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Islamist Regime Of Iran May Seal off Persian Gulf
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Ramin Etebar,MD

Joined: 21 May 2004
Posts: 74
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 4:03 pm    Post subject: Islamist Regime Of Iran May Seal off Persian Gulf Reply with quote



The IRI thugs in a last ditch effort to bring death and destruction to Iran, have been threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz.
It is imperative that the Iranians overthrow this regime before the IRI government provokes an attack on Iran by the West.
The nuclear gridlock and the threats to cut off the flow of oil to the West will soon lead to war!
Iran remains the world’s number one despotic regime in the world which is second to none for its track record of human rights violations,
dictatorship and state sponsorship of terrorism. Thanks to inept western strategists, Iraq has been presented to Iran on a silver platter!
With growing Iran’s influence in Iraq, use of the petroleum, nuclear and terrorism weapons, Iran is well on its way to become the evil empire!

With removal of Saddam Hussein, the regional balance of power eliminated. The Americans and the British have been unable to keep Iran in check due to Iran’s meddling in Iraq and thus creating a quagmire for the westerners. Iran’s support for the Iraqi turmoil is actually being given to their co-religionists the Shiites. The leading Shiite party in Iraq the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution (SCIR) is led by by people who spent the Hussein years in Iran while their private army the Badr brigade is funded by Iran. Of course Iran could and probably is playing both sides of the street by giving aid to the insurgency as a means of pressuring the USA to leave. The US in fact is powerless to do anything about Iran's meddling in Iraq or its nuclear ambitions. One of the unintended consequences of the Iraq war, combined with the spike in oil prices, has been to make Iran the pre-eminent power in the Middle East and one that is untouchable by the US or its client state Israel because of the potential impact on oil supplies. Neither would US or world opinion tolerates another US inspired pre-emptive war in the Middle East. The Bush administration's actions in Iraq have, to use the technical term, left us screwed. Their general dumbness in the Middle East and in the wider effort to contain terrorism is breathtaking; every action they take seems to be aimed at increasing the effectiveness of our opponents.

With ever increasing west’s dependence on the Middle Eastern oil, geopolitically speaking the Persian Gulf must become a safe zone to insure free passage of oil

through the Straits of Hormuz . Geographically it dominates the northern shores of the Persian Gulf, with command of the Strait of Hormuz, the most important chokepoint in the globe. It is within easy striking distance of about 50 percent of the world's oilfields: those in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, and the UAE. It also is a bridge between two very important energy zones of Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.

The West has vital interests in the Middle East. The Middle East is the center of gravity of international politics. Iran is the center of gravity of the Middle East. None of the current problems in the Middle East and the Islamic World can be resolved unless there is change in Iran. Iran is run by a very nasty regime of fundamentalist but corrupt religious zealots that threat the security of the region as well as the rest of the world. It is imperative that the Iranian problem

be solved by the Iranian hand and the international community to help them to get rid of this geopolitical tumor.


Iran May Seal off Persian Gulf

January 24, 2006
Yossi Melman


A senior Iranian official threatened that Tehran may forcibly prevent oil export via the Straits of Hormuz if the UN imposed economic sanctions due to Iran's nuclear program, an Iranian news Web site said on Monday. This is the first time an Iranian official makes military threats in a public statement on Tehran's recent disagreements with the West.

The news site, affiliated with the radical student movement in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was once a member, quoted Mohammed-Nabi Rudaki, deputy chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.

According to the report, Rudaki said that "if Europe does not act wisely with the Iranian nuclear portfolio and it is referred to the UN Security Council and economic or air travel restrictions are imposed unjustly, we have the power to halt oil supply to the last drop from the shores of the Persian Gulf via the Straits of Hormuz."

25% of the world's oil production passes through the Straits of Hormuz, which connect the Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean. The meaning of Rudaki's threat is that not only will Tehran stop its oil production from reaching the West, it may also use force to prevent the other oil prodoucers in the region (the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait) from exporting to the West.

Raduki also warned that his country might quit from its membership in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Iran's threat merits hard line
By Boston Herald editorial staff
Sunday, August 21, 2005

Iran's cocky new hard-line government has raised the stakes in the dispute over its nuclear program with a threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. The Bush administration must make clear that such an action would mean a war to keep open the oil lifeline of the world.

During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the U.S. Navy patrolled the Arabian Gulf (to which the strait leads) to keep the oil flowing and even sank a few small Iranian vessels. A warning to Iran - which could be delivered quietly at first - might well combine a reminder of those days and a caution that the next time hostilities would not be confined to small boats at sea but would include all of Iran's air force and naval assets.

Through the straits pass tankers from Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq, carrying about one barrel in every four produced on the planet. If Iran means to include its own shipments in the threat, that would make the flow about 30 percent of the world total. Interrupting this for any length of time would amount to ``actual strangulation'' of the world economy, as Henry Kissinger noted more than 30 years ago.

Perhaps emboldened by high oil prices, Mohammad Saeedi, spokesman for Iran's Center for Nuclear Energy, was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying, ``We have told the Europeans very clearly that if any country wants to deal with Iran in an illogical and arrogant way we will block the Strait of Hormuz.''

Iran has been negotiating with Britain, France and Germany, who with the United States want Iran to give up plans to manufacture nuclear fuel to remove all possibility that the country, which has lied for almost 20 years about its nuclear activities, could some day build a bomb.

Britain, France and Germany should make clear that the oil threat will not deter them in the least from seeking sanctions in the United Nations Security Council if need be.


Iran denies reports on threat to block Hormuz Strait

TEHRAN, Aug. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Iran on Saturday strongly denied a recent Western media report that its top nuclear official had threatened to block Hormuz Strait if its nuclear standoff could not be settled, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Some Western media, including the Wall Street Journal, had recently quoted Mohammad Saeedi, deputy chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO), as saying that Tehran would block Hormuz Strait if Iran were dealt with in an illogical and arrogant way on the nuclear issue.

The IAEO denied Saturday in a statement that "foreign newspapers affiliated to certain lobbies have attributed such a statement to Saeedi to misrepresent the region as a trouble spot. "Saeedi himself also said that he had not spoken about Hormuz Strait so far, IRNA said.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefialso told his weekly news briefing that the report about Saeedi's comments has been "imprecise and misinterpreted".

Hormuz Strait, the waterway from the Gulf to the India Ocean, plays a considerable role in the global transportation of oil. The Iranian nuclear standoff has been escalated since Tehran on Aug. 8 defiantly resumed uranium conversion activities in the central city Isfahan and rejected a comprehensive nuclear proposal made by the European Union (EU).

