US ready to attack Iran – “Russian military intelligence”

In-depth Report:

Excerpt from report by Russian news agency RIA Novosti

Moscow, 30 March: Russian intelligence reports indicate that the US armed forces have in effect completed preparations for a possible military operation against Iran, a source in the Russian forces structures has told RIA Novosti.

According to the source, the intelligence reports suggest that the United States has identified a list of possible targets on the territory of Iran and, in the course of military exercises, has rehearsed the plan of the operation.

“According to Russian military intelligence reports, the US armed forces in the Gulf have virtually completed preparations for a missile and bomb strike against the territory of Iran,” the source said.

The US command, the source noted, will be ready to mount an attack in the first half of April, although the decision to start a military operation must be taken by the US political leadership.

[Passage omitted: Iran faced with the threat of a US military operation over its refusal to abandon its nuclear programme; plus the level of the US military presence in the region, which, according to US official data, is on a par with that at the time of the US invasion of Iraq]

The source did not rule out that in the event of a possible military operation, following a missile strike and the assessment of damage to Iran’s armed forces, as well as once the public and political situation in that country after it has been attacked has been analysed, the Pentagon will take a decision on the start of a ground operation.

Earlier, a highly placed source in the Russian forces structures told RIA Novosti in an interview that military intelligence had recently been in receipt of reports to indicate that the US armed forces had stepped up preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran.

“This has to do with the fact that the Pentagon is in search of the most acceptable plan for a strike against Iran, which would enable the US with a minimum of losses to force that country on to its knees,” the agency’s source believes.

[Passage omitted: Col-Gen (retd) Leonid Ivashov’s 21 March interview, in which he says he has “no doubt” the US will attack Iran; plus numbers on the US naval deployment in the Gulf]

Source: RIA Novosti, Moscow, in Russian 1313 gmt 30 Mar 07, BBC translation.

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