Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio – part IX

By Madison Ruppert

Editor of End the Lie

A satellite image of the Fordow nuclear facility near Qom, Iran (Photo credit: GeoEye)

Recently it has become clear that preparation for war with Iran is well underway and no effort is being made to conceal these efforts.

Of course, there are the token superficial statements made by Western officials which surely only fool the most uninformed of individuals and it is likely the case that all of my readers see past these meaningless platitudes with ease.

Please remember to scroll to the bottom of this piece in order to find the list of previous installments of this series which I highly recommend you read in order to familiarize yourself with this astoundingly complex situation.

While the news of the Pentagon’s rush-ordered “mothership” to be used as a forward launching point for commando squads (likely in the Persian Gulf region) is quite important news indeed, today brought some even more starting developments.

Today it was reported that the Pentagon now believes their 30,000 pound “bunker buster” bomb, which is actually called the Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP) is in fact insufficient.

Even though a shocking $330 million has already been spent by the Department of Defense (DOD) on just 20 MOPs, the DOD now says we need to sink another $82 million into the bombs in order to make them effective against Iranian underground nuclear facilities.

Currently MOPs can penetrate up to 200 feet underground, but the Fordow facility in Iran is estimated to be at least 200 feet underground with unknown levels of reinforcement.

Officials claim that this is part of “stepped-up contingency planning for a possible strike against Iran’s nuclear program,” while others seem to be trying to convince the people of the world that this isn’t targeting Iran.

Take, for instance, George Little, the Pentagon press secretary, who said, “The development of this weapon is not intended to send a signal to any one particular country. It’s a capability we believe we need in our arsenal and will continue to invest in it.”

While one might be able to accept this if one observes this latest expenditure as an isolated case, but in reality it is part of a much larger scale effort.

When one views this in conjunction with the troop buildup in Kuwait, the “mothership,” the deployment of additional carrier strike groups to the region surrounding Iran, the military buildup in neighboring nations and so much more that I have been covering in detail throughout this series, it becomes clear that this indeed is intended to send a signal to one particular country.

Of course, that country is Iran, and this is likely painfully obvious to anyone who has been keeping up with this series.

Even with the tens of millions in additional spending to upgrade the current MOP technology, the American ability to take out an underground Iranian nuclear facility is not promising to some.

One unnamed official cited by the Wall Street Journal said that some of the warmongers in the Pentagon actually think that the only viable option for the military will be a tactical nuclear weapon.

They claim that anything else will not destroy the facility and conventional bombs will not be sufficient in the West’s quest to cripple Iran’s facilities, especially the one at Fordow near the Shiite Muslim holy city, Qom.

“Once things go into the mountain, then really you have to have something that takes the mountain off,” the anonymous official stated.

The same individual guessed that the MOP might be more effective against the main Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, “But even that is guesswork,” he said.

I find it painfully ironic that the West would even consider using a nuclear weapon against a country for nothing other than pursuing the same peaceful nuclear technology that every other developed nation does.

Since Iran is not, in fact, developing a nuclear weapon – a fact confirmed by United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta himself – it seems ludicrous for a nuclear weapon to be used to stop their civilian nuclear program.

Even if they were actually developing a nuclear weapon, the irony would remain and yet somehow talking heads in the Western media are able to reconcile this nonsense.

It remains to be seen what the actual justification will be for a strike on Iran, as there is no concrete evidence which can support the claims of the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Those who are pushing for war desperately need some kind of justification and it seems like a false flag attack on the USS Enterprise or the soon-to-be-retrofitted USS Ponce is a real possibility which must be considered in our examination of this issue.

The oil sanctions on Iran are also a matter which must be discussed, as there seems to be a rift in the international community over this issue.

Turkey seems to be dismissing pressure from the United States and Europe regarding sanctions on Iranian crude oil while South Korea and Japan remain hesitant to jump on the bandwagon.

