Saturday: State Dept. denies that Iran is building missile bases in Venezuela.
Sunday: Qiyam 1 missile in mass-production.
The temperature has just increased by several degrees in the Iranian hostility toward the U.S. yet there is no national discussion of it. There are many fast-moving Iranian developments, all of which involve a looming crisis for Israel, the U.S., and the West.
Iran’s heavy hand, along with the Muslim Brotherhood, has been guiding much of the so-called “Arab Spring” unrest. Iran and Syria’s involvements in missile bases in Venezuela, reported the past week, may be setting up an eventual “Cuban missile crisis” scenario in South America.
For now, a third aircraft carrier group is setting up in the Mediterranean region:
“According to the latest Naval update, not only are there now two aircraft carriers situated at the Straits of Hormuz, but a third one, CVN 77 G.H.W. Bush, is under way on a deployment to the 5th and 6th fleet AORs.”
Increased tensions within Iran, 30 “spies for U.S.” rounded up
There are many reasons why a “heightened” presence is necessary:
Within the past week, Die Welt newspaper of Germany reported in great detail that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has given Iran permission to begin building missile launch pads in far north Peninsula de Paraguana in Venezuela. [see also Venezuelan Analysis]
Update: Saturday: The U.S. state department says such construction, if true, could inspire a military “crisis” in the region. Indeed. The U.S. and Venezuela has just DENIED reports of any Venezuelan/Iranian agreement to build missile silos in South America.
It has been known for a few years that undocumented flights have been ferrying missile materials and personnel between Caracas, Damascus and Tehran, yet nothing has been done to stop them. Israel has recently seized Iranian weapons and supplies from a ship bound for Syria.
Jed Babbin connected the dots in December, describing the byzantine relationships in South America which may soon cause a crisis for Israel.
There has been an odd rift in the past month between Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Islamic ruling cleric Ayatollah Khomeini. The latest indicator: Ahmadinejad did not give the “official” reaction to President Obama’s speech on Israel/Palestinian borders, the nuclear energy negotiator did. Last week, president Ahmadinejad was publicly remonstrated by the regime for “unlawfully” attempting to represent Iran in OPEC oil cartel meetings.
Today, Iran announced 30 “spies for the United States” have been arrested. Espionage can carry a death penalty.
In a statement released on Saturday, the Intelligence Ministry said it could disband a “complex sabotage and espionage network affiliated to the US spy agency (CIA) following a series of extensive intelligence and counter-espionage measures and operations inside and outside Iran”.
The statement further pointed out that senior CIA agents had created a number of nodes for this network in different world countries, and said these centers “which worked in disguise deceived Iranian citizens under different pretexts like job associations and educational centers to collect information and intelligence on Iran”.
“The network used a wide range of data bases and US embassies and consulates in several countries, specially in the UAE, Malaysia and Turkey, to collect information on Iran’s scientific, research and academic centers in areas of nuclear energy, air and defense industries and biotechnology,” the Iranian Intelligence Ministry said.
The statement further pointed out that the US spy network also collected information on Iran’s oil and gas pipelines, power and telecommunication grids, airports, customs departments, network security and banks for future sabotage operations.
“The skillful and faithful forces of the Intelligence Ministry have arrested a number of 30 American spies in their strong confrontation with the CIA agents,” the statement said
The Intelligence Ministry also stated that it has succeeded in feeding misinformation to the CIA through a number of double-agents.
“Hence, not only was the CIA’s heavy aggressive operation defused, but a number of 42 CIA field officers and operatives in different countries were identified by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry,” it added.
Al Arabiya’s account of the arrests leaves a nagging question: Did WikiLeaks “out” these operatives?
“Spying in Iran usually carries the death penalty, often implemented without a full trial.
Washington has had no diplomatic presence in Iran since the 1979 theocratic revolution that deposed the US-backed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, and was followed by the occupation of the US embassy for 444 days.
Diplomatic cables published by the WikiLeaks Website showed the United States operated information-gathering desks on Iran in neighboring countries where diplomats would seek to glean intelligence from travelling Iranians.”
All this occurs as 9/11 families in New York are making new blockbuster allegations. They have filed evidence under seal that claims Iran was involved in the planning of the 9/11 attacks. [read also at NY TIMES]
“There is ‘clear and convincing’ evidence for damages and a federal judge should find Iran culpable in the terror attacks, according to papers filed in Manhattan, New York.
Three defectors from Iran’s intelligence service testified they worked in positions giving them access to sensitive information about Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism, the lawyers said.
The testimony supports a claim that Iranian officials had advanced word of the attacks and that Iran helped train those who carried it out, they allege.
Iran has not responded to the lawsuit – first filed in Washington D.C. and transferred to New York.
The Shiite regime in Iran and Sunni group Al Qaeda are natural enemies, though they have had a relationship of convenience based on their shared hatred of the U.S.
The lawyers said Iran and ‘its proxy terrorist organization’, the Lebanese group Hezbollah, entered into a terrorist alliance with Al Qaeda in the early 1990s.
This continued throughout the preparations for the 2001 attacks, they allege.
They said Iran and Hezbollah gave material support to Al Qaeda after the attacks by helping some of the terrorist group’s leaders and their families escape from the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.
The lawyers are filing videotaped testimony under seal which show three defectors from Iran’s intelligence service ‘circumstantially and directly’ implicate Iran and Hezbollah in 9/11.
Iran and Hezbollah had ‘foreknowledge of, and complicity in, the overall design of, and preparations for, the 9/11 attacks, involving, but not limited to, facilitation of the hijackers’ international travel, training and through Iran provision of safe haven for Al Qaeda after the attacks,’ the lawyers wrote.
They said the unidentified witnesses also provided testimony revealing that then-senior Hezbollah operative Imad Mughniyah had an integral role in the Iran-Hezbollah-Al Qaeda terror alliance.
One of the witnesses testified that Iran anticipated a retaliatory strike against Iran if its role in the 9/11 attacks was discovered. Mughniyah died in a car bombing in 2008.
The lawyers said it was necessary to file the testimony under seal because the witnesses have reason to fear for the safety of themselves and their families if the testimony became public.”
This is a summary from a few days ago of US/Iranian tensions: