IRAN WARSHIPS SENT TO USA BORDERS
February 9, 2014 2 Comments
Iranian navy warships (Reuters / Stringer)
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian warships dispatched to the Atlantic Ocean will travel close to U.S. maritime borders for the first time, a senior Iranian naval commander said Saturday.
The commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, said the vessels have already entered the Atlantic Ocean via waters near South Africa, the official IRNA news agency reported.
The fleet, consisting of a destroyer and a helicopter-carrying supply ship, began its voyage last month from the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas. The ships, carrying some 30 navy academy cadets for training along with their regular crews, are on a three-month mission.
The voyage comes amid an ongoing push by Iran to demonstrate its ability to project power across the Middle East and beyond.
IRNA quoted Haddad as saying the fleet is approaching U.S. maritime borders for the first time. The Islamic Republic considers the move as a response to U.S. naval deployments near its own coastlines. The U.S. Navy’s 5th fleet is based in Bahrain, just across the Persian Gulf.
IRAN: WARSHIPS WILL STEAM CLOSE TO UNITED STATES MARITIME BORDER AS ‘A MESSAGE’
Iranian Navy destroyer Shahid Naqdi is pictured at Port Sudan, in October 2012.
by Scott Neuman | NPR
An admiral of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet for the first time, in tit-for-tat move aimed at protesting the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf.
Afshin Rezayee Haddad was quoted Saturday by the semi-official Fars News Agency as saying the deployment of the vessels, the number and type which he did not reveal, “has a message.”
“The Iranian Army’s naval fleets have already started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via the waters near South Africa,” he said.
The Associated Press says Iranian officials acknowledged last month that the fleet consisted of a destroyer and a logistic helicopter carrier.
“[Commander of the Iranian Navy, Rear Adm. Habibollah] Sayyari first announced Iran would begin a naval buildup ‘near maritime borders of the United States’ in September 2011. The move is part of Iran’s response to Washington’s sizeable naval presence in the Persian Gulf.”
“The US Navy’s 5th fleet, which is responsible for naval forces in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean, is based in Bahrain.”
“‘Like the arrogant powers that are present near our maritime borders, we will also have a powerful presence close to the American marine borders,‘ Sayyari said at the time.”
Globalsecurity.org lists a few aging destroyers among the vessels in the Iranian Navy, acquired from the United States during the Shah’s reign, although there were reports late last year that Iran was ready to put a A replenishment ship, the , is according to Globalsecurity.org sometimes described by Iran as a helicopter carrier, and is equipped with landing pads and hanger space for two helicopters.
IRAN SENDING WARSHIPS CLOSE TO U.S. BORDERS
A senior Iranian naval commander says his country has sent several warships to the Atlantic Ocean, close to U.S. maritime borders for the first time.
The commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, is quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying Saturday that the vessels have already begun the journey to the Atlantic Ocean via waters near South Africa.
“Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message,” Haddad reportedly said, according to Fars, a semi-official Iranian news agency.
Iranian officials said last month that the fleet consisted of the destroyer Sabalan and the logistic helicopter carrier Khark, which will be on a three-month mission. The ships are carrying some 30 navy academy cadets for training along with their regular crews.
Haddad says the fleet is approaching U.S. maritime borders for the first time. The Islamic Republic considers the move as a response to U.S. naval deployments near its own coastlines. The U.S. Navy’s 5th fleet is based in nearby Bahrain — across the gulf from Iran.
Iran has regularly deployed warships to the Gulf of Aden off the eastern coast of Africa to fight privacy and protect commercial ships.
It has also sent its warships to Syrian waters in recent years.
In 2012, Iran said it aims to put warships in international waters off the U.S. coast within the next few years, and extend its reach as far as Antarctica.
IRAN DISPATCHES WARSHIPS TO U.S. MARITIME BORDER
Ships from the Iranian army’s naval fleet are headed towards the United States maritime borders as part of a longstanding protest against US vessels in the Persian Gulf, Fars News Agency reports.
“The Iranian Army’s naval fleets have already started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via the waters near South Africa,” Commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, announced on Saturday.
The admiral, who also heads up the Iranian Army’s 4th Naval Zone, added that the ships are approaching the United States’ maritime borders, “and this move has a message.”
The agency gave no details on the number or types of vessels deployed.
Sayyari first announced Iran would begin a naval buildup “near maritime borders of the United States” in September 2011. The move is part of Iran’s response to Washington’s sizeable naval presence in the Persian Gulf.
The US Navy’s 5th fleet, which is responsible for naval forces in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean, is based in Bahrain.
“Like the arrogant powers that are present near our maritime borders, we will also have a powerful presence close to the American marine borders,” Sayyari said at the time.
Sayyari reiterated Iran’s plans to dispatch its naval forces to deploy along US marine borders in the Atlantic in September 2012, saying this would happen “in the next few years”.
In September 2012 the admiral reiterated Iran’s plans for sailing off the US coasts to counter the US presence in its waters in the Persian Gulf.
The Iranian Navy has been boosting its presence in international waters since November 2008, when it deployed warships to the Gulf of Aden in response to the Somalia pirates’ threat.
IRAN SENDING ‘MESSAGE’ AS WARSHIPS APPROACH UNITED STATES
Washington has ‘controlling, meddlesome attitude’ toward us, says supreme leader Ali Khamenei.
Iranian naval fleets were on their way across the Atlantic Ocean and headed toward the US, the Fars news agency reported on Saturday.
“Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message,” Adm. Afshin Rezayee Haddad of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet was quoted as saying.
According to Fars, Iran had first warned the US of its plans to deploy its naval forces along US marine borders “in the next few years” in September 2012.
Then, Iran’s Navy Commander R.-Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said the move would counter US presence in its waters in the Persian Gulf.
Fars first reported on an Iranian Navy fleet of warships making its way across the Atlantic Ocean in January 2014. At the time, they reported that the ships would sail for at least three months.
Hours earlier, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday the United States would overthrow the Iranian government if it could, adding Washington had a “controlling and meddlesome” attitude towards the Islamic Republic, Iranian media reported.
In a speech to mark the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Khamenei, the most powerful figure in Iran, added that officials seeking to revive the economy should not rely on an eventual lifting of sanctions but rather on homegrown innovation.
“American officials publicly say they do not seek regime change in Iran. That’s a lie. They wouldn’t hesitate a moment if they could do it,” he was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.
Khamenei made no mention of talks between Iran and world powers intended to settle a decade-old dispute about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
But he reiterated that in dealing with “enemies,” Iran should be prepared to change tactics but not compromise on its main principles.
“The solution to our economic problems is not looking out and having the sanctions lifted,” he added. “My advice to our officials, as ever, is to rely on infinite indigenous potentials.”
He added: “Our [hostile] stance toward the United States is due to its controlling and meddlesome attitude.”
Khamenei’s comments about hostility reflect his long-standing animosity towards the United States, seen as the arch-enemy by Iranian authorities. The US and Iran have had no official ties since 1980 after Iranian students occupied the US embassy in Tehran, taking 52 diplomats hostage in protest against Washington’s admission of the former Shah after he was toppled by the Islamic Revolution.
But Khamenei has given his guarded support to the nuclear negotiations being led by the new reformist government of President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
IRAN SENDS WARSHIPS TO U.S. MARITIME BORDERS
By Global Research News
“The Iranian Army’s naval fleets have already started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via the waters near South Africa,” Commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad announced on Saturday.
The admiral, who is also the commander of the Iranian Army’s 4th Naval Zone said,
“Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message.”
In September 2012, Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari reiterated Iran’s plans for sailing off the US coasts to counter the US presence in its waters in the Persian Gulf.
Sayyari had earlier informed of Tehran’s plans to send its naval forces to the Atlantic to deploy along the US marine borders, and in September 2012 he said that this would happen “in the next few years”.
The plan is part of Iran’s response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf. The US Navy’s 5th fleet is based in Bahrain – across the Persian Gulf from Iran – and the US has conducted two major maritime war games in the last two years.
In September 2011, Sayyari had announced that the country planned to move vessels into the Atlantic Ocean to start a naval buildup “near maritime borders of the United States”.
“Like the arrogant powers that are present near our maritime borders, we will also have a powerful presence close to the American marine borders,” Sayyari said.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the 31st anniversary of the start of the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, Sayyari gave no details of when such a deployment could happen or the number or type of vessels to be used.
Sayyari had first announced in July, 2011 that Iran was going to send “a flotilla into the Atlantic”.
The Iranian navy has been developing its presence in international waters since 2010, regularly launching vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates operating in the area.
IRANIAN WARSHIPS HEADING TO USA TO SHOW REACH
Iranian vessels sail for U.S. coast to protest U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf.
By Oren Dorell | USA TODAY
February 11, 2014
Iranian warships headed to the U.S. coast pose little danger to the United States but could be a dry run for the future, according to former U.S. military and security officials.
The mission shows the danger Iran would pose if it possessed nuclear weapons, says John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush and an arms negotiator during the Cold War.
“It shows they could put a weapon on a boat or freighter, and if (Iran) has ballistic missiles it could put it anywhere on the U.S. coast,” Bolton said. “Down the road it could be a threat.”
Chris Harmer, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War and a former military planner for the U.S. Navy in Persian Gulf, said one of the two ships is a military cargo ship that has visited China in the past and is suspected of delivering Iranian arms shipments to Sudan on multiple visits to that country in the past few years.
While it poses no tactical threat to the United States, Iran will likely use it to advance its relationship with its ally Venezuela, a U.S. adversary in the Caribbean.
“It shows the Iranians have worldwide ambitions and capabilities,” Harmer said.
The commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, Adm. Afshin Rezayee Haddad, said Iran sent “a fleet” to the Atlantic Ocean, to approach U.S. maritime borders for the first time, according to the Associated Press, which cited Iran’s official IRNA news agency Saturday. The U.S. maritime border is about 14 miles from land.
The news comes as the United States and other world powers prepare to meet Feb. 18 with Iranian diplomats in Vienna to seek a comprehensive agreement about Iran’s disputed nuclear program. Iran seeks an agreement that would eliminate economic sanctions over its nuclear program that have crippled its economy. The United States seeks to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Iran says its nuclear program has peaceful aims, though the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency says Iran has yet to explain evidence that it designed nuclear warheads and tested nuclear detonators. Iran has among the world’s largest supplies of oil and gas for energy.
On Monday, the vessels had begun sailing to the Atlantic Ocean by waters near South Africa, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported. Iranian officials last month said the fleet would embark on a three-month mission and consist of a destroyer and a ship that can carry helicopters.
The voyage is part of Iran’s response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf, according to Fars. The U.S. Navy’s 5th fleet is based in Bahrain — across the Persian Gulf from Iran — and the U.S. has conducted two major naval war games in the last two years.
