Agence France-Press & Defense News & Global Research & RIA Novosti & Citizens for Legitimate Government – 2007-04-04 22:36:01
USS Nimitz Sails for Persian Gulf
Defense News / Agence France-Press
[Note: The link to this story on DefenseNews.com now produces only an “error” message. News reports about ‘Operation Bite’ and imminent US plans to attack Iran were removed from the Yahoo news sites last week. The story was also removed from the Yahoo Malaysia website where it had earlier appeared.]
(March 30, 2007) — Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz will sail April 2 to support US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US Navy said, amid a spike in tensions over Iran’s seizure of 15 British marines and sailors.
The Nimitz, and its battle group of destroyers and guided-missile cruisers, will relieve the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, which this week took part in war games exercises in the Gulf with another carrier, John C. Stennis.
The new battle group will be in position by late April, but there will be no overlap with the Eisenhower, and the number of U.S. carriers in the area would stay at two, a navy official said on condition of anonymity. “If anything, there would be a point where there
is only one in the region,” the official said, on condition of anonymity.
The Stennis and the Eisenhower wound down their show of force involving 15 warships in the Gulf on March 29. The two-carrier deployment in the Gulf was the highest level of U.S. naval presence in the gulf since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The Nimitz will support operations in Iraq, the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan, the Navy said in a press release.
The Stennis had been operating in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea but entered Gulf waters March 27, escorted by the guided-missile cruiser Antietam, the 5th Fleet said.
US Ready to Attack Iran – “Russian Military Intelligence”
Global Research / RIA Novosti
Excerpt from report by Russian news agency RIA Novosti
MOSCOW (April 1, 2007 ) — Russian intelligence reports indicate that the US armed forces have in effect completed preparations for a possible military operation against Iran, a source in the Russian forces structures has told RIA Novosti.
According to the source, the intelligence reports suggest that the United States has identified a list of possible targets on the territory of Iran and, in the course of military exercises, has rehearsed the plan of the operation.
“According to Russian military intelligence reports, the US armed forces in the Gulf have virtually completed preparations for a missile and bomb strike against the territory of Iran,” the source said.
The US command, the source noted, will be ready to mount an attack in the first half of April, although the decision to start a military operation must be taken by the US political leadership.
[Passage omitted: Iran faced with the threat of a US military operation over its refusal to abandon its nuclear programme; plus the level of the US military presence in the region, which, according to US official data, is on a par with that at the time of the US invasion of Iraq]
The source did not rule out that in the event of a possible military operation, following a missile strike and the assessment of damage to Iran’s armed forces, as well as once the public and political situation in that country after it has been attacked has been analysed, the Pentagon will take a decision on the start of a ground operation.
Earlier, a highly placed source in the Russian forces structures told RIA Novosti in an interview that military intelligence had recently been in receipt of reports to indicate that the US armed forces had stepped up preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran.
“This has to do with the fact that the Pentagon is in search of the most acceptable plan for a strike against Iran, which would enable the US with a minimum of losses to force that country on to its knees,” the agency’s source believes.
[Passage omitted: Col-Gen (retd) Leonid Ivashov’s 21 March interview, in which he says he has “no doubt” the US will attack Iran; plus numbers on the US naval deployment in the Gulf]
Source: RIA Novosti, Moscow, in Russian 1313 gmt 30 Mar 07, BBC translation.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization. www.globalresearch.ca
© Copyright , RIA Novosti, 2007
USS Nimitz, other Warships Leave San Diego for the Persian Gulf
Citizens for Legitimate Government
April 4, 2007—The USS Nimitz and several other American warships left San Diego today for the Persian Gulf to join another locally based aircraft carrier strike group already in the region. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier will join the San Diego-based John C. Stennis Strike Group and relieve the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, according to Naval Air Forces Public Affairs.
The botched US raid that led to the hostage crisis ‘The objective of the Americans was to arrest Iranian security officials who had gone to Iraq to develop co-operation in the area of bilateral security.’ 03 Apr 2007 A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines.
Early on the morning of 11 January, helicopter-born US forces launched a surprise raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the city of Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan… The US attack had a far more ambitious objective, The Independent has learned. The aim of the raid, launched without informing the Kurdish authorities, was to seize two men at the very heart of the Iranian security establishment.
The attempt by the US to seize the two high-ranking Iranian security officers openly meeting with Iraqi leaders is somewhat as if Iran had tried to kidnap the heads of the CIA and MI6 while they were on an official visit to a country neighbouring Iran, such as Pakistan or Afghanistan.
Terrorist group inside Iran has been secretly advised by U.S. officials since 2005, sources tell ABC News 03 Apr 2007 A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla [terrorist] raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.
The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran. It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials. U.S. officials say the U.S. relationship with Jundullah is arranged so that the U.S. provides no funding to the group, which would require an official presidential order or “finding” as well as congressional oversight.
Iranian Diplomat Seized in Iraq Released 03 Apr 2007 An Iranian diplomat in Iraq seized two months ago by uniformed [US] gunmen in Baghdad has been released, Iran reported Tuesday. Jalal Sharafi, the second secretary at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, will return to Tehran later Tuesday, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported, citing “informed sources.”
Iran outlines conditions for release of UK sailors 03 Apr 2007 Iran’s most senior diplomat, Ali Larijani, called for a “delegation” to rule on whether a British naval patrol entered Iranian waters last month before his government would release the 15 marines and sailors it is holding captive. Laying out what appeared to be a vague road map for the freeing of the British personnel, Mr Larijani said that, if it was found they had crossed into Iranian territory, there should be an apology and they would then be released.
Iran claims captured boat personnel have all confessed to trespassing –No 10 refuses to be swayed by ‘stage-managed TV’ 03 Apr 2007 The Iranian government yesterday insisted that all 15 British naval personnel had “confessed” to trespassing illegally in its waters. However, state [as opposed to corporate] radio said the admissions would now not be broadcast because of what it described as “positive changes” in Britain’s negotiating stance.
Blair: We’ve 48 hours to save sailors 02 Apr 2007 Tony Blair said today the next 48 hours are crucial in negotiating the release of the British hostages. The Prime Minister’s comments came as a new picture of the hostages was released by an Iranian news agency. He told Iran the “door is open” to a diplomatic deal.
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