The Human Costs of Bombing Iran

With the rumour mill grinding out terrifying predictions about a 6th of April attack on Iran by the US it is perhaps not a bad idea to stand still by what this actually means in the cost of human lives and the loss of an ancient civilisation.

George Bush didn’t exactly deny Seymour Hersh’s report in The New Yorker that the Administration is considering using tactical nuclear weapons against Iran.

Neither did Scott McClellan.

Bush called it “wild speculation,” and McClellan said the United States would go ahead with “normal military contingency planning.”

Those are hardly categorical denials.

So let’s look at what the human costs of dropping a tactical nuclear weapon on Iran might entail.

They are astronomical.

“The number of deaths could exceed a million, and the number of people with increased cancer risks could exceed 10 million,” according to a backgrounder by the Union of Concerned Scientists from May 2005.

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Iran sanctions vote signals a global rift

The passage this week by the United Nations Security Council of a third set of sanctions against Iran places a spotlight on two trends in the international community’s dispute with Tehran’s nuclear program.

Perhaps most striking is the relative retreat by the United States from leading status among Iran’s accusers, with European powers taking over the helm.

But there is also an emerging rift between some of the world’s developing countries and the big developed powers at the forefront of the effort to impose punitive measures against Tehran. For countries like Indonesia, South Africa, and Libya, which questioned the timing of the new resolution, Iran’s claim of victimhood at the hands of arrogant world powers seeking to control access to vital and lucrative technologies may be starting to resonate.

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Iran’s president says foreigners must leave Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, heading home from Iraq after a two-day visit, again touted the closer relations between Iraq and Iran and reiterated his criticism of the United States.

art.iraq.ap.jpg

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad.

“No one likes them,” said Ahmadinejad, who departed Iraq after a news conference on Monday.

“We believe that the forces which crossed oceans and thousands of kilometers to come to this region, should leave this region and hand over the affairs to the people’s and government of this region,” Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad’s visit follows trips to Iran last year by top officials of Iraq’s Shiite-led government, who have been fostering a closer relationship with predominantly Shiite Iran since the Saddam Hussein regime was toppled.

His visit was greeted warmly by Iraq’s Shiite Muslim leadership, who have had longtime links with Iran that predate the overthrow of Hussein. At the same time, many Sunni Muslims in Iraq dislike the Iranian regime and have demonstrated against his visit.

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Larijani: US promotes global chaos

Iran’s former nuclear negotiator says Washington’s disregard for international laws and agreements is the main cause of global disorder.

Complying with international regulations will never be enough to make the US happy, said Ali Larijani in an interview with the Aljazeera news channel.

Asked about the possibility of a new round of sanctions on Iran Larijani said ‘these measures are initially in deep contrast with our settlement with Mr. Solana in which we agreed to address all outstanding issues regarding our nuclear program through a work plan.’

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Russian energy ties with Iran send US a message

With European and US companies out of the competition, Russia’s Gazprom has an edge as it bids for a bigger role in developing the world’s second-largest gas reserves

AS the United States warns the world away from business with Tehran, Moscow’s tightening ties to Iran’s energy sector underline Russia’s differences with Washington over Iranian nuclear plans and Kosovo’s independence.

While the timing of Moscow’s announcement on Tuesday may have been political, the deal for Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom to take on big new Iranian oil and gas projects was a long time in the making and dovetails with Gazprom’s strategic ambitions, analysts said. Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas producer, will play a larger role in developing Iran’s giant South Pars gas field and will also drill for oil.

“The Russian government and the United States are at loggerheads over how to engage with Iran, with Russia actively favouring a more open relationship,” said Ronald Smith, chief strategist at Alfa Bank. “This makes Gazprom rather indifferent to American policy wishes.” The US accuses Iran of using uranium enrichment to develop weapons, while Tehran says it needs nuclear power. Russia has been reluctant to impose more UN sanctions on Iran.

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War pimp alert: U.S. military contradicts State on Iran: Hundreds of weapons caches found in Iraq

BAGHDAD — Iranian-backed militias are apparently preparing for major strikes against the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, military officials said.

“In just the past week, Iraqi and coalition forces captured 212 weapons caches across Iraq, two of those inside Baghdad, [which have] growing links to Iranian-backed Special Groups,” U.S. military spokesman Rear Adm. Gregory Smith said.

Officials said that despite assertions by the State Department, Iran has maintained or increased support to the Special Groups. The organization was deemed a splinter of the Iranian-financed Mahdi Army, led by Shi’ite cleric Moqtada Sadr, Middle East Newsline reported.

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Iran slams US support for terrorism

A senior Iranian cleric says it is disgraceful to see the US and Israel rejoicing at the news of Imad Mugniyah’s assassination.”These are people who are supposedly leading the fight against terrorism yet they express happiness over the murder of such an outstanding figure,” said Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Friday.

These are the same people who have occupied Iraq and Afghanistan under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Logically they should have been condemning this act of terror yet they openly show their joy, he added.

