DUBAI, UAE, 21 February 2007. (revised 23 Feb 2007). Code named by US military planners as TIRANNT, “Theater Iran Near Term” has identified several thousand targets inside Iran as part of a “Shock and Awe” Blitzkrieg, which is now in its final planning stages.
According to the Kuwait-based Arab Times, an attack on Iran under TIRANNT could occur any time between late February and the end of April. This assessment, however, does not take into account the disarray of US ground forces in Iraq as well as the untimely withdrawal of several thousand British troops from the Iraq war theater, many of whom were stationed in Southern Iraq on the immediate border with Iran.
Revealed last April by William Arkin, a former US intelligence analyst, writing in the Washington Post, TIRANNT was first established in May 2003, following the invasion of Iraq.
The 2003 decision to target Iran under TIRANNT should come as no surprise. It is part of the broader military roadmap. Already during the Clinton administration, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) had formulated in 1995 “in war theater plans” to invade first Iraq and then Iran.
First Iraq, then Iran
Concurrently, the various parallel components of TIRANNT were put in place including the Marines “Concept of Operations”:
“Shock and Awe”
US military planning includes specific roles to be performed by NATO and Israel in the event of an attack on Iran. The German navy is deployed formally under a UN mandate in the Eastern Mediterranean. NATO bases in Europe would also be involved.
Documented by Global Research, extensive war games were conducted since last Summer by Iran and its allies of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, including Russia and China. In turn, the US has conducted war games off the Iranian coastline.
The Pentagon’s Second 9/11
What is now being contemplated by Washington is an overwhelming use of military force in retaliation to Iran’s alleged non-compliance. This of course is the pretext, the justification for waging war. The Pentagon has also contemplated retaliating against Iran in the case of a second 9/11 attack:
The presumption of this military document, is that a Second 911 attack “which is lacking today” would usefully create both a “justification and an opportunity” to wage war on “some known targets [Iran and Syria]“.
Press reports in the Middle East confirm that the planned air strikes are by no means limited to Iran’s nuclear facilities. Central Command Headquarters in Florida (CENTCOM) has already selected a comprehensive list of military and civilian targets. Industrial sites, civilian infrastructure including roads, water systems, bridges, electric power plants telecommunications towers, government buildings are part of the assumptions underlying the Blitzkrieg. “A single raid could result in 10,000 targets being hit with warplanes flying from the US and Diego Garcia” (Gulf News, 21 Feb 2007, emphasis added)
Meanwhile, the US has been mustering support for its agenda following the holding of a regional Security Conference in the UAE.
Military planners are said to favor the use of conventional weapons. The use of tactical nuclear weapons, which are now part of the Middle East war theater arsenal, are not explicitly contemplated, at least in the first round of the US sponsored Blitzkrieg. However, the fact that nuclear weapons are acknowledged as a possible choice in the conventional war theater is indicative that their use is an integral part of military planning.
In November 2004, US Strategic Command conducted a major exercise of a “global strike plan” entitled “Global Lightening”. The latter involved a simulated attack using both conventional and nuclear weapons against a “fictitious enemy” [Iran]. Following the “Global Lightening” exercise, US Strategic Command declared an advanced state of readiness.
In this context, CONPLAN is the operational plan pursuant to the Global Strike Plan. It is described as “an actual plan that the Navy and the Air Force translate into strike package for their submarines and bombers,’
The use of tactical nuclear weapons is contemplated under CONPLAN 8022 alongside conventional weapons, as part of the Bush administration’s preemptive war doctrine. In May 2004, National Security Presidential Directive NSPD 35 entitled Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization was issued. While its contents remains classified, the presumption is that NSPD 35 pertains to the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in the Middle East war theater in compliance with CONPLAN 8022.
(For further details on the US nuclear option, see Michel Chossudovsky, Nuclear War against Iran, January 2006, The Dangers of a Middle East Nuclear War, February 2006, Is the Bush Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust , February 2006)
Israel in a State of Readiness
War preparations in Israel have been ongoing since late 2004. The Israeli Air Force would attack Iran’s nuclear facility at Bushehr using US as well Israeli produced bunker buster bombs. The attacks are slated to be carried out in three separate waves “with the radar and communications jamming protection being provided by U.S. Air Force AWACS and other U.S. aircraft in the area”. (See W Madsen, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MAD410A.html
The bunker buster bombs can also be used to deliver tactical nuclear bombs. The B61-11 is the “nuclear version” of the “conventional” BLU 113. It can be delivered in much same way as the conventional bunker buster bomb. (See Michel Chossudovsky, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO112C.html , see also http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=jf03norris ) .
According to a recent report in the London’s Sunday Times (7 January 2007): ”Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.”
If Iran were to respond to US-Israeli attacks in the form of targeted strikes on US military facilities in the Iraq and the Gulf States, the war would escalate to the entire region, in which case the US could retaliate in the form of “pre-emptive” nuclear attacks on Iran using bunker buster tactical nuclear war heads.
The most likely scenario is that Iran, in the logic of its own military planning, would indeed respond to the US sponsored attacks as well as deploy ground forces inside occupied Iraq.
Three strike groups including the Stennis, the Eisenhower and the Nimitz are being deployed in the Persian Gulf. According to Gulf News, “The Stennis strike group… is now strengthening a high level of US Navy presence in the Gulf. The Stennis and the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, already in the region, will soon be joined by the carrier Nimitz. (Gulf News, 21 Feb 2007). According to British military sources, the US navy can put six carriers into battle at a month’s notice.
Redeployment of US Troops
Confirmed by military sources, some 8500 of US troops are being redeployed from US military facilities in Germany and Italy to Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which border on Iran. One assumes that they are being dispatched to the Middle East war theater in the eventuality that the air strikes will lead into a ground war with Iran.
The Pentagon, contradicting its own statements, has dismissed as “ludicrous” the press reports that the US is planning an all out attack on Iran in the “near term”.
Meanwhile, Iran has launched a three days war games entitled Eghtedar or Grandeur. These exercises which involve naval, air and ground forces are larger than those conducted last Summer. They are slated to take place in 16 out of Iran’s 30 provinces. The stated objective is to establish a state of readiness to defend Iran in the eventuality of a US attack.
Vigilant Shield 07 War Games
The details of the Vigilant Shield 07 exercise scenario, is contained in a U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) briefing dated August 2006 (revealed by William Arkin in a WP article) .
The enemies are Irmingham [Iran], Nemazee [North Korea], Ruebek [Russia], Churya [China]
Complacency of Western Public Opinion
The complacency of Western public opinion (including the US anti-war movement) is disturbing. No concern has been expressed at the political level as to the likely consequences of these attacks, which could evolve towards a World War III scenario, with Russia and China siding with Iran.
With the exception of the Middle East, the war on Iran and the dangers of escalation are not considered “front page news.” All of which contributes to the real possibility that the war could be carried out, leading to the unthinkable: a nuclear holocaust over a large part of the Middle East. It should be noted that a nuclear nighmare would occur even if nuclear weapons are not used. The bombing of Iran’s nuclear facitlities using conventional weapons would contribute to unleashing a Chernobyl type disaster with extensive radioactive fallout.
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