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davidbfpo
04-06-2011, 08:02 PM
Note this new thread is for discussions in 2011. Iran and nuclear weapons has come to the fore again. I have started this 2011 thread and moved a small number of posts added in 2011, in a moment the previous thread will be closed and locked.

Original Post

An IISS Strategic Comment on the impact on Iran's civil nuclear programme, which I knew existed, but not in any detail and worth reading:http://www.iiss.org/publications/strategic-comments/past-issues/volume-17-2011/april/iran-dismisses-post-fukushima-nuclear-rethink/

Rex Brynen
05-07-2011, 07:31 PM
Former Mossad chief: Israel air strike on Iran 'stupidest thing I have ever heard' (http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-mossad-chief-israel-air-strike-on-iran-stupidest-thing-i-have-ever-heard-1.360367)

In first public appearance since leaving post as Mossad chief, Meir Dagan warns of regional war if Iran is attacked; says fall of Assad regime would benefit Israel.

By Yossi Melman

Haaretz, Published 18:52 07.05.11


Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan referred to the possibility a future Israeli Air Force attack on Iranian nuclear facilities as "the stupidest thing I have ever heard" during a conference held at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem on Friday.

Dagan's presentation during a senior faculty conference was his first public appearance since leaving his former role as chief of the Mossad at the end of September 2010.

Dagan said that Iran has a clandestine nuclear infrastructure which functions alongside its legitimate, civil infrastructure. It is the legitimate infrastructure, he said, that is under international supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Any strike on this legitimate infrastructure would be "patently illegal under international law," according to Dagan.

Dagan emphasized that attacking Iran would be different than Israel's successful air strike on Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981. Iran has scattered its nuclear facilities in different places around the country, he said, which would make it difficult for Israel to launch an effective attack.

...

The IAF's abilities are not in doubt, Dagan emphasized, but the doubts relate to the possibilities of completing the mission and reaching all targets.

When asked about what would happen in the aftermath of an Israeli attack Dagan said that: "It will be followed by a war with Iran. It is the kind of thing where we know how it starts, but not how it will end."

davidbfpo
05-24-2011, 05:20 PM
...you might have missed the most important development in months surrounding Iran's nuclear program: Zimbabwe's emergence as a key enabler of the Islamic Republic's march toward the atomic bomb.

Link:http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2011/05/24/irans_bid_for_africas_uranium_99532.html?utm_sourc e=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rcp-today-newsletter

Not much detail on this prospect at the Zimbabwe end in the article, although it has been reported upon in the UK over a month ago and this has some detail:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/zimbabwe/7628750/Iran-strikes-secret-nuclear-mining-deal-with-Zimbabwes-Mugabe-regime.html

After a search it appears that there is potential and no capacity to produce anything. Given Zimbabwe's economy Iran clearly has the capital to invest. Within the cited Daily Telegraph article was:
...One metallurgist with knowledge of the deposit said it would take two to three years of development before it produced uranium and it would be exhausted in about five years.

AdamG
06-30-2011, 06:56 PM
LONDON (AP) ó Iran has conducted covert tests of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads in addition to a 10-day program of public military maneuvers, Britain alleged on Wednesday.

*


Britain believes Tehran has conducted at least three secret tests of medium-range ballistic missiles since October, amid an apparent escalation of its nuclear program and increased scrutiny from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

http://news.yahoo.com/uk-iran-conducting-secret-ballistic-missile-tests-115153855.html;_ylt=AvOJVS36iKTkbDMuIFPAJkN0bBAF;_ ylu=X3oDMTNwYWJzbmM5BGNjb2RlA3dlaWdodGVkY3QEcGtnAz M1MTJlNWY1LTEwYjctM2MxMS05ZGZkLWNmYTkzMDZmOGI4ZQRw b3MDMwRzZWMDbW9zdF9wb3B1bGFyBHZlcgMyZjczMDI3MC1hMj k4LTExZTAtYmU2Zi01MzhmZDYwOWEwNGU-;_ylg=X3oDMTFxNGdmMG5kBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRw c3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN3b3JsZHxldXJvcGUEcHQDc2VjdGlvbn M-;_ylv=3

AdamG
09-29-2011, 06:34 PM
The French envoy to the UN has warned Iran that it risks a military strike if it continues pursuing its nuclear program.
"If we don't succeed today to reach a negotiation with the Iranians, there is a strong risk of military action," Ambassador Gerard Araud said on Tuesday during a panel discussion at the UNís New York headquarters, AFP reported.

http://rt.com/news/military-strike-iran-france-567/

davidbfpo
11-09-2011, 04:54 PM
Iran and nuclear weapons has come to the fore again. I have started this 2011 thread and moved a small number of posts added in 2011, in a moment the previous thread will be closed and locked.

davidbfpo
11-09-2011, 05:41 PM
Hat tip to FP Blog for a glimpse into the possibilities of an Iranian-Israeli conflict:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/11/08/the_persian_incursion


Persian Incursion is basically two games in one. There is a highly detailed military game of a seven-day Israeli air offensive in which Israel plans and executes its strikes while the Iranian air defenses try to stop them. But there is also a political game that unlocks the military aspect...

...As U.S. history has demonstrated for the last 65 years, before you blunder into a war, it's best to figure out exactly how you're going to win. Although Persian Incursion is a war game, destroying or protecting Iran's nuclear sites is only a means to victory -- not victory itself. The real prize is political. If Israel or Iran can knock down the other's morale enough through military or political action, it wins. Part of the goal, then, is to score points on "political tracks," which measure public opinion and morale.

Nowhere does it say who sells the game, sorry Rex!

The first review of the game I found:http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/76481/persian-incursion

Dayuhan
11-10-2011, 11:49 AM
A few comments on the capacities and probabilities involved in an Israeli strike on Iran...

http://www.cfr.org/israel/israeli-strike-iran/p20637?gclid=COu_r-b6q6wCFY1S4god4FZd1g

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/is3104_pp007-033_raas_long.pdf

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/06/09/why_israel_wont_attack_iran

Would be curious to hear what the ME watchers here think of the arguments made.

davidbfpo
11-12-2011, 01:56 PM
Professor Paul Rogers has written a short article, which opens with:
The prospect of an Israeli military assault on Iran's nuclear assets is growing. The scale and impact of any attack would be far greater than most observers expect.


It is the link between the weapons research and two other factors that makes the case for revisiting Iran's nuclear ambitions....The first is the programme of uranium enrichment...The second factor is the Iranian construction programme, which includes several major underground facilities.

This part intrigued me, partly as I do not recall reading about this aspect:
But Israel cannot guarantee effective results by operating from its own territory alone; it needs local allies. Here, Kurdish (northeast) Iraq and Azerbaijan are important. Israel has assiduously developed close relations with both. In the latter case, this has meant taking sides with a Muslim country locked in a frozen conflict with (Christian) Armenia - in turn supported by Iran - over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Kurdish Iraq and Azerbaijan would not necessarily offer Israel forward operating bases for strike aircraft; but their numerous support functions could include the insertion of special forces into Iran; search and rescue; overflying by tanker aircraft; and, above all, launch sites for some of Israel's many and potent armed drones.

In short, an Israeli operation against Iran will be comprehensive and will use regional facilities to inflict maximum damage on Iran's nuclear programme. But the moment it starts, the political dynamics change.

There's more on the link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/paul-rogers/israel-vs-iran-regional-blowback

AdamG
11-14-2011, 03:24 AM
An Iranian physicist was gunned down yesterday near his home in south Tehran, according to Iranian media reports. According to the reports, based on police sources, Darioush Rezaei, 35, was shot dead by two gunmen firing from motorcycles. Rezaei's wife was injured in the attack and rushed to hospital. This is the fourth attack on an Iranian nuclear scientist in the past year. In the previous cases, Iranian media outlets and spokesmen accused the Mossad, the CIA and MI6 of being behind the strikes.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/another-iranian-nuclear-scientist-murdered-in-tehran-1.374898


An explosion at a Revolutionary Guard base in Iran killed a senior commander in charge of the country's missile development programme, the authorities have said, prompting speculation Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service was involved. Brigadier General Hassan Moghaddam was said to be "responsible for industrial research aimed at ensuring self-sufficiency of the Revolutionary Guards' armaments", a coded way of confirming reports that he was responsible for its missile inventory.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/8887322/Iran-missile-development-commander-killed-in-explosion.html

davidbfpo
11-14-2011, 08:41 AM
There is a historical thread on 'Covert Action in Iran':http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=6736

Dayuhan
11-14-2011, 09:16 AM
Professor Paul Rogers has written a short article,

Paul Rogers has been been issuing predictions of an imminent attack on Iran at regular intervals for at least a decade, maybe more. Who knows, if he keeps on he might even be right... someday. Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.

Entropy
11-14-2011, 08:05 PM
Paul Rogers has been been issuing predictions of an imminent attack on Iran at regular intervals for at least a decade, maybe more. Who knows, if he keeps on he might even be right... someday. Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.

Yeah, and I love these two sentences:


The prospect of an Israeli military assault on Iran's nuclear assets is growing. The scale and impact of any attack would be far greater than most observers expect.

It's growing by what metric? who are "most observers?" I guess I shouldn't be surprised by this kind of lazy "analysis" since it seems to be the norm these days.

