This is starting to sound depressingly familiar

#1
link

LONDON - British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Thursday he would support referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council if it breaches its nuclear obligations, sending a strong warning as Tehran threatened to resume a program that officials fear could result in an atomic bomb.


Iran has said it is planning to conduct some uranium reprocessing activities, sparking sensitive diplomatic negotiations with Britain, France and Germany.

"Let's wait and see what actually happens. But we certainly will support referral to the U.N. Security Council if Iran breaches its undertakings and obligations," Blair told his first news conference since his Labour Party won a historic third term.

"Nobody is talking about invasions of Iran or military action against Iran," Blair said when a reporter noted that President Bush has refused to rule out military strikes. "We have to make sure that this diplomatic process works, and we will fight very hard to do that."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Thursday that the Bush administration "continues to support the efforts by the Europeans to resolve this matter and to make sure there's an objective guarantee in place."

Still, "Iran needs to abide by its international obligations," he said.

The United States has long pushed for Iran to be referred to the Security Council, which has the power to introduce tough economic sanctions.

Britain, France and Germany, acting on behalf of the 25-nation European Union, want Tehran to abandon its enrichment activities in exchange for economic aid, technical support and backing for Iran's efforts to join mainstream international organizations.

Tehran insists the program — kept secret for two decades — is only for peaceful energy purposes and is reserving the right to restart uranium enrichment activities, which it froze in November. The off-and-on talks, which began last year, have failed to find common ground.

Hasan Rowhani, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, said Thursday that Tehran could not continue with them.

"Continuation of negotiations in their present format is not possible for us," Rowhani told state-run television. "The basic point that the Islamic Republic of Iran will resume part of its nuclear activities in the near future is definite," Rowhani said.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, said his country was opposed to nuclear weapons but would not be "bullied" by the West into giving up its nuclear capabilities, according to state-run TV.

But French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier urged Tehran not to lift the suspension. "We continue to hope that Iran will not make this gesture of which it knows the consequences," he told the Senate in Paris.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the Europeans would seek an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. watchdog monitoring Iran's nuclear activities, if Tehran resumed its program.

The Europeans have resisted referring Iran to the Security Council, but have taken a stronger line in recent days. The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany wrote to Rowhani on Wednesday warning that resuming such activities would "bring the negotiating process to an end," a European diplomat in London said.

"The consequences could only be negative for Iran," said their letter, which was first reported in The Washington Post.

Iranian officials have indicated that they will resume uranium reprocessing work at the Isfahan Nuclear Conversion Facility in central Iran. The facility converts uranium ore concentrate, known as yellowcake, into uranium gas, the feedstock for enrichment. Uranium enriched to low levels can be used as fuel in nuclear reactors to generate electricity, but further enrichment makes it suitable for a nuclear bomb.

European diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they expected Iran formally to notify the IAEA that it intends to break the seals on conversion equipment in Isfahan. If that happens, the Europeans will ask for an emergency session of the IAEA's 35-nation board.

The diplomats said a likely scenario would involve board nations giving Iran a two- to three-week deadline to change its mind. If it refused, the next board meeting — probably in June — might refer the case to Security Council. A British official in London said the European were consulting closely with the United States on a common course of action.
 
#2
Not quite the same Biscuits. The Iranians are bragging about WMD, not denying them. Will make the invasion so much simpler...
 
#3
Not having any WMD didn't help Saddam....does that mean that having some may be a deterrent?!? It works for North Korea, Pakistan, China, the US...
 
#4
Iran haven't got them yet though.
 
#5
Did a bit of training the Iraqi border guards on telic 5 . Well if we have to go into Iran from Iraq you can get lost . Iran has all the high ground , and they could fire mission to there hearts content . Sod that for a game of soldiers . There is only so much air power can do .
The Iranians have eyes on all along the border from the Shatt al arab all the way north to the mountains , they have yank kit and seem well drilled . No doubt uk/us would prevail but there would be a sh"it load of body bags at Brize .
 
#6
Air power alone could make a hell of mess of the nuclear program.

Of course what happens at said border afterwards is anyone's guess.
 
