Saturday, March 31, 2007

Russian media reports imminent US strike on Iran

Brits in the Gulf and a Doctored British Map? - UPDATED
Compiled by Daily Star staff
Friday, March 30, 2007

Russia told the United States on Thursday it must take care not to aggravate tensions over Iran with its naval presence in the Gulf, amid Russian press reports of an imminent US strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. The US Navy has this week been conducting its biggest exercises in Gulf waters for four years. The Pentagon said the war games were brought forward because of mounting tensions between Iran and Western states.

"The Persian Gulf is today in such an agitated state that any action in this region, especially one that involves the navy or other military forces, must take into account the need not to aggravate the situation even further," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.

Al-Arabiyya reported on its Web site on Thursday that the Bush administration is preparing to launch a military operation, dubbed "The Sting," to strike 20 Iranian nuclear plants, disabling Iran's atomic program for at least five to seven years.

"The Unites States will launch a military operation ... on Iran starting 4 a.m. of April 6 till 4 p.m.," Al-Arabiyya said, quoting Russia's RIA-Novosti news agency.

The report said the operation will target "the hidden part of the nuclear program," launching missile strikes from warplanes and gunships, RIA-Novosti said, adding that the operation will not attack the Bushehr nuclear plant being built by Russia.

RIA-Novosti quoted an unidentified "high-ranking security official" as saying the military games could be more than flexing muscles.

"The latest military intelligence data points to heightened US military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran," the official said. - Reuters, The Daily Star

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