With no new progress in recent talks in Moscow between Iran and the West along with tougher sanctions being implemented by the European Union against Iranian oil exports, Iran has warned that U.S. naval warships could be “easily reached and attacked” if Israel or the United States attacks Iran’s nuclear sites
The US has quietly added forces to its presence in the Persian Gulf to ward off Iran's threat of blocking the Strait of Hormuz,according to The New York Times.
The buildup comes at a time when the US and allies have begun enforcing a broader embargo against Iran, to pressure it to give up its nuclear program, said The Times.
A senior Defense Department officials told The Times, "The message to Iran is, 'Don’t even think about it,' Don’t even think about closing the strait. We’ll clear the mines. Don’t even think about sending your fast boats out to harass our vessels or commercial shipping. We’ll put them on the bottom of the gulf."
The scale of the reinforcements is the most significant since the beginning of the West's stand off with Iran over its nuclear programme and reflects the growing seriousness of the confrontation since recent diplomatic efforts to end the impasse faltered.With tensions escalating, fears that Israel could launch military action on its own have mounted. It would regard an Iranian nuclear bomb as a threat to its existence given Tehran's repeated apocalyptic rhetoric against the Jewish state.
Saudi Arabia has set its feet on the path to a nuclear weapon capability and is negotiating in Beijng the purchase of Chinese nuclear-capable Dong-Fen 21 ((NATO-codenamed CSS-5) ballistic missile.
China, which has agreed to the transaction in principle, would also build a base of operations near Riyadh for the new Saudi purchases.
As we reported last year, Saudi Arabia has struck a deal with Pakistan for the availability on demand of a nuclear warhead from Islamabad’s arsenal for fitting onto a ballistic missile.
Riyadh owns a direct interest in the two most active Middle East issues: Iran and Syria.
Iran’s nuclear weapons program has been advancing for two decades regardless of countless attempts at restraint by every diplomatic tool under the sun and a rising scale of sanctions – to no avail.
On May 3, 2012, Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov warned that Russia would deploy its strategic nuclear rockets in Kaliningrad Oblast, potentially to destroy the U.S. antiballistic missile defense system, planned for Europe. Makarov went even further, warning of a possible preemptive nuclear attack. “A decision to use destructive force preemptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Makarov said.
The planned U.S. missile defense system to protect Europe from a nuclear missile attack has caused much friction between Russia and United States. Russia considers the antiballistic missile system an encroachment on its traditional “sphere of influence” and a threat to its national securityToday, Russia possesses a total of 12,987 nuclear warheads. This is more than the amount owned by the United States and the rest of the world combined. Despite its nuclear supremacy, Russia has an even far more formidable weapon in its military arsenal.
Since 1963, the Soviet Union has conducted an array of tests with non-nuclear EMP weapons for potential use against the U.S. in a first strike attack. EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, is a burst of electromagnetic radiation capable of destroying all electrical power, radio waves, and digital signals over a wide area. The burst of electromagnetic radiation moves instantaneously, making ordinary surge protectors useless and would neutralize all electrical equipment, such as computers, laptops, television sets, landline telephones, cellular phones, air conditioners, refrigerators, electric stoves, microwaves, automobiles, airplanes, trains, ATM machines, hospital equipment, computer-run waterways and sewage systems.Nevertheless, an EMP attack could shut down the entire U.S. power grid, Wall Street, the banking system, airports, and hospitals. People living on pacemakers and other hospital equipment would die. The lack of refrigeration and running trucks would spoil U.S. food reserves and supermarket goods, resulting in mass starvation. According to Dr. Lowell Wood, Ph.D., an astrophysicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and who worked on the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) in the Reagan administration, an EMP attack could “literally destroy the American nation and might cause the deaths of 90% of its people and set us back a century or more in time as far as our ability to function as a nation.”
In a May 2012 article in The Journal of Counter Terrorism & Homeland Security International, Col. Dickerson wrote, “Russia and China have conducted extensive research into their [EMP] development and possible deployment against the U.S.” In May 1999, Congressman Roscoe G. Barlett (R-Md.) relayed the following:
We met with three of our Russian counterparts on the Duma International Affairs Committee, including its chairman, Vladimir Lukin, and senior Communist Party member Aleksandr Shabonov. The Russians chastised the United States for military aggression in the Balkans and warned Russia was not helpless to oppose Operation Allied Force. Lukin said, “If we really wanted to hurt you with no fear of retaliation, we would launch an SLBM [submarine launched ballistic missile] and detonate a single nuclear warhead at high altitude over the United States and shut down your power grid and communications for six months or so.” Shabonov added, “And if one weapon wouldn’t do it, we have some spares.”“I don’t agree that the Cold War is back. It never ended,” said Andrei Lugovoi, a representative in the Duma, Russian parliament, in 2000. In 2007, Vladimir Putin reiterated the continuation of the Cold War by threatening the West with a “new spiral in the arms race.” In the eyes of Russia, the Cold War never ended; they are still fighting. In 1960, warning about the Soviet menace, Senator Barry Goldwater, in The Conscience of a Conservative, wrote, “Our enemies have understood the nature of the conflict, and we have not. They are determined to win the conflict, and we are not.” Goldwater’s words resonate today as Russia continues to fight the Cold War through the use of EMP weapons and its reliance on satellite states.