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Thursday, November 02, 2006 

Iran Tests Missile - Will Israel Attack?

Iranian state-run television in Tehran said Thursday the country had test-fired dozens of missiles, including the long-range Shahab-3, during the first hours of new military manoeuvres.

The report said the elite Revolutionary Guards also had launched several types of short-range missiles in a central desert area of Iran.

The Middle East is abuzz with ugly rumours. One of them is so dire - and comes from sources in so many capital cities - that it has to be taken seriously.

The suggestion is that the Israeli government has served notice on the White House that it must take pre-emptive action against Iran's sites of nuclear weapons development - or Israel will go it alone and do the job itself. Israel has apparently given Bush a deadline of six months.

CBC.ca
The First Post

Yeah, conflicting news out there. I'm not hearing at all that there might be a strike on Iran.

At any rate, the "empire" does not appear to be getting ready for a strike in any way. Here the WH is still talking about negotiated settlement of the issue, pushing a vote on a resolution further and further down (Xmas perhaps)!

Moreover, it would appear that some high level officials would not mind engaging with Iran in conflict resolution in the region.

Regarding Israel's intentions re. a preemptive strike, I couldn't find anything on the various mid-east media that I regularly consult either. The question is whether Israel would dare go it alone. Rather doubtful I think.

It's more likely that there will be developments on the Lebanon front first ... which will change the whole Iran situation IMO. According to blogger Nidal, things are really heating up out there! [sorry, French text. I'll try to find an English one some time this week.]

The thing that is different in regards to "our" reaction this time:

There has been no stream of rhetoric from the administration. Eerily silent. Granted we are only days away from an election so that may be at least some of it.

You do realize we are conducting "war games" in the Persian Gulf as we speak though, right? Oh, and then there are those strike groups we sent over there this month.

Between that and the uncharacteristic silence from our fearless leaders and the fact that post-election Bush has roughly a 2-month window of opportunity to act with the approval of what has essentially been a "rubber-stamp" congress......I'm a little disturbed.

Ok, more than a little, currently running somewhat below panic but hovering dangerously close to "overwhelming feelings of dread & apprehension".

I just came across this article that mentions the existence of a campaign of disinformation re. Iran. That may explain the flurry of information, as you say, local for now perhaps (?), regarding Iran & Israel.

Excerpt:

The Arab world has been subjected to a whole new campaign of disinformation about Iran's nuclear program. The principal aim is to perpetuate the felt need for US protectorate power against what is billed as Iran's coming nuclear menace. The latest manifestation of this is a multinational naval exercise led by the United States off Iran's west coast ...

It would be interesting to know how one gets from there to Israel preparing a preemptive strike.

Here is a related item from today's Jerusalem Post:
Bush would understand attack on Iran

Well, what do you know? I was just preparing another comment to your post. Upon "preview", I find that you have provided the link to the Jerusalem Post article, which Media Lens has just posted on its message board. As you wrote, conflicting news indeed ...

One thing though, should Israel choose to attack soon ... while the US & the others are in the vicinity of Iran, wouldn't the latter be forced to intervene in order to prevent retaliation? Although Iran is not saying so now, I seem to remember having read that the current military exercises came in response to the deployment of US & the others in the Persian Gulf.

Also, various items from Iran news network today show a few outgoing "missions" from Iranian MPs & ambassadors to neighbouring countries - Oman, Indonesia, Iraq even(for support?). Plus this recent meeting of ministers.

Finally, I just went to visit Steve Clemons' site thinking that if anybody knows something, he would. Guess what? I have not read it yet. Will do so soon after I finish this comment.

Something may be in the works after all ...

Oops! The meeting of interior ministers of ECO member states is said to be starting Monday in Tehran. It's not a "recent" meeting. My mistake. Things are happening so fast. You've really started something here LD! I'll go read what Clemons has to say now.

"One thing though, should Israel choose to attack soon ... while the US & the others are in the vicinity of Iran, wouldn't the latter be forced to intervene in order to prevent retaliation?"
Hard question - It is simply too volatile a region to even think that something like an attack on Iran by anyone wouldn't spin out of control.

OK, LD, I think I'll wrap it up. Just visited Huffington Post & found an update with a link to Yahoo news. For now, it looks like stalemate to me between Iran & the US. And if the US is not in the game, I cannot conceive of Israel going it alone.

furgaia, agreed. The timing is such, I just can't see Bush doing anything too extreme before the mid term vote. Yet, I am one of those who is not convinced that the Democrats are going to get control of either House. If the Republicans hold both Senate and Congress, then I belive Bush will see that as an endorsment of his foreign policy AND all bets will be off as it relates to Iran. Now we wait and see.

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