Sabre-rattling over Iran

amoy

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LISTEN: In Private Speech, Dick Cheney Talks Bombing Iran and GOP Donors Applaud | Mother Jones

What do former Vice President Dick Cheney, billionaire megadonor Sheldon Adelson, and Republican activists and funders talk about—and applaud—when they're behind closed doors at a Las Vegas hotel? Bombing Iran.

This past weekend, the Republican Jewish Coalition held its spring leadership meeting at Adelson's Venetian hotel, where several possible 2016 contenders, including ex-Gov. Jeb Bush and current Govs. Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and John Kasich, showed up to kiss the ring of the casino magnate, who's looking to bankroll a viable Republican presidential candidate. Though the heavy-on-Israel speeches of the White House wannabes were open to the press, the keynote address delivered by Cheney on Saturday night was off-limits to reporters and the public. But Mother Jones has obtained a recording of Cheney's talk, during which he once again derided President Barack Obama on foreign policy, blasted the isolationists within his own party, assailed critics of the National Security Agency, and seemingly endorsed the idea of an Israeli strike against Iran.



Speaking about the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon, Cheney dismissed Obama's negotiations with Tehran, and he recalled a dinner meeting he had in 2007 with Israeli General Amos Yadlin. Yadlin had flown in the Israeli Defense Force's mission in 1981 that destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, and he was the country's military intelligence chief in 2007 when the Israel Defense Forces obliterated Syria's nuclear reactor in the Deir ez-Zor region. Recalling his conversation with Yadlin, Cheney said, "He looked across the table over dinner, and he said, 'Two down, one to go.' I knew exactly what he meant."

"One to go" was an obvious reference to bombing Iran's nuclear program. The crowd responded approvingly with laughter and applause. (Last October, Adelson publicly proposed that the US drop a nuclear bomb in the Iranian desert to show Tehran what will happen to Iran if it develops nuclear weapons.)

During his behind-closed-doors talk, Cheney took multiple shots at Obama. The former vice president said Obama has been a bust at home and abroad, proving to be a weak commander-in-chief and failing to project strength around the world. "The bottom line is," Cheney groused, "the United States' position in [the Middle East] is worse than at any time in my lifetime." He added, "It's reached the point where Israel and Egypt, [the United Arab] Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan are closer to one another—imagine that!—than any of them is to us"¦Nobody who's been our friend in the past any longer has any sense of trust in we'll keep our commitments, that we'll be there in a crisis when they need us. On the other hand, none of our adversaries need fear us." Noting that the chief responsibility of a president is to protect the United States against "all enemies, foreign and domestic," Cheney claimed that today that charge "is not being pursued in any kind of coherent manner."

Without naming names, Cheney also slammed the less hawkish members of his own party—such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)—for believing that the United States "can afford to turn its back on that part of the world," referring to the Middle East. "One of the things that concerns me first about the campaign, that I'm worried about," he said, "is what I sense to be an increasing strain of isolationism, if I can put it in those terms, in our own party. It's not taking over, by any means, but there is without question a body of thought now that's supported by many Republicans and some candidates that the United States can afford to turn its back on that part of the world." Cheney complained that "some candidates" think that the Middle East is "not our problem"¦Bring the boys home. There's no reason in the world for us to be involved in that part of the world." But, he remarked, "anybody who thinks back on the problems of 9/11" knows "it makes absolutely no sense at all for us to contemplate that course of action."

Cheney devoted much of his speech to defending the National Security Agency and its massive collection programs. There is the belief, he said, "that we have created in the National Security Agency this monster bureaucracy that's reading everybody's mail, listening to everybody's phone calls, infringing upon our civil liberties and civil rights. Hogwash." He claimed that there has not been a single case of NSA abusing its authority. (Cheney must have missed this and this.) And he asserted that if these programs had been in place, "it probably would've allowed us to stop 9/11." Not surprisingly, he blamed the NSA's current woes on Obama: "We don't have a president who can stand up and defend the program. Nobody believes him—for good reason. Look what he did with health care."

