US to up pressure on Iran to avoid war

2012-09-03 15:01

Washington - US President Barack Obama's administration is undertaking "a range of steps short of war" that it hopes will prevent an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, The New York Times reported on Monday.

The measures are designed to force Tehran to negotiate more seriously over its nuclear programme and offer Israeli officials a credible alternative to a military strike on the Islamic state, the paper said.

"The Obama administration is moving ahead with a range of steps short of war that it hopes will forestall an Israeli attack, while forcing the Iranians to take more seriously negotiations that are all but stalemated," it said.

Citing unnamed military officials, the paper said the United States and more than 25 other countries will this month hold the largest-ever mine-sweeping exercise in the Gulf in what is seen as a bid to prevent Iran from trying to block oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz.

Washington is also completing a new radar system in Qatar that would combine with radars already in place in Israel and Turkey to form a broad arc of antimissile coverage, the report said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said last week that Iran has doubled its uranium enrichment capacity at the underground Fordo facility in spite of UN Security Council resolutions, sanctions and talk of Israeli military action.

'Clear red line'

The UN nuclear watchdog also said its ability to inspect the Parchin military base, where it suspects Iran conducted nuclear weapons research in the past, has been "significantly hampered" by a suspected clean-up.

With these developments in mind, the US and Israeli intelligence agencies are debating possible successors to "Olympic Games", the covert cyber operation that infected Iran's nuclear centrifuges with a computer virus and sent them spinning out of control, The Times said.

The Obama administration hopes that ramping up measures on Tehran will give Israel a way to back off from a military attack, which would almost certainly unleash a new conflict in the Middle East, the paper reported.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the international community of failing to draw a "clear red line" for Iran over its nuclear programme.

"Iran doesn't see determination from the international community to stop its nuclear programme," he said.

  • gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-09-03 15:57

    Soon there will be fireworks

      alex.nkosi.39 - 2012-09-03 20:30

      So you think those innocent civilians in tehran and tel viv will be safe from unknown consequences? What a narrow-minded you are!

      alex.nkosi.39 - 2012-09-03 20:30

      So you think those innocent civilians in tehran and tel viv will be safe from unknown consequences? What a narrow-minded you are!

  • joseph.motloung.3 - 2012-09-03 16:56

    Israel knows that they are incapable of attacking the Islamic Republic, this has been articulated by the president, Shimon Perez and numerous other us defense officials. Its strange to note that while the US has surrounded Iran with military bases they still see that they are not capable of destroying Iran.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-03 17:24

      Still confusing the Iranian regime, that adjusts elections and stones women, with the Iranian people. This distinction should become clearer to you.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-03 17:48

      Joseph, the thing that is shockingly stupid about your perspective, the perspective you've given yourself, is that you're supporting a regime more oppressive even than the Apartheid regime. Imagine that. This is how stupid you're being.

      dylan.sciarappa - 2012-09-03 18:08

      Fred knows his accusations as facts. He has obviously been there and has witnessed this

      dylan.sciarappa - 2012-09-03 18:12

      Fred I think you are the stupid one. You seriously have no clue

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-03 19:03

      Dylan believes the US attacked itself on 9/11. His words.

      joseph.motloung.3 - 2012-09-03 23:43

      @Fred Continue telling yourself that the Iranian regime adjusts elections then maybe one day u will believe it. Moving to the facts, it is well know that the CIA and their counter-parts from the MI-6 overthrew the democratically elected prime minister of Iran and installed a dictator who oppressed the nation for over 25 yrs. The US troops who are camping on the Persian Gulf attacked Iran Air Flight 655 on Iranian air space and Iranian territorial waters which was carrying innocent civilians. To the Iranian people the government of Iran is not the one oppressing them, it's America

      bradley.kecskes - 2012-09-04 10:34

      Lol implying they need bases...look to the atmosphere my friend....boom!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-04 16:49

      Joseph, it is true that the Shah of Iran had relations with the US. And he and his regime became oppressive and corrupt. When the revolution occurred, many Iranians thought that removing the Shah would lead to greater freedom and human rights. It didn't. It led to an even more oppressive system of governance under the ultra chauvinistic, manipulative and oppressive Khomeini and his cronies. The trend of the Arab Spring (turned nightmare by the madman Gaddafi and cruel dictator Assad) suggests that Iran will be freer in the not too distant future. This is something to encourage, not oppose with wrong information and rhetoric.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-04 17:33

      Another thing Joseph, the Iranian regime does adjust elections. Everyone knows this. It's the way things happen there, a norm. It is one of the most corrupt, oppressive regimes in the world.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-04 17:36

      And you're protecting it. A South African who went through Apartheid. An ANC member. Hard to imagine this. Impossible to accept. Should never happen.

  • larry.lachman.54 - 2012-09-03 17:26

    Tick tock...

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-03 18:11

    Obama doing what all US politicians do, appeasing the Israel lobby and keeping half an eye on Iran's resources. An article from the New York Times concerning recent US arms sales to the Middle East: Under the immutable laws of capitalism, I'd say that makes war inevitable for the foreseeable future.

      dylan.sciarappa - 2012-09-03 18:15

      Yip. War makes money. Lots of it

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-03 19:04

      Again, Fidel believes Nelson Mandela of all people is a lackey of the West, a phony, a modern-day Uncle Tom. Dylan believes the US attacked itself on 9/11. Such is the level of their delusion. They're living in a parallel delusional reality.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-09-04 09:42

      War does not make money . A war economy is not a lure at all.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-04 15:38

      War is definately money for the Military Industrial Complex, not forgetting employment and the rebuilding of infrastructure damaged by war. All those war rebuilding contracts. You need to understand that wars are not fought for the ordinary populace, but to rob them and transfer a country's wealth to private contractors. It is estamated that the US government is $14 trillion in the red, who do you think this money went to?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-04 16:51

      Fidel's mindset is twisted with pseudo-victim beliefs to the extreme. In this case, everyone is being robbed, done under in some way by the big bad evil West and their war contractors. This pseudo-victimhood even leads him to believe Nelson Mandela is a phony, a lackey of the West. Imagine that.

  • alex.nkosi.39 - 2012-09-03 19:03

    What about if israel also abolish its nuclear facitlity and weopons of mass destructions in tel viv, is it fair for israel t stop other countries' nuclear ambitions, while it has more than hundred thousands of nuclear heads, i don't understand that of philosophy.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-03 19:20

      100 000?

      alex.nkosi.39 - 2012-09-03 20:15

      Larry, is't it a right decision to make middle east free from nuclear, pathological and mass of destruction weopons?, why only on iranian government?, there is nazi supporters in middle east

      alex.nkosi.39 - 2012-09-03 20:40

      Patrick, history tells us that israelis and arabs are sons of abrahams and they are brothers, i don't understand why are israelis killing thier arab cousins while nazi s and anti-semeitism supporters are everwhere, look at how extent jewish people were massacred by hitler nazi s in germany and other europians countries, and how israelis do the same to palestinians and iranians, may be history repeats,

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-09-03 20:48

      Oh Please, children talking on adult matters.

      alex.nkosi.39 - 2012-09-03 21:07

      Ooh larry, we don't have any kind of islamophopia or hatred against any religion, except those spread hatred and intolerence in this world.

      bradley.kecskes - 2012-09-04 10:39

      Israel is not a child holding a gun, they understand that with great power comes great responsibility. Do you ever hear of the Israelis saying they are going to wipe Iran off the map?? there we have it kids. and too the fool going on about the holocaust...watching you...(.)_(.)

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