Consider the following recent developments:
U.S.-Israeli War Game in Persian Gulf
On Friday, the U.S. and Israel announced they plan a massive military exercise in the Persian Gulf in an attempt to confront Iran. The exercise, dubbed “Austere Challenge 12,” will include the participation of thousands of U.S. and Israeli soldiers and will test multiple air defense systems against incoming missiles and rockets. On January 2, during its last military exercise, Iran tested its Qader missile, a long-range sea-to-shore missile, and the surface-to-surface Nour missile. The Nour is an “advanced radar-evading, target-seeking, guided and controlled missile and can easily find its target and destroy it,” IRNA reported, quoting 2nd Adm. Seyed Mahmoud Musavi.
Iran Announces New War Game
Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, naval commander for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said on Friday Iran will conduct a second military exercise in the Persian Gulf in February. He said the drill would be “different compared to previous exercises held by the IRGC” but provided no additional details. Iran also launched a military maneuver near its border with Afghanistan on Saturday. Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ ground forces, said the “Martyrs of Unity” exercises are “aimed at boosting security along the Iranian borders,” Fars reported.
British Warships Sent
On Saturday, the British Royal Navy annoucned it is sending its most advanced warship to the Persian Gulf. The HMS Daring is a Type 45 destroyer that has the world’s most sophisticated naval radar. Earlier in the week, British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond warned Iran against blocking the strait after Iran said it would take action if the United States sailed an aircraft carrier through the waterway following an Iranian 10-day military exercise designed to demonstrate its ability to close down the strategic oil passage.
French and Russian Warships Off Syria
The Israeli intelligence asset DEBKAfile reports today that the Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov anchored at Syria’s Tartus port on the Mediterranean on Sunday and arrived with the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and frigate Yaroslav Mudry. “To counter this movement, France consigned an air defense destroyer Forbin to the waters off Tartus,” DEBKAfile claims. Reflecting Israel’s propaganda line on Iran and Syria, DEBKAfile claims that its “military sources report the constant escalation of military tension around Iran and Syria in recent days as not just stemming from the rapid advances Iran is making toward production of a nuclear weapon, but from fears in the West and Israel that Tehran and Damascus are in step over their military plans for the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean sectors.”
Ron Paul: Sanctions First Step Toward War