A new story about a possible war with Iran

White House denies Iran attack report“, Jerusalem Post  (20 May 2008) — Excerpt:

The White House on Tuesday flatly denied an Army Radio report that claimed US President George W. Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term. It said that while the military option had not been taken off the table, the administration preferred to resolve concerns about Iran’s push for a nuclear weapon “through peaceful diplomatic means.”

Army Radio had quoted a top official in Jerusalem claiming that a senior member in the entourage of President Bush, who visited Israel last week, had said in a closed meeting here that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were of the opinion that military action against Iran was called for.  The official reportedly went on to say that, for the time being, “the hesitancy of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice” was preventing the administration from deciding to launch such an attack on the Islamic Republic.

The Army Radio report, which was quoted by The Jerusalem Post and resonated widely, stated that according to assessments in Israel, the recent turmoil in Lebanon, where Hizbullah has established de facto control of the country, was advancing an American attack.

Bush, the official reportedly said, considered Hizbullah’s show of strength evidence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s growing influence. In Bush’s view, the official said, “the disease must be treated – not its symptoms.”

 Statement by the White House Press Secretary  (20 May 2008):

An article in today’s Jerusalem Post about the President’s position on Iran that quotes unnamed sources — quoting unnamed sources — is not worth the paper it’s written on.

Let me respond by reaffirming the policy of the Administration: We, along with our international allies who want peace in the Middle East, remain opposed to Iran’s ambitions to obtain a nuclear weapon. To that end, we are working to bring tough diplomatic and economic pressure on the Iranians to get them to change their behavior and to halt their uranium enrichment program.

As the President has said, no president of the United States should ever take options off the table, but our preference and our actions for dealing with this matter remain through peaceful diplomatic means. Nothing has changed in that regard.

A comment by Stratfor, “The Jerusalem Post Creates a Mystery” (21 May 2008): 

One theory is that the story may have been intended to increase the rift in Iran by implying that Ahmadinejad had triggered an American decision to attack. If you create the characterization (which in reality is a joke) that Bush and Cheney are struggling against the awesome powers of Gates and Rice, then you’ve got a perfect good cop/bad cop script on your hands.

Like so much these days, none of this makes much sense.  I will stick with my forecast, repeated over the past two years, that neither the US nor Israel will make a large strike at Iran (small raids by special ops teams might occur).

Update: another rumor about a US strike at Iran.

Bush ‘plans Iran air strike by August’“, Muhammad Cohen, Asia Times (28 May 2008) — Opening:

The George W Bush administration plans to launch an air strike against Iran within the next two months, an informed source tells Asia Times Online, echoing other reports that have surfaced in the media in the United States recently.

Two key US senators briefed on the attack planned to go public with their opposition to the move, according to the source, but their projected New York Times op-ed piece has yet to appear.

The source, a retired US career diplomat and former assistant secretary of state still active in the foreign affairs community, speaking anonymously, said last week that that the US plans an air strike against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The air strike would target the headquarters of the IRGC’s elite Quds force. With an estimated strength of up to 90,000 fighters, the Quds’ stated mission is to spread Iran’s revolution of 1979 throughout the region. …

Please share your comments by posting below (brief and relevant, please), or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).

My posts about a strike at Iran by Israel

Esp. note #2!

  1. Is Iran dangerous, or a paper tiger?   (13 November 2007)
  2. Will Israel commit suicide? More rumors of a strike at Iran  (22 December 2007)
  3. Does reading Debkafile make us smarter, or dumber?  (15 June 2008)
  4. “As things look, Israel may well attack Iran soon”  (3 June 2008) — About the Fischer story in the 30 May Daily Star.
  5. “Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable”   (8 June 2008)  — War-talk by a former Defense Minster of Israel.
  6. Der Spiegel: “Israeli Ministers Mull Plans for Military Strike against Iran”  (17 June 2008) — Rumors in Der Spiegel of a strike by Israel on Iran.
  7. More rumors of a strike at Iran by Israel  (1 July 2008)
  8. Leaks about a possible strike at Iran (are there any hotter issues today?)  (7 July 2008)
  9. The most expensive psy-war campaign – ever!  (13 July 2008)

Here is the full archive of my posts about a possible strike at Iran by Israel or the US.

