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June 27, 2010

Iran Claim: Israel Positioning Equipment In Saudia Arabia As Prelude To Attack

This is from Iran's semi-official news agency, so it's probably just propaganda, and even if it's "reportage," I doubt a cleric-run news agency gets a lot right.

But...

Israel Air Force aircraft dropped off large quantities of military gear at a Saudi Arabian military base a week ago, in preparation for a potential attack on Iran, a number of Iranian and Israeli news outlets have reported.

The unconfirmed report, first published by the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars and the Islam Times Web site, claimed that on June 18 and 19, Israeli helicopters unloaded military equipment and built a base just over 8 km. outside the northwestern city of Tabuk, the closest Saudi city to Israel, located just south of Jordan. All civilian flights into and out of the city were said to have been canceled during the Israeli drop-off, and passengers were reportedly compensated by the Saudi authorities and accommodated in nearby hotels.


The claim follows a report two weeks ago in the London Times Magazine that Saudi Arabia had given Israel permission to fly through a narrow corridor of airspace in northern Saudi Arabia so as to shorten the flight time required for Israeli jets to reach Iran. The Times said that Saudi Arabia had adjusted its missile defense systems to ensure that Israeli jets are not shot down while passing through Saudi airspace on the way to an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Meanwhile, Italian PM Berlusconi says the G-8 firmly believes an Israeli strike is coming.

World leaders "believe absolutely" that Israel may decide to take military action against Iran to prevent the latter from acquiring nuclear weapons, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Saturday.

“Iran is not guaranteeing a peaceful production of nuclear power [so] the members of the G-8 are worried and believe absolutely that Israel will probably react preemptively,” Berlusconi told reporters following talks with other Group of Eight leaders north of Toronto.

Our own CIA, which famously declared in 2007 that Iran had absolutely shelved its nuke program (in order to stop Bush from ginning up support for his own strike), now says oopsie, Iran has enough fuel for two atomic bombs and it will only take two years to assemble them.

CIA Director Leon Panetta says Iran probably has enough low-enriched uranium for two nuclear weapons, but that it likely would take two years to build the bombs.

Panetta also says he is doubtful that recent U.N. penalties will put an end to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

He says the penalties could help to weaken Tehran's government by creating serious economic problems. But he adds, "Will it deter them from their ambitions with regards to nuclear capability? Probably not."

Panetta tells ABC's "This Week" that there is "some debate" as to whether Iran will proceed with the bomb.

"Some debate." On one side we have the don't-worry-be-happy Persons of Stupid that published the fraudulent 2007 NIE, on the other side we have the non-mentally-challenged.

And the Israeli ambassador to the US says that US-Israel relations have moved beyond "crisis" point, because a crisis implies an acute situation, whereas the current situation is permanent.

Relations between Israel and its staunchest ally, the US, have suffered a "tectonic rift", according to Israel's ambassador to Washington.

Michael Oren briefed Israeli diplomats on the sharp deterioration between the countries ahead of Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit to the White House early next month.

According to those present, Oren said the situation had moved beyond a crisis that eventually passes. "There is no crisis in Israel-US relations because in a crisis there are ups and downs," he told the diplomats in Jerusalem. "Relations are in the state of a tectonic rift in which continents are drifting apart."


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posted by Ace at 05:11 PM

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