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post #71 of 86 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 10:21 PM
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RE: So, How would you handle Iran?

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Robschaef - 1/18/2006 12:13 AM

"Also its a crap argument. Clinton is a non factor in this discussion (pre 9-11 and over 6 years ago... come on!)."

So it just happened all of a sudden. Oh no wait, I remember, it is because Bush was in office. Yeah, that is right. All his fault. That evil man that wakes up every day just trying to figure out how to ruin the world... Not likely. That pot was brewing for quite a while. Perhaps if Clinton had done something, 9-11 may have never happened on our soil...

Back to Iran:

How about this, I think we should burn down all of the schools.
Oh wait, you miss understood me. You should let me have the flame thrower, please. You miss understand me. I am a good and sane person....

Now does it make since to you. Why do you take the side of they have a big stick so I need one too...
Rob, it amazes me that the crowd here thinks that somehow this problem is our president's (Bush). Clinton had ample opportunity to clean house and put Saddam in his place (jail or assassination) and pressure the Iranians to play our game, but no, he let that whole lot slide for the next administration to deal with it. Clinton knew the economy was going down the drain in his second term but he did a good job stalling so again it will end up either Gore’s problem or even better any republican who might take over. Thank God Gore did not take the helm or we will be praying to the mullahs right now.
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post #72 of 86 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 10:31 PM
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RE: So, How would you handle Iran?

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MS Fowler - 1/17/2006 8:50 PM

Shane,
Why can't you keep on the topic?!
You guys can bash Bush all you want--but after all the hyperbole, there still is IRAN. Bush, or no Bush, there is nuclear Iran. Why can you not look at that issue?
Boring scares more people than war. Always has, don't see people advancing past this stage just yet. See Bot for a better explaination.
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post #73 of 86 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 11:16 PM
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RE: So, How would you handle Iran?

I find it interesting that since the 80's the United States played Saddam against Iran. That, along with the great cultural and ethnic differences within the country, is the only reason I can see why we let Saddam stay in control post Gulf War.

With Saddam gone though, Iran really has free reign in the region as they, if you exclude Israel, are the major military power in the region.

Again, I think it is all a bunch of sabre rattling in an attempt to have sanctions lifted or consessions granted one way or another. With the world's third largest oil reserve I don't buy the "our nuclear program is for strictly energy" line at all. They've got more oil than they could possibly need. They're just not allowed to sell it to us, so they lose money. It is apparent the world will not tolerate a nuclear Iran.

you could make the argument that nothing would be done, similar to what happened after Pakistan tested its nuclear bomb. The difference to me is who's at the helm. The head of Iran, we can all agree, has some serious issues. He wants to wipe a neighboring nation off the face of the map and thinks he would win a nuclear exchange. Musharraf on the other hand, though he was spitting at India, really didn't want a full scale war with India. With a population of 1 billion people he didn't want to go kick over that bees nest and knew he had no grounds for a war. Kashmir wasn't a good enough reason.

We do need to pay attention to Iran and keep tabs on wtf they're doing...Ahmadinejad is a crazy mother fucker who does fund terror. The insurgency in Iraq is a prime example along with palestinean groups fighting Israel. I don't see us doing shit about Iran until a bomb is detonated.
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post #74 of 86 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006, 06:00 AM
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RE: So, How would you handle Iran?

I hope we have made it clear to Iran that any Nuke detonated against our interests will result in the destruction of Mecca. They might not care about their own people but maybe their care about their most holy of shrines.
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post #75 of 86 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006, 06:10 AM
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RE: So, How would you handle Iran?

Don't underestimate the potential effects of this "crisis."

While the US might not rely on Iranian oil the EU & China, etc. are dependent on the flow. China recently signed a multi-billion dollar contract with Iran for oil. World oil supply's are tightly balanced with demand. So what do you do. China will most likely veto any realy sanctions, if they are some how imposed Iran shuts off the flow of oil, oil prices sky rocket. Does the EU capitulate? Personally I don't think that any peaceful solution will result in Iran giving up its quest for the bomb. They may make claims, let inspectors back in, etc but will not stop.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A disruption in Iran's crude oil exports because of a dispute over that country's nuclear program would affect an already tight global oil market and lead to higher petroleum prices, the head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration warned on Tuesday.

