Home > Uncategorized > Iran war buildup news: January 15

Iran war buildup news: January 15

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U.S. Military Operation Against Iran Would Be Grave Mistake: Expert

Iran Wars Episode I: The Gulf Menace

Russia Protecting Its Middle East Allies

Military Action Against Iran Direct Threat To Russian Security: Envoy

U.S. Stations 15,000 Troops In Kuwait

NATO Missile Radar System Begins Operations In Turkey

Obama, Turkish Prime Minister Discuss Iran, Syria

Two U.S. Aircraft Carrier Strike Groups In Arabian Sea, Third On Way

USS Abraham Lincoln Leaves Thailand For Arabian Sea

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U.S. Military Operation Against Iran Would Be Grave Mistake: Expert

http://rt.com/politics/us-iran-military-panarin-767/

RT
January 14, 2012

US military operation against Iran would be a grave mistake

The Iran controversy is heating up. Writer and political analyst Igor Panarin believes the US should heed the reasoning of Russia, China and Turkey and refrain from going to war with Iran.

In the article below, Ivan Panarin explains his view.­­

The government of Iran has already accused Israel of being behind the assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, the Iranian nuclear scientist who was killed in Tehran earlier this month. Iran has also announced that Roshan’s death will not hinder its nuclear program.

Roshan’s assassination came at the height of renewed tension between Washington and Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program. Threatened with ramped-up economic sanctions by the United States, Iran has declared that it may respond by sealing the Strait of Hormuz with its navy. This brings the longstanding stand-off between the US and Iran to a probable theater of operations for first time in many years in the Strait of Hormuz.

Following Tehran’s warning, the US Navy promptly sent its Fifth Fleet aircraft carrier group to the Persian Gulf, with British naval elements hurrying to join their American allies.

Meanwhile, Iran held a naval exercise titled Velayat-90 (Supremacy-90) between 24 December 2011 and 2 January 2012. The war game covered a vast area from the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. The scale of the exercise served to display Iran’s readiness to engage in naval warfare outside the Persian Gulf. The Iranian Navy also used the war game to test-fire its new long-range cruise missiles, demonstrating its capability to hit US Gulf bases, Israel, and America’s Arab allies in the region.

Tehran declared the drill a huge success, announcing that Stage Two of the naval exercise will follow in February. The situation is obviously developing very fast.

The Iranian exercise was promptly followed by an exchange in media assaults and aggressive rhetoric between Washington and Tehran. The two latest developments – Roshan’s murder and Iran’s announcement regarding its 20 per cent uranium enrichment capabilities – have propelled their already heated stand-off to the point of highly flammable. Threats of new sanctions by the West merely contribute to aggravating the situation. As the European Union stated its intention to decide on banning crude-oil imports from Iran during its coming Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on 23 January this year, Tehran announced it would respond by shutting down marine traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, which accommodates almost 40 per cent of global seaborne oil shipments, putting through some 15-17 million barrels a day. This would effectively bar about 90 per cent of aggregate oil exports by all Gulf nations from the global market.

Iranian naval forces, which consist of the regular navy and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Navy, have always been a vital stakeholder for seaborne trade through the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has allowed international commercial traffic through its territorial waters voluntarily, based on the UN Law of the Sea Convention III, which stipulates the right of “innocent passage” through any territorial waters for vessels to ensure fast and unimpeded transit between open ports and the high sea. Although Iran has not ratified the convention and is therefore not bound to comply with it, it has nonetheless abided by its provisions in good faith for the most part.

Russia expressed its attitude on the issue on 12 January through a public statement by deputy foreign minister, Sergey Ryabkov, who called upon both Iran and the West to abstain from any action that may aggravate the situation in the Strait of Hormuz.

China maintains a largely similar stance, having just rejected US secretary of the treasury Timothy Geithner’s call for a significant reduction in Iranian oil imports by China. Geithner addressed the People’s Republic with this appeal during his visit to Beijing last week.

Russia’s National Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev also made an appearance to address the issue on 12 January this year. He warned of a possible military escalation of the conflict, claiming that Israel was egging on Washington for aggressive military action.

Despite the US Navy’s formidable power, the Persian Gulf’s narrow inlet makes it highly vulnerable for a ground-to-ship missile strike from Iran.

