Entries Tagged as 'Iran'

Iraq: War’s Legacy of Cancer

By Dahr Jamail (Al Jazeera)
March 18, 2013

Contamination from Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions and other military-related pollution is suspected of causing a sharp rises in congenital birth defects, cancer cases, and other illnesses throughout much of Iraq.

Many prominent doctors and scientists contend that DU contamination is also connected to the recent emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs, and liver, as well as total immune system collapse. DU contamination may also be connected to the steep rise in leukaemia, renal, and anaemia cases, especially among children, being reported throughout many Iraqi governorates.

There has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah.

Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.

As shocking as these statistics are, due to a lack of adequate documentation, research, and reporting of cases, the actual rate of cancer and other diseases is likely to be much higher than even these figures suggest. …

Read on: http://truth-out.org/news/item/15166-iraq-wars-legacy-of-cancer

Biden: U.S. Will Use Military Action if Necessary to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program

PBS Newshour
March 4, 2013

Watch Biden: U.S. Would Use Military Action to Stop Nuclear Iran on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Vice President Biden warned that the U.S. will use military action to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Margaret Warner talks to Flynt Leverett, former National Security Council director, and former Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns about the state of diplomacy on Iran’s nuclear activity.

Read transcript: www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june13/iran_03-04.html

Flaws found in US missile shield against Iran

The Times of Israel
By Desmond Butler
February 9, 2013

One fix for multi-billion-dollar Europe-based interceptors is technically unfeasible, another could be diplomatically explosive

Secret US Defense Department studies cast doubt on whether a multibillion-dollar missile defense system planned for Europe will ever be able to protect the US from Iranian missiles as intended, congressional investigators said Friday.

Military officials say they believe the problems can be overcome and are moving forward with plans. But proposed fixes could be difficult. One possibility has already been ruled out as technically unfeasible. Another, relocating missile interceptors planned for Poland and possibly Romania to ships on the North Sea, could be diplomatically explosive.

The studies are the latest to highlight serious problems for a plan that has been criticized on several fronts. Republicans claim it was hastily drawn up in an attempt to appease Russia, which had opposed an earlier system. But Russia is also critical of the plan, which it believes is really intended to counter its missiles. A series of governmental and scientific reports has cast doubt on whether it would ever work as planned. …

Read on: www.timesofisrael.com/flaws-found-in-us-missile-shield-against-iran/

Senate Republicans back East Coast ICBM missile defense

Foreign Policy
By Kevin Baron
November 29, 2012

Key Senate Republicans on Thursday threw their support behind a controversial proposal to develop an East Coast missile defense site in the U.S. to defend against Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles that do not yet exist.

During ongoing floor debate of the Senate’s fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill, New Hampshire’s Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said she endorsed language in the House-passed bill authorizing the Pentagon to spend $100 million to study locations in the northeast United States for ICMB missile defenses. That provision was a surprise addition when the House bill emerged from the House Armed Services Committee and survived floor debate.

Ayotte introduced an amendment [along with Senator Collins and Senator Lieberman] with similar language and immediately withdrew it before a vote, instead offering her verbal support for the House bill. Ayotte argued Iran could develop a nuclear-tipped, long-range missile that could reach the United States. U.S. defenses currently would not allow for a defensive knock-down and counterattack, she argued.

“I think this is deeply troubling and we should be developing that capacity.”

Ayotte said the National Research Council recommended an additional ballistic missile site in the Northeast. “particularly against Iranian ICBM threats,s hould they emerg.” That report, however, was funded by the Missile Defense Agency and concluded the U.S. should not try to invest in defenses that attempt to strike missiles as they launch, rather ones that would have better luck with set up back on U.S. soil to catch missiles as they’re further in flight.

Ayotte also argued “some analysts” believe Iran “could develop that capacity” of long-range missiles by 2015. “I can’t imagine why we wouldn’t want to be in a position to make sure that the east coast of our country would be as protected as the West coast,” Ayotte said, specifically of Iran, which she argued was trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. …

Read on: http://e-ring.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/11/29/senate_republicans_back_east_coast_icbm_missile_defense

Israel Will Practice Shooting Down Iran’s Missiles (And Denying They’re Iran’s)

By Spencer Ackerman
October 17, 2012

Just in time for a presidential election in which both candidates compete to be besties with Israel, the U.S. and Israeli militaries are holding a big, high-profile exercise to practice shooting Iranian missiles out of the sky. Only neither country wants to say the exercise is about either Iran or presidential politics.

Starting in late October, the U.S. and Israel will spend three weeks jointly testing the abilities of their Patriot missile batteries, Aegis ships, networked command systems and newer interceptors to prevent everything from rockets to armed drones to long-range ballistic missiles from hitting Israel from multiple locations. It’ll be the closest operational look the U.S. has gotten thus far to Israel’s new Iron Dome system to protect against short-range missiles and rockets. About 3,500 U.S. troops will participate in what Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, commander of the U.S. Third Air Force, called “the largest exercise in the history of the longstanding military relationship between the U.S. and Israel.”