"The market is so tightly balanced, clearly, we can't afford to lose a large supply of crude to the market," EIA chief Guy Caruso told Reuters in an interview.

Even though the United States does not directly import Iranian crude, Caruso said a cutoff of Iran's oil would affect the U.S. market because other countries that buy Iranian crude would compete with America to find new supplies.

"It's a fungible world oil market, and any disruption in supply affects everyone, because the price would go up for everyone," he said.

Caruso declined to say whether a disruption of Iran's oil exports would have an impact significant enough to spike oil prices to $100 a barrel.

"I wouldn't want to speculate on that. Hopefully (the nuclear dispute) would be resolved without any disruption of supply," he said.




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post #76 of 86 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006, 08:09 AM
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RE: So, How would you handle Iran?

Quote:
Robschaef - 1/18/2006 12:13 AM

"Also its a crap argument. Clinton is a non factor in this discussion (pre 9-11 and over 6 years ago... come on!)."

So it just happened all of a sudden. Oh no wait, I remember, it is because Bush was in office. Yeah, that is right. All his fault. That evil man that wakes up every day just trying to figure out how to ruin the world... Not likely. That pot was brewing for quite a while. Perhaps if Clinton had done something, 9-11 may have never happened on our soil...
It's a crap argument because the same thing could be said for Bush I and Reagan and probably even Carter. So, YEAH, the pot was brewing for quite a while and all you're doing is crying over spilt milk. Live in the present my boy!
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post #77 of 86 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006, 08:27 AM
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RE: So, How would you handle Iran?

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Botnst - 1/17/2006 6:30 PM

Oooohhhh, the concensus of the various intelligence agencies is that Iran is working to develop nukes. Great. Where have I heard this before? Don't you feel like Charlie Brown and Lucy is presenting you with yet another opportunity to kick the football?

In this instance, I think the USA should STFU. The more pressure we put on Iran the more nationalistically Iran will react and the more likely they will be to actually develop a BOMB. If the EU wants to deal with it, let them.

The USA should let Iran (quietly, no grandstanding) know that a nuke exploded in any area of our strategic national interest will bring obliteration to Iran. That should encourage Iran to hold nukes carefully and may help Iran to discourage others from playing games with them.

In the long term as Fowler said, their young, restive population will come to power. If we can avoid alienating them we may survive the ayatollahs.

B
Perceptive and spot on. I agree.
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post #78 of 86 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006, 09:15 AM
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RE: So, How would you handle Iran?

People need to ask the question of why the leadership in Iran needs nukes.

Surprise; the Cold War is not over. It is kicked into a different plane of existence. The Soviets have been supporting any counter-democratic insurgency since the Berlin Wall came down as blow-back for being conventionally outspent be the West. This has plagued them more than us on respective domestic soil. The Chechen IED technology has been exported to Iraq, but perfected against the ex-U.S.S.R. AQ Khan could've been neutralized by the KGB on many occasions as his network spread the technology. The North Koreans, Pakistan, and Iran are major players in the Russian supported network. Their thinking was flawed. They figured that "assisting" regimes that had ill will towards the West would create an ally and buffer close to their Southern borders. They failed to realize that you can't count on fanatics as allies.

Iran, under the theocratic regime, is the number one exporter of terror. Their oil money supports the majority of Hezbollah's financial needs. Missile development has been shared via the Khan network. So, national defense is one of Iran's main objectives to become a nuclear power in the region. The other is of course to export terror. Persians do not necessarily like Arabs. Yes, there is a huge difference. Iran's leadership will play party to any group that will act against Western interests. The 09-11 hijackers spent time there. (See 09-11 Commission Report) Also, Bin Laden's heir Saad Bin Laden is living there with a contingent of his extended family. They have Al Qaeda bodyguards and exist under the protection of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. AQ Khan's network has access to Russian developed nuclear delivery devices that are easily transported. All the Iranians need is weapons grade uranium to complete the systems. They have 4,000 centrifuges ready to take it to the next level. These devices would leave no direct trail to Russia or Iran if deployed against a U.S. city via Arab terror cells. The Persians will be smiling, just like after 09-11. Forget the dirty bomb. A real one is coming. Iran wants to continue to be a terror exporter, but elevate it to WMDs. It is unacceptable and blame resides with the Carter Administration for failing to deal with this emerging threat decades ago after the Shah was deposed and hostages were taken. BTW, they were released Reagan's first day on the job. The miscalculation of Iran's government is that they think Bush will treat them like he did North Korea. However, America knows that Koreans did not fly planes into our buildings. Americans don't know the cultural differences between a Persian and an Arab. Americans only know that Middle Eastern Islamists attacked the WTC. Public sentiment would support the operation if marketed correctly.