Listen to the audio of Cheney's speech:
 

SajeevJino

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US Army chief: Israel trusts we'll bomb Iran if needed


Israel and the US have bridged the gap in their once-divergent opinions regarding Iran's nuclear program and the potential use of military force against Tehran, the top US military official said Tuesday.

"I think they are satisfied that we have the capability to use a military option if the Iranians choose to stray off the diplomatic path," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said, according to the military news site Defense News. "I think they are satisfied we have the capability. I think they believe we will use it."

The countries have been engaged in a minor diplomatic spat over a series of remarks by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, in which he most recently said that Israel would have to thwart Iran on its own because the US was "weak."

Israel has consistently expressed chagrin at Washington's efforts to negotiate a diplomatic solution to Iran's controversial nuclear program, which Israel and the US have charged is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Tehran has insisted that the program is for energy and medical research purposes and that it is acting within its rights as a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The defense minister's statements about the US, delivered in a closed event at a university but promptly leaked, provoked a harsh response from the US, with Kerry, whom Ya'alon criticized harshly two months earlier before apologizing, calling Netanyahu in protest.

Ya'alon subsequently met with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Dempsey on separate occasions and issued several statements expressing regret and praising the US's support for Israel after the incident.

Dempsey offered hope that the US and Israel were ready to move on from their quarrels over Iran.

"Our clocks are more harmonized than they were two years ago," he said. "They just wanted to know that we are maintaining and continuing to refine our military options."


US Army chief: Israel trusts we'll bomb Iran if needed | The Times of Israel
 

W.G.Ewald

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What do former Vice President Dick Cheney, billionaire megadonor Sheldon Adelson, and Republican activists and funders talk about—and applaud—when they're behind closed doors at a Las Vegas hotel? Bombing Iran.
Silly for Mother Jones to say the meeting was in any way held in secret.
 

amoy

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Iran, Russia working to seal $20b oil-for-goods deal - Middle East Israel News | Haaretz

Iran and Russia have made progress towards an oil-for-goods deal sources said would be worth up to $20 billion, which would enable Tehran to boost vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions, people familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.

In January Reuters reported Moscow and Tehran were discussing a barter deal that would see Moscow buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.

The White House has said such a deal would raise "serious concerns" and would be inconsistent with the nuclear talks between world powers and Iran.

A Russian source said Moscow had "prepared all documents from its side," adding that completion of a deal was awaiting agreement on what oil price to lock in.

The source said the two sides were looking at a barter arrangement that would see Iranian oil being exchanged for industrial goods including metals and food, but said there was no military equipment involved. The source added that the deal was expected to reach $15 to $20 billion in total and would be done in stages with an initial $6 billion to $8 billion tranche.
 

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Navies of Iran, Pakistan to hold joint drill in Hormuz strait

The navies of Iran and Pakistan plan to hold joint military exercises in the eastern part of the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, Iran's state news agency said on Sunday.

Several Pakistani naval vessels, including a warship and a submarine, docked at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on Saturday, the IRNA news agency said, citing an Iranian Navy statement.

"The most important activity of the Pakistani fleet during its stay in Bandar Abbas is to launch joint maneuvers with selected units of Iran's Navy in eastern waters of the Hormuz Strait," Iranian Rear Admiral Shahram Irani told IRNA.
 

SajeevJino

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U.S.: 'T-Minus 2 Months to Nuclear Iran'

The United States has belatedly awakened to the fact that Tehran is ignoring its policies and moving ahead with nuclear development – as Israel predicted more than a decade ago.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday it would take Iran just two months to produce enough fissile material to produce a nuclear weapon of mass destruction.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the same statement – in fact he warned it would take less time, unless actions were taken to slow or stop the process – in speeches to the United Nations in 2012 and in 2013.

Over the years, the Iranian nuclear program was hit with numerous mysterious problems that slowed down the process, including destructive viruses, assassinated nuclear physicists, and broken components, all of which were generally blamed on Israel.

Netanyahu's predecessors in office have also warned the international community that Iran has been marching ahead with its nuclear development program. That has continued apace regardless of United Nations sanctions, diplomatic efforts, negotiations and any other attempts to slow down its drive to create nuclear weaponry.