Even Iranian speedboats can pose a serious threat to American carriers and destroyers due to their small size coupled with their high speed, which makes them difficult to spot before they get within killing range of large US battleships. Iran can also target the Fifth Fleet with its cruise missiles from the Gulf’s northern shore. Its other military assets include midget submarines, aerial drones, air-cushion vehicles, frogman squads and floating mines. Therefore, even though a military showdown between the US Navy and Iranian armed forces is likely to be a case of asymmetric warfare, Iran would have both a variety of lethal military capabilities and geography on its side.

In the words of Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergey Ryabko, “a military operation against Iran would be a most grave mistake, a very crude miscalculation. The consequences of such a hypothetical development of events would be most far-reaching for regional and global security.”

Russia’s opposition to a Western military operation against Iran was made most explicit recently as Moscow sent its own aircraft carrier group to the port of Tartus in Syria. China has been similarly opposed to any military action against either Syria or Iran, warning that an armed conflict in the Gulf would be disastrous for the global economy and result in a humanitarian crisis.

Turkey’s reluctance to back a war on Iran also poses a significant constraint for a Western military gamble. Ankara has insisted on staying within diplomatic boundaries in addressing the Iranian nuclear controversy. Foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu recently tabled Turkey’s proposal to host an international conference on the Iranian nuclear issue.

The attitude of powerful regional and global actors such as Russia, China and Turkey suggests that it would be rather prudent of Washington to follow their advice and resort to renewed diplomatic effort vis-à-vis Iran rather than enter into yet another Middle-Eastern quagmire with a highly unpredictable outcome.

­Prof. Igor Panarin, Doctor of Political Sciences, specially for RT

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Iran Wars Episode I: The Gulf Menace

http://rt.com/news/iran-military-power-conflict-565/

RT
January 15, 2012

Iran Wars Episode 1: The gulf menace

Iran plays a critical role in the Persian Gulf and, with its strategic geography, totally dominates the northern gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. But does it have enough resources to block and hold the strategic route in the event of military conflict?

Asymmetric war policy­

Iran is a relatively inferior military power in comparison with the US and other NATO countries, but it has the ability to deliver major blows which are difficult to counter at larger conventional forces.

The chief editor of National Defense magazine, Igor Korotchenko, believes that Iran’s military is not capable of achieving a victory against the US in a direct confrontation.

“In the case of a direct global military conflict [with Iran], the US will certainly secure a victory,” he said. “But the question is at what cost?”

Because of the asymmetric measures that Iran can bring up in a conflict, the price of victory could be unacceptable for the US, Korotchenko said.

“[Iran] can attack US bases and military facilities in the region,” Korotchenko said. “They can utilize Hamas and Hezbollah elements, as well as other radical movements that are ready to support Iran. They can destabilize the situation in Iraq. These would be asymmetric measures.”

Having limited assets on hand, Iran has to develop a strategy of conducting an asymmetric war. Thus Iran’s warfare is oriented at using its weaponry in unconventional ways and capitalizing on the country’s favorable geography.

Iran’s leadership adheres to a “no first strike doctrine” and thus Iran has launched no wars of choice in modern history. The Iranian constitution prohibits the establishment of any foreign military bases in the country, even for peaceful purposes.

­Following the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran divided its armed forces into regular and revolutionary components. This means Iran has two active armies: the Islamic Republic of Iran Army (Regular army) and the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (Revolutionary Guards, IRGC). The IRGC is a combined arms force with its own ground forces, Navy (IRGCN), Aerospace Force (IRGC AF), Intelligence, and Special Forces. Whereas the regular military defends Iran’s borders and maintains internal order, the Revolutionary Guards are intended to protect the country’s Islamic system. Both armies operate in parallel and share military facilities, but the IRGC has a higher status and a preference in receiving modern inventory.

The asymmetric strategy proved itself to be efficient during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). Iran was conducting successful hit-and-run operations using groups of small boats against vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz. Combined with extensive mine-laying in the strait, the guerrilla tactics allowed Iran to sink over 500 vessels during the war. However, in a direct confrontation with a US fleet after an Iranian mine caused damage to a US frigate, Iran’s navy was crushed.

Today IRGCN operates over 1,500 small boats, which can be easily hidden in the coastal zone and do not need a large port to provide supplies. Most of these boats can be or already are equipped with short-range missiles and mines. An unexpected attack of a group of such boats can bring down almost any vessel that dares to enter Iranian waters.

Iran’s forces are covered by an extensive network of coastal based anti-ship missiles and air-defense systems. Being quite vulnerable to a serious air campaign, Iran has also decentralized its command structure, thus improving the resilience of its forces after an initial strike.