This is quite interesting because Turkey is one of the West’s prominent partners in the global growth of NATO, especially when it comes to the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) system which is currently a major concern for Russia.

Interestingly, the Voice of Russia notes, “China, India and Turkey have warned that they won’t support a ban on Iranian oil imports and will try and prevent the US from blocking Iranian oil supplies. Japan and South Korea are planning to follow suit.”

The fact that India is opposing the move, along with Turkey, I find to be highly unusual. Keep in mind that India, like Turkey, is a huge player in the Western move towards the Asia-Pacific region and the greater Middle East.

In the quest for NATO domination around the globe India is an invaluable partner for the West due to the sheer landmass of the country along with the relatively powerful military.

India is at the heart of the multilateral relations that are so critical to the Western effort to extend hegemony over the Asia-Pacific region and thus I think it is likely the case that the United States will not be quick to criticize India.

If they do, it will probably be nothing more than a tongue-lashing with no real bite to it because the West is already sitting by silently knowing about the Indian nuclear program and the trade of natural uranium between Australia and India.

There is also the matter of the planned pipeline to be built between Iran and Pakistan to transport gasoline, which Pakistan announced they would be going forward with despite the current international climate which is marked by uncertainty and tumultuousness.

In the face of threats of international sanctions, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry announced recently that they would still be taking part in the project, adding that sanctions should be limited to the Iranian nuclear program and Pakistan should not be negatively affected just for participation in a gas project.

If the West stays silent while a nation like India opposes the sanctions imposed on Iranian oil exports, it will be that much clearer that they do not actually care about sanctions but instead are just trying to push Iran into taking offensive action.

This is reinforced by the fact that the West has only continued to press on in the face of Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz if additional sanctions were put in place, a threat which they have clearly not followed through with after the passage of new sanctions by the European Union.

The United States, along with Britain and France (a now classic Western neo-imperialist alliance as seen in Libya), are also goading Iran with the presence of warships in the region and by sailing vessels through the Strait of Hormuz right after Iran demanded that such movements cease.

It seems quite obvious to me that the West is not interested in a peaceful resolution to this conflict, as if they were they wouldn’t be actively sabotaging the six party talks Iran has professed a willingness to engage in after an all-too-long hiatus.

Iran has even said that they do not have a problem with using Turkey as a venue after Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selchuk Unal told reporters earlier this month that they are prepared to hold talks there.

However, the continued Western aggression and clear lack of interest in a diplomatic solution are making these negotiations near impossible as analyst Stanislav Tarasov points out to the Voice of Russia, “The problem is that the moment Turkey completed its mediatory mission to obtain Iran’s consent to a meeting with six-party representatives in Istanbul, the West started ’torpedoing’ the talks.”

Iran is also moving closer to passing a bill which would ban any Iranian oil sales to the European Union in response to the EU’s sanctions, according to the Associated Press.

The EU’s current sanctions allow existing contracts to run until July 1 but if this bill passes the Iranian parliament it would immediately cease all exports of oil to the EU.

“As long as the EU doesn’t lift the oil embargo, we won’t give them a drop of oil,” Iranian state television quoted Nasser Soudani, deputy chairman of the energy committee, as saying.

Iranian legislators have argued that since the EU makes up roughly 18% of Iran’s total oil sales, the EU would actually be hurt by getting cut off from Iranian oil much more than Iran itself would.

The director of the National Iranian Oil Company, Ahmad Qalebani, said that the top leadership in Iran has to approve the immediate cut off of oil exports before anything is done, while adding, “We want those [European] companies [that still want to receive Iranian oil] to enter transparent talks with us for a long-term contracts or stop purchasing oil from Iran now.”

Nouriel Roubini, the professor of economics and international business at New York University who many say predicted the 2008 economic crisis, has said that conflict with Iran could force the world into a global recession.

Given that he “sees tough times ahead for the global economy and is warning that without major policy changes things can still get much worse,” I hardly think that risking further problems by entering into a conflict with Iran is in any way an intelligent move.