#7
Yes the US air force and navy could play havok with Irans infrastructure.
Would Iran invade ? US airpowe would once again be on its home playground, enemy troops out in the open. I know some armies have fought without air support but I doubt if the Iranian army has the knowledge to do so.
john
 
#8
Sadly air power and all its wonderous bangs and whizzes is not always the answer, especially in this era of 24hr media coverage (remember the airstrike on the bunker in GW1 and all those dead women and kids! I would say that the iranians would not be shy of placing human shields around some of the complexes). Whilst an airstrike may take out / damage some or all of iran's sites, you can bet your bank balance that they will have secondary / tertiary locations and infrastructure set up for just such an outcome.

also i wouldn't be too hasty about writing of the iranian armed forces - they do seem to be quite capable and certainly appear to be better led and motivated than the iraqis were in the last 2 outings.

One thing is certain - if the security council do go down the road of an armed response, there will be a requirement for more boots on the ground in Iraq, not less.
 
#9
Line_Grunt said:
One thing is certain - if the security council do go down the road of an armed response, there will be a requirement for more boots on the ground in Iraq, not less.
which is going to be a major problem, considering the numbers we have.
US a bigger country is also having manning problems.
somewhere along the line elastics will be going "Twang" , if Bliar and Bush want to go down that road, recruitment will have to start NOW to train the troops in time for the next stage, i m not holding my breath on that one.
 
#10
Just a thought, but invading Iraq was easy - as the soldiers were defending a regime that they were not content with, therefore it was in their best interest to run away.

Iran - you are invading someone's country that they are proud of, and they would defend it with every drop of their blood, and preferably, lots more of yours! It would not be a walk in the park.
 
#11
T Bliars arrogance, now he has a third term, knows no boundaries. He will follow GB anywhere. This time I reckon, if he does follow, will be his downfall. He has only 67 MPs more than the other parties......and there are a lot of pisshed off back bench labour MPs :?
 
#12
On the tactical side , where would we go into Iran from ? A tough one . Iraq would be a nightmare , all those pro Iranian Shia's in the south , and the ground would make it very hard work .
 
#13
jonwilly said:
Yes the US air force and navy could play havok with Irans infrastructure.
Would Iran invade ? US airpowe would once again be on its home playground, enemy troops out in the open. I know some armies have fought without air support but I doubt if the Iranian army has the knowledge to do so.
john
I remeber hearing a "Joke" that makes a good point about this.

Two Russian Battalion comanders meet in paris after WWIII. One ask's the other:
"So, remind me again, who won the air war?"
 
#14
Not only do the Iranians have a large number of soldiers, some of them (the Republican Guard) fanatical about the country and their religion, and some good kit, including F14s, Migs and Sukhois, ex-RN corvettes and 3 ex-Russian "Kilo" subs, they have also got a good supply of mines and anti-ship missiles in a series of mobile and hardened launch sites all along their Gulf coast.

Although the US and UK could do a very good job of obliterating them, there is a very serious risk that Tehran, if they were attacked or felt threatened, could sink a couple of major tankers in the Straits of Hormuz (something that they have threatened to do in the past). With the Straits being only a couple of miles wide, this would virtually halt the maritime shipping of oil and gas down the Persian Gulf.

Question:- Does this possibility enhance Iranian security against physical attack, given that GWB can't guarantee that they destroy every anti-ship capability at once, or does it scare the US so much that they will take the risk?
 
#15
I'm with Recce-Cpl and CarpeDiem on this one........we spent most of telic 2 and 3 watching a very large group of iranians just itching to get into the iraqi marsh lands.....and they weren't ****ing about in a couple of Morris Minors either

Its no mistake that 90% of the T55 and T72 hulks in Basra faced 'east' and not west !

(I'll get out before I go to Iran...but if i'm going to go, I want Uncle Tony to be walking infront of me)
 
#16
Military force against Iran is highly unlikely:

Air power is not always successful - camouflage and concealment in Kosovo, and the difficulty of post-strike recce.

The massive increase in insurgency following any airstrike.

No land invasion - the toybox is empty.

No land invasion - the Spams will never re-introduce a draft because the economic damage would be tremendous and conscript forces are of limited use.

No land invasion - too big and too hard!

