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In the scenario concocted by Cheney's strategists, Washington's first step would be to convince Israel to fire missiles at Iran's uranium enrichment plant in Natanz. Tehran would retaliate with its own strike, providing the US with an excuse to attack military targets and nuclear facilities in Iran.
This information was leaked by an official close to the vice president. Cheney himself hasn't denied engaging in such war games. For years, in fact, he's been open about his opinion that an attack on Iran, a member of US President George W. Bush's "Axis of Evil," is inevitable.
Given these not-too-secret designs, Democrats and Republicans alike have wondered what to make of the still mysterious Israeli bombing run in Syria on Sept. 6. Was it part of an existing war plan? A test run, perhaps? For days after the attack, one question dominated conversation at Washington receptions: How great is the risk of war, really?
In the September strike, Israeli bombers were likely targeting a nuclear reactor under construction, parts of which are alleged to have come from North Korea. It is possible that key secretaries in the Bush cabinet even tried to stop Israel. To this day, the administration has neither confirmed nor commented on the attack.
Bush said he and Olmert also discussed Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions and an incident Sunday when Iranian boats harassed and provoked three American Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. U.S. officials said Iran threatened to explode the vessels, but the incident ended peacefully.
Bush said Iran continues to be a "threat to world peace."
The president said "all options are on the table to secure our assets." He said serious consequences would follow another Iranian provocation. "My advice to them is don't do it," he said.
The US president said he told his host he still viewed Iran as "a threat" despite last month's US National Intelligence Estimate, which concluded that Tehran had shelved its nuclear weapons program in 2003.
The NIE, the consensus finding of all 16 US spy agencies, undermined the Bush administration's claim that the Islamic republic was actively seeking to get an atomic arsenal -- though it also noted that Tehran has refused to suspend uranium enrichment, which can be a key step in that direction.
"I defended our intelligence services, but made it clear that they're an independent agency; that they come to conclusions separate from what I may or may not want," said the president.
Israel tested a missile on Thursday, prompting Iran to vow retaliation if the Jewish state carried out recent veiled threats to launch strikes, possibly atomic, against Tehran's nuclear facilities.
Israel is widely assumed to have nuclear warheads and missiles able to hit Iran. It gave no details of the trial. A defense official said it was "not just flexing its muscles", three days after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pledged to consider "all options" to prevent Iran building nuclear weapons.
As oil prices rose almost 1 percent on the new Middle East tension, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who says his country wants only atomic energy, said Israel would hold off: "The Zionist regime ... would not dare attack Iran," he said.
"The Iranian response would make them regret it. They know this," he told Al Jazeera in remarks translated into Arabic.
Originally posted by northwolf
reply to post by C0le
Honestly at the moment Russia is doing better than USA, oil money is flowing in faster than they can spend. A US attack to Iran would most likely generate Billions of more income than any military or energy deals with Iran. There is no way that Russia will back Iran with anything more that weapons testing in mind... they give some new toys to see how they match up...
The former US ambassador to the UN says Israel may have to take military action 'to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weaponry'.
John Bolton said as the recent US intelligence report has dramatically reduced the likelihood of the use of force by the US in the coming year, pressure will be high on Israel to take action.
"If it [Tel Aviv] feels Iran is on the verge of acquiring that capability it brings the decision point home to use force," Bolton added.
The former diplomat said the balance of power in the region would dramatically change once Iran acquires nuclear capability, signaling a preemptive use of force before what he called developing an A-bomb by Iran.
Bolton said the pressure to act is intensive and the window of time available is narrow, claiming that if Iran builds the weapon Israel would be in danger.
Originally posted by budski
And let's not forget Putin - he's not as vocal as other leaders because he generally does what he says he will, and he's a real old fashioned hard-liner.
I can't see them taking any attack which threatens their business and therefore their economy, lying down.
Originally posted by budski
A fair point, but I must again state my opinion that russia is flexing her muscles with a view to taking her place again as a world power.
As a superpower, they may be finished, but I wouldn't bet against them coming back in a big way.