Gary Samore, a former adviser to President Obama on arms control, weapons of mass destruction and terrorism, said Iran has consistently objected to the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf.
“Their position is there should be no military bases or forces in the Gulf controlled by countries (that are) not Gulf countries,” Samore said. “They say this because if there were no outside powers, Iran would be the strongest power in the region. So it’s in their interest to demand there be no external force in the Gulf.”
Iran’s military doctrine is based on asymmetric warfare, relying on a multilayered strategy the employs many kinds of low-tech weapons and a willingness to accept casualties, says Michael Connell, director of Iranian Studies at the Center for Naval Analyses, which conducts research and analysis for the U.S. government.
In the Persian Gulf, Iran hopes to employ dozens of midget submarines, land-based missile launchers and speedboats, in a strategy meant to confuse and overwhelm an adversary with superior technology and firepower, Connell wrote in an assessment of Iran’s naval doctrine.
The ships crossing the Atlantic are an Iranian destroyer, which is the size of a small American frigate and equipped with anti-ship cruise missiles, and a logistics ship, Connell said.
“If they make it to the North Atlantic, and that’s a big if — they’ve never been that far — the threat they pose is minimal,” Connell said. “They are not really equipped to threaten land-based targets.”
And the vessels would be highly vulnerable, especially to U.S. naval aircraft, he said. “Essentially, they would be at the bottom of the ocean in fairly short order if they assumed a threatening posture.”
Bolton said Iran’s ships may not pose much of a threat now but their mission shows the Islamic Republic is building up its capabilities for the future. Iranian oil is mostly shipped by foreign tankers.
Iran rarely has sent its own ships outside the Persian Gulf, but is now training ship captains on sailing the Suez canal and the North Atlantic to show their potential reach is far from Iran, Bolton said.
“They are showing they can sail from Iran across the Atlantic Ocean and travel right up to our coast,” Bolton said. “They’re building up capabilities. That’s what training missions do.”
IRAN SAYS “NUMBER OF” WARSHIPS TO SAIL NEAR U.S.
Written by Warren Mass | The New American
Febraury 11, 2014
Iran’s semi-official news agency, Fars, quoted a statement from Iranian Naval spokesman Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad on February 8 announcing that Iran is sending “a number of” warships to sail near the U.S. Atlantic Coast.
“Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message,” said Haddad — the commander of the Iranian navy’s northern fleet — adding that the Iranian ships were approaching the Atlantic Ocean “via the waters near South Africa.”
The “message” Iran wishes to send, according to Fars, is that if the United States can increase its naval presence in the Persian Gulf, then Iran will stage a presence near the United States. The decision to send ships near the United States is “Iran’s response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf.”
The U.S. Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain, a tiny island nation on the western edge of the Gulf, off Saudi Arabia. The fleet regularly engages in naval exercises in the Gulf with its allies, with the stated intention of protecting freedom of navigation in the waterway through which 40 percent of the world’s oil shipments pass.
A U.S. military official told CNN that our military had no operational information to verify Iran’s statement.
“They do send some ships from time to time to the Gulf of Aden [between Yemen, in the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia, in the Horn of Africa] for unilateral counter piracy operations. In theory, a couple of ships could go there and then off south down towards the cape [of Good Hope],” CNN quoted the official, who also said it is the first time Iran has threatened to send its ships near U.S. maritime borders.
“It’s important to understand that, at this point, we have an announcement not a deployment. They’ve stated this aspiration before,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Reuters also quoted an anonymous U.S. defense official (though it is not known if it is the same official quoted by CNN) who said about the Iranian announcement that “ships are free to operate in international waters.”
By international law, nations generally consider waters up to 12 nautical miles from their shores as territorial waters. Nations also exercise limited control over a contiguous zone extending from the outer edge of the territorial sea up to 24 nautical miles from the shoreline, within which a state can exert limited control for the purpose of preventing or punishing “infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea.”
The Strait of Hormuz, through which ships pass to enter the Persian Gulf is, at its narrowest, 21 nautical miles wide. When passing through the Strait, ships pass through the territorial waters of Iran and Oman under the transit passage provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Although the United States has not signed the LOS convention (over justifiable concerns that the LOS represents a threat to U.S. sovereignty), it observes the navigation rules as codified in the Convention.
Iran does not recognized the right of nations that have not signed the LOS Convention to transit passage through the Strait of Hormuz. When signing the Convention in 1982 Iran made a declaration stating, in part:
It seems natural … that only States parties to the Law of the Sea Convention shall be entitled to benefit from the contractual rights created therein. The above considerations pertain specifically (but not exclusively) to the following: The right of transit passage through straits used for international navigation.
On April 30, 1987, the Algerian Embassy in Washington delivered a Diplomatic Note relaying a message from Iran concerning the right of transit passage through the Strait of Hormuz that cited an alleged violation of claimed Iranian territorial waters by U.S. ships. The United States replied to the Iranian note, in part:
The United States … particularly rejects the assertions that the … right of transit passage through straits used for international navigation, as articulated in the [LOS] Convention, are contractual rights and not codification of existing customs or established usage. The regimes of … transit passage, as reflected in the Convention, are clearly based on customary practice of long standing and reflects the balance of rights and interests among all States, regardless of whether they have signed or ratified the Convention.
While Iran’s objection to the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf may have prompted its decision to send naval ships off the U.S. coast, the operation has more diplomatic than military significance. Though generally described as a “fleet” in media headlines, reports from the Iranian media indicate that the nation is sending only two ships — a destroyer and a helicopter transport vessel — on the voyage.
