European Missile Defence

Discussion in 'Land Forces' started by A.V., Feb 16, 2009.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    also TOPOL or any MIRV will penetrate the missile shield it is a false sense of security US wants Europe to have while paying for more defense items which definetly won't be cheap.
     
  2. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Albuquerque's Growing Murder Mystery: 11 Bodies and Counting

    The more they dig, the more bodies they find.
    Albuquerque's Murder Mystery


    Albuquerque, N.M., police are preparing for what they say could be the biggest homicide investigation in the city's history as investigators look into who buried bodies -- 11 so far, including a first trimester fetus -- in the ground in a wide expanse of desert mesa.

    "There are several people of interest … that the department is looking at," Albuquerque Police Officer Nadine Hamby told ABCNews.com today.

    So far, only three of the bodies have been identified, the most recent being 22-year-old Michelle Valdez and her fetus. Remains of the 11th body were found Tuesday.

    Valdez's father, Daniel Valdez, told ABC's Albuquerque affiliate KOAT that he reported his daughter missing in February 2005 and that as information about the rising body count hit the news, he feared his daughter would be among them.


    "It's hard to remember back to the last time I hugged her and, as always, wishing I'd been able to hug her more," he said.

    Valdez was arrested in the area numerous times on various charges, including drug possession, prostitution and assault. She was also transferred to Arizona on a prostitution charge in April 2003, according to the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque.

    Daniel Valdez told KOAT that his daughter had a drug problem, and he was trying to get help for her before she disappeared.

    FBI, State Police Pitch In

    Hamby said the investigation had put a huge strain on the department, but the digging will not stop until investigators are satisfied they've recovered all the human remains they can find. There are currently more than 20 people who have been reported missing from Albuquerque.

    "At any given time, there's 20 to 30 officers," she said.

    Not all of them are digging. Some are on security detail, a necessity after civilians started showing up at the property, some apparently carrying shovels and prepared to dig themselves, Hamby said.

    The department is also receiving assistance from the FBI and state police. While much of the digging has been done with hand tools, Hamby said, police are also using a bulldozer, satellite images and an infrared device that allows searchers to locate objects under the dirt.

    The body count is now 13



    http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=6965497&page=1
     
  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    North Korea's satellite claim means ICBM threat is real at last

    http://www.upi.com/news/issueofthed...BM_threat_is_real_at_last/UPI-13811235497413/


    North Korea's satellite claim means ICBM threat is real at last
    By MARTIN SIEFF
    Published: Feb. 24, 2009 at 12:43 PM
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    Reaction: North Korean satellite suspicions
    WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- North Korea says its planned satellite launch is for civilian purposes only. That claim is an obvious one. As Mandy Rice-Davies replied when told that Lord Astor, a member of the British House of Lords, denied sleeping with her, "He would, wouldn't he?"

    North Korea's National Space Committee announced Tuesday in Pyongyang that its "Unha-2 will put communications satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 into orbit."

    North Korea claimed in 1998 to have successfully launched its first satellite, but no independent evidence was ever received that it had in fact succeeded in doing so on that occasion.

    The North Korean announcement certainly will come up in the talks between U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, the first foreign head of government to visit Obama in Washington since he was inaugurated.

    The simple fact is that if a country can build a multistage missile powerful enough to carry a satellite into orbit around the Earth, it also can use that same missile, with a few minor adaptations, to fire a nuclear warhead many thousands of miles.

    That truth has been self-evident since the beginning of the Space Age more than 52 years ago. Once the Soviet Union had finally developed its breakthrough R-7 booster to put Sputnik 1, the first ever Earth-orbiting satellite, into orbit in October 1957, the success of its intercontinental ballistic missile program to target the United States and its Western European allies was assured.

    Until Sputnik 1 was launched, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was skeptical about both ICBMs and the U.S. civilian space program. But Sputnik 1 was a traumatic wake-up call. After that, federal money by the billions of dollars flooded into both programs in a desperate race to catch up.

    The interoperability between civilian satellite launching capabilities and military ICBMs immediately carried over into the U.S. programs as well. As Heritage Foundation analyst Ariel Cohen pointed out in a recent paper, it was the Jupiter-C booster developed by Wernher von Braun and his team for the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency that ended a spate of embarrassing failures by the U.S. civilian space program and that finally put Explorer 1, the first U.S. orbiting satellite, into orbit to match the Soviets in February 1958.

    That same interoperability and transfer of capability between ostensibly civilian space programs and clearly military ones has been followed by many countries since. India's success in launching satellites into space on its own domestically produced boosters was the flipside of its long, arduous struggle to develop Agni-V, an ICBM that can target most of China.

    Iran's success this month in putting its own first satellite into orbit confounded the complacent assumptions of last year's U.S. National Intelligence Estimate and instead confirmed that Iran right now has the capability -- or is on the verge of getting it -- to successfully fire ICBMs that could reach the Eastern Seaboard of the United States with nuclear or thermonuclear warheads.

    The close proximity in timing between the Iranian satellite launch and the confident North Korean announcement that it is about to launch a satellite too may be no coincidence.

    North Korea and Iran have quietly done their utmost to mutually support and supply each other's nuclear and space programs for many years, probably well over a decade. And they also could trade through the middleman proliferation network set up by A.Q. Khan, father of Pakistan's nuclear program. North Korea and Iran both also enjoy close relations with China, whose government has been happy to support both of them as buffers and proxies to combat and erode U.S. influence in the Middle East and Northeast Asia.

    The North Korean claim at this time came as no surprise to U.S. and South Korean intelligence analysts who monitor the so-called Hermit Kingdom. For several weeks South Korea and the United States have said North Korea was planning to launch something, and the test-firing of a new long-range missile was always the most likely outcome.

