It's stated that one of the sources of this story is a German journalist, Udo Ulfkotte, supposedly with a pipeline into the German secret intelligence service.
Ulfkotte allegedly "in his previous reporting got too close to sources at Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND. But Ulfkotte has himself noted that he has been under investigation by the government in the past (indeed, his home and offices have been searched multiple times) for allegations that he published state secrets -- a charge that he claims would underscore rather than undermine the veracity of his work.
Also, "the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Pakistan have been informed in recent weeks of Washington's military plans. The countries, apparently, were told that air strikes were a 'possible option,' but they were given no specific timeframe for the operations."
"The German wire service [DDP] also quotes a high-ranking German military official saying: 'I would be very surprised if the Americans, in the mid-term, didn't take advantage of the opportunity delivered by Tehran. The Americans have to attack Iran before the country can develop nuclear weapons. After that would be too late.'"
The German news agency DDP cited "Western security sources" to claim that CIA Director Porter Goss asked Turkey's premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide political and logistic support for air strikes against Iranian nuclear and military targets. Goss, who visited Ankara and met Erdogan on Dec. 12, was also reported to have to have asked for special cooperation from Turkish intelligence to help prepare and monitor the operation.
The Turks would have to get something big in return to persuade them to play, after their failure to support an invasion of northern Iraq. Perhaps some sanctioned Kurd-bashing and the possibility of EU membership...
Why not launch such strikes from a carrier, or from the large military garrison next door to the west? Not very PC perhaps!
TEHRAN (Reuters) - A Russian proposal to form a joint venture with Iran to enrich uranium on Russian soil deprives Tehran of its nuclear rights and is unacceptable, Iran's hardline media said on Saturday.
US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee):
Although we should continue IAEA talks with Iran -- a process that has given us insights into its nuclear program -- we need to explore other measures. In particular, we should ask allies who trade with Iran to join a sanctions campaign against Tehran.
If we let Tehran develop nuclear weapons covertly while IAEA negotiations slog forward, Iran's theocrats will have little reason to negotiate with anyone. The United States needs to act before a regime that has denied the real Holocaust unleashes another.
I have been reading a lot of assements recently of the new Iranian President, the most telling of which is that he almost identical in world veiwpoint / religious belief / motivation to George W, he too has packed his immediate circle with idealogues. This could be quite a showdown especialy as both parties show a reckless unpredictability
I'm just glad that all the expertise is here on ARRSE, otherwise I'd have to watch the news and form my own opinions. As I'm not a world leader (yet) I'll wait until Ladbrokes start offering odds before telling everyone who is going to start a fight.
Happy New year All
P.S. If one more firework goes off tonight waking my daughter I WILL BE starting a fight.