Friday, March 16, 2007

Arab paper says Gulf regimes taking imminent Iran-strike reports seriously

Al-Quds al-Arabi and Al-Hayat both give prominent play to a report in a Russian newspaper that said the US has past the point of no return for an attack on around 20 Iranian nuclear and military locations, scheduled for April 6 and code-named "Sting". The report also said the plant the Russians are helping build (Bushehr) will be spared. Russia, for its part, has warned the Iranian authorities of the planned attack and said it can't count on Russian support if it doesn't cooperate with the UN process. The original report was in a Russian newspaper called Argumenti Nedelja or some such name, and picked up from there by the Novosti news agency. Al-Quds cites the news agency; Al-Hayat cites the paper.

Al-Quds, after summarizing the gist of the report, adds that the countries of the Gulf are taking steps to get ready for Iranian retaliation, the idea being that although Iran has hinted at preparations for retaliation against the US directly, the Al-Quds reporter says Arab military people don't believe they have the capacity for that, so the more likely targets (according to these Arab sources) would be US installations and other assets in the region. He mentions Saudi Arabia and the UAE as places where authorities are taking intensive steps for the protection of US installations. "And," he adds, "they are intensifying domestic intelligence operations within the communities [no doubt meaning Shiite communities], fearing the possible existence of sleeper cells".

The Al-Hayat coverage comes under a subheading "the strike", following news about the UN sanctions proceedings. Al-Hayat adds this (still citing the Russian newspaper report): "Russian military people say the American strike will help improve the domestic position of George Bush, and it will also serve to accelerate the proceedings respecting a missile shield in Europe". The Russian newspaper said Russian military sources expect Iranian retaliation, adding that this could target the United States, including such things as blowing up bridges in Manhattan. Another result will be oil prices over $75 or $80 for a long term, and the "neutralizing" of Iran and weakening of its ability to intervene in regional affairs. Al-Hayat doesn't include reference to Gulf-regime preparations for dealing with the blowback.


Blogger annie said...


4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to a contact in Moscow this is not a paper he uses time on and it is not seen on as particualrily reputable.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks for this, Badger. I've done a piece tying it in with an AP report for today, and linked back to you here.

3:30 PM  

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