AdamG
11-23-2011, 08:12 PM
November 23, 2011
The U.S. and its allies announced coordinated sanctions against Iran on Monday. In a speech at the Brookings Institution Tuesday, White House national security adviser Tom Donilon argued that it is "undeniable" that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons capability, and that sanctions are working.


http://www.npr.org/2011/11/23/142710558/donilon-says-iran-nukes-program-is-undeniable

AdamG
11-24-2011, 07:22 PM
An influential Iran parliamentarian has said that the country has arrested 12 agents of the American Central Intelligence Agency, the countryís official IRNA news agency reported.


This current announcement follows the unravelling by Lebanonís Hizbollah of a CIA spy ring in that country. Hizbollah reportedly works closely with Iran.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/8911970/Iran-arrests-12-CIA-spies-accused-of-targeting-nuclear-programme.html

See also
http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=14599

Rex Brynen
11-27-2011, 02:36 AM
I've assembled a compendium of recent (2009-present) public-domain wargames on a possible Iranian strike against Iranian nuclear facilities here (http://wargamingcommunity.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/israel-vs-iran-wargame-compendium/).

AdamG
11-28-2011, 08:29 PM
"Accidents happen".


http://www.businessinsider.com/hmm-a-mysterious-blast-went-off-near-an-iranian-nuclear-facility-today-2011-11

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/8921617/Mystery-explosion-rocks-Iran-city.html

davidbfpo
11-29-2011, 04:32 PM
An IISS Strategic Comment 'IAEA report: death knell of Iran diplomacy?' that opens with:
An evolving crisis over Iran's nuclear programme escalated this month as an IAEA report detailed evidence of Iranian R&D work on nuclear weapons, mostly before 2004, and the United States and its allies invoked the harshest sanctions yet. Yet amid renewed talk of unilateral Israeli airstrikes, Iran showed no sign of backing down.

The IAEA report released on 8 November was widely seen as a watershed. A 15-page annex provided detailed evidence collected by the IAEA on Iranian nuclear-weapons R&D dating from the late 1980s. The comprehensive assessment indicated that Iran had established a dedicated programme to pursue all the key technologies involved in developing an implosion-type nuclear weapon.

The point of 'No Return' for Israel:
The IAEA reported that Iran was moving ahead with installing centrifuges at the Fordow enrichment facility inside a mountain near Qom, for the stated purpose of producing 20% enriched uranium. Iran had said it would also be installing a few hundred advanced centrifuges at Fordow, but this work has yet to commence. Once centrifuges are operating at Fordow they will be nearly invulnerable to conventional military attack. For Israel, therefore, the Fordow installation represents a certain 'point of no return'.

Link:http://www.iiss.org/publications/strategic-comments/past-issues/volume-17-2011/november/iaea-report-death-knell-of-iran-diplomacy/

The Comment's title alone suggests one option is not available as neither side are willing to talk and listen.

AdamG
12-13-2011, 05:43 AM
"Oops"

Eight killed in mysterious blast at Iranian steel plant

Explosion occurred in Yazd, a city where reports have indicated the existence of covert nuclear facilities.

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=249105

SWJ Blog
12-20-2011, 09:20 PM
General Dempsey to CNN: Iran Shouldn't "Miscalculate Our Resolve" (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/general-dempsey-to-cnn-iran-shouldnt-miscalculate-our-resolve)

Entry Excerpt:



--------
Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/general-dempsey-to-cnn-iran-shouldnt-miscalculate-our-resolve) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

davidbfpo
12-23-2011, 12:18 AM
The most striking indicator is the collapse of the Iranian rial's value against the US dollar: from around 7,000 rial to the dollar in October 2011 to 15,150 at the end of trading on 20 December 2011.

Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/21/world/middleeast/currency-plunge-roils-iran-as-further-sanctions-loom.html?_r=1

Hat tip to Paul Rogers for drawing attention to this:http://www.opendemocracy.net/paul-rogers/america-israel-iran-shifting-risk

Given that Iran continues to import much of its petrol, which I assume is paid in US$, this collapse could be rather painful quickly.

AdamG
01-10-2012, 05:52 PM
A serious split is developing within Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard, with one faction favoring the overthrow of the dictatorial regime. This presents a window of opportunity for the West to support regime change before the Islamic Republic successfully tests nuclear weapons. Once the regime has those nuclear bombs, that opening will be much narrower.
Iran has tried hard to show strength in the face of sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran to quit its suspected nuclear-bomb and missile development programs. Iranian leaders are now flexing their military muscles in the strategic waterway, the Strait of Hormuz, threatening to shut it down and choking off a major part of the world's oil supply.
The regime has long tried to scare the West from taking any action against it, by threatening the world's security and stability. However, behind its mask of strength and unity, big cracks are beginning to show.

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0112/cia_spy_on_iran.php3

AdamG
01-10-2012, 06:01 PM
VIENNA ó Diplomats on Monday confirmed a report that Iran has begun uranium enrichment at a secret underground bunker and said the news is particularly worrying because the site is being used to make material that can be upgraded more quickly for use in a nuclear weapon than the nation's main enriched stockpile.

The diplomats said that centrifuges at the Fordo site near Iran's holy city of Qom are churning out uranium enriched to 20 percent. That level is higher than the 3.5 percent being made at Iran's main enrichment plant and can be turned into fissile warhead material faster and with less work.

http://news.yahoo.com/iran-nuke-bunker-confirmed-115201184.html;_ylt=AoOqEqn5m9.OkoqnxKJWmiNvzwcF;_ ylu=X3oDMTNqcXRkaG1jBGNjb2RlA2N0LmMEcGtnA2M1ODliNz AyLTNlNmItMzBiNC04ZTM5LWRiYjZlOThiMWYyNgRwb3MDMwRz ZWMDbW9zdF9wb3B1bGFyBHZlcgNkNjQ3MzU5MC0zYWI4LTExZT EtYmJmNy0zM2UzYzQ2MjdiYWE-;_ylg=X3oDMTFtdTQ1b3RjBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRw c3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN1cwRwdANzZWN0aW9ucwR0ZXN0Aw--;_ylv=3

davidbfpo
01-10-2012, 06:03 PM
Yes the new, underground nuclear processing plant is open, but somewhere today I read it is under IAEA safeguards - which is an important point IMHO.

AdamG
01-11-2012, 02:32 PM
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Two assailants on a motorcycle attached a magnetic bomb to the car of an Iranian university professor working at a key nuclear facility, killing him and his driver Wednesday, reports said. The slayings suggest a widening covert effort to set back Iran's atomic program.

http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_16026/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=S7Ph6TYi

Rex Brynen
01-11-2012, 03:50 PM
The Times (London) had a piece this week on yet another pol-mil crisis game of a possible Israeli or US strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, this time by the INSS at Tel Aviv University. At this point there are far more wargames of attacking Iran then there are actual Iranian nukes. :D

I've added it to the constantly-updated list of Iran nuclear simulations at Wargaming Connection (http://wargamingcommunity.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/israel-vs-iran-wargame-compendium/).

AdamG
01-17-2012, 03:02 PM
EARLY in Tehran's grey wintry morning last Wednesday, Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan, a young scientist in Iran's controversial nuclear program, got dressed at his home in the northern suburbs. The events of this last hour of his life could have come out of a spy film.

Small groups of Israeli agents were watching key points in the Iranian capital. Their target was Roshan. They would be dead themselves if they were caught.

For Israel it was a classic assassination mission. "What is seen in espionage films as a simple operation is a result of hard work, many months of intelligence gathering and a well trained team," said a source who released details, impossible to verify*, to The Sunday Times.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/inside-mossads-war-on-tehran/story-e6frg6so-1226244885385

* So, essentially fiction?

ganulv
01-17-2012, 03:29 PM
* So, essentially fiction?
I would say that itís not even wrong (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=wronger-than-wrong).

AdamG
01-17-2012, 09:34 PM
U.S. plans for sanctions on Iran are escalating what some analysts call a covert war between the two countries. Patrick Clawson, director of the Washington Institute's Iran Security Initiative, and Columbia University's Gary Sick discuss how the Obama administration should deal with Iran.

http://www.npr.org/2012/01/17/145349370/as-tensions-rise-some-see-covert-war-with-iran

AdamG
01-18-2012, 03:49 PM
As tensions ratchet up in the Persian Gulf, the Kremlin is signaling that it will use all its diplomatic influence to oppose war and, according to a leading Moscow newspaper, has ordered the military to prepare for any possible spillover from a conflict between Iran and the US into the sensitive post-Soviet Caucasus region.

http://news.yahoo.com/why-russia-planning-iran-war-games-185455159.html;_ylt=Ag1V8UT3s3JlwuloghjzoSrzWed_;_ ylu=X3oDMTRrdHVnYWp1BGNjb2RlA2dtcHRvcDEwMDBwb29sdX Bub3ZmBG1pdANOZXdzIGZvciB5b3UEcGtnAzUyMGI3YWU0LWJh OTctM2YwOC05YTM2LTJmNjg1YzE1OWQ2MwRwb3MDNARzZWMDbm V3c19mb3JfeW91BHZlcgM0YTAxMWU1MC00MTcyLTExZTEtYjdi Zi05N2Q0NDY4NjNhZTM-;_ylg=X3oDMTJya2Vsc3RxBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRw c3RhaWQDYTVmNzczZDMtZDljYy0zMTZkLTg4NTQtY2RkYTQzOW MzMWFiBHBzdGNhdAN1cwRwdANzdG9yeXBhZ2UEdGVzdAM-;_ylv=3


JERUSALEM ó Defense Minister Ehud Barak of Israel said on Wednesday that any decision on attacking Iran because of its nuclear program was ďvery far off,Ē seeking to lower the tone of increasingly nervous discourse as powers maneuver in advance of European moves to intensify sanctions against Tehran.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/world/middleeast/iran-nuclear-program-sanctions-russia-israel-attack.html?_r=1&smid=tw-nytimes&seid=auto

reed11b
01-19-2012, 01:11 AM
So am I the only one who thinks that sanctions not directed solely at Iran's nuclear program only strengthen the current Iranian government, especially in light of the recent "green movement" in that country?
Reed

Ken White
01-19-2012, 01:48 AM
So am I the only one...Nope, I agree with you.

