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Iran hunting for U.S. commandos

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.iran-press-service.com/ips/articles-2005/january/iran_us_nuke_20105.shtml IRAN LAUNCHED HUNT OPERATIONS TO FIND US COMMANDOS By Safa Haeri Posted
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 20, 2005
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      By Safa Haeri
      Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2005

      PARIS 20 Jan. (IPS) Iranian authorities have launched
      a massive, but discrete operation aimed at finding and
      arresting possible American commandos that an American
      investigative journalist said are now operating inside

      Though officials continued on Wednesday to issue
      strong, but unconvincing and incoherent warnings
      against the report, but Iran Press Service has learned
      from informed sources that the report is taken �very

      The authorities dismissed the report as a
      �psychological warfare� and absurdly �baseless�.

      The report, signed by prize-winner, investigative
      journalist Seymon Hirsh and published in the �New
      Yorker� magazine says US commandos have been operating
      inside Iran, selecting nuclear and other sensitive
      military sites for possible air strikes with the help
      of Pakistan.

      The authorities dismissed the report as a
      �psychological warfare� and absurdly �baseless�.

      "American commandos are not able to enter Iran so
      easily to spy. It would simplistic to accept such an
      idea", said Ali Aqa Mohammadi, Head of the Foreign
      Propaganda Department of Iran's Supreme National
      Security Council.

      "We know our borders", he added, ridiculing the report
      that says the commandos had been operating inside Iran
      since mid-2004 to search out potential targets for
      attack -- something the magazine said could come as
      early as mid-2005.

      According to Mr. Hirsh, the journalist who, among
      other investigative articles since the Vietnam war,
      revealed the abuses on Iraqi prisoners by American
      soldiers in the Baghdad�s notorious Abou Qorayeb
      prison, the operations are part of a world-wide
      campaign against terrorism waged by the Bush
      Administration and aimed at eradicating terrorism
      before his present mandate ends.

      �Contrary to Mr. Aqamohammadi�s statement, Iranian
      borders with all its neighbours, particularly Pakistan
      and Afghanistan, the two countries where the Americans
      have huge military presence, are difficult to control,
      as seen by the flow of smugglers that operates in the
      region�, the source pointed out on condition of

      However, while Pakistan has denied any involvement in
      the reported operations and the Pentagon has said the
      article was "riddled with errors", President George W.
      Bush told the NBC that he could not rule out military
      action against the Islamic Republic if the United
      States and the Europeans failed to persuade the
      Iranian ruling ayatollahs to abandon their nuclear
      energy programme.

      For her part, the new US Secretary of State
      Condoleezza Rice confirmed that the Islamic Republic,
      like Cuba, Zimbabwe, Belarus or North Korea will
      continue to remain under pressures by the United
      States and urged united world action to keep Iran from
      building nuclear weapons.

      Reiterating that Washington would continue actions to
      bring the case of Iranian nuclear activities before
      the United Nations Security Council to consider
      possible economic sanctions, she told the Senate
      Foreign Affairs Committee that if the Iranians �do not
      show that they're going to live up to their
      international obligations then we shall refer them to
      the Security Council".

      In a response, Hamid Reza Asefi, the Iranian deputy
      Foreign Affairs Minister said Iran viewed recent
      comments by U.S. officials as "a psychological
      campaign and political pressure" and urged Ms. Rice to
      �review� Washington's �misguided� foreign policy
      approach towards Iran and the rest of the world.

      "The United States has fallen into an abyss of several
      crises as a result of the wrong attitude of its hard
      line neo-conservatives. There is no way out unless it
      reviews and corrects its past mistakes", he said,
      adding, "We recommend the new secretary of state
      reviews the false and failed policies of the United
      States and avoid making the same mistakes," Asefi

      "We are not afraid of foreign enemies' threats and
      sanctions, since they know well that throughout its
      Islamic and ancient history, Iran has been no place
      for adventurism�, Head of the influential Expediency
      Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a
      possible future Iranian president told the state news
      agency IRNA on Tuesday.

      He was immediately echoed by the Defence Minister
      Admiral Ali Shamkhani, saying that Iran has acquired a
      strong military capability and will deter any attacks
      against it.

      �Iran did not fear the United States. We can say we
      have developed a might that no country can attack us
      because they do not have accurate information about
      our military capabilities", he added.

      But military experts say Iranian army�s equipments,
      including its air force, are aged and lack modern

      �Iran is far less modern military power than it was
      under the former Monarchy regime or compared to the
      time of war with Iraq�, wrote Mr. Anthony Cordesman in
      a long report on the situation of present Iran�s armed

      �Most of Iran�s military equipment is old and or
      second rate and most ot them are worn�, he added.

      But while Mr. Aqamohammadi was accusing Washington to
      wage the anti-Iranian campaign in order to influence
      forthcoming elections in neighbouring Iraq �to its
      liking�, Mr. Asefi said Washington was determined "not
      to help and encourage the constructive nuclear
      negotiations between Iran and the EU".

      On 15 November 2004, Iran and the so-called European
      troika, namely Britain, France and Germany reached a
      consensus to provide Tehran with some nuclear
      technologies for civilian purposes against Iran
      suspending its nuclear activities, mostly enriching

      The Board of Governors of the Vienna-based
      International Atomic Energy Agency that is
      investigating Iran�s controversial atomic programmes
      endorsed the Paris agreement at its last and stormy

      But according to Mr. Hirsh, American hawks are hoping
      that the talks between Tehran and the Europeans would
      eventually fail to give positive result and are
      banking on a reversal of the Troika�s position �soon�.

      "I hope we can solve it diplomatically, but I won't
      ever take any option off the table", Mr. Bush told
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