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Intro: "Iran is prepared to launch missiles at US bases throughout the Gulf within minutes of an attack on the Islamic Republic, according to a commander of the country's Revolutionary Guards."

Iran test-fired medium range missiles capable of hitting US bases in the region or Israel. (photo: Mojtaba Heydari/EPA)
Iran test-fired medium range missiles capable of hitting US bases in the region or Israel. (photo: Mojtaba Heydari/EPA)

Iran 'Ready to Fire Missiles at US Bases'

By Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian UK

05 July 12


ran is prepared to launch missiles at US bases throughout the Gulf within minutes of an attack on the Islamic Republic, according to a commander of the country's Revolutionary Guards.

In an apparent response to reports that the US has increased its military presence in the Gulf, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' air force said on Wednesdaythat missiles had been aimed at 35 US military bases in the Gulf as well as targets in Israel, ready to be launched in case of an attack.

The semi-official Fars news agency reported Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying: "We have thought of measures to set up bases and deploy missiles to destroy all these bases in the early minutes after an attack."

Hajizadeh's remarks were made on the sidelines of a three-day war game called Great Prophet Seven, which Iranian officials claimed was a show of defiance against western pressure, including the US and EU embargo against imports of Iranian oil that came into effect on 1 July.

"These [US] bases are all in range of our missiles, and the occupied lands [a reference to Israel] are also good targets for us," Hajizadeh said.

During the exercise, the elite Revolutionary Guards – who have their own military divisions separate from the Iranian army – test-fired dozens of missiles, including Shahab-3 and Sejil, which are said to have a range of 1,200 miles, capable of hitting Israel.

The US military has several bases in the Gulf, and the navy's Bahrain-based 5th fleet is 120 miles from the Iranian coast. Israel is about 600 miles away from Iran.

Domestically, the war games were also aimed at showing progress in the missile industry, despite a series of dramatic setbacks in recent years. In November 2011, an explosion at the Alghadir missile base, 30 miles from Tehran, killed Major General Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, who was described as the "architect" of the country's missile programme. It also killed at least two dozen members of the Revolutionary Guards working at the base.

The US has significantly reinforced its military presence in the Gulf, increasing the number of fighter jets and minesweepers, in preparation for a possible blocking of the strait of Hormuz by Iran.

Iranian officials have signalled that in reaction to the oil sanctions they may shut the strait, a vital passageway in the Gulf through which a fifth of the world's crude passes in tankers. In a recent development, the Iranian parliament said it would discuss a bill proposed by at least 100 MPs which requires the government to block oil tankers in the Gulf.

Israel has said it may carry out a pre-emptive military strike against Iran because of its nuclear activities, but there are doubts about whether it has the logistical capacity to do that without the help of its main ally, the US.

As the oil embargo came into force this week, the Iranian authorities showed mixed reactions to the economic sanctions, admitting the severity of the pressure but at the same time remaining adamant that they could survive.

Meanwhile, a meeting in Istanbul between Iranian and international nuclear experts ended in the early hours of this morning with an agreement to keep low-level contacts going in the hope of narrowing the substantial gap between Tehran and the major powers over the scope and scale of the Iranian nuclear programme. However, although the differences between the sides came into greater focus in Istanbul, diplomats said there was no sign of that gap closing.

The Istanbul talks lasted 13 hours over five sessions, ending at 1am, and went into exhaustive technical detail on the proposals put on the table in Baghdad in May by six world powers – the US, UK, China, France, Germany and Russia.

"It was a technical meeting that went into incredible detail," said a European diplomat.

The six-nation proposal laid down in Baghdad was for Iran to stop producing 20%-enriched uranium (a particular proliferation concern) to shut the underground plant at Fordow, where much of it is made, and to ship its existing 20% stockpile out of the country, in return for a range of incentives such as reactor fuel plates, nuclear safety assistance and aircraft parts.

At later talks in Moscow, Iran said it might discuss its 20% enrichment but wanted international guarantees of its right to enrich uranium in principle and for economic sanctions to be dropped.

"We went into great detail on our proposal – for example, what do we mean by closing Fordow, and what our expectations and timelines are," the European diplomat said. " And the Iranians expanded on their proposal."

The diplomat did not provide the details, saying only there were "fruitful exchanges, which mostly involved us probing them".

The Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said there had been no breakthrough or decisive progress in Istanbul.

"But we are not losing heart or think that the Istanbul meeting of experts was a failure," Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency. "On the contrary, there are grounds to speak of certain progress."

Another source familiar with the talks said there was no sign of the difference between the two position narrowing, and no sign that sanctions were having any tangible effect in changing Tehran's negotiating position. However, a meeting between mid-ranking officials from the European Union and Iran is due to take place in the next couple of weeks to discuss whether any common ground emerged in Istanbul.