Sanctions do not work unless very precisely targeted and very rigorously enforced -- neither of which often occurs...

ganulv
01-19-2012, 02:33 AM
Sanctions do not work unless very precisely targeted and very rigorously enforced -- neither of which often occurs...
I wonder what sanctions as they are typically used are even meant to accomplish. My working assumption is that they are mostly meant 1) to register a governmentís disapproval with another government and 2) to convince the domestic audience that due diligence is being done.

The program of divestments from South Africa during the apartheid era is commonly given as confirmation of the effectiveness of sanctions. But itís not at all clear how much influence they had on the ultimate outcome of things even there (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19877909/Levy%E2%80%94Sanctions%20%20on%20South%20Africa_wh at%20did%20they%20do%3F.pdf).


especially in light of the recent "green movement" in that country
Yeah, it amazes me how often U.S. policy makers either donít know about or choose to ignore that dynamic. Although it appears they might actually get it in the context of the current Syrian situation (knock on wood).

Entropy
01-19-2012, 09:24 PM
Nope, I agree with you.

Sanctions do not work unless very precisely targeted and very rigorously enforced -- neither of which often occurs...

They are also almost always strictly punitive. Sanctions are often portrayed in terms of inducement but I think in reality that's rarely the case - they are punitive. That's another reason they rarely work.

davidbfpo
01-19-2012, 11:33 PM
Curiously the Iranian Rial exchange rate to the US Dollar has improved in the last three weeks and is now 11,279; three weeks ago it was 15,150.

I assumed the exchange rate was a barometer of international confidence in trading with Iran.

Ken White
01-20-2012, 01:45 AM
It was three hundred and sixty (360) to the dollar. I wonder what could've gone wrong... :wry:

ADDED: That was the real rate -- the official rate was 75 : 1.00. Nobody used that except the Banks...

Dayuhan
01-20-2012, 02:38 AM
They are also almost always strictly punitive. Sanctions are often portrayed in terms of inducement but I think in reality that's rarely the case - they are punitive.

Not only that, the people who get punished aren't the people who are doing the things we want to punish. Ineffective on all counts... though often quite effective at getting to people to hate us instead of their own leaders.


Curiously the Iranian Rial exchange rate to the US Dollar has improved in the last three weeks and is now 11,279; three weeks ago it was 15,150.

I assumed the exchange rate was a barometer of international confidence in trading with Iran.

Also a barometer of Iranian confidence in their own currency, and by extension their own government: if Iranians are willing to pay over 10k Rial for one dollar, that says something about their perception of value. What's the unemployment rate? More important, what's the unemployment rate for males under 30?

Dayuhan
01-20-2012, 06:37 AM
Point/counterpoint at Foreign Affairs:


http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/136917/matthew-kroenig/time-to-attack-iran?cid=nlc-this_week_on_foreignaffairs_co-011912-time_to_attack_iran_3-011912

Time to Attack Iran: Why a Strike is the Least Bad Option


http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137031/colin-h-kahl/not-time-to-attack-iran?page=2&cid=nlc-this_week_on_foreignaffairs_co-011912-not_time_to_attack_iran_2-011912

Not Time to Attack Iran: Why War Should Be a Last Resort

May need registration (free) to read full text.

davidbfpo
01-21-2012, 04:27 PM
A week ago I posted this:Yes the new, underground nuclear processing plant is open, but somewhere today I read it is under IAEA safeguards - which is an important point IMHO.

Now for Part 2. Today in the Daily Telegraph is a report headlined Great Salt Desert bunker could be trigger for an attack on Iran' and sub-titled:
A bunker buried in a mountainside in the Great Salt Desert could become the crucial trigger for any decision to launch military strikes on Iran.

I noted this less bellicose passage:
Last November, the IAEA reported that Fordow held 412 centrifuges, representing 14 per cent of its capacity.

Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9028412/Great-Salt-Desert-bunker-could-be-trigger-for-an-attack-on-Iran.html

All this and without deep reading on such matters puzzles me. Iran develops and reveals an underground factory, which is inspected by the IAEA and under safeguards - which IIRC includes time lapse CCTV and more. Why would the Iranians allow such external oversight?

ganulv
01-22-2012, 12:41 AM
All this and without deep reading on such matters puzzles me. Iran develops and reveals an underground factory, which is inspected by the IAEA and under safeguards - which IIRC includes time lapse CCTV and more. Why would the Iranians allow such external oversight?
With the proviso that I am not very well–read about this particular topic, either, my understanding is that the Iranians didn’t so much reveal the existence of the Fordow facility as they admitted to its existence after being called out (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8274903.stm). Enriching uranium isn’t illegal in and of itself. I don’t know that IAEA observation and reportage regarding particulars of the Iranian centrifuges would render the facility more vulnerable in any substantive way. On the other hand, refusing to admit IAEA inspectors would surely open the door to increased sanctions as well as providing a possible justification for a strike on the facility.

Entropy
01-22-2012, 02:51 AM
All this and without deep reading on such matters puzzles me. Iran develops and reveals an underground factory, which is inspected by the IAEA and under safeguards - which IIRC includes time lapse CCTV and more. Why would the Iranians allow such external oversight?

In short, they are required to. Safeguards is a requirement of the non-proliferation treaty. Iran has, in force, a safeguards agreement (really a treaty with the IAEA) on such safeguards.

A secret, operational enrichment facility (ie. currently enriching uranium) would be another violation of Iran's safeguard agreement and would be perceived as clear evidence that Iran's nuclear efforts are not peaceful. I think it would almost certainly result in an attack on Iran.

It's important to note, however, that Iran is using a bit of "lawfare" to its advantage. Iran is supposed to notify the IAEA whenever it decides to construct a nuclear facility, but it unilaterally abrogated this requirement and reverted to the old standard whereby they only had to inform the IAEA of a facility's existence 180 days before nuclear material is introduced. In essence under this old standard Iran can (or rather claims it can) construct nuclear facilities in secret as long as nuclear material is not introduced to the facility. Details here (http://www.carnegieendowment.org/2009/09/25/iran-violated-international-obligations-on-qom-facility/6u2).

Fuchs
01-22-2012, 03:01 AM
It was three hundred and sixty (360) to the dollar. I wonder what could've gone wrong... :wry:

ADDED: That was the real rate -- the official rate was 75 : 1.00. Nobody used that except the Banks...

An aggression by a powerful neighbour and eight years of war may have had a role in it.

Ken White
01-22-2012, 04:01 AM
An aggression by a powerful neighbour and eight years of war may have had a role in it.Tch, tch -- and you an Economist...:D

Yes, a role or a factor, sure -- but the root cause is various actions of the Government of Iran.

Note Iran at this LINK (http://intl.econ.cuhk.edu.hk/exchange_rate_regime/index.php?cid=25). The war to which you refer ended in 1988, while its effects contributed, the first real elevation occurred in 1993 but the major upswing occurred in the last seven or eight years as a result of blunders by the Ayatollahs not a war more than ten years past...

ganulv
01-22-2012, 06:07 AM
the root cause is various actions of the Government of Iran.
You have to be a true believer in the free market to crank up a privatization program in the context of sanctions preventing international investments in your country.

davidbfpo
01-24-2012, 01:02 PM
A rare insight into the diplomacy with Iran, by a retired British diplomat, including the offers made - which the author contends should have been accepted:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9033566/The-deal-the-West-could-strike-with-Iran.html

I cite the last two paragraphs:
At the moment, however, we are locked into a process of imposing ever tighter sanctions on Iran. This economic warfare has many drawbacks. It requires an exaggeration of the Iranian ďthreatĒ that fuels the scare-mongering of those who want this pressure to be a mere step on the way to war. It risks provoking retaliation, while hurting ordinary Iranians. And it risks higher oil prices that the West can ill afford. Moreover, even if Iran were unexpectedly to give way, coercion rarely delivers durable solutions. Its effect on motives is unpredictable. It can breed resentment, while restrictions can be circumvented in time.

It may be asking a lot of our leaders that they swallow their words, lower their sights and focus on a realistic target. They could do it, though, and the talks due to take place shortly in Turkey could be the setting for a change of course. What is much more likely, unhappily, is that we will continue to see a variant on the devil having the best tunes. Far too many American politicians see advantage in whipping up fear of Iran. I can almost hear them sneering that the NPT is for wimps. The odds must be that they will continue to propel the West toward yet another Gulf war. Still, nothing is inevitable.

