Modafean Aseman Velayat 3

Iran is at it again, attempting to deter an attack on its nuclear facilities by putting its ancient and pathetic air defenses on display.

Iran begins air defense drills: report

The Iranian Army launched its biggest nationwide air defense drill to prepare against any possible attacks “on public or nuclear sites,” the local satellite Press TV reported on Tuesday.

Arial defense units from the Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) are taking part in the three-stage five-day defense maneuvers dubbed “Modafean Aseman Velayat 3,” (the Guardians of Islamic Skies), the report said.

The nationwide air maneuvers, which kicked off early Tuesday, were held near Iran’s “nuclear and vital landmarks” and include tests of long-range anti-air missiles, according to the report.

The drills aim to enhance response capabilities in countering threats against the county’s populated, vital, strategic and nuclear landmarks.

The Commander of Iran’s Khatamolanbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Ahmad Miqani said Sunday the drills are part of an annual exercise that will be held with the participation of all air defense units of the country’s armed forces. The specific purpose is to enhance the effectiveness of the country’s anti- cruise electronic detection and weapons systems, said Miqani.

Earlier in the day, Miqani announced Iran would produce an air defense radar system with a range of 3,000 km in radius. The country will also unveil a new generation of domestically developed long-range S-200 air defense missile system by next February.

See also:
Iran opens air defense war games
Iran conducts military exercises near its nuclear sites
Iran Starts Nationwide Air Defense Drills
Iran launches ‘biggest’ aerial drills
Iran to conduct five-day air war games
Iran’s Strengthened Air Defense Capable of Repelling All Enemy Attacks
Tehran to test air-defense systems
Iran launches air defence exercises
Iran starts “biggest” air defense war games
Iran kicks off 5-day air defence war games
Iran Holds ‘Biggest’ Air Defense Drill Yet Over Nuke Sites
Iran Starts Major Defense Drill To Protect Nuclear Sites
Iran launches biggest air defence drill

I’m not sure why Iran even bothers because the Obama administration has no intention whatsoever of attacking Iran’s nuclear sites.

Gates Says Sanctions Cause Iranian Rift, Opposes Military Strike

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says international sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program are causing division among the country’s leaders, and are the best way to convince them to abandon the program.

. . .

Secretary Gates said he believes the Iranian leaders are intent on developing nuclear weapons, a charge they have denied. Gates said the only long term solution to the problem is to use sanctions and diplomacy to convince the Iranians that developing the weapons is not in their interest.

“Everything else is a short-term solution, is a two-to-three-year solution,” said the defense secretary. “And if it’s a military solution, as far as I’m concerned, it will bring together a divided nation, it will make them absolutely committed to attaining nuclear weapons and they will just go deeper and more covert.”

See also:
Gates: Iran strike wouldn’t stop nuclear program
Gates sees Iran rift, says strike would unite country
US: Strike can’t stop Iran’s N-program
A military strike against Iran would unite the divided country and ensure Tehran’s unwavering commitment to pursuing nuclear weapons: Robert Gates
Military action won’t stop Iran nuclear program: US
Gates says military strike would unite a divided Iran

I guess militarily stopping Iran’s nuclear program is entirely up to Israel now. Unfortunately, Israel probably doesn’t have enough firepower, by itself, to pull off the successful large scale attack that would be necessary.

/so, say hello to an Iran armed with nuclear weapons, I’m sure they’ll be much more reasonable and easier to deal with at that point

The Incredible Ineptitude Of “Smart Diplomacy”

The Who Won’t Get Fooled Again, but the United States keeps getting fooled time after time after time. Once again, the Iranians have run diplomatic circles around the Obama Administration’s comical and ineffective “smart diplomacy”. If this was a little league softball game, they’d have to invoke the ten run rule.

Iran’s nuclear move may derail U.S. efforts on sanctions

An agreement by Iran to send much of its nuclear fuel abroad clouded prospects for U.S.-led plans to impose further economic sanctions on Tehran over its controversial nuclear development program.

The proposal, brokered by leaders of Brazil and Turkey during an 18-hour session in Tehran and announced late Sunday, drew a reaction of cautious skepticism from the United States and its Western allies, who questioned whether it goes far enough to address longstanding concerns over the goal of the Iranian nuclear program. Iran says its effort is for civilian energy purposes only, but Western powers believe Tehran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

U.S., French, German and Russian officials all raised questions about the announcement, noting that Iran would still keep more than a ton of its nuclear stockpile and would continue enriching uranium in its centrifuges. But Western leaders also called for further study of the plan, saying it should not be dismissed out of hand.

The agreement appeared to sap some of the momentum for a new round of United Nations Security Council sanctions, which looked to include restrictions on Iranian government financial transactions. Officials from Turkey and Brazil said the deal removed any need for further U.N. sanctions. The two countries currently sit on the 15-member Security Council, though neither has the power to veto a sanctions resolution.

