Israel, Iran gird for war

Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has responded the latest ant-Israel tirade by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad y saying that Israel must prepare solutions “other than diplomatic” in the face of Tehran’s nuclear program. “The right move would be to let a diplomatic approach guide us, but we must also prepare other solutions,” Mofaz said on a campaign tour for the Likud leadership primaries in Tel Aviv. Mofaz referred to Ahmadinejad as an “Israel hater,” adding “the combination of extreme hatred and nuclear capabilities certainly threatens the State of Israel and Western countries.” (Xinhua, Dec. 9) Israel, while denying plans to attack Iran, is expanding its military arsenal in preparation for such an attack. It has recently acquired dozens of warplanes with long-range fuel tanks to allow them to reach Iran, and it also signed a deal with Germany for two submarines reportedly capable of firing long-range missiles. (AP, Dec. 9) Iran, in turn, is turning to Russia to develop an anti-missile defense system. “Is this a problem? Do we need permission?” said Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, in response to reports that Tehran has bought 29 mobile air defense systems from Moscow in a $700 million contract. (Iran Mania, Dec. 9)

See our last post on Iran.