The EU and the International Atomic Energy Agency have urged Iran to reestablish the suspension on its sensitive nuclear activities, which has been rejected by Tehran.

Hormuz Strait


Strait separating the Persian Gulf to the west and the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea to the east. The strait touches Iran to the north and Oman to the south (the peninsula of Musandem).
The length is defined to be about 280 km, and the width is at the smallest only 50 km.
The strait of Hormuz is of great strategical importance, as it is the only sea route where oil from Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, as well as most of United Arab Emirates can be transported.
Three islands were seized by Iran in 1971: Tunb Kabir, Tunb Saghir, and Abu Musa. These are claimed by the United Arab Emirates, but there have never been any fights over them.


Option Of Closing Off The Shipping Route

In a press conference on December 18, 1997, Iranian deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Maleki said that Iran supported the free flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz, but reserved the option of closing off the shipping route if it is threatened.


World Oil Transit Chokepoints


The following presents information on major world oil transit centers. Over 35 million barrels per day (bbl/d) pass through the relatively narrow shipping lanes and pipelines discussed below. These routes are known as chokepoints due to their potential for closure. Disruption of oil flows through any of these export routes could have a significant impact on world oil prices.

The information in this report is the best available as of March 2004 and is subject to change.

Given the fact that oil consumption occurs mainly in the industrialized West, while oil production takes place largely in the Middle East, former Soviet Union, West Africa, and South America, a significant volume of oil is traded internationally. This oil is moved mainly by two methods: oil tanker ships and oil pipelines. About 2/3 of the world’s oil trade (both crude oils and refined products) moves by tanker. About 43 million barrels per day of that trade is crude oil. Tankers have made global (intercontinental) transport of oil possible; they are low cost, efficient, and extremely flexible.

Oil transported by sea generally follows a fixed set of maritime routes. Along the way, tankers encounter several geographic "chokepoints," or narrow channels, such as the Strait of Hormuz leading out of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Malacca linking the Indian Ocean (and oil coming from the Middle East) with the Pacific Ocean (and major consuming markets in Asia). Other important maritime "chokepoints" include the Bab el-Mandab passage from the Arabian Sea to the Red Sea; the Panama Canal and the Panama Pipeline connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans; the Suez Canal and the Sumed Pipeline connecting the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea; and the Turkish Straits/Bosporus linking the Black Sea (and oil coming from the Caspian Sea region) to the Mediterranean Sea."Chokepoints" are critically important to world oil trade because so much oil passes through them, yet they are narrow and theoretically could be blocked -- at least temporarily. In addition, "chokepoints" are susceptible to pirate attacks and shipping accidents in their narrow channels.

Not all tanker trade routes use the same size ship. Each route usually has one size that is the clear economic winner, based on voyage length, port and canal constraints and volume. Thus, crude exports from the Middle East -- high volumes that travel long distances -- are moved mainly by VLCC’s (200,000 to 300,000 dead weight tons) typically carrying over 2 million barrels of oil on every voyage.

Pipelines, on the other hand, are the mode of choice for transcontinental oil movements. Pipelines are critical for landlocked crudes and also complement tankers at certain key locations by relieving bottlenecks or providing shortcuts. Pipelines come into their own in intra-regional trade. They are the primary option for transcontinental transportation, because they are at least an order of magnitude cheaper than any alternative such as rail, barge, or road, and because political vulnerability is a small or non-existent issue within a nation's border or between neighbors such as the United States and Canada. Pipelines are also an important oil transport mode in mainland Europe, although the system is much smaller, matching the shorter distances.

Iran Builds Cruise Missile

From DEBKA-Net-Weekly 143 Jan 30, 2003

February 6, 2004, 8:31 PM (GMT+02:00)

Iran`s threat to Gulf shipping

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary regime last month marked the 25th anniversary of its victory over the Shah by launching a sophisticated missile dubbed Raad and its accompanying advanced radar system designated DM-3b. Minister of defense Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani led the ceremony in full naval dress uniform.

To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click HERE .

The official handout described the radar system as navigating and guiding the combatant missile in its final stage. The medium-range Raad missile is equipped with a self-guidance device. Shamkhani enthused: the two systems manufactured in Iran’s state aviation industry further enhance the capabilities of Iranian armed forces.

What the handout did not reveal was that Raad is no ordinary coastal or shipboard projectile but a cruise missile, capable of halting Personal Gulf shipping by blockading the Hormuz Strait. It can also choke off incoming and outgoing sea traffic via the Shatt al-Arb, Iraq’s only exit point for its oil exports and entrance for its vital imports.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly ’s Gulf sources report launching bases for the new missiles are going up at four places on Iran’s Gulf coast: the northern end at Bandar a-Khomeini opposite the mouth of the Shatt al Arb and facing Kuwait and Bahrain, at Bushehr, site of its nuclear reactor, at the big Bandar Abbas naval base and Revolutionary Guards headquarters, and at Bandar e-Lengeh west of Qeshm Island.

From these installations, Iranian missiles will cover the tanker and merchant ship lanes leading into the Persian Gulf from the Indian Ocean through the Gulf of Aden.

A fifth launching base will be located on the small highly-strategic island of Great Tumb situated just north of the Hormuz Strait at the mouth of the Gulf.

According to our military experts, the locations of the new Raad missile bases betray both aggressive intent and determination to defend Iran’s Gulf shore from assault by warships or hostile marine landings. Iran’s military command appears to be preparing the country’s national defenses for an anticipated American attack in the course of 2004 or early 2005.

“A Very Suitable Spot For Maritime Guerrilla Warfare”


At a lecture at Tehran University on May 23, 2004, Iranian Revolutionary Guards official Dr. Hassan Abassi said: " We have two million Iranians [in the U.S.]. You can be sure that I will recruit from among them guerillas… If America attacks us, don't worry at all. It won't be like what you've seen in Afghanistan and in Iraq. In Southern Iran, we have a 2000-kilometer coast and 36 islands. The average depth of the Persian Gulf is 45-50 meters. The deepest spot there is 94 meters deep, between the islands of Abu Musa and Tonb. This is a very suitable spot for maritime guerrilla warfare. Our special forces are definitely ready for action there.