Back in September 2011, the commander of Iran’s navy, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, announced that Iran would begin a naval buildup “near [the] maritime borders of the United States.”
“Like the arrogant powers that are present near our maritime borders, we will also have a powerful presence close to the American marine borders,” said Sayyari.
If the current operation is meant to intimidate the United States and cause it to back off from its Persian Gulf operations it must be an example of saber-rattling lite. According to GlobalSecurity.org, the U.S. Fifth Fleet that operates in the Persian Gulf and surrounding areas usually has a force of 20 or more ships, including a Carrier Battle Group, an Amphibious Ready Group, combat aircraft, and other support units and ships. That fleet alone is considerably more powerful than all of Iran’s military forces combined — air, land, and sea.
As for an Iranian destroyer and helicopter transport vessel presenting a serious threat to our Atlantic seaboard, consider what GlobalSecurity.org reports about our Atlantic Fleet, known for operational purposes as the 2nd Fleet: “The Atlantic Fleet consists of over 118,000 Sailors and Marines, 186 ships and 1,300 aircraft.”
The Atlantic Fleet has three regional commanders based in New London, Connecticut; Norfolk, Virginia; and Jacksonville, Florida. The fleet has five aircraft carriers assigned to it, with one or two generally assigned to either the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean or the Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf. A carrier strike group typically consists of (in addition to the carrier), one Guided Missile Cruiser, two LAMPS (Light Airborne Multipurpose System) Capable Warships, and one or two Anti Submarine Destroyers or Frigates.
As the United States Navy Fact File notes: “Aircraft Carriers support and operate aircraft that engage in attacks on airborne, afloat and ashore targets that threaten free use of the sea; and engage in sustained power projection operations in support [of] U.S. and coalition forces. The aircraft carrier and its strike group also engage in maritime security operations to interdict threats to merchant shipping and prevent the use of the seas for terrorism and piracy.”
The United States has 10 aircraft carriers, 61 destroyers, 24 frigates, and 71 submarines, all of which are nuclear powered. The Iranian navy has no aircraft carriers, three destroyers, nine frigates, and 29 submarines, all of which are diesel-electric powered.
The strategic advantage of the United States over Iran’s navy is so unbalanced that any threat presented by Iran is limited to propaganda purposes. Any engagements between U.S. and Iranian vessels would be even more one-sided than Britain’s overwhelming superiority over Argentina’s during the 1982 Falklands War.
Americans can sleep soundly without fearing that our East Coast is in imminent danger from an attack by an Iranian “fleet.”
57 IRANIAN WARSHIPS HEADED TO EAST COAST?
Published on Feb 19, 2014
A Viewer wants to know the truth behind a rumor that 57 Iranian warships are headed to the U.S. east coast. Is it true? yes and no.. Ben Swann explains what is fact and what is fiction in the following video.
IRAN: WE’RE READY FOR ‘DECISIVE BATTLE’ WITH ISRAEL, UNITED STATES
Chief of staff warns Tehran’s enemies and regional states against military action, calling American threats ‘political bluff’
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on stage during a meeting with Iranian air force commanders in Tehran, in a photo released February 8, 2014 (photo credit: AFP /HO/Iranian Supreme Leader’s website)
By AFP and Lazar Berman
February 12, 2014
In the latest in a series of warnings against the US, Iran’s chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi warned the Islamic republic’s foes that Iran is prepared for a “decisive battle” if attacked.
“We are ready for the decisive battle with America and the Zionist regime (Israel),” Fars news agency quoted Firouzabadi as saying Wednesday.
He also warned neighboring nations not to allow any attack to be launched on Iran from their soil.
“We do not have any hostility toward regional states, but if we are ever attacked from the American bases in the region we will strike that area back,” he said.
Washington has many military bases in the region, including in Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said late last month that if diplomacy with Iran fails, “the military option of the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do.”
But Firouzabadi accused the US of bluffing.
“Over the past decade, they brought their forces but came to the conclusion that they can’t attack us, and left,” he said, dismissing the US military threat as nothing but a “political bluff.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that the West should not have any delusions about using a military option.
“I say explicitly, if some have delusions of having any threats against Iran on their tables, they need to wear new glasses. There is no military option against Iran on any table in the world,” he said.
On Sunday, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy Commander Ali Fadavi said the US knows that its aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf would be sunk if it launched a military strike on Iran.
“The Americans can sense by all means how their warships will be sunk with 5,000 crews and forces in combat against Iran and how they should find its hulk in the depths of the sea,” said Fadavi, according to Fars news agency.
“They cannot hide themselves in the sea since the entire Middle East region, Western Europe, the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz are monitored by us and there is no place for them to hide.”
Also Sunday, Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan touted the Iranian military’s ability to respond to an American attack, Fars reported.
“The Iranian Armed Forces are an intertwined and coherent complex that can give a decisive response to any threat at any level and any place under the command of the commander-in-chief,” Dehqan said in a ceremony marking the 35th anniversary of the revolution that brought the current Islamic regime to power.
“The enemy can never assess and think of the range of the response given by the powerful and mighty Armed Forces of the Islamic Iran,” he added.
The bellicose rhetoric follows Saturday’s announcement by an Iranian admiral that Iran had dispatched warships to the North Atlantic, while Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced the Americans as liars who, while professing to be friends of Tehran, would bring down his regime if they could. He also said it was “amusing” that the US thought Iran would reduce its “defensive capabilities.”