3 thoughts on “A new story about a possible war with Iran

  1. One foot in Mesopotamia,another in the Afghan hills.A fist in the direction of N.Korea and now another arm guiding itself towards the former Persian Empire.And very soon,Her teeth either biting the Chinese Dragon or the Russian Bear?

  2. Update: another rumor about a US strike at Iran.

    Bush ‘plans Iran air strike by August’“, Muhammad Cohen, Asia Times (28 May 2008) — Opening:

    “NEW YORK – The George W Bush administration plans to launch an air strike against Iran within the next two months, an informed source tells Asia Times Online, echoing other reports that have surfaced in the media in the United States recently.

    “Two key US senators briefed on the attack planned to go public with their opposition to the move, according to the source, but their projected New York Times op-ed piece has yet to appear.

    “The source, a retired US career diplomat and former assistant secretary of state still active in the foreign affairs community, speaking anonymously, said last week that that the US plans an air strike against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The air strike would target the headquarters of the IRGC’s elite Quds force. With an estimated strength of up to 90,000 fighters, the Quds’ stated mission is to spread Iran’s revolution of 1979 throughout the region. …”

  3. I’ve been in the “it’s only a matter of time” camp for a while now. Gates has been neutralised, Fallon is gone, Preator (Yes I know I deliberately misspell his name) has his future Presidency all worked out … so there is no opposition left at the higher levels of Govt and the Military. Plenty at the lower levels, but they don’t count.

    The current plans as they appear just seem to be a ‘poke’ to goad the Iranians into a response, then they can go in boots and all (nukes still off the table?). A nice juicy loss of a few ships would be perfect, even better an aircraft carrier.

    Time for another USS Pueblo, Liberty, etc, moment? As I said before, they cannot not attack. After Preator’s ‘briefing’ to Congress to stop now would be such a loss of prestige. Note the mainstream US (and much Western media) has glossed over the recent embarrassment of their conclusive ‘show and tell about ‘Iranian weapons’ except that it was cancelled when it was pointed out that they were not from Iran after all. Curious, should you rename the NYT ‘Pravda’?

    The preparatory moves have been put in place, Lebanon (well that didn’t go quite to plan), Basra (not going so well but there is hope in their minds). Israel has squibbed it. The carrier groups are there.

    And where has that landing craft assault group gone? Personally I think that was originally aimed for Lebanon to aid our brave ‘democratic’ allies in Lebanon in their struggle against ‘Iranian imperialism’. Simultaneously with an Israel attack from the South to ‘drive Iranian influence from a brave country desperate to be free’. Pity Hezbollah stuffed that in … 6 hours and the Israelis lost their nerve. Plus the Lebanese people basically said enough was enough. Apparently the delegates who went to Doha were met with signs at the airport saying “get an agreement or don’t come back”.

    Iraq is interesting, the US (and of course the UK who were meant to be leaving) are pushing things to the limit against the Mahdi. Sadr will have to start fighting soon or be replaced with someone else and Sistani will back the resistance, his earlier reported comments were a warning.

    And when that happens, everything we have seen in Iraq to this date will seem like a kiddies party. And I’m so, so looking forward to US$500+ a barrel of oil.

    About the only thing I can think that will stop it are:

    (1) A complete revolt by the middle senior officers in the US military. Not a chance.
    (2) Israel, via its neo-con ‘think tanks’ cracking the whip and moderating their message. Not a chance again, Israel has lost direct control of these US groups, they are off in their own tangent and are not too impressed by Israel’s poor showing lately, in 2006 and earlier this month.
    (3) The SCO make Iran a formal member and sign a defence agreement. Not a chance, it suits Russia and China to make friends, an attack by the US pushes Iran even further into their arms with no cost to them. Russia is salivating at the chance of more military spending by them.

    So it is a go as far as I can see.

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