Crossfire War – Washington Says to Tehran ‘Cooperation’ or ‘Confrontation’

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Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – BELGRADE – BEIJING WATCH – Eurasia Theatre

Western Governments in Nuclear Negotiations Give Iran Two Weeks to End Production or Face Sanctions – Washington’s Message – “Cooperation or Confrontation” – IDF Chief of Staff in Washington for Week of Meetings – War on Israel Northern Front Could Begin with Hezbollah Attack on IAF Flights – Confused Action in Afghanistan

Night Watch: GENEVA – Though Tehran officially described the nuclear negotiations in Geneva as a step forward they could not have helped to notice the warnings the Western governments that took part in the negotiations made right afterward. This should not be surprising since the European Union (EU) foreign policy representative Javier Solana stated right after the negotiations the West did not receive the answer they had hoped for. Al Jazeera reports Solana said he hoped Iran would give a satisfactory response within the next two weeks with the implication if not then the EU will impose more economic sanctions. Echoing this was the U. S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack who stated Iran has a choice of “cooperation” or “confrontation.” But Tehran chose the path of confrontation quite some time ago as they have already defied three rounds of sanctions during which not only did Iran’s government laugh them off but boasted of its nuclear enrichment production accelerating. [ALJAZEERA]

Washington – The use of the word confrontation may mean Washington is implying military action or at least supporting Israel’s air force conducting a raid on Iran’s known nuclear installations. Xinhua reports, as those negotiations were taking place, Israel Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi was arriving in Washington for a week of meetings that I suspect will be used by General Ashkenazi to outline Israel’s preventive war offensive, a prevention attack designed to prevent the enemy from attacking first as Israel did so successfully in 1967 winning the war in six days. [XINHUA]

The main, immediate area of concern this time is Israel’s Northern Front, the Lebanon-Syria border as Hezbollah continues its preparation for a larger war than in 2006 with the Lebanese Armed Forces, Syria and Iran are prepared to enter. It is a preparation Jerusalem may have decided to attack first. Meeting (planning) with Ashkenazi will be Pentagon Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, Vice-President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadly and senior members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and U. S. intelligence officials. The agenda of the discussions may match the IDF order of attack, Hamas-Hezbollah’s military buildup, then Syria-Iran.

Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak is scheduled to follow up on Ashkenazi’s visit in early August but I will be surprised if events allow him to do so.

Tehran – Unofficially Iran got the West’s message after the Geneva negotiations ended and the message was just short of an ultimatum which is why the international community should prepare itself for a Guns of August month of (f)allout warfare as Tehran increases the fighting in every regional theatre: South Asia-Central Asia-Caucasus-West Asia (Middle East)-Southeast Europe-Kosovo. The only theatres of war the West is not involved in is South Asia-Caucasus but when action increases on all the others the West’s posture will be entirely defensive as it regroups around Rome, a regrouping which began in August 2006 with the Rome Conference after the month long war between Hamas-Hezbollah/Israel. [RIA]

Part of Tehran’s latest response will be to activate its security agreement with Belgrade it signed two years ago which would mean another regional theatre in which the West will find itself on the defensive. The flashpoint being Kosovo and Iran will be working with a rearmed Serbia.

As a small indication of Tehran’s response to these demands from the EU-Washington RIA reports Iran Defense Minister Brigadier-General Mostafa Mohammad Najar has just announced today new air force maneuvers designed to test their newest weapons. “The Air Force exercises, Protectors of Velayat Air, which will be held soon, will test the newest armaments developed by specialists of the country’s defense ministry.” Significantly General Najar did not specifically mention the weapons which will be tested so I suspect they could be cruise missiles launched from air craft and air to ground missiles which will be used against UK/US bases in Iraq.

Beirut – What has developed seems to be a race as to who can attack who first in order to disrupt the enemy timetable. Haaretz reports, according to Israel’s defense establishment, Hezbollah may be planning to disrupt surveillance flights of the Israel Air Force (IAF) which have taken place almost daily over Lebanon ever since the end of the 2006 war. Last week a Kuwaiti newspaper mentioned Hezbollah was positioning anti-aircraft batteries in Lebanon’s central mountain region. If these are effective it would take away Israel’s crucial air superiority which was so significant two years ago. Within the first hour of the 2006 war the IAF was able to strike deep into northern Lebanon and destroy all of Hezbollah’s long range missiles, missiles which could have reached Tel Aviv. IAF helicopters were also able to carry Special Forces units into Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, in the country’s northeast, for special raids and with almost no losses. [HAARETZ]

Whoever is able to strike first will have a decided advantage.

Gaza – There are even reports of a new extreme Palestinian unit more dedicated to offense and martyrdom than even Hamas. INN reports this new group, Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam) is Gaza based and its leader, Abu Mustafa gave an interview over the weekend to the German magazine Der Spiegel in which Mustafa says his group has 5,000 members. The 33 year old leader has a degree from Germany’s University of Saarbrucken and was injured in January by the IAF after his unit fired a rocket at Israeli communities in the western Negev. However it’s quite possible, despite their hatred of Israel, Tehran could direct them at a target they both hate even more, a ruler they probably will declare to be an infidel, a betrayer of the faith, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak due to his close relations with the West and keeping the Rafah Terminal on the Gaza/Egypt border closed. [INN]

When Tehran had Hamas explode it open in January Palestinian militant groups not only received more weapon supplies but also increased their presence in the Sinai Peninsula. Another such action would lead to war between Egypt/Iran since Cairo knows the control Tehran exerts over Palestinian militant groups and they know Mubarak’s hatred of Islamic radicalism and its center, Tehran’s government. Iran calls it exporting their revolution.

Bangail – Fayaz Wani of NewsBlaze reports the India Army is involved in heavy fighting for the second day in a row. An Indian major has been killed along with a police officer in a fierce firefight 122 miles (205 km) from Srinagar. This latest action Sunday took place in the forest areas of Bangail, Thanamandi, Rajouri the day after ten Indian soldiers were killed in a massive IED (improvised explosive device) explosion on an army convoy. Today the militants opened fire with automatic weapons and the engagement lasted two hours before the militants escaped.

Anar Dara – More confusion is taking place on the Afghan front as Swissinfo/Reuters are reporting NATO units and Afghan police fought each other in the Anar Dara district of Farah province bordering Iran. NATO/Afghan police thought the other was the Taliban. Nine Afghan police were killed when an air attack was called in. There is obviously a serious breakdown in communication which will lead to more breakdowns in cooperation and trust between Kabul and Brussels-NATO headquarters. All this works to Tehran’s advantage as the West increases Iran’s influence. [SWISSINFO]

Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.