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Old 12-05-2010, 09:31 AM
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Default Covert war against Iran's nuclear aims takes chilling turn

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010...perts-killings

Covert war against Iran's nuclear aims takes chilling turn

Sophisticated cyber-worms, motorcycling assassins: but who is behind the increasingly sinister campaign against the Iranian energy programme?


  • Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan
  • The Observer, Sunday 5 December 2010 <li class="history">Article history Iranian police beside the car in which Majid Shahriari was killed in a bomb attack. Photograph: -/AFP/Getty Images Tehran's streets at the height of the morning rush hour resemble a vast, sprawling car park. Bumper-to-bumper traffic, much of it stationary, the acrid steam of a thousand exhausts hanging in the cold winter air. If you wanted to kill someone, this would be the moment to do it: when they are stuck in their cars – sitting targets.
    At 7.40am last Monday, in north Tehran's Aghdasieh district, a motorcycle threaded its way through the long lines of cars on Artesh Boulevard. It edged up to a silver Peugeot 405, hesitating alongside for moment, before moving off into the maze of vehicles. A few seconds later there was a bang from the side of the Peugeot, as a small bomb stuck on to the window detonated, killing one of the men inside. The driver and a woman passenger were wounded.
    At the same time, a few kilometres to the west, an identical attack was under way. A motorcycle came up beside another Peugeot and then moved on, but this time a man immediately jumped out of the car, ran around to let a woman out on the other side, and both of them managed to scramble a couple of metres from the car before the bomb went off. They were bloodied, but survived.
    The dead man was Majid Shahriari, a senior Iranian nuclear scientist. The head of Iran's nuclear programme, Ali Akbar Salehi, who attended his funeral, said Shahriari had been "in charge of one of the great projects" at Iran's atomic energy agency – a project he did not describe any further.
    The wounded man, Fereydoun Abbasi, was a 52-year-old nuclear scientist working for Iran's defence ministry, one of "Iran's few experts on fissile isotopes and the ministry's laser expert". He is also named in a UN security council sanctions resolution as working on "banned nuclear activities" with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the scientist suspected by inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency of running Iran's secret nuclear weapons programme. The wives of both scientists were wounded in the attacks.
    The attacks had clear echoes of the unsolved assassination in January this year of one of their colleagues, particle physicist Masoud Alimohammadi. He was killed in north Tehran on his way to work, at about the same time of the morning, by a bomb strapped to a motorcycle. After his death, to the surprise of many of his students, it was reported that he also had links with Iran's nuclear programme.
    If there were any doubts after Alimohammadi's killing back in January, there could be none after last week's double attack. Someone is trying to kill nuclear scientists linked to Iran's defence establishment – the people most likely to be involved in the covert side of Iran's nuclear programme, the making of nuclear weapons.
    In the febrile atmosphere of Iranian underground politics, speculation quickly spread that the dark forces of the state were at work against would-be dissidents, leakers or defectors, but those rumours quickly evaporated. The Islamic Republic has many other ways of taking people it suspects out of circulation. It has little to gain by sacrificing the nation's must strategic asset – its nuclear know-how, the teachers of a new generation of atomic scientists. After last week, that new generation must be wondering whether to change career.
    The Tehran regime itself had little doubt over who was to blame. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad quickly pointed the finger at "western governments and the Zionist regime".
    Ahmadinejad blames almost every national setback on the same culprits, but in this case there were no snorts of derision from the security analysts and intelligence experts in the west, but rather murmurs of assent.
    There is general agreement that the nature of the simultaneous attacks was too sophisticated to be entirely home-grown – the work of the handful of groups who harry the Islamic Republic around its ethnic edges, like the Sunni Jundullah group, the Kurdish rebels in the north-east, or the People's Mujahedin (which has vowed to give up violence to win removal from the US state department's list of terrorist organisations).
    The assassination had the hallmark of well-practised professionals. The explosives were shaped to focus the blast and fire a hail of projectiles into the car at an individual target, with minimal "collateral damage". The targets were obviously carefully chosen and the attack would have required weeks of surveillance. So even if local assassins were involved, the questions of who trained and funded them and assigned the targets would remain.
    Time magazine last week claimed to have been given details of the attack from "a western intelligence expert with knowledge of the operation" and asserted that it "carried the signature of Israel's Mossad".
    It is certainly true that, while the discovery of any involvement in the killings of civilian scientists would be career-endingly embarrassing for the CIA or MI6, the Mossad is known for such exploits. It is widely believed to have killed scientists working on Iraq's nuclear programme in the 1980s.
    The outgoing Mossad director, Meir Dagan, has stepped up the use of assassinations against Israel's enemies, and has won plaudits for doing so. The Israel Hayom news website remarked on the occasion of Dagan's retirement: "[He] will be leaving an organisation that is far sharper and more operational than the organisation he received, and all of the accusations from Tehran yesterday are a good indication of that. Iran will be the focal point for the next Mossad director, too."
    If it does indeed turn out that the Mossad was involved, the bloodshed in the middle of Tehran represents a bloody episode in a secret war over Iran's nuclear programme that has been under way for years.