" Through the Straits of Hormuz, 67% of the world's total energy passes… Take a tanker to the Straits of Hormuz and sink it there… When it lies on the surface, half of it will protrude. It will take five months for it to be salvaged. A rise in oil prices, as you have seen, causes the West fever…" [63]


[Page: S3968]
Mr. BENNETT (for himself, Mr. D'Amato, Mr. Helms, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Ashcroft, Mrs. Hutchison, and Mr. Brownback) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations:

S. Res. 82
Whereas the United States escort vessel U.S.S. Stark was struck by a cruise missile , causing the death of 37 United States sailors;

Whereas the China National Precision Machinery Import Export Corporation is marketing the C-802 model cruise missile for use against escort vessels such as the U.S.S. Stark;

Whereas the China National Precision Machinery Import Export Corporation has delivered 60 C-802 cruise missiles to Iran for use by vessels of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy;

Whereas Iran is acquiring land batteries to launch C-802 cruise missile which will provide its armed forces with a weapon of greater range, reliability, accuracy, and mobility than before;

Whereas 15,000 members of the United States Armed Forces are stationed within range of the C-802 cruise missile being acquired by Iran;

Whereas the Department of State believes that `[t]hese cruise missiles pose new, direct threats to deployed United States forces';

Whereas the delivery of cruise missiles to Iran is a violation of the Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act of 1992 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note); and

Whereas the Clinton Administration `has concluded at present that the known types [of C-802 cruise missiles ] are not of a destabilizing number and type': Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate urges the Clinton Administration to enforce the Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act of 1992 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note) with respect to the acquisition by Iran of C-802 model cruise missiles or to carry out an alternative policy that would address such acquisition in a manner similar to that provided for in that Act.

Mr. BENNETT. Mr. President, I am submitting today a resolution to address a matter that I consider vital to our national security. I have here a picture of the U.S.S. Stark that was disabled 10 years ago by an Exocet missile fired by the Iranians. Thirty-seven American sailors were killed in this disaster.

I call your attention to a new missile patterned after the Exocet, only it is described by its sales brochures as having a `mighty attack capability with great firepower.' This is the C-802, an antishipping cruise missile . The sales group that is touting the mighty power of the C-802 is the Chinese. The Chinese have taken the Exocet and increased its power and increased its deadliness.

The C-802 is being shipped. This picture shows a Chinese vessel, on the deck of which there are five smaller vessels, each one of which is equipped with four C-802's. You can see them on the back of the ships. These are the smaller ships on the back deck of this larger cargo vessel.

Those ships are en route to Iran. The Chinese have now sold to Iran some 60 C-802's for their use in the Persian Gulf. Some 60 are mounted on 15 patrol boats. These patrol boats, again, have four missiles each.

If one missile could damage the Stark as badly as we saw in the first picture, you see what 15 missiles could do. But the Chinese are not stopping with shipboard missiles . Here is an example of a land-based C-802, and the Chinese are now in the process of selling these to the Iranians.

Why should we be concerned about the land-based C-802? Here is a map of the Persian Gulf. This land mass is Iran. There are 500 miles of Iranian coastal waters facing the Persian Gulf. This is the Strait of Hormuz through which a very large percentage of the world's oil must go every day, something in excess of 25 percent. The Iranians have repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if the rest of the world does not do what Iran wishes it to do in a variety of ways. We heard such a threat, again, over the weekend with the Iranians saying that if the Americans were to try to take any kind of retaliatory action against Iranian terrorism, they would close this Strait of Hormuz.

With land-based C-802's, they could hide them in caves or put them in other locations all along this 500-mile area, so that any shipping coming out of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, or Saudi Arabia into the Persian Gulf would be vulnerable to an attack from a land-based C-802. With 15 patrol boats, each one having 4 missiles , or 60 sea-based missiles , the Iranians could actually attack from either side, having the patrol boats out here on one side of the shipping lanes, with the land-based missiles on the other, and effectively seal off the world's supply of oil from the Middle East without too much difficulty.

In personal human terms, there are about 15,000 U.S. servicemen and servicewomen within the range of the C-802 missiles in the gulf.

Mr. President, there is a law known as the Gore-McCain Act passed in 1992 which says that foreign companies that deliver cruise missiles to Iran are subject to sanctions. I raised this issue with Secretary Albright, and I have raised it since in subsequent hearings. In January, Secretary Albright informed me that the administration will not enforce the terms of the Gore-McCain Act on the grounds that the missiles are not `destabilizing.'

I am not quite sure what the word `destabilizing' means in this kind of a circumstance, but that is where the administration has chosen to come down.

I believe that a nondestabilizing missile can be just as deadly to a ship as a destabilizing missile . Once a missile is fired, it knows no semantic definition, as it goes on its course for a kill. Ask the sailors on the Stark whether the presence of the Exocet missiles were destabilizing in the circumstance in the Middle East or not. Thirty-seven of them are dead.

Given our obligation to those that we would place in harm's way in the name of this country, I believe the time has come to put this issue on the front burner. I have asked the administration about it. I have used the congressional oversight circumstance to bring it to their attention. Now, Mr. President, today, I submit a resolution outlining the sense of the Senate that the administration either enforce the Gore-McCain Act in this circumstance or take some other appropriate action.

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the letter which I sent to Madeleine Albright on the 17th of April and a fact sheet relating to the C-802 missile be printed in the Record.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

U.S.S. Stark: American Navy escort vessel struck by two Exocet type cruise missiles in May 1987 killing 37 sailors and disabling the ship for sixteen months.

C-802: Chinese cruise missile similar to the Exocet and marketed for use against naval escort vessels. According to its manufacturer, the China National Precision Instrument Import-Export Corporation, the C-802 is characterized by `mighty attack capability, great firepower.' It has a range of 120 km [75 miles] and a high explosive warhead of 165 kg [363 lbs.].

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy: Iran is believed to possess sixty C-802 missiles aboard 15 Chinese and French missile boats.

Land-based Variant: Iran is believed to be acquiring an undetermined number of C-802 missiles which will be mounted on Transporter-Erector-Launchers [TELs]. For over a year Iran has been constructing tunnels and other fortifications along its Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman coastlines which could accommodate these TELs.

Threat to U.S. forces: 15,000 U.S. servicemen and women are potentially within range of these missiles . On April 11, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Einhorn told the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, `These cruise missiles pose new and direct threats to deployed U.S. Forces.' During 1996 Admiral Scott Redd, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Fifth Fleet declared the missiles to be a `360 degree threat which can come at you from basically anywhere at sea in the gulf or out in the Gulf of Oman.'

U.S. Law: The Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act of 1992 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note) prohibits foreign persons from delivering advanced conventional weapons, including cruise missiles , to Iran.

Administration Position: The Administration `has concluded at present that the known types [of C-802 missiles ] are not of a destabilizing number and type.'

