Iran paranoia, covert war escalates; Tensions rise as Persian Gulf fills with carriers, media crews, tribal revolts; US Air Force buzzes infiltrated Iranian Khuzestan

Iran paranoia, covert war escalates; Tensions rise as Persian Gulf fills with carriers, media crews, tribal revolts; US Air Force buzzes infiltrated Iranian Khuzestan

Warning: extremely long post!

Here is the blunt reality: there are so many things in motion right now that a massive war could easily happen accidentally, without a deliberate decision by any national leadership. The UK hostage crisis may have propagandized the American, UK and Israeli military personnel sufficiently to get them to actually execute the attack. The actual willingness of American troops to execute an attack was previously doubted (a possible mutiny scenario). Now it's more likely they'll execute Bush's orders -- or else things will just spin out of control without Bush's order.

Any day now, a minor clash along Iraq’s land or sea frontier with Iran could kill some American troops and give President Bush an excuse to attack Iran, if he wants one — and he certainly seems to. If the Revolutionary Guards had got it wrong last Friday and attacked an American boarding party by mistake, he would have his excuse now, and bombs might already be falling on Iran. All the pieces are in place, and the war could start at any time.

Iran — How To Start A War By Gwynne Dyer 03/30/07

See also How I know Blair faked Iran map By CRAIG MURRAY, Former Ambassador to Uzbekistan and Head of the Foreign Office's Maritime Section. More on Anglo Cartographic Propaganda:

British-Iran-Map

Iran accuses US jet fighters of violating airspace: AFP, Monday April 2, 2007

US warplanes have violated Iranian airspace in the southwestern oil province of Khuzestan, the Arabic language channel of Iranian state television quoted a local military chief as saying on Sunday.

However, a US military spokesman said he had checked into reports of an airspace violation and denied that any took place. "Two US aircraft trespassed into Iranian airspace northwest of (the port city of) Abadan before flying southwest into Iraq," a Revolutionary Guards commander in Abadan identified only as Colonel Aqili was quoted as saying by the Al-Alam channel's website.

"The planes left white vapour trails, attracting the local people's attention," he said, without elaborating on when the alleged incursion took place.

Meanwhile...

According to DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources, in the last several weeks, Damascus international airport main has become the main transport hub for a stream of Lebanese and Palestinian terrorists heading for Revolutionary Guards installations in Iran. Hence Israel military intelligence chief’s pessimistic briefing to the Israeli cabinet Sunday, April 1.... Damascus airport is also the transit point for returning terrorists to gather and pick up their assignment for various Middle East countries, as well as Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Syrian military intelligence and Iranian RG officers have set up a joint depot at the Syrian airport for directing the incoming and outgoing traffic - much of it ferried by Syrian Airways.

A high-ranking Western intelligence source in the Middle East told DEBKAfile that the number of such terrorist-trainees commuting between Damascus and Tehran has grown to more than three times the volume of Muslim and al Qaeda fighters heading out from Syria into Iraq. This source calculates Iran is running a crash program to prepare an army of trained terrorist strength to retaliate for a potential US attack on its nuclear installations. That will be the signal for these men to ignite a regional war of terror across Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and out to Sinai and Egypt.

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Damascus airport has become the hub for thousands of Hizballah, Hamas, Jihad Islami fighters heading out to Iranian training camps April 2, 2007, (GRAIN OF SALT PLEASE!)

These days wars are scheduled for college summer vacations. Really! It keeps off some of the pesky student protesters - that was last summer's Hawk Lobby Lebanon PR strategy. Paranoia is running really high right now, and covert ops are happening across the chessboard - perhaps even skirmishes on the border. This bit comes from PrisonPlanet but struck me as basically accurate:

Iran War Underway: US and Britain Funding Right Wing Terrorists For Regime Change: The Long history of British and American covert provocation and action in Iran - March 30 2007

The US and Britain are already at war with Iran, have been at war with Iran for a number of years now and are funding anti-Iranian terrorist groups inside Iran in preparation for the fallout that will occur after overt military action is commenced. Not my words, the words of high ranking CIA officials, Defense department officials, former UN officials and retired US air force Colonels.