Fuchs
01-24-2012, 06:25 PM
Tch, tch -- and you an Economist...:D

Yes, a role or a factor, sure -- but the root cause is various actions of the Government of Iran.

Note Iran at this LINK (http://intl.econ.cuhk.edu.hk/exchange_rate_regime/index.php?cid=25). The war to which you refer ended in 1988, while its effects contributed, the first real elevation occurred in 1993 but the major upswing occurred in the last seven or eight years as a result of blunders by the Ayatollahs not a war more than ten years past...

Event and its causes do not need to have the same date.

Ken White
01-24-2012, 08:22 PM
Event and its causes do not need to have the same date.However, Government tinkering is most often the root cause. In the US , the result then gets the sitting President applause or disapproval when he likely had little to do with it. Same deal with wars and such... ;)

In the case of Iran, folks within get the word out that a combination of official corruption and poor policies jointly lead to poor results, exacerbated by the sanctions and resultant smuggling (both a result of government policy).

SWJ Blog
01-27-2012, 03:22 AM
Will Israel Attack Iran? (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/will-israel-attack-iran)

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Strickland
01-29-2012, 03:10 PM
Why is a nuclear-armed Iran incompatible with our vital national interest? In lay terms - why cant we live with a nuclear-armed Iran?

davidbfpo
01-29-2012, 05:59 PM
Why is a nuclear-armed Iran incompatible with our vital national interest? In lay terms - why cant we live with a nuclear-armed Iran?

A good question and one that could be asked about other nations that have gained a nuclear weapons capability: Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea, South Africa (renounced), Libya (renounced) and Ukraine (renounced).

So in lay terms I'd say:

1) Geography - being in a rather volatile region
2) History of relations, or lack of them between Iran and the USA since 1979
3) The Israel-US relationship, notably within American politics
4) A Western policy of avoiding more nuclear capable states, NPT etc
5) Fear that Iran is a crazy, irrational state - in American and a few other's eyes
6) The fear that other nuclear capable nations will decide to go for weapons

If for example Brazil decided to for weapons, how would the West react? Could the USA live with that decision? Many nations are known to have considered going for nuclear weapons since 1945, without being under duress.

I'd recommend checking this website:http://www.thebulletin.org/

Where I've taken this quote from an article on Iran:
Crying wolf. As strategic analysts Anthony Cordesman and Khalil al-Rodhan remind us, in the 1990s, high-level American and Israeli policymakers repeatedly warned of an Iranian bomb by the year 2000. When that did not come to pass, policymakers warned of an Iranian bomb by the year 2005. Then they said it would happen by 2010. Now the talk puts Iran's nuclear debut in the 2013-2015 time frame, if not sooner.

Link:http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/op-eds/crying-wolf-about-iranian-nuclear-bomb

Strickland
01-29-2012, 06:07 PM
Thanks for your response...yes, all the standard replies likely to be recited. I remain unconvinced.

How about this for thinking out of the box:
- If the assumption that a nuclear-armed Iran will CAUSE Saudi Arabia to buy the capability from the Pakistanis, then wouldnt the ultimate deterrent environment be created, with the dominate Sunni, Jewish, and Shia states as co-belligerent nuclear-armed states balancing each other?

Entropy
01-29-2012, 06:42 PM
Thanks for your response...yes, all the standard replies likely to be recited. I remain unconvinced.

How about this for thinking out of the box:
- If the assumption that a nuclear-armed Iran will CAUSE Saudi Arabia to buy the capability from the Pakistanis, then wouldnt the ultimate deterrent environment be created, with the dominate Sunni, Jewish, and Shia states as co-belligerent nuclear-armed states balancing each other?

Only if one believes that nuclear deterrence will inevitably work. It would be very dangerous to assume that nuclear co-belligerents would actually produce a stable and long-lasting peaceful balance. By that logic we can eliminate war by giving everyone nuclear weapons.

Ken White
01-29-2012, 08:50 PM
Why is a nuclear-armed Iran incompatible with our vital national interest? In lay terms - why cant we live with a nuclear-armed Iran?Anything in the US that has to do with Iran is much more dependent on US domestic politics than anything else...

Reality is not an issue. :rolleyes:

Strickland
01-29-2012, 09:05 PM
The factors I find most interesting regarding the Iran debate are the 1979 Hostage Crisis, threat to Israel, proliferation, and terrorism. The world has changed a lot since 1979 (and in many ways is very much the same). While most Americans remember the hostage crisis, few remember that the Pakistanis sacked our embassy in 1979 as well - we seem not to hold it or their current inaction against them. If we can put the Vietnam experience behind us and embrace the Vietnamese as both economic and security partners, I dont understand why the same outcome is not possible with the Iranians. Regarding the threat to Israel, most Americans are unaware of the fact that the Israelis did not perceive the Ayatollahs as a problem originally, and in fact, secretly tried to give them weapons after Iraq attacked them. When discussing proliferation, the French and Israelis tend to be amongst the worst offenders. Terrorism is an interesting topic these days. Israel is concerned about Iranian sponsored terrorism, yet someone (Israel?) is attempting to terrorize Iranian scientists, and most Americans seem supportive. Most Americans fail to appreciate that the second most spectacular terrorist attack of the last 50 years was the MEK attack against the Iranian government in 1981, thus our two nations share the status of being victimized by terrorists.

Ken White
01-30-2012, 01:36 AM
The factors I find most interesting regarding the Iran debate are the 1979 Hostage Crisis, threat to Israel, proliferation, and terrorism. The world has changed a lot since 1979 (and in many ways is very much the same)...I don't understand why the same outcome is not possible with the Iranians.Many reasons IMO, foremost among them is that the Iraniha embarrassed us and while many American correctly sense that should not have happened for a variety of reasons, it did and to some, that's unforgivable. Of course, one must also consider that Iran also serves as a neat target to justify a lot of DoD. DoS and others fiscal legerdemain ably abetted by a Congress that needs villains to rail against... :rolleyes:
Most Americans fail to appreciate that the second most spectacular terrorist attack of the last 50 years was the MEK attack against the Iranian government in 1981, thus our two nations share the status of being victimized by terrorists.Heh. True. However, our protection of MEK in recent years hasn't helped... :wry:

Common sense is a not US foreign policy establishment trait... :mad:

AdamG
02-04-2012, 04:04 PM
Is Iran trying to develop a missile that could reach the "Great Satan"?The missile under construction at an Iranian research-and-development facility, which was damaged by a mysterious explosion in November, was a long-range missile prototype with a range of 6,000 miles Ė enough to hit the United States, a senior Israeli official said Thursday in a speech to a defense and security forum.

At the time of the Nov. 12 explosion at a facility some 30 miles outside Tehran, Iranian officials insisted that the suspicious blast was an accident. It occurred, they said, during experimentation on a medium-range missile Ė one capable of reaching Israel.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2012/0202/Is-Iran-trying-to-develop-a-missile-that-could-reach-America

Surferbeetle
02-04-2012, 05:16 PM
More on the Youtube (http://youtu.be/8hoHrLL-tVw)

Israelisches Werbevideo emprt Iran (http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,813380,00.html), Von Dominik Peters, 04.02.2012, Der Spiegel


Mossad-Agenten, verkleidet als Frauen, und ein explodierender Atomreaktor in Iran: Aus diesen Zutaten hat eine israelische Kabelfernseh-Firma einen makaberen Werbespot gemixt. Der Videoclip verbreitet sich im Netz rasant - und erzrnt die Gemter in der Islamischen Republik.

bourbon
02-04-2012, 06:32 PM
Is Iran trying to develop a missile that could reach the "Great Satan"?The missile under construction at an Iranian research-and-development facility, which was damaged by a mysterious explosion in November, was a long-range missile prototype with a range of 6,000 miles Ė enough to hit the United States, a senior Israeli official said Thursday in a speech to a defense and security forum.


U.S. Plays Down Warning by Israeli Over Iranís Missiles (https://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/world/middleeast/israel-warns-iranian-missiles-might-threaten-us.html), by Ethan Bronner. The New York Times, February 2, 2012.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity because assessments of Iranís missiles are largely classified, the officials said that Iran might harbor the ambition of having missiles that could reach the United States, but that it was not close to achieving that goal. They declined to say what kind of work was being done at the base where the blast took place.

Today, the maximum range of Iranís known ballistic missiles is roughly 1,200 miles, rocket experts say. That means they could reach targets in the Middle East, including Israel, as well as Turkey and parts of Eastern Europe.

Iran is known to be working on missiles with a range of 2,000 miles, which are considered medium range. The United States defines long-range or intercontinental ballistic missiles as having ranges greater than 3,400 miles.

AdamG
02-05-2012, 10:51 PM
cough--bulls@#t--cough.

Well yeah, they replaced the Red Oxide fuel with BS. That's how they got the extra range...


(Reuters) - Iran will target any country used as a launchpad for attacks against its soil, the deputy Revolutionary Guards commander said, expanding Tehran's range of threats in an increasingly volatile stand-off with world powers over its nuclear ambitions.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/05/us-iran-strike-enemies-idUSTRE81409R20120205

If you don't have weapons with enough range, guess you have to move the weapons you do have closer to the target.

