December 7, 2011
The Guardian

War on Iran Has Already Begun

by Seumas Milne

For months the evidence has been growing that a US-Israeli stealth war against Iran has already begun, backed by Britain and France. Covert support for armed opposition groups has spread into a campaign of assassinations of Iranian scientists, cyber warfare, attacks on military and missile installations, and the killing of an Iranian general, among others.

The attacks are not directly acknowledged, but accompanied by intelligence-steered nods and winks as the media are fed a stream of hostile tales - the most outlandish so far being an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US - and the western powers ratchet up pressure for yet more sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme.

The British government's decision to take the lead in imposing sanctions on all Iranian banks and pressing for an EU boycott of Iranian oil triggered the trashing of its embassy in Tehran by demonstrators last week . . .


Gen. Wesley Clark, Commonwealth Club, October 3, 2007

Enver Masud, "Fact Check: IAEA Report on Iran's Nuclear Program," The Wisdom Fund, November 11, 2011

Mark Landler, "United States and Its Allies Expand Sanctions on Iran,", November 22, 2011

Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer, "The Real Lesson of Iraq,", November 28, 2011

Mahan Abedin, "Saboteurs flying under Iran radar,", November 30, 2011

[The U.S. is already cooperating with Israel on the development of a new version of the Stuxnet computer virus, which crippled the Iranian nuclear program's computers in 2010.--Philip Giraldi, "Proxy War With Iran,", December 1, 2011]

John Pilger, "Once Again, War is Prime Time and Journalism's Role is Taboo,", December 2, 2011

[We're fixated on the Iranian nuclear program while the Tehran regime has its eyes on the real prize: the balance of power in the Persian Gulf and the greater Middle East.--M J Rosenberg, "American Enterprise Institute Admits The Problem With Iran Is Not That It Would Use Nukes,", December 2, 2011]

[The 1996 Israeli document, which included prominent U.S. policy figures as authors, calls for "rolling back Syria" in 2000 or afterward. . . .

As a first step towards all this the 1996 document even calls for the removal of President Saddam Hussein from power in Baghdadand even alludes to the balkanization of Iraq and forging a strategic regional alliance against Damascus that includes a Sunni Muslim Arab "Central Iraq." The sectarian nature of this project is very obvious as are its ties to opposing a so-called "Shiite Crescent." The roadmap seeks to foment sectarian divisions as a means of conquering Syria and creating a Shiite-Sunni rift that will oppose Iran and keep the Arab monarchs in power.--Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, "Iran and the Strategic Encirclement of Syria and Lebanon,", December 2, 2011]

[And the build-up of hostilities has unnerving parallels with the case for war conjured by Blair and George Bush against Iraq. And the build-up of hostilities has unnerving parallels with the case for war conjured by Blair and George Bush against Iraq. We have another dodgy dossier, in the shape of the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which claims Iran is developing nuclear weapons but says so largely on the basis of intelligence which ends in 2003. It relies on documents on a laptop, found in 2004 by the Israelis, whose reliability prompted deep scepticism among Western intelligence at the time. The foreign scientist said to have worked on a bomb with the Iranians turned out to be a nanotechnologist. And a former IAEA chief inspector has said the type of explosion chamber referred to in the report could not be used in a nuclear test. . . .

And make no mistake, the war has begun. Virulent computer viruses disabled Iran's nuclear centrifuges last year. Two of the nation's leading nuclear physicists have been assassinated, and a third was wounded by assassins on motorbikes. The UK's decision to freeze $1.6bn of Iranian assets - which is what provoked the violence at the British embassy - was the fourth round of sanctions. Hawks like my military namesake talk openly of deploying unmanned drones against nuclear power stations and provoking an uprising against the government in Tehran.--Paul Vallely, "War on Iran has begun. And it is madness," Independent, December 4, 2011]

[The administration's evolving strategy includes expanded use of remote-controlled stealth aircraft, such as the one that came down in eastern Iran last week, as well as other covert efforts targeting Iran's nuclear program--Joby Warrick and Greg Miller, "Stealth drone highlights tougher U.S. strategy on Iran," Guardian, December 7, 2011]

[ . . . the US intends to use the military bases in Afghanistan as a springboard to invade eastern Iran if conflict erupts, . . . NATO is considering a "joint center" in the Persian Gulf region with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.--M K Bhadrakumar, "US outed, and far from drawn down,", December 13, 2011]

George Galloway, December 9, 2011: "Iran hasn't invaded another country in 300 years."

John Pilger, December 14, 2011: What Obama "didn't say is that since 1945 the US military has been directly responsible for the deaths of over 10 million people and that America has in that time overthrown 50 governments, including democracies, and intervened in at least 30 more."