On Friday, Iranian state TV ran a documentary featuring a computerized video of Iran’s drones and missiles bombing Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ben-Gurion Airport and the Dimona nuclear reactor in a simulated retaliation for a hypothetical Israeli or American strike on the Islamic Republic.
Iran is due to resume talks on Monday in Vienna with the P5+1 — Britain, France, the United States, Russia and China plus Germany — aimed at reaching a comprehensive nuclear accord following a landmark interim agreement struck in November.
Western nations have long suspected Iran of covertly pursuing nuclear weapons alongside its civilian program, allegations denied by Tehran, which insists its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful.
Neither the United States nor Israel has ruled out military action to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, if diplomacy fails.
OBAMA AND KERRY ASK NETANYAHU TO HOLD BACK FROM RESPONDING TO IRANIAN THREATS
DEBKAfile Special Report
February 11, 2014
Iran’s leaders celebrated the 35th anniversary of their Islamic revolution Tuesday, Feb.11 with a torrent of hate rhetoric and threats surpassing even the crudely belligerent language used by former President Mahmoud Ahamedinejad.
A common theme of their speeches to the masses was threats to the United States and Israel of defeat and annihilation at the hands of the invincible Iranian army. Following the first deployment of Iranian warships – the helicopter carrier Khark and Sabalan guided missile destroyer – near America’s Atlantic shores, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) fleet, Navy Cmdr Ali Fadayi, actually said: “The Americans can sense… how their warships will be sunk with crews of 5,000 in combat against Iran, and how they would find their hulks in the depths of the sea.”
The Iranian officer pressed on to suggest “the Americans” were cowards, who “cannot hide themselves in the sea since the entire Middle East region, western Europe, the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Straits of Hormuz are monitored by us!”
The IRGC commander Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari piled it on with a boast that just two Basijj militiamen could sink one American aircraft carrier – a blatant threat of suicide attacks on US military targets.
Addressing the “Death to USA Grand Price” ceremony in Tehran, Jafari continued to mock Washington by calling its leaders’ references to a military option “ludicrous,” adding that “the Americans really cannot do a damn thing” against Iran’s military capability.
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei repeated the ayatollah’s old mantra slamming Israel as “a cancerous growth” in the Middle East fit only to be “eradicated.”
As his audience burned US and Israeli flags and stamped on placards depicting President Obama, President Hassan Rouhani intoned: “I say to those delusional people who say the military option is on the table that they should change their eye glasses.” His meaning was clear to his mass audience: Iran no longer faces any military threats, either from the United States or Israel.
After Iran’s military test-fired two long-range missiles Monday – one with radar-evading capabilities; the other laser-guided for firing from the ground or the air – Defense Minister Gen. Hossein Dehqan crowed that Iran now had missiles with multiple warheads able to penetrate the anti-missile defenses of the enemy (America and Israel).
debkafile’s military sources took this as a sneer directed at Israel, which will not have an operational system for intercepting multi-warhead projectiles before the Arrow-3 is fully developed in 2016 or 1017. By then, Iran too will have finished developing long-range ballistic missiles with multiple warheads.
Many of the insiders in President Barack Obama’s circle preferred to dismiss these menacing speeches as no more than whistling in the dark by men frightened of their own shadows.
At the same time, the White House and State Department hastened to appeal to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to ignore Iranian belligerent rhetoric and keep his ministers quiet too, so as not to throw a spanner in the works of international nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the Syrian peace conference which resumed this week in Geneva.
Netanyahu took notice of this appeal and contented himself with a controlled speech at the IDF officers’ graduation ceremony Tuesday: “Iran today celebrates the 35th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution with new threats to destroy the Sate of Israel. The aspiration to annihilate the Jewish people and its state did not vanish when it attained statehood. What has changed is our ability to resist and frustrate that aspiration.”
Netanyahu like Obama and Kerry has opted to let the Iranian threats go unanswered. Israel may find it has to pay dearly for agreeing to bury its head in the sand.
MICHAEL MALOOF: U.S. GOVERNMENT IS IGNORING THE BIGGEST THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY
Published on Feb 17, 2014
What is bigger than an internet shutdown,nuclear radiation leak, total economic collapse and is only three letters long? An EMP attack. Former DOD employee F Michael Maloof joins Alex Joins to discuss the real possibilities of an EMP attack on the US electrical grid and why our government is doing nothing to protect us while spending billions on security theatre.
APPROACHING IRANIAN WARSHIPS RAISE EMP THREAT TO UNITED STATES
Experts: U.S. ‘defenseless’ against high-altitude explosion…’90% of all Americans will die within 12 to 18 months after an EMP event.’
by F. Michael Maloof | World Net Daily
February 11, 2014
WASHINGTON – National security experts have expressed alarm over the announcement by Iran that it will position its warships off the coast of the United States, from where they could launch a nuclear warhead to explode at high altitude to create an electromagnetic pulse.
That could knock the American electrical grid out of commission, disrupting supplies of energy, food, communications, fuel and more for a long period.
These experts agree that there would be no warning and that the U.S. missile defense system would not be able to respond in time to prevent the high altitude nuclear explosion. They also believe that if such a missile were launched, it would not be from an Iranian warship but from a commercial vessel sailing along the East Coast or in the Gulf of Mexico.
“It shows they could put a weapon on a boat or freighter, and if Iran has ballistic missiles it could put it anywhere on the U.S. coast,” said John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and currently a senior fellow at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute.