Fuchs
02-07-2012, 01:54 PM
Hill Poll: Voters willing to see US attack Iran over nuclear weapons (http://thehill.com/polls/208761-hill-poll-voters-willing-to-see-us-attack-iran-over-its-nuclear-weapons)


Nearly half of likely voters think the United States should be willing to use military force to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, according to this week’s The Hill Poll.

Forty-nine percent said military force should be used, while 31 percent said it should not and 20 percent were not sure.

Sixty-two percent of likely voters said they were somewhat or very concerned about Iran making a terrorist strike on the United States, while 37 percent said they were not very concerned or not at all concerned about it.

Nearly half — 49 percent — of likely voters also said they opposed cutting military spending to balance the federal budget, while 40 percent said it should be reduced.

With hindsight, the Vietnam syndrome of fearing overseas wars was a really, really good thing.

davidbfpo
02-10-2012, 02:20 PM
Worth reading I suggest. Which opens with:
..an assessment of military capabilities deployed in the area, and of probable tactics, suggests that Iran would find it difficult or unpalatable to cause major disruption.

Ends with two options and this passage:
Though facing vastly superior military capabilities, Iran has a number of military options in the Gulf. While it may not be able to carry out its threat to 'close' the strait, it could cause significant disruption to shipping Ė and also invite a hostile response

Link:http://www.iiss.org/publications/strategic-comments/past-issues/volume-18-2012/february/strait-of-hormuz-irans-disruptive-military-options/

davidbfpo
02-27-2012, 11:34 AM
A slightly longer than usual commentary, largely based on the work of IISS, with two parts:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17115643

Fuchs
02-27-2012, 12:26 PM
http://www.der-postillon.com/2012/01/iran-feiert-seit-20-jahren-kurz-vor.html

A satire (in German) that reminds us that Iran has been on the doorstep to nuclear weapons for 20 years now (according to Western fearmongers).

SWJ Blog
03-06-2012, 01:50 AM
Influencing Iran: A Fourth Way? (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/influencing-iran-a-fourth-way)

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AdamG
03-25-2012, 01:42 PM
Report: Iran planned to bomb Israeli ship in Suez Canal
Egyptian paper Al-Ahram reports that two Egyptian citizens received instructions from Iranian agents to attack an Israeli ship, and offered a third man 50 million Egyptian pounds to carry out the act.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-iran-planned-to-bomb-israeli-ship-in-suez-canal-1.420463

davidbfpo
04-04-2012, 08:41 PM
An updated RUSI analysis, summarised as:
A ground invasion is impossible. But Israel lacks the long-range assets unilaterally to neutralise a dispersed Iranian nuclear capability, whereas a large US co-ordinated air campaign against Iranian nuclear weapon facilities is eminently feasible. Nevertheless the effectiveness and fallout from such a campaign remains in doubt.

The author wrote a similar piece six years ago and makes some interesting points, the one about Iran's unique concrete is new to me:
Iran is an earthquake zone, so its engineers have developed some of the toughest building materials in the world. Such materials will be used to protect hidden nuclear installations from the artificial equivalent of small earthquakes. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently admitted that the US Air Force's new MOP bunker-busting bomb now needs an upgrade to take on the deepest Iranian bunkers. But even that may not be enough, thanks to Iran's mastery of smart 'ultra-high performance concrete'.

Link:http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary/ref:C4F7572130F2E4/

SWJ Blog
04-07-2012, 12:40 PM
Why Israel Will Attack Iran (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/why-israel-will-attack-iran)

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davidbfpo
04-10-2012, 09:52 AM
Patrick Porter's blog has a comment 'Iran: its 60/40, not 90/10' and opens with:
The issue of whether and under what circumstances to use military force to disrupt Iranís nuclear programme is a 60/40, not a 90/10. In other words, it is a more marginal decision than polemicists on either side often recognise.

Which is the greater evil? An Iranian bomb, or a preventative war against Iran?

A view, for what its worth: military action is probably a greater evil than Tehranís uranium enrichment programme. But an actual weaponised nuclear capability is probably a greater evil than war.

This later point struck me:
To make that Ďworth ití, its capabilities should be seriously degraded. Bluntly, they will hate us -even more- so the resort to force, if it comes, had better make them fear us.

Link:http://offshorebalancer.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/iran-its-6040-not-9010/

AdamG
04-11-2012, 05:31 PM
Patsies have their uses.


TEHRAN — Iranian security forces have arrested an Israeli-backed “terrorist team” that was planning attacks inside Iran, the Intelligence Ministry announced Tuesday, four days before crucial nuclear talks with world powers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iran-says-it-captured-israel-backed-terrorist-team/2012/04/10/gIQA8I3I8S_story.html

davidbfpo
04-28-2012, 02:26 PM
Hamid Hussain, an occasional SWC contributor, has sent this commentary on; I have very slightly changed the wording and the title is mine - inspired by text in part two.

The Chief of Staff (COS) of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Lieutenant General Benny Gantz gave a balanced interview to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on April 25, 2012. In this he stated that pressure against Iran was working and he did not endorse the call for military action advocated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-chief-to-haaretz-i-do-not-believe-iran-will-decide-to-develop-nuclear-weapons-1.426389

This resulted in speculation that the military leadership were at odds with the prime minister on the issue of a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Senior Israeli decision makers are fully aware of the impact of a nuclear Iran on the region but they are not unanimous about a military strike to rollback the Iranian nuclear program.

Tensions have been mounting over the last few years between Israel and Iran over the issue of the Iranian nuclear program. Mysterious fires at some Iranian facilities, computer crashes and the assassination of some Iranian nuclear scientists in the last two years are not accidents. Almost everyone believes that Israel is launching a covert war against Iran. An inevitable retaliation materialized early this year when Iranian agents targeted Israeli diplomats in Delhi, Bangkok and the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

There is a consensus among Israeli policy makers about containment of Tehran, however there are differences over the use of military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities.

These differences have created tensions among senior Israeli policy makers and had an impact on the selection of COS of IDF last year. In late 2010, five major generals were considered for the post of COS. The list included Gadi Eizenkot, Avi Mizrachi, Gadi Shamni, Benny Gantz and Yaov Galant:http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/139238

All are respected professional officers and have gone through the usual pattern of tours in senior command and staff positions. Eizenkot served as Military Secretary (MS) to Barak and also served as commander of Northern command. Shamni; a paratrooper served as MS to prime minister and commander of Central command and Mizrachi; an armor officer served as head of Central command. Gantz; a paratrooper had served as commander of Northern Command and Deputy COS. Galant, then commanding Southern Command was unique in the sense that he was from the navy. Galant was the most hawkish of the group.

In my view, Galant was picked by Netanyahu and Barak thinking that he would go along with their hard line policy against Iran especially a military strike. This is also supported by the fact that another hawk; a reservist officer Major General Yair Naveh was also appointed as Deputy COS. Naveh had been accused of ordering assassination of Palestinians against guidelines issued by Israeli high court. When reminded of court’s guidelines, he remarked:
Leave me alone and don't bother me with High Court guidelines.

From:http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/high-court-naveh-fit-to-serve-as-deputy-idf-chief-1.341059

Galant was the first naval officer nominated for the COS position. Galant handed over his command to Major General Tal Russo after announcement of his nomination to be groomed for the COS position close to the power center. Galant had differences with army chief Gabi Ashkenazi dating back to 2009, when during the 2009 Gaza operation called Operation Cast Lead both had clashed (Galant was commander of the forces operating in Gaza and was against halting the attack). Ashkenazi didn’t appoint him as his deputy because of this bad blood:http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=185608

Galant’s opponents tried to scuttle his appointment and a paper emerged that suggested that Galant tried to portray his competitors in a negative light to secure his own position. It was alleged that a reserve lieutenant colonel and former intelligence officer Boaz Harpaz who was close to Ashkenazi was involved in this affair:http://www.jpost.com/Features/FrontLines/Article.aspx?id=206695

Later, Harpaz admitted that he had forged the document:http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=205399

Galant dodged this bullet but a subsequent shot alleging misuse of government land proved to be fatal. In early February 2012, days before assuming his new post of COS, Attorney General (AG) Yehuda Weinstein completed his investigations about the land controversy involving Galant:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4023817,00.html

It was alleged that Galant had illegally used land next to his house and built his driveway on public property. AG considered these charges serious thus forcing prime minister Netanyahu and defense minister Ehud Barak to cancel Galant’s appointment.