Iran's state news agency, IRNA today listed five previous violations of Iranian territory by British armed forces:

*June 2004: An unmanned reconnaissance plane violated Iranian airspace in northeastern Abadan and was hit by Iranian anti-aircraft guns.

*June 22, 2004: Eight navy personnel in three speed boats entered Iranian territorial waters and were arrested by Iranian coast guards; the arrested were released after three days.

*November 1, 2006: Two helicopters, hovering at a height of 150 meters (492 feet), violated Iranian airspace for a total of 10 minutes.

*January 27, 2007: A helicopter violated Iranian airspace over the mouth of the Arvand river and left the area after a warning from Iranian coast guards.

*February 28, 2007: Three navy boats entered Iranian territorial waters in the mouth of Khor Mousa.

Can we believe Iranian state news? Is Britain and/or the US engaging in covert intelligence gathering in Iran? The answer is we don't have to believe Iranian state news because it is a well established fact that a covert intelligence war is already being waged with Iran and has been ongoing for many years now.

 Pictures Mar07 300307MekSoldier of the fanatic Mujahideen El-Khalq, beloved NeoCon proxy force to attack Iran (now/ongoing) at right:



April 6, the day that the Russian general staff announced as the date Certain of Operation Bite, is right around the corner. I don't actually think the U.S. will launch airstrikes, but there is already a fourth-generation War in Progress by most accounts. At times like this I end up looking at sites that are likely "spinning up" the conflict in sync with hawk interests.

I am posting a variety of material from sites of unknown provence and also the Israeli Uber Hawks of DEBKAFile. You should always take DEBKAFile with a grain of salt. Consider DEBKA as "what an Israeli who wants to start a war with Iran would tell you," because that's the basic stock of their journalistic sources. The British equivalent would be the alarmist Daily Telegraph "hawks spinning up war" as a source. Consider all this a window into the Western hawk mindset as much as a (or more than a) reflection of Current Situations. (However, DEBKA also predicted 9/11 so they've got a knack for things!) The DEBKA stuff is at the bottom. Don't miss it!

Here's the GeoMap of the day:

Iran-Crisis-Geomap-2

Aha here's the answer to the puzzle! Oil fields!

 Military Ops Images Iran-Map2

Neo-cons: "DIVIDE AND CONQUER YUM!!!! TRIBAL PROXY WAR TIME!!!"

 Albums Y258 Frednerks Khuzestan

Or, from this anti-regime site we have a very interesting report and the map stolen above. Take this with your grains of salt, but a fascinating account of tribal revolt or something:

Reports from Inside Iran Also From GM: Alan, Just this morning I had a phone conversation with some people inside the city of Esfahan itself. Obviously they couldn't say very much since phone calls to/from the outside world are monitored by the regime. The only thing they could tell me was that clashes have also taken place within the city itself, including gun fire. They also said: "Please pray for us!"

Alan Note: Meanwhile Islamic Regime agents and supporters claim this is all "drug smugglers" battling each other and the Regime! Not an uprising of any kind at all. Absolutely not! The Regime has now distributed archive scenes of previously shown footage of a drug cache seized (months ago) to Iranian media and insists the clash was simply a matter that happened after FOUR people in one vehicle were stopped by authorities on a road in the area and fled.

They were then pursued into the snowy mountains of the Bakhtiari region where they ended up being killed after killing some 14 Regime Soldiers. Just a bunch of four smugglers. The Regime story then ends up that the populace across the region (where all this - actually the tribal revolt - happened) have gone into a THREE DAY mourning period.

Sad about FOUR drug smugglers they did not even know but who happened to flee into their territory? Also the stock video footage shows hot weather not the snow and cold of Iran's mountaneous Bakhtiari region right now.

ARTICLE

Armed revolt by Bakhtiari, Lor and Ghashghai tribes against the Islamic Regime has reportedly flared up.