    It has come at a time when diplomacy is at a standstill. Officials from six major powers – the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – are due to meet Iranian chief negotiator Saeed Jalili in Geneva tomorrow for the first time in more than a year. But expectations are low. Iran has shown no interest in complying with UN demands to cease the enrichment of uranium, despite four sets of sanctions. Tehran has also turned down a deal to swap some of its stock of low-enriched uranium for ready-made fuel rods it urgently needs for a medical research reactor.
    Military action has been contemplated for years, in Washington and Tel Aviv, but both have concluded that air strikes on nuclear sites would have an uncertain and far from fatal impact on Iran's programme, would unleash years of unpredictable, painful reprisals, and would probably spur Tehran on in the quest to develop nuclear weapons.
    The Pentagon has contingency plans, but there is no real likelihood of the US starting a third war in the region any time soon. Israel is another matter. Israeli officials say they are well aware of the downsides of military action, but they insist that none compares with the "existential threat" posed to their country by a nuclear-armed Iran.
    Without giving a green light, the US has supplied the tools Israel would need to do the job. One of the US cables made public by WikiLeaks describes a meeting of a US-Israeli joint political military group in November last year. It said: "The GOI [Government of Israel] described 2010 as a critical year – if the Iranians continue to protect and harden their nuclear sites, it will be more difficult to target and damage them. Both sides then discussed the upcoming delivery of bunker-busting bombs to Israel, noting that the transfer should be handled quietly to avoid any allegations that the US is helping Israel prepare for a strike against Iran."
    The bombs duly arrived a few months later. The WikiLeaks cables also underpin a prediction made by western military officials earlier this year, that if Israel flew above Saudi Arabia to reach Iranian targets Saudi radar operators would somehow "fail to see them".
    Yet Israel has hesitated. It is not the first time a year it deemed "crucial" has come and gone. Iran has now accumulated 3,000kg of low-enriched uranium – enough for two weapons, if further enriched. And this year Iranian scientists have stepped up the level of enrichment they are working on to 20%, which in terms of the technical obstacles that need to be overcome, is well on the way to 90% weapons-grade purity.
    With each milestone passed, Iran has flaunted its achievements, yet Israel's sword has remained sheathed. It is clear that war is the last resort. Given diplomacy's ineffectiveness and the unknowable but terrible consequences of air strikes, it is easy to see why covert action is the least bad option; most of the successes and failures in this war will remain unsung, but some have made news.
    In September last year, Barack Obama announced the discovery of a secret enrichment plant burrowed into a mountain near the city of Qom. It had been under satellite surveillance for some time. Western officials say that it was information from defectors and agents on the ground that confirmed the nature of the facility. Iran subsequently allowed IAEA inspectors into the site, but withheld blueprints which would have given away more of its ultimate purpose.
    In June 2009, an Iranian nuclear scientist called Shahram Amiri disappeared while making the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Three months later, the Iranian government claimed he was being held by the US – a claim echoed by several western reports that Amiri had defected and was living somewhere in America under a new identity. However, in July this year the scientist turned up at the Iranian interests section of the Pakistani embassy, claiming he had been held against his will and wanted to go home. Amiri returned to a hero's welcome in Iran, while back in the US he has been portrayed as a defector who lost his nerve.
    Ahmadinejad admitted last week that Iran's uranium enrichment plant had been affected by the Stuxnet computer worm, which targeted the industrial management software that Iran uses to run its centrifuges. Like most computer viruses and worms, Stuxnet does not bear fingerprints, but a western military source recently told the Observer that it was an Israeli creation.
    Ahmadinejad claimed that the damage caused by Stuxnet had been overcome, but the enrichment programme clearly has major problems that cannot be easily fixed. The IAEA reported last week that enrichment ceased altogether in mid-November. The centrifuges at the Natanz plant continued to spin, but no uranium gas was fed into them, a very rare stoppage that suggested there was a fault in the system.
    The main centrifuge the Iranians are using, known as the P-1, is rudimentary and outdated and prone to crash, so that may be part of the problem.
    But the US, Israel and other western spy agencies have also spent years slipping faulty parts into black market consignments of equipment heading to Iran – each designed to wreak havoc inside the delicate machinery requirement for enrichment.
    Last week's events suggest that, as Iran continues to built up its stock of enriched uranium despite such difficulties, finesse is giving way to more brutal methods in this secret war.
    Its first victim may have been Ardeshir Hassanpour, another top nuclear scientist, who co-founded Iran's nuclear technology centre in Isfahan. Officially, Hassanpour died from radiation poisoning in 2007. But some reports, yet to be confirmed, claimed he was killed by the Mossad. If that is true, the toll so far is three scientists dead, one wounded.
    The front line in the war of Iran's nuclear project is not where most expected it to be drawn – at the enrichment plant in Natanz, or the mountain cavern at Qom, or the Revolutionary Guard bases where Iran tests its missiles. Instead it runs through university faculties and the leafy suburbs of north Tehran where Iran's academic elite make their homes. It is a covert war, with very high stakes, in which civilians are the primary targets, and Majid Shahriari is unlikely to be the last victim.