It is known that Barak and Ashkenazi had a difficult time getting along and differences over the policy on Iran aggravated the situation. Ashkenazi started to push back against Netanyahu and Barak’s rhetoric on Iran:http://www.economist.com/blogs/clausewitz/2011/02/idfs_new_chief_staff

It soon came out into the open and Barak accused Ashkenazi of not respecting the defense minister’s authority. The most damaging accusation was that Ashkenazi was undermining Netanyahu and Barak by downplaying the Iranian threat. Barak alleged that Ashkenazi told the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, that jingoistic rhetoric of military strike against Iran by Netanyahu and Barak were empty words and that Israel has no military option:http://972mag.com/yedioth-idf-chief-of-staff-told-us-israel-has-no-military-option-in-iran/10139/

Barak was furious and questioned Ashkenazi’s professional and ethical standards in a television interview:http://www.jpost.com/Features/FrontLines/Article.aspx?id=206695

Barak was forced to cancel Galant’s appointment just days before Ashkenazi’s retirement. The possibility of having not enough time to select a new candidate meant that Ashkenazi’s tenure could be extended until the new COS took charge. Barak showed his dislike by suggesting that Deputy COS Major General Yair Naveh could work as the temporary COS for sixty days until the appointment of new COS. Barak was criticized by his cabinet colleagues and he was forced to pick COS quickly appointing Benny Gantz:http://www.thejc.com/news/israel-news/44951/emergency-selection-new-idf-chief

On his part, Ashkenazi may have tried to stop Galant’s appointment as the new COS. In March 2012, the State Comptroller’s report in Harpaz case criticized Ashkenazi’s role in the affair:http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/state-comptroller-draft-criticizes-former-idf-chief-over-harpaz-affair-1.416388

The fall out from Ashkenazi-Barak clash is still haunting the relationship between the new COS and Barak, so that will affect the appointment of senior officers.

In 2011, confusing signals were coming from Tel Aviv, and in the tussle between hawks and doves, doves were gaining the upper hand:http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/01/us-israel-military-idUSTRE7107FR20110201

Last year, opponents of military action started to voice their concerns openly. Former head of Mossad, Ephraim Halevy warned that a military strike against Iran could result in serious consequences for the region:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4143909,00.html

Another former head Meir Dagan called the idea of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities as:
the stupidest thing I have ever heard

Link:http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-mossad-chief-israel-air-strike-on-iran-stupidest-thing-i-have-ever-heard-1.360367

davidbfpo
04-28-2012, 02:27 PM
Initially, only Netanyahu and Barak were passionate advocates of military option against Iran. They were able to convince foreign minister Avidgor Lieberman to their cause. Many cabinet members and senior military and intelligence officials are reported to be against the strike:http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/netanyahu-trying-to-persuade-cabinet-to-support-attack-on-iran-1.393214

Interior Minister Eli Yishai, intelligence minister Dan Meridor, minister for strategic affairs and a former COS of IDF Moshe Yaalon and finance minister Yuval Steinitz are in the "dove" camp. There is also some pushing back from senior military and intelligence officials opposed to military strike against Iran:http://forward.com/articles/145804/israeli-democracy-questions-war-on-iran/?p=all

A well informed journalist Nahum Barnea wrote a piece for Yediot Aharonot in October 2011 voicing the concerns of security officials:http://didiremez.tumblr.com/post/12033759461/yediots-barnea-signs-that-bibi-and-barak-planning-to

Opposition to military strike is almost unanimous among professional security officials. In 2010-2011, heads of all important institutions including COS Gabi Ashkenazi, head of Mossad Meir Dagan, Director of Aman (Military Intelligence) Amos Yadlin and head of Shin Bet (Internal Security) Yuval Diskin were against military strike.

The most interesting fact is that in a twelve month time period heads of all these organizations were changed but the new brass including COS Gantz, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, Aman chief Aviv Kochavi and head of Shin Bet Yoram Cohen agreed with the assessment their respective predecessors:http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/29/israeli-spy-chief-downplays-iranian-nuke-threat/

Now we have two groups of psychoanalysts and psychotherapists among Israeli leaders. One group headed by Netanyahu and Barak is arguing that Iranian leaders are Ďirrationalí and Ďpsychoticí. They claim that the illness is so advanced that only electric shock therapy of massive military strike is the viable option to keep the world safe. The other group that includes senior Israeli military and intelligence officials are informing us that Iranian leaders are Ďrationalí and while they need some medication i.e. covert action but there is no need for drastic measures. They fear that a massive military strike can have many unintended consequences for the region.

In Israeli decision making process, current balance is against military strike and it is likely that Israel will continue covert operations to slow down Iranian nuclear program while working with United States and Europe to tighten the sanction regime with the hope of changing the calculation of Iranian leadership. This means that Tel Aviv and Tehran will continue their little covert action dirty games of targeting each otherís interests all around the globe.

Fuchs
04-28-2012, 02:52 PM
Did I already mention...?

http://img01.lachschon.de/images/130978_IranbereitetKriegvor_1.jpg

Iran has about as much reason to rationally think about nuclear deterrence as Israel has.


(The graphic is humour, and not exactly up-to date in detail.)

ganulv
04-29-2012, 01:40 AM
Did I already mention...?

http://img01.lachschon.de/images/130978_IranbereitetKriegvor_1.jpg

Iran has about as much reason to rationally think about nuclear deterrence as Israel has.


(The graphic is humour, and not exactly up-to date in detail.)

Upon returning from his second World War-related trip abroad a family member of mine was tickled pink to learn that he had managed to get information about his general whereabouts past the letter censors a number of times, though no one at home had picked up on it. (I was told that he said words to the effect of, "Look at how many times I told you'uns first thing in the letter, 'I ran [X number of] miles to get to where I am again today.'") Anyway, in the mid-1940s the majority of folks in Western North Carolina apparently had little knowledge of a place called Iran and employees of the U.S. Government seem to have been a little hit-or-miss on the locale, as well. Seven decades on and I'm not sure the situation is all that much better.

carl
04-29-2012, 03:05 AM
Now we have two groups of psychoanalysts and psychotherapists among Israeli leaders.

That...is a great line.

AdamG
06-15-2012, 06:25 PM
The usual suspects, Captain Renault?


DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has arrested the killers of two of its nuclear scientists, state media reported on Thursday, as the Islamic state continues to hunt down those it says are responsible for attempting to sabotage its nuclear program.

The suspects are accused of assassinating a physicist at Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation (AEOI) and a deputy director at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility using magnetic bombs that were attached to the vehicles they were in.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/iran-seizes-killers-nuclear-scientists-report-155704258.html

Dayuhan
07-10-2012, 01:55 AM
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137731/kenneth-n-waltz/why-iran-should-get-the-bomb?cid=nlc-this_week_on_foreignaffairs_co-062112-why_iran_should_get_the_bomb_2-062112


Why Iran Should Get the Bomb
Nuclear Balancing Would Mean Stability

The past several months have witnessed a heated debate over the best way for the United States and Israel to respond to Iran's nuclear activities. As the argument has raged, the United States has tightened its already robust sanctions regime against the Islamic Republic, and the European Union announced in January that it will begin an embargo on Iranian oil on July 1. Although the United States, the EU, and Iran have recently returned to the negotiating table, a palpable sense of crisis still looms.

It should not. Most U.S., European, and Israeli commentators and policymakers warn that a nuclear-armed Iran would be the worst possible outcome of the current standoff. In fact, it would probably be the best possible result: the one most likely to restore stability to the Middle East...

Registration is required but not all bad, Foreign Affairs does not inundate you with spam and a lot of their stuff is worth reading.

Entropy
07-10-2012, 06:14 AM
Interesting, but it suffers from a couple of very questionable assumptions.

The first is the assumption that Iran really wants the bomb and the second is that Iran wants the bomb because of Israel's bomb. Essentially he wrongly places Israel at the center of Iranian thinking.

Iran's nuclear program was always about Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Iran didn't begin its program in the mid-1980's because of the Israeli bomb - far from it, since Iran and Israel were secret allies at the time. Iran's program was for developing a deterrent against Iraq and the strategic rationale for it went away in 2003.

Israel? What can Israel do to Iran beyond a one-off air strike on a few fixed facilities? Israel isn't an existential threat to Iran - what exactly is Iran deterring by pursing a weapon (if, in fact, it is)? Attempting to build a bomb at this point is the surest way to precipitate conflict, not prevent it, so the idea that would somehow produce stability is laughable.

SWJ Blog
08-16-2012, 10:13 AM
An Anthropological Comparative Study Of The European Oil Sanctions Against Iran (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/an-anthropological-comparative-study-of-the-european-oil-sanctions-against-iran)

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SWJ Blog
08-31-2012, 10:06 AM
The Costs of War with Iran: An Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/the-costs-of-war-with-iran-an-intelligence-preparation-of-the-battlefield)

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SWJ Blog
08-31-2012, 12:12 PM
IAEA Report on Iran Puts Israel in a Box (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/iaea-report-on-iran-puts-israel-in-a-box)

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SWJ Blog
09-21-2012, 11:52 PM
What if Israel Bombed Iran? (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/what-if-israel-bombed-iran)

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davidbfpo
09-30-2012, 01:54 PM
One of the more curious aspects of this long running saga is Israel's relationship with other nations, notably Turkey (now waning) and recently in the media Azerbaijan. The link is to an updated report:http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/30/us-iran-israel-azerbaijan-idUSBRE88T05L20120930


Azerbaijan, the oil-rich ex-Soviet republic on Iran's far northern border, has, say local sources with knowledge of its military policy, explored with Israel how Azeri air bases and spy drones might help Israeli jets pull off a long-range attack.