Last month, the Iranian Fars News Agency announced that the fleet would undertake a three-month mission and would consist of a destroyer and a helicopter-carrying vessel.
While the Iranian deployment may consist of two vessels, the commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet, Adm.l Afshin Rezayee Haddad, said that Iran would send a “fleet” to the Atlantic Ocean.
These ships undoubtedly would be under constant U.S. Navy observation while trolling along the U.S. East Coast and possibly in the Gulf of Mexico.
The ships could use Venezuela as station to refuel and resupply, or could return to Iran.
Iran’s decision to place its warships off the U.S. East Coast was prompted by the U.S. decision to place warships of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet at Bahrain, not far from Iran. And there are U.S. carrier task forces constantly patrolling through the Strait of Hormuz, which skirts Iranian territory.
This deployment to the U.S. East Coast would be the first time Iran has stationed ships outside the Persian Gulf. For the past three years, it has been sending its warships through the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean to show its capabilities.
Bolton said that the Iranian exercise is more of a training mission to show that it can sail across the Atlantic and come up to the U.S. coast.
“They’re building up capabilities,” Bolton said. “That’s what training missions do.”
The coastal deployment plan comes as the United States and its allies again meet on Feb. 18 with Iranian officials in Vienna to come to a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran wants to end Western economic sanctions while the U.S. and its allies seek to halt any effort by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, which Iran claims it is not doing with its nascent nuclear program.
Some national security experts are worried that Iran could park is warships outside U.S. territorial waters and be in a position to launch an EMP attack should the U.S. decide to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Retired Army Brig. Gen. Kenneth Chrosniak said that the Iranian warships will be “extensively tracked and, if need be, engaged by an overwhelming triad of conventional U.S. forces if they attempt to fire a missile.
“However, if they home port out of Venezuela, we may be more vulnerable to engagement to our exposed southern shores,” Chrosniak said. “Even so, I believe we’ll have adequate ‘visability/awareness.’”
Former Ambassador Henry Cooper, who heads High Frontier and was the Strategic Defense Initiative Director under former President George H.W. Bush, said that the issue is not one just of awareness.
“What if they covertly erect and launch a nuclear armed ballistic missile from near our coast?” Cooper asked. “And actually, I am more concerned that they could do this from a more conventional vessel than a warship – perhaps while we are watching the few warships and ignoring the hundreds of commercial vessels.”
Cooper, who is a member of the newly formed EMP Coalition headed by former Central Intelligence Director James Woolsey and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has expressed concern about America’s exposure to any missile launches from the south.
His main concern is that the U.S. lacks a ballistic missile system to watch the south part of the U.S. should there be a missile launch from either North Korea or Iran, both which have previously tested missiles over the southern polar icecap.
Cooper would like to see the U.S. Navy move more of its Aegis warships into the Gulf and off the southern portion of the East Coast to respond to any missile attack.
However, other experts agree that a missile fired by North Korea, Iran or any other nation with missile and nuclear warhead stockpiles off the coast so close to the East or Gulf Coasts could not be intercepted in time.
In referring to the impending arrival of the Iranian warships off the U.S. East Coast, former CIA operative Reza Kahlili said that they are test runs “for a long term presence in collaboration with their allies in this region.”
In addition to Venezuela, those other countries close to Iran include Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador.
“If (the Iranians) do anything, it will be via a commercial vessel,” Kahlili said.
Experts have suggested that an EMP strike could disable most electronics, which control food, water, fuel, energy and other supplies, as well as communications links and more. Ultimately, such a strike on an unprepared U.S. is estimated to result in tens of millions of casualties.
EXPERT: IRAN SHIPS OFF ATLANTIC COAST A DRY RUN FOR LATER NUCLEAR/EMP ATTACK
By Paul Bedard | The Washington Examiner
February 14, 2014
Iran’s surprising decision to move warships off the Atlantic coast poses a potential catastrophic threat to America from a nuclear or electromagnetic pulse attack, according to an expert who foresaw Iran’s move.
Peter Pry, an expert on EMP attacks, said the ships are likely a dry run for a future attack, a maneuver meant to lull Washington into complacency while also embarrassing President Obama and his effort to convince Tehran to give up production of a nuclear bomb in return for a lifting of some economic sanctions.
“Yes, patrols by the Iranian Navy off our coasts could pose threat of a surprise EMP attack,” said Pry, who with others such as former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, has convinced several state legislatures to take moves to harden their electric and energy grids from EMP attack because Washington won’t.
Pry said the ships are probably conducting a test for a future visit from an Iranian freighter that would launch the attack.
“I think the Iranian Navy patrols off our coasts may be intended to lull us into complacency, to get the U.S. Navy accustomed to an Iranian naval presence in our hemisphere, so eventually they could contribute to ‘Zero Hour’ and the great day when the Mullahs decide to drop the nuclear hammer on America,” said Pry, who staffed a former congressional EMP commission.
“I think the Iranian Navy patrols are also intended to humiliate Obama and the United States for the Geneva [nuclear] interim agreement that Tehran interprets, correctly I think, as U.S. surrendering to the inevitability of a nuclear-armed Iran,” he added.
Pry, president of EMPACT America, one of the nation’s leading authorities on EMP, revealed that Iran recently purchased Russia’s Club-K missile launcher, which can be hidden in tractor-trailer-sized cargo boxes.
“I and my colleagues, including Reza Kahlili, who warned six months ago that these Iranian patrols were coming, think it more likely Iran would make an EMP attack by launching a missile off a freighter, so they could do the deed anonymously, and escape retaliation,” Pry explained.