Yesterday, freedom seeking tribal fighters in the Isfahan and surrounding provinces and region began fighting local Islamic Regime forces and freeing their villages and townships from the Islamic Regime's control. The Semirom area, which is on the Ghashghai tribal migrations route, apparently saw heavy fighting and more clashes occurred in between Isfahan Province and Yassooj further south, which is the center of the Boyer-Ahmadi tribal territory.

Local fighters from the various tribes, confronted Islamic Regime paramilitary forces – the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) and the Bassij (suppression forces consisting today mostly of Arab mercenaries though originally using naïve, susceptible provincials to swell their ranks). Heavy ground battles between the tribal fighters and Islamic Regime forces reportedly resulted in heavy casualties left behind by the government troops. Specially at a point around Yassooj and in the Province of Fars which was labeled the Red Line which was not to crossed by the Regime forces.

In hand to hand combat, the local combatants managed to put to flight the government forces who were armed to the teeth, but had to retreat. Thousands of tribesmen took part and managed to free several villages and townships of the Isfahan Province and surrounding areas from the Islamic Regime's control.

Much of the conflict stems from the Islamic Regime's on-going efforts to disarm the tribes and put religious leaders in charge of them instead of their traditional Khans.

To restore morale among the Regime paramilitary forces, who had had to retreat in the face of tough resistance, leaving large numbers of Islamic Regime dead and wounded in the confrontations, the Martyrs Foundation of the Regime announced that all those killed would be added to the rolls of the Martyrs and their families would receive financial aid and support. As so often in the past, the Regime sent in troops to take revenge on the families of the tribesmen but were repulsed by the internally tough charactered tribal warriors.



The mountainous terrain and the stiff resistance put up by the tribes prevented government militias from penetrating into Bakhtiari and Ghashghai tribal areas. After one their Khans had been treacherously killed by the Regime in the past, that tribe caught the spy who had been responsible, cut him in half with a chain saw and dumped his severed body on the doorstep of a local enforcement office of the Regime. The tribes have blocked off the road from Shahreza to Semirom with check points and searched all vehicles, specially those carrying persons from Isfahan or Yassooj. Only residents were allowed into the towns and villages.

The tribes hope that their uprising will spread south to Shiraz and Masjid Soleiman (Khuzestan oil province) and even become a national one across the country.

Towns from Semirom to Isfahan, which is only 140 kilometers away in the Ghashghai held area and all townships for about 60 kilometers toward Isfahan are in the hands of the Bakhtiari tribes. The Islamic Regime has never had much control of this area.

When the Islamic Revolution of Khomeini took place back in 1979, the "hanging judge" ayatollah Khalkhali, who loved to torture cats to death for entertainment, went city to city to execute people but when he arrived in this tribal region, the residents attacked his convoy and sent him fleeing for his life but he managed to escape to go on killing.

In trying to cover up what is going on, the Islamic Regime has accused the conflict of being a discord started by a band of drug smugglers and described the participants as thugs and unsavory elements from Sistan and Baluchistan moving through the tribal region as part of their smuggling operation. And confronting the Islamic Regime's anti-drug smuggling authorities. Meanwhile, in Sistan and Baluchistan the Jondollah movement continues to clash regularly with the Islamic Regime.

Robert Fisk observes the new "War of Humiliation":

The Iranian security services are convinced that the British security services are trying to provoke the Arabs of Iran's Khuzestan province to rise up against the Islamic Republic. Bombs have exploded there, one of them killing a truck-load of Revolutionary Guards, and Tehran blamed MI5. Outrageous, they said. Inexcusable. The Brits made no comment, even when the Iranians hanged a man accused of the killings from a crane; he had, they said, been working for London.

Are the SAS in south-western Iran, just as the British claim the Iranians are in south-eastern Iraq, harassing the boys in Basra with new-fangled bombs? Will the Americans release the five Iranians issuing visas to Kurds in Arbil whom they locked up a couple of months ago. No, says Bush. Well, we shall see.