David Lindorff, "Why Do They Hate Us?,", December 16, 2011

[In 2007, President Bush signed a separate finding on Iran's alleged nuclear-weapons program, authorizing covert attacks on facilities as well as the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. These killings were carried out by members of the Iranian Mujahedin e-Khalq (MEK), the separatist Jundallah, and the Kurdish PJAK, all acting on instructions from the CIA and the Israeli intelligence agency, the Mossad. The finding also reportedly directed U.S. intelligence agencies to work with the Israelis to develop a computer virus to disrupt Iran's UN-approved civilian nuclear program.--Tim Kelly, "Secret Wars and the Rule of Law,", December 21, 2011

[The new diplomacy has prompted new conversations between the United States and Israel over what the triggers - called "red lines" in diplomatic parlance - would be to justify a pre-emptive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.--Eli Lake, "U.S., Israel Discuss Triggers for Bombing Iran's Nuclear Infrastructure,", December 28, 2011]

[The AP story offers no indication of the nature of the evidence in the case except that former members of the 9/11 Commission and three Iranian defectors provided testimony. What it didn't say was that at least two of the Iranian defectors have long been dismissed by US intelligence as "fabricators" and that the two "expert witnesses" who were supposed to determine the credibility of those defectors' claims are both avowed advocates of crackpot conspiracy theories about Muslims and Shariah law who believe the United States is at war with Islam.--Gareth Porter, "Crackpot Anti-Islam Activists, 'Serial Fabricators,' and the Tale of Iran and 9/11,", December 31, 2011]

Gareth Porter, "Obama Seeks to Distance U.S. from Israeli Attack on Iran,", January 4, 2011

"War With Iran Could Ignite World War III," The Wisdom Fund, January 11, 2011

"Sunday Times: Mossad agents behind Iran scientist assasination,", January 16, 2012

[The group, the People's Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.--Richard Engel and Robert Windrem, "Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran's nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News," The NBC News, February 8, 2012]

Russia Today, February 14, 2012

"Bomb suspects 'were anti-Iran exiles',", February 19, 2012

[U.S. officials recently told NBC News that Israel has financed, trained, and armed MeK terrorists to carry out unprovoked attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists inside Iran.--John Glaser, "MeK Status on US Terror List Hinges on Relocation,", February 29, 2012]

["You can download the actual source code of Stuxnet now and you can repackage it...point it back to wherever it came from."--"Fmr. CIA head calls Stuxnet virus 'good idea,", March 1, 2012]

Richard Sale, "Israel's Assassins and Tehran's Killers," Truthout, March 3, 2012

[From the air, the terrain of the Department of Energy's Nevada National Security Site, with its arid high plains and remote mountain peaks, has the look of northwest Iran. . . .

It was here that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) conducted training, beginning in 2005, for members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a dissident Iranian opposition group known in the West as the M.E.K.

Five Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated since 2007. M.E.K. spokesmen have denied any involvement in the killings, but early last month NBC News quoted two senior Obama Administration officials as confirming that the attacks were carried out by M.E.K. units that were financed and trained by Mossad, the Israeli secret service.--Seymour M. Hersh, "Our Men In Iran?,", April 6, 2012]

[Overall, the attack destroyed nearly 1,000 of Iran's 6,000 centrifuges -- fast-spinning machines that enrich uranium, an essential step toward building an atomic bomb. The National Security Agency developed the cyberweapon with help of Israel. . . .

"Effectively the United States has gone to war with Iran and has chosen to do so in this manner because the effects can justify this means," said Rafal Rohozinski, a cyber-expert and principal of the SecDev Group--Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick, "Stuxnet was work of U.S. and Israeli experts, officials say,", June 2, 2012]

[The code could activate computer microphones and cameras, log keyboard strokes, take screen shots, extract geo­location data from images, and send and receive commands and data through Bluetooth wireless technology.--Ellen Nakashima, Greg Miller and Julie Tate, "U.S., Israel developed Flame computer virus to slow Iranian nuclear efforts, officials say,", June 19, 2012]

[When the Bush administration sought to justify its attack on Iraq in 2003 by accusing Saddam Hussein of being a sponsor of "international terrorism", one of its prime examples was Iraq's "sheltering" of the MEK.--Glenn Greenwald, "Five Lessons from the De-listing of MEK as a Terrorist Group: A separate justice system for American Muslims,", September 23, 2012]

[The campaign to bury the MEK's bloody history of bombings and assassinations that killed American businessmen, Iranian politicians and thousands of civilians, and to portray it as a loyal US ally against the Islamic government in Tehran has seen large sums of money directed at three principal targets: members of Congress, Washington lobby groups and influential former officials.--Chris McGreal, "MEK Decision: Multimillion-dollar Campaign Led to Removal from Terror List,", September 24, 2012]

"Iran 'fends off new Stuxnet cyber attack',", December 25, 2012

Pepe Escobar, "The Wahhabi-Likudnik war of terror,", November 20, 2013

Scott Peterson, "Covert war against Iran's nuclear scientists,", July 17, 2014

[Menendez's advocacy for the Mojahedin at the October hearing wasn't new, but it signaled that by 2013 the group had come full circle: from an outlaw terrorist outfit to a player on Capitol Hill. How that happened is a classic story of money, politics and the enduring appeal of exile groups promising regime change.--Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton, "Long March of the Yellow Jackets: How a One-Time Terrorist Group Prevailed on Capitol Hill,", February 26, 2015]

[Israeli agents had wanted to kill Iran's top nuclear scientist for years. Then they came up with a way to do it with no operatives present.--"The Scientist and the A.I.-Assisted, Remote-Control Killer Robot,", September 18, 2021]

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