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Six in Guantánamo Charged with 9/11 Murders: Why Now? And What About the Torture?

Finally, then, nearly six and a half years after the 9/11 attacks, the US administration has charged six Guantánamo detainees with, amongst other charges, terrorism, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, and conspiracy — adding, for good measure, that it will seek the death penalty in the case of any convictions.

The six men are: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), who confessed in his tribunal at Guantánamo last March that he was “responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z”; Ramzi bin al-Shibh, reportedly a friend of the 9/11 hijackers, who helped coordinate the plan with KSM after he was unable to enter the United States to train as a pilot for the 9/11 operation, as he originally planned; Mustafa al-Hawsawi and Ali Abdul Aziz Ali (aka Ammar al-Baluchi), who are accused of helping to provide the hijackers with money and other items; Walid bin Attash, who is accused of selecting and training some of the hijackers; and, rather less spectacularly, Mohammed al-Qahtani, who is accused of trying and failing to enter the United States in August 2001 to become the 20th hijacker on 9/11.

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Iran’s defense spending per capita among lowest in Mideast

LONDON (IRNA) — Iran’s defense expenditure per capita remains among the lowest in the Middle East region despite having the second highest population behind Egypt, according to the new publication of Military Balance.

The 2008 edition said that Iran’s total defense spending for 2006, the latest available, was nearly 55 percent less that Israel’s, despite having ten times the population of the Zionist entity.

Per capita, Israeli regime’s expenditure was calculated to be nearly 17 times higher at an average of $1,737 per person compared with only $110 for each Iranian.

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Nukes in the Middle East War Theater? Low-Yield Earth-Penetrating Nuclear Weapons

Fig. 1 Diagrams like this one give the false impression that a low-yield earth penetrating nuclear weapon would “limit collateral damage” and therefore be relatively safe to use. In fact, because of the large amount of radioactive dirt thrown out in the explosion, the hypothetical 5-kiloton weapon discussed in the accompanying article would produce a large area of lethal fallout. (Philadelphia Inquirer/ Cynthia Greer, 16 October 2000.)

Despite the global sense of relief and hope that the nuclear arms race ended with the Cold War, an increasingly vocal group of politicians, military officials and leaders of America’s nuclear weapon laboratories are urging the US to develop a new generation of precision low-yield nuclear weapons. Rather than deterring warfare with another nuclear power, however, they suggest these weapons could be used in conventional conflicts with third-world nations.

Critics argue that adding low-yield warheads to the world’s nuclear inventory simply makes their eventual use more likely. In fact, a 1994 law currently prohibits the nuclear laboratories from undertaking research and development that could lead to a precision nuclear weapon of less than 5 kilotons (KT), because “low-yield nuclear weapons blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional war.”

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War pimp alert: U.S. sees attacks by Iranian-backed groups up in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Attacks by Iranian-backed groups in Iraq have increased in recent months, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday, casting doubt on the view Iran might have reduced its support for violence in the war.

David Satterfield, the State Department’s Iraq coordinator, said he believed Iran’s strategy remained to force the United States to withdraw from Iraq at as high a price as possible.

The United States has 158,000 troops in Iraq seeking to quell an insurgency and sectarian violence that erupted after the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled former dictator Saddam Hussein.

Satterfield said President George W. Bush hoped to leave his successor a more stable Iraq and the time to weigh options on how to deal with the country, which holds the world’s third largest oil reserves.

Attacks across Iraq have fallen by 60 percent since June 2007, when Bush’s “surge” of 30,000 additional U.S. troops became fully deployed.

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US spy chief retreats from Iran intel

LONDON, February 7 (IranMania) – The top US intelligence official is backing away from his agency’s recent assessment that Iran halted its ‘nuclear weapons program’, PressTV reported.

Sixteen US spy agencies concluded in their December 3 National Intelligence Estimate that Iran is not conducting a nuclear weapons program.

At a Tuesday hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell said he wishes he had written the unclassified version of the document differently.

“I would change the way we describe the Iranian nuclear program. I would have included that there are the component parts, that the portion of it, maybe the least significant, had halted,” he said.

The intelligence director was referring to a specific aspect of the NIE report which dismissed White House allegations that Iran is planning to design nuclear warheads.

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Update: Iran Oil Bourse to deal blow to dollar. Was this why Iran was cut of the internet.

The long-awaited Iranian Oil Bourse, a place for trading oil, petrochemicals and gas in various non-dollar currencies, will soon open.

Iran’s Finance Minister Davoud Danesh-Jafari told reporters the bourse will be inaugurated during the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution (February 1-11) at the latest.

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War pimp alert: Israel gearing up for Another War

Israel calls for shelter rooms to be set up in a bid to prepare the public for yet another war, this time, one of raining missiles.

“The next war will see a massive use of ballistic weapons against the whole of Israeli territory,” claimed retired general Udi Shani.