It remains to be seen whether Tehran was merely trying to avert imminent sanctions or whether the pact could form the basis of a wider accord. In making the uranium transfer abroad, Iran would drop its previous insistence that any swaps should take place on Iranian soil.

U.S. officials face a choice of rejecting the deal and appearing intransigent, or accepting it, potentially allowing Iran to defuse mounting international pressures through an indefinite delay.

The plan calls for Iran to ship 2,640 pounds of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey under the supervision of both Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, in Vienna. In return, Iran would receive 265 pounds of uranium from France and Russia within a year for use in a small nuclear reactor that produces medical isotopes to treat the ill.

Talked Into A Trap

Nuclear Iran: President Obama’s “direct diplomacy with Iran without preconditions” has, not surprisingly, led us down a blind alley. Now China and Russia are about to mug us with Turkey’s phony uranium deal.

The White House is learning that its “tough diplomacy” is a boomerang that may soon leave America nursing a very sore lump on its head.

The deal Iran triumphantly announced with Turkey and Brazil on Monday is exactly the kind of development that can give Moscow and Beijing the excuse not to agree to more sanctions. Which would mean that President Obama is left painted into a corner about what to do next to prevent a terrorist regime in the Middle East from getting nukes.

It was all smiles in Tehran as Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan patted themselves on the back as peacemakers, and clasped hands with the world’s most powerful hater of Jews, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His shady re-election nearly a year ago sparked mass demonstrations and the killing of protesters by the Islamofascist regime.

In a regurgitation of last fall’s Geneva agreement that Iran ultimately backed out of, the new “fuel swap” deal would require Tehran to send some enriched uranium to Turkey. After a year, Iran would get some non-weapons-grade uranium back from Russia and France.

But Tehran says it will continue its own uranium enrichment activities, which means that when all is said and done nothing has changed.

As the Sarkozy government in France warns, the Turkey deal does “nothing to settle the problem posed by the Iranian nuclear program.” The new British government says it will continue to push for sanctions; an unimpressed Germany says what matters is Iran’s domestic enrichment.

Even the White House admits the deal resolves nothing. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ reaction was to point out that “the words and the deeds of the Iranian leadership rarely coincide.”

But China and Russia, which both have economic and geopolitical reasons to stay cozy with their trading partner, can use this deal to say in answer to President Obama’s charisma offensive designed to get them on board new sanctions: “Problem solved! Give Iran some slack.”

In the coming months, as Tehran continues to block inspection of nuclear facilities, and Moscow and Beijing refuse to approve new sanctions, what does the president do?

Reject what he was willing to accept last fall (because since then Iran has been busy enriching lots more uranium, and that makes it a different ballgame today)?

See also:
Iran’s Nuclear Coup
Iran nuclear fuel swap: how Turkey is complicating US aims
Nuclear swap deal helps prevent sanctions on Iran: Brazilian VP
Israel fears Iran nuclear deal will delay UN sanctions
Iran and Turkey reach unexpected accord on enriched uranium
Iran’s unanswered questions
West not convinced of Iran uranium deal
U.S., allies critical of new deal on Iran’s nuclear program
White House Keeps Sanctions on Table After Iran Announces Nuclear Fuel Deal
Lucy Says: C’mon, Kick The Football Charlie Brown

So, let’s recap, Iran gets to keep working on their nuclear weapons program, full speed ahead, without the threat of any meaningful sanctions and, at the same time, Iran makes the Obama administration out to be an international laughingstock.

/it’s a twofer

Digging Up The Past To Piss Off A Present Ally

It happened 95 years ago and the United States had absolutely no role in it, yet Congress, once again, sticks its nose where it doesn’t belong and has no business being. The predictable diplomatic fallout quickly ensues.

Turkey recalls Ambassador after US vote on Armenia ‘genocide’

One of the worst massacres of the 20th-century came back to haunt international politics yesterday when a powerful Washington panel voted to call the murder of about 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey “genocide”.

After more than three hours of debate, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs narrowly approved a resolution calling on President Obama to “characterise the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide”.

The vote went ahead despite last-minute pleas from the White House and State Department and triggered a furious reaction from Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister.

“We condemn this resolution, which accuses the Turkish nation of a crime it did not committ,” he said. As Armenian observers applauded the vote on Capitol Hill, the Turkish Ambassador to Washington was recalled.

The Obama Administration may still be able to prevent a full vote in the House of Representatives but yesterday’s resolution threatened to poison America’s relations with its closest Muslim ally. Washington depends on Turkey for access to northern Iraq and in its regional efforts to isolate Iran.

The vote, with 23 congressmen in favour and 22 against, will also jeopardise historic efforts begun last year to create normal diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia.

“We are seriously concerned that this resolution approved by the committee despite all our warnings will harm Turkey-US ties and efforts to nomalise Turkey-Armenia relations,” Mr Erdogan added.

Mr Obama promised as a candidate to break with longstanding US practice and start calling the First World War era killings genocide if elected to the White House. He broke the promise last year, refusing to use the word on a visit to Ankara, where he praised Turkey as a model Muslim democracy.

