The U.S. Navy says it has deployed a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf amid rising tensions with Iran over its nuclear program. Cmdr. Amy Derrick-Frost of the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet said on Monday that the deployment of the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise along the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group marks only the fourth time in the past decade that the Navy has had two aircraft carriers operating at the same time in the region.
Iran declared on Monday it will not be swayed from its nuclear “path” by sanctions, a week before talks with world powers that are increasingly seen as a last chance for diplomacy in its showdown with the West.
Benjamin Netanyahu, going a step further in his warnings to Iran, hinted that Israel didn’t need Washington’s blessing to go ahead and attack Iran’s suspect nuclear program. “Israel has never left its fate to others, not even the best of its friends,” he said, citing Israel’s 1981 attack on an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor, which at the time was condemned by the U.S.
Israel has asked the United States for advanced “bunker-buster” bombs and refueling planes that could improve its ability to attack Iran’s underground nuclear sites, an Israeli official said on Thursday. “Such a request was made” around the time of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington this week, the official said, confirming media reports.
Channel 2 in Israel, sourcing a “senior American official”, says that the decision has already been made by the Israeli government to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. “All U.S. intelligence officials are confident the Israeli leadership has already decided to attack Iran, unless a significant change happens in the coming weeks or months with the Iranian nuclear program,” Channel 2 reports.
“My supreme responsibility as prime minister of Israel is to ensure that Israel remains the master of its fate,” Netanyahu told Obama. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Obama that Israel would decide for itself whether to strike Iran.
Speaking at a ceremony honoring past Hezbollah commanders, Vahidi said that “Israel is weaker than it has ever been and its army is tired and humiliates. “Iran’s warriors are ready and willing to wipe Israel off the map,” he declared.
“During both the first and second round of discussions, the agency team requested access to the military site at Parchin. Iran did not grant permission for this visit to take place,” the Vienna-based IAEA said in a statement after the talks Monday and Tuesday talks in the Iranian capital. “We do not wait for enemies to take action against us,” said Iran, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency. “We will use all our means to protect our national interests.”
The former chief of staff to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities is “imminent.” “We’re at the very last moment. This is going to be the first time in history that a maniacal, radical Islamic regime will acquire a nuclear weapon,” he said. “The day after they have a bomb will be a different day for the entire world.”
The Israeli military will on Monday deploy a battery of rocket interceptors from its “Iron Dome” system in the Tel Aviv region, a military spokesman said on Sunday. The decision to site an Iron Dome battery at Tel Aviv comes amid heightened regional tensions and speculation about a possible Israeli attack targeting Iran’s controversial nuclear programme. Israel has denied that a decision has been taken to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.
Iran began loading domestically made nuclear fuel rods into its Tehran research reactor on Wednesday, a defiant move in response to toughening Western sanctions over its controversial nuclear program.
A U.S. aircraft carrier strike group sailed through the Strait of Hormuz Tuesday more than a month after Iran warned a different carrier — USS John C. Stennis — not to return to the Gulf as Iranian navy boats sailed by.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu placed blame for the dual attacks against Israel’s diplomatic missions in New Delhi and Tbilisi Monday squarely on Tehran, saying that Israel will continue to “systematically and with patience, use a strong arm” against international terrorism emanating from Iran. “Iran, which is behind these attacks, is the greatest exporter of terrorism in the world,” Netanyahu said. “The Israeli government and its security forces will continue to work together with local security services against these terrorist actions.”
Iran has built up its naval forces in the Gulf and prepared boats that could be used in suicide attacks, but the U.S. Navy can prevent it from blocking the Strait of Hormuz, the commander of U.S. naval forces in the region said on Sunday. Iran has made a series of threats in recent weeks to disrupt shipping in the Gulf or strike U.S. forces in retaliation if its oil trade is shut down by sanctions, or if its disputed nuclear program comes under attack.
Hamas would never acknowledge the Israeli state, said Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian movement in Gaza, on Friday in Tehran. “They (West) want from us to stop resistance and acknowledge Israel but I herewith announce that this will never happen,” Haniyeh said though an interpreter at a ceremony marking the 33rd anniversary of the 1979 Iranian revolution.
Iran has demonstrated further evidence of its strict regime after the government cut internet links leaving millions without email and social networks. ‘The interesting thing is that when asked, they deny the fact that all these services are all blocked,’ an Iranian contacted by CNET said.
Saudia Arabia would move quickly to acquire nuclear weapons if Iran successfully tests an atomic bomb, according to a report. Citing an unidentified Saudi Arabian source, the Times newspaper said that the kingdom would seek to buy ready-made warheads and also begin its own program to enrich weapons-grade uranium.
Foreign embassies in Israel have recently started to formulate contingency plans to evacuate their citizens from the Jewish State in case of a missile attack on Israel. In the framework of the preparations for possible fallout in case of an Israeli strike on Iran, foreign diplomats stationed in Israel requested that the Foreign Ministry equip them and their family members with gas masks.
The Iranian government, through a website proxy, has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people.
Calling Israel a danger to Islam, the conservative website Alef, with ties to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the opportunity must not be lost to remove “this corrupting material. It is a ‘jurisprudential justification” to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel, and in that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.”
Watching US President Barack Hussein Obama as he pulls every trick in his repertoire to keep Israel from doing what they need to do – strike Iran’s nuclear facilities – is like watching a little child trying to shovel the driveway while the snow storm still rages. He is fighting very much a losing battle, and can only forestall the inevitable for just so long. But what it does reveal, however, is just how deep his ties and loyalties run with the Muslim nation of Iran.
Iran has begun mass production of an anti-ship cruise missile, state television’s website said on Saturday. The Zafar missile, as it is dubbed in the report, “is a short-range, anti-ship cruise missile capable of destroying small- and medium-sized targets with high precision.”
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 – enough to hit the United States, a senior Israeli official said Thursday in a speech to a defense and security forum.