I believe Wesley Clark and other ex-Clintonistas were screaming about how we should've attacked Iran instead of Iraq after the 09-11 Commission report. Now, the Democrats will get their wish. Let's see how many deny stating "Iran is the real threat." and hide form the cameras. It is an election year. [:)]

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post #79 of 86 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006, 06:09 PM
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RE: So, How would you handle Iran?

Will Iran Be Next?


Soldiers, spies, and diplomats conduct a classic Pentagon war game—with sobering results
by James Fallows

.....

hroughout this summer and fall, barely mentioned in America's presidential campaign, Iran moved steadily closer to a showdown with the United States (and other countries) over its nuclear plans.

In June the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran had not been forthcoming about the extent of its nuclear programs. In July, Iran indicated that it would not ratify a protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty giving inspectors greater liberty within its borders. In August the Iranian Defense Minister warned that if Iran suspected a foreign power—specifically the United States or Israel—of preparing to strike its emerging nuclear facilities, it might launch a pre-emptive strike of its own, of which one target could be the U.S. forces next door in Iraq. In September, Iran announced that it was preparing thirty-seven tons of uranium for enrichment, supposedly for power plants, and it took an even tougher line against the IAEA. In October it announced that it had missiles capable of hitting targets 1,250 miles away—as far as southeastern Europe to the west and India to the east. Also, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman rejected a proposal by Senator John Kerry that if the United States promised to supply all the nuclear fuel Iran needed for peaceful power-generating purposes, Iran would stop developing enrichment facilities (which could also help it build weapons). Meanwhile, the government of Israel kept sending subtle and not-so-subtle warnings that if Iran went too far with its plans, Israel would act first to protect itself, as it had in 1981 by bombing the Iraqi nuclear facility at Osirak.

Preoccupied as they were with Iraq (and with refighting Vietnam), the presidential candidates did not spend much time on Iran. But after the election the winner will have no choice. The decisions that a President will have to make about Iran are like those that involve Iraq—but harder. A regime at odds with the United States, and suspected of encouraging Islamic terrorists, is believed to be developing very destructive weapons. In Iran's case, however, the governmental hostility to the United States is longer-standing (the United States implicitly backed Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s), the ties to terrorist groups are clearer, and the evidence of an ongoing nuclear-weapons program is stronger. Iran is bigger, more powerful, and richer than Iraq, and it enjoys more international legitimacy than Iraq ever did under Saddam Hussein. The motives and goals of Iran's mullah government have been even harder for U.S. intelligence agencies to understand and predict than Saddam Hussein's were. And Iran is deeply involved in America's ongoing predicament in Iraq. Shiites in Iran maintain close cultural and financial contacts with Iraqi Shiite communities on the other side of the nearly 1,000-mile border between the countries. So far Iraq's Shiites have generally been less resistant to the U.S. occupation than its Sunnis. Most American experts believe that if it wanted to, Iran could incite Iraqi Shiites to join the insurgency in far greater numbers.

s a preview of the problems Iran will pose for the next American President, and of the ways in which that President might respond, The Atlantic conducted a war game this fall, simulating preparations for a U.S. assault on Iran.

"War game" is a catchall term used by the military to cover a wide range of exercises. Some games run for weeks and involve real troops maneuvering across oceans or terrain against others playing the role of the enemy force. Some are computerized simulations of aerial, maritime, or land warfare. Others are purely talking-and-thinking processes, in which a group of people in a room try to work out the best solution to a hypothetical crisis. Sometimes participants are told to stay "in role"—to say and do only what a Secretary of State or an Army brigade commander or an enemy strategist would most likely say and do in a given situation. Other times they are told to express their own personal views. What the exercises have in common is the attempt to simulate many aspects of conflict—operational, strategic, diplomatic, emotional, and psychological—without the cost, carnage, and irreversibility of real war. The point of a war game is to learn from simulated mistakes in order to avoid making them if conflict actually occurs.