This time as world powers gathered in Vienna to talk about working on a new agreement to slow down Iranian activity on its nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions, Kerry was warning American lawmakers that time is up.

The best the world can hope for is to get the Iranians to increase the "breakout" window from two months to half a year, maybe a year.

"I think it's public knowledge today that we're operating with a time period for a so-called breakout of about two months. Six months to 12 months is"¦ I'm not saying that's what we'd settle for, but even that is significantly more [time]," he said, according to Reuters.

Still, Kerry claimed Iran only has enough so far for "just one bomb's worth, conceivably, of material, but without any necessary capacity to put it in anything, to deliver it, to have any mechanism to do so."

However, a recent shipment of sophisticated missiles and a missile launcher sent by Iran to the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Syria proves that may not be the case. The missiles were of a new, advanced design built with a warhead capable of carrying a much heavier payload – possibly one that could carry nuclear material.

The trucks that were carrying the missiles and the launcher to a Hezbollah base were destroyed in an air strike that left four Hezbollah terrorists.

The Jewish Press » » U.S.: 'T-Minus 2 Months to Nuclear Iran'
 

SajeevJino

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Iran denies inspectors access to suspected nuclear facility

Atomic energy chief says operations at Arak heavy water reactor to continue; thousands protest nuclear deal in Tehran



2004 satellite image of the military complex at Parchin, Iran (photo credit: AP/DigitalGlobe - Institute for Science and International Security)
Iran's atomic energy organization on Saturday said it was denying international inspectors access to the suspected nuclear facility at Parchin, stating the IAEA was not entitled to visit the military complex outside the Iranian capital of Iran.

"Legally, they are not entitled to visit Parchin since we have not accepted and are not exercising the Additional Protocol (to the NPT)," the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran's Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency saying.

Iran has stated that it has no obligation to grant the IAEA access to the site, arguing that Parchin's designation as a military site puts it off-limits to inspections and is not included in the deal reached with world powers last year.

The Parchin military site has been a sticking point in long-running discussions between Iran and the IAEA; the agency suspects explosive tests took place that are "strong indicators of possible nuclear weapon development."

Meanwhile, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the AEOI, told Iranian media Saturday that operations at the heavy water reactor in Arak would continue.

The Arak reactor is of international concern because it could theoretically provide Iran with a second route to a nuclear bomb — an alternative to highly enriched uranium — through extraction of weapons-grade plutonium from spent fuel if it also builds a reprocessing facility.

Iran's enrichment activities are in defiance of repeated UN Security Council demands and resolutions, amid suspicions in the West and Israel that Tehran's nuclear drive masks military objectives, a claim it has repeatedly denied.

Thousands of hard-liners in Iran gathered Saturday at the former US Embassy in Tehran to protest against the Islamic Republic's recent deal with world powers over its contested nuclear program.

Hard-liners carried banners Saturday accusing moderate President Hassan Rouhani and the nation's nuclear negotiation team of "giving up Iran's right in return for little."

Rouhani has faced criticism from hard-liners over the deal struck in November, which they refer to as a "poison chalice." The temporary deal saw some sanctions lifted against Iran in exchange for it limiting uranium enrichment and allowing in international inspectors.

World powers and Iran are negotiating the terms of a final deal.

Iran denies inspectors access to suspected nuclear facility | The Times of Israel
 

SajeevJino

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Iranian admiral says US aircraft carriers would be targeted in war


Iran will target U.S. aircraft carriers based in the Persian Gulf if a war were to ever erupt between both countries, an Iranian naval chief warned Tuesday.

"Aircraft carriers are the symbol of America's military might," Adm. Ali Fadavi, according to the Fars news agency. "The carriers are responsible for supplying America's air power. So, it's natural that we want to sink the carriers."

Fadavi is naval chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard and made the remarks as Iran completes a large-scale mock-up of a U.S. carrier.


Iran is currently building a replica of the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, which will be used in future military exercises.

The Revolutionary Guard's navy has already targeted mock-up U.S. warships, Fadavi said, adding it took only 50 seconds to destroy one of them.