[Sources: New York Times, various Jane's publications]
Ramin Etebar, MD
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Ramin Etebar,MD

Joined: 21 May 2004
Posts: 74
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:38 am    Post subject: Iran: We'll Shut Down Straits of Hormuz Reply with quote

Iran: We'll Shut Down Straits of Hormuz

Reprinted from NewsMax.com
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006 9:24 a.m. EST

A senior Iranian official is threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz using military force, which would effectively shut down the Persian Gulf oil supply - if European supports economic sanctions against Iran in a bid to halt Tehran's nuclear program.
"If Europe does not act wisely with the Iranian nuclear portfolio and it is referred to the U.N. Security Council and economic or air travel restrictions are imposed unjustly, we have the power to halt oil supply to the last drop from the shores of the Persian Gulf via the Straits of Hormuz," said Mohammed-Nabi Rudaki, deputy chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.
According to the Israeli News service Haaretz, which first reported the threat on Tuesday based on an Iranian news account - this is the first time an Iranian official has publicly issued a military threat.
Twenty-five percent of the world's oil production passes through the Straits of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean. If Iran were to carry out such a threat, other big oil producers in the region, such as the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, would be unable to export oil.
Raduki also warned that his country might resign its membership in the International Atomic Energy Agency and withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Ramin Etebar, MD
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found these remarks very interesting!!!

At a lecture at Tehran University on May 23, 2004, Iranian Revolutionary Guards official Dr. Hassan Abassi said: " We have two million Iranians [in the U.S.]. You can be sure that I will recruit from among them guerillas… If America attacks us, don't worry at all. It won't be like what you've seen in Afghanistan and in Iraq. In Southern Iran, we have a 2000-kilometer coast and 36 islands. The average depth of the Persian Gulf is 45-50 meters. The deepest spot there is 94 meters deep, between the islands of Abu Musa and Tonb. This is a very suitable spot for maritime guerrilla warfare. Our special forces are definitely ready for action there.

" Through the Straits of Hormuz, 67% of the world's total energy passes… Take a tanker to the Straits of Hormuz and sink it there… When it lies on the surface, half of it will protrude. It will take five months for it to be salvaged. A rise in oil prices, as you have seen, causes the West fever…" [63]
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noting the fact that Iran IMPORTS most of it's refined petroeum, not having the refining capacity to meet domestic demand, I'd say they would be cutting their own throats in more ways than one if they did try and close the Persian Gulf to shipping.

Not to mention the fact that all those Arab neighbors would join the rest of the international community in opening it like a can opener....

As for sinking a ship and blocking it, count on US Navy Seal teams to do the demo work, followed by a dredge to clear a path in 48 hours, tops.

As for their missiles, they may get a few off, but won't have any left in launchable condition within 90 minutes.

In fact, the IRI won't have much left at all to toss at us , or anyone else by then.

Note in the following the Shahab missile test discussion, because what they plan to do to us, we can do to the IRI in spades, and come back in the morning and do it again. Not to mention the conventional means employed, followed up by the largest humanitarian airlift in history to make sure the Iranian people realize that we arn't doing more than we must to protect global peace and security, and level the playing field for the people to remove the regime. If it comes down to this, the people have only the IRI to blame.


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Ramin Etebar,MD

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:27 am    Post subject: When dealing with psychotics are bets are off! Reply with quote

Dear Oppenheimer

The facts that you have stated apply to a logical government.

We are dealing with a bunch of schizophrenic fanatic, terrorist zealots who are attempting induction
of Armageddon and return of Mahdi!

When dealing with psychotics are bets are off!

Ramin Etebar, MD
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Ramin,

I totally agree with you....though they would be cutting their own throats for sure....so we are both correct.

I wasn't saying they would refrain from being suicidal....just presenting a few parameters of what that would entail.

Got a question Ramin....Take a look at the thread I started (US VP: Iranian president "strange duck") in the news section, and read the discussion following those comments by Cheney.

My question is two-fold....Does my assesment of regime intent make sense to you, and is it possible to put a million or more folks on the streets of Tehran in the timeframe I proposed? Or sooner in support of the Bus drivers.

I think you'll find that we do share a common view. Crawling around in the minds of madmen is not pleasent, but someone's got to do it, and present their findings to the sane.

Ba Sepaas,

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:33 pm    Post subject: Iran Readies Plan to Close Strait of Hormuz Reply with quote

Iran Readies Plan to Close Strait of Hormuz

March 01, 2006
Kenneth R. Timmerman


Iran's Revolutionary Guards are making preparations for a massive assault on U.S. naval forces and international shipping in the Persian Gulf, according to a former Iranian intelligence officer who defected to the West in 2001.

The plans, which include the use of bottom-tethered mines potentially capable of destroying U.S. aircraft carriers, were designed to counter a U.S. land invasion and to close the Strait of Hormuz, the defector said in a phone interview from his home in Europe.

They would also be triggered if the United States or Israel launched a pre-emptive strike on Iran to knock out nuclear and missile facilities.

"The plan is to stop trade," the source said.

Between 15 and 16.5 million barrels of oil transit the Strait of Hormuz each day, roughly 20 percent of the world's daily oil production, according to the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration.

The source provided NewsMax parts of a more than 30-page contingency plan, which bears the stamp of the Strategic Studies Center of the Iranian Navy, NDAJA. The document appears to have been drafted in September or October of 2005.

The NDAJA document was just one part of a larger strike plan to be coordinated by a single operational headquarters that would integrate Revolutionary Guards missile units, strike aircraft, surface and underwater naval vessels, Chinese-supplied C-801 and C-802 anti-shipping missiles, mines, coastal artillery, as well as chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

The overall plans are being coordinated by the intelligence office of the Ministry of Defense, known as HFADA.

Revolutionary Guards missile units have identified "more than 100 targets, including Saudi oil production and oil export centers," the defector said. "They have more than 45 to 50 Shahab-3 and Shahab-4 missiles ready for shooting" against those targets and against Israel, he added.

The defector, Hamid Reza Zakeri, warned the CIA in July 2001 that Iran was preparing a massive attack on America using Arab terrorists flying airplanes, which he said was planned for Sept. 11, 2001. The CIA dismissed his claims and called him a fabricator.

The source also identified a previously unknown nuclear weapons site last year to this writer, which was independently confirmed by three separate intelligence agencies.

NewsMax showed the defector's documents to two native Persian-speakers who each have more than 20 years of experience analyzing intelligence documents from the Islamic Republic regime. They believed the documents were authentic.