There is a lot we do not know - or care to know - about all this. In the meantime, however, it will be left to Blair, Bush and the merchants of the SKY-BBC-CNN-FOX-CBS-NBC-ABC axis of shlock-and-awe to play the Iranian game. Will they put Faye on trial? Will our boys be threatened with execution? Answer: no, but be sure we'll soon be told by the Iranians that they are all spies. A lie, needless to say. But Blair will fulminate and Bush will roar and the Iranians will sit back and enjoy every second of it.

The Iranians died in their tens of thousands to destroy Saddam's legions. And now they watch us wringing our hands over 15 lost souls. This is a big-time movie, the cinemascope of political humiliation. And the Iranians not only know how to stage the drama. They've even written Blair's script. And he obligingly reads it to cue.

CIA Covert operations among ethnic minorities in Iran are very active, according to many.

Taking a spin around DEBKAFile, Ominous news from Bahrain, the site of United States Central Command HQ (CENTCOM).

DEBKAfile Exclusive: US financial sources in Bahrain report American investors in Bahrain advised to pack up business operations and leave March 30, 2007, 10:51 AM (GMT+02:00)

The advice came from officers with US Central Command 5th Fleet HQ at Manama, who spoke of security tension, a hint at an approaching war with Iran. Arab sources report the positioning of a Patriot anti-missile battery in Bahrain this week; they say occupancy at emirate hotels has soared past 90% due mostly to the influx of US military personnel. They also report Western media crews normally employed in military coverage are arriving in packs. [The Ominous Appearance of Christianne Amanpour Scenario --Dan]

Thursday, March 29, Gen. Khaled al-‘Absi, Bahrain’s chief of air defense operations disclosed that new alarm networks had been installed and air defense systems upgraded to handle chemical, biological and radioactive attacks.

The USS Nimitz and its support ships will be departing San Diego Monday, April 2, to join the John C. Stennis Strike Group in the Persian Gulf. The nuclear carrier is due to relieve the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower , but military sources in the Gulf believe all three US carriers will stay put if tensions continue to climb or if fighting breaks out involving American, British and Iranian forces. [horrible strategy to park them in boxed-in Gulf - a deliberate vulnerability??!! --Dan]

The mighty American armada is further supported by the USS Bataan and USS Boxer strike groups. War tensions have been triggered most recently by the crisis over the seized British sailors and large-scale US sea, air and amphibious exercises in the Gulf.

1. DEBKAfile’s Tehran sources report that in the contest within the Iranian leadership over how to handle the affair of the captured British seamen, the wildest radical element has gained the upper hand, reducing the prospects of their imminent release. Heading the tough Tehran faction are hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Gen. Rahim Safavi, commander of the Revolutionary Guards whose naval wing performed the seizure.

They gained strength from the British premier Tony Blair’s initial passive, semi-conciliatory response. Tehran quickly grasped it had acquired not just a propaganda tool but a military asset, which the UK cannot match as long as the Americans desist from throwing their military might into the fray. Washington has refused to risk of a full-scale war confrontation with the Revolutionary Guards for the sake of the British sailors.

Iranian strategists also registered that, although the Blair government has begun moving mountains to gain the freedom of the marine crew held in Tehran, London appeared fairly laid back about the kidnap of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston in broad daylight by gunmen in Palestinian Gaza, although three weeks had gone by.

Revolutionary Guards serving with Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza no doubt filed a full report on the Johnston case to Tehran, which drew its own conclusions.

2. Taking part in the big demonstration of American naval, air and marine force launched March 27 are the two nuclear carrier strike forces Stennis and Eisenhower , thousands of marines and 100 warplanes. Maneuvers on this scale in the tight, overcrowded waters of the Persian Gulf carry risks of a collision between American and Iranian craft.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Nimitz group is composed of the Princeton guided-missile cruiser, four guided missile destroyers – the Higgins, Chafee, John Paul Jones and Pinckney. The strike force is armed with two helicopter squadrons and a special unit for dismantling sea mines and other explosive devices.

Earlier, DEBKAfile quoted intelligence sources in Moscow as predicting that a US strike against Iranian nuclear installations codenamed Operation Bite has been scheduled for April 6 at 0040 hours. Missiles and air raids will conduct strikes designed to be devastating enough to set Tehran’s nuclear program several years back.

