Sunday, January 01, 2006

Possible Strike on Iran?

(Via Jerusalem Post)

The United States government reportedly began coordinating with NATO its plans for a possible military attack against Iran.

The German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel collected various reports from the German media indicating that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are examining the prospects of such a strike.

According to the report, CIA Director Porter Goss, in his last visit to Turkey on December 12, requested Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide military bases to the United States in 2006 from where they would be able to launch an assault.

The German news agency DDP also noted that countries neighboring Iran, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, and Pakistan were also updated regarding the supposed plan. American sources sent to those countries apparently mentioned an aerial attack as a possibility, but did not provide a time frame for the operation.

Although Der Spiegel could not say that these plans were concrete, they did note that according to a January 2005 New Yorker report American forces had entered Iran in 2005 in order to mark possible targets for an aerial assault.

I can't say that if this story is true it would be any great shock. The shock would be if we weren't making these preparations.

Iran with fully operational nuclear capabilites is not something that can be allowed and it would be foolish not to, at the very least, make plans to take out any facilities that pose a threat to our national security and that of Iran's neighbors. You can bet Israel is making these preparations as we speak.

Common sense should tell us that anyone who is even indirectly threatened by the potential of a nuclear Iran has at least considered, or is presently considering, a military option to deal with this threat. Whether the option is exercised or not is another matter.

John at Powerline questions the credibility of the story and notes the source cited in the last paragraph has a history of being unreliable:

I assume the New Yorker article was by Seymour Hersh. It's possible that a Hersh story could turn out to be true, but the odds are against it. Given our current commitment of forces to Iraq, it's hard to believe that a military strike against Iran is a realistic possibility, whether such a strike would be a good idea, in principle, or not.

My take is that the story is not news at all. It is an attempt to use an absence of verifiable facts and specifics to create the impression of an imminent invasion. While I disagree with John about whether or not a military strike is a realistic possibility, I do agree that the story has little substance.


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