    The announcement also came at a time when Pyongyang has been ratcheting up its bellicose talk regarding South Korea and how close the countries are to all-out war. Western leaders tend to discount such talk because in the 56 years since the armistice that ended hostilities in the 1950-53 Korean War, such an outbreak has never yet occurred.

    However, the inauguration of a young, new inexperienced president in the United States in January came at the same time that new, far more hawkish and unpredictable leaders have been rising to prominence on North Korea's dominant National Defense Commission.

    As UPI's Lee Jong-Heon reported Feb. 12, Vice Marshal Kim Yong Chun, 73, has been named minister of the People's Armed Forces, or defense minister, replacing Kim Il Chol, who had been in the post since 2000, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

    Gen. Ri Yong Ho has been appointed chief of the army's General Staff, equivalent to the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing Kim Kyok Sik, who had served in the post for the past two years.

    Both Vice Marshal Kim and Gen. Ri may be rising to full control over the armed forces at the expense of possibly ailing North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Or Kim Jong Il, emboldened by the prospect of achieving his long-coveted ICBM capability at long last, may have gone hawkish himself. In any case, the world cannot afford to ignore or be complacent about the pending North Korean satellite launch and the huge advance in Pyongyang's destructive capabilities that it heralds.
     
  4. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    This is why American wants that anti-missile shield in place..but I can understand Russia's reservations. The threat of nuclear missiles is the only thing that stops America from having a "complete" control over the world so to speak. However, I think that pretty soon America will put a comprehensive shield around the North American continent at least. By the way is this MIRV capable?
     
  5. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Russia can launch ICBMs at minute's notice: Missile chief

    MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) -- Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) in service with the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) could be launched within a minute if Russia's security is threatened, the SMF commander has said.

    “Over 6,000 servicemen are on 24/7 combat duty, and at least 96% of all missile systems are ready for deployment within several dozen seconds. It is the highest readiness level among the components of the Russian nuclear triad,” Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov said in an interview published on Wednesday by the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper.

    At present, six types of silo-based and mobile ICBM systems of the fourth and the fifth generation, including the heavy Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan), capable of carrying 10 warheads, and the Topol-M (Stalin) systems, are on combat duty with the SMF.

    According to open sources, the total arsenal of Russia's SMF comprises 538 ICBMs, including 306 SS-25 Topol (Sickle) missiles and 56 SS-27 Topol-M missiles.

    “The fifth regiment at the Tatishchevo Missile Division, which is armed with silo-based Topol-M complexes, was fully staffed in 2008, and there are now 50 silo-based Topol-M systems on combat duty,” the general said.

    The first two Topol-M mobile missile battalions, equipped with six road-mobile systems, have already been put on combat duty with the 54th Strategic Missile Division near the town of Teikovo, about 150 miles (240 km) northeast of Moscow.

    The deployment will continue in 2009 and the division will be up to full strength by 2010, Solovtsov said.

    The Topol-M missile, with a range of about 7,000 miles (11,000 km), is said to be immune to any current and future U.S. missile defenses. It is capable of making evasive maneuvers to avoid a kill using terminal phase interceptors, and carries targeting countermeasures and decoys.

    It is also shielded against radiation, electromagnetic pulses and nuclear blasts, and is designed to survive a hit from any known form of laser technology.

    Solovtsov also said that in 2009 the SMF would start bringing into service systems equipped with new-generation (RS-24) intercontinental ballistic missiles, bearing multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warheads.

    “Making this missile system operational will help bolster the SMF's combat capabilities to overpower missile defense systems, thus strengthening the nuclear deterrence potential of the Russian nuclear triad,” Solovtsov said.


    http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=189236



    Here are the Russian ICBM bases..land based ofcourse

    [​IMG]
     
  6. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    S. Korea Eyes Fighter Jet for Landing Ship

    South Korea is looking at introducing the U.S. Lockheed Martin-built F-35B fighter variant, to fly from its 14,000-ton Dokdo large-deck landing ship, along with the F-35A air force version, as part of mid- and long-term force improvement plans, a source here said Sunday.

    The move comes as the country's arms procurement agency, Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), is preparing to open the third-phase F-X fighter acquisition program in the coming years, he said. DAPA said earlier that it would launch the next-phase F-X bid by 2011, with the aim of deploying the planes between 2014 and 2019.

    In a related event, a group of Pentagon officials gave a briefing on the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program to DAPA officials in Seoul early last month at the request of the arms agency, said the source.

    ``The agency is conducting preliminary research on the next-phase fighter acquisition program and collecting information about foreign fighters, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,'' the source told The Korea Times on condition of anonymity.

    As for the JSF, which is under development, he said, the agency previously focused on the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant for the Air Force but is now thinking also about the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant for the Marine Corps or Navy. There will be another variant for the Navy, the F-35C, to fly from aircraft carriers.

    Japan, Israel and Taiwan are reportedly interested in the F-35B version.

    ``The F-35B is a fifth generation fighter that will provide a quantum leap in capability, basing flexibility, and mission execution across the full spectrum of conflict,'' a U.S. Marine Corps official said, asking not to be named.

    South Korea's Navy launched its first Dokdo Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH 6111) in 2005 and wants to have one more Dokdo-class carriers by 2016. The 199-meter-long, 31-meter-wide vessel is the largest helicopter transporter in Asia and will serve as a light aircraft carrier to orchestrate the Korean Navy's future strategic mobile squadron.

    Experts have said when the landing ship is equipped with a ski jump module, vertical or short takeoff and landing aircraft such as the Harrier or the F-35B will be able to be launched from the deck.

