U.S. Carrier Strike Groups Converge Off Iranian Coast
Voice of Russia
March 13, 2012
‘The Enterprise’ heads east
US aircraft carriers Carl Vinson and Abraham Lincoln are already stationed in the Arabian Sea, close to the Iranian coast. The Enterprise is due to join them on the 20th of March. The Enterprise is accompanied by three destroyers carrying cruise missiles and other ships. According to military analysts’ calculations, in total 500 missiles are aimed at Iran from the sea.
The Pentagon has declared that it developed a ‘super-weapon’ capable of hitting Iran, which is a powerful bomb weighing 14 tons and capable of busting bunkers located 65m underground.
Groups of US aircraft carriers are said to have been gathering along the Iranian coast. The largest US aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise, has left its base in Norfolk and is on its way to the Indian Ocean and further to the Iranian coast. Observers believe that in this way Washington is demonstrating the seriousness of its intentions, not so much to Tehran as to the countries that do not support anti-Iranian sanctions.
The West and Israel are convinced that Iran is actively developing nuclear weapons. Tehran’s declarations to the effect that its nuclear programme is peaceful in nature do not sound plausible to them. The economic pressure on the Iranian government keeps growing: UN, US and EU sanctions have been imposed on Iran. The latest step in this direction was the introduction of an embargo on Iranian oil imports. As we know, Tehran’s response was suspending oil deliveries to France and Germany.
Now, in the Western allies’ viewpoint, it is time to begin military pressure. US aircraft carriers Carl Vinson and Abraham Lincoln are already stationed in the Arabian Sea, close to the Iranian coast. The Enterprise is due to join them on the 20th of March. The Enterprise is accompanied by three destroyers carrying cruise missiles and other ships. According to military analysts’ calculations, in total 500 missiles are aimed at Iran from the sea.
The movements of US ships were forestalled by political declarations.
Washington is reassuring Israel with promises of support. The Pentagon has declared that it developed a ‘super-weapon’ capable of hitting Iran, which is a powerful bomb weighing 14 tons and capable of busting bunkers located 65m underground.
Earlier in March, the Israeli prime minister met with the US president. According to Western media, Barack Obama has managed to persuade Benjamin Netanyahu to refrain from attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities at least until September and maybe even longer because, owing to the presidential election which is due to take place in the US in November, it is the wrong time for the White House to get involved in new military ventures. Despite this, military forces are gathering around Iran. It is likely that the aim of this move is not only to try to put pressure on Tehran but also on the countries that have not joined the anti-Iranian sanctions, expert of the Russian Institute of Strategic Research Azhdar Kurtov believes.
“In all probability, the Americans are still hoping against hope that the economic sanctions will bear fruit. So far, India and Japan, major users of Iranian oil, have not joined the sanctions, so the appearance of a US aircraft carrier may be meant to show the waverers that the US means business.”
Meanwhile, Israel has stressed that attacks against Iran have been put off but not taken off the agenda. Tel Aviv is brushing aside the arguments that such a military operation would be dangerous for the entire Middle Eastern region, which is unfortunate because the consequences of a military attack against Iran are bound to spread far beyond the Middle Eastern frontiers, an expert at the Centre for International Security Pyotr Topychkanov says.
“Not only the Iranian nuclear infrastructure but also its military facilities would have to be attacked, in order to suppress the Iranian air defence. This means that it would amount to more than a single attack, it would be a full-blown military conflict. Iran would not be able to actively repel a US military action and would have to take alternative steps. As a result, the accusations put forward by radical US politicians that Iran is a sponsor of international terrorism could become a reality.”
There is an alternative to this scenario. Political scientist Stanislav Tarasov stresses that the main thing now is to end the international isolation of Iran. Tehran should be given the opportunity to continue working on the ‘peaceful atom’, provided its nuclear programme is fully transparent. Incidentally, the Iranian government has no objections to this policy and is prepared to meet with the group of six international intermediaries in Istanbul in March.