Our exercise was stripped down to the essentials. It took place in one room, it ran for three hours, and it dealt strictly with how an American President might respond, militarily or otherwise, to Iran's rapid progress toward developing nuclear weapons. It wasn't meant to explore every twist or repercussion of past U.S. actions and future U.S. approaches to Iran. Reports of that nature are proliferating more rapidly than weapons.

Rather, we were looking for what Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel, has called the "clarifying effect" of intense immersion in simulated decision-making. Such simulations are Gardiner's specialty. For more than two decades he has conducted war games at the National War College and many other military institutions. Starting in 1989, two years before the Gulf War and fourteen years before Operation Iraqi Freedom, he created and ran at least fifty exercises involving an attack on Iraq. The light-force strategy that General Tommy Franks used to take Baghdad last year first surfaced in a war game Gardiner designed in the 1980s. In 2002, as the real invasion of Iraq drew near, Gardiner worked as a private citizen to develop nonclassified simulations of the situation that would follow the fall of Baghdad. These had little effect on U.S. policy, but proved to be prescient about the main challenges in restoring order to Iraq.

Gardiner told me that the war games he has run as a military instructor frequently accomplish as much as several standard lectures or panel discussions do in helping participants think through the implications of their decisions and beliefs. For our purposes he designed an exercise to force attention on the three or four main issues the next President will have to face about Iran, without purporting to answer all the questions the exercise raised.

The scenario he set was an imagined meeting of the "Principals Committee"—that is, the most senior national-security officials of the next Administration. The meeting would occur as soon as either Administration was ready to deal with Iran, but after a November meeting of the IAEA. In the real world the IAEA is in fact meeting in November, and has set a deadline for Iran to satisfy its demands by the time of the meeting. For the purposes of the simulation Iran is assumed to have defied the deadline. That is a safe bet in the real world as well.

And so our group of principals gathered, to provide their best judgment to the President. Each of them had direct experience in making similar decisions. In the role of CIA director was David Kay, who after the Gulf War went to Iraq as the chief nuclear-weapons inspector for the IAEA and the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), and went back in June of 2003 to lead the search for weapons of mass destruction. Kay resigned that post in January of this year, after concluding that there had been no weapons stockpiles at the time of the war.

Playing Secretary of State were Kenneth Pollack, of the Brookings Institution, and Reuel Marc Gerecht, of the American Enterprise Institute. Although neither is active in partisan politics (nor is anyone else who served on the panel), the views they expressed about Iran in our discussion were fairly distinct, with Gerecht playing a more Republican role in the discussions, and Pollack a more Democratic one. (This was the war game's one attempt to allow for different outcomes in the election.)

Both Pollack and Gerecht are veterans of the CIA. Pollack was a CIA Iran-Iraq analyst for seven years, and later served as the National Security Council's director for Persian Gulf affairs during the last two years of the Clinton Administration. In 2002 his book The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq was highly influential in warning about the long-term weapons threat posed by Saddam Hussein. (Last January, in this magazine, Pollack examined how pre-war intelligence had gone wrong.) His book about U.S.-Iranian tensions, The Persian Puzzle, has just been published. Gerecht worked for nine years in the CIA's Directorate of Operations, where he recruited agents in the Middle East. In 1997, under the pseudonym Edward Shirley, he published Know Thine Enemy: A Spy's Journey Into Revolutionary Iran, which described a clandestine trip. He has written frequently about Iran, Afghanistan, and the craft of intelligence for this and other publications.

The simulated White House chief of staff was Kenneth Bacon, the chief Pentagon spokesman during much of the Clinton Administration, who is now the head of Refugees International. Before the invasion Bacon was closely involved in preparing for postwar humanitarian needs in Iraq.

Finally, the Secretary of Defense was Michael Mazarr, a professor of national-security strategy at the National War College, who has written about preventing nuclear proliferation in Iran, among other countries, and has collaborated with Gardiner on previous war games.