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Damascus airport has become the hub for thousands of Hizballah, Hamas, Jihad Islami fighters heading out to Iranian training camps April 2, 2007, 6:05 PM (GMT+02:00)

According to DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources, in the last several weeks, Damascus international airport main has become the main transport hub for a stream of Lebanese and Palestinian terrorists heading for Revolutionary Guards installations in Iran. Hence Israel military intelligence chief’s pessimistic briefing to the Israeli cabinet Sunday, April 1. (See separate item on this page) Damascus airport is also the transit point for returning terrorists to gather and pick up their assignment for various Middle East countries, as well as Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Syrian military intelligence and Iranian RG [Rev. Guard] officers have set up a joint depot at the Syrian airport for directing the incoming and outgoing traffic - much of it ferried by Syrian Airways.

A high-ranking Western intelligence source in the Middle East told DEBKAfile that the number of such terrorist-trainees commuting between Damascus and Tehran has grown to more than three times the volume of Muslim and al Qaeda fighters heading out from Syria into Iraq. This source calculates Iran is running a crash program to prepare an army of trained terrorist strength to retaliate for a potential US attack on its nuclear installations. That will be the signal for these men to ignite a regional war of terror across Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and out to Sinai and Egypt.

Four Iranian command centers have been set up at home, in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, to coordinate the movements of fighting men and the arms consignments that are being shipped through marine smuggling routes to their various destinations.

According to our intelligence and military sources, new training methods are employed for the new intake of terrorists. They are no longer being trained at special facilities provided for them at the camps run by the Al Quds Brigades, the RGs international branch. From the beginning of 2007, they have been integrated in regular RG training facilities and are taking basic training along with Iranian recruits in line with a revised Iranian military doctrine. The entire Middle East is deemed henceforth a single integrated line designed to defend the ayatollahs’ regime in Tehran in case of American attack. This line will be manned entirely by units which underwent training in the same combat tactics and operate the same weapons systems and communications.

Syria’s high command and military intelligence are pivotal to the construction, administration and control of this new fighting-terrorist machine. The personal say-so of president Bashar Assad would have been necessary for this project. Damascus airport facilities are a pivotal link in the mechanism wiring Tehran to the terrorist groups and transporting them from training centers to operating bases ready to fight for the Islamic Republic. Without Damascus’ aid, the operation would have taken much longer.

Israel’s AMAN [military intelligence] chief, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin views this burgeoning war-cum-terror machine as a dangerous element that could tip the region over into a full-blown conflict without prior warning. No one outside Iran, even seasoned military intelligence observers, can know for certain when, why or for which location, some high-up in the wildly-radical Revolutionary Guards will decide to push the button to activate it.

Well that's pretty dramatic. Is it actually happening or just a hawk fantasy? The correct answer is to avoid an incident, but of course no one wants to.

200704031831DEBKA: Israeli military intelligence chief predicts Iran-Hizballah-Syria attack on Israel in summer April 2, 2007, 12:56 PM (GMT+02:00)

In his briefing to the Israeli cabinet Sunday, April 1, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, AMAN chief, reported that Iran, Syria, Hizballah and Hamas expect the United States to attack Iran in the summer and they are preparing to retaliate by going to war with Israel. In Yadlin’s view, a proliferation of players and the many imponderables could ignite a conflict, which none of the parties wants – as happened in the Six Day War of 1967.

DEBKAfile analysts note five salient points in Gen. Yadlin’s briefing:

1. His comments came one day after Iran’s chief of staff, Gen. Hassan Fayrouz Abadi, urged the Arabs to hurry up and join Iran in a defense treaty because, he claimed, Israel threatened a war offensive in summer, two months hence. According to the Iranian general, Israel was bent on a “suicide assault” against a number of Arab states to save the Americans from having to pull their troops out of Iraq (sic).

