U.S. Plan For Possible Strike Against Iran “Fully Available,” Ambassador Says
Days before the Iranian talks on nuclear program are expected to begin in Baghdad, the United States ambassador to Israel announced that his country has completed its plan for a possible military strike against Iran and that the option is now “fully available.”
Ambassador Dan Shapiro said on Israeli military radio that it would be preferable for the problems to be resolved through diplomatic means and through the use of pressure in stead of military might. He added though that the military option is not only fully available but it is ready too and that the necessary planning has been done to make sure it was ready. The United States and Israel see the use of force against the Iranian nuclear facilities as a last resort, but both announced that they would be ready to do it if it came to that.
The words uttered by Shapiro on Israeli radio are the bluntest threat made against Iran by the United States that military force would be used unless the country complied with the demands from the western powers.
The warning that Shapiro appears to have delivered Tehran echoes a statement made a few weeks back by Israeli military Chief of Staff Lt Gen Benny Gantz, who said that not only Israel was ready to attack Iran, but there were other nations as well making their own preparations to do that. Gantz’s words on that occasion were accompanied by President Shimon Peres’s words, who said “we are not alone in this.”
Israeli Prime Minister, a supporter of a clear and effective solution for Iran, has recently formed a new political alliance with the opposition Kadima party, which many consider a government of national unity intended to support a possible military strike against Iran.
The Arabic-language press viewed the move of Netanyahu, deemed by many in the Israeli media as “the king of Israel” after pulling off such a successful maneuver, as a preparation for war on Iran, comparing it with similar moves that occurred at times when Israel was making ready for war.
In January, during a meeting at the White House, the American president expressed his support for Israel but fell short of announcing America’s unconditional support for a military strike, urging the premier of Israel to wait until the sanctions on Iran kick in and start producing effects.
On that occasion, Obama urged Israel to quit the drumbeat about war, arguing that the threat of war is only helping Iran, as the oil prices climb and Iran consequently increases its profits.
The Israeli PM retorted that he would wait for the sanctions to produce results but that this expectative would not last for ever, because this would mean allowing Iran to arm itself with the nuclear weapons, which would jeopardize the very existence of Israel, considering that the Iranian leaders have spoke on many occasions about wiping out Israel.
American military intelligence and the Russian foreign intelligence have reassured Israel that though Iran had the means to produce enriched uranium to create a bomb the decision to do so has not yet been made. The same idea seemed to be advocated at some point by Lt Gen Benny Gantz, who appeared to contradict the line of thought of his own government.
Iran has always argued in favor of its right to produce nuclear energy and said that it was not affected by the measures imposed by the western countries. The clerical leaders argued that producing nuclear bombs goes against their religious precepts, and therefore it would not be sanctioned by the ayatollah.
The countries that are expected to hold talks with Iran, the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany have been using sanctions and diplomatic pressure to convince Iran to renounce its nuclear ambitions and curb its uranium enrichment process, which can fuel reactors and at higher levels of purification the material for warheads.
Iran agreed to discuss the matter in Istanbul earlier this year, and to resume talks in Baghdad on May 23. Iran has announced that it was seeking for cooperation and warned the world powers against any pressures to ensure that the talks would be successful.
Saeed Jalili, Iranian top negotiator, said that in the talks that are expected to be held in the Iraqi capital, where an Iranian-friendly government is in power, Iran would argue in favor of its right to have a nuclear program and would not yield to any pressure strategy that may be thrown at it.
Speaking on state TV on Thursday, Jalili warned the western countries not to make the past “miscalculations about Iran.” Iran has been submitted to an oil embargo intended to cut off the funds necessary for the enrichment of the uranium and the continuation of its program.
In January, a full embargo on oil was sanctioned by President Obama who issued a law by which all countries which buy oil from Iran can no longer do business with the United States companies.
The law has its own exceptions, but the Americans are quit adamant about it, saying that it was the result of a market study, which concluded that the world reserves of oil are enough to make up for the loss of the Iranian oil.
Some countries were allowed to only reduce their imports of oil, some could not be convinced to change their mind. India promised to reduce the oil supply from Iran, Japan has supported the plan from the start, Turkey announced a downsizing by 20 percent of its imports but China refused to yield to the sanctions which is not covered by an United Nations sanction.
European countries have also announced an embargo on Iranian oil, which is expected to take effect next month. In retaliation, Iran announced that some of the European nations would be denied the possibility to buy oil from its companies.
In the run-up to the meeting in Baghdad, as the two sides are attempting to make sure they have a leverage in the negotiations, Iran hanged on Monday a 24-year-old man for the accusation of killing a nuclear scientist.
According to Iranian report, the man who was executed in Evin prison, had confessed to having traveled to Israel where he had received training from Mossad to execute the plan of killing nuclear scientists.
Israel does not comment on this kind of allegations, but an unnamed source said that the daylight killings are meant to set the grounds for “virtual defection,” which means that the colleagues of the nuclear scientists who are killed become afraid of losing their own lives and leave the program.
There was talk in the international media about a “covert war” Israel was supposedly waged against the nuclear facilities as means to avert the military strikes against them. Israel never comment on such allegations, while Iran accused Israel and the United States of killing their scientists.11