    Observers say the latest move appears to reflect Seoul's strong interest in the JSF, also known as Lightening II, as a candidate for the upcoming F-X deal, for which Boeing's F-15K NF III, Saab's Gripen NG, Eurofighter's Typhoon and others are also expected to compete.

    The F-X aims to equip the South Korean Air Force with 120 advanced high-end fighters by 2020 to replace its aging fighter fleet. The U.S. Boeing Company won South Korean orders for batches of 40 and 21 F-15s in two previous deals.

    Lockheed's F-22 Raptor is also on the list of candidates, but chances for Seoul to buy the fifth-generation stealth fighter are slim due to financial and legal problems. U.S. technology protection law forbids the export of the world's most advanced F-22s, whose per-unit cost is some $200 million.

    In that context, the F-35, with similar capabilities to those of the F-22, has often referred to as a viable candidate.

    The fifth-generation F-35, fitted with radar-evading stealth technology, is a single-seat, single-engine multi-role fighter jet that can perform close air support, tactical bombing and air defense missions.

    The price tag for the F-35A is about $60 million, while those for the F-35B and F-35C are expected to cost in the upper $80 to $90 million range, respectively, according to Lockheed Martin officials.

    The F-35B version is slated to enter service first with the U.S. Marines in 2012, followed by the F-35A in 2013 and the F-35C in 2015.

    The JSF development is being funded by nine major partners, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Norway and Denmark. The partners plan to acquire over 3,100 F-35s through 2035, according to reports.

    Lockheed officials say delivery of the conventional-takeoff-and-landing F-35A for South Korea would begin in 2014 if a contract is signed before 2010.


    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2009/03/205_40483.html
     
  7. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Obama Budget to Boost Defence Spending $20.4B

    President Barack Obama wants to increase spending on the U.S. military by $20.4 billion in 2010, but he's also calling for a crackdown on the Pentagon's profligate procurement system.

    The president unveiled a federal budget for 2010 that would increase defense spending to $533.7 billion. This year the military is receiving $513.3. The difference is a 4 percent increase, the White House said Feb. 26.
    Related Topics


    The $533.7 billion does not include money for fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or about $20 billion that is to be spent on nuclear weapons and other military items outside the Defense Department.

    Obama wants $130 billion for the wars - down from $144 billion being spent this year.

    The three elements combined - the "base" budget, war funding and nuclear weapons - would push 2010 spending to about $683.7 billion. Spending for 2009 is about $681 billion.

    In a budget outline, the president emphasized "reforming the costly and inefficient weapon development and acquisition process."

    He said the military's "new weapons programs are among the largest, most expensive and technically difficult" ever attempted. "As a consequence, they carry a high risk of performance failure, cost increases and schedule delays."

    Obama proposes to change that by setting "realistic requirements" and sticking to them, and by not permitting weapon programs to proceed from one stage to the next until they are mature enough to avoid cost growth and schedule delays.

    He called for "continuing to restructure the nation's forces to better address long-term warfare challenges." That includes increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps.

    Money spent on new troops and on giving all uniformed personnel a 2.9 percent pay raise will likely make it harder to continue spending on weapons.

    Obama said a pending defense review will be used to evaluate U.S. strategic priorities and "assess how best to achieve them within available resources."

    Among the items competing with costly weapons will be programs to prepare for asymmetrical and non-conventional attacks posed by cyber, biological, radiological and nuclear warfare, the outline says.

    A complete defense budget is to be released in April. It will provide details on procurement and the fate of major weapon programs.

    http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3965202&c=AME&s=TOP
     
  8. screwterrorists

    screwterrorists Founding Member

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    my god its terrible.
    USA has become exactly what former president Eisenhower had warned against.
    The US economy has been taken by the Military Industrial Complex. meaning a HUGE part of the economy is in some way or another related to defence expenditures..


    concerning India: although long ways off, India should be cautious in its splurge of money. for now its necessary for defense. In the future, it should not be necessary to promote the economy. :)
     
  9. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Iran has fissile materials for bomb!!

    WASHINGTON – The top U.S. military official said Sunday that Iran has sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon, declaring it would be a "very, very bad outcome" should Tehran move forward with a bomb.

    Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered the assessment when questioned in a broadcast interview about a recent report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog on the state of Iran's uranium enrichment program, which can create nuclear fuel and may be sufficiently advanced to produce the core of warheads.

    Mullen was asked if Iran now had enough fissile material to make a bomb. He responded, "We think they do, quite frankly. And Iran having a nuclear weapon I've believed for a long time is a very, very bad outcome for the region and for the world."

    State Department spokesman Robert A. Wood said Sunday that it was not possible say how much fissile material Iran has accumulated.

    "There are differing view not only outside government but also inside the government" on how far Iran has gone, Wood said. He added that while he was not suggesting Mullen was incorrect, "We just don't know" exactly how much fissile material Iran now holds.

    "We are concerned they are getting close" to having enough to build a nuclear weapon, he added. Wood spoke to reporters traveling with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Egypt.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has processed 2,222 pounds (1,010 kilograms) of low-enriched uranium. But the report left unclear whether Iran is now capable, even if it wanted, of further processing that material into a sufficient quantity of highly enriched uranium to arm one weapon.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who like Mullen appeared on the Sunday talk shows, did not go as far as Mullen. The Iranians, Gates said, are "not close to a weapon at this point and so there is some time" for continued diplomatic efforts.

    And the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, recently told National Public Radio that the IAEA report "confirms what we all had feared and anticipated, which is that Iran remains in pursuit of its nuclear program."

    Iran, now subjected to various penalties by the U.N., the U.S. and others over its nuclear program, denies it wants to build a bomb. It asserts its program is intended to provide the country with the homegrown ability to generate electricity from nuclear reactors.

