US ready for Iran war

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The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln transits the Indian Ocean in this US Navy handout photo dated 18 January 2012. (Photo: Reuters - US Navy - Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric S. Powell - Handout)

Published Monday, February 13, 2012

The US military said it was prepared for a confrontation with Iran on Sunday, escalating the war of words that has raised fears of a war in the Persian Gulf.

Mark Fox, commander of the US Fifth Fleet, told reporters from the US base in Bahrain that the navy has "built a wide range of potential options to give the president" and is "ready today" to attack Tehran.

Fox also made the unverified claim that Iran is preparing to use small boats as suicide attackers.

"They have increased the number of submarines ... they increased the number of fast attack craft," Fox said. "Some of the small boats have been outfitted with a large warhead that could be used as a suicide explosive device. The Iranians have a large mine inventory," he said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemned the US threat, saying it was an attempt to prevent the state from prospering outside of Western influence.

“All plots hatched by enemies are aimed at hindering Iran's progress because they are fearful of our country’s development," Iranian state media reported him as saying.

He said Western forces were preparing the attack because they are concerned that Iran will “turn into a major obstacle against arrogant and hegemonic powers.”

It is the latest escalation in a war of words between Washington and Tehran, as the US continues to press Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

The US and EU have both imposed new stringent sanctions on Iran, targeting the country's lucrative oil industry.

Iran recently called for US forces to vacate the Persian Gulf, stressing their presence has a destabilizing effect on the region.

Tehran, possessing arguably the most powerful navy out of all Gulf-bordering countries, has also threatened to close the vital Strait of Hormuz should Western powers successfully curtail Iran's oil exports.

The US and Britain have vowed to take action should Iran move against the strait – through which 40 percent of the world's oil trade passes.

Iran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful, and has condemned Western double standards regarding Israel's nuclear program – the only Middle Eastern state said to possess a nuclear arsenal.

Israel has avoided international scrutiny over its nuclear weapons, while joining Western efforts to isolate Iran over its program.

But the West needs Asian cooperation for its oil embargo to have a full impact on Iran, as most Iranian oil exports destinations are to Asia's energy-hungry economies.

China, Japan, South Korea and India continue to either oppose or express serious reservations about an embargo.

A senior Chinese diplomat was in Tehran on Monday, urging Iran to cooperate more with the United Nations' nuclear watchdog body.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Monday that Assistant Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu began a two-day visit to Iran on Sunday and urged Tehran to resume talks with the five permanent UN Security Council members.

China – the world's second largest economy – is concerned at the risk of military conflict in the Persian Gulf, and any potential disruptions to oil supplies.

But Beijing has criticized US and EU unilateral sanctions on Iran, and rebuffed US calls for the Chinese to reduce oil imports from the Islamic republic.

(Al-Akhbar, AP, Reuters)


I feel that attacking Iran is a big mistake by USA and EU with Israel. You American will learn a bitter lesson like Vite-man war. In this war you are going to fight Asia. Pakistan, Iran, Russia, China will join at certain level. Iran have navel and torpedoes that can sink USA coalition ship too. For Iran Naval cost less than USA and their allies. Any how with the will of God things would happen as we are not in right path...

Please, do not talk foolishly like Saddam and Gaddafi did and brought destruction to their people and families. Iran can not face the US, Israel and coalition. Pakistan has her own troubles and you will be shock to fight alone. China and Russia, never you count on them. learn from the second world war. Iran is killing fellow Muslims in Iraq, Syria etc. I hope you are happy with this too.Stop this madness. IRAN should open up and talk. the world is trying to avoid another 9/11 killing of innocent men, women and children in the name of God.Do you think only Americans will die? Don't your God hold you accountable for shedding innocent blood?If something is not done today, even China and Russia will regret it.

Thank you for another well written article.

One aspect that many people are wondering about now is:

Must the oil carrying ships travel through Iranian waters?

Or can they avoid them, by moving through Oman coastal waters? Can Iran cross the straight with big ships using only its own waters? The answer is important, because it affects any legality of Irans closing of the straight and the legality of any countermeasures. It will affect public perception and opinion greatly. Does Iran have the possibility to provide Asia with oil over land?

Interestingly the mass media have not been providing this kind of information and instead stress the continued reluctance or defiance of Iran to give in to demands or obligations (each resp. depend on the point of view).

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