Iran tends to keep its military equipment in fair condition, ready to be deployed where and when necessary. This was confirmed during Iran’s regular naval exercises. In many cases Iran used drills to test its new weaponry, such as the Ghadr medium-range ballistic missile. The success of the latest test-launches on January 3 made Iran’s navy chief, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari state that from then on the Strait of Hormuz would be completely in Iran’s control.

­The Ghadr-110 is a medium-range ballistic missile designed, developed, and manufactured entirely in Iran. It is an improved version of the Shahab-3 missile with higher maneuverability and a shorter set-up of only 30 minutes. The missile has a range of around 2,100 kilometers. It was successfully test-launched during Iran’s latest Velayat-90 military drills on December 24, 2011 – January 3, 2012.

­The purpose of Iran’s naval exercises is not only to flex its muscles in front of the world, but also to improve its military training and proficiency and sharpen the strategy of conducting operations within its territorial waters.

Iran’s military has a significant share of military hardware produced by the West, some of it more than 30 years old, which is hard to maintain under the embargo. Iran’s fleet consists of ships of US, French and British designs. Iran’s three largest submarines, which were supplied by Russia, are over 15 years old and there are no reports of any overhaul maintenance being done. Russian MiG-29 and SU-24 and Chinese F-6 and J-7 jets are the basis of its air force.

Iran actively replaces the foreign hardware that goes out of commission with domestically produced weaponry and constantly increases its military efficiency.

Military industry­After the revolution, Iran found itself severely isolated due to economic sanctions and a weapons embargo put on Iran by the United States and had to rely mostly on its domestic arms industry. The IRGC was put in charge of creating the modern Iranian military industry.

Today Iran is capable of producing a full range of weaponry from fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, boats and submarines as well as radar systems and sophisticated air defense systems. However, the systems that the US provides its gulf allies are far more advanced than Iran’s military technology.

Iran has focused on developing smart munitions, light attack craft, mines, and ballistic missiles to counteract other military powers.

Iran has devoted a lot of effort to developing its own ballistic missiles. In recent years it has developed such weapons as the Fajr-3 and Kowsar medium range ballistic missiles, the Fateh-110 short-range surface-to-surface missile, and the Shahab-3 missile, which became the backbone of Iran’s strategic missile inventory.

For its submarine force, Iran has developed the Hoot supercavitation torpedo, allegedly reverse engineered from the Russian VA-111 Shkval.

Iran locally manufactures the Shahin and Mersad air defense missile system, which are improved versions of the 1960s US MIM-23 Hawk system. Iran is also known to produce and operate unmanned drones which are used for surveillance.

Iran’s air force­Iran’s air force operates about 200 combat type aircraft, some 120 transport aircraft, and over 500 helicopters. The list of bases and airports operated by Iran’s military includes 14 tactical air force bases, 18 military air fields, and 22 civil airports that can be used for military purposes.

Iran’s air forces consist mainly of Soviet and Chinese aircraft, as well as ex-Iraqi aircraft pressed into service. Some of the older aircraft are American, which the air force has managed to maintain in service.

Iran is capable of producing second generation Azarakhsh and Saeqeh single-seat jet fighters, derived from the American Northrop F-5. Iranian officials claim the Saeqeh to be similar to the US-built McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. According to latest reports Iran has around 30 of these aircraft in operation.

All Iranian aircraft are equipped with locally-manufactured missiles and do not rely on foreign supplies.

­Iran’s naval force­According to open sources Iran’s naval forces have a total of around 26 submarines, 4 frigates, 3 corvettes, 24 missile patrol craft, 7 mine warfare ships, and over 270 coastal and inshore patrol craft.

Three of Iran’s submarines are Russian-built Kilo class naval diesel-electric subs mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in the relatively shallow waters of the gulf.

Iran also has around 17 small domestically produced Ghadir-class subs, capable of firing the Hoot supercavitating rocket torpedoes, which makes them a significant threat to hostile ships and submarines.

­Ghadir is a class of midget submarines built by Iran specifically for cruising within the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf. The submarine is equipped with the latest military and technological equipment and its capabilities are believed to be equal to those of foreign types. The Ghadir class submarines are capable of firing the Hoot supercavitating rocket torpedoes. Ghadir submarines can also be used to deploy divers for special operations, such as laying mines.

