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MER - Mid-East Realities - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 23 October:

Even if the attack on Iran does not come before the fast-approaching American election -- less and less likely of course as the remaining days tick by -- both the Republicans and the Democrats have made it clear that their doctrine and policy is to do so soon, one way or another, unless the Iranians cave in and 'comply' to American-Israeli demands.

It should be further remembered that shortly before the U.S. invasion of Iraq no less a figure than Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon publicly said that right after Iraq the U.S. must deal with Iran.

Top political and military officials in Iran have already repeatedly issued their public warnings that if attacked they will respond massively and unpredictably. Very high-profile Iranian missiles tests have taken place recently. For the first time the Israelis have distributed anti-radiation pills to those living in the area of the Dimona Nuclear Reactor in Israel's southern Negev desert. And in Tehran the Defense Minister has even spoken of pre-emptively attacking American forces in the region -- a statement that clearly would not have been made in public if the situation were not thought to be extremely precarious.

Whether it is a Bush or Kerry initialing the final decision in the White House -- and whether this is done within days, weeks, or months -- both of the major American parties, as well as the Israelis, have made it quite clear they intend to either force the Iranians into submission or to use military force to remove potential nuclear 'weapons of mass destruction' from Iran.

Though few in the world may fully realize it, international society is now at a historic moment and the future, even a potential World War III, is in the balance. Hence the leaks coming from Washington from those trying to warn, and to prevent, what the top neocons and Israeli operatives are pushing hard to bring about. Hence last month's extremely unusual 'Israeli Spy Scandal' which had officials in the FBI charging people working on the Iranian attack in coordination with the Israeli-Jewish lobby with espionage for Israel. Hence, as this article by a former National Security Council operative suggests: "Intelligence circles report that both intelligence agencies (CIA and Pentagon) are in open revolt against the Bush White House." It appears to have been quickly written and then quickly internet published using LebanonWire in the Middle East.

A Bush pre-election strike on Iran 'imminent'

White House insider report "October Surprise" imminent

By Wayne Madsen*

20 October - Washington: According to White House and Washington Beltway insiders, the Bush administration, worried that it could lose the presidential election to Senator John F. Kerry, has initiated plans to launch a military strike on Iran's top Islamic leadership, its nuclear reactor at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf, and key nuclear targets throughout the country, including the main underground research site at Natanz in central Iran and another in Isfahan. Targets of the planned U.S. attack reportedly include mosques in Tehran, Qom, and Isfahan known by the U.S. to headquarter Iran's top mullahs.

The Iran attack plan was reportedly drawn up after internal polling indicated that if the Bush administration launched a so-called anti-terrorist attack on Iran some two weeks before the election, Bush would be assured of a landslide win against Kerry. Reports of a pre-emptive strike on Iran come amid concerns by a number of political observers that the Bush administration would concoct an "October Surprise" to influence the outcome of the presidential election.

According to White House sources, the USS John F. Kennedy was deployed to the Arabian Sea to coordinate the attack on Iran. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld discussed the Kennedy's role in the planned attack on Iran when he visited the ship in the Arabian Sea on October 9. Rumsfeld and defense ministers of U.S. coalition partners, including those of Albania, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Iraq, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Poland, Qatar, Romania, and Ukraine briefly discussed a very "top level" view of potential dual-track military operations in Iran and Iraq in a special "war room" set up on board the aircraft carrier. America's primary ally in Iraq, the United Kingdom, did not attend the planning session because it reportedly disagrees with a military strike on Iran. London also suspects the U.S. wants to move British troops from Basra in southern Iraq to the Baghdad area to help put down an expected surge in Sh'ia violence in Sadr City and other Sh'ia areas in central Iraq when the U.S. attacks Iran as well as clear the way for a U.S. military strike across the Iraqi-Iranian border aimed at securing the huge Iranian oil installations in Abadan. U.S. allies South Korea, Australia, Kuwait, Jordan, Italy, Netherlands, and Japan were also left out of the USS John F. Kennedy planning discussions because of their reported opposition to any strike on Iran.

In addition, Israel has been supplied by the United States with 500 "bunker buster" bombs. According to White House sources, the Israeli Air Force will attack Iran's nuclear facility at Bushehr with the U.S. bunker busters.The joint U.S.-Israeli pre-emptive military move against Iran reportedly was crafted by the same neo-conservative grouping in the Pentagon and Vice President Dick Cheney's office that engineered the invasion of Iraq.

