September 24, 2007 - 5:57am.
VP wanted Isreael to attack Iranian nuke site
Vice President Dick Cheney:
Another day, another controversy (AFP
US Vice President Richard Cheney
has considered provoking an exchange of
military strikes between Iran and Israel
in order to give the United States a
pretext to attack Iran, Newsweek
magazine reported in its Monday issue.
But the weekly said the steady
departure of neoconservatives from the
administration over the past two years
had helped tilt the balance away from
One official who pushed a
particularly hawkish line on Iran was
David Wurmser, who had served since 2003
as Cheney's Middle East adviser, the
A spokeswoman at Cheney's office
confirmed to Newsweek that Wurmser left
his position last month to "spend more
time with his family."
A few months before he quit,
Wurmser told a small group of people
that Cheney had been mulling the idea of
pushing for limited Israeli missile
strikes against the Iranian nuclear site
at Natanz -- and perhaps other sites --
in order to provoke Tehran into lashing
out, the magazine reported, citing two
unnamed "knowledgeable sources."
The Iranian reaction would then
give Washington a pretext to launch
strikes against military and nuclear
targets in Iran, Newsweek reported.
When Newsweek attempted to reach
Wurmser for comment, his wife, Meyrav,
declined to put him on the phone and
said the allegations were untrue, the
A spokeswoman at Cheney's office
told the weekly the vice president
"supports the president's policy on
Copyright © 2007 Agence France
Cheney: Iran faces 'serious consequences'
over nuclear drive
LANSDOWNE, United States (AFP) — Vice
President Dick Cheney said Sunday the United
States would not permit Iran to get nuclear
weapons and warned of "serious consequences" if
it refuses to stop enriching uranium.
Cheney, considered the US administration's
toughest hardliner on Iran, did not mention the
possibility of military action amid reports that
President George W. Bush could be laying the
stage for war with the Islamic republic.
"The Iranian regime needs to know that if it
stays on its present course, the international
community is prepared to impose serious
consequences," he said in a speech to the
Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
"The United States joins other nations in
sending a clear message: We will not allow Iran
to have a nuclear weapon," he said, after Bush
warned last week that a nuclear-equipped Iran
evoked the threat of "World War III."
"Our country and the entire international
community cannot stand by as a terror-supporting
state fulfills its most aggressive ambitions,"
Cheney said, accusing Iran anew of abetting
attacks on US troops in Iraq.
Cheney's warning to Iran recalled UN Security
Council resolutions in 2002 that Iraqi dictator
Saddam Hussein faced "serious consequences" if
he failed to come clean on his alleged
stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
Speaking on CNN Sunday, Democratic
Representative Jane Harman said the
administration's threatening language against
Iran was "very dangerous."
"We heard about mushroom clouds and other
images before the military action in Iraq. I
wish the president would avoid that," she said,
calling for tougher UN sanctions on Iran instead
of "war-mongering threats."
Unbowed by the morass faced now by the United
States in Iraq, and by warnings that the US
military is dangerously overstretched, the
hawkish Cheney reportedly favors attacking Iran.
In a New Yorker article last month,
celebrated investigative reporter Seymour Hersh
said there was US planning for "surgical" raids
against Iran's Revolutionary Guards, which
Washington accuses of targeting its forces in
On the campaign trail for next year's White
House race, top Republicans and Democratic
frontrunner Hillary Clinton also insist that
they will never tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran
menacing its neighbors and Israel.
Clinton last month voted for a Senate
resolution that declared the Revolutionary
Guards a terror organization -- a step that her
Democratic rival Barack Obama said represented a
"blank check" for Bush to wage war on Iran.
Iran, which insists it only wants peaceful
nuclear energy, has brushed aside US warnings,
and announced Saturday that its top nuclear
negotiator Ali Larijani had resigned and was
being replaced by an ally of hardline President
In a gloomy speech that ranged over threats
facing the United States from Islamic terrorism,
and the need for Congress to renew controversial
surveillance tactics, Cheney also said that
Washington would not abandon Iraq.
"We're going to complete the mission so that
another generation of Americans does not need to
go back and do it again," he said.