­Considering that the Strait of Hormuz is quite shallow and has only two narrow navigational channels, it would not be a challenge at all to block the strategic pass, especially with Iran’s experience in mine-laying operations, says Korotchenko.

“Mine-laying operations can be carried out quite covertly, and after that Iran can announce that the Strait of Hormuz is blocked,” he said. “Besides which, Iran is capable of striking tankers and other vessels within the strait with anti-ship missiles set up on speedboats or directly on shore.”

­Ballistic and nuclear programsThe main concern of the West is Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs. Iran has created armed ballistic missile forces that are capable of striking at any US allies and US bases in the region.

It is claimed that Iran has accumulated several thousand short- and medium-range mobile ballistic missiles. Iran’s ballistic missiles could also be configured to carry nuclear warheads if Iran can develop them.

Iran still claims that its nuclear program is peaceful, but many in the world community believe that it is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.

According to such military gurus as Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, it is quite possible that Iran may acquire deliverable nuclear weapons within the next five years.

Igor Korotchenko believes that Iran would use its ballistic might without hesitation if required. The only question that remains is how effectively this would work from the engineering side.

“Iran’s Shahab-3 ballistic missiles and newer missiles based on that technology are in fact semi-strategic missiles,” he said. “It is possible to attack American military facilities in the region with those missiles, to a certain extent. The question is how effectively Iran will use its missile units.”

“Missile units are controlled by the Revolutionary Guards and included in their operational framework,” Korotchenko added. “Thus we can expect that at least in the context of the moral readiness, Iranian missile-men will carry out their professional duty.”

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Russia Protecting Its Middle East Allies

http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/russia-protecting-its-middle-east-allies

The National
January 15, 2012

Russia protecting its Middle East allies

Russia won’t let Syria or Iran down, as it doesn’t want to lose allies in a region important to it

“If you want to know the odds of a war taking place in the Middle East, just keep track of the statements out of Moscow and Washington and the movements of their respective vessels and aircraft carriers – especially now that Russia is waking up from a period of hibernation and is coming back strongly in the region to protect its interests,” the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi said in its weekend editorial.

It has now dawned on Russia that it was “fooled big-time” into agreeing to the Nato-imposed no-fly zone over Libya. The initial goal was to protect civilians from Qaddafi-regime raids, yet Nato operations turned into a tacit mission for regime change in the North African country, the newspaper noted.

Russia lost a strong Arab ally with the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime. “Having taken stock of such a major loss, Russia is now determined to counter forcefully any US attempts to topple the Syrian and Iranian regimes,” the newspaper went on.

Only recently, a Russian ship loaded with weapons was sent to Syria, the paper claimed. In the meantime, “a Russian aircraft carrier and other warships arrived in Syria’s Tartous port”, which has the only Russian marine base in the eastern Mediterranean.

After receiving a report from Cypriot authorities, the US administration expressed its worry about the cargo of those Russian vessels and demanded clarifications, a call which fell on deaf ears, the paper added.

“By dispatching an aircraft carrier and shiploads of weapons and other hazardous materials, Russia wants to send out a strong and unequivocal message to Arab governments and the United States, that it will not let down its Syrian and Iranian allies, after it has already lost Qaddafi’s Libya and Saddam’s Iraq.”

Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian envoy to Nato since 2008, who was appointed in December as his country’s vice premier for defence industries, said last week that “any military intervention having to do with Iran’s nuclear programme will be considered a threat to Russia’s national security,” the newspaper reported.

Mr Rogozin added a comment to the effect that Iran is a good neighbour and any form of attack against it would not be tolerated by Russia.

“Washington toppled the Libyan and Iraqi regimes because they once offered their oil and trade contracts to Russian, Indian and Chinese corporations,” the paper said.

“So Russia knows well that if it gives in to US hegemony plans, its interests will crumble in the world’s richest region.

“That also explains its dual Security Council veto – with China – against imposing sanctions on Syria,” the paper concluded.

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Military Action Against Iran Direct Threat To Russian Security: Envoy

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/russia/1979873.html

Trend News Agency
January 14, 2012

Russia says would be threatened by Iran military action

Russia would regard any military intervention linked to Iran’s nuclear program as a threat to its own security, Moscow’s departing ambassador to NATO warned on Friday, Reuters reported.

“Iran is our neighbor,” Dmitry Rogozin told reporters in Brussels. “And if Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security.”