    __________________________________________________ ______


    I think this is a very good read but they (naturally) missed out on some of the other an accounted for deaths and assassinations

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Old 12-06-2010, 06:42 PM
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Arrow Two forward leaps bring Iran weeks away from weapons-grade uranium

Two forward leaps bring Iran weeks away from weapons-grade uranium



http://www.debka.com/article/20431/
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 6, 2010


Production of Iran's first batch of uranium yellowcake marked just one of Tehran's two nuclear leaps forward ahead of the resumption of its nuclear talks with the Six Powers in Geneva Monday, Dec. 6, after a 14-month interruption.

The second breakthrough was not made public. debkafile's military and intelligence sources disclose that after a huge effort, Iran was able to sit down with those powers having piled up 23.5 kilos of 19.75 percent enriched uranium. By January or early February, this amount can be topped to the full 28.2 kilos needed for producing 90 percent weapons grade uranium for fueling a nuclear bomb or warhead.

The first batch of yellowcake, announced Sunday over state TV by Iranian Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehi, who leads his delegation the Geneva talks, comes from the Gachin mine in southern Iran. Sent to Isfahan for conversion, it enables Iran to produce its own raw material for the uranium powder used in the process of creating nuclear fuel and is no longer depends on imported ore.

"Enemies and ill-wishers have always tried to create despair and disappointment among our youth, academicians, engineers and our nation, but today we witness the delivery of the first batch of yellowcake which is produced inside the country," Salehi said.

Despite the six-day shutdown of the Natanz uranium enrichment plant from Nov. 16-22, due to an invasion by the Stuxnet malworm and the serious injury suffered by Prof. Fereydoun Abbasi, Director of Centrifuge Operations, the Iranian program has managed to come within touching distance of its goal: It is only 4.7 kilos short of the 28.2 kilos of 19.75 percent enriched uranium needed for going into weapons-grade production. The Iranians need no more than a few weeks, up to early February at the latest, to reach that goal.

Those two achievements have placed Iran in a strong bargaining position in the Geneva talks with the Five Permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, our sources report, compensating for the sanctions-induced weakness Obama administration tacticians had hoped for.

It turns out, according to our sources, that the sanctions the UN, US and other nations had clamped down on Iran this year acted as a sharp spur to its nuclear progress rather than slowing it down. Salehi arrived in Geneva with enough clout to lay down an ultimatum: If Tehran so chooses, he can give the world powers the option of recognizing the legitimacy of Iran's nuclear program and its right to enrich uranium, or risk a decision by its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to give the order in six to eight weeks' time for enrichment to go forward to weapons grade. Within a short time Iran will have reached the threshold of bomb or nuclear warhead production.

Since Salehi's opposite numbers in the Geneva dialogue can be presumed to be au fait with their national intelligence agencies' updates, they may try and drag the negotiations out for as long as they can in the hope of dissuading Tehran from arming itself with a nuclear weapon. On the other hand, procrastination won't stop Iran from continuing processing up to the entire 28.2 kilos amount of 19.75-enriched uranium needed to reach the threshold of weapons production. And at that point, Khamenei will have the whip hand over the West.

All this adds up to the failure of America's long effort to stop Iran attaining a nuclear bomb capability by non-military means. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, for his part, will have to face up to falling down completely on his solemn, oft-repeated vow to never allow the Islamic Republic acquire nuclear arms.

His absorption in the last few days in leading the international battle against the big wildfire laying the central Israeli hills of Mt. Carmel to waste and creating an international airborne firefighting force has made enough waves at home to keep Iran's relentless nuclear breakthroughs away from public notice.

Iran's ability to produce its own yellowcake for conversion at Isfahan offers Tehran a second route to a nuclear weapons-capability. According to debkafile's military sources, Iran can now manage without the fuel rods it is contracted to return to Russia from the Bushehr nuclear reactor, because the uranium powder can be used for making homemade rods - both to fuel nuclear reactor cores and produce plutonium, the alternative to enriched uranium for weapons-grade fuel.