Cheney also accused Syria of using "bribery
and intimidation" to undermine Lebanon's
upcoming presidential election and said the vote
should go ahead "free of any foreign
In May Cheney declared, from the potent venue
of a US aircraft carrier steaming in the Gulf,
that the United States would not let Iran
acquire nuclear arms.
Middle East experts who spoke at the
Washington Institute conference after Cheney's
speech noted that US rhetoric against Iran was
being sharply escalated.
"The language on Iran is quite significant,"
former Middle East presidential envoy Dennis
Ross said. "That's very strong words and it does
Commenting on Bush's "World War III" warning,
Jane's Information Group Alex Vatanka said: "The
United States could take care of Iran militarily
in short order.
"But it's still not useful for policymakers
to use this kind of alarmist talk, even if Bush
feels that Iran is an urgent issue that needs to
be dealt with in his remaining time in office,"
he told AFP.
R E G I O N: ‘Bush’s World War III remark
* Top military officer says US has the
resources to attack Iran if needed despite Iraq, Afghanistan
WASHINGTON: The White House says President George W Bush was
simply making “a rhetorical point” when he suggested that if Iran
could make nuclear weapons, it could lead to World War III.
“The president was not making any war plans, and he wasn’t making
any declarations,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said
Thursday. “He was making a point, and the point is that we do not
believe - and neither does the international community believe -
that Iran should be allowed to pursue nuclear weapons.”
If Iran acquired nuclear weapons, she said, “that would lead to a
very dangerous - a potentially dangerous situation, and
potentially lead to a scenario where you have World War III. But
he was using that as a rhetorical point, not, you know, making a
Bush, at a news conference on Wednesday, said, “I’ve told people
that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like
you ought to be interested in preventing them (Iran) from having
the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” Iran denounced
Bush’s comment. “This sort of policy will jeopardize peace and
security at the international level, and is a barrier for peace,”
the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Ali Hosseini,
said in a statement.
Hosseini said Bush was resorting to “warlike rhetoric” to divert
the American public’s attention from White House failures on
international issues such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
‘US capable of attacking Iran: While military action against Iran
would be is a last resort, the United States has the resources to
attack if needed despite the strains of wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan, says the top US military officer. Navy Adm Michael
Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the focus
now is on diplomacy to stem Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions and
its support for insurgents in Iraq.
But, he told reporters, “there is more than enough reserve to
respond (militarily) if that, in fact, is what the national
leadership wanted to do.” Defence Secretary Robert Gates said
Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons could set off an arms race
in the Middle East. “The risk of an accident or a miscalculation
or of those weapons or materials falling into the hands of
terrorists seem to me to be substantially increased,” he said.
Appearing together before reporters for the first time since
Mullen became chairman on Oct 1, the two expressed unease about
Iran and Turkey, hot spots commanding attention even as the
military focuses on the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gates
also said he believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin is
serious about trying to play a constructive role in resolving the
crisis over Iran’s nuclear programme.
“President Putin takes Iran seriously as a security concern for
Russia, and I think they are prepared to take some actions as
befits that,” Gates said. Mullen said the US military is working
hard to stem the flow from Iran into Afghanistan of high-tech
materials for roadside bombs. The military has said that parts
from the armour-piercing bombs, which have killed hundreds of
troops in Iraq, are now getting into Afghanistan.
Mullen said he is not aware of any high-level Iranian government
connection to the weapons in Afghanistan, although officials have
said that is a concern in Iraq. ap
From Israel, it
This is the assessment of the situation at
the top diplomatic and military levels in Israel: Iran is
moving, unhindered, toward a nuclear bomb. Blocking it with
economic sanctions has failed, mainly because Russia, Germany
and Italy refuse to stop doing business with the Iranians. Two
options remain on the table: to come to terms with Iran's
nuclearization because there is no alternative, or to stop it
The United States has military capability, but there is
opposition within the administration to an action in Iran. The
chances of an American attack appear small; the final decision
will be taken by President George W. Bush. In Jerusalem they
are finding it difficult to assess what will weigh most in the
president's thinking - the strategic and political
considerations against another war after the imbroglio in Iraq
or his belief it is incumbent upon him to free the world from
the nightmare of nuclear weapons in the hands of Iranian
Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Recent weeks have seen a lively debate in the U.S. about what
should be done regarding Iran - either dialogue, which would
mean coming to terms with the nuclear program, or war.
