Iran says it's installing new nuclear enrichment machines
Iran is installing new uranium enrichment machines aimed at speeding up progress in its nuclear program, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, a development that may add to Western concern about Tehran's aims.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast appeared to confirm a Reuters story last week that Iran was installing two newer and more advanced models of the centrifuges used to refine uranium for large-scale testing at a research site.
To repeat what I have said before - I believe Iran is desperately provoking Israel to attack, so that they will have an excuse to "counter-attack" and bring in their allies in the region under the premise that they are a "victim" to an Israeli attack. We shall see.
In addition, we now see AlJazerra carrying the story on Israel's imminent attack on Iran:
CIA veteran: Israel to attack Iran in fall
A longtime CIA officer who spent 21 years in the Middle East is predicting that Israel will bomb Iran in the fall, dragging the United States into another major war and endangering US military and civilian personnel (and other interests) throughout the Middle East and beyond.
Earlier this week, Robert Baer appeared on the provocative KPFK Los Angeles show Background Briefing, hosted by Ian Masters. It was there that he predicted that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is likely to ignite a war with Iran in the very near future.
Baer was especially impressed by the unprecedented warning about Netanyahu's plans by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan. Dagan left the Israeli intelligence agency in September 2010. Two months ago, he predicted that Israel would attack and said that doing so would be "the stupidest thing" he could imagine. According to Haaretz:
When asked about what would happen in the aftermath of an Israeli attack Dagan said that: "It will be followed by a war with Iran. It is the kind of thing where we know how it starts, but not how it will end."
The Iranians have the capability to fire rockets at Israel for a period of months, and Hizbollah could fire tens of thousands of grad rockets and hundreds of long-range missiles, he said.
Also note this aspect of the article:
There is almost "near certainty" that Netanyahu is "planning an attack [on Iran] ... and it will probably be in September before the vote on a Palestinian state. And he's also hoping to draw the United States into the conflict", Baer explained.
It should be noted that the Iranian regime is quite capable of triggering a war with the United States through some combination of colossal stupidity and sheer hatred. In fact, as Baer explained, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard would welcome a war. They are "paranoid". They are "worried about ... what's happening to their country economically, in terms of the oil embargo and other sanctions". And they are worried about a population that increasingly despises the regime.
They need an external enemy. Because we are leaving Iraq, it's Israel. But in order to make this threat believable, they would love an attack on their nuclear facilities, love to go to war in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and Iraq and hit us where they could.
Syria recognizes Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital
Big surprise here.
"Syria recognizes a Palestinian state within the June 4, 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital, and on the basis of the preservation of Palestinian legitimate rights," a statement said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas began a visit to several European countries on Sunday to gather support for a UN vote on an independent Palestinian state.
According to the official Syrian News Agency (SANA), Abbas welcomed Syria's recognition of the Palestinian state and described it as "a major step which supports the Palestinian efforts to attain UN recognition in September."
Renewed Gaza fighting still going after a week
Violence between the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Israel has been quietly ratcheting up over the past week. Some fear the current rumblings are a prelude to another explosion of violence
Some Israelis fear the Palestinians could begin escalating the level of violence ahead of a Palestinian bid to [unilaterally declare statehood at the UN in September].
While that strategy would seem counterproductive, the international community has demonstrated time and again that its chosen method of dealing with Palestinian violence is appeasement.
Remember this (next) story? It still appears from time to time, and no (reasonable) explanation is ever given:
Mysterious big fish kill in Cape York river
The department says it received reports of about 1,000 dead fish floating in parts of the Normanby River, at the Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park, last week.
Most of the dead fish were barramundi and jewfish.
Samples of the fish have been tested and results are expected next week.