“Iran has demonstrated the capability to launch a missile off a freighter. Iran has also purchased Russia’s Club-K missile system. The Club-K is a complete missile launch system, disguised to look like a shipping container, that could convert any freighter into a missile launch platform. The Club-K, if armed with a nuclear warhead, could be used to execute an EMP attack.”
Woolsey recently told Secrets that Iran was just months away from finishing production of their first nuclear bomb.
He also has joined with Pry and others, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, in warning about a nuclear blast in the atmosphere that would knock out electric transformers and facilities in the mid-Atlantic.
The following is a promotional video Club-K has posted showing how a nation could use the missile system.
SENATE BILL WARNS CITIZENS TO PREPARE FOR EMP, NUCLEAR AND FOOD PREPAREDNESS
State lawmakers are moving to make sure you know what to have on hand when electronic Armageddon strikes.
Legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate Public Safety Committee would require the state Division of Emergency Management to come up with recommendations about what kinds of things Arizonans should buy now and store in the garage, basement or storage room just in case some enemy detonates a nuclear or other bomb that wipes out power and communications in the state — and possibly nationwide.
That recommendation also would spell out exactly how much food, water and medical supplies should be available to last for weeks or months. And the state agency would have to updated that list every five years.
SB 1476 is being pushed by Sen. David Farnsworth, R-Mesa, amid concerns about an electromagnetic pulse that can be caused by certain types of explosion.
According to a briefing prepared for legislators, a nuclear blast on or near the ground can damage electrical systems and communications for 70 miles or more from the site. But an explosion high in the air — 15 miles or more above the surface — could damage electrical grids nationwide for weeks, if not or longer.
That possibility concerns Farnsworth.
He said people have an understanding that disasters can happen. But he said folks are working under the assumption that the problem is local.
“Really, all we have to do is be prepared enough to hang on until outside help comes,’ he told colleagues. But this kind of disaster, Farnsworth said, could be nationwide.
“In essence, there’s no help coming,’ he said. “We need to be locally prepared for a long-term struggle.’
And Farnsworth said that means individual preparedness.
“As a society, we’ve become so dependent on the government and on our society the way it is,’ he explained. “Going to the grocery store, there’s always food there.’
Having the state prepare a list of what people should have in case of such an emergency, he said, would in essence be a wake-up call.
“Hopefully this will start the discussion and the awareness that we as a government cannot feed all these people,’ Farnsworth said. “As responsible citizens, we need to do our part to make our own private preparations.’
Lawmakers were given no indication of what it would cost the state agency to come up with that list of necessary supplies. But they were unanimous in their approval. In fact, some suggested the legislation does not go far enough.
Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Heber, said it isn’t simply a matter of individual survival.
“There’s a lot of different organizations we have in the state that actually work for the public safety,’ he said, including agencies like the Department of Public Safety or even utilities that need to provide power for everything down to the plant that purifies and pumps water. He said maybe state emergency officials need to be figuring out — and telling them — what they need to have on hand.
“If we’re looking at a nationwide, or at least a statewide catastrophic (situation), all the power goes out, trucks stop running, this whole thing, how are they going to then carry out their duties and responsibilities for public safety?’ Crandell asked.
Sen. Andrea Dalessandro, D-Green Valley, said she understands in a small way what can happen when unexpected disaster strikes, having lived in New Jersey.
“Sometimes we would have regional blackouts for several days,’ she said.
“It was absolutely debilitating,’ Dalessandro explained. “Gas pumps are electric. You can’t use credit cards.’
IRAN TEST-FIRES LONG-RANGE MISSILE
By Parisa Hafezi
February 11, 2014
ANKARA (Reuters) – Iran’s military has successfully test-fired two new domestically made missiles, the defense minister said on Monday according to state television, ahead of talks with world powers to try to reach an agreement on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program.
Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said one of them was a long-range ballistic missile with radar-evading capabilities.
“The new generation of long-range ground-to-ground ballistic missile with a fragmentation warhead and the laser-guided air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missile dubbed Bina (Insightful) have been successfully test-fired,” state television quoted him as saying.
“The Bina missile is capable of striking important targets such as bridges, tanks and enemy command centers with great precision.”
Iran already has long-range surface-to-surface Shahab missiles with a range of about 2,000 km (1,250 miles) that are capable of reaching Israel and U.S. military bases in the Middle East. However, analysts have challenged some of Iran’s military assertions, saying it often exaggerates its capabilities.
President Hassan Rouhani issued a congratulatory message saying: “Iran’s children successfully test-fired a new generation of missiles,” the television reported.
The decision to carry out the test may be a sign of Iran’s political infighting. Rouhani was criticized by a group of hardline lawmakers on Sunday for blocking a planned missile exercise. However, it was not immediately clear whether the test on Monday was the same one.
Iran and six world powers struck an interim deal in November under which Tehran agreed to limit parts of its nuclear work in return for the easing of some international sanctions.
Hardliners, irked by the foreign policy shift since Rouhani was elected in June, have repeatedly criticized the deal. Iran’s most powerful authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has so far backed the deal.
Iran and the six powers will start negotiating a full agreement in Vienna on February 18. Easing of sanctions, imposed on Iran over its nuclear activities, began in late January.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and the lead U.S. negotiator with Iran, Wendy Sherman told a Senate hearing last week that Iran’s ballistic missile program would be addressed as part of a comprehensive nuclear deal.
