Iran Threatens to Deploy Navy Off U.S. Coast
Reuters is reporting that Iran has raised the possibility of sending Iranian warships close enough to U.S. shores to ratchet up tensions.
According to the official IRNA news agency, Iranian naval chief Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said:
“Like the arrogant powers that are present near our marine borders, we will also have a powerful presence close to American marine borders.”
This Iranian saber-rattling comes on the heels of other recent provocations, including the passage of Iranian warships through the Suez Canal a few months ago, which marked the first time the Islamic Republic of Iran has ever deployed warships to the Mediterranean.
Sayyari was speaking at a ceremony marking the 31st anniversary of the start of the 1980-1988 war with Iraq. He didn’t elaborate on the scale or timing of the possible naval deployment.
Iran says could deploy navy near U.S. coast
Iran raised the prospect on Tuesday of sending military ships close to the United States' Atlantic coast, in what would be a major escalation of tensions between the long-standing adversaries.
The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran if diplomacy fails to stop it getting nuclear weapons. Tehran denies it is developing nuclear arms saying its atomic program is for purely peaceful purposes.
Nightmare in Libya: Thousands of Surface-to-Air Missiles Unaccounted For
The White House announced today it planned to expand a program to secure and destroy Libya's huge stockpile of dangerous surface-to-air missiles, following an ABC News report that large numbers of them continue to be stolen from unguarded military warehouses.
ABC News reported today U.S. officials and security experts were concerned some of the thousands of heat-seeking missiles could easily end up in the hands of al Qaeda or other terrorists groups, creating a threat to commercial airliners.
The missiles, four to six-feet long and Russian-made, can weigh just 55 pounds with launcher. They lock on to the heat generated by the engines of aircraft, can be fired from a vehicle or from a combatant's shoulder, and are accurate and deadly at a range of more than two miles.
Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch first warned about the problem after a trip to Libya six months ago. He took pictures of pickup truckloads of the missiles being carted off during another trip just a few weeks ago.
"I myself could have removed several hundred if I wanted to, and people can literally drive up with pickup trucks or even 18 wheelers and take away whatever they want," said Bouckaert, HRW's emergencies director. "Every time I arrive at one of these weapons facilities, the first thing we notice going missing is the surface-to-air missiles."
The ease with which rebels and other unknown parties have snatched thousands of the missiles has raised alarms that the weapons could end up in the hands of al Qaeda
You have to wonder just how much longer a lid can be kept on the ability of terrorist groups to create widespread havoc in the world with large-scale attacks. Surface-to-air missiles could be used not only against military aircraft, but on commercial airlines as well.
This was one of the initial fears when the uprisings began in Libya and it seems that these fears are now being realized.