Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Existential Securities"

Dear Pastors:

Current news on the Iranian situation states that the negotiations will carry on through today, rather than end yesterday.  We must continue to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, and encourage the Israelis to do whatever they have to, in order to preserve the "Existential Securities" of the Jewish people.

National Security Council considers plan for Israel strike on Iran

7:55PM BST 23 May 2012

By David Blair, and Thomas Harding

"The National Security Council has discussed a range of possibilities, including how Iran might retaliate by trying to close the Strait of Hormuz.

This vital waterway at the entrance to the Gulf is only 21 miles wide at his narrowest point and serves as the conduit for about 35 per cent of the world's seaborne oil shipments.

The Royal Navy retains a permanent presence in the Gulf, currently led by HMS Daring, a Type 45 destroyer and one of the most advanced warships in the world.

Whitehall sources confirmed that ministers discussed the range of contingencies when the National Security Council gathered for a routine meeting last Wednesday. However, a source said this was not prompted by any expectation of an imminent Israeli strike on Iran.

The meeting focused on the possibility of a "third party" taking action – which means Israel rather than Britain or America.

But neither London nor the United States has ruled out launching military action against Iran's nuclear facilities if diplomacy and economic pressure fail to resolve the confrontation.

Britain has treaty obligations to defend almost all of the Arab states in the Gulf. "Our hands are pretty much tied if any of the states invokes the agreements saying they need our aid then we will have to turn up," said a Whitehall source.

Since the Libyan campaign last year, the RAF is understood to have updated its plans for joining a possible US-led attack on Iran. Tornado GR4 bombers would lead any assault by flying direct from RAF Marham in East Anglia to the Gulf region to fire their Stormshadow cruise missile at a range of up to 350 miles from any targets in Iran. They would then land at a Gulf state where they would be based for future missions.

Eurofighter Typhoons, whose ground attack technology is less advanced, could be used to provide air defence.

Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft of the RAF are already based in one Gulf state. They could provide "real time" surveillance and eavesdropping on Iranian targets.

A Royal Navy attack submarine has also deployed to the Indian Ocean with an arsenal of Tomahawk cruise missiles that could hit targets 400 miles away.

But any British contribution would be a fraction of the firepower that the US has discreetly amassed in the region over the last year. Six F22 Raptors, the world's most advanced fighters, have been deployed to the Gulf, joining a squadron of up to 18 F15E Strike Eagles, designed for long range bombing raids.

B1 Lancer bombers and an array of surveillance and drone aircraft are already based in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Meanwhile, two American carriers are in the region: USS Carl Vinson and Abraham Lincoln, which deploy a total of 80 F18 Super Hornets capable of striking more than 200 targets in a single day.

Iran nuclear talks: world powers 'creating difficult atmosphere'

World powers are hindering talks in Baghdad with Iran over its nuclear programme, creating a "difficult atmosphere", according to an Iranian delegate.

Iraqi Government Spokesman Ali Al-Dabagh (L) speaks to the media outside the negotiation room while envoys from Iran and six world powers meet for a second day of talks on easing concerns about Tehran's nuclear programme Photo: EPA

11:28AM BST 24 May 2012

The so-called P5+1 nations – United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – have pushed Iran for concessions on its uranium enrichment programme, following a 15-month diplomatic freeze and talks in Istanbul last month."What we heard in Istanbul was more interesting ... We believe the reason P5+1 is not able to reach a result is America," the official told Reuters. "(P5+1) came to Baghdad without a clear mandate so we think the atmosphere is difficult."

Iranian media meanwhile said the chances of talks continuing are "very low," with several outlets saying Iran had essentially been handed Israeli demands.

A correspondent with Iran's Al-Alam network reflecting the Iranian delegation's views in Baghdad said the so-called P5+1 – the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany – had to sweeten incentives for Iran to suspend parts of its disputed nuclear programme for talks to go on.

