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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at http://wwwdamavandsafa.blogspot.com

IRAN LAUNCHED HUNT OPERATIONS TO FIND US COMMANDOS

Published Wednesday, January 19, 2005



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PARIS 20 Jan. (IPS) Iranian authorities have launched a massive, but discrete operation aimed at finding and arresting possible American commandos that an American investigative journalist said are now operating inside Iran.

Though officials continued on Wednesday to issue strong, but unconvincing and incoherent warnings against the report, but Iran Press Service has learned from informed sources that the report is taken “very seriously”.

The authorities dismissed the report as a “psychological warfare” and absurdly “baseless”.

The report, signed by prize-winner, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh and published in the “New Yorker” magazine says US commandos have been operating inside Iran, selecting nuclear and other sensitive military sites for possible air strikes with the help of Pakistan.

The authorities dismissed the report as a “psychological warfare” and absurdly “baseless”.

"American commandos are not able to enter Iran so easily to spy. It would simplistic to accept such an idea", said Ali Aqa Mohammadi, Head of the Foreign Propaganda Department of Iran's Supreme National Security Council.

"We know our borders", he added, ridiculing the report that says the commandos had been operating inside Iran since mid-2004 to search out potential targets for attack -- something the magazine said could come as early as mid-2005.

IRAN LAUNCHED HUNT OPERATIONS TO FIND US COMMANDOS-Body-2

According to Mr. Hirsh, the journalist who, among other investigative articles since the Vietnam war, revealed the abuses on Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers in the Baghdad’s notorious Abou Qorayeb prison, the operations are part of a world-wide campaign against terrorism waged by the Bush Administration and aimed at eradicating terrorism before his present mandate ends.

“Contrary to Mr. Aqamohammadi’s statement, Iranian borders with all its neighbours, particularly Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two countries where the Americans have huge military presence, are difficult to control, as seen by the flow of smugglers that operates in the region”, the source pointed out on condition of anonymity.

However, while Pakistan has denied any involvement in the reported operations and the Pentagon has said the article was "riddled with errors", President George W. Bush told the NBC that he could not rule out military action against the Islamic Republic if the United States and the Europeans failed to persuade the Iranian ruling ayatollahs to abandon their nuclear energy programme.

For her part, the new US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confirmed that the Islamic Republic, like Cuba, Zimbabwe, Belarus or North Korea will continue to remain under pressures by the United States and urged united world action to keep Iran from building nuclear weapons.

IRAN LAUNCHED HUNT OPERATIONS TO FIND US COMMANDOS-Body-3

Reiterating that Washington would continue actions to bring the case of Iranian nuclear activities before the United Nations Security Council to consider possible economic sanctions, she told the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee that if the Iranians “do not show that they're going to live up to their international obligations then we shall refer them to the Security Council".

In a response, Hamid Reza Asefi, the Iranian deputy Foreign Affairs Minister said Iran viewed recent comments by U.S. officials as "a psychological campaign and political pressure" and urged Ms. Rice to “review” Washington's “misguided” foreign policy approach towards Iran and the rest of the world.

"The United States has fallen into an abyss of several crises as a result of the wrong attitude of its hard line neo-conservatives. There is no way out unless it reviews and corrects its past mistakes", he said, adding, "We recommend the new secretary of state reviews the false and failed policies of the United States and avoid making the same mistakes," Asefi said.

"We are not afraid of foreign enemies' threats and sanctions, since they know well that throughout its Islamic and ancient history, Iran has been no place for adventurism”, Head of the influential Expediency Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a possible future Iranian president told the state news agency IRNA on Tuesday.

IRAN LAUNCHED HUNT OPERATIONS TO FIND US COMMANDOS-Body

He was immediately echoed by the Defence Minister Admiral Ali Shamkhani, saying that Iran has acquired a strong military capability and will deter any attacks against it.

“Iran did not fear the United States. We can say we have developed a might that no country can attack us because they do not have accurate information about our military capabilities", he added.

We are not afraid of foreign enemies' threats and sanctions.

But military experts say Iranian army’s equipments, including its air force, are aged and lack modern weapons.

“Iran is far less modern military power than it was under the former Monarchy regime or compared to the time of war with Iraq”, wrote Mr. Anthony Cordesman in a long report on the situation of present Iran’s armed forces.

“Most of Iran’s military equipment is old and or second rate and most ot them are worn”, he added.

But while Mr. Aqamohammadi was accusing Washington to wage the anti-Iranian campaign in order to influence forthcoming elections in neighbouring Iraq “to its liking”, Mr. Asefi said Washington was determined "not to help and encourage the constructive nuclear negotiations between Iran and the EU".

On 15 November 2004, Iran and the so-called European troika, namely Britain, France and Germany reached a consensus to provide Tehran with some nuclear technologies for civilian purposes against Iran suspending its nuclear activities, mostly enriching uranium.

The Board of Governors of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency that is investigating Iran’s controversial atomic programmes endorsed the Paris agreement at its last and stormy meeting.

But according to Mr. Hirsh, American hawks are hoping that the talks between Tehran and the Europeans would eventually fail to give positive result and are banking on a reversal of the Troika’s position “soon”.

"I hope we can solve it diplomatically, but I won't ever take any option off the table", Mr. Bush told NBC. ENDS IRAN US NUKE 20105

 

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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at http://wwwdamavandsafa.blogspot.com


IRAN LAUNCHED HUNT OPERATIONS TO FIND US COMMANDOS-Main
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