As if all of what the United States and other Western nations are already doing wasn’t putting enough pressure on Iran already, the Western-backed Syrian National Council recently accused Iran of “participation … in killing Syrians who are demanding freedom and urges it to stop taking part in quelling the Syrian revolution.”

This allegation is based on claims made by the Free Syrian Army, an armed insurgent group in Syria which can be accurately characterized as a terrorist organization.

Yesterday the Free Syrian Army claimed that they captured five Iranian military officers in the embattled Syrian city of Homs.

They claimed in a statement that the captured Iranian officers “were working under the orders of the intelligence services of the Syrian air force” and in addition were not in possession of valid papers allowing them to work or reside in Syria.

If these officers were actually working under the Syrian air force’s intelligence unit, it hardly seems logical that they would not bother to issue the Iranians with paperwork, even if it was fake, in order to make them seem legitimate.

Furthermore, the Free Syrian Army released a video accompanying their statement which showed men who were carrying what they claimed were Iranian passports, although again it hardly makes sense that they would bring their real passports with them on such a sensitive mission in coordination with Syrian intelligence.

Either both Iranian and Syrian intelligence agencies are painfully clueless and laughably ineffective, or there is something not quite right about the claims made by the Free Syrian Army.

I honestly think it is more likely that the Free Syrian Army is manufacturing this in order to put more pressure on Iran while trying to get increased support for intervention from the international community, opposed to Iranian military officers sneaking into Syria with their own passports and no valid paperwork in order to assist in the crackdown.

Then again, it is impossible to entirely rule out that these five military officers and the entire Syrian air force’s intelligence services are so incredibly imbecilic that they would actually carry out a covert operation this poorly planned.

Another important factor to consider in this situation is the team of senior inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a body of the United Nations, who are bound for Tehran for a new series of inspections.

The IAEA says that this is the first time Iran will have engaged with them in any significant way since 2008 and the visit is slated to last 3 days and is expected to involve the inspectors demanding access to sites, officials and documents which are supposedly relevant to their inquiry.

However, Iran is likely to question the legitimacy of their demands quite heavily, especially when considering the IAEA’s previous findings in their November, 2011 report.

I also think it is very unlikely that Iran will be willing to back off their nuclear program entirely, which seems to be exactly what the West wants.

This is hardly something that can be held against them given that they have every right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology just like every other sovereign nation does.

Although, it is worth noting that Iran does not seem to be taking an aggressive approach to the IAEA’s visit, saying that they are willing to discuss “any issues” which the IAEA wants, including the concerns that their program could have military applications.

I believe that the outcome of this visit is not likely going to be a positive one given that the West has made it abundantly clear that they will not cease until Iran completely ceases all nuclear research and brings their entire nuclear program to a screeching halt.

Even then, it is arguable that the West will find some contrived reason to demonize Iran and propagandize for yet another war, although it would be much more difficult if they weren’t even pursuing civilian nuclear technology.

However, there is the very real possibility that the IAEA’s visit could go well and it could help to shatter the many myths surrounding the Iranian nuclear program. Obviously this is what I hope will happen but the politicized nature of the IAEA makes me doubt that it will indeed come out this way.

According to Reuters, Western diplomats are already saying that “Iran may offer limited concessions and transparency in an attempt to ease intensifying international pressure on the country, a major oil producer, but that this is unlikely to amount to the full cooperation that is required.”

This is the far too common self-fulfilling prophecy that has plagued the dialogue between the West and Iran. Both parties come into a situation expecting a certain outcome and often force that outcome to occur, which I think is unfortunately what might happen with this latest IAEA inspection.

If I missed anything or if you have any tips or insight to give me for the next installment of this series, please do not hesitate to email with your information.

Previous installments of this series:

Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio

Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio – part II

Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio – part III

Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio – part IV

Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio – part V

Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio – part VI

Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio – part VII

Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio – part VIII

Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio – part IX is a post from: End the Lie – Independent News | Alternative News Daily

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