The joint tests, dubbed “Austere Challenge 2012,” are part of a series of missile-defense drills that the U.S. and Israel schedule every two years. Only this year, there’s a contextual difference that’s hard to ignore: the prospect of an Israeli strike on Iran, which is likely to prompt retaliation from Iran and its terrorist proxies on Israel’s borders; and persistent tension between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, which has become an issue in the politics of both countries. …

Read on: www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/10/us-israel-missiles/

U.S. urged to build interceptor site

The Vancouver Sun
By Ian MacLeod, Postmedia News
September 13, 2012

System needed to protect the northeast from Iranian threats, experts say

The United States is being urged to establish a major missile interceptor site two hours from Ottawa in upstate New York or in Maine to defend itself and Canada against potential future strikes from Iran.

The proposed site, “would protect the eastern United States and Canada, particularly against Iranian ICBM threats should they emerge,” says a blue-chip panel report delivered to Congress this week.

The U.S. has 30 long-range, ground-based interceptor missiles deployed at Fort Greely in Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base in San Luis Obispo, Calif., to repel a limited nuclear or conventional missile strikes from North Korea. Smaller ship-based systems are aboard the U.S. navy’s Pacific and Atlantic fleets.

Now, future concerns about Iran are shifting continental defence concerns eastward.

“A third (ground) site would be added in the northeastern United States, e.g. Fort Drum, New York, or in northern Maine, to protect the eastern United States and Canada against any potential threats that are limited in nature,” says the report by an influential National Research Council panel.

It pinpoints Rome, N.Y., near Syracuse, and Caribou, in northern Maine, near the New Brunswick border, as the other potential sites …

Read on: www.vancouversun.com/news/urged+build+interceptor+site/7235449/story.html

Panetta, in Israel, seeks patience on Iran but warns that US will use military force

Washington Post
By Associated Press
August 1, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, standing next to the U.S. defense chief, said Wednesday without qualification that international economic sanctions have had no effect on Iran’s nuclear program and suggested Israeli patience was wearing thin, a statement that amounted to an indictment of President Barack Obama’s policy toward the Islamic republic.

Netanyahu dismissed U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s assurances that the United States shared its goal of a non-nuclear Iran, saying the central features of Washington’s strategy for stopping the Islamic republic’s nuclear ambitions — sanctions and diplomacy — were perilously close to failure.

Netanyahu did not explicitly threaten to attack Iran, but that was the unspoken implication of his assertion that all non-military measures have proven ineffective in persuading Iran to change its course.

“Right now the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program,” Netanyahu said. “This must change, and it must change quickly because time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out.” …

Read on: www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israeli-threats-against-iran-syrian-violence-top-panettas-agenda-in-jerusalem-visit/2012/08/01/gJQAjOGEOX_story.html

In Israel, Romney Talks Tough Against Iran

By Sheera Frenkel (McClatchy Newspapers)
July 30, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney vowed Sunday to stand with Israel against any threat from Iran, eager to show that he’s a better friend than President Barack Obama.

“We must lead the effort to prevent Iran from building and possessing nuclear weapons capability,” Romney said. “We should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course. And it is our fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so. In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded. We recognize Israel’s right to defend itself and that it is right for America to stand with you.”

He said the tough talk from a possible U.S. president is critical to let Iran’s leaders know that they face unified and unrelenting opposition to their plans.

“Make no mistake, the ayatollahs in Iran are testing our moral defenses,” he said. “They want to know who will object and who will look the other way. We will not look away nor will our country ever look away from our passion and commitment to Israel.”

Romney’s talk did not spell out any significant difference from Obama, who also refuses to rule out military action as a last resort.

But he drew an unspoken distinction with Obama, who has complained about open talk of warfare to stop Iran. Obama in March said there was “too much loose talk of war.” …

Read on: http://truth-out.org/news/item/10596-in-israel-romney-talks-tough-against-ir

Iran ‘ready to fire missiles at US bases’

Democratic Underground
Source: The Guardian

Iran is prepared to launch missiles at US bases throughout the Gulf within minutes of an attack on the Islamic Republic, according to a commander of the country’s Revolutionary Guards.

In an apparent response to reports that the US has increased its military presence in the Gulf, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ air force said on Wednesdaythat missiles had been aimed at 35 US military bases in the Gulf as well as targets in Israel, ready to be launched in case of an attack.

The semi-official Fars news agency reported Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying: “We have thought of measures to set up bases and deploy missiles to destroy all these bases in the early minutes after an attack.”

Hajizadeh’s remarks were made on the sidelines of a three-day war game called Great Prophet Seven, which Iranian officials claimed was a show of defiance against western pressure, including the US and EU embargo against imports of Iranian oil that came into effect on 1 July.


U.S. Amasses Stealth-Jet Armada Near Iran

Wired News
By David Axe
April 27, 2012

The U.S. Air Force is quietly assembling the world’s most powerful air-to-air fighting team at bases near Iran. Stealthy F-22 Raptors on their first front-line deployment have joined a potent mix of active-duty and Air National Guard F-15 Eagles, including some fitted with the latest advanced radars. The Raptor-Eagle team has been honing special tactics for clearing the air of Iranian fighters in the event of war.

The fighters join a growing naval armada that includes Navy carriers, submarines, cruisers and destroyers plus patrol boats and minesweepers enhanced with the latest close-in weaponry.

It’s been years since the Air Force has maintained a significant dogfighting presence in the Middle East. …

Read on: www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/04/armada-masses-near-iran/