1. Iran, Syria, Hizballah and Hamas may be presumed to be acting on some piece of intelligence that point to a forthcoming US attack some time between April and early September 2007. Therefore, the Middle East faces at least five months of incendiary military instability during which everyone will be braced for the axe to fall. [almost certainly true! --dan]

2. A coordinated Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah-Hamas attack would lay Israel open to four warfronts and the common weapon to them all: missiles - anti-tank, short-range surface, medium range ballistic and surface-to-air. [don't underestimate the military hardware, we learned last summer --dan]

3. Hamas threatens to launch the third Palestinian uprising (intifada) against Israel within three months unless the international blockade is lifted and funds are released to the Palestinian Authority.

The cabinet was informed that the IDF would start operating behind Gazan lines against the massive Palestinian military build-up. For five months, the Olmert government’s policy was one of military restraint at the behest of US and European governments. This week, Israel’s leaders watched British discomfiture as the United States, the UN and the Europeans turned aside when asked for help to free 15 sailors seized by Iran in the Persian Gulf. It is obvious that Israel must be ready to stand alone and defend itself if attacked on four fronts.

4. Neither the chief of AMAN nor the ministers discussed the state of Israel’s armed forces’ preparedness. Asked about this, DEBKAfile’s military sources said their readiness was only partial as yet: The air force, some of the combat divisions are ready; other parts of the military, such as some reservist brigades, the Navy and the home front are not.

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report: Iran Mends Fences with Arabs – Starting with Saudis: April 1, 2007, 7:44 PM

The live wire at last week’s Arab League summit in Riyadh was undoubtedly the non-Arab guest of honor, Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

He breezed around the Arab delegations hard-selling the notion of a mutual defense treaty between Iran and the Arabs on the lines of the Tehran-Damascus pact. Mottaki argued that a treaty of this kind would allay Arab fears of an Iranian nuclear threat, put a stop to a Middle East nuclear arms race, provide the Arabs with a protective umbrella against Israeli aggression and set up an Arab-Islamic front against US and other foreign intervention in the region. The Iranian diplomat’s proposition fell on willing ears.

DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report that he had a long conversation in Riyadh with Saudi foreign minister Prince Saudi al-Faisal, at which they looked the treaty plan in some detail and agreed that their defense ministries would assign special teams to explore it further. The Iranian minister argued that the joint effort of Riyadh and Tehran to pacify Lebanon and reconcile the internal differences among its rival factions could work as well for the Palestinian Authority. He said increasing Saudi-Iranian cooperation in joint diplomatic-strategic projects across the Middle East ought to extend to the military sphere.

Our source also reported exchanges between the Iranian and Egyptian delegations to the Arab summit last week on the resumption of diplomatic ties. Saturday, March 31, Iran’s chief of staff Gen. Hassan Fayrouz Abadi, prodded the Arabs again; he urged them to hurry up and join Iran in a defense treaty because, he claimed, Israel threatened a war offensive in summer, two months hence. According to the Iranian general, Israel was bent on a “suicide assault” against a number of Arab states to save the Americans from having to pull their troops out of Iraq.

Before the conference ended, the Saudi foreign minister arranged a four-way meeting between King Abdullah, Mottaki, and the two Palestinian leaders, Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. Together they discussed how Iran and Saudi Arabia could work together to apply the Mecca reconciliation accords which established a unity government between Fatah and Hamas. This was taken by Iran as Riyadh’s approval of the military assistance Tehran gives the Palestinians and a formal, collective Arab endorsement.

DEBKAfile’s political analysts take this step as a mark of Saudi contempt for Israel, and further, the collapse of the Saudi initiative led by national security adviser Prince Bandar bin-Sultan for direct Saudi-Israeli talks. Instead, the Saudi-Iranian rapprochement led by Saudi al-Faisal has prevailed. The Israel-Palestinian issue has been shifted to the Saudi-Iranian ken by the Faisal faction which has attained ascendancy in Riyadh and argues that the time has come for the Arabs to take their fate in their own hands and drop their dependence on foreign powers, namely the Americans..... [follows with more about Egypt + Iran --Dan]

Bin Laden: "LOL." That is all.

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