A U.S. military intelligence official, while unable to authenticate the documents without seeing them, recognized the Strategic Studies Center and noted that the individual whose name appears as the author of the plan, Abbas Motaj, was head of the Iranian navy until late 2005.

A former Revolutionary Guards officer, contacted by NewsMax in Europe, immediately recognized the Naval Strategic Studies institute from its Persian-language acronym, NDAJA. He provided independent information on recent deployments of Shahab-3 missiles that coincided with information contained in the NDAJA plan.

The Iranian contingency plan is summarized in an "Order of Battle" map, which schematically lays out Iran's military and strategic assets and how they will be used against U.S. military forces from the Strait of Hormuz up to Busheir.

The map identifies three major areas of operations, called "mass kill zones," where Iranian strategists believe they can decimate a U.S.-led invasion force before it actually enters the Persian Gulf.

The kill zones run from the low-lying coast just to the east of Bandar Abbas, Iran's main port that sits in the bottleneck of the Strait of Hormuz, to the ports of Jask and Shah Bahar on the Indian Ocean, beyond the Strait.

Behind the kill zones are strategic missile launchers labeled as "area of chemical operations," "area of biological warfare operations," and "area where nuclear operations start."

Iran's overall battle management will be handled through C4I and surveillance satellites. It is unclear in the documents shared with NewsMax whether this refers to commercial satellites or satellite intelligence obtained from allies, such as Russia or China. Iran has satellite cooperation programs with both nations.

The map is labeled "the current status of military forces in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, 1384." 1384 is the Iranian year that ends on March 20, 2006.

Iran plans to begin offensive operations by launching successive waves of explosives-packed boats against U.S. warships in the Gulf, piloted by "Ashura" or suicide bombers.

The first wave can draw on more than 1,000 small fast-attack boats operated by the Revolutionary Guards navy, equipped with rocket launchers, heavy machine-guns and possibly Sagger anti-tank missiles.

In recent years, the Iranians have used these small boats to practice "swarming" raids on commercial vessels and U.S. warships patrolling the Persian Gulf.

The White House listed two such attacks in the list of 10 foiled al-Qaida terrorist attacks it released on Feb. 10. The attacks were identified as a "plot by al-Qaida operatives to attack ships in the [Persian] Gulf" in early 2003, and a separate plot to "attack ships in the Strait of Hormuz."

A second wave of suicide attacks would be carried out by "suicide submarines" and semi-submersible boats, before Iran deploys its Russian-built Kilo-class submarines and Chinese-built Huodong missile boats to attack U.S. warships, the source said.

The 114-foot Chinese boats are equipped with advanced radar-guided C-802s, a sea-skimming cruise-missile with a 60-mile range against which many U.S. naval analysts believe there is no effective defense.

When Iran first tested the sea-launched C-802s a decade ago, Vice Admiral Scott Redd, then commander of U.S. naval forces in the Gulf, called them "a new dimension ... of the Iranian threat to shipping."

Admiral Redd was appointed to head the National Counterterrorism Center last year.

Iran's naval strategists believe the U.S. will attempt to land ground forces to the east of Bandar Abbas. Their plans call for extensive use of ground-launched tactical missiles, coastal artillery, as swell as strategic missiles aimed at Saudi Arabia and Israel tipped with chemical, biological and possibly nuclear warheads.

The Iranians also plan to lay huge minefields across the Persian Gulf inside the Strait of Hormuz, effectively trapping ships that manage to cross the Strait before they can enter the Gulf, where they can be destroyed by coastal artillery and land-based "Silkworm" missile batteries.

Today, Iran has sophisticated EM-53 bottom-tethered mines, which it purchased from China in the 1990s. The EM-53 presents a serious threat to major U.S. surface vessels, since its rocket-propelled charge is capable of hitting the hull of its target at speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. Some analysts believe it can knock out a U.S. aircraft carrier.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff has been warning about Iran's growing naval buildup in the Persian Gulf for over a decade, and in a draft presidential finding submitted to President Clinton in late February 1995, concluded that Iran already had the capability to close the Strait of Hormuz.

"I think it would be problematic for any navy to face a combination of mines, small boats, anti-ship cruise missiles, torpedoes, coastal artillery, and Silkworms," said retired Navy Commander Joseph Tenaglia, CEO of Tactical Defense Concepts, a maritime security company. "This is a credible threat."

In Tenaglia's view, "the major problem will be the mines. Naval minefields are hard to locate and to sweep," and the United States has few minesweepers. "It's going to be like running the gauntlet getting through there," he said.

When Iran last mined the Gulf, in 1987-1988, several U.S. ships and reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers were hit, even though the mines they used were similar to those used in the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915, Tenaglia said.

The biggest challenge facing Iran today would be to actually lay the mines without getting caught. "If they are successful in getting mines into the water, it's going to take us months to get them out," Tenaglia said.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:30 pm    Post subject: Major Iran Exercise Underway with Focus on Straits of Hormuz Reply with quote

Major Iran Exercise Underway with Focus on Straits of Hormuz

March 31, 2006
World Tribune
World Tribune.com


NICOSIA -- Iran has launched a major military exercise in the [Persian] Gulf meant to repel any U.S. attack on the Islamic republic. On Friday, Iran's army, navy, air force and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps began a week-long exercise, Middle East Newsline reported. The exercise, which also included the Basij paramilitary unit, was reported to have taken place in the northern [Persian] Gulf as well as in southern Iran.

Officials said the exercise would focus operations in the Straits of Hormuz. Teheran has often warned that any U.S. attempt to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities would result in attacks on oil shipping in the Gulf.

"Some 80 percent of Persian Gulf oil is shipped out of this strait over which Iran has dominant and precise control," Rear Adm. Mohammad Ebrahim Dehghan, a military spokesman, said. "If the enemy wants to make the area insecure, rest assured that he will also suffer from lack of security, since we know the location of their vessels."

"The IRGC navy and air force, in collaboration with the [regular] army, navy, Basij, and the Iranian police, will start a maneuver from March 31 until April 6 in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman," IRGC naval commander Rear Adm. Mostafa Safari said on Thursday.

Safari said the unnamed exercise would contain more than 17,000 soldiers as well as 1,500 surface and other naval vessels. He said the military would also deploy fighter-jets, helicopters and an array of missiles.

"We hope we will gain the necessary and needed readiness to decisively reply to any kind of threats," Safari said. "Improving the preparedness of the armed forces in defending Iran's independence and territorial integrity and boosting our defense capabilities are among the reasons for holding these maneuvers."

Officials said this would be the first major military exercise in 2006. They said Iran held a major multi-service exercise in the [Persian] Gulf in late 2005 designed to enhance skills to foil any U.S.-led invasion.

