulled out from under Israel
Iran begins fueling nuclear reactor[/size][/color]
August 21, 2010 BUSHEHR, Iran
Iranian and Russian engineers began loading fuel into Iran's first nuclear power plant on Saturday, a major milestone as Teheran forges ahead with its atomic program despite UN sanctions.
The weeklong operation to load uranium fuel into the reactor at the Bushehr power plant in southern Iran is the first step in starting up a facility the US once hoped to prevent because of fears over Teheran's nuclear ambitions.
"Despite all pressure, sanctions and hardships imposed by Western nations, we are now witnessing the startup of the largest symbol of Iran's peaceful nuclear activities," Iranian Vice President and nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters inside the plant.
Russia, which helped finish building the plant, has pledged to safeguard the site and prevent spent nuclear fuel from being shifted to a possible weapons program. After years of delaying its completion, Moscow says it believes the Bushehr project is essential for persuading Iran to cooperate with international efforts to ensure Iran does not develop the bomb.
The United States, while no longer formally objecting to the plant, disagrees and says Iran should not be rewarded while it continues to defy UN demands to halt enrichment of uranium, a process used to produce fuel for power plants but which can also be used in weapons production.
On Saturday, a first truckload of fuel was taken from a storage site to a fuel "pool" inside the reactor building. Over the next 10 days, 163 fuel assemblies — equal to 80 tons of uranium fuel — will be moved inside the building and then into the reactor core.
Workers in white lab coats and helmets led reporters on a tour of the cavernous facility.
It will be another two months before the 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor is pumping electricity to Iranian cities.
Iran denies an intention to develop nuclear weapons, saying it only wants to generate power with a network of nuclear plants it plans to build.
The Bushehr plant is not considered a proliferation risk because the terms of the deal commit the Iranians to allowing the Russians to retrieve all used reactor fuel for reprocessing. Spent fuel contains plutonium, which can be used to make atomic weapons. Additionally, Iran has said that International Atomic Energy Agency experts will be able to verify that none of the fresh fuel or waste is diverted.
Of greater concern to the West, however, are Iran's stated plans to build 10 new uranium enrichment sites inside protected mountain strongholds. Iran said recently it will begin construction on the first one in March in defiance of the UN sanctions.
Nationwide celebrations were planned for Saturday's fuel loading at Bushehr.
"I thank the Russian government and nation, which cooperated with the great Iranian nation and registered their name in Islamic Iran's golden history," Salehi said. "Today is a historic day and will be remembered in history."
He spoke at a news conference inside the plant with the head of Russia's state-run nuclear corporation, Sergei Kiriyenko, who said Russia was always committed to the project.
"The countdown to the Bushehr nuclear power plant has started," Kiriyenko said. "Congratulations."
It will be another two months before the 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor is pumping electricity to Iranian cities.
Iran's hard-liners consider the completion of the plant to be a show of defiance against UN Security Council sanctions that seek to slow Iran's nuclear advances.
Hard-line leader Hamid Reza Taraqi said the launch will boost Iran's international standing and "will show the failure of all sanctions" against Iran.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated that Teheran was ready to resume negotiations with the six major powers trying to curb Iran's program, the 5 permanent Security Council members plus Germany.
Ahmadinejad, however, insisted Iran would reject calls to completely halt uranium enrichment, a key UN demand.
The president had earlier said the talks could start in September, but in an interview with Japan's biggest newspaper, The Yomiuri Shimbun, he said the talks could start as early as this month.
Russia signed a $1 billion contract to build the Bushehr plant in 1995 but has dragged its feet on completing the work.
Moscow had cited technical reasons for the delays, but analysts say Russia used the project to try to press Iran to ease its defiance over its nuclear program.
The uranium fuel used at Bushehr is well below the more than 90 percent enrichment needed for a nuclear warhead. Iran is already producing its own uranium enriched to the Bushehr level — about 3.5 percent. It also has started a pilot program of enriching uranium to 20 percent, which officials say is needed for a medical research reactor.
The Bushehr plant overlooks the Persian Gulf and is visible from several miles (kilometers) away with its cream-colored dome dominating the green landscape. Soldiers maintain a 24-hour watch on roads leading up to the plant, manning anti-aircraft guns and supported by numerous radar stations.
Why Iran's nuclear reactor may not be an immediate threat
Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor is set to be loaded with fuel Saturday. Some hawks say bomb it now, but leading nuclear experts advocate a wait-and-see approach.
Many breathless pundits have argued in recent days that the world faces a now-or-never window of opportunity to bomb Iran's new Bushehr nuclear reactor to neutralize any potential nuclear threat from Tehran.
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton says the deadline for destroying it must be before the first fuel is loaded on Saturday – and before it becomes more of a radioactive and political mess to destroy.
The reactor, once operating, could give Iran enough plutonium-laced spent fuel to make up to 60 nuclear weapons within 12 to 18 months of operation, according to nuclear experts.
Still, many leading US nuclear scientists caution that even after Russia begins fueling the power plant that it built in southern Iran, the international community will have at least two weeks, and possibly longer, while fuel is being loaded to evaluate the situation since Bushehr will not become instantly radioactive.
"A good number of people have erroneously assumed that once the Russians load the fuel in Bushehr, the plant 'goes radioactive,' " Henry Sokolski, director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, a Washington think tank, writes in an e-mail.
Though he opposes bombing, "the amount of reactivity in the reactor initially is relatively low, so low that the amount of radioactive material that might be dispersed if the plant was bombed would be negligible" for weeks or months.
But other experts say the time is just a few weeks at most. Intense radioactive buildup won't begin at Bushehr until the reactor is turned on after fuel loading is completed on Sept. 5, Iranian officials say.
After that, the intensity of the radiation buildup depends on the power output, says Frank Von Hipple, a nuclear nonproliferation expert and physicist at Princeton University.
"I think that the idea of bombing Bushehr – whether in a day or a month – is crazy," he says.
The potential environmental and health impacts of bombing Bushehr after it is operating depends on wind conditions and how much radiation has built up inside the reactor, he says. Long- and short-lived radiation levels would be relatively small until power output reaches perhaps 10 percent or more, Dr. Von Hipple says.
But dangerous levels of radioactivity could be reached in less than a week after Bushehr begins operating, says Edwin Lyman, a nuclear physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, who also does not favor bombing.
Radiation will build up significantly in the two-week span after Sept. 5, if Iranians ramp up power to 50 percent as they say they will, he says.
"There will be an enormous quantity of radioactivity even at a fraction of the rated power of the reactor soon after startup," Lyman writes in an e-mail. "Even after a few days at a significant power level, like 20 percent, these [radioactive isotopes] would be numerous enough to be of great concern if released into the environment."
While Von Hipple, Mr. Sokolski, or Dr. Lyman differ on how significant the threat from Bushehr is, all say that the reactor's first year to 18 months – when the first load of nuclear fuel is being irradiated – will be telling. That's where agreement ends.
During that period of time, Bushehr's first load of fuel could produce about 300 kilograms (kg) of weapons-usable plutonium – enough to entice the Iranians to cheat on international inspectors, Sokolski says. The fuel would be lower in radioactivity at this time – so easier to handle – while also higher in plutonium concentration and better for making bombs.
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