There is nothing like a complicated situation or "human terrain" to factor in:
Relations have long been strained between the former Soviet state and Iran, which is home to twice as many ethnic Azeris as Azerbaijan itself. Tehran beams an Azeri-language television channel over the border which portrays Aliyev as a puppet of Israel and the West, as well as highlighting corruption in Baku.

davidbfpo
10-03-2012, 09:35 AM
I know we've considered the impact of the US$ to Iranian Rial exchange report before, but it appears an official Iranian government move to reform foreign exchange dealing has gone very, very wrong:
The currency, the rial, weakened to 34,700 to the dollar by the end of the day's trading, according to the Mesghal.com website, a drop of 17 per cent compared to the previous day's rate of 29,600.

The Mehr news agency said the rial fell 18 per cent to 35,000. The rial has lost more than 80 per cent of its value compared with the end of last year, when it was worth 13,000 to the dollar....

The government has in recent weeks excluded almost all importers from buying dollars at its official rate of 12,260 rials per dollar, encouraging them instead to use a new "exchange centre" where the rate was fixed daily at a small discount to the open-market rate. That has sharply increased consumer prices and spurred the rial's fall.

Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9580540/Iranian-currency-plummets-to-record-low-as-US-sanctions-take-hold.html

davidbfpo
10-03-2012, 02:18 PM
A reminder, albeit written in April 2012, by Chatham House (RIIA, London) that:
History shows that sanctions have a poor record of success....there are many reasons why sanctions are unlikely to deliver the blow that could force Iran to abandon or compromise on its nuclear ambitions.

....the ultimate flaw in sanctions: applied as a form of collective punishment, they penalise the victims of the target regimes as much as their perpetrators, who become adept at deflecting the worst impacts and use the spectre of external threat to suppress internal dissent. As Gary Sick, an astute Iran analyst, has remarked: 'Sanctions do not persuade dictatorial regimes to abandon projects that they think are central to their security and survival or even their self-image'.

Link:http://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/archive/view/182763

davidbfpo
10-03-2012, 02:42 PM
Analysis by Paul Rogers:
The ongoing development work at the heavily protected Fordo nuclear fuel enrichment site near Qom in Iran is highly significant in changing the terms of the evolving crisis over the Iranian nuclear programme. Open source intelligence now suggests that Fordo is a core part of the Iranian post-attack recovery capability. This has major implications for policy formulation for the longer-term resolution of the crisis, as it could potentially change the diplomatic balance.

I was intrigued by this, not that I watch the region closely, so others maybe aware, with my emphasis:
Indeed, the Obama administration does not want any kind of conflict with Iran before the Presidential Election, and it even has the direct capability to make an attack significantly more risky for Israel. This is because the United States deploys an advanced XĖband radar system, serviced by around a hundred US military personnel, on Mount Keren in the southern Negev Desert. This very powerful long-range system forms a key provider of early warning against missile and air attack and is fully integrated into Israelís defence architecture. If the United States was privately to threaten to stand down the system, even if there was an element of bluff, it could have a potentially deleterious effect on Israelís home defences.

Link:http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/publications/middle_east/iran_significance_fordo

Surferbeetle
10-06-2012, 04:31 PM
Hyperinflation Has Arrived In Iran, Posted by Steve H. Hanke, 3 Oct 2012, Cato at Liberty, http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/hyperinflation-has-arrived-in-iran/


Since the U.S. and E.U. first enacted sanctions against Iran, in 2010, the value of the Iranian rial (IRR) has plummeted, imposing untold misery on the Iranian people. When a currency collapses, you can be certain that other economic metrics are moving in a negative direction, too. Indeed, using new data from Iranís foreign-exchange black market, I estimate that Iranís monthly inflation rate has reached 69.6%. With a monthly inflation rate this high (over 50%), Iran is undoubtedly experiencing hyperinflation.

Steve Hanke, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Hanke


Steve H. Hanke is an American economist specializing in international economics, particularly monetary policy.

He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Earlier in his teaching career, he taught economics at the Colorado School of Mines and the University of California, Berkeley. As of 2005, he is a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University.

In 1981 and '82, during the Reagan administration, he was a Senior Economist on the Council of Economic Advisors. In 1995 and '96 he served as an advisor to Domingo Cavallo, the Minister of Economy of Argentina. He has also held formal economic-advisory positions with Uruguay and four countries in eastern Europe, especially Bulgaria where the Lev is pegged successfully to the Euro through a Currency board. In 1997 he began writing his "Point Of View" columns for Forbes magazine. In 1998 he became special counselor to the Economic and Monetary Resilience Council of Indonesia, and continues in that role as of 2005.

Rex Brynen
10-14-2012, 08:06 PM
Technically it isn't a wargame this time--more of a US policy options exercise--but Newsweek now jumps on the bandwagon with its own crisis simulation (http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/07/newsweek-s-iran-war-game.html).


...the upshot of the simulation is a sobering one: Washington could quickly lose control of events after an Israeli strike on Iranís nuclear facilities. If Iran attacks Americans or goes after Israel too aggressively, even an administration wishing to avoid another war in the Middle East might find itself in the middle of one.

You'll find my commentary on it at PAXsims (http://paxsims.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/newsweeks-iran-wargame/), and a frequently updated list of all publicly-discussed crisis games on the topic at the (professional wargaming) blog Wargaming Connection (http://wargamingcommunity.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/israel-vs-iran-wargame-compendium/).

Rex Brynen
11-06-2012, 02:40 PM
Israel's Institute for National Security Studies recently wargamed the first 48 hours of an Israeli attack against Iran (http://www.inss.org.il/publications.php?cat=21&incat=&read=10461).

The game was also the subject of a documentary by Channel 4 (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od) (UK).

More commentary at PAXsims (http://paxsims.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/iran-vs-israel-the-first-48-hours/) and Wargaming Connection (http://paxsims.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/iran-vs-israel-the-first-48-hours/).

davidbfpo
12-06-2012, 03:04 PM
A Lowy Institute blog post:
what is equally staggering is the almost total absence of argument for complete nuclear disarmament in the Middle East....But even if you're suspicious of the ideological case for abolition, consider the pragmatic and ruthlessly realist case for arguing that, if Israel is going to insist Iran not get the bomb, Israel too ought to abolish its deterrent.

My logic is simple. With regard to Iran's nuclear program, Israel faces one of three possible futures:1) Israel has nuclear weapons but Iran does not; 2)
Both Israel and Iran have nuclear weapons; 3) Neither Israel or Iran has nuclear weapons. Which scenario is better for Israel's security?

Link:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2012/12/05/More-Middle-East-nukes-How-about-none.aspx

Hard to imagine Israel even considering this, but an interesting argument.

davidbfpo
03-02-2013, 10:32 PM
A fascinating WSJ article: 'How Iran Went Nuclear' and subtitled:
Veteran weapons inspector Olli Heinonen on how the U.N.'s 'Stockholm Syndrome' has aided Tehran's drive for the bombóand why an unsettling secret may be lurking in the Iranian desert.

Amazing that a "walk-in" gave two key clues as to what Iran was building. Then he notes:
People talk a lot about how intelligence has penetrated all this, but if you go back to the nuclear programs which have been revealed [elsewhere], they all came with a surprise. If there is no undeclared installation today..it will be the first time in 20 years that Iran doesn't have one.

There is more on Iran and the IAEA. Plus that perennial concern, Pakistan. Then he adds:
Saudi Arabia may already be on the move.

In 2011, the kingdom announced plans to build 16 nuclear power reactors by 2030. "That's actually a funny number," Mr. Heinonen saysójust what a country would need to justify developing domestic fuel-cycle capabilities that could have both civilian and military uses. "If you want to maintain your own uranium enrichment, that's the right number. . . . It's a perfect match." He adds: "Remember, there was no one military program which took place without civilian. It's always under the civilian umbrella."

Link:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323978104578329890771686954.html?m od=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Rex Brynen
03-05-2013, 12:35 AM
Here are the results of another Israel vs Iran wargame, this time using the commercial board game "Persian Incursion" with modified rules to reflect the political and military situation as of early 2013:

http://paxsims.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/virtually-bombing-iran-and-limits-of-real-military-power/
(http://paxsims.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/virtually-bombing-iran-and-limits-of-real-military-power/)

davidbfpo
03-05-2013, 01:52 PM
A "lurker" has responded to the earlier posting:
The author, David Feith, is the son of Douglas Feith, the #3 in the US DoD who took over production of "intelligence" to manufacture the case for invading Iraq in 2003. David Feith is even more strident in his views than his father.

Olli Heinonen, the former IAEA official, has an axe to grind with many of those with whom he worked and has spent years talking about - and, in my opinion, is hyping the Iran threat. A lot of his claims don't actually match the current intelligence.

The walk-in story is sensationalist rubbish. The Natanz tip came from the People's Mujahedin of Iran - the group whose paramilitary arm was on the US terrorist list until recently. Heinonen's story covers this up and actually doesn't add anything new.

davidbfpo
03-15-2013, 12:24 PM
Who said that? The head of Israel's military intelligence, Major General Amir Kochavi. Was it reported by the MSM? No.

He said that, while Iran is developing its nuclear programme in 2013, it:
..has not yet decided to build a bomb.


Here's the catch: those who rely on Western media are unlikely to learn of this.

So with hat tip to Enduring America read on:http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/2013/3/15/iran-special-how-western-media-missed-the-important-story-fr.html

davidbfpo
04-25-2013, 02:43 PM
In what appears to be a very carefully worded letter to William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary, a parliamentary committee chair asks what exactly is the UK's policy?