    So far, the U.S. has not relented in its claims that Iran has ambitions to join the club of nuclear-armed nations. Mullen seemed to restate that position in his remarks on CNN's "State of the Union." He was not asked to elaborate.

    Under an international nuclear treaty it has signed, Iran has the right to develop a civilian program for the nuclear generation of electricity. But any such program must be open to international inspection. Iran has balked at that after it became known in past years that the country had hidden portions of its nuclear effort that could be linked to a weapons program.

    At issue now is Iran's uranium enrichment efforts. The Bush administration insisted that was a precursor to making weapons-grade materials. President Barack Obama has sought to change course with Iran, offering diplomatic engagement in a bid to prove Tehran has more to lose by ignoring the wishes of other countries than it has to gain through its nuclear efforts.

    "The question is whether you can increase the level of the sanctions and the cost to the Iranians of pursuing that program at the same time you show them an open door if they want to engage with the Europeans, with us and so on if they walk away from that program," Gates said. "Our chances of being successful, it seems to me, are a lot better at $35 or $40 oil than they were at $140 oil because there are economic costs to this program, they do have economic challenges at home."

    Days after Obama announced his plan to withdraw U.S. combat forces from Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, Mullen and Gates made clear their support for the commander in chief's approach.

    Mullen said he was comfortable with the decision, while noting he was reluctant to talk about "winning and losing" in Iraq. Rather, he said, the conditions are in place for the Baghdad government to successfully take control of the country.

    Mullen said Obama listened extensively to the American military leadership and U.S. commanders in Iraq before announcing withdrawal. Under the president's order, the 142,000 U.S. forces in Iraq would be drawn down to between 35,000 and 50,000 troops by the 2010 date. All forces would be withdrawn by the last day of 2011.

    Gates said he thought it was "fairly remote" that conditions in Iraq would change enough to alter significantly the Obama plan. He said the president has said he retains the authority to change a plan if it's in the national security interests of the United States.

    "Our soldiers will be consolidated into a limited number of bases in order to provide protection for themselves and for civilians who are out working in the Iraqi neighborhoods and countryside as well," Gates said. "The risk to our troops will be substantially less than certainly was last year, and it has, has gradually declined."



    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090302/ap_on_re_us/mullen_iran
     
  10. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    ScanEagle UAS Completes Sea Trials With Singapore Navy

    ScanEagle, a long-endurance, fully autonomous unmanned aircraft system (UAS) developed by The Boeing Company and subsidiary Insitu, today successfully completed a ship-based trial with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

    The trial included both an RSN LST (Landing Ship, Tank) and a frigate. ScanEagle was launched and recovered from the ships’ helicopter decks, flying day missions using an electro-optical camera payload and night missions using an infrared camera payload.



    [​IMG]

    Photo Credit: Photo courtesy Republic of Singapore Navy Neg #: TBD

    During the flights, the ScanEagle UAS successfully demonstrated sea-based launch and recovery capabilities and the ease with which the physical ground support equipment and control hardware can be integrated onboard. All tactical objectives and operational scenarios set for the flights were achieved.
    Boeing Defence Australia provided a complete maritime ScanEagle system for the trial, including a ground control station, communication links, launcher and SkyHook recovery system. A Boeing Insitu team deployed to Singapore for the entire trial.

    The ScanEagle UAS has operated from a variety of maritime platforms, most notably U.S. Navy ships since 2005, achieving 1,500 launches and recoveries. It has also operated from a UK Royal Navy Type 23 frigate and from commercial vessels.

    Boeing Defence Australia began operating ScanEagle in December 2006. Since then, it has surpassed 16,000 flight hours supporting Australian Land Forces overseas as well as delivering in-country operator and field maintainer training.
    http://frontierindia.net/scaneagle-uas-completes-sea-trials-with-singapore-navy#more-3598
     
  11. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    China breaks its silence on Afghanistan


    By newsadmin at 2 March, 2009

    In the violent, lethal environment in which he lived and survived to eventually lead Beijing’s march towards socialism with Chinese characteristics, Deng Xiaoping had great reasons to be cautious.In regards to China’s international approach, Deng had this to say: “Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership.”

    Thus, China never spoke its mind on the Afghan problem. The organ of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), The People’s Daily, has now broken that rule of thumb in a highly nuanced commentary.

    Of course, there is a criticality today as the atmosphere in the region surrounding Afghanistan threatens to become sulfurous with blinding speed. But that alone doesn’t explain the timing of the Chinese commentary titled “Will adjustments in US anti-terror strategy be successful?”

    The context is highly relevant. United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has just concluded a landmark visit to China. Beijing is manifestly heaving a sigh of relief about the “sense of certainty” in Sino-American relations under US President Barack Obama’s watch. Even more, Beijing is enthralled that Clinton quoted the ancient Chinese aphorism tongzhou gongji - “when on one boat, help each other” - as the spirit of our troubled times. Now, that goes way past George W Bush’s tough love aimed at making China a “stakeholder” in the international system.

    Afghanistan would have certainly figured in Clinton’s talks with the Chinese leaders, especially as her visit coincided with Obama’s announcement regarding a troop buildup in Afghanistan.

    Fishing in troubled waters

    However, there are two other subtexts. The US is palpably shifting gear on its South Asia policy, as is evident from Obama’s decision to appoint Richard Holbrooke as special representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Holbrooke is no stranger to Beijing.

    Clearly, in the immediate aftermath of Holbrooke’s visit to the region recently, Beijing has sized up that the US’s relationship with India is entering a qualitatively new phase, which has shown some signs of friction. It pays well for Beijing to fish in troubled waters and pile up more pressure on its southern neighbor.