American strategists are talking about "the Cuban missile
crisis in slow motion" and are looking for a third way between
attack and acceptance. In Israel, there is no such debate,
except within a narrow circle of those who are knowledgeable
and interested. Israel, it seems, is waiting for Bush's
decision, which will be taken during the coming year, before
it decides to attack Iran itself.
The public debate in America reveals the
different outlooks of the decision-makers in Jerusalem and in
Washington. From here, the Iranian threat looks much more
palpable and scarier and the response much simpler and more
focused. Presumably, Iran, like Iraq and Syria in their turn,
will find it hard to respond. Perhaps it will launch some
missiles at Israel plus Hezbollah rockets from Lebanon, and
perhaps it will initiate a terror attack on an Israeli target
abroad. This would be painful but bearable and would be
perceived as a justified price for getting rid of an
In American parlance, "attacking Iran" sounds like a World War
III, as Bush warned on Wednesday: weeks of bombing Iran's
military and civilian infrastructures, following attempts at
dialogue and an open ultimatum that would be followed by the
blocking of oil supplies to the West and acts of terror in
which thousands of Americans are killed, if not an all-Muslim
jihad against America that lasts for years. Of course, the
danger of destabilizing the world order and economic
destruction in the West seems excessive in the face of a few
nuclear bombs in Iraq.
When Israelis talk about "the point of no return" in the
Iranian nuclear program, they are referring to "crossing the
technological threshold." That is, the moment the Iranian
engineers and scientists get hold of the knowledge of how to
produce nuclear weapons and are able to replicate it, even if
the existing installations are destroyed by bombs or shut down
in the wake of diplomatic negotiations. The American red line
is the more distant date, when Iran has an operational bomb.
The differences in outlook are understandable. Someone who
lives in Chicago or Miami can live comfortably with an Iranian
bomb, just as he lived under the Soviet threat. An inhabitant
of Tel Aviv, whom the president of Iran is threatening to
deport to Alaska or Canada, must be far more worried.
"The world" is aware of these differences and in its refusal
of sanctions and serious organization against Iran, it is
quietly pushing Israel toward a decision to attack. The
international silence that greeted the action in Syria could
be interpreted as encouragement of Israeli muscle-flexing. The
exchanges of threats between Israel and Iran have met
indifference in the international community, at least until
Bush's speech on Wednesday, in comparison to the concern and
efforts focused on the Palestinian issue. Perhaps an American
expert who has been following events for years was on target
when he said: "You h ave a million and a half Palestinians in
Gaza who could march on Tel Aviv tomorrow, and you're worried
about nuclear weapons in Iran?"
However, from Israel it looks different: In the eyes of the
decision-makers, we will manage somehow with the Palestinians.
But the Iranian threat is perceived as intolerable. Anyone who
thinks otherwise does not dare speak out openly, at least not
until it emerges that either there is a way to stop the
Iranians, or that it is already too late.
As Bush warns
of WWIII, Peres and Putin in war of words
By Israel Insider staff |
US President George
W. Bush warned Wednesday that if Iran gains nuclear
capability, there could be a third world war, according to
the New York Times.
"We've got a leader in Iran who has announced that he
wants to destroy Israel," Mr Bush told a White House press
"So I've told people that, if you're interested in
avoiding World War Three, it seems like you ought to be
interested in preventing them from having the knowledge
necessary to make a nuclear weapon."
Bush's remarks came as Russian Prime Minister Vladamir
Putin met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinjad and
expressed doubts that Iran was pursuing a nuclear arms
President Shimon Peres said that governments throughout
the world have proof that Iran is pursuing a nuclear arms
program, in a statement issued in response to Russian
President's objection to imposing further sanctions on
"Even if [Russian President Vladimir] Putin says he is not
convinced, that Iran is conducting nuclear development for
the purpose of war, everyone know their true intentions,
and many intelligence agencies throughout the world have
proof that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons for
the purpose of war and death," Haaretz quoted Peres as
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced on Wednesday that he
is to meet with Putin as part of a plan to gain support to
lobby the United Nations Security Council members for
tougher sanctions on Iran.
Putin recently concluded a visit to Teheran to meet with
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, marking the first
time a Russian leader since Stalin visited Iran's capital.