Shani did not specify whether by ‘the next war’ he meant a battle against the residents of the Gaza Strip, the Lebanese or the war many speculate Israel will wage on Iran allegedly over its nuclear program, which the recent US National Intelligence Estimate conceded to be void of nuclear arms development intentions.
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Bush: US will ‘confront’ Iran if necessary

In his last State of the Union address, American president warns Tehran that US will ‘confront those who threaten our troops’ and defend its allies in the Gulf. Adds: We are standing against forces of extremism in Holy Land

News agencies

Published:  01.29.08, 08:04 / Israel News

 

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In his last State of the Union before a hostile, Democratic-led Congress eager for the end of his term next January, Bush also urged Tehran to suspend its uranium enrichment program, embrace political reforms, and “cease your support for terror abroad.”

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War pimp alert: 4th Russian fuel shipment reaches Iran

A fourth Russian shipment of nuclear fuel arrived in Iran on Sunday, destined for a power plant being constructed in the southern Iranian port of Bushehr, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The nuclear power station in Bushehr.
Photo: AP

The report said 11 tons of fuel arrived at the Bushehr power plant, just two days after Iran received its third Russian shipment on Friday.

Russia has reportedly pledged to give Iran a total of 85 tons of fuel for the plant.

The remainder of the fuel, about 40 tons, was scheduled to arrive in four separate shipments in the coming months, the report said.

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War pimp alert:U.S. says Iran still training Iraqi militias

By Ross Colvin

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The U.S. military said on Sunday there had been a dramatic drop in the number of Iranian weapons being smuggled into Iraq but no let-up in Tehran’s training and financing of Iraqi militias.

Washington has accused Tehran of supplying Shi’ite militias with sophisticated weapons, including deadly armor-piercing bombs known as explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), to attack American troops. Tehran denies the charge.

“We do believe that the number of signature weapons that have come from Iran … are down dramatically. We do not think levels of training have been reduced at all. We don’t believe levels of financing are reduced,” U.S. military spokesman Rear Admiral Greg Smith told reporters in Baghdad.

His comments come at a time of heightened tensions between Iran and the United States after Washington said its warships were threatened by Iranian craft in the Strait of Hormuz earlier this month. The two countries are already at odds over Iran’s determination to pursue a nuclear program.

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If you believe Iran “harassed” US ships, you have forgotten USS Vincennes

The US navy claimed yesterday that Iranian fast boats harassed them in the Straits of Hormuz. On July 3, 1988, USS Vinceness shot down Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655) killing 290 innocent civilian from six nations including 66 children.

The US navy initially claimed that they mistakenly identified the passenger liner as an Iranian fighter, and denied that they were not inside Iranian territorial waters.

But the official ICAO investigation found that the US Navy guided missile cruiser’s attempts to contact Iran Air 655 were sent on the wrong frequency and addressed to a non-existent “Iranian F-14″.

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War pimp alert: US says ‘reckless’ Iran should avoid naval confrontations

So let me get this straight. US naval ships are roaming around the Persian golf in an obvious attempt to rile Iran and they fly their fighter jets on secretive missions, and when a few Iranians in speedboats issue a verbal threat to blow up these huge monstrosities it is warned not to do that again. The Americans felt so threatened they almost blew these speedboats out of the water.

I wonder how the Americans would feel if Iran had huge vessels roaming around in oh, say the golf of Mexico near a city (well, ex-city) like New Orleans.

I would call the American vessels reckless for being in Iranian waters.

The United States on Tuesday rejected Iran’s assertion that a tense naval standoff between Washington and Tehran’s navies in the Strait of Hormuz was routine, and warned “they should not do it again.”

“It was out of the ordinary, it was reckless,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, as US President George W. Bush prepared to depart on a week-long Middle East trip partly designed to seek a united front to face down Iran.

“It’s hard for us to tell what they were thinking, or what they were doing, or whether or not they plan to take any such actions in the future. What I can tell you is our position is they should not do it again,” she said.

Asked whether the incident bolstered Bush’s case against Iran, Perino replied: “I think it’s just another point of reference for people in the region who are concerned about the behavior of Iran.”

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War pimp allert: Israel to brief George Bush on options for Iran strike

ISRAELI security officials are to brief President George W Bush on their latest intelligence about Iran’s nuclear programme – and how it could be destroyed – when he begins a tour of the Middle East in Jerusalem this week.

Ehud Barak, the defence minister, is said to want to convince him that an Israeli military strike against uranium enrichment facilities in Iran would be feasible if diplomatic efforts failed to halt nuclear operations. A range of military options has been prepared.

Last month it was revealed that the US National Intelligence Estimate report, drawing together information from 16 agencies, had concluded that Iran stopped a secret nuclear weapon programme in 2003.

Israeli intelligence is understood to agree that the project was halted around the time of America’s invasion of Iraq, but has “rock solid” information that it has since started up again.

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