    Second, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced last week that invitations had been issued for the long-awaited Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) conference on Afghanistan in Moscow on March 27. The time is approaching for Beijing to take a position on the Afghan problem. Prevarication couched in pious homilies may no longer suffice.

    Does China have a sense of solidarity with Russia - or with SCO observers like India and Iran? But Beijing cannot afford to dissipate the budding momentum of partnership with the Obama administration, either. And the US (plus its allies) is boycotting the SCO conference.

    Thus, we may get to see some amazing trapeze acts by Beijing in the coming period. The People’s Daily commentary has virtually called for an expansion of Holbrooke’s mandate to include the “Indian-Pakistani problem”. True, it stops short of mentioning Kashmir as such but leaves little to the imagination that Kashmir is precisely what it was referring to - that the US should mediate a solution to what Pakistan calls the “core issue” in its tense relationship with India.

    The Chinese commentary says the mere dispatch of more US troops to Afghanistan cannot help achieve Obama’s “strategic goals” unless Washington stabilizes South Asia, especially Pakistan and the India-Pakistan relationship. The editorial continues:

    `It is clear that without Pakistan’s cooperation, the US cannot win the war on terror. Therefore, to safeguard its own interests in the fight against terrorism in South Asia, the US must ensure a stable domestic and international environment for Pakistan and ease the tension between Pakistan and India. This makes it easy to understand why Obama appointed Richard Holbrooke as special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan issues, and why India is included in Holbrooke’s first foreign visit. In fact, the “Afghan problem”, the “Pakistani problem” and the “Indian-Pakistani problem” are all related.(Emphasis added).`

    These are not words that are in the nature of off-the-cuff remarks. And these unfriendly remarks are highly unlikely to go unnoticed in New Delhi. Indian diplomats pulled out all the stops to see that Holbrooke’s mandate did not include India, though there is a large body of opinion among American think-tanks and within the US establishment, which insists that so long as the Kashmir problem remains unresolved, underlying tensions in India-Pakistan relations will continue. Beijing now has waded into the debate. It openly expresses support for Pakistan’s stance.

    Interestingly, Beijing completely overlooks the root cause of the “anti-Americanism” prevalent in Pakistan, which has much to do with the US’s interference in that country’s internal affairs, especially the American backing for successive military dictatorships or with the wounded Muslim psyche or with the brutal US-led war in Afghanistan. Indeed, the Chinese commentary remained silent on the central issue of the foreign occupation of Afghanistan.

    Beijing cannot be naive that India’s distaste for third-party intervention in Kashmir is in any way less than China’s acute allergy with regard to world opinion on Tibet or Xinjiang. One possible explanation could be that Beijing is nervous that India may again play the “Tibet card” as the 50th anniversary of the Tibet uprising approaches next month.

    Beijing is cracking down on Tibetan nationalists in the run-up to the anniversary. Arguably, Beijing would like to put India on notice that it could also flaunt a “Kashmir card”. All in all, therefore, Indian strategists will have to analyze carefully the range of Chinese motivations in calling for US mediation in India-Pakistan disputes at this juncture, close on the heels of Clinton’s talks with the leadership in Beijing.

    Apart from India, Beijing singles out Russia as another regional power that negatively impacts on the US strategy to stabilize Afghanistan. (Incidentally, the commentary ignores Iran altogether, as if it is not a factor of consequence on the Afghan chessboard.) The commentary says, “… the US must make sure that Russia is appeased. The Central Asia region, where Afghanistan lies, used to be Russia’s backyard … While relations between US and Russia show signs of recovery after Obama’s assumption of power, Russia’s reactions to the US decision of increasing troops in Afghanistan are rather subtle.”

    So, what does Obama do? Beijing has the following assessment: “Russia’s determination to not allow the US enjoying dominant control in the Afghan affair is rather noticeable. The way the US deals with its ‘cooperative and competitive’ relationship with Russia in the Afghan affair will test the US’s capability to realize its strategic goals in Afghanistan.”

    But then, China is also an interested party apropos the two contentious issues today in US-Russia relations: the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) into Central Asia and the deployment of the US missile defense system. China abhors NATO expansion into its Central Asian backyard and opposes the US missile defense system that will rubbish China’s relatively sub-standard nuclear strike capability.

    But, as Deng would say, why claim the leadership of opposition to these US moves when Moscow is already doing a splendid job?

    The People’s Daily commentary differentiates Russia’s interests in Afghanistan. By implication, it urges Washington not to take the forthcoming SCO conference as any sort of ganging up by China and Russia. Again, by affirming that the closure of the Manas airbase by the Kyrgyz authorities is part of “a strategy game between the US and Russia”, The People’s Daily has in effect debunked the forthcoming SCO conference. After all, the conference’s raison d’etre is that the Afghan situation poses a threat to Central Asia’s security. But the Chinese commentary never once brings up this aspect.
     
  12. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    In sum, what emerges is that no matter Moscow’s determination to challenge the US’s “monopoly over conflict resolution” in Afghanistan, China will not be drawn into such a calculus. As Deng would say, China will observe calmly and maintain a low profile. After all, Russia is forcing its way onto the Afghan turf and if it succeeds, not only the SCO but also China will be a net beneficiary. On the other hand, if the US snubs Russia, that will only dent Moscow’s prestige, not Beijing’s.

    Is Beijing peeved that there are new stirrings in US-Russia relations? There is reason for Moscow to ponder why The People’s Daily should have harped on Russia’s animus toward the US influence in Central Asia at such a delicate juncture when the Obama administration has decided not to make the Manas airbase closure a factor in US-Russia relations. Moscow would find it embarrassing that it has been portrayed as a “spoiler” in Obama’s strategy towards Afghanistan.

