News / Middle East

Massive Multinational Maneuvers Put Iran on Notice

In this Nov. 12, 2011 photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) transits the Straits of Hormuz.
In this Nov. 12, 2011 photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) transits the Straits of Hormuz.
Meredith Buel
The United States and more than 30 other countries have conducted the largest ever minesweeping exercise in the Persian Gulf -- where Iran is threatening to block the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The moves come as the U.S. and Israel are again warning that force could be used to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapons capability. 

The  multinational operation, led by the United States in the Gulf, was a very public notice to Iran, which has threatened to mine these waters, the corridor for a fifth of the world’s oil.

At the same time, Israel held its largest military drill in years as tension with Iran over its controversial nuclear program continues to rise.

Israeli officials say Iran is just months away from a nuclear-weapons capability.

"Shockingly some people have begun to peddle the absurd notion that a nuclear-armed Iran would actually stabilize the Middle East.  Yea right," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.  "That is like saying a nuclear-armed al-Qaida would usher in an era of universal peace."

Massive Multinational Maneuvers Put Iran on Noticei
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Meredith Buel
September 28, 2012 6:45 PM
The United States and more than 30 other countries have conducted the largest ever minesweeping exercise in the Persian Gulf -- where Iran is threatening to block the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The moves come as the U.S. and Israel are again warning that force could be used to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapons capability. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has details from Washington.

World powers suspect Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, although Tehran insists it wants nuclear technology for peaceful means.

“Fundamentally we do not take seriously the threats of the Zionists vis-à-vis an attack on Iran by them," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said during his speech before the U.N. General Assembly. "Even though Iran, at the end of the day, is a great country and let me assure you we do have all defensive means at our disposal and we are ready to defend ourselves.”

The U.S. is moving significant firepower to the Persian Gulf and is increasing the number of fighter planes that could strike deep into Iran. President Barack Obama says he favors diplomacy, but has not ruled out a military option.

“Make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained.  It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations and the stability of the global economy,” Obama said.

Sanctions on Iran’s oil industry are crippling the country’s economy, and its currency is collapsing.

But Iran continues to add centrifuges to its nuclear facilities, increasing its ability to enrich uranium.

Israel is demanding "red lines" be set that would spark military action.

Regional analyst Patrick Clawson disagrees.

“How would we know if Iran crossed any red line that we established?  If we have to wait until Iran tests a nuclear weapon to know, well it is too late to take preventive action,” Clawson noted.

Some analysts suggest it is time to offer Iran a comprehensive agreement in an effort to move the stalled negotiations forward. Such a move, they argue, is necessary to demonstrate that the West fully explored diplomatic options before using military force.

“The key to an effective course of diplomacy is offering a way out, " said Dennis Ross, a former top White House adviser on Iran, "but also making it very clear if you don’t take the way out what the consequences are likely to be.”

Those potential consequences can now be seen over the Persian Gulf off the coast of Iran.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: kxx from: uk
October 01, 2012 11:07 AM
Isn't it amazing that its going to take more than 30 countries to fight Iran........ No wonder the zionist regime of Israel dare not go it alone and keeps crying to its protector for support.
If the so called world powers of 30 plus makes the mistake of taking on Iran, then the consequences will be unimaginable. Iran fought an 8 year war with Iraq that was supported by the so called super powers and they could not defeat Iran then. Look at who is in control of Iraq now..... Good luck to those foolish enough to start the last war..... The warmongers Israel and USA think nothing of loss of lives; what is important to the is the huge revenues gained from sale of arms and their war production machines......

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