Iran no longer depends on imported materials to move forward at speed toward an N-bomb on both self-sufficient tracks –unhindered by sanctions.

http://www.debka.com/article/20431/
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:08 AM
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Default Killing the Killers

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/12/13/k....html?from=rss

Killing the Killers

Israeli hit teams have a history of eliminating weapons scientists.

Montreal Star-APGerald Bull, right, in 1965. Bull was an engineer and arms dealer assassinated by Israel’s intelligence service, Mossad, in 1990.
During his years as Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion was haunted by a recurring nightmare. In it, the Holocaust’s survivors had taken refuge in Israel only to become the targets of another Holocaust. The nightmare seemed to be coming true in July 1962, when Egypt’s then-president Gamal Abdel Nasser announced four successful tests of missiles capable of striking anywhere “south of Beirut”—that is, anywhere in Israel.


Israeli officials panicked. The Mossad had never guessed that Nasser was developing the means to destroy “the Zionist entity,” as he had repeatedly promised. Israel’s military intelligence quickly learned that Egypt had built a secret facility in the desert, known as Factory 333 and staffed by German scientists, builders of the V1 and V2 rockets that had devastated London. Even the project’s security chief was a veteran of Hitler’s SS. The Egyptians’ plan was to build some 900 missiles, all of them presumably to be aimed at Israel.



But the program had a weakness, and the Mossad found it: the Egyptians still needed the German scientists’ help to start mass production of the missiles. At that moment Israel began a decades-long campaign to eliminate scientists working for its enemies on missiles and weapons of mass destruction. The Mossad called that first operation Damocles, invoking an image of impending doom from Greek myth.


The aim was to scare off the Germans at least as much as to kill them, so efforts to cover the assassins’ tracks were often minimal, only enough to protect the killers. In September 1962 Heinz Krug, head of a Factory 333 shell company called Intra, vanished in Munich. In November two parcel bombs arrived at the office of the missile project’s director, Wolfgang Pilz, maiming his secretary and killing five Egyptian workers. In February 1963 another Factory 333 scientist, Hans Kleinwachter, narrowly escaped an ambush in Switzerland. In April of that year, two Mossad agents in Basel accosted Heidi Goerke, the daughter of project manager Paul Goerke, and threatened to kill both him and her. The two agents were briefly jailed.


The anti-Egypt campaign was starting to upset Israel’s allies. To cool things down, intelligence on Factory 333 was shared with the West German government, which pressured its scientists to quit the project, offering them jobs in Germany instead. Nearly all the scientists accepted—perhaps in fear for their lives—and Egypt abandoned its plot.


A period of relative quiet ensued until the late 1970s, when Israeli intelligence found signs that Saddam Hussein was pursuing a secret nuclear-development program in Iraq, and agents began hunting a new set of weapons scientists. In June 1980 Mossad agents unexpectedly spotted Egyptian nuclear expert Yehia El Mashad at a Paris hotel. He was working for Saddam, and the Mossad agents had orders to kill him on sight. Caught without their weapons, they improvised by breaking into his room and clubbing him to death. A prostitute told police she had heard what sounded like an argument from outside the room, but she died in a hit-and-run incident not long after her preliminary statement.


Iraq’s nuclear program was seriously damaged by Israel’s bombing of the Osirak reactor in June 1981, but Saddam did not give up his quest for powerful weapons. He soon signed up Gerald Bull, a Canadian-born, Belgium-based engineer and arms dealer who had invented what he called a supergun, an artillery piece with a range in the thousands of kilometers. As soon as Israeli weapons experts confirmed that Bull’s cannon was for real, he became a target. In March 1990 a Mossad hit team knocked on the door of his Brussels apartment, burst in when he opened it, and fired two bullets into the back of his head and three into his back. One member of the team took close-up photos of the corpse. The pictures were sent to other European employees of the Iraqi project with a note: “If you don’t want a similar fate, don’t go to work tomorrow.” Israel’s defense chiefs can only hope the message continues to resonate.


Bergman is a senior military and intelligence analyst for Yedioth Ahronot, an Israeli daily. He is currently working on a book about the Mossad and the art of assassination.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:18 PM
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Sensationalist journalism. Everyone always blames the Mossad. There are/were plenty of countries who wished Iraq (back then)/Iran (now) would fail in their quest for weapons of mass destruction. Let's not forget Iran tried to destroy Iraq's nuclear facilities first. Didn't succeed, but just goes to show you there were other interested parties.

Some stories about Mossad may be true, but it's not some invincible and unstoppable force, there have been plenty of embarrassing incidents.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:24 PM
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Default Mossad

No one said that Mossad is invincible...

