BREAKING: Iran Not Building A Nuclear Weapon: Leon Panetta
by Common Dreams
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta appears on CBS’ Face the Nation this morning and declared, despite enormous public rhetoric among pundits and many US government officials – not to mention GOP presidential candidates, that Iran is not currently trying to build a nuclear weapon.
The Associated Press reports today:
[Panetta] says Iran is laying the groundwork for making nuclear weapons someday, but is not yet building a bomb and called for continued diplomatic and economic pressure to persuade Tehran not to take that step.
As he has previously, Panetta cautioned against a unilateral strike by Israel against Iran’s nuclear facilities, saying the action could trigger Iranian retaliation against U.S. forces in the region.
The comments suggest the White House’s assessment of Iran’s nuclear strategy has not changed in recent months, despite warnings from advocates of military action that time is running out to prevent Tehran from becoming a nuclear-armed state.
Iran says its nuclear program is only for energy and medical research, and refuses to halt uranium enrichment
And although such comments pair with Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program is strictly for domestic non-military purposes, and despite renewed warnings to US-allied Israel not to strike Iran prematurely, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, who joined Panetta on Face the Nation rattled the US saber without mistake, saying:
he wanted the Iranians to believe that a U.S. military strike could wipe out their nuclear program.
“I absolutely want them to believe that’s the case,” he said.
Panetta did not rule out launching a pre-emptive strike.
As such threats from both Israel and the United States continue it’s little wonder the Iranians would seek to put their nuclear facilities beyond the reach of incoming airstrikes. As Reuters reports:
Iran will in the “near future” start enriching uranium deep inside a mountain, a senior [Iranian] official said.
A decision by the Islamic Republic to conduct sensitive atomic activities at an underground site – offering better protection against any enemy attacks – could complicate diplomatic efforts to resolve the long-running row peacefully.
Iran has said for months that it is preparing to move its highest-grade uranium refinement work to Fordow, a facility near the Shi’ite Muslim holy city of Qom in central Iran, from its main enrichment plant at Natanz.
Responding to threats by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil shipments, Panetta did not hesitate to raise the possibility of military intervention yet again. According the Agence France-Presse:
“We made very clear that the United States will not tolerate the blocking of the Straits of Hormuz,” Panetta told CBS television. “That’s another red line for us and that we will respond to them.”
Panetta was seconded by General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said Iran has the means to close the waterway, through which 20 percent of the world’s oil passes.
“But we would take action and reopen the Straits,” the general said.
Global Research Articles by Common Dreams
ISRAEL WANTS WAR WITH IRAN- WHAT ISRAEL WANTS….IT GETS!
THE GREATER ISRAEL IS ALL THAT MATTERS…
War Plan Iran: The US Finally Admits Its Criminal Bankruptcy.
“Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”
by Finian Cunningham
Officially, America is now bankrupt: financially, economically, politically – and morally. Its criminal aggression towards Iran is just one of many parts of a jigsaw that add up to a clear and grotesque picture of what the United States of America now represents in the 21st Century world.
The numbers and pictures for these constituent parts of this odious jigsaw puzzle are well known. But what has become glaringly clear is just how integrated the official image of the US now is. Bankrupt.
Terminally in debt, mass poverty at record levels, rampant militarism, draconian curbs on civil liberties, government by the rich for the rich, and lately the reactionary, debased cat-fight that passes for political debate among Republican contenders for the Presidency. Cringing is the sight of super wealthy career politicians throwing sand in each other’s eyes to scrabble up the pole for yet further personal accumulation of capital; disturbing is the easy way that psychopathic targeting of imagined enemies whether at home or abroad is worn like a badge of honour. It is a sign of how depraved the American political mind has become when would-be presidents can so openly talk of conducting foreign policy in terms of unquestioned international aggression.
Of course, this kind of political and moral bankruptcy is not just confined to those seeking office. It is the coin of those who are already in office.
In a report in the New York Times Monday we have the startling admissions that, taken together, show that the US government should be certified as criminal (if further proof were needed) .
First we have the top US military man confirming that long-averred war plans against Iran are indeed going ahead.
The NYT: “When asked on [CBS’s] Face the Nation about the how difficult it would be to take out Iran’s nuclear ability in a military strike, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: ‘Well, I would rather not discuss the degree of difficulty and in any way encourage them to read anything into that. But I will say that my responsibility is to encourage the right degree of planning, to understand the risks associated with any kind of military option, in some cases to position assets, to provide those options in a timely fashion. And all those activities are going on.’” [Emphasis added]
In other words, the US is preparing for war.
Ironically, in the above lengthy article about the imminent opening of Iran’s second uranium enrichment plant at Qom, located under a mountain and impregnable from attack, the New York Times buries General Dempsey’s admission deep within the folds of its paragraphs perhaps in a bid to make it impregnable from attack by sane readers. Granted, the bellicose talk from US Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama and his administration of all options on the table has become so routine that the editors at the NYT have probably become inured to criminal admissions and so don’t think them worth any higher prominence that a final paragraph.
But here is the second part of the equation that adds up to definite criminality.
In the same story, the New York Times quotes US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta making what should be a startling admission: that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons.
