Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Pyongyang – Beijing Watch – Eurasia Theatre: Tehran – Beijing – Pyongyang – Damascus/Jerusalem – Washington – Moscow – Berlin; Iran Invites West to Discuss its Non-Negotiable Position on Nuclear (Weapons) Production – Israel Conducts Strategic Discussions With Germany-France – Two More US Nuclear Carriers Enroute to Persian Gulf – Assault Troops on Board – Fighting in Eastern Baghdad
Night Watch: TEHRAN – “The Iranian nation is in favor of talks to resolve the nuclear issue with any of you. We will slap those who want Iran to abandon its right on the mouth.” That was the combative invitation of Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Wednesday to governments in the West-Russia who know privately that Iran not only has a nuclear weapons program but also nuclear warheads for its ballistic missiles. An invitation to discuss Tehran’s non-negotiable position. Of course governments don’t want to say publicly what they know and publicly state Iran has yet to produce nuclear warheads, but Iran revived its nuclear program in 1986 and it would not take long to produce nuclear weaponry especially with the support Beijing has provided Iran, support which China has also sent through North Korea. China’s government was eager to do so because they know Iran-Pakistan have the potential to weaken three of China’s rivals, the West-India-Russia. An Iranian exile once told me he last visited Iran in August 2001 and in the hotel he was staying in Tehran there were a lot of Chinese technicians he assumed were working on weapons of mass destruction. China never seriously supported the international community’s effort to end the distribution of weapons of mass destruction. The Six-Way talks Beijing arranged concerning North Korea’s nuclear program was just a charade. It is quite possible Iran had a nuclear weapon shortly after Pakistan which first produced them in 1987, also with support from Beijing, especially if Iran had been concentrating on building smaller warheads and probably at the suggestion of China, knowing they can be more easily carried by a ballistic missile. The end of the Cold War in 1990 provided more assistance when Russian scientists went south, everyone know Jihad pays well, and how many is one of the world’s most closely guarded secrets but they have not been idle. [HAARETZ]
Out of fear the West, in the form of the EU -3, Paris-London-Berlin engaged in negotiations entertained by Tehran for nearly four years in the false hope economic incentives would persuade Iran to have a peaceful foreign policy or at least just attack Israel. In the meantime Tehran openly laughed at three rounds of ineffective economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations. But the increasing range of Iran’s ballistic missile program exploded the myth Iran was only targeting Israel and now the West is finally making preparations for war. Today Haaretz reports for the past few weeks Israel has been conducting strategic discussions with France and Germany. At the same time British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited Washington where both he and U. S. President George W. Bush made joint statements on never permitting Iran to have nuclear weapons.
Persian Gulf – Debka is also reporting two more U. S. aircraft carriers are currently enroute to the Persian Gulf-Indian Ocean with assault troops on board. They will join the carrier already on station and will probably be used to not only attack Iran’s nuclear facilities but also bases used by the Revolutionary Guards that supply Islamic groups attacking the U. S. in Iraq. The diplomatic atmosphere is about to change. [DEBKA]
Eastern Baghdad – On the ground fighting is continuing in eastern Baghdad in and around strongholds of the Mahdi Army. Xinhua reports U. S. forces in Baghdad claim to have killed 15 gunmen overnight in separate incidents. Some will killed after a roadside bomb and rocket propelled grenades attacked a U. S. patrol. Two more were killed by a hellfire missile fired by a drone and others were killed when two teams of gunmen attacked another patrol. [XINHUA]
Central Command – As another indication the war in this regional theatre is about to become (f)allout France24/AFP report U. S. General David Petreaus has just had his range of command extended to include all U. S. forces in West Asia (Middle East). The command of U. S. forces in Iraq will be taken over by his deputy General Raymond Odierno. The announcement was made by U. S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the advice of the Chairman of the Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff with the approval of President Bush. [FRANCE24]