Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – BAGHDAD – DAMASCUS WATCH – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre
US Fifth Fleet Commander States Any Attempt to Block Persian Gulf is an Action Against International Community – Iran Revolutionary Guards State They Monitor Enemy Movements in Gulf and Border Areas
Night Watch: BAHRAIN – In a direct response to warnings Saturday by the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major-General Mohammad-Ali Jafari, that Iran would block maritime and oil traffic in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz in case of attack, PressTV reports the commander of the U. S. Fifth Fleet, Vice-Admiral Kevin Cosgriff stated Washington will not allow Iran to block the Persian Gulf and any attempt by Tehran to do so “will not be an action against the United States but against the international community.” The fleet is based in Bahrain and the first country to express its concern and alarm over any attempt to block the Gulf-Strait will be Japan which depends more heavily on access to oil in the Gulf more than any other member of the industrialized world. Tokyo informed Tehran of its seriousness when in late 2004 Iran’s then oil minister announced publicly Iran wanted China to become the main importer of Iranian oil instead of Japan. Almost the very next day Japan’s government changed their military policy and made it offensive which is why Iran’s Foreign Minister had to spend five days in Tokyo in February 2005. Tokyo realizes economic lifelines are at stake which is why they have maintained serious diplomatic contact not only with Iran but with every government in the Persian Gulf. I suspect Tokyo will first issue an ultimatum for attacks on shipping to cease before they declare war. [PRESSTV]
Tehran – As another indication of Tehran’s readiness PressTV is reporting the head of the IRGC Self-Sufficiency unit, Colonel Nasser Arab-Beigi stated Iran monitors every move in the Gulf and on Iran’s borders. Colonel Arab-Beigi made the statement on the same day he announced Iran had begun production of a line of “Quick Reaction” tanks which implies not only a quick response to an enemy attack but I still suspect Tehran may decide to attack first. When U. S. President George W. Bush first started discussing several years ago an attack on Iran as an option on the table an Iranian defense official stated they will not let the U. S. attack first and Tehran realizes the most effective element in any battle is surprise. The IRGC are aware any disruption of Washington-Jerusalem’s timetable would work to Iran’s advantage. Tehran can easily activate Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon against Israel and the Mahdi Army and other Shia militias in Iraq against the U. S. before Iran steps in and joins those conflicts directly. That is the only way Tehran can continue to maintain the initiative in regional events. [PRESSTV]
Belgrade – Tehran continues to prepare action in another regional theatre to keep NATO and the West from conducting any major offensive against Iran by strengthening its security agreement with Serbia. Serbianna/Tehran Times report the two governments have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the movement of passengers and goods from Iran into the Balkans through Serbia. It was signed by Mohammad Bokharaj, Iran Deputy Minister of Roads and Serbia Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communication, Miodrag Jocic. Ostensibly this is just for economic exchanges but because of their 2006 security agreement when they say movement of passengers I read soldiers and movement of goods becomes weaponry including mobile ballistic missiles. Only last week Iran’s nuclear envoy visited Belgrade I suspect to offer Serbia the same nuclear weapons assistance Iran has been providing Syria. [TEHRANTIMES]
Srinagar – Fayaz Wani, NewsBlaze agent in Kashmir, reports celebrations broke out all over Kashmir by the Muslim community when the state government revoked the land grant to a Hindu shrine. The nine days of protests across the state paralyzed the economy as Muslim leaders shifted the protest from the land grant issue to demands for independence from India, the dispute which has caused two of the three wars between Pakistan/India since their independence in 1947.
Jammu – Though the state is Muslim majority the Hindu community in the south in Jammu is by no means celebrating. KONS is reporting Hindus have fought pitched battles with police in their outrage over the revoking of the land grant and have called for an economic shutdown to continue on Wednesday. The hatred is being led by an alliance of two Hindu nationalist political parties the BJP-Shiv Sena which represents the position Kashmir is and always will be part of India. It was the BJP which set off the nuclear explosions in 1998 when they led the government in Delhi as a message to Pakistan and perhaps also to China. The BJP has openly called for demonstrations all over India to protest the removal of the land grant as they seem to expect a new wave of militaristic popularity. [KONS]