“The fact that the Iranians are successful time after time in getting away from international pressure ... encourages them to continue their nuclear project,” Gen. Halutz said. “I believe that the political means that are used by the Europeans and the U.S. to convince the Iranians to stop the project will not succeed.”
The massive stroke that cut down Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon late on Wednesday night (Jan. 4) not only throws Israeli politics into turmoil. It also marks the likely starting point of the coming nuclear showdown that will pit the Jewish state and the free world against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
When asked by one reporter how far Israel was ready to go to stop Iran’s nuclear projects, Halutz quipped, “2000 kilometers.” That’s the equivalent of 1,250 miles, the distance by air between Israel and Iran’s main nuclear and missile sites.
But consider just a few recent developments that have not been widely reported outside of Tehran. Front Page Page:
* On January 3, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps began a two day seminar in Tehran devoted to nuclear-biological-chemical warfare and new defense technologies, that included lectures by Iranian experts on electromagnetic pulse weapons, graphite bombs, and laser-guided bombs. These are the same weapons many Western intelligence analysts believe Iran will attempt to use against us.
* On January 4, three battalions of the IRGC ground forces began three days of NBC military exercises in Semnan province, not far from Iran’s main ballistic missile proving ground.
* In addition to a recent $1 billion arms agreement, announced last month, Russia is now negotiating with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to modernize Iran’s fleet of MiG-29 fighters with state-of-the-art radar, electronic counter-measures, and reconnaissance systems, specifically designed to counter the threat of Israeli aircraft. A Rev. Guards buying mission will visit Lukhovitsy and Kalayazin in Russia to view these new systems in February 2006. The Russians have also agreed to sell Iran S-300 anti-missile systems, believed by most experts to be superior to any comparable system currently available on world markets.
* Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, told Iranian TV on January 3 that Israel will “suffer a great loss” if it attacks Iran, noting that Israel has “no strategic depth” and is “within our range.”
On the same day Larijani made those remarks, the Islamic Republic authorities sent an official letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, announcing their intention to resume enrichment activities at a variety of nuclear sites across Iran on January 9.
The resumption of enrichment activities, which could give Iran the special nuclear material needed to make nuclear weapons, has long been sited by Israel as the “red line” they would not allow Iran to cross.
Iran now appears ready and willing to cross that red line. And with Mr. Sharon sidelined from Israeli politics, Israeli military leaders are unlikely to bet on a prayer and a chance that Iran just might be bluffing.
After all, as Iran’s Larijani himself said, Israel is “within our range.”
and while US may initiate UN Security Council action against Iran: Rice, I can not begin to imagine WTF we are waiting for
Kabayashi Maru has an excellent post Fasten
Your Seatbelts: Sharon, Israel, Iran, and...
and make sure you get over to ShrinkWrapped here
UPDATE: The Head of Iran's National Security Council Ali Laijani;
"In this game, we are for a result that will be satisfactory to both Iran and Europe," said Larijani adding that "if we lose, the same will also happen to the other party (Europe) and they will have to prepare themselves to live in a hell."
But Larijani used even stronger words for the United States. "A small error on the part of USA or the Zionists will be enough to induce us to unleash hell," said Larijani. "They know this very well and for this they haven't gone further than a verbal or psychological war," he said. READ MORE
UPDATE January 6th:
Analysts watching Iran on a daily basis were not taken by surprise by the Islamic Regime not showing up at the International Atomic Energy Agency on January 05, 2006, since reports out of Tehran have for the past weeks been mentioning President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad's office privately leaking to the Tehran newspapers that Iran already has four nuclear weapons obtained from the Ukraine. …
The press leaks pointed to Iran possibly not proceeding with negotiations, reassuring internal supporters and preparing to confront the West. The final decision to disdain the European meeting was apparently made with the sudden incapacitation of Israel's Ariel Sharon.
Concurrently, Iran has suddenly moved a significant number of tanks toward its southern border near Basra, Iraq; has started repositioning naval assets and intercepts show military communications have become very atypical.
Is Iran expecting an attack now that the more pragmatic Sharon is out of the picture or has U.S and Coalition information leaked to them of an impending strike to put an end to nuclear weapons falling into the hands of someone like Ahmadi-Nejad. The new regime in Iran has certainly tried to provoke the USA and Israel beyond the point of endurance. …
If his sources are correct and Ahmadinejad is leaking that Iran has nuclear weapons, it would appear he is intent on creating a crisis now! Many believe Ahmadinejad is setting a trap for the west because western military action at this time would likely be of a limited nature since the west is unprepared for a full scale occupation of Iran. Such a confrontation would likely end in a negotiated settlement leaving the regime in power, but would also likely include internationally agreed to security arrangements with the regime, a very dangerous proposition indeed.
Read the entire report here: Regime Change Iran
UPDATE: January 7
SHOCKA! Castro lives for the Ahmadinejad Doctrine.