I was one of the first to point out that Iran tried to bomb Ozirak before Israel. However, I think that you can "blame" the success of the Israeli mission on the excellent intelligence supplied by the Mossad and the brilliant IAF pilots.

Obviously, some of the stories attributed to the Mossad could have been undertaken by other agencies.

The deterrence Israel has because of Mossad is one of her greatest assets!
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:45 AM
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There usually isn't much evidence connecting Mossad to many of the attributed actions (nor any other organization), everything is conjecture and media sensation (Arabs love to accuse the Mossad of everything).

No one knows how well (or poorly) Mossad operates except people on the inside (save for failed operations). The recent fire that decimated (part of ) Israel should tell you all you need to know about what people thought (or didn't think could happen), and harsh reality.
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:21 PM
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Default Mossad

I agree with you that we do not know how well Mossad is operating, but I pose this to you: you do know when Mossad operations go wrong (so we can assume they are doing OK as long as we do not hear about operations going wrong..

Furthermore, plenty of interviews with x mossad agents do confirm a lot of the stories we hear about.

On another note, I think everything about mossad should stay secret, I do not need to know who the head of the organization is!
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:14 PM
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Mossad
It so interesting to see and know how " young and little" Israel is making the world have sleepless nights. It simply means someone in some Israel department whether military or intelligence doing a remarkable job. Israel continue to Work like a duck = cool on the surface but the legs busy under the water !!!.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:55 PM
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Default The Iranian slowdown

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...v=rss_opinions

CONFIRMATION that the international campaign against Iran's nuclear program has made headway recently came from a seemingly unlikely source: Israel's intelligence chief. Last week, Meir Dagan, outgoing head of the Mossad intelligence agency, said that Iran could not now acquire a nuclear weapon before 2015, because of unspecified technical problems. That was a big change from previous Israeli estimates: In 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Iran could have a bomb by this year. For years, Israeli measures of the Iranian nuclear timeline have been ahead of those by U.S. intelligence agencies, which predicted in 2007 than Iran could acquire nuclear capability between 2010 and 2015.
In Israel as in the United States, estimates of the Iranian threat may be swayed in part by debate over what to do about it; Mr. Dagan is reportedly an opponent of an Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. Yet there appear to be solid reasons to conclude that U.N. and other Western sanctions and covert operations have hindered the Iranian program. An ingenious computer virus called Stuxnet may have put hundreds or even thousands of centrifuges used in uranium enrichment out of action; Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly acknowledged last November that a virus had infected equipment. Two Iranian nuclear scientists were killed and another wounded in the last year in assassination operations Iran has blamed on Israel.
At the same time, sanctions may have impeded Iran from acquiring the specialized materials, such as maraging steel and carbon fiber, that it needs to replace broken centrifuges or build the more advanced models it has claimed to develop. Without more advanced centrifuges, Iran would have trouble in any attempt to create a bomb out of the low-enriched uranium it has stockpiled. Experts believe it would take a year to manufacture bomb-grade material with the current machines, which means the effort - if conducted in known facilities - would probably be detected with plenty of time for Western nations to react.


The Obama administration deserves credit, at least, for orchestrating the tightening of sanctions; the authors of Stuxnet have not been identified. But as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton emphasized this week, the changed timeline does not mean that the threat of Iran's program is over or that the urgency of confronting it is lessened. "We don't want anyone to be misled by anyone's intelligence analysis. This remains a serious concern," she said during a tour of Persian Gulf countries intended in part to win more support for sanctions enforcement. "We have time. But not a lot of time."
The challenge for the Obama administration, Israel and other allies will be to make use of that window to force a definitive end to the Iranian bomb program. The administration still hopes negotiations, set to resume Jan. 20, will achieve that end, but most likely it will require a fundamental change in Iran's hard-line regime. From that point of view, five years is certainly not much time.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:36 PM
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You do realize that striking Iran won't be easy, do you? Not because Iran is invincible or has a uber cool military infrastructure but because of:

1- Geography



See for yourself. To strike Iran, your jets will have to cross helluva lot of airspace. Now this is not some coastal strike mission, so your first headache would be searching for nuclear facilities which MOSSAD would have done already but even then your jets will have to fly all the way, dodging anti-aircraft fire and SAMs as well as Iranian air force. And Iran is a HUGE country.

2-Political

You know this one very well. Flying to Iran would mean smashing through Syrian, Iraqi (even if ruled by US right now) and Lebanese airspace. While they might not be able to significantly respond, this will attract lot of attention.