Iran’s deputy foreign minister and top nuclear negotiator said Tehran had no intention of discussing its ballistic missile program with major powers.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s defensive issues are neither negotiable nor subject to compromise. They are definitely among our red lines in any talks,” Abbas Araqchi told state TV on Sunday.
“We will not discuss any issue other than the nuclear dossier in the negotiations.”
Iran rejects Western fears that its nuclear work has military intentions and says it needs nuclear power for electricity generation and medical research.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Monday signaled its determination to get to the bottom of suspicions that Iran may have worked on designing an atomic bomb.
IRAN CLAIMS NEW GENERATION OF 15-TIMES-FASTER CENTRIFUGES
Tehran nuclear chief reserves right to resume enrichment to 60% if needed; Israeli team to meet US negotiators ahead of next week’s nuclear talks
By Times of Israel staff and AFP
February 11, 2014
Iran’s nuclear chief declared that his country has developed a new generation of centrifuges 15 times more powerful than those currently being used to enrich uranium, and said it might resume enrichment to 60% if necessary.
“We unveiled a new generation of centrifuges that surprised the Westerners,” said Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday. “This new machine is 15 times more powerful than the previous generation,” he claimed, according to Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB.
Salehi added that the development did not violate the November 24 Geneva interim agreement between Iran and six world powers that has imposed curbs on Tehran’s nuclear drive. “We successfully argued that this was allowed within the research and development article in the agreement,” Salehi said.
Talks between Iran and the six powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — on a long-term, “comprehensive” accord are due to start in Vienna on February 18. Ahead of them, Israel’s Minister for Strategic Affairs is to lead a delegation for talks with the chief US negotiator with Iran, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman.
Sherman last week told a Senate hearing that Iran’s ballistic missile program would be addressed in the comprehensive deal.
But on Monday Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi, who is also a senior Iranian nuclear negotiator, said “the defense-related issues are a red line for Iran.”
“We will not allow such issues to be discussed in future talks,” he said.
Sherman also argued that Iran does not require an unfinished heavy water reactor in Arak – which could one day produce plutonium as a by-product – nor the underground Fordo uranium enrichment site for its civilian nuclear program.
But another Iranian nuclear negotiator, Majid Takhte Ravanchi, on Monday reiterated that Iran would not accept the closure of “any of its nuclear sites.”
Last week, Salehi said Iran could make changes to Arak’s design to produce less plutonium and “allay the worries.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lambasted the US and the international community for the Geneva deal, which he called a “historic mistake,” and he is demanding that Iran’s entire “military nuclear” capability be dismantled under a permanent accord. US President Barack Obama, by contrast, has said he could envisage Iran being left with a heavily supervised enrichment capability under a permanent deal.
Iran currently has nearly 19,000 centrifuges, including 10,000 of the so-called first generation being used to enrich uranium. Some 1,000 second generation machines, three to five times more powerful, have been installed but are not in service. Under the November deal, Iran cannot increase the number of its centrifuges.
Salehi did not say when the new centrifuges would become operational, but said a first machine was to be delivered to a medical centre in Karaj, west of Tehran, “within two or three months.”
In a recent interview with The Times of Israel, former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren warned that Iran was continuing to develop its centrifuges, and that more sophisticated models would enable it to speed more quickly to nuclear weapons if it chose to try to break out to the bomb. “If the talks break down,” he warned, “and you [the Iranians] quickly install your additional 9,000 centrifuges, among them the IR2s, which really give you [the equivalent of] about 24,000 centrifuges. And you have a stockpile [of enriched uranium]. And maybe you’ve done some research and development, that actually gives you some [centrifuges] closer to an IR3, which has an even higher rate of accumulation than the IR2s, how long is it going to take you [to break out]?”
In his remarks Monday, Salehi also said that despite the current halt in Iran’s uranium enrichment above the 5% grade, as agreed in the Geneva interim deal which took effect in late January, Iran has not and will not give up its right to enrich uranium to the 20% grade and may even resume enrichment to 60% if needed.
“We have met our needs to the 20-percent-enriched fuel (for the Tehran research reactor and medical purposes) and we have enough fuel, but we have not lost our right to produce 20 percent fuel,” he said, according to the Fars news agency.
He claimed Iran was entitled to enrich uranium to any level it wanted, and said, “We have the ability to enrich uranium at 60 percent grade if one day we need it for peaceful works.”
GOP LAWMAKER DEMANDS OBAMA RELEASE TEXT OF IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
By Pete Kasperowicz | The Hill
February 13, 2014
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) this week called on President Obama to release the text of the Iran nuclear agreement.
That agreement, which took effect in January, requires Iran to reduce its uranium enrichment activities in return for a loosening of international sanctions. But Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, said Congress has no way to judge its implementation, unless it has a copy of the agreement.
“In order for Congress to properly perform its oversight functions and for the American people and our allies to have a full and open debate on this issue, I respectfully request that you make public the full text of the Joint Plan of Action,” she wrote in her Feb. 12 letter.
Her letter says Obama has only released some of the details of the agreement, “while keeping the rest shrouded in secrecy.” It adds that there are some reports that Iran has developed centrifuges that will help them speed up the uranium enrichment process.
“Even more alarming is the fact that the Iranian regime, according to reports, believe that these action are within their right under the Joint Plan of Action,” she wrote. She said releasing the entire text would let Americans “judge for themselves the merits of this deal.”
U.S. CURBS CARRIER PRESENCE IN PERSIAN GULF TO AID IRAN NUKE TALKS
By Cheryl K. Chumley | The Washington Times
February 14, 2014