High-level negotiations were suspended last month after the Moscow talks failed to make progress. Diplomatic contacts were downgraded but kept alive, to keep the door to diplomacy ajar, in the hope of fending off the threat of military action by Israel. your social media marketing partner


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+6 # Activista 2012-07-05 10:08
Iran has the right to defend itself. Iranians are constructive in their proposals, Israel is putting nuclear missiles on German supplied submarines.
Guardian became part of US/Israeli propaganda.
+3 # Kwelinyingi 2012-07-05 10:45
Thanks Activista. Noticed how the Guardian is not allowing any reader comments on anything about Israel and allowing them on trivial issues? So much for leftist papers and the overreaching arm of the Jewish lobby. I guess war preps are at full throttle now. This country, under orders from Israel, simply either does not know how, better yet, refuses to wage peace. Conflict has become the norm in conflict resolution. The hatred that we have generated around the world seems without end.
-2 # The Voice of Reason 2012-07-06 22:29
There is a prophecy from Zoroaster (a Persian prophet about 1,000 BC) that reads:

After 1,260 years from the religion of the Arabian, Hushidar will arise, and Iran will again become the land of Faith. And then, the Iranians will kill the Promised One.

Go ahead and support Iran all you want, their doom is sealed. The leaders are the meanest, most vicious killers since Hitler, and worse so because they do it in the name of God. They torture and rape women in their prisons, and imprison them for not wearing head scarves.

I think Iran is a wonderful country, but its current leaders are Satan worshipers.

Like I said, go ahead and support them if you like. You will find out just how evil the face of evil looks.
+6 # Edwina 2012-07-05 10:21
Our leaders seem to have failed to learn that sanctions against Iraq failed to prevent war with Iraq. Our diplomacy should be focussed on preventing war with Iran, but instead seems to be to coerce Iran into giving up its nuclear energy goals under the threat of war. The mainstream media keeps repeating Washington's claim that Iran has nuclear weapons ambitions, when the evidence is just the opposite. 20% enrichment, with agreed to inspections, is not the 80 or 90% required for nuclear weapons. The Iranians are not stupid: they have learned the lessons of Iraq, and do not intend to attack the U.S. I believe they will defend themselves, however, if the U.S. or Israel attack them.
+1 # pernsey 2012-07-05 10:21
Its about the petrol dollar, but no America media is going to tell you that. Bush told the same BS of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, they have to make up its about everything except what its really about. If Iran is jacking it up, its because we are bullying them about oil and the petrol dollar trying to stop them from trading only with US currency.

Come on people...think about it!
+3 # pernsey 2012-07-05 18:27
Quoting pernsey:
Its about the petrol dollar, but no America media is going to tell you that. Bush told the same BS of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, they have to make up its about everything except what its really about. If Iran is jacking it up, its because we are bullying them about oil and the petrol dollar trying to stop them from trading only with US currency.

Come on people...think about it!

My mistake, I meant to say we are trying to stop them from trading oil for other currencies, and maintaining that oil only be traded for US Dollar (petrol dollar). Its not about nuclear weapons, Isreal, or any other BS that is being thrown around. Its about the petrol dollar...Period . They have blocked the subject out of our media, look around online, this is important. The rich cats are investing against the USD and in gold so when this happens they can rake in more money, and the average person will lose their 401K's and investments(lif e savings). I hope some of you who want to know the truth are looking this up and reading about it. I hope Im wrong, but Iran has said on September 20th they will start selling oil for other currencies, thats why this crap is ramping up right now, they are trying to stop this.
+6 # Dale 2012-07-05 10:42
The U.S. with support of European allies has been engaged in hostile acts and sanctions imposition since the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the U.S. the Shah regime in 1979. Any country has the right to defend itself against foreign threats and one can hardly blame the Iranians if they do try to develop nuclear deterrents or threaten counter-attacks if attacked. The U.S. is the aggressor, not Iran. Stupid. Just leave them alone and stop giving the regime excuses for the need for weaponary. The mullahs will eventually fade into obscurity with growing secularization.
+1 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-07-05 15:05
But Iran's real goal is to create enough tension with Israel and the US that the Sunni Majority in the Muslim world would feel that the Shiites belong. Shiites and Sunnis can fight like cats and dogs but as soon as the Jews attack they feel like they are one. The Shiites would be just as much and oppressed minority as the Sufi minority if they didn't continue to get America and Israel mad at them. Ideally Ahmadinejad would like permanent almost war with non-Muslims to keep the Muslim World united.

I am not discounting other games like the Military Industrial Complex making as much money as possible but war is an accident unless people tire of almost war to the extent they begin to stop believing it will lead to imminent war.

The commenters are wrong the US is a player in a silly dangerous game not a lone bull in a china shop.
(Sorry about duplicate if comments delay many hours).
+1 # readerz 2012-07-05 19:48
I guess we are expected to have "resolve" about this; I remember when Bush said the word "resolve" meaning defending his family's oil interests through deception. When I think of Iran, I think of music, some of the best music in the world shared with northern India. And that is a symbol of this problem: we don't listen to the music.

Meanwhile, Sudan has had destruction in Timbuktu, but that is only rich in culture, not oil, so it won't matter to us.
0 # Kwelinyingi 2012-07-06 07:03
Correction: I think Timbuktu is in Mali, not Sudan. Agreed about the destruction though, both that is anticipated in Iran and the ongoing one in Timbuktu. Very sad. A historian friend mentioned some years back there were some 100,000 untranslated manuscripts waiting to be studied, etc. Rather like the burning of the Alexandria library.
0 # Valleyboy 2012-07-12 09:54
I love it how the corporate press present Iran as the aggressor in this context!

Don't give these scumbags your money people.

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