Rogozin was speaking two days after the killing of a nuclear scientist in Tehran by a hitman on a motorcycle.

Kremlin Security Council head Nikolai Patrushev, who is close to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, said Israel was pushing the United States towards war with Iran, according to the Interfax news agency.

Russia, however, opposes a boycott of Iranian oil.

“We are definitely interested in the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” Rogozin said on Friday. “But at the same time, we believe that any country has the right to have what it needs to feel comfortable, including Iran.”

Rogozin, often described as an anti-Western hawk, was appointed deputy prime minister in December, and will oversee Russia’s defense sector when he returns to Moscow.

The United States, the European Union and Japan are drawing up sanctions on Iran to try to force it to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons program. Tehran says its program does not have military aims.

The United States on Thursday took punitive action against three oil companies dealing with Iranian oil.

EU foreign ministers are expected to agree on a ban on imports of Iranian crude oil on January 23 – though with a grace period to give European companies time to find alternative sources of crude.

Japan on Thursday pledged to take concrete action to cut its oil imports from Iran.

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U.S. Stations 15,000 Troops In Kuwait

http://rt.com/usa/news/us-troops-kuwait-iran-741/

RT
January 13, 2012

US stations 15,000 troops in Kuwait

The United States is not at war with Iran yet, but just in case, the Pentagon says they want to be prepared. To do so, the Department of Defense has dispatched 15,000 troops to the neighboring nation of Kuwait.

Gen. James Mattis, the Marine Corps head who rules over the US Central Command, won approval late last year from the White House to deploy the massive surge to the tiny West Asian country Kuwait, which is separated from Iran by only a narrow span of the Persian Gulf.

The latest deployment, which was ushered in without much presentation to the public, adds a huge number of troops aligned with America’s arsenal that are now surrounding Iran on literally every front. In late 2011, the US equipped neighboring United Arab Emirates with advanced weaponry created to disrupt underground nuclear operations. In adjacent Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, American military presence has long been all but enormous.

While the US has not placed any boots on the ground in Iran, an unauthorized surveillance mission of a US stealth drone in December prompted Tehran to become enraged at Washington. US officials insist that Iran is on the verge of a nuclear weaponry program, despite lacking sufficient evidence or confirmation. During the drone mission, Iran authorities intercepted the craft and forced it into a safe landing. Tensions have only worsened between the two nations in the month since, but Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that stealth missions into Iran will continue “absolutely,” despite ongoing opposition from overseas.

In calling for the latest surge to Kuwait, Gen. Mattis said the deployment was necessary to keep Iran in check and keep America prepared for any other threats in the area. It comes only weeks after the last American troops vacated nearby Iraq, where the US still in actuality has an advance presence — the American embassy in Baghdad employs thousands of armed military contractors.

The move to build up military presence in Kuwait comes at a time when the foreign government is at odds to a degree with a US. While protesters in America this week have demonstrated against the ten year anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay prison facility, the Kuwait government has increased efforts to have two of their own men transferred out of Gitmo and sent back home. Both Fawzi al-Odah and Fayiz al-Kandari have been detained at Guantanamo since 2002, although only one of the two Kuwaiti citizens has ever been charged.

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NATO Missile Radar System Begins Operations In Turkey

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/88239/

PanArmenian.net
January 14, 2012

Hürriyet: NATO radar system starts operating in Turkey

An early warning radar system deployed in the eastern Anatolian province of Malatya began its surveillance activities Jan. 1, Hürriyet Daily News reported citing a source.

A small number of U.S. troops were deployed to the military base at Kürecik in Malatya in the last week of 2011 since the Turkish military has no qualified personnel to run the U.S. AN/TPY-2 (X-band) early warning radar system. Despite the deployment, the installation is a Turkish base and will be commanded by a Turkish high-ranking officer, the source said.

Turkey joined the NATO-led nuclear defense program only after its conditions were addressed by the alliance. It agreed to the deployment of the early warning radar system on its territory in mid-2011 while the alliance, in turn, agreed to the posting of a high-ranking Turkish general at NATO headquarters in Germany, where intelligence gathered through the radar system will be processed.

Details of the radar system’s functions were discussed during a visit by Gen. Knud Bartels, NATO’s recently appointed military committee chairman, to Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel on Jan. 9. Iran, which is already in a spat with the United States over its controversial nuclear program, has strongly opposed Turkey’s move to deploy the radar.