Having read a little recently on the subject and listened to experts the letter appears to seek an explanation for those beyond the UK parliament, on the possible use of military force that the public will understand.

Link:http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/foreign-affairs/130424%20Chair%20to%20Foreign%20Secretary%20on%20I ran.pdf

davidbfpo
04-29-2013, 07:33 PM
By one account, over the past fifteen years Iranís nuclear programme has crossed no less than seven so-called Ďred linesí set by the United States or Israel. As Iran has crossed these lines, it has incurred the most punitive and protracted countermeasures ever imposed on a suspected nuclear proliferator. But it has not faced conventional military action. More recently, however, the idiom of war-triggering red lines has become widespread and central to the discourse on Iran.

This Briefing Paper takes stock of the various war-triggering red lines that Iranís adversaries have set, and those that they might later set, with a particular focus on those associated with a realistic risk of war. This paper does not endorse the wisdom of imposing these red lines, but rather seeks only to discuss what they mean, how they are expressed, and how they might be interpreted and misinterpreted.

As Iranís nuclear programme has grown over time, policy-makers have been faced with the question of whether and where they should draw red lines for Tehran. The United States and Israel have already drawn red lines, effectively warning Iran that building nuclear weapons or accumulating too much uranium would trigger war. But even these supposedly clear threats are marked by areas of ambiguity. This leaves unanswered questions as to what would and what would not be seen as grounds for military action Ė and therefore what Iran might be deterred from doing.

Link to the seventeen page report:http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/Iran_Red_Lines.pdf

Dayuhan
06-21-2013, 05:52 AM
Foreign Affairs on the Iranian transition...

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/139511/suzanne-maloney/why-rouhani-won-and-why-khamenei-let-him?cid=nlc-this_week_on_foreignaffairs_co-062013-why_rouhani_won_and_why_khamen_4-062013


Why Rouhani Won -- And Why Khamenei Let Him

Four years ago, after the dubious reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian streets were filled with protestors demanding to know what had happened to their votes. This weekend, the voters finally got their answer -- and, once more, they filled the countryís streets. This time, though, they were celebrating as the government confirmed that Hassan Rouhani, the presidential candidate who had campaigned on promises of reform and reopening to the world, had won an overwhelming victory.

The election of Rouhani, a centrist cleric who has been close to Iranís apex of power since the 1979 revolution, is an improbably auspicious end to the Ahmadinejad era. Rouhani is a blunt pragmatist with plenty of experience maneuvering within Iranís theocratic system. He is far too sensible to indulge in a power grab ŗ la Ahmadinejad. And, as a cleric, he assuages the fears of the Islamic Republicís religious class. He embraced reformist rhetoric during the campaign, but will not deviate too far from the systemís principles, the foremost of which is the primacy of the Supreme Leader. Meanwhile, Rouhaniís focus on the economic costs of Ahmadinejadís mismanagement resonates with the regimeís traditionalists as well as with a population battered by a decade of intensifying hardship and repression. All in all, the new president might benefit from a broader base of support than any in Iranís post-revolutionary history, which will be an important asset as he seeks to navigate the country out of isolation and economic crisis....

SWJ Blog
10-31-2013, 07:24 PM
Iran is Not the Problem, Wider Proliferation Is (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/iran-is-not-the-problem-wider-proliferation-is)

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davidbfpo
11-18-2013, 10:35 PM
Whilst diplomacy has excursions to the media foreground others ponder and write. Hat tip to John Schindler for this article and his Tweets say:
Interesting piece on how Iran might respond to an Israeli strike; more optimistic view of outcomes than many...1 of the authors of last piece is MG (ret) Amos Yadlin, former head of AMAN (IDF Intelligence), worth noting, now INSS director.

Ah the article is 'If Attacked, How Would Iran Respond?' (13 pgs) and the summary:
Many in the West and in Israel have warned of a tough Iranian response and escalation into regional war in the event of a military strike against the Iranian nuclear program. Close scrutiny, however, suggests that these assessments are exaggerated, with the likely Iranian response far more limited. Moreover, such overestimation serves the Iranians, providing an excellent tool for deterrence, and dilutes the goal of a credible military threat prompting the regime to agree to a diplomatic solution. This article analyzes Iranís capabilities and the range of possible Iranian response toward Israel, including the response capabilities of Iranís allies in the region, particularly Syria and Hizbollah. The article challenges the scenario of a regional war in the wake of a military strike against Iranís nuclear program, and offers recommendations for a response to the anticipated Iranian retaliation that would reduce the likelihood of extensive regional escalation.

Link:http://www.inss.org.il/index.aspx?id=4538&articleid=5965

SWJ Blog
11-24-2013, 08:23 AM
Iran Nuclear Deal Sealed After Decades-Long Dispute (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/iran-nuclear-deal-sealed-after-decades-long-dispute)

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Rex Brynen
06-24-2014, 10:09 PM
Feel the need to bomb Iran? Here's your chanceóthe March/April 2014 edition of Modern War magazine included Target: Iran, a solitaire (manual) wargame of a fictional coalition strike against Iran. It isn't exactly a high-fidelity simulation of the military or political dynamics, but it is quite fun to play.

Review at PAXsims: http://paxsims.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/review-target-iran/

Brian Hanley
07-10-2015, 07:29 PM
It appears obvious to me that the failure of Iran nuke talks is a response to yesterday's call in Congress to send anti-tank weapons to Ukraine's Kiev government. In fact, when I heard that speech yesterday morning, my immediate thought was that some a-hole did it deliberately to block the Iranian talks from working out on Obama's watch. I think they knew exactly what the Russian response would be and wanted it that way. Easiest thing in the world to pull off.

Vladimir, I think Netanyahu's boys played you. Not that they weren't serious about sending weapons to Ukraine. Not that they aren't allied with making more money for military contractors. However, Merkel has been stopping anti-tank weapons since February. Europe would rather see Russia roll over Ukraine and wipe out the revolutionaries who staged the coup than see another Europe-centered world war erupt out of Ukraine.

I can understand though, why Vladimir Putin took that action. If I were him, I would probably do the same thing, even knowing what I know. It's a bargaining chip with the Obama administration. Kerry is in Kiev today, and he's got a big Obama legacy project on his back. If I were Putin, I wouldn't trust us as far as he could spit because the USA's word doesn't mean much, and this administration is still running its Russia policy out of the Ukrainian refugee camp from WWII. In fact, most of what we believe we know about Russia came to us through those Nazi-collaborator refugees who fled Ukraine and dreamed of taking it back. That's the same crew who engineered the takeover of most of Ukraine from Kiev. (The same boys who in Kiev recently banned displays of Soviet anti-Nazi medals, etc. and declared the Nazi collaborators the only true heroes of WWII.)

Why are we letting the Ukrainians run our Russia policy? Inertia plus this administration is unusually lacking in backbone or positions on most major issues. So it lays back. Plus the Israel lobby finds it convenient at times like this to fire off a shot in congress. Russia's realpolitik today is that the worse the Middle East gets, the less likely the USA is to intervene in Ukraine. For Israel, the more the Arabs kill each other, the better off they feel they are. And so we have strange bedfellows in the Iran nuke talks.

davidbfpo
07-10-2015, 09:12 PM
Brian,

I do not follow the talks with Iran over nuclear matters closely, so perhaps your vantage point gives you this perspective.

The BBC today reports the talks again are stalled. It appears this is not a "black or white" situation, with all parties doing a diplomatic show:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-33473407

A few days ago The Independent reported on the diplomacy at work and the multiple reasons for it:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-nuclear-talks-tehran-tells-un--lift-ballistic-missile-embargo-or-there-will-be-no-deal-10370214.html

Neither of them report on the involvement of the US Congress this week, nor any Russian public response to possible arms supplies to the Ukraine. I am sure Outlaw 09 would have commented in the Ukraine thread if this possibility was anymore than bluster - however orchestrated - in the US Congress.

As for this sentence, it is simply laughably inaccurate:
Europe would rather see Russia roll over Ukraine and wipe out the revolutionaries who staged the coup than see another Europe-centered world war erupt out of Ukraine.

Europe would not wish to 'see' such aggression, let alone a 'wipe out'. Yes it has been weak, for many reasons and whilst some "beat the drum" few see a world war as likely.

Anyway back to how apparently US policy is run by refugees and Nazis, that too - from my vantage point - is barely credible. One question if this was true surely arms supplies would have moved long ago, not a speech in Congress?

Yes there are some Ukrainian nationalists whose views are mired in the past; they are a minority and from my own experience when visiting the Ukraine the majority have learnt both Nazi Germany, its local allies and the Soviet Union soaked the land in blood.

davidbfpo
07-14-2015, 03:04 PM
Talking with Iran has always been a contentious issue on SWC, although muted of late.

So now the diplomats have signed the agreement, here is one commentary by Professor Scott Lucas, of B'ham University:http://eaworldview.com/2015/07/iran-special-a-5-point-guide-to-the-nuclear-agreement/

Firn
07-14-2015, 09:23 PM
Seems like a sensible solution with a pragmatic road map with checks and milestones. Nobody knows what will happen but it looks like a worthy try.

There is still a regime in Iran but still I hope that the Vatanam (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ3OvN2F-90) and it's people with it's great past will do fine...

P.S: So did (Western) sanctions work?