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Black Sea Crisis Deepens As Threat To Iran Grows

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The main Iranian nuclear reactor is being constructed at Bushehr and would be a main target of any U.S. and Israeli bombing and missile attacks. As of 2006 there were 3,700 Russian experts and technicians - and their families - living in the environs of the facility.

It has been assumed for the past eight years that a military attack on Iran would be launched by the United States from aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf and by long-range Israeli bombers flying over Iraq and Turkey.

During that period the U.S. and its NATO allies have also acquired access to airbases in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan (in Baluchistan, bordering Iran), Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in addition to those they already have in Turkey.

Washington and Brussels have also expanded their military presence into Bulgaria, Georgia and Romania on the Black Sea and into Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea bordering northeastern Iran.

Plans for massive military aggression against Iran, then, might include air and missile strikes from locations much nearer the nation than previously suspected.

The American Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced plans last week to supply Turkey, the only NATO member state bordering Iran, with almost $8 billion dollars worth of theater interceptor missiles, of the upgraded and longer-range PAC-3 (Patriot Advance Capability-3) model. The project includes delivering almost 300 Patriots for deployment at twelve command posts inside Turkey.

In June the Turkish government confirmed that NATO AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) planes would be deployed in its Konya province.

The last time AWACS and Patriot missiles were sent to Turkey was in late 2002 and early 2003 in preparation for the invasion of Iraq.

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On September 15 the newspaper of the U.S. armed forces, Stars and Stripes, ran an article titled "U.S., Israeli forces to test missile defense while Iran simmers," which included these details on the biannual Juniper Cobra war games:

"Some 1,000 U.S. European Command troops will soon deploy to Israel for a large-scale missile defense exercise with Israeli forces.

"This year's Juniper Cobra comes at a time of continued concern about Iran's nuclear program, which will be the subject of talks in October.

"The U.S. troops, from all four branches of service, will work alongside an equal number of Israel Defense Force personnel, taking part in computer-simulated war games....Juniper Cobra will test a variety of air and missile defense technology during next month's exercise, including the U.S.-controlled X-Band." [15]

The same feature documented that this month's exercise is the culmination of months of buildup.

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"In April, about 100 Europe-based personnel took part in a missile defense exercise that for the first time incorporated a U.S.-owned radar system, which was deployed to the country in October 2008. The U.S. X-Band radar is intended to give Israel early warning in the event of a missile launch from Iran.

"For nearly a year, a mix of troops and U.S. Defense Department contractors have been managing the day-to-day operation of the X-Band, which is situated at Nevatim air base in the Negev Desert." [16]

The same publication revealed two days earlier that the Pentagon conducted a large-scale counterinsurgency exercise with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade last week in Germany, "the largest such exercise ever held by the U.S. military outside of the United States...." [17] The two units are scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq, respectively, but could be diverted to Iran, which has borders with both nations, should need arise.

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/

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are outrageous. It's Bush and his neocons all over... by Archie on Monday, Sep 21, 2009 at 7:44:58 PM
..., no doubt, to Netanyahoo's secret "Visit" to R... by Bia Winter on Tuesday, Sep 22, 2009 at 8:39:11 AM
the US and Israel. There is no justification for ... by Elizabeth Molchany on Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009 at 5:57:19 AM
I agree. Israel and the US are the leading terrori... by eileen kuch on Monday, Sep 28, 2009 at 11:40:42 PM
Damn. I thought after Bush was gone I wouldn't hav... by Jason Racette on Monday, Sep 28, 2009 at 5:12:05 PM