Iran has defense headache
Asia Times / Richard M. Bennett
21-Dec-2009 (one comment)

United States President Barack Obama reportedly told representatives of the Chinese government recently that the US may not be able to restrain the Israelis from launching a massive military strike on Iran's nuclear and missile facilities for much longer.

According to the Israeli Newspaper Ha'aretz on December 17:

"President Barack Obama has warned his Chinese counterpart that the United States would not be able to keep Israel from attacking Iranian nuclear installations for much longer, senior officials in Jerusalem told Ha'aretz. They said Obama warned President Hu Jintao during the American's visit to Beijing a month ago as part of the US attempt to convince the Chinese to support strict sanctions on Tehran if it does not accept Western proposals for its nuclear program."

"The Israeli officials, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter, said the United States had informed Israel on Obama's meetings in Beijing on Iran. They said Obama made it clear to Hu that at some point the United States would no longer be able to prevent Israel from acting as it saw fit in response to the perceived Iranian threat."

However, Iran appears to be in denial of the danger and continuesto be its own worst enemy with a constant campaign of bluster, hyperbole and threats.

As with a number of well-known Middle Eastern leaders, including the late and largely unlamented Saddam Hussein, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad continues to put ... >>>

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  As with a number of

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As with a number of well-known Middle Eastern leaders, including the late and largely unlamented Saddam Hussein, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad continues to put what purports to be national pride before common sense or a rational approach to international relations.

The Iranian government, its military and intelligence services go out of their way to needle the West in a manner that suggests that they still harbor the illusion of surviving such a military confrontation.

Iran incapable of defending its strategic targets
The truth is that Iran is quite incapable of defending its air space and strategic targets against a determined Israeli attack, let alone one that involved US air assets.

Iran's air force and air defense forces are a generation or more behind its potential foes. According to the US Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington in May 2009, "Without Russian air defense systems, Iran is a sitting duck."

CSIS said, "Iran's current air defense umbrella is antiquated and could not stop an Israeli or US strike. Iran's air defense network could be easily penetrated by the air forces of Israel and the United States."

 

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KL22Ak04.html