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Old 11-29-2010, 10:17 AM   #1
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Default Israel says Arabs agree on Iran threat

FOXNews.com - Found 46 minutes ago
TEL AVIV, Israel â?? Israel's prime minister said Monday that newly leaked U.S. diplomatic memos provide clear proof that the Arab world agrees with his country's assessment that Iran is the chief danger to the Middle East. According to the documents released Sunday by online whistle-blower ...
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Israel says Arabs agree on Iran threat
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:52 PM   #2
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So dey gonna wait an' give `em more time to develope their bomb...

Mossad chief says attack on Iran now on back burner
Saturday 8th January, 2011 - Israel has revised downward its assessment of when Iran might acquire nuclear weapons.
Quote:
Israel believes that Iran will not be able to produce a nuclear bomb before 2015. That is the assessment of the outgoing head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, Meir Dagan, in a briefing published on Friday. Previous Israeli estimates suggested that Iran could have the bomb in a year or two. Dagan based his revised assessment on several factors, including sabotage, domestic unrest in Iran, the bite of international sanctions and technical difficulties.

Israeli analyst Gerald Steinberg says one problem is foreign sabotage, such as the Stuxnet computer virus, which invaded Iran's nuclear facilities. It is widely believed that the virus was planted by Israel. "There's a lot that's happened. We've seen this worm, this virus that's attacked the computers that run the Iranian uranium enrichment process,” Steinberg said. “We've seen some scientists who have been killed and injured, people who are working on the nuclear enrichment program in Iran, and we've seen sanctions. When you put those pieces together, it makes sense to see a slowdown in the process."

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. But Israel disagrees and, although officially supporting diplomatic efforts to dampen Iran's nuclear ambitions has not ruled out the possibility of a military stirke against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Steinberg believes that in light of the new assessment, an Israeli attack is now on the back burner. "A military operation has always been the last resort, the least desirable option,” Steinberg added. “So that if now the assessment is that Iran is not up close to the finish line and will take some time to recover and the world’s got another four or five years to stop Iran; then I think that the military option is still going to be on the table, but it's going to be way in the back." Still, Israel wants the world to step up the pressure on Iran. Israeli officials say the only way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is to impose tougher sanctions backed up by a credible military threat.

Mossad chief says attack on Iran now on back burner
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:54 PM   #3
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Stuxnet A Joint US-Israeli Operation...

Israel Tests on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay
January 15, 2011 - Ralph Langner, an independent computer security expert, solved Stuxnet.
Quote:
The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel’s never-acknowledged nuclear arms program, where neat rows of factories make atomic fuel for the arsenal. Over the past two years, according to intelligence and military experts familiar with its operations, Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role — as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran’s efforts to make a bomb of its own.

Behind Dimona’s barbed wire, the experts say, Israel has spun nuclear centrifuges virtually identical to Iran’s at Natanz, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. They say Dimona tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran’s ability to make its first nuclear arms.

“To check out the worm, you have to know the machines,” said an American expert on nuclear intelligence. “The reason the worm has been effective is that the Israelis tried it out.” Though American and Israeli officials refuse to talk publicly about what goes on at Dimona, the operations there, as well as related efforts in the United States, are among the newest and strongest clues suggesting that the virus was designed as an American-Israeli project to sabotage the Iranian program.

In recent days, the retiring chief of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, Meir Dagan, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton separately announced that they believed Iran’s efforts had been set back by several years. Mrs. Clinton cited American-led sanctions, which have hurt Iran’s ability to buy components and do business around the world.

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Old 10-19-2011, 05:52 AM   #4
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New Stuxnet variant...

'Son of Stuxnet' virus could be used to attack critical computers worldwide
A powerful new computer virus that some are calling the "Son of Stuxnet" has been discovered, and researchers are concerned about its potential for attacking critical infrastructure computers around the world.
Quote:
The mysterious Stuxnet worm -- perhaps the most powerful ever created -- managed to infiltrate computer systems in Iran and do damage to that nation's nuclear research program. The new worm, dubbed Duqu, has no such targeted purpose. But it shares so much code with the original Stuxnet that researchers at Symantec Corp. say it must either have been created by the same group that authored Stuxnet, or by a group that somehow managed to obtain Stuxnet's source code. Either way, Duqu's authors are brilliant, and mean business, said Symantec's Vikrum Thakur. "There is a common trait among the (computers) being attacked," he said. "They involve industrial command and control systems."

