Iran prepares for invasion as tensions with U.S. rise

Jan 26, 2005
372
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#1
TEHRAN -- Iran has begun publicly preparing for a possible U.S. attack, announcing efforts to mobilize militia recruits and making plans for the kind of scattershot warfare that has plagued U.S. troops in neighbouring Iraq, officials and analysts say.

"Iran would respond within 15 minutes to any attack by the United States or any other country," said an official close to the conservative camp that runs Iran's security and military apparatus, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have increased over Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology. The Islamic republic says it needs nuclear power to meet domestic energy needs and bolster scientific pursuits, but the U.S. government accuses it of seeking a weapons program. The Pentagon said recently that it has upgraded its battle plans for Iran -- an act it described as routine.

Iranian authorities say they, too, are preparing for war. Newspapers have announced efforts to increase the number of troops in the country's Basiji militia, now seven million strong, who were deployed in human-wave attacks during the Iran-Iraq war.

The military has paraded long-range Shahab missiles, designed by North Korea, before television cameras. In December, Iran said it was conducting its most extensive war games ever, deploying 120,000 troops as well as tanks, helicopters and armoured vehicles along its western border with Iraq.

A Western military expert based in Tehran said Iran is sharpening its ability to wage guerrilla war. "Over the last year they've developed their tactics of asymmetrical war, which would aim not at resisting a penetration of foreign forces, but to then use them on the ground to all kinds of harmful effect," he said.

How much of the activity is actual mobilization and how much is propaganda remains unclear. Iranian officials and analysts have said they want to raise the stakes for U.S. officials and a potentially war-weary U.S. public by highlighting the possible cost of an attack.

"Right now it's a psychological war," said Nasser Hadian, a University of Tehran political science professor who recently returned from a three-year stint as a scholar at New York's Columbia University. "If America decides to attack, the only ones who could stop it are Iranians."

It is an open question whether young Iranian men -- more materialistic than those who battled Iraq in an eight-year war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives -- would fight with enthusiasm against the United States.

Ali, a 28-year-old who runs a small advertising firm and describes himself as a staunch nationalist, said veterans of the Iraq war have been neglected. "I see all the men who went to the front and fought are damaged and ignored and all those who didn't are the ones running the country," he said. "I love Iran and I'm no friend of America, but I won't fight."

Hamid-Reza, a 23-year-old clothing store manager who lost relatives in the Iraq war, said he would fight the United States, but feared Iran would be no match for it.

"What will I do?" he asked. "Get inside an inner tube and go fight against the American battleships in the Persian Gulf?"

Iran's army includes 350,000 active-duty soldiers and 220,000 conscripts. The elite Revolutionary Guard numbers 120,000, many of them draftees. There are 70,000 in the navy and air force.

The armed forces have about 2,000 tanks, 300 combat aircraft, three submarines and hundreds of helicopters. There are at least a dozen Russian-made Scud missile launchers, of the type Saddam Hussein used against Israel during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and an undetermined number of Shahab missiles.

But Iran's antiquated conventional hardware, worn down by years of international sanctions, would be little match for high-tech U.S. wizardry, outside military experts and Iranians concede.

Still, Iran could create trouble for Washington and the world.

Its spy agencies have extensive overseas experience and assets, experts say. The highly classified Quds forces are believed to have operations in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Turkey, the Persian Gulf, Central Asia and North Africa, as well as Europe and North America, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Within minutes of any attack, Iran's air and sea forces could threaten oil shipments in the Persian Gulf or the Gulf of Oman. Iran controls the northern coast of the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow waterway through which tankers leave the Persian Gulf.

Iranian-allied Hezbollah militia in Lebanon could launch attacks on Israel. Its operatives could attack U.S. interests in Azerbaijan, Central Asia or Turkey. "Iran can escalate the war," Prof. Hadian said. "It's not going to be all that hard to target U.S. forces in these countries."

Many analysts say Iran's most powerful card is its influence in Iraq, where Iraqis who spent years in Iran as exiles are about to assume control of the government.

"If Iran wanted, it could make Iraq a hell for the United States," Hamid al-Bayati, Iraq's deputy foreign minister, said in a recent interview.
 

Asus

Bench Warmer
Jul 24, 2004
802
0
36
Montreal Canada
#3
ran preps for a possible war with U.S.:

[World News]: TEHRAN, Feb. 19 : Iran has begun preparing for a possible U.S. attack, or at least trying to dissuade Washington from such an attack by appearing to prepare for war.