    Reaching out to Islamists

    What is truly extraordinary about the Chinese commentary is its oblique references to the central issue of the Taliban. There are indications that Beijing has no problems as such if the Taliban are accommodated in the power structure in Afghanistan as part of a political settlement. Interestingly, the commentary advises the US to be “pragmatic towards the actual conditions of Afghanistan”. It also voices support for the argument that Afghanistan lacks “almost any of the prerequisites of modernity”. Besides, it suggests that Afghanistan cannot be a unitary state.

    These comments are to be seen in the light of the new thinking in influential circles in the US and Britain that a “bottoms-up” approach involving diffusion of state power in favor of local leaderships might be the answer to the problems in Afghanistan and will be the best way of involving the Taliban in the power structure in the Pashtun regions.

    Breaking fresh ground, the CCP invited a delegation of Pakistan’s influential Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) to visit China last week. During the week-long visit, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding enunciating four principles of China-Pakistan relations, including independence, equality, mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of each country.

    Meanwhile, the JI assured full support to China’s national and geographical unity and fully backed China’s stance on Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang issues. Beijing then reciprocated with its “principled stance” on the Kashmir issue and “reiterated that this stance and vital cooperation of China will continue”.

    Socialism - even with Chinese characteristics - does not easily mix with Islamism. There is no other way of explaining the CCP’s cooperation with Pakistan’s leading Islamic party except as a Faustian deal against the backdrop of the ascendancy of the forces of militant Islam in the region.

    The People’s Daily admits that the outcome of the US’s surge strategy in Afghanistan remains uncertain. It takes note that the US is also moving toward “a compromise with moderates within the Taliban”, as President Hamid Karzai would not otherwise have ventured onto that track. The commentary lauds such thinking as a manifestation of the use of “smart power”, an idea “frequently mentioned” by Clinton. That is to say, while the US troop build-up is a “hard measure”, “policies like helping the Afghan government to consolidate its regime for gradually stabilizing the country will be the ’soft measure’.”

    All the same, Beijing is aware that the real US agenda could be strategic insofar as Afghanistan is located “at the crossroads of Eurasia”. While smashing up al-Qaeda indeed constitutes a goal, Washington’s strategy will also “enhance NATO cooperation and alliance to guarantee that NATO’s first military action out of Europe will not fail”. In turn, that will enable the US to “raise its leadership status among its allies and reinforce its presence in the heart of Eurasia by using these means”.

    It seems China has no problem with such an agenda. China will “hide its capacities” - to quote Deng - even as the US and Russia collide and negate each other and eventually drop down in exhaustion. As The People’s Daily concludes, Afghanistan is known as the “tomb of empires”. Therefore, China must focus on securing its position and simply bide its time - a strategy Deng could surely appreciate.

    Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey.
     
  13. jayadev

    jayadev Founding Member

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    Obama offers Medvedev halt on missile defense for more pressure on Iran

    President Obama sent a letter to Russian President Dimitri Medvedev stating that he would halt plans on a missile defense shield for greater cooperation against Iran in developing its nuclear capability, the New York Times reported today.
    Such a deal is so painfully obvious. If Iran does not have nuclear weapons, then no need for a shield to deter them.
    Moreover, the system was essentially a fake geopolitical problem. The Kremlin complained about a shield that not only was not directed against them, but also had dubious technical capabilities, at least now. The Bush Administration claimed that the shield was for defense against Iran, even though Iran did not yet have missiles that could reach the interceptors.
    The letter, first reported in Kommersant (in Russian) repeats twice how “sensational” the offer is. Maybe it is in contrast to the intransigence of the Bush Administration.
    It will be interesting to see how this is followed up. It’s clear already that there has been a thaw in Russian-American relations—the “reset” button has been pushed. But it would be something else for it to work against Iran.
    http://www.examiner.com/x-3631-LA-F...-on-missile-defense-for-more-pressure-on-Iran
     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Japan says would shoot down inbound NKorean rocket

    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Japan_says_would_shoot_down_inbound_NKorean_rocket_999.html

    Japan says would shoot down inbound NKorean rocket

    by Staff Writers
    Tokyo (AFP) March 3, 2009
    Japan is ready to shoot down any North Korean rocket headed toward its territory, Japan's defence minister warned Tuesday, weeks after Pyongyang announced it would launch a satellite.

    North Korea has said it is ready to launch what it calls an experimental communications satellite despite growing appeals from countries that suspect Pyongyang is planning a missile test to call off its plans.

    The United States and its Asian allies see such a launch as a pretext to test the Taepodong-2 missile, which could theoretically reach Alaska.

    "If there's a possibility that an object could lose control and drop on Japan, the object becomes our target, including a satellite," said Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada.

    "It's only natural for us to deal with it."

    The Kyodo news agency, quoting an unnamed defence source, reported that Japan is considering deploying two Aegis-equipped destroyers carrying the Standard Missile-3 interceptor to the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

    "We would have no other choice but to intercept," a senior Maritime Self-Defence Force officer was quoted as saying, referring to a scenario in which a missile or a rocket was launched and believed headed for Japan.

    Defence ministry spokesman Katashi Toyota declined to confirm the report.

    "I am aware of the reports. However I wouldn't comment on the movement of the Self-Defence Forces in specific cases, particularly what action the forces will take or are taking, due to the nature of this issue," he said.

    Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso signalled on Monday that a North Korean rocket launch -- even one carrying a satellite -- would lead to UN Security Council sanctions against the communist state.

    The communist state has previously tested a missile under the guise of a satellite launch, and analysts say recent comments from the North indicated it was on the verge of another attention-grabbing test.

    Japan and the United States have been working on a more advanced missile shield after North Korea in 1998 fired a missile over Japan's main island.