Add the recent radical Islamist government of Turkey and you being on collision course with them, Turkey becomes a no-go zone for you. Due to India's non-aligned and neutral status, I doubt our cowardly and pathetic government would allow you to use India as a base to strike Iran. Although you could use Lakshadweep islands to launch the strikes but the distance factor comes in again and also it would mean over-flying an already paranoid and out of control Pakistan who suspect a Jewish hand of assassination even on the death of their house fly.

You could though covertly use US cover of Iraq and strike into Iran. Depends on what US says on this.

3- Logistical

Your F-15s are smaller in configuration than standard USAF,JSDAF and RSAF F-15s meaning less internal fuel and hence lesser distance to cover without fueling. F-16s pose and even bigger problem of the same nature. Which means pushing your tankers to fly alongside your jets.

Now while your jets can fly low below radar cover and still be confused as own fighter jets by commoners who don't know about Israeli military stuff, your tanker is too huge to ignore and not fast or quiet enough (unless of course, you repaint IDAF logos as blanks for visual camouflaging and do something about the tanker engines).

_____________

The only way in which Israel can strike Iran in case it goes nuclear would be using your own Jericho ballistic missiles to pinpoint accuracy. But that would drive your entire mulla neighbourhood crazy.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:37 PM
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double post... delete
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Last edited by Tshering22; 01-13-2011 at 10:41 PM..
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tshering22 View Post

Your F-15s are smaller in configuration than standard USAF,JSDAF and RSAF F-15s meaning less internal fuel and hence lesser distance to cover without fueling. F-16s pose and even bigger problem of the same nature. Which means pushing your tankers to fly alongside your jets.

Now while your jets can fly low below radar cover and still be confused as own fighter jets by commoners who don't know about Israeli military stuff, your tanker is too huge to ignore and not fast or quiet enough (unless of course, you repaint IDAF logos as blanks for visual camouflaging and do something about the tanker engines).
this is the only thing i have to comment on.
both the F-15I and F-16I have been specifically modified to provide extreme long range capabilities.
both models have been modified to have a higher maximum takeoff weight then the standard variant, and have conformal fuel tanks as a default setting, as both fighters were constructed for the specific purpose of long range attacks.
the F-15I is noted for being able to carry more payload then any other F-15 variant, having been selected by the IDF for that specific purpose.
higher payload abilities, means extra drop tanks.
and the F-16I has been modified in a way that allows it to carry up to four drop tanks, in addition to internal and conformal tanks.
http://defense-update.com/products/f/f-16-fuel.htm
an F-16 with internal tanks, plus another 40% fuel in the conformal tanks, plus another 2 600 gallon tanks and 2 370 gallon tanks, can go a VERY long way.
and refueling can be done on the way back.

also, if need be, we can fly over Iraq, which has no real way of stopping us, and would provide us with a direct line to target.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

that is, IF we were to attack Iran, which i kinda doubt we'll have to.
if the 2015 deadline actually is accurate, its entirely possible that Iran would be forced to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons out of a realization that the price would be too high.
Iran would have liked to have a situation kinda like what Israel has today.
where in, they are believed to have nukes, but never officially admit it, and not suffer any consequences for it.
a situation that Israel has spent decades cultivating for itself, where it enjoys the deterence granted by nukes, without having to go through the hassle of it.

Iran would have wanted to have that.
but now that the US and EU have started sanctioning Iran with ever growing sanctions, Iran will never have what Israel has, and they know it.
their choice is to either continue the course for nukes, which would lead them to economic ruin, or abandon it, and save their economy.

5 years can be a very long time.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tshering22 View Post
You do realize that striking Iran won't be easy, do you? Not because Iran is invincible or has a uber cool military infrastructure but because of:

1- Geography

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2-Political

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3- Logistical
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Just discover maps, did we Tshering22 ?

Look, we have hashed this stuff over before. Let me point you to a few articles:

From the London Sunday Times: Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites

And from CSIS: Study on a Possible Israeli Strike on Iran’s Nuclear Development Facilities by Abdullah Toukan and Anthony Cordesman

If Anthony Cordesman thinks a conventional attack is doable, that is good enough for me.

Obviously, an attack will not buy an unlimited amount of time. And there will be consequences. Thus the current focus on covert means combined with sanctions.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:47 PM
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Default Which Iranian clock ticks down first?

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion...8tlYxFcZaphAWJ

Meir Dagan, Israel's retiring Mossad chief who this month an nounced that Iran won't obtain a nuclear bomb before 2015, is now backpedaling.
"The Iranian nuclear challenge will stay significant," Dagan said yesterday in his final briefing to the Knesset as head of Israel's top intelligence and covert operations agency. His prior statement notwithstanding, "Iran is working toward nuclear military capabilities, and in certain scenarios can shorten the time" it takes to obtain a weapon.
Intent on cooling the engines of Israel's fighter jets, some Western officials and media seized on Dagan's original claim as if it was manna from heaven. See? No need to upset the apple cart.
Dagan: Mossad boss backpedaling on date Iran will get nukes.




Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for one, crowed that US-led international sanctions against Iran have been successful -- although the Mossad chief's assessment was partly made as a (justified) boast of his own agency's success.
The Mossad is credited by many with the assassinations or kidnappings of some of Iran's top nuclear scientists. And nearly everyone believes that (among other sabotage operations) it was behind the Stuxnet computer malware that wreaked havoc on Iran's uranium-enrichment machinery.
To be sure, Clinton -- speaking in Abu Dhabi -- also injected a tone of caution: "I don't know that it gives much comfort to somebody who is in the Gulf or is in a country that Iran has vowed to destroy that it's a one-year or three-year timeframe."
With so many having interpreted his assessment as an all clear signal on Iran, Dagan reportedly has been chided behind closed doors by Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu -- who, along with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, has long advocated a hard line on Iran's nukes.
"It is important for us to learn the lesson of North Korea, which wasn't taken care of properly and didn't get attention from the international community," Dagan said yesterday.
Those words will be often repeated in Israel -- especially after yesterday's political coup, which Bibi and Barak apparently cooked together. In a surprise move, Barak announced his departure from the Labor Party he has headed, prompting Labor doves to resign from Netanyahu's coalition government.
The move was largely seen as a consolidation of power in the hands of Israel's top Iran hawks -- this, just as a major reshuffle at the top of Israel's security agencies strengthens advocates of military action.
According to Israeli press reports, retiring top security officials, including Dagan and the outgoing army chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, have long argued about Iran with Bibi and Barak. The Dagan camp reportedly favors covert actions that can set back Iran as much as an air attack, while avoiding the high cost in blood and treasure that an Iranian retaliation would entail.
But as Dagan's latest reassessment shows, it is more complex than simple hawk-dove arguments. Barak's famous fondness for mechanical watches has led many security officials to what's known in Israel as "the ticking clocks theory," which directs us to watch several "clocks" simultaneously and remember that they're all connected.
How long before Iran gets the bomb? How long before sanctions really start to bite? How long before internal opposition becomes a credible threat to the regime? How long before Israel (and perhaps soon Europe and even America) can successfully mount a defense against incoming missiles? How long before the military brass completes a plan that would destroy enough of the nuclear program to make reviving it all but impossible?
Yes, successful covert operations have set the mullahs' nuclear clock back some -- but we must continue to watch all the others. If, for example, public unrest leads to regime change so that Iran gets close to becoming an unthreatening liberal democracy, we might be able to accommodate nuclear research in Tehran.
But even if you simply believe -- as members of the Obama team say they do -- that the object is to change the mullahs' calculations about obtaining a bomb, the task becomes much easier if a credible military threat remains. At least for that reason, America is ill-served if it seems to put as much efforts into stopping Israel as it does into stopping Iran.
Most of all, we must be sure to have workable plans (and backup plans) to guarantee that the long-debated question, "How long do we have before the mullahs get the bomb?" be answered by this one word: "Never."
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:36 PM
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Default http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,739883,00.html





Iran Nuclear Program

Related articles, background features and opinions about this topic.


01/17/2011


Israel's Shadowy War on Iran

Mossad Zeros in on Tehran's Nuclear Program

By Dieter Bednarz and Ronen Bergman

Photo Gallery: 7 Photos

DPA


An unexplained fire, disappearing scientists and attacks on prominent Iranian nuclear experts: The Israeli secret service Mossad seems to be waging a shadowy war on Tehran's nuclear program. Will it be enough to stop Iran's alleged drive to develop atomic weapons?
The young man in the spotlight appeared earnest and friendly, wearing a blue sweater and a freshly ironed shirt, his hair carefully combed. He seemed to want to project an air of credibility.