I'm writing to the Dear Leader to tell him I'm not playing in any of "his" wars! :twisted:
 
#17
I am with you all on this one , I am sure Tony Blair is not that Stupid as to Have a pop at Iran if the usa want us to join them . Of course we go where we are told , but Iran , ummmm , I will have 10000 units of PAX please pay office . There f-14's are all 'VOR' (no spares since 79) but they still pack a bigger punch than the Jacki iraq's .
 
#18
Although I agree with recce-cpl that most of the Iranians' kit is old and reports are that a lot of it doesn't work (why does that suddenly remind of our forces?!), we know that what does work, works well. Looking through a breakdown of their known assets is not designed to make someone happy at the prospect of starting a scrap with them!

If anyone is interested, there is quite a good discussion of Iranian capability at

http://www.csis.org/features/0407_IransMilForces.pdf
 
#19
There are still F-14's flying . Not sure how they are doing it , but they are flying. I can only presume that they've changed powerplants , or Iranian Aerospace is a lot better than anyone thinks. They have certainly kept their F-5 fleet operational too.

Cordesman makes a lot of assumptions in his analysis, and I can already see one or two glaring errors.

Iranian Dependence on Decaying Western Supplied Major Weapons
Military Service Weapon Quantity Comments
Type
Land Forces
Chieftain tank 140-200 Worn, under-armored, underarmed, and underpowered. Fire control
and sighting system now obsolete. Cooling problems.
M-47/M-48 150 Worn, under-armored, underarmed, and underpowered. Fire control
and sighting system now obsolete.
M-60A1 150-160 Worn, under-armored, underarmed, and underpowered. Fire control
and sighting system now obsolete.
Scorpion AFV 70-80 Worn, light armor, underarmed, and underpowered.
M-114s 70-80 Worn, light armor, underarmed, and underpowered
M-109 155 mm SP 150-160 Worn, fire control system now obsolete. Growing reliability problems
due to lack of updates and parts.
M-107 175 mm SP 20-30 Worn, fire control system now obsolete. Growing reliability problems
due to lack of parts.
M-110 203 mm SP 25-30 Worn, fire control system now obsolete. Growing reliability problems
due to lack of parts.
AH-1J Attack heli. 50 Worn, avionics and weapons suite now obsolete. Growing reliability
problems due to lack of updates and parts.
CH-47 Trans. heli. 20-25 Worn, avionics now obsolete. Growing reliability problems due to
lack of updates and parts.
Bell, Hughes, Boeing,
Augusta, Sikorsky
helicopters 145-185 Worn, Growing reliability problems due to lack of updates and parts.
Air Force
F-4D/E FGA 35-65 Worn, avionics now obsolete. Critical problems due to lack of
updates and parts.
F-5E/F FGA 50-60 Worn, avionics now obsolete. Serious problems due to lack of
updates and parts.
F-5A/B 10-20 Worn, avionics now obsolete. Serious problems due to lack of
updates and parts.
RF-4E 5-6 Worn, avionics now obsolete. Serious problems due to lack of
updates and parts.
RF-5E 0-5 Worn, avionics now obsolete. Serious problems due to lack of
updates and parts. (May be in storage)
F-14 AWX 25 Worn, avionics now obsolete. Critical problems due to lack of
updates and parts. Cannot operate some radars at long ranges.
Phoenix missile capability cannot be used.
P-3F MPA 5 Worn, avionics and sensors now obsolete. Many sensors and
weapons cannot be used. Critical problems due to lack of updates and
parts.
Key PGMs - Remaining Mavericks, Aim-7s, Aim-9s, Aim-54s are all long past
rated shelf life. Many or most are unreliable or inoperable.
I-Hawk SAM 150 Worn, electronics, software, and some aspects of sensors now
obsolete. Critical problems due to lack of updates and parts.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved.
 
#20
Saw the iran/iraq conflict zone on telic three think ww1 with palm trees
enough uxo to keep eod busy for years and thats just in sight of the road
The Iranians arent under a brutal dictator will know they are being attacked
only cos bush wants their oil .Not only should we stay out weshould have a plan to runaway from basra and shaibah if it kicks off sharpish .Unless anyone want to tangle with a column of t55 in a desert snatch :lol:
 

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