Panetta says: “Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”
That Panetta finally admits what many people around the world know to be true, including American intelligence agencies in at least two US National Intelligence Estimates in 2007 and 2010 – that is, that Iran is not attempting to develop a nuclear weapon, should be a front-page headline. Especially when taken together with the US General Dempsey’s disclosure that war plans are afoot. From its own admission, therefore, the US government is pushing the world into possibly a World War III scenario on the basis of a totally spurious claim that even its own top brass do not believe.
Reflecting the bankruptcy that has corroded the US political establishment is the way that the New York Times – America’s self-styled premier newspaper – glides over these nuggets of self-indictment as if they were worthless banalities.
So if Iran is not even trying to develop a nuclear weapon, as Panetta now admits, what then is the criminal US warmongering predicated on? Unofficially, the real reason is imperialist rivalry with other powers (Russian and China in particular) in the energy-rich Persian Gulf and Central Asia regions, and the attempt to engineer “regime change” in Iran to one that is pliant with Washington’s geopolitical designs.
Officially, for what it is worth, it seems now that the US is not happy even with the mere suspicion that Iran maybe, just maybe, one day capable of developing nuclear capability.
This is where facts can be helpful. As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has the legal right to develop nuclear capability for civilian purposes. This is what Iran has consistently said it is doing and what countless UN inspections of facilities over many years, including the new plant at Qom, have verified. The enrichment of uranium constitutes “nuclear capability” and is an essential part of harnessing nuclear energy for civilian energy. Iran should be congratulated for this achievement given years of gratuitous sanctions by the US its Western allies.
But the way the US government and its Western allies put it, Iran’s legitimate nuclear capability is made to sound like a diabolical threat.
Panetta again: “But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that’s what concerns us.”
There you have it. The United States can drop nuclear weapons on civilians, possess up to 10,000 nuclear warheads, supply its allies illegally with such weapons and continue to violate the purpose of the NPT by not disarming its nuclear arsenal – yet if a country uses the provisions of the NPT legitimately to pursue nuclear capability then it is reviled and made a target for an illegal war of aggression, most probably with nuclear weapons.
This is depravity-turned-foreign policy – emanating from supposedly the most democratic government in the world.
In that way, the unseemly Republican Party cat-fight between Romney et al is but a symptom of the chronically bankrupt body politic that is American government in the 21st Century.
Finian Cunningham is Global Research’s Middle East and East Africa correspondent
Global Research Articles by Finian Cunningham
ZIONIST OCCUPIED WESTERN GOVERNMENTS!!!!
NO MORE WARS FOR ISRAEL!
JAN 7TH 2012
SYRIA: British Special Forces, CIA and MI6 Supporting Armed Insurgency. NATO Intervention Contemplated
by Michel Chossudovsky
Several articles in the British media confirm that British Special Forces are training Syrian rebels.
The underlying pattern is similar to that of Libya where British SAS were on the ground prior to the launching of NATO’s military intervention.
A Responsibility to Protect (R2P) NATO intervention modelled on Libya is contemplated. The Free Syrian Army is a de facto paramilitary creation of NATO.
The reports confirm that British military and intelligence operatives are already on the ground inside Syria:
“There has been growing chatter indicating that British Special Forces are in some way assisting forces aligned against the Syrian regime.
Reports from late November last year state that British Special forces have met up with members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the armed wing of the Syrian National Council. The apparent goal of this initial contact was to establish the rebel forces’ strength and to pave the way for any future training operations.
More recent reports have stated that British and French Special Forces have been actively training members of the FSA, from a base in Turkey. Some reports indicate that training is also taking place in locations in Libya and Northern Lebanon. British MI6 operatives and UKSF (SAS/SBS) personnel have reportedly been training the rebels in urban warfare as well as supplying them with arms and equipment. US CIA operatives and special forces are believed to be providing communications assistance to the rebels.” http://www.eliteukforces.info/uk-military-news/0501012-british-special-forces-syria.php (emphasis added)
These reports confirm unequivocally foreign interference in the affairs of a sovereign state.
This is not a popular uprising.
The insurrection as well as the killings of civilians were sponsored by the Western powers from the outset.
US, UK and Turkish operatives are supplying the rebels with weapons in violation of international law. Reports confirm that the rebels are trained gunmen as well members of Al Qaeda affiliated organizations:
“Britain is gearing up for fighting in Syria that could be bigger and bloodier than the battle against Gaddafi. The Ministry of Defence is drawing up secret plans for a NATO-sponsored no-fly zone but first it needs backing from the United Nations Security Council.
As the unrest and killings escalate in the troubled Arab state, agents from MI6 and the CIA are already in Syria assessing the situation, a security official has revealed.
Special forces are also talking to Syrian dissident soldiers.
They want to know about weapons and communications kit rebel forces will need if the Government decides to help.
“MI6 and the CIA are in Syria to infiltrate and get at the truth,” said the well-placed source.
“We have SAS and SBS not far away who want to know what is happening and are finding out what kit dissident soldiers need.” Syria will be bloodiest yet, Daily Star (emphasis added)
Global Research Articles by Michel Chossudovsky
RT LAST NIGHT REPORTED THAT OF THE 5000 REPORTED KILLINGS IN SYRIA OVER 2000 ARE SYRIAN SOLDIERS………………KILLED BY UNARMED CIVILIANS?
PROUD OF BRITAIN?