Morale aboard the USS John F. Kennedy is at an all-time low, something that must be attributable to the knowledge that the ship will be involved in an extension of U.S. military actions in the Persian Gulf region. The Commanding Officer of an F-14 Tomcat squadron was relieved of command for a reported shore leave "indiscretion" in Dubai and two months ago the Kennedy's commanding officer was relieved for cause.

The White House leak about the planned attack on Iran was hastened by concerns that Russian technicians present at Bushehr could be killed in an attack, thus resulting in a wider nuclear confrontation between Washington and Moscow. International Atomic Energy Agency representatives are also present at the Bushehr facility. In addition, an immediate Iranian Shahab ballistic missile attack against Israel would also further destabilize the Middle East. The White House leaks about the pre-emptive strike may have been prompted by warnings from the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency that an attack on Iran will escalate out of control. Intelligence circles report that both intelligence agencies are in open revolt against the Bush White House.

White House sources also claimed they are "terrified" that Bush wants to start a dangerous war with Iran prior to the election and fear that such a move will trigger dire consequences for the entire world.

* Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He served in the National Security Council (NSA) during the Reagan Administration and wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth. He is the co-author, with john Stanton of "America's Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II." His forthcoming book is titled: "jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops, and Brass Plates."


Iran Rejects EU Nuclear Proposal, Wants More Talks
By Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN (Reuters Sun Oct 24, 8:03 AM ET) - Iran Sunday rejected a European Union proposal that it scrap uranium enrichment in return for nuclear technology, increasing the likelihood it will be reported to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

Reuters Photo

AP Photo Photo
AP Photo
Slideshow Slideshow: Iran Nuclear Issues

But Tehran said it was still interested in reaching a deal to ease international concerns about its nuclear program after further negotiations with the EU.

"The EU proposal is unbalanced ... an indefinite uranium (enrichment) suspension is unacceptable for Iran," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a news conference.

Diplomats had said if Iran rejected the proposal drafted by Britain, Germany and France, most EU countries would back a U.S. demand that Tehran be reported to the Security Council when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meets on Nov. 25.

Hossein Mousavian, one of Iran's top negotiators on the nuclear issue, acknowledged that was a possibility. "Iran has fully prepared itself for the possible consequences," he told Reuters.

The EU trio want Iran to halt uranium enrichment since it can be used to make nuclear bomb material. Iran says it wants to make the fuel for nuclear power stations and should be allowed to enrich uranium under close U.N. supervision.

Asefi said Iran expected the EU trio to sweeten its offer. A second round of talks is due to take place in Vienna this week.

"We view the European offer as a preliminary proposal, not a final one," he said. "Negotiations will continue Wednesday. We will have our own suggestions and we will study the Europeans' proposal and will give the Europeans the results."


Diplomats said Iran's negotiating tactics may be an attempt to buy more time or squeeze more concessions from the Europeans.

"But they're in grave danger of miscalculating how resolved we are this time," said a European diplomat.

Diplomats say Washington has low expectations and limited patience regarding the EU-Iran talks. It thinks Iran is hiding a nuclear arms drive and must be reported to the Security Council.

Even before Asefi's comments, diplomats and analysts had expressed doubts that Iran would accept the EU trio's proposal.

"They're quite confident right now," said political analyst Mahmoud Alinejad. "They think that even if they are referred to the Security Council it will not be that serious in that there won't be an embargo on Iran's oil or anything really damaging."

Iran feels it can rely on permanent Security Council members Russia and China to veto any tough proposals against Tehran.

One European diplomat familiar with the EU trio's proposal said it contained little to attract Iran.

In return for giving up uranium enrichment the Europeans would guarantee a supply of reactor fuel and help Iran build a light-water power reactor. The Europeans also pledged to resume talks on a trade deal, cooperate on terrorism and drug trafficking and explore joint investment opportunities.

"The carrots are too vague and the Iranians are mistrustful of the guarantees. They won't be very interested but it may be enough to start a process of negotiations," the diplomat said.

Mousavian expressed confidence a deal would be reached before the next IAEA meeting, averting referral to the Security Council.

"The important thing is that Iran and Europe reach a general agreement before the November meeting," he told state television. "They can then discuss the details."

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