A U.S. Navy official in the Persian Gulf dismissed Iran's warnings.

"Whatever Iran hopes to do with the mock-up, it is likely to have zero impact on U.S. Navy operations in the Gulf," Cmdr. Jason Salata, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, told the Associated Press.

These moves come as diplomats prepare for a new round of talks over Iran's nuclear program next week in Vienna.

Negotiators are expected to draft a final nuclear deal this month. They hope to strike a final deal by mid-July, which is when the interim deal reached last November expires.


Iranian admiral says US aircraft carriers would be targeted in war | TheHill
 

SajeevJino

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Russia may build eight nuclear reactors for Iran


Russia plans to sign a contract with Iran this year to build two more nuclear reactors at its Bushehr power plant as part of a broader deal for up to eight reactors in the Islamic state, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters on Thursday.


It was not immediately clear how this might affect six global powers' talks with Iran addressing disputed aspects of its nuclear program. Iran has resisted demands for cuts in its uranium enrichment capacity, pointing to plans for a future network of nuclear power stations.

Russia may build eight nuclear reactors for Iran - Israel News, Ynetnews
 

ITBP

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US has no right to criticize Iran as it was US who caused these fundamentalists to come to power.
 

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Three American citizens, including The Washington Post's correspondent in Iran, appear to have been detained this week in Tehran, U.S. officials and the newspaper said Thursday.

Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl said the newspaper has received "credible reports" that correspondent Jason Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, were detained Tuesday evening in Tehran. It is unclear who detained them or why.

"We are deeply troubled by this news and are concerned for the welfare of Jason, Yeganeh and two others said to have been detained with them," Jehl said in a statement.

Post reporter, other journalists appear to have been detained in Iran - The Washington Post
 

Ahsan Bin Tufail

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Another War...Possible loss of millions of innocent lives...Another Invitation to the wrath of God...Is there no better solution to these bad happenings other than war?
 

SajeevJino

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Kissinger: Iran is a bigger threat than Islamic State
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger called Iran on Saturday a "bigger problem" than the Islamic State group, formerly known as ISIS, and said that the threat posed by the militants is "more manageable" than a confrontation with Iran.

In an interview with National Public Radio, the former top diplomat said that "ISIS is a group of adventurers with a very aggressive ideology. But they have to conquer more and more territory before they can become a strategic, permanent reality." Iran, on the hand, has the opportunity to "reconstruct the ancient Persian Empire, this time under the Shia label — in the rebuilding of the Middle East that will inevitably have to take place when the new international borders [are] drawn." That, said Kissinger, "gives Iran a very powerful level from a strategic point of view."

The strategy to defeat Islamic State, Kissinger said, should involve "superior air power, and then, if we can enlist other countries, or other more local groups to do the ground fighting, we might actually destroy them."

Asked about the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Kissinger said that "for Russia, Ukraine is part of the Russian patrimony."

"A Russian state was created around Kiev about 1,200 years ago," he said. "Ukraine itself has been part of Russia for 500 years, and I would say most Russians consider it of Russian patrimony. The ideal solution would be to have a Ukraine like Finland or Austria that can be a bridge between these two rather than an outpost."

Kissinger also defended his role during the Vietnam War, saying that "the Obama administration has hit more targets on a broader scale than the Nixon administration ever did."

"And I bet if one did an honest account, there were fewer civilian casualties in Cambodia than there have been from American drone attacks," he added.

Finally, when asked whether Hillary Clinton would make a good president, Kissinger said: "Yes, she'd be a good president. But she'd put me under a great conflict of interest if she were a candidate, because I tend to support the Republicans."
 

kenyannoobie

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I've actually read all the comments here. You guys don't know its all THEATRE! A US anti Zionist faction has been propping up the Iranians. Khomeini was part of the deal;being as he was actually a foreign Anglo Indian. Anyway they now have unstoppable Sunburns and no US Navy chief is dumb enough to order his carriers into the narrow Gulf to face hypersonic Ashms.
Bottom line they'll never go beyond barking!
 

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