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Iran: Naval Power Amassing In Persian Gulf For Iran Attack

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In support of Israel’s preemptive strike on Iran, the US and UK have amassed an armada of naval vessels. Many reports have come out that Iran will attempt to close the Straits when attacked. The battle to keep the Straits open will be of major economic importance to the West.

An armada of US and British naval power is massing in the Persian Gulf in the belief that Israel is considering a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons programme.

Cruisers, aircraft carriers and minesweepers from 25 nations are converging on the strategically important Strait of Hormuz in an unprecedented show of force as Israel and Iran move towards the brink of war.

Western leaders are convinced that Iran will retaliate to any attack by attempting to mine or blockade the shipping lane through which passes around 18 million barrels of oil every day, approximately 35 per cent of the world’s oil traded by sea.

A blockade would have a catastrophic effect on the fragile economies of Britain, Europe the United States and Japan, all of which rely heavily on oil and gas supplies from the Gulf.

The Strait of Hormuz is one of the world’s most congested international waterways. It is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point and is bordered by the Iranian coast to the north and the Oman to the south.

In preparation for any pre-emptive or retaliatory action by Iran, warships from more than 25 countries, including the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will today begin an annual 12-day exercise.

The big war games excercise will be followed by Iran testing out its own capabilities.

In addition, commanders will also simulate destroying Iranian combat jets, ships and coastal missile batteries.

In the event of war, the main threat to the multi-national force will come from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps navy, which is expected to adopt an “access-denial” strategy in the wake of an attack, by directly targeting US warships, attacking merchant shipping and mining vital maritime chokepoints in the Persian Gulf.

Defence sources say that although Iran’s capability may not be technologically sophisticated, it could deliver a series of lethal blows against British and US ships using mini-subs, fast attack boats, mines and shore-based anti-ship missile batteries.

Next month, Iran will stage massive military manoeuvres of its own, to show that it is prepared to defend its nuclear installations against the threat of aerial bombardment

Obama is meeting Netanyahu to discuss Iran but Netanyahu is itching to go ahead.

The main naval exercise comes as President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, today to discuss the Iranian crisis.

Many within the Obama administration believe that Israel will launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities before the US presidential elections, an act which would signal the failure of one of Washington’s key foreign policy objectives.

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But just last week Mr Netanyahu signalled that time for a negotiated settlement was running out when he said: “The world tells Israel ‘Wait, there’s still time.’ And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’

“Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”

Source: Telegraph

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UK: Defence Minister Sacked For Not Supporting Iran Attack

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The Daily Mail ran a story of how the UKs Defence Minister Nick Harvey was removed from his position by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg because he did not support an attack on Iran. Sounds like war with Iran is a foregone conclusion as this adds more evidence of such a move. These kind of stories and coming thick and fast. Israel’s defence minister Ehud Barak appeared to hint that he believed the US would join his country in the pre-emptive attack.

Former Armed Forces Minister Sir Nick Harvey told friends that he  was fired in the reshuffle to allow Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg  to sign Britain up to an Israeli-US preventive strike to take out Iran’s nuclear installations.

Friends of Sir Nick – who was handed a knighthood just days later – say that he could have embarrassed the Lib Dem leader by being too critical of Israel’s actions if he had still been in the key Ministry of Defence post.

The row broke as sources confirmed that British intelligence agents are already deeply involved in attempts to discover Iran’s nuclear secrets.

It is also understood that the US has asked Britain to provide frigates to patrol the Straits of Hormuz, through which much of the world’s oil passes.

The sacking of the respected  Minister took MPs and Army top brass by surprise.

But when approached by The Mail on Sunday, Sir Nick confirmed he had considered his sacking was linked to mounting speculation of a pre-emptive strike on Iran and the expectation that UK forces would be drawn in afterwards. However, the MP went  on to say he had since discounted  that theory.

………

The reshuffle earlier this month came amid renewed speculation  that Israel is planning to launch a  unilateral attack to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons.

Only last weekend, Israel’s defence minister Ehud Barak appeared to hint that he believed the US would join his country in the pre-emptive attack.

There were also reports that  US President Barack Obama was  poised to set out the ‘red lines’ that would trigger an American attack if Iran continued to press ahead with its nuclear programme.

MoD sources yesterday confirmed that contingency talks over the dispatch of Royal Navy minesweepers to the Gulf had already been held.

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‘Clegg could adopt a position of agreeing to disagree, raising his objections to the Prime Minister but saying go ahead.’ 

 

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Video Rebel's Blog

My Debt Cancellation hero is Professor Steve Keen of Australia.

He said in a recent  video
1) We have the greatest level of debt to GDP to cancel in 500 years which means we are approaching the greatest Depression in 500 years. That means the greatest levels of Austerity unemployment, wage cuts, defaults, bankruptcies and starvation in 500 years in Europe,  North America and the rest of the world. Of course if we followed Dr Keen’s advice on Debt Cancellation we know for a certainty: ‘This need not be.’

2) The nations which have been deindustrialized (emphasis on America) will face the hardest landing when debts are cancelled and we are forced to face reality. He said he feared for the fate of those people in deindustrialized nations  when the paper Bubble is pierced.

American deindustrialization began in 1994 with the passage of the North American Free Trade Act. The Federal Reserve…

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Portugeese Emirgrating To Africa

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Things are so bad in Portugal these days that many are emigrating to Angola a former colony. As many as 100,000 are now making their living in the resource rich West African nation which boasts a growth rate of between 8 – 10% this year. Many are making their way to other ex colonies such as Brazil and Mozambique.

Portugal is enduring its worst recession since the 1970s, with austerity measures imposed, unemployment at a record 15% and the economy predicted to shrink by 3% this year. So deep is the malaise that one government minister offered some provocative advice: “If people are unemployed they should leave their comfort zone and look beyond our borders.”

This is what they are doing in such former colonies as Angola, Brazil and Mozambique, whose economies hold up an inverted mirror to their own. Oil-rich Angola enjoyed growth averaging 15% between 2002 and 2008 and, although it then lost momentum, it is still posting figures that the eurozone would envy, with growth expected to recover to between 8% and 10% this year.

Angola is attractive to the Portuguese because of business and cultural links – not least a shared language – forged before it gained independence in 1975. A long, devastating civil war followed, but a decade of peace has transformed the desirability of taking part in sub-Saharan Africa’s third biggest economy.

The number of Portuguese living here has soared from 21,000 in 2003 to more than 100,000 last year, according to official figures which are likely to be a conservative estimate. Some 38% of foreign companies registered in Angola are Portuguese, media reports say, still well ahead of Chinese firms at 18.8%.

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Portuguese people are scenting opportunities in Angola’s thriving construction industry: the skyline of Luanda, the capital, is a symphony of cranes, new skyscrapers and the still incomplete dome of a parliament building by Portuguese company Teixeira Duarte. They are also finding work in banking and IT.

“There’s no humiliation in coming here,” Ribeiro added. “The Angolan government only accepts people with a decent CV looking for a proper job. It’s mostly professionals in the higher bracket. The language still matters. Communication is very important if you hold a high position and need to communicate with workers on a day to day basis. And of course there is a cultural understanding. In 500 years we left an imprint of everything, even a taste for wine, and the hostility towards us is long gone.”

As Europe lurches from financial crisis to crisis, Africa’s economic “lions” offer a lifeline.

Source: Guardian

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