“The U.S. radar stationed in Turkey is no good for any Muslim country,” Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani told Turkey late Jan. 12 at a press conference while demanding further information on the matter. “But we have confidence in our Turkish friends.”

Another regional country critical of NATO’s missile defense program is Russia. According to the source, Davutoğlu will pay a visit to Moscow in late January and will inform his counterparts on the details of the radar system deployed in Turkey if the Russian side raises the issue.

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Obama, Turkish Prime Minister Discuss Iran, Syria

http://www.sundayszaman.com/sunday/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=268556

Today’s Zaman
January 14, 2012

Erdoğan, Obama discuss latest developments in Middle East

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Barack Obama spoke on phone on Friday to discuss regional developments.

Turkish Prime Ministry said in a statement on Friday that Erdoğan and Obama discussed issues related to the security and development of the Middle East and North Africa.

The statement said the two leaders discussed ways to continue supporting a broad-based government in Baghdad that will bring stability, democracy and prosperity.

Erdoğan’s discussion with Obama came two days after the Turkish prime minister talked to his Iraqi counterpart, Nouri al-Maliki, warning him that arrest warrant he issued for one of his Sunni vice presidents, also a close friend of Turkey, will hurt democracy in the war-torn country.

Erdoğan told Maliki to take steps to reduce tensions in Iraq following a series of bombings in the capital of Baghdad after Maliki issued an arrest warrant for Tariq Hashemi last month.

Many attacks in recent days in Iraq have targeted the country’s Shiite majority, increasing fears of a serious outbreak of sectarian violence following the withdrawal of US troops last month.

Obama and Erdoğan also discussed recent developments in Syria and agreed that both countries will continue condemning the Syrian regime…

The statement added that both leaders expressed that there is a need for Iran to continue its dialogue with international community with respect to its suspected nuclear program.

Iran’s parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, who is on a visit to Turkey, said on Thursday that he believes that the standoff over his country’s nuclear program can be solved through serious talks.

Larijani told a news conference after meeting Turkish leaders in Ankara that Tehran supports the idea of holding further talks in Turkey. Saeed Jalili, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, recently said he had called on six powers – the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – to resume talks.

Turkey, a US ally that relies on Iranian oil and gas imports, signaled Thursday that it will not comply with American sanctions against Iran regarding its nuclear program.

Turkey indicated that it will only enforce sanctions that have been approved by the United Nations, and its announcement is a setback to US sanctions aimed at halting what Western governments say is Iran’s effort to develop nuclear weapons.

US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, who visited Turkey earlier this week, said the United States and Turkey share a broad strategic concern about the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon.

Ankara has agreed to host NATO’s early warning radar as part of NATO’s missile defense system, which is capable of countering ballistic missile threats from Iran. Turkey insists the shield doesn’t target a specific country, but Tehran says the radar is meant to protect Israel from Iranian missile attacks if a war breaks out with the United States and or Israel.

The Jewish state, which views Tehran as a threat, has warned of a possible strike on Iran’s nuclear program. Iran, which insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, has threatened to respond to sanctions by shutting the Strait of Hormuz, a transit route for a fifth of the world’s oil.

Turkey said it would evaluate the content of the US sanctions, but Turkey’s biggest crude oil importer Tüpraş already has renewed a contract to continue to import crude oil from Iran in 2012.   

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Two U.S. Aircraft Carrier Strike Groups In Arabian Sea, Third On Way

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/video/2012-01/13/c_131358284.htm

CNTV.cn
January 13, 2012

2 US aircraft carriers to operate in Arabian Sea

BEIJING: The U.S. military says that a new aircraft carrier strike group has arrived in the Arabian Sea. And another is on its way…

This military shift comes amid heightened tensions with Iran. The USS Carl Vinson arrived in the Arabian Sea on Monday. It replace the outgoing USS John C. Stennis carrier strike group, which Iran last week warned not to return to the Gulf after its departure late December.

The second group, led by the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, is on track to join the Carl Vinson.

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USS Abraham Lincoln Leaves Thailand For Arabian Sea

http://www.c7f.navy.mil/news/2012/01-January/009.htm

U.S. 7th Fleet
January 11, 2012

Lincoln Concludes Thailand Port Visit
From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

LAEM CHABANG, Thailand: Aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), accompanied by guided-missile cruiser Cape St. George (CG 71), departed Laem Chabang, Thailand, Jan. 10, following a four-day port visit.

