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September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Hormuz’

Ayatollah Launches Submarine as US Conducts Gulf Exercise

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Tensions between the US and Iran increased Tuesday, as Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei order the launch of a Tareq-901 submarine and a Sahand navy destroyer into the Persian Gulf Iran as US and allied navies held drills there to practice keeping shipping lanes open.

The report was made by the official IRNA news agency.

The United States, Britain, France and a number of Middle Eastern states are conducting a naval exercise in the Gulf this week in response to repeated Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, a prime route for oil transport from the Persian Gulf, if Israel attacks Iranian nuclear sites.

Khamenei visited the northern coastal city of Nowshahr on Tuesday to attend naval exercises involving planting mines, destroying enemy vessels, and freeing hijacked ships.

Report: Iranian Retaliation Will Be Multi-Pronged Attack on Israeli, Jewish Targets

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

The New York Times quoted an anonymous former senior Israeli official on Wednesday as saying that Iranian retaliation against an Israeli military strike would best be described through a formula he termed “1991 plus 2006 plus Buenos Aires, times 3 or 5.” That is, Iran’s response would be the functional equivalent of Iraq’s scud missile attack on Israel in the 1991 Gulf War, the 3000+ Hizbollah rockets fired on Israel during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, and the terror attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets in Buenos Aires in the early 1990s, multiplied in scale at least three times.

“Forty missiles fired at Israel are no small matter – but it’s better that a nuclear Iran,” the ex-official said.

This evaluation is premised on the notion that Iran would seek to avoid an all-out regional war, and suffice with a pointed yet limited retaliation. Recent comments by the US Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff notwithstanding, this is a shaky premise, and US defense experts concede as much.

The report went on to say that the Pentagon believes that attacking Iran would serve as a pretext for Iran to block the Strait of Hormuz, and would also result in a missile salvo on Israel regardless of whether it was responsible. Iran would be cautious with respect to American interests and targets, knowing that the US has the wherewithal to permanently incapacitate its nuclear program.

In related news, the US Air Force Chief of Staff sought to allay speculation that the US has precluded the military option against Iran by telling reporters Wednesday that the US has drafted military plans to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, according to the Bloomberg News Agency.

General Norton Schwartz was also reported to have said “What we can do, you wouldn’t want to be in the area.”

Bloomberg also quoted Pentagon officials, who delved into specifics but spoke on condition of anonymity since the plans are confidential. The military contingencies that have been prepared include providing aerial refueling for Israeli jets, launching attacks against the Revolutionary Guard Corps and its elite Quds Force, as well as regular Iranian military bases.

These comments appear to be the latest missives in the Obama Administration’s attempt to beef up its image as tough on Iran. There have been reports of Israeli displeasure with what they perceive as an official administration line downplaying the chances of a military strike, and in the process diminishing the West’s deterrent power.

Iranian Officials Again Threaten Closure of Strait of Hormuz

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Two Iranian officials on Monday reiterated threats that their country would block the Strait of Hormuz, in retaliation for oil sanctions on the Islamic theocracy.

The remarks were made in anticipation of the EU decision to institute an oil embargo on Iran.

A day earlier, US aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln sailed through the Strait of Hormuz without incident. Iran appeared to be lowering the rhetoric in light of comments by a senior Revolutionary Guard Corps official acknowledging that the return of US carriers was “routine”.

Iran Insists Closing Strait of Hormuz an Option; US Insists Iran Still Has Path to End Dispute

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations reiterated his country’s stance that closing the Strait of Hormuz is an option if Iran deems it necessary to deal with a security threat.

“There is no decision to block and close the Strait of Hormuz unless Iran is threatened seriously and somebody wants to tighten the noose,” Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said on a PBS news program. “All the options are or would be on the table.”

Meanwhile in Washington DC, the White House is still hoping Iran will take “a peaceful way out” of the controntation over its nuclear program.

“If the Iranians are serious about restarting talks, then they need to respond to [EU envoy Catherine Ashton's] letter,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said to reporters in a White House briefing. “That is the channel by which…the restarting of those talks would take place.”

Carney declined to comment on reports that President Barack Obama sent Iranian leaders a letter suggesting direct talks.

Iran Confirms Receipt of US Letter Regarding Strait of Hormuz

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Iran confirmed on Sunday that it had received a letter from the US government responding to Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz should sanctions prevent it exporting oil.

“America’s message over the Strait of Hormuz reached us through three channels. It was given to our UN representative, the Swiss ambassador conveyed it to the Foreign Ministry and also Iraqi President Jalal Talabani gave the message to Iran,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

The New York Times reported that the contents of the letter conveyed to Iranian Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameneni that closing the Strait would constitute crossing a “red line.”

Iran has not yet decided if it would reply to the letter.

US Sends Chief of Staff to Stop Israeli Attack on Iran

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Israel’s intensifying readiness to launch a military strike against Iran has met with a negative US response, with top government officials being dispatched to the Jewish state in the attempt to thwart an attack.

US President Barack Obama, who has made the US position against an attack on Iran known through Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as well as through private phone conversations to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is now sending chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey to Israel to discourage the Jewish state from taking unilateral actions.  Dempsey will be in Tel Aviv next week, where he will meet with Israeli military officials including Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz .  Dempsey will attempt to convince officials that US-imposed sanctions are sufficient to protect against an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel.

Despite a growing number and degree of international sanctions, Iran has remained seemingly undeterred in its quest for nuclear capability, warning Arab states not to take part in a drive to stop Iran’s atomic development, chastising nations which have taken steps to punish the country, and relocating enrichment facilities to hidden underground locations.  It has also threatened to block oil transports through the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Now, all heads are turned toward Israel, which has stated in the past that it will take necessary measures to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, steps which it sees as potentially unavoidable for protecting the continued existence of the country. “It is the policy of the Israeli government, and the Obama administration, that all options remain on the table. And it is crucial that the ayatollahs in Tehran take this policy seriously,” said Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S.

As Iran has continued its nuclear development, an increasingly heated war of words has ensued between Israel and Iran, with Iranian officials daring Israel to attack “if the Zionists like to sit on wheelchairs”, and Israel stating that ramped up threats against it make a strike against Iran “more and more likely”.

For its part, the US military is preparing for repercussions to its operations in the Middle East as a result of an Israeli strike on Iran.  Of particular concern to the US are its various embassies and diplomatic outposts, with a staff of 15,000.

Israel and the US have planned a coordinated massive missile defense drill for later this year, called “Austere Challenge”.

US Responds Sharply to Iran’s Threat to Close the Strait of Hormuz

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reiterated the Obama administration’s resolve in preventing Iran from developing of a nuclear weapon. He stated that both a nuclear weapon and closing of the Strait of Hormuz constituted “red lines” over which the U.S. would take action. Still, he emphasized “the responsible thing to do right now is to keep putting diplomatic and economic pressure on them.” Regarding talk of a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear program, Panetta stressed that the U.S. and Israel have “common cause,” and the “better approach is for us to work together.”

President Obama’s top military adviser, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, also appeared on the Sunday news program and said that though Iran has the military power to close the Strait “for a period of time,” the U.S. would act to reopen it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-responds-sharply-to-irans-threat-to-close-the-strait-of-hormuz/2012/01/08/

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