Top defense contractors warn that genocide measure will hurt business

Executives for the nation’s top defense contractors say billions of dollars in business with Turkey could disappear if a genocide resolution advances on Capitol Hill.

Formally recognizing the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks during World War I as genocide could have “unintended consequences,” chief executives for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and United Technologies Corp. warned in a Feb. 26 letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.).

“There is reason to believe committee passage of the resolution risks a rupture in U.S.-Turkey relations. Alienating a significant NATO ally and trading partner would likely have negative repercussions for U.S. geopolitical interests and efforts to boost both exports and employment,” the letter says.

The executives told Berman that U.S. defense and aerospace exports to Turkey in 2009 were more than $7 billion and that tens of thousands of American jobs depend on “strong relations” between the two countries. It follows a Feb. 24 letter from the Aerospace Industries Association to Berman that expressed similar concerns about the resolution.

See also:
Genocide Vote Riles Turkey
House panel risks Turkey’s ire in approving Armenian ‘genocide’ resolution
Armenian Genocide Resolution Passes US Congress Committee
Turkey condemns US ‘genocide’ vote
House panel approves Armenian genocide resolution
Turkey recalls ambassador after US resolution on ‘Armenian genocide’
House panel approves Armenian genocide resolution
Resolution vote sends the wrong message to Turkey
House Panel Says Armenian Deaths Were Genocide
House committee narrowly passes recognition of Armenian genocide
Turkey recalls envoy after House vote on Armenian genocide
Turkish anger at US Armenian ‘genocide’ vote

Way to go Howard Berman and your House Foreign Affairs Committee Circus! You’ve just alienated a key NATO logistical ally, jepordized billions of dollars in U.S. exports, and threatend tens of thousands of high paying American jobs, all in a single day! Can someone please tell me why the [expletive deleted] U.S. taxpayers are paying these congressional assclowns to damage international alliances and the U.S. economy over something that happened almost 100 years ago, that the United States wasn’t even remotely involved in? I wasn’t even aware that the Ottoman Empire still ruled Turkey.

/hey Howard, what’s on your assclown committee’s alliance busting agenda for tomorrow, chastising Italy for the crucification of Christ, or perhaps condemning Britain and France for the Crusades?

Final Score: Honduras 1 Obama 0

Faced with the utter failure of yet another of his boneheaded, anti-American ally, foreign policy decisions, Obama finally gives up, waves his ever handy white flag, and surrenders to the good guys’ rule of law in Honduras.

Honduras: Obama administration finally and completely abandons Zelaya

The Obama administration’s wishy-washy attitude toward Honduran elections finally lands him on the right side of the issue: in favor of Honduras and its democracy, and against ousted President Manuel Zelaya, who was thrown out after attempting to extend his reign illegally.

The United States says it supports Sunday’s presidential election in Honduras as an “essential” part of a solution to that country’s ongoing political crisis.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly says the U.S. thinks it is important that the people of Honduras have the opportunity to “express their votes in a free and transparent way.”

…Spokesman Kelly noted that the election, in which neither [Interim President Roberto] Micheletti nor Mr. Zelaya is running, is being organized by an electoral tribunal that was selected and installed in a transparent, democratic process before the coup. He said it is important the election be seen as free, fair and transparent, and is monitored by a credible international monitoring process.

After an Obama knee-jerk reaction to Zelaya’s ouster in June, the U.S. had insisted on Zelaya’s reinstatement. This would have harmed Honduras’s Congress and high court, which had ousted Zelaya, even as it served no discernible U.S. interest. At the same time, Zelaya’s continuation in power would have benefited one of Zelaya’s main allies and alleged sources of funding — Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

By hanging Zelaya out to dry — leaving him powerless and languishing in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, possibly facing trial for illegally seeking re-election — the administration saves face in Honduras and ultimately does the right thing. The Honduran Congress will vote on Dec. 2, after the next president has been elected, whether to reinstate Zelaya as a lame duck, and with the election already decided, they won’t be under any pressure to do so and reverse their earlier decision.

So all’s well that ends well. But even so, as we recently opined, a happy ending is still no excuse for Obama’s half-cocked diplomacy, and no number of low bows to Honduras’s next president will make up for the damage he has caused there. Again, his legendary inexperience in world matters shows.

See also:
US Expresses Support for Honduran Election
Obama’s Honduran debacle
Micheletti steps aside for Honduras poll
Zelaya warns US support for Honduras election divisive
INTERVIEW-US risks isolation over Honduras election-Brazil
Honduras vote to sideline president, enshrine coup
Hondurans march supporting elections without Zelaya
Our Man In Tegucigalpa Is A Raving Lunatic
Still Stuck On Stupid And Doubling Down
Selective Meddle For Communist Dictators

Well, ever since the U.S. reversed course and decided to support this Sunday’s November 29th Honduran elections, all the world’s communists, socialists, assorted tin pot dictators and far left loons have been screaming bloody murder.

/what does that tell you about what was the right thing for the United States to do?