"The exercise will cover an area stretching from the northern tip of the Persian Gulf all the way to the port city of Chahbahar in the Sea of Oman extending 40 kilometers into the sea," Safari said.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:24 pm    Post subject: Iran's Torpedo Test Drives Up Oil Prices Reply with quote

Iran's Torpedo Test Drives Up Oil Prices

April 03, 2006
The Financial Times
Carola Hoyos in London and Gareth Smyth in Beirut

Iran’s announcement that it had tested a new torpedo in war-games in the Strait of Hormuz on Monday pushed international oil prices to their highest levels since Hurricane Katrina.

The news from Tehran, prompting concerns of a possible disruption to supplies, propelled benchmark Brent crude oil futures nearly $2 higher to trade at $67.79 a barrel.

Iran’s armed forces frequently carry out extensive military manoeuvres that are given wide coverage on domestic television, but the sensitivity of current naval exercises comes from the 30-day deadline issued last week by the United Nations Security Council for Iran to suspend its atomic programme.

The US Department of Energy calls the Hormuz Strait, which links the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, “by far the world’s most important oil chokepoint.”

About one in every three barrels of the world’s exported oil travels through the strait and Iran is the world’s fourth-largest producer.

Blocking the straits of Hormuz would be one military option for Iran if the dispute over its nuclear programme were to escalate.

But the use of the oil weapon is double-edged, as Iran is heavily dependent on its own exports, which account for around 60 per cent of government revenue and 80 per cent of export earnings.

In the current military exercises, Tehran has also announced the testing of a radar-evading missile. Iran has three diesel-electric Russian submarines and has started building midget submarines, although there has been greater western concern over its ballistic missile programme.

Mohammad Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian, Iran’s deputy oil minister, on Monday foreshadowed Iran’s ability to influence the oil price, when he said: “Owing to the current situation, any fall in oil prices this year is unlikely...A sum of factors show that prices will not fall in the next two or three years unless there is a conspiracy against oil.”

Adding to the concern over oil supplies on Monday was Nigeria, the world’s eighth-largest exporter, where rebels have shut down about a quarter of the country’s production. Yesterday, Edmund Daukoru, Nigeria’s energy minister said it would take Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo/Dutch energy group and the country’s biggest foreign producer, a month to restore the bulk of its lost production.

In the US, oil futures prices rose more than $1 to $67.80 a barrel, inching towards the $70.85 record they reached in early September when Hurricane Katrina devastated the US Gulf Coast, the heart of the country’s oil and natural gas production and its oil refining centre.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Iran's Amazing New Weapons Developments

Iran's greatest weapon remains not in missiles or nuclear research, but in Hezbollah/Hamas and International Terrorism

By Steve Schippert

On the heels of a very public proclamation of new missile technology on Friday, Iran says it will test more weapons in its Persian Gulf exercise. Sunday, Iran laid claim to the successful test firing of what it calls the world’s fastest torpedo, claiming it travels underwater at 328 feet per second.

Taking a step back, this should all be digested in context. To be sure, discerning exactly what Iran has or has not truly developed is guesswork at this point. However, it should at least raise eyebrows that all of these seemingly miraculous developments are being realized within the scope of a one week military exercise that is designed purely as a show of force for Western consumption, all on the heels of UN Security Council proceedings on Iran’s nuclear program that has revealed very real fissures in the Western stance (insofar as Russia and China can be considered ‘Western’ in this context).

While the nature of the advances (as advertised) should be digested with at least some skepticism, it should also be noted that Iran has been working nearly as feverishly in their missile program as they have in their nuclear program. And it should also be noted that Iran did launch their first indigenously produced submarine within the past few months, augmenting a small fleet of Soviet Kilo-Class hunter-killer submarines.

But the concern with Iran should remain one of international terrorism and not one of military might. In fact, to the degree that Iran has improved their naval systems, it is much more likely that these advances will serve Iran’s ability to threaten civilian maritime vessels, primarily oil tankers and the closure of the Straits of Hormuz, and not for direct military-on-military war fighting. Iran’s military, regardless of missile and torpedo advances, would be crushed under the overwhelming military power of the United States.

In a Washington Post story, the headline misses the mark: Attacking Iran May Trigger Terrorism. The body of the story is correct, drawing attention to the certainty that Hezbollah – as Tehran’s de facto foreign policy arm – would be used in attacks of retaliation following any Western strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. But, the headline leaves much to be desired, as it implies that Iran otherwise would not ‘trigger’ such acts.

It cannot go unrecognized that not attacking Iran has ‘triggered terrorism’ since 1979. From the Marine Barracks and US Embassy in Beruit, to the US consulate in Kuwait, to the Israeli Embassy in Argentina and the Karin-A shipment of arms bound for Gaza but intercepted by the Israelis in 2002, no American attack on Iran was required. Iran’s tentacles of terror reach far beyond just that of Hezbollah. Indeed, Iran is now the principle regional supporter of Hamas and, through Hezbollah, coordinate with, fund, arm and train various terror groups, including but not limited to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the PFLP-GC, and others. Iran also continues to harbor within their borders what al-Qaeda themselves have claimed is over 100 of al-Qaeda’s top operatives.

Attacking Iran will not ‘trigger’ terrorism. There will be increased attacks to be sure, but they will not come from a vacuum. To shrink from Iran because of the threat of terrorism will be akin to shrinking from the schoolyard bully because he may hit you. The bloodied lip should serve to remind that the bully already has.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:47 am    Post subject: An exercise in bravado Reply with quote

An Exercise in Bravado

April 05, 2006
The Guardian
Simon Tisdall


Iran has been conducting a sort of grand military parade up and down the Gulf this week, displaying its defensive hardware, test-firing sophisticated-sounding new weapons systems, and proclaiming its readiness to repel all would-be aggressors. Revolutionary Guard General Yahya Rahim Safavi, commander of the "Great Prophet" exercises, declared that Iran was now able to "confront any extra-regional invasion".

Neighbouring Sunni Arab states locked in political and territorial disputes with Tehran's Shia leadership may feel duly intimidated - not that any of them were planning to attack. A new high-speed torpedo called Hoot (meaning whale), so-called "flying boats", and various "radar-avoiding" surface-to-sea missile launches may also have seriously frightened local marine wildlife.