He sat in a brown leather swivel chair and steepled his fingertips in a manner often favored by politicians, before starting to speak. "My name is Majid Jamali Fash," he introduced himself to viewers of Iran's state-run television last Monday. "My first contact with the Israeli intelligence agency was in Istanbul three years ago. A man named Radfur approached me and suggested I visit the Israeli consulate." These words opened the most spectacular confession ever shown on Iranian TV. Such self-incriminations, whether uttered by arrested members of the opposition or by foreign journalists, are far from a rare occurrence here. But Jamali's statements are unique in that this is the first time an Iranian has publically admitted to committing murder in the country's capital on orders from Iran's archenemy, Israel.
Jamali says he killed nuclear physicist Massoud Ali Mohammadi using a remote-controlled bomb on Jan. 12 last year, following precise planning and intensive training by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad.
Some aspects of this confession may be mere propaganda. But it nonetheless indicates that those who may have blackmailed or fabricated Jamali's statements felt compelled to admit that Iran's enemies have the capability of setting off bombs right in the heart of the country. The alleged perpetrator's dubious confession is simultaneously an admission on the part of the regime that a shadowy war over its nuclear program has begun.
Existential Significance
Strategists at international security policy think tanks are debating with increasing intensity when the time might come that Israel, with or without American help, will launch a military strike against Iran's suspected nuclear weapon production facilities. But the real question is now a different one: Has political pressure from the international community combined with clandestine activities on the part of Israel and the US managed to delay such a strike? Have Mossad's attacks damaged the theocracy's nuclear program to such a degree that it would now be impossible for Iran to build a nuclear bomb earlier than 2015?
For Israel, the question of whether Iran possesses nuclear weapons is a matter of existential significance. Such a bomb would constitute a threat to the Jewish state -- as well as to Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. One wonders if Israel's shadow war should be celebrated for reducing the chances of such an Armageddon.
Israel certainly has extensive experience in the world of covert war. Mossad, the country's foreign intelligence agency, abides by a line from the Talmud: "If a man comes to kill you, rise early and kill him first."
Meir Dagan, the much-honored former head of Mossad, retired late last year after eight years in office. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon named Dagan Israel's highest commander in the covert war against Iran's nuclear ambitions and Dagan concentrated his attention on precisely this mission.
The effectiveness of his covert operations can be seen in the accidents and setbacks that have repeatedly stalled Iran's nuclear program since then. Important scientists have disappeared without a trace, an unexplained fire broke out in a laboratory and an airplane belonging to the nuclear program crashed. In recent months, a computer worm called Stuxnet wreaked havoc on central control systems for the centrifuges at Iran's uranium enrichment facility in Natanz. The full scope of the damage from the worm is not yet known.
A Spotlight on the Shadows
Before leaving his post, Dagan spoke privately about his view of the situation. Unlike other Israelis, he doesn't believe Iran will be able to build a nuclear bomb before 2015 -- and it could even be later than that. Dagan's message is clear -- he opposes war with Iran, which he fears could escalate into all-out conflagration consuming the entire Middle East. He recommends continued covert operations instead, with which he implies Mossad could continue to delay Iran's creation of a bomb indefinitely.
Mossad's attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists right in the center of Tehran has cast a spotlight on Israel's shadowy war. Majid Jamali's confession -- assuming it isn't fabricated -- is a particular indication that the assassinations were the result of long-term planning and careful preparation.
Jamali is said to have received his first instructions at the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. "I talked to men there, who sat behind darkened windows. They questioned me and wanted me to obtain information on certain parts of Tehran for them," he says. Jamali says he returned to Iran before delivering 30 handwritten pages full of details on his second visit to Turkey. "My contacts were very pleased with my work," he adds.
Then, he says, his real training began. After various meetings in Europe and Thailand, he allegedly received the first installment of his payment for the assassination -- $30,000 (€22,500). A further sum of $20,000 was to be paid after the attack.
A Motorcycle at the Ready
Jamali says he received the crucial parts of his training in Israel, where Israeli agents simulated the Iranian physicist's house and street in a military camp near the highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Mossad also provided a Honda 125 motorcycle, a small and easily maneuverable vehicle common in Tehran. The plan was for Jamali to later outfit a motorcycle of the same model with a bomb, to be detonated in front of Mohammadi's house.


According to his confession, Jamali also received shooting lessons and a makeup artist taught him how to disguise himself with clothes and makeup. In the last phase of training, they did three run-throughs of his mission. Back in Tehran, he says, other Mossad collaborators provided the necessary equipment. The motorcycle was standing ready, as was the bomb, and he received gloves and motorcycle clothing in two cardboard boxes. His equipment also included two satellite phones -- on one of those phones he received orders on the early morning of Jan. 12 to carry out the attack.
Jamali placed the motorcycle, outfitted with the bomb, on the driver's side of the physicist's driveway and detonated it as Mohammadi left his home that morning. The force of the blast was so powerful that it caused heavy flagstones to fall from the front of a four-story apartment building across the way and all the windows to burst. Mohammadi's car was completely destroyed and he died instantly.
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:00 PM
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"Sophisticated cyber-worms, motorcycling assassins: but who is behind the increasingly sinister campaign against the Iranian energy programme?"

I am impressed that the media is so concerned about the Iranian Nuclear program and it's safety.

It might be nice, if the media was a little more concerned about what Iran planned to do with it's Nuclear program.
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Old 08-28-2011, 06:02 AM
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Go mossad!
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