Iran Moves Warplanes to Protect Nuclear Sites (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gavriel Queenann 02/22/12)
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Iran announced Monday it had deployed warplanes and missiles in
an ‘exercise´ to protect its nuclear sites from attack.
Tehran also warned it could cut oil exports to more European Union
nations unless sanctions were lifted. On Sunday, Iran cut oil sales
to Britain and France.
French foreign minister Alain Juppe responded by mocking Iran, saying
Tehran´s threats "made one smile." He added that Iran was "very
creative" in its attempts to "provoke" its fellow nations.
The European Union had already voted to halt imports of Iranian crude
oil as of 1 July 2001. The EU has also imposed heavy sanctions on
Iran´s Central Bank.
EU sanctions closely mirror those imposed by the United States and
are intended to force Iran to abandon its nuclear program, which is
widely suspected of seeking nuclear weapons.
Late last year, the International Atomic Energy Agency published a 13-
page report accusing Iran of systemic obstruction of inspectors at
its nuclear facilities and seeking nuclear technologies of a military
Iran, as a voluntary signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty, is banned from seeking nuclear weapons and obligated to allow
the world nuclear watchdog access to its nuclear sites.
Tehran has frequently accused the IAEA of enforcing a double-standard
citing the widely held belief that Israel has a nuclear arms
stockpile. However, Israel is not a signatory to the NPT and has no
obligations to the IAEA.
Iran´s announcement on Monday marked a hardening of the Islamic
Republic´s defiance in the standoff and a potential readying for
armed conflict as tensions with Jerusalem and Washington rise.
Israeli officials have made it clear they regard an Iranian nuclear
weapon as a potentially existential threat due to Tehran´s repeated
calls for the Jewish state´s destruction. Iranian leaders have openly
referred to Israel as a "one bomb state."
The moves came the same day as officials from the United Nations
nuclear watchdog agency arrived in Tehran for a second round of talks
focused on "the possible military dimensions of Iran´s nuclear
Iran´s military said Monday that it has launched four days of
maneuvers in the south of the country aimed at boosting anti-air
defenses to protect nuclear sites. Missiles, anti-aircraft artillery,
radars and warplanes were being deployed in the exercise Tehran
Senior military officials in Tehran also said Iran would not wait to
be attacked if it "felt threatened," indicating potential pre-emptive
strikes on Israel or US military forces in the Persian Gulf region.
Iran has also threatened to close the strategically vital Strait of
Hormuz, which US military officials say would be an "act of war."
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 02/22/12)
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