Tehran has recently disclosed efforts to bolster and mobilize recruits in citizens' militias and making plans to engage in the type of "asymmetrical" warfare used against U.S. troops in Iraq, the Washington Times reported Saturday.

"Iran would respond within 15 minutes to any attack by the United States or any other country," said an Iranian official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Further, Iranian newspapers are reporting efforts to boost the number of the country's 7-million-strong "Basiji" militia forces, which were deployed in human wave attacks against Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.

Some analysts say Tehran simply wants to highlight the potential costs of an attack on Iran to raise the stakes for U.S. officials considering such a move and to frighten a war-weary American public.

"Right now it's a psychological war," said Nasser Hadian, a University of Tehran political science professor who recently returned from three years at New York's Columbia University.
 

Asus

Bench Warmer
Jul 24, 2004
802
0
36
Montreal Canada
#4
LONDON, Feb 18 (IranMania) - Iran lambasted what it called foreign "psychological warfare" and warned Thursday it would respond to any military strike after a blast near a nuclear site sparked fears of attack.

"An attack, whatever it is, against any site, whether it be nuclear or not, would produce a very rapid response," Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

"The Iranian nation would not yet have even been informed of an attack against a site, nuclear or not, before learning of our decisive reaction."

Underscoring the jitters over the standoff between the West and Iran over its nuclear activities, a powerful explosion Wednesday raised speculation of military activity when local Arabic-language television said witnesses reported seeing a missile being fired from an unidentified plane.

The blast was located near the Gulf port of Daylam, about 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Bushehr, where Iran's first nuclear reactor is being built with Russian help.

The administration of US President George W. Bush has warned of possible military action over Iran's nuclear activities, charging that its efforts to develop nuclear fuel are a cover for an atomic weapons programme.

But a senior security official insisted there was no hostile strike, just major earthworks in an largely uninhabited area in the south of the country.

The incident nevertheless underscored the high state of jitters over Iran, with news of the blast sending oil prices higher and US stock markets lower.

"Nothing happened in the region," insisted Shamkhani, accusing the media of exaggeration.

Iranian officials have charged that the reports about the explosion carried by the foreign media were part of a "psychological war" being waged by the United States against Iran.

And state television devoted a 90-minute special to the incident, lashing out at the "foreign propaganda."

"The propaganda of the United States and the foreign media... and the business with the Daylam explosion shows that America will use any pretext to bring world attention on Iran's internal affairs," top nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani told state television.

US media reports have said the United States has been flying drones over Iran since April 2004, seeking evidence of nuclear weapons work and probing for weaknesses in Iran's air defences.

Intelligence Minister Ali Younessi confirmed the presence of "American spying instruments" in the skies over Iran and warned that they would be targeted by the military.

Meanwhile, Iran said it will sign an agreement with Russia this month on the return of spent nuclear fuel, paving the way for startup of the Bushehr reactor

An agreement on return to Russia of spent nuclear fuel has remained the key impediment to the 800 million dollar Bushehr project.

Russia and the West both fear that Iran could reprocess the spent fuel delivered from Russia by upgrading it through centrifuges to either make a weak "dirty bomb" or an actual nuclear weapon.

The United States and Israel had jointly launched an international campaign against Russia's Bushehr project but Moscow has countered that it would make sure the plant remained harmless to protect its own security interests.
 

Pofak

Ball Boy
Nov 7, 2002
384
0
#5
Asus said:
LONDON, Feb 18 (IranMania) -
...
Underscoring the jitters over the standoff between the West and Iran over its nuclear activities, a powerful explosion Wednesday raised speculation of military activity when local Arabic-language television said witnesses reported seeing a missile being fired from an unidentified plane.

...

Wait, Arabic-language television????
 

Ali(ISP)

Tottenham till I die
Oct 16, 2002
25,912
27
Southampton, UK
#7
i saw the news on mehr too.

one thing for sure, iranian youth will not be fighting for iran. they are either too soosool to go to war, or they dont care about the government, and think anyone that attacks iran might actually be a better alternative to run iran!

its a different view to most of us living outside iran who keep saying 'we will never allow anyone attack iran, and will defend iran as best as we can'.

the youth in iran just dont give a damn, and i dont blame them.
 
Oct 18, 2002
16,336
195
#8
I dont think Iran would respond by disturbing the Persian Gulf shipping.
I dont think iran would hit israel with missles.

yet iran would give the green light to hezbollah to use thier 45 km range missles to target norht of israel. They would also make a jahanm in Iraq.
 