"All depends on whether the other side is ready to adjust their proposals," the reporter said. "But due to the shortage of time, the possibility of coming up with these decisions is very low."

Al-Alam, and the Fars and Mehr news agencies all criticised a P5+1 package of proposals on the issue as essentially echoing demands from Israel – an indication that the assessment was held by Iran's leaders.

"The discourse used in the talks very much resembles ... that used by the Israeli prime minister and defence minister," the Al-Alam correspondent said.

"Remarks from the P5+1 seem to be echoing those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu," the Fars news agency said.

"In the Baghdad meeting, the P5+1 team, in particular the United States, is making remarks similar to those of Israeli officials," the Mehr news agency said.

The outlets also suggested that the United States was dominating the P5+1 side and that it was "stonewalling," as Mehr put it.

They speculated that the P5+1 delegations had insufficient authority to modify the proposal they had made.

Israel: do not waver in talks with Iran

Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, has urged world powers not to waver in key nuclear talks with Iran, warning that any failure to halt enrichment could see them obtain weapons.

The fear is that a nuclear-armed Iran would destabilize the already volatile Middle East and sound the death knell for 60 years of international efforts to prevent the spread of atomic weapons, sparking a regional arms race Photo: GETTY

2:46PM BST 23 May 2012

Speaking as Iran and six world powers engaged in talks in Baghdad, the Iraq capital, he said "we must watch out the partial concessions do not allow Iran to avoid a tightening of sanctions."

"Without strengthening the current painful sanctions, Iran will continue towards a nuclear capability," the defence minister told Israel's public radio.

"We must not blink, give up or capitulate until the very last minute," he said.

"If they let them continue, Iran will keep on enriching uranium from 20 per cent to 60 per cent and 90 per cent and they really will get a nuclear weapon. I don't know exactly when but it will happen," he warned.

"Now is the time for the entire world to stop them," said Mr Barak.

The so-called P5+1 grouping of diplomats from permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany held a first round of talks with Iran on April 14 in Istanbul.

Iran reportedly made a counter-proposal to the P5+1 group with five items based on "the principles of step-by-step reciprocity". Talks were expected to continue into Thursday.

A day ahead of the second round, UN nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano said his agency was poised to ink a deal with Tehran.

His comments were greeted with deep suspicion by Israel, which sees Iran's willingness to talk as a ploy to win an easing of sanctions and to gain more time for enrichment.

The world powers are hoping to secure Iran's agreement to suspend 20 per cent enrichment and to ship its stockpiles of enriched uranium abroad.

But Israel has poured scorn on the P5+1 talks, with Barak deriding its demands of Tehran as "minimalist" and saying they would never be enough to make Iran halt its nuclear programme.

"If we set the bar too low, there is a danger that they will get most, if not all of what they want, and the Iranian nuclear programme will continue," he said.

Anything less than a demand to stop enriching uranium to 20 per cent and to 3.5 per cent, to remove all enriched uranium outside of the country, and to close down the Fordo plant near the holy city of Qom, was not enough, he said.

"The Iranians are continuing their game of chess in order to achieve nuclear weapons," he said, adding the customary warning: that "all options remain on the table" – a reference to a possible pre-emptive military strike, which Israel has refused to rule out.

Later Wednesday, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon articulated the Israeli warning.

"The sanctions must continue and tighten, alongside international seclusion, support of the opposition and a reliable military option," he wrote on his Twitter account.

"If all this does not help, someone might have to instigate a military move against Iran," he warned, without noting who or how.

Earlier this year, Yaalon – who served as Israel's military chief – warned that no Iranian facility, however reinforced, is immune to Israeli attack.

The West and Israel, widely considered the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, suspect Iran is using its nuclear programme to build atomic weapons, charges that Tehran denies."

I don’t know any more than you do at this present time. But, am being faithful to keep an eye on the Middle East and Events coming rapidly down the pike there.




No comments:

Post a Comment