US, UK 'Planning for War' Against Iran

Thursday, 03 Nov 2011 01:04 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Britain’s armed forces are accelerating contingency planning for a coordinated attack by the U.K. and United States against Iran’s nuclear facilities amid growing concerns over the Iran’s weapons program.

“Barack Obama and [British Prime Minster] David Cameron are preparing for war after reports that Iran now has enough enriched uranium for four nuclear weapons,” The Daily Mail in Britain reported.

British military officials believe the United States may decide to step up plans for targeted missile attacks against some key Iranian facilities, and the officials “say that if Washington presses ahead it will seek, and receive, U.K. military help for any mission,” according to The Guardian in Britain.

US and UK are preparing for war against Iran's nuclear facilities.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (AP photo)
The stepped-up planning for a strike comes in advance of a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) next week that could be a “game changer” regarding Iran’s nuclear program, the Guardian reported.

Military planners in the U.K. are exploring where to best deploy British ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles in the coming months, as well as RAF jets armed with bombs and missiles, surveillance planes and air-to-air refuelers, according to The Mail.

Editors Note: The End of Obama? Click Here Now

The planners also anticipate that the U.S. will ask permission to launch attacks from Diego Garcia, the British territory in the Indian Ocean, which America has used previously for conflicts in the Middle East.

Sources in the British government and military have told The Guardian that President Obama is reluctant to launch an attack before next November’s election, but that could change in light of mounting anxiety over Iran’s nuclear development plans.

The IAEA report next week is expected to provide fresh evidence of Iran’s weapons development activity, “bringing the Middle East a step closer to another devastating conflict,” The Mail observed.

Adding to the urgency of dealing with Iran, officials now believe that the Islamic Republic has succeeded in restoring all the development capability it lost in a sophisticated cyber-attack last year. The Stuxnet computer worm, thought to have been engineered by the Americans and Israelis, sabotaged many of the centrifuges the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.

“It is estimated that Iran, which has consistently said it is interested only in developing a civilian nuclear energy program, already has enough enriched uranium for between two and four nuclear weapons,” The Guardian disclosed.

Also, the newspaper reported, one British official said that within the next 12 months, Iran may have hidden all the material it needs to continue a weapons development program inside fortified bunkers, and “this had necessitated the U.K.’s planning being taken to a new level.”

Beyond 12 months, “we couldn’t be sure our missiles could reach them,” the official said. “So the window is closing. The U.S. could do this on their own but they won’t.”

There are also signs that Tehran is becoming “newly aggressive,” a senior British source said, citing three recent assassination plots on foreign soil. Evidence shows that Iran was behind the murder of a Saudi diplomat in Karachi, Pakistan, in May, as well as a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington that was uncovered last month.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly urging a pre-emptive strike against Iran.

The United States currently has about 98,000 troops in Afghanistan, to the east of Iran, and 43,500 in Iraq, to the west. The U.K. has nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan.

But The Guardian has been told that military planners expect any attack on Iran to be waged predominantly from the air, with some naval involvement, although a small number of special forces could be employed on the ground.

A spokesman for the British Ministry of Defence said: “We want a negotiated solution — but all options should be kept on the table.”

Editors Note: The End of Obama? Click Here Now

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