Bauvafa

Bench Warmer
Oct 26, 2004
1,987
0
#9
here is a great article to get a wider prespective of the politics of the region.

http://www.theglobalist.com/DBWeb/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=4380

The Washington-Jerusalem-Tehran Triangle

By Martin Walker | Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Middle East's byzantine power structures are getting more complex by the day. Any action by one of the region's three main powers — the United States, Iran or Israel — may provoke a dangerous reaction. Martin Walker, Editor-in-Chief of United Press International, takes a closer look.

wo years ago, in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, we were assured by various members of the Bush Administration that “the road to peace in the Middle East leads through Baghdad.”

Road of stability

In recent months, we have been equally assured — by former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Bzrezinski and by former U.S. Commander in Chief for the region General Anthony Zinni among others — that the reverse is the case. They agreed that the road to stability in Baghdad lies through peace in the Middle East.

If Egypt can carry through on its current ambitious program of economic liberalization, then maybe the Arab world’s traditional leader can resume its accustomed role.
But the new Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is about to learn, in her current trip through Europe and the Middle East, that the road to peace and stability in both Baghdad and Jerusalem now lies through Tehran.

We now have three interconnected crises in the Middle East. So, for example, if Israel were to decide to launch a pre-emptive military strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons development sites, one of the likely ways for Iran to retaliate would be to unleash the Hizbollah forces in Lebanon against Israel.

Organized, trained, armed and financed by Iran, Hizbollah currently has some 8,000 Katyusha-style rockets in Southern Lebanon, many of which can easily reach Israel’s industrial heartland of Haifa. They could inflict serious damage.

Damage and retaliation

Similarly, were the Iranians to assume that the United States lay behind such an Israeli attack, they would be tempted to retaliate by sending commando teams across the border into Iraq (many are suspected of being there already).


These commando teams could attack U.S. forces directly — or complicate life for the U.S.-protected government that may emerge from Iraq’s recent election.


Power games

One cannot help but think that the Middle East is starting to resemble that childhood game in which paper wraps stone, scissors cut paper — and stone blunts scissors.

No Americans, no deal, is Tehran’s motto. No nukes is the only deal, say the Americans. And the Arabs ask, what about us?

Make a move in Jerusalem and the effects are felt in Tehran. Make a move in Tehran and the impact is felt in Baghdad.

This is a bizarre state of affairs and it reflects the degree to which the Arab has suffered a systemic collapse over the past decade. There are three major powers currently involved in the Middle East: Israel, Iran and the United States. Not one is an Arab nation.

Turkey steps in

After the fall of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the long quiescence and economic stagnation of Egypt, there is no longer any Arab great power. There certainly is none that can wield any kind of veto or authority over events in the region in the way that the Egypt of Anwar Sadat or Gamel Abdel Nasser could.


Israel has such a veto power in the region. So does Iran — and so does the United States. The European Union may, through judicious exercise of its financial and market power, have a powerful role — and so might Turkey.

Iran won’t talk

One thing is clear — as and when Turkey becomes a full member of the European Union, the EU with Turkey will be a very major power — and perhaps even the big player in the Middle East. But that is not yet the case.

When Turkey becomes a full member of the European Union, the EU with Turkey will be a very major power, and perhaps even the big player in the Middle East. But that is not yet the case.

For the moment, the big decisions throughout the Middle East will be taken in Tehran, Jerusalem and Washington — if they are to be taken at all. And that is the question.

The Iranians are not talking to the Americans, nor to the Israelis — they are talking only to the Europeans.

And even the patient and gullible foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany are starting to suspect that they are being given the Iranian run-around — and that any deal reached with the Foreign Ministry of the ‘elected’ government are worthless unless the Governing Council and the Ayatollahs have also approved it.

Americans guarantee trust

At the same time, the Europeans have been deeply frustrated to learn from Secretary Rice over the weekend that the Bush Administration will not join in the EU-Iranian negotiations.
The Iranians say they can trust no deal that is not endorsed by the Americans. And the Europeans alone have neither the carrots nor the sticks that could tempt Tehran to sign a final deal that would freeze or end or defang the nuclear weapons program (which Tehran still denies having).

Regaining Arab power

No Americans, no deal, is Tehran’s motto. No nukes is the only deal, say the Americans. And the Arabs ask, what about us?

There are three major powers currently involved in the Middle East: Israel, Iran and the United States. Not one is an Arab nation.

The only answer to that is a shrug. If the new government of Baghdad can deliver stability and defeat the sabotage campaign against the pipelines, start to rebuild the Iraqi economy by exporting oil again and avoid a sectarian civil war between Sunni and Shia, then maybe Iraq can become a serious Arab power again.


