Turning the heat up on Iran

DEBKAfile Reports: US troops may attack nuclear and military targets in neighboring Iran when a high-casualty attack is traced directly to Tehran

February 20, 2007,

This new presidential directive extends the license President George W. Bush issued last month to US troops to capture or kill Iranian agents supporting Iraqi insurgency and al Qaeda attacks on American forces.

It is causing great concern in Tehran’s ruling circles – especially as the new license may well be applied when the downing of a large US helicopter ends in a heavy US death toll.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that American commanders in Iraq are studying the innovative methods for shooting down US aircraft which Iranian Revolutionary Guards instructors are imparting to Iraqi insurgents.

Maj. Gen James E. Simmons, deputy commander of US forces in Iraq, describes multiple weapons systems fired at the same time as having brought down 7 American helicopters in the last month. This, says Simmons, is the sign of “a thinking enemy” – although sometimes the insurgents appear to have got lucky and hit helicopters with automatic weapons fire as they chanced by.

The New York Times reports these multiple systems may include shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades – RPGs and unguided rockets that can’t be diverted by American helicopters’ anti-heat-seeking flares.

Our military sources say this mix of weaponry is designed to ambush the aircraft at any altitude chosen to escape the ground fire.

Under the new presidential directive, the downing of a helicopter carrying a large number of US troops could trigger a bombing campaign against Iran such as, for example, the dispatch of long-range B2 stealth bombers with bunker-busting bombs for dropping on the 25m deep Natanz site, where centrifuges are positioned for enriching uranium.

Attacks mount also be mounted against Iran’s military infrastructure.

Iran accuses American, British and Israeli secret services of plotting explosions in Zahedan, Baluchistan

Iran’s interior minister Mostafa Pur-Mohammadi, speaking over a domestic TV channel, also charged the three services with subversive activities in Iranian Khuzestan, Kurdistan and Azerbaijan.

DEBKAfile reports a sizeable US and Israeli intelligence and commercial presence in the neighboring Caspian republic of Azerbaijan. This was the first time an Iranian official accused Israeli intelligence of “terrorist activity” inside the country. Israeli security sources take this as a ploy to lay the groundwork for justifying an Iranian payback – either through its proxy, the Lebanese Hizballah, or Palestinian terrorist networks in the pay of their intelligence services.

The charges are also part of Tehran’s preparations for the UN Security Council session Wednesday, Feb. 21, to discuss further sanctions for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

Pur-Mohammadi said the terrorist attacks were aimed at sparking inter-religious hatred between the Sunni minority and Shiite majority of the Islamic Republic.

DEBKAfile’s Iran experts report that the minister accused the three services of subversion also to silence public questions about the sudden vulnerability of the invincible Revolutionary Guards to attack in different parts of the country.

Zahedan close to the Pakistani and Afghan borders saw three strikes. In one, gunmen ambushed an RG bus and set off a bomb car which killed 11 soldiers and injured 31.

The interior minister’s interview coincided with three other events in Iran.

1. Our Tehran sources report that one of the suspects detained after the Zahedan bus attack, Nasrollah Shanbe-Zehi, was executed Monday, Feb. 19, in a public hanging on the spot of the explosion. The gallows was raised on the Zahedan-Tehran highway and the body was left there for several hours. A crowd stood below chanting anti-American and anti-Israel slogans.

2. Also on Monday, 20 Revolutionary Guards brigades of 60,000 men launched a three-day war game dubbed Eqtedar (Grandeur) in 16 out of Iran’s 30 provinces. Its commander is Brig.-Gen Mohammad-Reza Zahedi.

3. Sources close to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna disclosed Monday that Iran has transferred to its Natanz uranium enrichment plant gaseous materials for activating centrifuges.

February 20, 2007 | 1 Comment »

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  1. Note the same fearul response to this American military/intelligence strategic success among the Iranians and their allies in the Democrat Congress (evidence, Pelosi and Clinton).

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