Iran attack decision nears: US lawmakers approve use of force; New coalition government in Israel
(May 18) The Republican-led House of Representatives approved Friday the use of US force against Iran if the Tehran regime threatens the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons. According to a section of the National Defense Authorization Act, “it shall be the policy of the United States to take all necessary measures, including military action if required, to prevent Iran from threatening the United States, its allies or Iran’s neighbors with a nuclear weapon.” The bill would still need to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, where Obama’s allies are highly unlikely to pass the House version without substantial changes.
A day earlier, Washington’s envoy to Israel says the US has plans in place to attack Iran if other measures fail to stop it developing nuclear weapons. Dan Shapiro said the US hoped diplomacy and sanctions would persuade Iran to alter its nuclear programme, but a military option was “ready”. The BBC’s Tehran correspondent, James Reynolds, says Mr Shapiro’s remarks go further than previous comments by President Barack Obama that all options are on the table, including military action.
Iran continues to enrich uranium in defiance of international pressure, saying it needs the fuel for its civilian nuclear program. The West is convinced that Tehran’s real objective is to build an atomic bomb. According to Debkafile, US and Israeli intelligence have long possessed solid information on the illicit activities in Parchin collected by the nuclear-sensitive instruments carried by their military satellites. The same source also disclosed that Iran had by the end of 2009 early 2012 completed the construction of a new chain of underground facilities deep inside the Dasht e-Kavir (Great Salt Desert) – all linked together by huge tunnels. However, other sources insist that the real dispute between the United States and Iran has little to do with Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons but rather the long-term goal of installing a friendly regime. In short, the phony nuclear weapons issue is used by Washington as an excuse to topple government.
Both Israel and the US have said they consider military force a last resort to stop Iran using its uranium enrichment programme to make a weapon but time for that decision is fast running out and the mood in Jerusalem is hardening. Experts say that within a few months, much of Iran’s nuclear program will have been moved deep underground beneath the Fordow mountain, making a successful military strike much more difficult. Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak said it was possible that Iran was already putting in place the infrastructure for building a nuclear bomb in 60 days. Israel has hinted it could launch a pre-emptive strike. Leaders ot the Jewish states consider a nuclear armed-Iran a threat to its very existence. The recent coalition between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and the leader of the opposition Shaul Mofaz created the largest and broadest coalition government in recent memory, one that no single faction can topple.
Iran and the P5+1 powers — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany — are preparing to meet next week in Baghdad for crunch talks on Tehran’s contested nuclear program. Leaders from the Group of Eight nations are currently at the G-8 summit, hosted by President Barack Obama at the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland. The US is expected to argue that tougher action needs to be taken against Syria and that Iran was not responding to pressure to allow access to its nuclear facilities.
Jordanian news site Ahbar Baladna reports that western spy satellites have recently spotted movements of Syrian heavy missile launchers northward and southward, toward Syria’s borders with Turkey and Israel. Russia, the sometime protector of both Iran and Syria, has made clear it will not support any Western military intervention in Syria or Iran, warning that such a course could lead to nuclear war. In Moscow’s strongest declaration to date, Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev adamantly urged Western nations not to attack Iran to neutralize its nuclear program or intervene against the Syrian government over bloodshed in which the United Nations says its forces have killed more than 9,000 people.
In the mean time, tension between Iran and US-allied Gulf Arab states has run high in recent months with Arab leaders accusing Tehran of fomenting Shiite Muslim unrest in Bahrain – a charge that Shiite Iran and the protesters deny. The dispute worsened when Tehran denounced efforts by six Gulf Arab states at a summit earlier this week to forge closer political and military union, largely to counter Iran’s growing regional power. The talks ended inconclusively.
Are the pawns lining up to light the first fuse? Mark 13:7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be alarmed; these things must take place, but the end is not yet. Or are the media clueless? There is only one way to find out! James 5:7 [ Waiting for the Lord ] Therefore, brothers, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.