Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

U.S. Has Arrested More Than 500 Iranians In Iraq

U.S. Has Arrested More Than 500 Iranians In Iraq And Pursued Others Into Iran


By Sherwood Ross

The Cold War between the U.S. and Iran is heating up.

U.S. military and special-operations teams "have escalated their activities in Iran to gather intelligence" and reportedly "have also crossed the border in pursuit of Iranian operatives from Iraq," according to investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in an article in the March 5 issue of "The New Yorker" magazine.

"The U.S. military also has arrested and interrogated hundreds or Iranians in Iraq," Hersh reported, including humanitarian aid workers mistakenly scooped up and released after interrogation.

Hersh quotes a former senior intelligence aide stating: "The word went out last August for the military to snatch as many Iranians in Iraq as they can. They had five hundred locked up at one time. We're working these guys and getting information from them."

The intelligence source added, "The White House goal is to build a case that the Iranians have been fomenting the insurgency and they've been doing it all along--- that Iran is, in fact, supporting the killing of Americans."

Hersh said a Pentagon consultant confirmed the intelligence aide's statement that hundreds of Iranians have been captured by American forces in recent months.

Although Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated last Feb. 2nd "We are not planning for a war with Iran," Hersh said "the atmosphere of confrontation has deepened."

"According to current and former American intelligence and military officials, secret operations in Lebanon have been accompanied by clandestine operations targeting Iran," Hersh wrote.

The investigative reporter recalled Vice President Richard Cheney's remarks on Fox News Jan. 14th warning of the possibility, in a few years, "of a nuclear-armed Iran, astride the world's supply of oil, able to affect adversely the global economy, preparted to use terrorist organizations and/or their nuclear weapons to threaten their neighbors and others around the world."

Hersh reported, "The Pentagon is continuing intensive planning for a possible bombing attack on Iran, a process that began last year, at the direction of the President."

According to one former intelligence official who spoke with Hersh, a special planning group has been established in the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "charged with creating a contingency bombing plan for Iran that can be implemented, upon orders from the President, within 24 hours."

That planning group, several sources told Hersh, has been handed a new assignment: to identify targets in Iran that may be involved in supplying or aiding militants in Iraq.

Additionally, Hersh said, the two carrier strike groups in the Arabian Sean, built around the carriers Eisenhower and Stennis, which had been considered to be relieved in the Spring, may be ordered to remain even after other carriers arrive.

Current U.S. contingency plans, Hersh was told, "allow for an attack order (on Iran) this spring" but senior officers on the Joint Chiefs were counting on the White House's not being "foolish enough to do this in the face of Iraq, and the problems it would give the Republicans in 2008."

Hersh said there has been a policy "redirection" or strategy shift, in the White House in the past few months that "has brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims."

*************

(Sherwood Ross is an American reporter and columnist who covers military and political topics. Reach him at sherwoodr1 @ yahoo.com )

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Julian Assange: A Thousand Days In Belmarsh
Julian Assange has now been in the maximum-security facilities of Belmarsh prison for over 1,000 days. On the occasion of his 1,000th day of imprisonment, campaigners, supporters and kindred spirits gathered to show their support, indignation and solidarity at this political detention most foul... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Mauling Of Novak Djokovic
Rarely can the treatment of a grand sporting figure by officialdom have caused such consternation. Novak Djokovic, the tennis World Number One, has always had a tendency to get under skin and constitution, creating a large following of admirers and detractors. But his current treatment by Australian authorities, and his subsequent detention as an unlawful arrival despite being granted a visa to participate in the Australian Open, had the hallmarks of oppression and incompetent vulgarity... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Voices Of Concern: Aussies For Assange’s Return

With Julian Assange now fighting the next stage of efforts to extradite him to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 of which are based on the brutal, archaic Espionage Act, some Australian politicians have found their voice. It might be said that a few have even found their conscience... More>>



Forbidden Parties: Boris Johnson’s Law On Illegal Covid Gatherings

It was meant to be time to reflect. The eager arms of a new pandemic were enfolding a society with asphyxiating, lethal effect. Public health authorities advocated various measures: social distancing, limited contact between family and friends, limited mobility. No grand booze-ups. No large parties. No bonking, except within dispensations of intimacy and various “bubble” arrangements. Certainly, no orgies... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Question Time Is Anything But
The focus placed on the first couple of Question Time exchanges between the new leader of the National Party and the Prime Minister will have seemed excessive to many but the most seasoned Parliamentary observers. Most people, especially those outside the Wellington beltway, imagine Question Time is exactly what it sounds... More>>



Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>