If Egypt can carry through on its current ambitious program of economic liberalization, and if President Mubarak can overcome his fears of the Muslim Brotherhood to ease the political reins, then maybe the Arab world’s traditional leader can resume its accustomed role.



More than just oil wealth

If the Saudis can win their internal security campaign against their own militants (and the most dangerous of these despise al-Qaeda almost as much as the Americans do) and calm the simmering restiveness among their own Shi’ite minority, they might regain the kind of influence their renewed oil wealth ought to bestow.


But for the moment, the Arabs are distracted, introspective, self-doubting and cowed. Every creed they have tried — from Nasser’s pan-Arab nationalism to modernization through socialism to secular capitalism to pan-Islamism — has crumbled in their hands.

Three cities, three rulers

They fear they are the heirs to a failing civilization and appear condemned to be objects rather than subjects in their own narrative, doomed to allow the crucial decisions for their future to be taken by others.

Make a move in Jerusalem and the effects are felt in Tehran. Make a move in Tehran and the impact is felt in Baghdad.

The Americans in Baghdad, the Israelis in Jerusalem and the Iranians in Tehran are now the arbiters of the Arab future. The respective rulers are now mutually dependent in this moment of stasis before a decision is reached.
If the Israelis and/or the Americans try to destroy Iran’s nuclear potential, the Middle East will erupt. If they do not, then an accommodation will have to be made with Iran and the Shia as a — if not THE — major Middle Eastern power for the future.

And after all, as everyone in the region knows, the Americans are only visiting — the Persians live here, always have and always will.
 

Asus

Bench Warmer
Jul 24, 2004
802
0
36
Montreal Canada
#10
China, India and to some extent the EU all need to back Iran and insure it's health to keep US from getting total control over the world's major energy reserves; they don't care about Israel. Iran as the only regional power that's not pro-US is the only thing standing between US companies and the entire ME energy reserves. These countries' future development and influence in the world depends on access to cheap energy resources. If Iran becomes a US puppet country, then China, India and the EU will have to bend over for the US to get access to ME oil reserves.

Russia is worried about US hegemony and is trying to keep from gaining too much power on it's borders in Asia.

But, all of Russia, China and Iran's efforts to undermine US hegemony are nothing compared to what US invasion of Iraq has done to undermine US influence and good will around the world.

The Shia in Iraq have a majority of the parliment and they will certainly direct the new Iraqi goverment to be close to Iran. The insurgency will not stop as long as US has a presence in Iraq and so the new Iraqi goverment will try to get US out as soon as possible while avoiding chaos and civil war. US will leave Iraq having spend HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of US tax dollars, thousands of soldiers dead and tens of thousands wounded and having created thousands of brand new US hating terrorists who will do harm for decades to come. US might have done a great thing by getting rid of Saddam, but the price has been high in lives and dollars and US and Iraqi's will be paying for it for decades to come.
 

Bauvafa

Bench Warmer
Oct 26, 2004
1,987
0
#11
loool love that smiley on Iran's map, I guess that says it all, plus the all the yellow colors.

I read somewhere that there are already plans to extend the "silk road" into Iraq & beyond for future trade.
 

Saeedb

Bench Warmer
Jul 7, 2003
2,397
36
#12
When Bush is traveling to euroupe he should prove he is able to regain the trust
and friendship with Euroupe and that is why every one is counting on US will tune
down the tone they have used about Iran. If Bush decides to attack Iran Euroupe
will not support meaning that US should suply the whole budjet and sodjer and so on.
Every one in euroupe count on they agree to continue diplomatic sulutions.
Like Essamani I believe if US attacks Iran's best card will be in Iraq and afganistan.
But I doubt it comes so far. US has to stay for long time in Iraq and nothing hesitate
so they will be reflexiv to see if EU has sucsees but both side will continue to put pressure on Iran. There will not be a war with Iran in a close future. I doubt it.
 
Jan 26, 2005
372
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#13
The following to statements say it all for me:

[Ali, a 28-year-old who runs a small advertising firm and describes himself as a staunch nationalist, said veterans of the Iraq war have been neglected. "I see all the men who went to the front and fought are damaged and ignored and all those who didn't are the ones running the country," he said. "I love Iran and I'm no friend of America, but I won't fight."]

[Hamid-Reza, a 23-year-old clothing store manager who lost relatives in the Iraq war, said he would fight the United States, but feared Iran would be no match for it.

"What will I do?" he asked. "Get inside an inner tube and go fight against the American battleships in the Persian Gulf?"]