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Symantec speculates that Duqu is merely gathering intelligence as a precursor to a future industrial-strength attack on infrastructure computers. Duqu's purpose is to gather intelligence data and assets from entities, such as industrial control system manufacturers, in order to more easily conduct a future attack against another third party,” Symantec said in an announcement. “The attackers are looking for information such as design documents that could help them mount a future attack on an industrial control facility.” At the moment, Duqu only creates a back door into infected systems, connecting them to a command computer somewhere in India. No marching orders have yet been given, Thakur said. But those who control the machines could do virtually anything they wanted, Thakur said.

"The kinds of consequences we could see ... if the computer is told download this file, it will download the file. If the file says shut off this service, and that had an effect on a power plant or a conveyor belt, it would do that," he said. Duku is so similar to Stuxnet that F-Secure's antivirus program initially identified it as Stuxnet, said F-Secure's Chief Research Officer Mikko Hypponen. "Duqu's kernel driver is so similar to Stuxnet's driver that our back-end systems actually thought it was Stuxnet," he said in a Tweet. The mysterious Duku is designed to leave the back door open for precisely 36 days, and then self-destruct.

Symantec was first alerted to the existence of Duqu on Friday, when an unnamed security firm that had already worked with a Europe-based victim shared his research with the firm. Symantec researchers worked through the weekend trying to understand the virus, which they have since learned has infected industrial computers "around the globe," Thakur said. He wouldn't identify the initial victim or say how many known victims there are. Symantec’s analysis shows the Duqu may have been used to surveil computers around the world as far back as December 2010.

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Old 12-10-2011, 12:31 AM   #5
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Granny says she agrees with dem lib'rals dat say Obama oughta reach out to dat Ammerdinerjab - yea, reach out an' slap him upside the head...

Is war with Iran inevitable?
Friday 9 December 2011 - Former UK foreign minister Malcolm Rifkind fears Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons. Not so, says campaigner Abbas Edalat, who thinks western hawks want war
Quote:
As tensions between Iran and the west escalate, and US politicians call for regime change, Susanna Rustin talks to former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Iranian-British academic Abbas Edalat, founder of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran, about Iran's nuclear programme and the likelihood of war.

Malcolm Rifkind: I do not advocate a military attack on Iran, but the International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran is failing to comply with agency requirements and UN security council resolutions and it is very difficult for the international community to say it doesn't matter. If Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability, that has massive implications.

Abbas Edalat: Sixty years ago the British government was demonising the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh, and it is doing the same to the Islamic Republic. When sanctions failed then, it organised with the US the 1953 coup and brought back the Shah. And in Iraq the same unfounded allegations of weapons of mass destruction that we are seeing now were used to justify an illegal war. Western intelligence sources are feeding fabricated evidence to the IAEA, whose new head [Yukiya Amano] was disclosed by WikiLeaks to be a hardline supporter of the US. But the IAEA's latest report [last month] is disappointing for the western alliance because it says Iran has not diverted its declared nuclear material [to weapons].

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Congress rebuffs easing of Iran sanctions
WASHINGTON — Republicans and Democrats determined to look tough on Iran and avoid any election-year challenges to their pro-Israel bona fides are rebuffing Obama administration pleas to ease proposed penalties on Iran's central bank.
Quote:
The administration argues that the crippling penalties would undercut a carefully calibrated international effort targeting Tehran and would drive up oil prices, a potential economic boon that would help finance Iran's suspected pursuit of a nuclear weapon while hitting cash-strapped Americans at the gas pump. Just weeks after announcing a new round of restrictions, President Barack Obama on Thursday dismissed "some of the political noise out there" and said his "administration has systematically imposed the toughest sanctions on Iran ever." Obama said he was considering all options for dealing with Iran, but declined to be more specific.

Lawmakers are pressing ahead with penalties against foreign banks that do business with Iran's central bank, a plan that the Senate resoundingly endorsed last week on a 100-0 vote. "The administration does understand the centrality of this issue to forcing Iran. They would like to do it unimpeded by congressional mandates. That's true of every administration," Rep. Howard Berman of California, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in an interview. "On this, we're not going to just roll over and take their suggestions." The showdown between the administration and Congress encompasses policy realities and political maneuvering.

Tough economic penalties are the most viable option short of a military strike. Looking ahead to the 2012 elections, Republicans and Democrats are intent on presenting a record of hawkishness toward Iran and unwavering support for Israel, mindful of the importance for American Jewish voters and their financial contributions to the political parties. The sanctions measure sponsored by Sens. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., was added to a broader defense bill that's now the subject of closed-door negotiations between the House and Senate. Lawmakers hope to produce a final version of the policy legislation early next week.

Few lawmakers, even Democrats, have argued the administration's case for weakening the penalties. "I think Democrats are scratching their heads that the administration is leading them into a policy provision which not a single Democratic senator can support," Kirk said in an interview. He said he spoke to the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., on Thursday and he indicated that the House negotiators would accept the sanctions provision.

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