Iran has been back in the news recently:
'French UN envoy warns of 'strong' risk of strike on Iran'
Gerard Araud says "some countries" won't accept the prospect of Iran crossing nuclear threshold, AFP reports; follows Russian calls for freezing of centrifuge production, ahead of Panetta visit to Israel.
French Ambassador to the United Nations Gerard Araud warned of a "strong" risk of a military strike on Iran if it proceeds on the path to nuclear proliferation, AFP reported on Wednesday.
"If we don't succeed today to reach a negotiation with the Iranians, there is a strong risk of military action," AFP quoted the French envoy as saying in a New York panel discussion.
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was expected to arrive in Israel for talks with counterpart Defense Minister Ehud Barak, talks which were expected to include the Iranian nuclear threat.
France: Iran faces high risk of military strike
Debka weighs in and reveals how far tensions are escalating around the Iranian nuclear situation:
France's UN Ambassador Gerard Araud warned Wednesday, Sept. 28 that Iran runs a high risk of a military strike if it continues on the path to nuclear proliferation. "Some countries won't accept the prospect of Tehran reaching the threshold of nuclear armament," he said. "Personally I am convinced that it would be a very complicated operation …with disastrous consequences in the region."
Ambassador Araud's comment confirmed reports from DEBKAfile's military sources in recent months that US and European sanctions against Iran had been ineffectual and the ayatollahs had no intention of slowing down on their drive for a nuclear weapon.
Tehran was not idle: Tuesday, the day before the war game ended, Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, commander of the Iranian Navy, stated that Iranian warships would be deployed "close to US territorial waters," since the Islamic Republic of Iran considers the US presence in the Persian Gulf "illegitimate and makes no sense."
After Tehran rejected a recent US request to establish a "red phone" link between the countries to avoid unwanted confrontation between their armed forces in the Gulf region, Ali Fadavi, Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Navy chief, commented enigmatically: "When we are in the Gulf of Mexico, we will establish direct contact with the United States."
The ambassador therefore held out little hope of the long-stalled US-South Korea talks with the North resumed lately getting anywhere on Pyongyang's denuclearization.
All these ominous events – pointed comments by French and British diplomats and the large-scale Russian-Central Asian war game – add up to widespread skepticism about any chance of halting Iran's race for a nuclear weapon or disarming North Korea.
Iranian Navy Plans to Send Ships Near U.S. Waters
The Iranian navy plans to move naval vessels out of the Persian Gulf and into the Atlantic Ocean, "near maritime borders of the United States," the Tehran Times reported Tuesday.
According to the English-language paper based in Tehran, the announcement came from a top Iranian naval officer on Tuesday.
As the global arrogance (forces of imperialism) have a (military) presence near our sea borders, we also plan to have a strong presence near the U.S. sea borders with the help of the soldiers who are loyal to the vali-e faqih (supreme jurisprudent),” said Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, as quoted and paraphrased by the Tehran Times.
20,000 Heat-Seeking Missiles Reportedly Feared Missing From Libyan Warehouse
A recent secret White House meeting revealed that an estimated 20,000 portable, heat-seeking missiles appear to have vanished from an Army warehouse in Libya, ABCNews.com reported.
The new revelations stoke ongoing fears that such weapons, which are light, relatively easy to use and have the capacity to take down a commercial airplane, could end up in the wrong hands as the Libyan war that ousted Muammar Qaddafi winds down.
Icy Comet Elenin Passes Close to Sun, Could be Falling Apart
In August, doomsday prophets speculated that icy comet Elenin would wreak havoc on Earth. Now new images from an amateur Australian astronomer are showing a rapid dimming in Comet Elenin, leading some astronomers to believe that the comet may be falling apart.
Michael Mattiazo, an amateur astronomer from Australia, captured two images of Elenin -- one on Aug. 19 and the other on Sept. 6 -- that show the comet could be disintegrating. The video footage of Elenin shows that the comet began losing some cohesion around late August and early September as it neared the sun.
Officials at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said they are still waiting for the comet to reappear from the near-sun pass before they make any new observations.
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a U.S. and European satellite observatory, might see Elenin by Sept. 29, according to Space.com. Scientists expect Elenin to pass closest to Earth on Oct. 16. At that time, the comet, which is about two to three miles (three to five kilometers) wide, will be about 22 million miles (35 million kilometers) from the planet.