    The defence ministry has installed US-developed Patriot Advanced Capability-3 surface-to-air interceptors in Tokyo and other parts of Japan.

    As well as equipping two warships with Standard Missile 3 interceptors, in December it successfully shot down a ballistic missile in space high above the Pacific Ocean as part of a joint programme with the United States.
     
  15. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Iran building a fortified missile storage and launch complex for Shahab 3 missiles

    March 3, 2009: Iran is building a fortified missile storage and launch complex for at least fifteen Shahab 3 missiles outside Khorramabad (near the Iraq border in the Zagros mountains). It is called the Imam Ali missile base and is run by the Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Shahab 3 missile is basically 1960s technology, with the addition of GPS guidance. Russian and North Korean missile technology has been obtained to make the Shahab 3 work. This has resulted in a missile that apparently will function properly about 80 percent of the time, and deliver a warhead of about one ton, to a range of some 1,300 kilometers, to within a hundred meters of where it was aimed. By world standards, this is a pretty effective weapon.

    The Shahab 3 normally travels on a tractor trailer rig that can also raise the missile into a launch position. But it takes several hours to fuel the missile and otherwise prepare it for launch. Thus the Iranian tactics are to drive the missiles and fuel trucks out to a remote location for erecting and launching. The Khorramabad base also shows signs of silo construction.

    Iran is believed to have been building Shahab 3s since 2004, even though they continue to refine the design, and conduct test firings. Iran is believed to have 50-100 Shahab 3s, and is building about one a month. There are indications that production has increased. Israel appears to be the main target. Iran has threatened Israel with destruction, rather openly of late. Shahab 3's could be fired with high explosive warheads, and hit, with enough accuracy, to kill mostly Jews, and not Israeli Arabs or Palestinians. Iran also has chemical (nerve gas) warheads, and Israel has threatened nuclear retaliation if they get hit by chemical warheads.

    A longer range version, the Ghadr, has been in the works for several years. It has a longer (1,800 kilometers) range, and can be readied for launch in less than an hour, rather than several hours for the Shahab 3. There have been several well observed (by foreign intel agencies) tests in the last two years.




    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/hticbm/articles/20090303.aspx
     
  16. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    How documents about Marine One found their to Iran

    Espionage agencies have found peer-to-peer file sharing systems (like Kazaa or Bearshare) a steady source of useful secrets. An example of this is the recent announcement that detailed technical documents about the U.S. presidents helicopter (Marine One) had found their way to Iran, via a file sharing system. Apparently, an employee of a defense contractor had installed a peer-to-peer program on his PC. This, in itself, should not have been a problem. Peer-to-peer programs, during the installation process, ask you to identify which folder, or folders, on your hard drive, will contain the files you wish to share. But it's common for users to specify a folder used for other things (like holding files downloaded with incoming email). This means that anyone else on the peer-to-peer network can find any file in your designated "share" folder, and download it. Thus the Iranians go possession of the Marine One data files.

    Unfortunately for spies, this type of peer-to-peer software is losing ground to Bittorrent type peer-to-peer software. Here, you have to specify a particular file to share, and use a rather more complex process (creating a torrent file) to put a file of your own out there for all to share. Nevertheless, spies are still having a good time with the older peer-to-peer networks, and much good stuff is obtained.


    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htintel/articles/20090303.aspx
     
  17. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    Ex-Soviet states plan joint air defense drills Aug. 7- Sept. 18

    ASTANA, March 4 (RIA Novosti) - Members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will conduct joint air defense exercises from August 7 until September 18, the first deputy commander of Russia's Air Force said on Wednesday.

    "The biennial Combat Commonwealth exercises will be held from August 7 until September 18," Vadim Volkovidsky told a news conference following a meeting of the coordinating committee for air defense under the CIS council of defense ministers.

    He specified that the exercises would be held in several stages and on the territory of each member state.

    The CIS, a loose alliance of former Soviet states, comprises Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Ukraine is a founding and participating country, but technically not a member state. Turkmenistan holds associate status.

    An integrated air defense network was set up by 10 CIS member countries on February 10, 1995.

    The main purpose of the network is to ensure the protection of the member-countries' airspace, early warning of missile attacks and coordination of joint efforts to neutralize potential air threats
     
  18. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    New French Mini Sub

    March 5, 2009: French submarine builder DCNS is now selling a new coastal boat, the Andrasta class. This is an 855 ton, 153 foot long sub, with a crew of 19 (plus 8 passengers, usually commandos). The boat can stay underwater for up to five days. Surfaced, it can travel up to 5,400 kilometers, at slow (170 kilometers a day) speed. There are sufficient supplies on board to keep the boat out up to 30 days. Most missions are expected to be more like two weeks. The boat has six forward firing torpedo tubes, which can also carry mines or anti-ship missiles. There are no reloads, all the weapons are stored in the torpedo tubes. There is a special chamber for letting divers exit the boat while underwater.
    The Andrasta is similar in size to the 769 ton German World War II Type VII boat, which was the most widely used (700 built) sub during the Battle of the Atlantic. The Type VII was longer (220 feet) and thinner, and didn't have all the electronics of the Andrasta, or all the automation. Thus the Type VII had a crew of 50 and carried 14 torpedoes (used in five tubes), plus an 88mm deck gun (and 220 shells). Moreover, the Type VII could only spend about one day underwater, although it had a surfaced range of 15,000 kilometers.

    The Andrasta is built to be quiet, and use its powerful passive sonar to detect surface ships or subs, and use its heavy torpedoes to destroy them. The Andrastas cost less than $200 million each (half the price of most normal size subs), and are attractive boats for nations wanting to use submarines mainly as defensive weapons.