The president called for "direct dialogue" with Iran,
saying it was the "more productive and is the shortest
path to success, rather than a policy of threats,
sanctions, and all the more so resolution by using force."
Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu echoed Peres' concern
in a phone conversation with Olmert, stressing the urgency
of the Iranian crisis.
"In Israel we are all united in the belief that Iran must
not obtain nuclear arms. On this issue Israel has no
coalition and opposition," Netanyahu told the prime
minister, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Olmert, however, does not appear to need convincing. "We
must not underestimate Iran's statements about
annihilating Israel or moving it to Alaska," Olmert said
Wednesday at a gathering of dozens of mayors from around
"Sometimes we don't take [President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's
statements] seriously, but we must not forget who is
making them. He is the president of a state with a
population of 70 million, which has military and
technological capabilities and advanced weapons," he
Iran to fire '11,000 rockets in minute' if attacked
Oct 20 07:28 AM US/Eastern
Iran warned on Saturday it would
fire off 11,000 rockets at enemy bases within the space of a
minute if the United States launched military action against
the Islamic republic.
"In the first minute of an invasion by the enemy, 11,000
rockets and cannons would be fired at enemy bases," said a
brigadier general in the elite Revolutionary Guards, Mahmoud
"This volume and speed of firing would continue," added
Chaharbaghi, who is commander of artillery and missiles of the
Guards' ground forces, according to the semi-official Fars
The United States has never ruled out attacking Iran to end
its defiance over the controversial Iranian nuclear programme,
which the US alleges is aimed at making nuclear weapons but
Iran insists is entirely peaceful.
Iran has for its part vowed never to initiate an attack but
has also warned of a crushing response to any act of
aggression against its soil.
"If a war breaks out in the future, it will not last long
because we will rub their noses in the dirt," said Chaharbaghi.
"Now the enemy should ask themselves how many of their
people they are ready to have sacrificed for their stupidity
in attacking Iran," he said.
Iranian officials have repeatedly warned the military would
target the bases of US forces operating in neighbouring Iraq
and Afghanistan in the event of any attack and already has
these sites under close surveillance.
Chaharbaghi said that the Guards would soon receive
"rockets with a range of 250 kilometres (155 miles)" whereas
the current range of its rockets is 150 kilometres (91 miles).
"We have identified our targets and with a close
surveillance of targets, we can respond to the enemy's
stupidity immediately," Chaharbaghi added.
He said that the Guards' weapons were spread out throughout
the country and so would not be affected by any isolated US
strikes against military facilities.
“Powerful Iran” war game to be held
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN, Oct. 20 , 2007 (MNA) – A massive war game codenamed
“powerful Iran” will be held near Qom on October 23-25, the
Commander of Basij (volunteer) Forces in Ministries and
Organizations Masoud Chinigar-Zadeh said on Saturday.
The maneuver in which ten thousand Basijs
will participate is aimed at boosting the Basij forces’ defense
capabilities, Chinigar-Zadeh insisted.
The commander said the main characteristic of this war game is
that it will be held far from capital Tehran and in the vicinity
Through maneuvers Basijs show that they are always prepared to
protect the country’s borders against any possible invasion by the
enemies, he pointed out
|U.S. army chief: Iraq
war has sapped ability to fight Iran
|By Haaretz Service
The new chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of
Staff said in an interview published Monday that the prolonged
military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan may have undermined the
military's ability to fight wars against major adversaries -
With the United States already heavily committed in wars in two
Muslim countries, Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen told
The New york Times that an offensive against Iran, a third Mideast
Islamic state "has extraordinary challenges and risks associated
with it." He counseled against an immediate attack on Iran, saying
that the military option should be a last resort.
But Mullen warned Iran and other nations not to "mistake restraint
for lack of commitment or lack of concern or lack of capability."
Because we have had such an intense focus
on the Middle East and Iraq and Afghanistan, there is risk
associated with those other parts of the world," Admiral Mullen
Asked whether the American military should aim at sites inside
Iran if intelligence indicated that such action could stem the
flow of bombs into Iraq, he said "the risks could be very, very
"We're in a conflict in two countries out there right now," he
added. "We have to be incredibly thoughtful about the potential of
in fact getting into a conflict with a third country in that part
of the world."
