December 26, 2011
CBS News predicts Israel will attack Iran this year and the U.S. will participate.
National Security Correspondent David Martin:
“If Iran doesn’t blink Israel will strike… Go after its nuclear facilities, if Iran doesn’t blink… [The U.S. will] have no choice but to support Israel. And depending on what the evidence is at that time they might even want to take part in that raid, it depends on what kind of intelligence they have about that decision that Iran has to make about whether to really build a bomb and go beyond putting all the pieces in place, which is what it’s doing now.”
On Saturday, Iran began a 10-day drill in international waters near the strategic oil route that passes through the Strait of Hormuz. The exercise is dubbed “Velayat 90″ and will likely be conducted in proximity to U.S. naval ships.
“To show off its might, the navy needs to be present in international waters. It’s necessary to demonstrate the navy’s defense capabilities,” Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said at a press conference last week.
Prior to the announcement of the drill, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that “if the region faced a war-like situation, then everything would then become war-like.”
On Saturday, Iran reported that helicopter had been warned to stay away from the exercise. “Yesterday, a chopper which belonged to the trans-regional countries tried to approach the region of Velayat 90 exercises, but it left the area when it received a serious warning after it ignored two other warning signals of our units,” Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy Admiral Seyed Mahmoud Moussavi told the Fars News Agency.
In addition to flexing its military muscle, Iran is bragging about its warfare technology. “Iran is in a unique position in all areas, including manufacture of unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, as well as defense and assault airplanes. Iran has also made great progress in electronic warfare technology, aviation industries and missile technology,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi told IRNA, the Iranian state news agency.
Vahidi also praised the capture of the RQ-170 Sentinel, a sophisticated U.S. surveillance drone.
The capture of the spy aircraft, the imposition of new sanctions, and the withdrawal of British diplomats following a protest and storming of the British embassy in Tehran have resulted in escalated tensions in Iran and the Persian Gulf.
In late November, Israel appeared to be readying military hardware for an invasion and Iran’s promised response.
Earlier in the month, Britain’s armed forces stepped up their contingency planning for potential military action. British military planners examined where best to deploy Royal Navy ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles over the coming months as part of what would be an air- and sea-launched campaign, The Guardian reported.
Last week the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said that the United States can successfully attack Iran, if necessary. His biggest worry is that Iran will “miscalculate our resolve,” according to Israel National News.