But the US, the principal intended audience of Iran's martial ostentation, is unimpressed. "We know the Iranians are always trying to improve their weapons systems," a Pentagon spokesman said yesterday. "The Iranians have also been known to boast and exaggerate their technical and tactical capabilities."
The US has repeatedly declined to rule out military action if coercive diplomacy fails to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear activities. And if the issue at hand is relative US-Iranian military might, it is really no contest. Total US defence-related spending will rise this year to around $550bn (£315bn); Iran allocated $4.4bn to defence in 2005. It cannot begin to match US weapons, technology and expertise.

Iran's great strength is its manpower: an army numbering 350,000 soldiers, plus 125,000 Revolutionary Guards, says the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Yet such an imposing host will be of little use if any future attack on Iran's suspect nuclear facilities is directed, as is thought likely, from the air.

Because of western sanctions, ostracism and a lack of spare parts, Iran has few modern fighter aircraft, although Russia recently proposed a $1bn sale of 29 Tor-M1 missile systems for anti-aircraft defence. The air force still relies in part on Iraqi MiGs flown to Iran for safety by Saddam Hussein at the start of the Gulf war in 1991 and never returned. Michael Knights, writing in Jane's Intelligence Review, said Iran was likely to try to repel any attack though a mobile defence of "highly integrated local networks of interceptor aircraft and ground-based Sams [surface-to-air missiles]". This would provide "layered protection" for strategic locations such as the Isfahan and Bushehr facilities and Bandar Abbas at the mouth of the Gulf.

While Great Prophet may have failed to predict Iranian military success, it has made a number of discomfiting points to the US and its allies. By focusing on the Strait of Hormuz, Iran reminded the west that up to one third of the entire world's exported oil supply must pass through a channel that American strategists call a "global chokepoint". The exercises alone have driven up crude oil prices.

American planners, trying to anticipate Iran's likely response to an attack, say it could block the strait using mines. Un-named intelligence officials told the Washington Post this week that there was a "growing consensus" that, if attacked, Iran would also resort to terrorism against civilian targets in the US and Europe, and would use Hizbullah and Islamic Jihad to foment trouble in Israel-Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq. No evidence was cited for these claims.

By highlighting external threats, this week's exercises have propaganda value for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government, anxious to shore up domestic support for its hardline stance. Iran's rejection of the UN's 30-day deadline for nuclear compliance was reaffirmed yesterday by the foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki.

Parading its own capabilities, the US has meanwhile made a point of publicising tests in Nevada of "deep penetration" bunker-buster bombs that could be used against underground nuclear facilities. And moving perilously close to "enemy lines", it plans its own naval exercises in the Gulf next month. The codename? Arabian Gauntlet.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 5:45 pm    Post subject: Iram Unable to Block Hormuz Reply with quote

Iram Unable to Block Hormuz

April 26, 2006
Middle East Newsline

WASHINGTON -- Iran lacks the capability to block the world's leading shipping route for crude oil exports. The Center for Strategic and International Studies said the Iranian Navy, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has failed to procure the platforms or weapons required to block the Straits of Hormuz, the passage for 60 percent of the world's oil trade. In a report, the Washington-based center said the United States could block any Iranian attempt to attack Gulf shipping, particularly from the sea.

"Iran could not close the Strait of Hormuz, or halt tanker traffic, and its submarines and much of its IRGC forces would probably be destroyed in a matter of days if they become operational," the report said.

The assertion undermined an Iranian warning to threaten the global oil trade if attacked by the United States. The warning was issued during the Holy Prophet exercise in the Gulf, which took place from March 31 to April 6.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Ramin,

Question: How long do you think the Iranian people would tolerate the leader of any nation declaring as policy the wiping of Iran off the map?

Even left-wingnuts protesting Bush for the war in Iraq are convinced the mullahs are capable of nuking their own people to make it look like the US did it....and since no one trusts IRI's word on anything anymore, even the Gulf States are likely to say to the mullahs "do you want a Rad suit and a broom to clean up your own mess?" rather than join them in some holy war started by deception.

Thing is, it only takes one to start a war....one bullet in the cae of WW1..One crazy mullah's boy with a anti-ship missile...believer of the regime's propaganda that it is a regional power...and dying to prove it..not realizing there's enough firepower in the region to vaporize Iran, leaving nothing but a scooped out smoking/glowing crater where Persia used to exist.

For that matter, what's to prevent another nation from nuking Iran to make it look like US did it, or just simply saying "screw it...let's do it....we'll blame it on the mullahs, they are morally capable of any atrocity."

Pretty harsh reality for Iranian dissedents (and the people) .....rise up and die at the hands of the regime, or do nothing and die at the hands of the regime.

Anyway you slice this cake, the regime has given you (the Iranian people) a reason to act now....en mass...by the millions.

Safety in numbers is an opperative phrase..

Hope you'll pass on my hopes that they'll do this by the numbers, and not fail in freedom's march....Starting Yesterday!

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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 1:00 pm    Post subject: Iran to Disrupt Hormuz Oil Flow If Attacked by U.S. Reply with quote

Iran to Disrupt Hormuz Oil Flow If Attacked by U.S.

May 05, 2006
Tony Capaccio

Iran may be planning to share the pain of any U.S. attack with the world's oil markets. A strike against Iran's nuclear program would probably be met with an effort to choke off oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, military planners and Middle East analysts say. The goal would be to trigger a market disruption that would force President George W. Bush to back off.

The Iranians hope the mere threat of such action may lead oil-consuming nations to pressure the U.S. to resolve the dispute short of a military confrontation. About 17 million barrels of oil, representing one-fifth of the world's consumption, is shipped through the strait every day.

Roiling the markets would be part of a broader retaliation that would include terrorist attacks against U.S. forces or other interests in Iraq and worldwide, said Michael Eisenstadt, an Iran expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former Central Command analyst.

``They will not allow us to limit the conflict to `tit for tat' -- us hitting their nuclear facilities, and they restricted to hitting deployed American military,'' Eisenstadt said in an interview.

General John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, said in a written statement to the House Armed Services Committee on March 15 that Iran is expanding naval bases along its shoreline and now has ``large quantities'' of small, fast- attack ships, many armed with torpedoes and Chinese-made high- speed missiles capable of firing from 10,000 yards.

``Iran's capabilities are focusing on disrupting oil traffic through the straits,'' Army Colonel Mark Tillman, a professor at the National Defense University in Washington and former Central Command planner, said in an interview. ``Why else would they have these things?''

Relying on Diplomacy

The Bush administration has said it will rely on diplomacy to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program, which Iran says is designed to produce electricity but the U.S. suspects is aimed at producing a bomb.

John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told Congress on May 2 that those diplomatic efforts so far have been frustrated by Iran's clout as the world's fourth-largest oil supplier.

``The Iranians have been very effective at deploying their oil and natural-gas resources to apply leverage against countries to protect themselves from precisely this kind of pressure, in the case of countries with large and growing energy demands like India, China and Japan,'' Bolton said.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, has said his nation won't rule out cutting oil exports in response to pressure over the nuclear dispute.

Rising Prices

Escalation of the dispute has helped to boost oil prices by 17 percent over the past two months. The current price of about $70 reflects potential disruptions over the next six to 18 months, said Jamal Qureshi, lead oil industry analyst for PFC Energy, a risk-analysis firm in Washington.

Even with that, a military conflict would shock the system so ``you'd very likely get a quick spike that could very easily go to $100 a barrel,'' until the U.S. releases oil from its strategic reserve, Qureshi said in an interview. ``It could get messy real quick.''

While Iran probably couldn't close the Strait of Hormuz -- which lies between Iran and Oman and is 34 miles at its narrowest point -- it could cause havoc by threatening or attacking individual oil tankers or terminals, analysts said. Oil from Iran, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia is shipped through the Strait.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard-controlled navy ``has been developed primarily to `internationalize' a conflict by choking off oil exports through the Strait,'' Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command, told lawmakers.

`Pressure the U.S.'

Kenneth Katzman, a terrorism and Middle East analyst for the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, said that even if Iran can't block the strait, it ``can create a sense of crisis to drive up the price of oil, and presumably'' the nations that consume all that oil ``would pressure the U.S. to stand down or shrink from confrontation or end it quickly,''

Iran supplies China with 4 percent of its oil; France, 7 percent; Korea, 9 percent; Japan, 10 percent; Italy, 11 percent; Belgium, 14 percent; Turkey, 22 percent; and Greece, 24 percent, according to Clifford Kupchan, a director of the Eurasia Group in Washington, a global risk-consulting group.

These figures ``tell me that Iran for the foreseeable future will have considerable `petro-influence' over prospective U.S. allies,'' Kupchan said in an interview.

Terrorist Attacks

Eisenstadt said disrupting world oil markets might not be Iran's ``preferred avenue of response'' if attacked. ``I think they are more likely to respond in Iraq by launching terrorist attacks,'' he said. ``Disrupting oil shipments is a far second or third, but this is something we have to prepare for.''

W. Patrick Lang, formerly the chief Middle East analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency, said Iran ``could unleash the Shiites en masse in Iraq, and kicking that up would place us in a very different position there. You would have a lot of people out there in the streets with rifles.'' Shiite Muslims make up 89 percent of Iran's population, and are a majority in Iraq.

Rear Admiral Jeffrey Miller, deputy commander of U.S. naval forces in the Gulf, said, the U.S. has ``the capability to keep the straits open and clean them up if that should be required.''

``We understand the importance of keeping all the choke points'' open ``and commerce moving,'' Miller said in a telephone interview May 3 from Manama, Bahrain.

Missiles and Seals

The U.S. has about 45 vessels in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea region, including the USS Ronald Reagan, the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, and five escorts, including the USS Tucson, an attack submarine that can fire new tactical Tomahawk cruise missiles and launch Navy Seal commandos.

Lang said the U.S. military, in a conflict, ``would be all air and naval, with no ground operation.''

``Iran might surprise the U.S. by sinking a tanker in the gulf or something and then the U.S. Navy would beat the bejesus out of them, but they could cause a spike in oil prices for a month or two,'' Lang said in an interview.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:02 pm    Post subject: Iran hints it may use oil weapon in nuclear row Reply with quote

Iran hints it may use oil weapon in nuclear row

Sun Jun 4, 2006. By Alireza Ronaghi


TEHRAN (Reuters) - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of the world's fourth largest oil exporter, said on Sunday that if the United States makes a "wrong move" toward Iran, energy flows in the region would be endangered.

Iranian officials have in the past ruled out using oil as a weapon in Iran's nuclear standoff with the West, but Khamenei's comments suggested Iran could disrupt supplies if pushed.

His remarks, which are likely to unsettle wary oil markets, come days before EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana is due to deliver a package of incentives agreed by six world powers and designed to persuade Iran to abandon plans to make nuclear fuel.

"If you (the United States) make a wrong move regarding Iran, definitely the energy flow in this region will be seriously endangered," Khamenei, who has the last word in all matters of state, said in a speech which discussed the dispute.

Washington accuses Tehran of seeking to develop atomic weapons under cover of a civilian nuclear power program, a charge Tehran denies.

The United States says it wants a diplomatic solution but has refused to rule out military action.

Washington has offered to join European countries in talks with Iran about the nuclear program, but says Iran must first suspend uranium enrichment. Iran has so far rejected the demand, saying enrichment is a national right.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday Iran would consider the proposals from the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain but also insisted that the crux of the package was unacceptable.

The incentives being offered have not been publicly announced, but diplomats have been working on themes ranging from offering nuclear reactors to giving security guarantees.

A date for Solana's visit to Iran to deliver the package has yet to be announced. Iranian officials said the visit was expected in the next few days.


Khamenei did not explicitly refer to enrichment in his speech that marked the anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.

But he said: "We are committed to our national interests and whoever threatens it will experience the sharpness of this nation's anger."

He also praised the efforts of the country's nuclear scientists in developing home-grown nuclear technology as a "brave move" and dismissed what he said was the West's campaign against the country's atomic program.

"Today our nation has taken a step forward and has bravely resisted," he said. "There is no international consensus against Iran's nuclear program except by some ... monopolist countries and this consensus has no value."

Khamenei spoke from a podium emblazoned with Khomeini's words "America cannot do a damn thing". His speech listed what he said were U.S. failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories and elsewhere in the area.

"You (the United States) are not capable of securing energy flows in this region," he said, addressing the crowd who were packed into Khomeini's mausoleum, south of Tehran.

Those gathered chanted back "Death to America" and "Nuclear energy is our obvious right".

International oil prices have stayed near record highs, above $70 a barrel, partly because of fears Iranian exports could be disrupted if the nuclear dispute escalates. Iran produces about 3.85 million barrels of oil a day.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, a group of six Gulf Arab states including oil giant Saudi Arabia, said on Saturday they were "deeply worried about the developments in Iran's nuclear program", after a meeting in Riyadh.

Two months ago, Iran staged naval wargames in the Gulf, a shipping route that accounts for roughly two-fifths of all globally traded oil.

Analysts interpreted the military maneuvers, which included test firing missiles, as a message that Iran could disrupt vital oil supply lines if it came under international pressure.

(With additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi)
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