    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsub/articles/20090305.aspx
     
  19. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Russian General Says US May Have Planned Satellite Collision

    http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Ru...May_Have_Planned_Satellite_Collision_999.html


    Russian General Says US May Have Planned Satellite Collision


    Graphic courtesy AGI.
    by Staff Writers
    Moscow (RIA Novosti) Mar 04, 2009
    A collision between U.S. and Russian satellites in early February may have been a test of new U.S. technology to intercept and destroy satellites rather than an accident, a Russian military expert has said.

    According to official reports, one of 66 satellites owned by Iridium, a U.S. telecoms company, and the Russian Cosmos-2251 satellite, launched in 1993 and believed to be defunct, collided on February 10 about 800 kilometers (500 miles) above Siberia.

    However, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Leonid Shershnev, a former head of Russia's military space intelligence, said in an interview published by the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper on Tuesday that the U.S. satellite involved in the collision was used by the U.S. military as part of the "dual-purpose" Orbital Express research project, which began in 2007.

    Orbital Express was a space mission managed by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and a team led by engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

    According to the DARPA, the program was "to validate the technical feasibility of robotic, autonomous on-orbit refueling and reconfiguration of satellites to support a broad range of future U.S. national security and commercial space programs."

    Orbital Express was launched in March 2007 as part of the U.S. Air Force Space Test Program's STP-1 mission. It tested a prototype servicing satellite (ASTRO) and a surrogate next generation serviceable satellite (NextSat). The demonstration program met all the mission success criteria and was officially completed in July 2007.

    Shershnev claims the U.S. military decided to continue with the project to "develop technology that would allow monitoring and inspections of orbital spacecraft by fully-automated satellites equipped with robotic devices."

    The February collision could be an indication that the U.S. has successfully developed such technology and is capable of manipulating 'hostile satellites,' including their destruction, with a single command from a ground control center, the general said.
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Iran says missiles can reach Israel nuclear sites

    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Iran_says_missiles_can_reach_Israel_nuclear_sites_999.html

    Iran says missiles can reach Israel nuclear sites

    Defence analysts question the accuracy of Iran's longer-range missiles, particularly the Shahab-3.

    'Cease your threats,' Brown tells Iran
    British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Wednesday urged Iran to cease its nuclear threats and rejoin the world community. "And our shared message to Iran is simple -- we are ready for you to rejoin the world community," Brown said in a landmark speech to the US Congress. "But first, you must cease your threats and suspend your nuclear program. And we will work tirelessly with all those in the international community who are ready to reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation."
    by Staff Writers
    Tehran (AFP) March 4, 2009
    A top Iranian military commander said on Wednesday that the country has missiles that can reach the nuclear sites of its arch-foe Israel.

    "Today the Islamic republic has missiles with a range of more than 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) and... all the land of the Zionist regime, including its nuclear installations, is within our range," Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, told the ISNA news agency.

    Jafari's comment came amid sustained speculation that Israel has the ability to target Iranian nuclear plants.

    Jafari said Iran can "firmly retaliate" if attacked.

    "The doctrine of our system is defensive but, if any action is taken by the enemy, including the Zionist regime, we can firmly retaliate," he said.

    However defence analysts question the accuracy of Iran's longer-range missiles, particularly the Shahab-3.

    Israel has a major nuclear facility at Dimona in the Negev desert, at which it is widely believed to have developed a nuclear arsenal.

    Israel maintains a policy of neither confirming nor denying a nuclear capability but it is widely suspected to have more than 200 warheads.

    Iran does not recognise its archfoe Israel and has repeatedly predicted its demise.

    Nuclear breakthrough possible if US changes attitude: Iran
    A breakthrough is possible in the nuclear standoff between Iran and the West, if the United States changes its attitude towards Tehran, the Iranian envoy to the UN atomic watchdog said Wednesday.

    If Washington changed its "mentality ... and they understand that we're on an equal footing, and they come in a civilised manner to the negotiating table, then there will be a breakthrough," Iranian ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-member board here.

    "But they not only have to recognise our inalienable right (to nuclear technology) for peaceful uses, but they should remove any obstacles for the implementation of these rights, including the fuel cycle and enrichment," Soltanieh said.

    The West accuses Iran of seeking to develop the atomic bomb under guise of a nuclear energy programme, a charge Tehran vehemently denies.

    For the West, the main sticking point is Iran's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can be used not only to make nuclear fuel, but also the fissile material for a bomb, despite three rounds of UN sanctions.

    Tehran insists that, as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has a right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

    Despite a six-year investigation, the IAEA is still not in a position to definitively say that Iran's nuclear activities are entirely peaceful.

    Earlier this week, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei complained of a deadlock, with Iran stonewalling key questions on the possible military dimension of past nuclear work and defying UN orders to stop enrichment.

    But Soltanieh said the deadlock was of the West's making, not Tehran's.

    If the situation really is "stalemated", "it is not a technical but a political stalemate," he said.

    "It's not a technical stalemate because the agency is continuously implementing safeguards in Iran without any impediments. If the DG (director general) is right, it is a political stalemate, which has been created by a few Western countries."

    On Monday, ElBaradei expressed hope that a possible shift in policy in Washington could help break the deadlock.

    And on Tuesday, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany had said in a rare joint statement that they were committed to direct diplomacy with Iran.

    Responding to that statement on Wednesday, Soltanieh said that could be "an indication they've come to the conclusion that they have to correct the mistake of sending the issue to (UN Security Council) in New York."

    Tehran has long argued that the Iranian nuclear dossier is a matter solely for the IAEA, not the UN Security Council.

    Not wanting to be too optimistic, "this may might be a way to correct their mistake and stop the engagement of the UN Security Council," he said.
     

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