Lincoln, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, is in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) as part of a deployment to the western Pacific and Indian Oceans en route to support coalition efforts in the 5th Fleet AOR. The visit to Thailand was the first port call of Lincoln’s 2011-2012 deployment.

CSG 9 is comprised of Lincoln, Cape St. George, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, which includes guided-missile destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Sterett (DDG 104).

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  1. rosemerry
    January 14, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Is Obomber really in his right mind? He claims to be pushed by the extremists in the Congress, but to have 100% of Senators following AIPAC orders to strangle Iran in the recent criminally destructive amendment to the NDAA, someone needs to remind him which nation he is the president of. How can this obscene obsession with a sovereign,non-belligerent country which MAY, one day, under extreme pressure from USI, produce one nuke, (unusable of course -the USA is the only country to use them) be justified? Is WW3 something any person with any brain can envisage? TALK, MAN! Obama is renowned for talking-try it genuinely with Iran and other “enemies” .

    As for Turkey, what strange behaviour. Accept US nukes, “defense” , but refuse to follow US disgraceful Iran bans. One good thing out of three.

  2. January 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

    False Flag

    [13.01.2012]

    Buried deep in the archives of America’s intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush’s administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives — what is commonly referred to as a “false flag” operation.

    The memos, as described by the sources, one of whom has read them and another who is intimately familiar with the case, investigated and debunked reports from 2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA, at the direction of the White House, of covertly supporting Jundallah — a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization. Jundallah, according to the U.S. government and published reports, is responsible for assassinating Iranian government officials and killing Iranian women and children.

    But while the memos show that the United States had barred even the most incidental contact with Jundallah, according to both intelligence officers, the same was not true for Israel’s Mossad. The memos also detail CIA field reports saying that Israel’s recruiting activities occurred under the nose of U.S. intelligence officers, most notably in London, the capital of one of Israel’s ostensible allies, where Mossad officers posing as CIA operatives met with Jundallah officials.

    The officials did not know whether the Israeli program to recruit and use Jundallah is ongoing. Nevertheless, they were stunned by the brazenness of the Mossad’s efforts.

    “It’s amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with,” the intelligence officer said. “Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn’t give a damn what we thought.”

    Interviews with six currently serving or recently retired intelligence officers over the last 18 months have helped to fill in the blanks of the Israeli false-flag operation. In addition to the two currently serving U.S. intelligence officers, the existence of the Israeli false-flag operation was confirmed to me by four retired intelligence officers who have served in the CIA or have monitored Israeli intelligence operations from senior positions inside the U.S. government.

    The CIA and the White House were both asked for comment on this story. By the time this story went to press, they had not responded. The Israeli intelligence services — the Mossad — were also contacted, in writing and by telephone, but failed to respond. As a policy, Israel does not confirm or deny its involvement in intelligence operations.

    There is no denying that there is a covert, bloody, and ongoing campaign aimed at stopping Iran’s nuclear program, though no evidence has emerged connecting recent acts of sabotage and killings inside Iran to Jundallah. Many reports have cited Israel as the architect of this covert campaign, which claimed its latest victim on Jan. 11 when a motorcyclist in Tehran slipped a magnetic explosive device under the car of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a young Iranian nuclear scientist. The explosion killed Roshan, making him the fourth scientist assassinated in the past two years. The United States adamantly denies it is behind these killings.

    According to one retired CIA officer, information about the false-flag operation was reported up the U.S. intelligence chain of command. It reached CIA Director of Operations Stephen Kappes, his deputy Michael Sulick, and the head of the Counterintelligence Center. All three of these officials are now retired. The Counterintelligence Center, according to its website, is tasked with investigating “threats posed by foreign intelligence services.”

    The report then made its way to the White House, according to the currently serving U.S. intelligence officer. The officer said that Bush “went absolutely ballistic” when briefed on its contents.

    “The report sparked White House concerns that Israel’s program was putting Americans at risk,” the intelligence officer told me. “There’s no question that the U.S. has cooperated with Israel in intelligence-gathering operations against the Iranians, but this was different. No matter what anyone thinks, we’re not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians.”

    Israel’s relationship with Jundallah continued to roil the Bush administration until the day it left office, this same intelligence officer noted. Israel’s activities jeopardized the administration’s fragile relationship with Pakistan, which was coming under intense pressure from Iran to crack down on Jundallah. It also undermined U.S. claims that it would never fight terror with terror, and invited attacks in kind on U.S. personnel.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/13/false_flag

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