Monday Sep 17, 201207:19 AM GMT
US leads war games near Iran
Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:17AM
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The U.S. is leading its largest-ever war games near Iran by sending battleships, aircraft carriers, minesweepers and submarines into the Persian Gulf.

 

25 countries are participating in the 12-day war games exercise with the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the UAE deploying the largest number of warships. Fleets of warships will flood the Strait of Hormuz, the important waterway through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil passes, as a show of force to deter Iran from trying to close the straits or retaliate against U.S. assets in the region, even in response to an unprovoked Israeli strike.

 

Despite the unprecedented scale of the operations, chances of a U.S. or Israeli strike on Iran have lessened considerably in recent weeks, as American refusal to back an Israeli strike have turned the tide of war-hawks in Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains one of the few still advocating harsher postures, and he is increasingly isolated.

 

A torrent of military and intelligence analysis rejecting the need or viability of a preventive strike on Iran have come out in recent days. A report by dozens of former government officials, national security experts and retired military officers released Thursday concluded military action would spark an uncontrollable regional war and have counterproductive results. Antiwar

 

FACTS & FIGURES

 

Following the reports of the armada of U.S. and British ships amassing in the Persian Gulf, a top commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned Sunday that “nothing will remain” of Israel if his country is attacked. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said Iran would close down the Strait of Hormuz and strike U.S. bases in the Middle East. Prison Planet

 

Retired U.S. General John Abizaid has previously described the Iranian military as “the most powerful in the Middle East.”

 

A bipartisan group of ambassadors, retired generals and foreign policy experts is warning against a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. WSJ

 

Not a war of weeks or months, but a “generations-long war” is how no less a figure than former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy describes the consequences of open conflict with Iran. In comparison with Iraq and Afghanistan, both countries with relatively small populations which were already in a state of relative powerlessness before they were invaded, Iran commands the eighth largest active duty military in the world, as well as highly trained special forces which operate in countries throughout the region and beyond. The Nation

 

U.S. wars of “invasion, aggression and occupation” are no longer sustainable economically and socially, veteran war critic and U.S. scholar Professor Bill Ayers, says. He adds that if NATO, the U.S. or Israel attack Iran, it would lead to a catastrophe. RT

ISH/HJ

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