Tag Archives: Middle East

US deploys fighter jets to base near Iran

USAF F-22

YnetNews…

The United States military has deployed several F-22 fighter jets to an allied base less than 200 miles (320 km) from Iran, Fox News reported Friday …It claimed the measure is part of routine activity and “security cooperation with regional partners.” Full Report →

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US Navy deploys 2nd aircraft carrier to Gulf

USS Enterprise

AP…

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. Navy said Monday it has deployed a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region amid rising tensions with Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

The deployment of the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise along with the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group marks one of the few times the Navy has had two aircraft carriers operating in waters near the Persian Gulf, said Cmdr. Amy Derrick-Frost of the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet.

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CIA: Iran Nuke Expansion Iran boosts its nuclear program in 2011 adding both nuclear material and facilities, CIA report says

Washington Free Beacon…

Iran expanded its nuclear program last year with continued uranium enrichment and growing infrastructure development, according to an annual CIA report to Congress.

The report on arms proliferation covering 2011, made public by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), reveals that Iran has produced 4,900 kilograms of low enriched uranium.

“Iran continued to expand its nuclear infrastructure and continued uranium enrichment and activities related to its heavy water research reactor” contrary to U.N. resolutions, the report says.

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Oil Prices at $200 a Barrel? Some Think It’s Coming

CNBC…

Signs that crude futures may hit much higher levels are converging, say oil traders and analysts, some of whom predict that Brent [LCOCV1  122.70    -1.50  (-1.21%)   ] crude could reach $200 a barrel within the next 12 months.

The biggest issue, they say, is that global crude supply remains uncommonly tight — a scenario that’s unlikely to be alleviated any time soon.

Even though Libya’s oil has largely returned online after the political disruptions that took it off the market last year, and Saudi Arabia is generating its highest output in three decades, the available crude is just barely meeting demand. The summer driving season in the U.S., which begins in April, could put further pressure on prices.

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EVIDENCE GROWS THAT ISRAEL IS SET FOR WAR, BUT WHAT IF RUSSIA INTERVENES?

Related: RUSSIAN TROOPS ENTER SYRIA

Joel C. Rosenberg…

I’m heading to southern California today to speak at the upcoming “Israel, The Church and the Middle East Crisis” conference at Biola University and Talbot Seminary.

Last night, I was on an afternoon drive-time radio show in Los Angeles. The host and I spent about an hour discussing the latest tensions in the epicenter and previewing some of the points I’m planning to raise at the conference.

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Netanyahu to Obama: Israel ‘reserves the right’ to strike

Netanyahu: ‘MY SUPREME RESPONSIBILITY AS PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL IS TO ENSURE THAT ISRAEL REMAINS THE MASTER OF ITS FATE’

Washington Free Beacon…

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Obama that Israel would decide for itself whether to strike Iran.

“My supreme responsibility as prime minister of Israel is to ensure that Israel remains the master of its fate,” Netanyahu told Obama.

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Obama: Israel knows that U.S. isn’t bluffing on action against Iran

From Haaretz…

The Israeli people understand that the United States isn’t bluffing when it says “all options are on the table” in regards to actions against Iran’s nuclear program, U.S. President Barack Obama said in an interview on Friday.

Obama’s comments came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Canada on Friday, ahead of a North American visit that will also take him to a much-anticipated meeting with Obama at the White House.

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Exclusive: State Department quietly warning region on Syrian WMDs

From The FP…

The State Department has begun coordinating with Syria’s neighbors to prepare for the handling of President Bashar al-Assad’s extensive WMD assets if and when his regime collapses, The Cable has learned.

This week, the State Department sent a diplomatic demarche to Syria’s neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, warning them about the possibility of Syria’s WMDs crossing their borders and offering U.S. government help in dealing with the problem, three Obama administration officials confirmed to The Cable. For concerned parties both inside and outside the U.S. government, the demarche signifies that the United States is increasingly developing plans to deal with the dangers of a post-Assad Syria — while simultaneously highlighting the lack of planning for how to directly bring about Assad’s downfall.

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Is Israel preparing to attack Iran?

The Washington Post…

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has a lot on his mind these days, from cutting the defense budget to managing the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. But his biggest worry is the growing possibility that Israel will attack Iran over the next few months.

Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June — before Iran enters what Israelis described as a “zone of immunity” to commence building a nuclear bomb. Very soon, the Israelis fear, the Iranians will have stored enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon — and only the United States could then stop them militarily.

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[Must Read] Will Israel Attack Iran?

Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, on right, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

From The New York Times…

As the Sabbath evening approached on Jan. 13, Ehud Barak paced the wide living-room floor of his home high above a street in north Tel Aviv, its walls lined with thousands of books on subjects ranging from philosophy and poetry to military strategy. Barak, the Israeli defense minister, is the most decorated soldier in the country’s history and one of its most experienced and controversial politicians. He has served as chief of the general staff for the Israel Defense Forces, interior minister, foreign minister and prime minister. He now faces, along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and 12 other members of Israel’s inner security cabinet, the most important decision of his life — whether to launch a pre-emptive attack against Iran. We met in the late afternoon, and our conversation — the first of several over the next week — lasted for two and a half hours, long past nightfall. “This is not about some abstract concept,” Barak said as he gazed out at the lights of Tel Aviv, “but a genuine concern. The Iranians are, after all, a nation whose leaders have set themselves a strategic goal of wiping Israel off the map.”

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