BREAKING: Preparing for an Attack on Iran?
US-Israel Military Exercises in Persian Gulf
Pressuring Tehran ahead of May Diplomatic Negotiations
by Michel Chossudovsky
April 28, 2012
Israeli intelligence news confirms the holding of US-Israel military exercises in the Persian Gulf, simulating an attack on Iran, as well as a counterattack, by the Islamic Republic.
Deafening silence of the Western media. There are no corroborating reports in the US and European media regarding these war games.
According to Israel’s DebkaFile, these exercises were ordered by President Obama. They involve the US and Israeli Air Force, naval forces, as well as intelligence and ground forces.
The exercises are intended “to simulate [Iran's] reactions to a potential US-Israel strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.” (DEBKAfile April 28, 2012)
“Sunday, April 22, the US also transferred a number of advanced stealth F-22 fighter bombers, believed to be from the 302nd Fighter Squadron 302, from the joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska to the Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. According to our sources, the F-22 jets will join the F-15s of the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing which were transferred to the Al Udeid base a month ago.
Their mission will be to destroy the Iranian air force and air defense batteries so as to clear the way for US and Israeli bombers to go into action against Iran’s nuclear sites and the strategic infrastructure of its army and Revolutionary Guards Corps. This unprecedented US buildup of air might – supplementing the aircraft on the decks of the USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Enterprise, to be joined by a third carrier as soon as the offensive gets underway – shows Tehran that the Obama administration is serious about using military means as extra pressure on Iran to give way in diplomatic negotiations – both with the six powers and with the US through clandestine channels.” (Ibid)
These military drills were timed to take place prior to the second round of negotiations with Tehran regarding its nuclear program scheduled for May. (For further details on the Debka report click here)
This aggressive military initiative by the US and Israel simulates an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities as well as Iran’s simulated counter-attack. In a bitter irony, it is carried out in the wake of clear statements both by the US and Israel to the effect that Iran does not constitute a nuclear threat and that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons:
“Israel’s intelligence service Mossad has acknowledged, just like their American counterparts, there is no proof Tehran is carrying out a nuclear weapons program, a source in US intelligence told the New York Times. An unnamed former senior US intelligence official told the paper “Mossad does not disagree with the US on the [Iranian] weapons program.” (See Mossad and CIA concur: Iran is not seeking nukes)
In January, following US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta`s candid statement to the effect that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program, Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barack also confirmed that Iran does not constitute a nuclear threat.
The war games are not acknowledged in the Western media. US military sources quoted by the Western media have, nonetheless, confirmed the deployment of F-22 fighter planes to the Persian Gulf. The reports, however, deny that this deployment “is meant as a show of force against Iran or or that it is in some way related to a potential strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities”. It’s described as part of a “routine deployment and “security cooperation with regional partners.” (US deploys F-22s to base near Iran, Fox News, April 27, 2012)
The Air Force won’t say how many jets were sent or exactly where they are stationed, but privately, U.S. officials have told Fox News the jets are in hangars at the United Arab Emirates’ Al Dafra Air Base, a fact first reported by Aviation Week.
The F-22 has not yet seen combat. The jets were not used in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya. They are stealth, and they specialize in air-to-air combat, but can also strike air-to-ground if needed. As one Air Force official put it, “this is America’s premier fighter jet. It has no rival.”
These “routine operations” are also meant to pressure Iran ahead of the May negotiations which Fox New cryptically describes as “the country’s last diplomatic opportunity”.While Western reports casually acknowledge the sending of F-22 fighters to the Al Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates, the broader issue of war games and war threats is not mentioned. (See U.S. sends fighter jets to Gulf in massive ‘show of force against Iran, Daily Mail, April 28, 2012)
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