Speaking of his visits to soldiers and marines in Iraq and
Afghanistan in recent weeks, Mullen said: "They're tired. They've
been doing unbelievably great work for our country. And we need to
make sure we take care of them and their families."
Regarding prolonged and repeated deployments for the ground forces
in Iran and Afghanistan, he said, "The ground forces are not
broken, but they are breakable."
WHY SATURN? WHAT DOES
Saturn-Neptune Opposition again. The first
crossing is in just a few days, so it's already
happening, and I can see one theme at least that
hadn't occurred to me in advance: film stars
being brought down to earth! First we had Mel
Gibson a few weeks ago, caught on tape,
drunkenly blaming the Jews for all the wars on
the planet. This could easily spell the end of
his career. And now Tom Cruise has been sacked
by Paramount, his film studio - and with a few
barbs from Sumner Redstone, the boss, about
Cruise's erratic behaviour, his 'creative
suicide'. But, of course, a lot of it came down
to money. Maybe this transit will bring about a
re-adjustment of the power of individual stars
vs the studios.
SATURN-NEPTUNE (YET AGAIN)
I predicted a few weeks ago that the transit
could bring about a reality check on the
consumer credit boom, due to a Venus-Jupiter
Square being involved with the first moment of
the Saturn-Neptune Opposition on 31st August.
What I didn't think of was that this could work
both ways - ie the lenders could get a reality
check, and in the news today (in the UK) the
banks are being given a hard time over their
rates of credit card interest.
Then there is Iran, which today boasted of
having opened a heavy water reactor, the next
stage in its project to develop nuclear power -
and, though it denies this, nuclear weapons (See
my earlier blog on Iran, where the astrology
strongly suggests its intention is to create
weapons, as if we needed telling!)
Iran: 1 April 1979, 15:00, Tehran.
Iran's ASC/DESC axis is at 17 Leo/Aquarius, just
one degree off the current Saturn-Neptune
Opposition. The 7th House is the House of Open
Enemies, and Neptune is entering it. So who is
deceiving who? I really don't think that Iran is
deceiving anyone. We all know exactly what they
are up to, we just can't be quite sure of
exactly how advanced they are in their intention
to build nuclear weapons. So here is today's
astrological insight: THE DECEPTION IS THEREFORE
IRAN'S SELF-DECEPTION ABOUT HER ENEMIES, IN THAT
IRAN THINKS THAT NO-ONE WILL STOP HER DEVELOPING
NUCLEAR WEAPONS. Iran is certainly behaving as
if it thinks that. As for today's announcement
by Iran that Israel has nothing to fear: Iran
has natal Mars square to Neptune, and transiting
Mars square Pluto is currently hard-impacting
that. The announcement was, astrologically, a
declaration of war. Israel responded by saying
it would prepare itself militarily.
Given that it is Iran that is deceiving itself
about its enemies (for we are not deceived), we
can therefore expect a surgical attack sooner or
later to destroy its nuclear programme. OK, the
USA is in a weakened position internationally,
and may have to opt out. But for Israel it is a
SURVIVAL issue. Israel will feel it has to act
regardless of the international consquences, for
Iran (in the person of its President) has vowed
to wipe Israel off the map. (As has much of the
rest of the Arab world).
Israel 14th May 1948 16:00 Tel Aviv
Saturn-Neptune is the main transit hitting
Israel's Chart at the moment, hard aspecting its
fixed Sun-Saturn/Pluto-Chiron t-Square. A pretty
heavy natal configuration, that also has Mars at
28 Leo hovering in the wings, square to the Sun
and Chiron. So it is easily roused to battle,
and fearsome. Saturn-Pluto-Chiron indicates
Israel's origins in the worst of what humans can
do to each other - the 19th century pogroms as
well as the holocaust - but also suggests that
Israel itself is capable of the worst sort of
behaviour. It will stop at nothing. So Iran be
warned, especially as Israel's Saturn-Pluto in
Leo sits close to Iran's Ascendant. This
synastry has yet to be activated, but it may be
Saturn-Neptune that does it.
The Guards are Iran's elite ideological army and
responsible for its most significant weapons such as the
longer range Shahab-3 missile which has Israel and US bases in
the Middle East within its range.