This war game was loose about requiring players to stay "in role." Sometimes the participants expressed their institutions' views; other times they stepped out of role and spoke for themselves. Gardiner usually sat at the conference table with the five others and served as National Security Adviser, pushing his panel to resolve their disagreements and decide on recommendations for the President. Occasionally he stepped into other roles at a briefing podium. For instance, as the general in charge of Central Command (centcom)—the equivalent of Tommy Franks before the Iraq War and John Abizaid now—he explained detailed military plans.

more at theAtlantic.com
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post #80 of 86 (permalink) Old 01-21-2006, 10:22 PM
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RE: So, How would you handle Iran?

By JOSEF FEDERMAN

(AP) Italian Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Gianfranco Fini, gestures during an interview with the...

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's defense minister hinted Saturday that the Jewish state is preparing for military action to stop Iran's nuclear program, but said international diplomacy must be the first course of action.

"Israel will not be able to accept an Iranian nuclear capability and it must have the capability to defend itself, with all that that implies, and this we are preparing," Shaul Mofaz said.

His comments at an academic conference stopped short of overtly threatening a military strike but were likely to add to growing tensions with Iran.

Germany's defense minister said in an interview published Saturday that he is hopeful of a diplomatic solution to the impasse over Iran's nuclear program, but argued that "all options" should remain open.




Asked by the Bild am Sonntag weekly whether the threat of a military solution should remain in place, Franz Josef Jung was quoted as responding: "Yes, we need all options."

French President Jacques Chirac said Thursday that France could respond with nuclear weapons against any state-sponsored terrorist attack.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Saturday that Chirac's threats reflect the true intentions of nuclear nations, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

"The French president uncovered the covert intentions of nuclear powers in using this lever (nuclear weapons) to determine political games," IRNA quoted Asefi as saying.

Israel long has identified Iran as its biggest threat and accuses Tehran of pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran says its atomic program is peaceful.


By JOSEF FEDERMAN

(AP) Italian Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Gianfranco Fini, gestures during an interview with the...
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JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's defense minister hinted Saturday that the Jewish state is preparing for military action to stop Iran's nuclear program, but said international diplomacy must be the first course of action.

"Israel will not be able to accept an Iranian nuclear capability and it must have the capability to defend itself, with all that that implies, and this we are preparing," Shaul Mofaz said.

His comments at an academic conference stopped short of overtly threatening a military strike but were likely to add to growing tensions with Iran.

Germany's defense minister said in an interview published Saturday that he is hopeful of a diplomatic solution to the impasse over Iran's nuclear program, but argued that "all options" should remain open.


(AP) Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, leaves his office in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 18,...
Full Image


Asked by the Bild am Sonntag weekly whether the threat of a military solution should remain in place, Franz Josef Jung was quoted as responding: "Yes, we need all options."

French President Jacques Chirac said Thursday that France could respond with nuclear weapons against any state-sponsored terrorist attack.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Saturday that Chirac's threats reflect the true intentions of nuclear nations, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

"The French president uncovered the covert intentions of nuclear powers in using this lever (nuclear weapons) to determine political games," IRNA quoted Asefi as saying.

Israel long has identified Iran as its biggest threat and accuses Tehran of pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran says its atomic program is peaceful.


(AP) Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki walks during a farewell ceremony for Tajik President...
Full Image


Iran broke U.N. seals at a uranium enrichment plant Jan. 10 and said it was resuming nuclear research after a 2 1/2-year freeze. Germany, France and Britain said two days later that talks aimed at halting Iran's nuclear progress were at a dead end and called for Iran's referral to the U.N. Security Council.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, will meet Feb. 2 to discuss possible referral.

Israel's Mofaz said sanctions and international oversight of Iran's nuclear program stood as the "correct policy at this time."

In Germany, Jung called himself "confident that there will be a diplomatic solution in the case of Iran."

Israeli leaders have also repeatedly said they hope the crisis can be resolved through diplomacy, and they said any military action would have to be part of an international effort. They have denied having plans for a unilateral preventive strike.


(AP) Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, talks with Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr...
Full Image


Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Tehran might still agree to Moscow's offer to move its uranium enrichment program to Russia, a step backed by the United States and Europeans as a way to resolve the deadlock.

Israel's concerns about Iran have grown since the election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said last year that Israel should be "wiped off the map."

On Friday, Iran's Students News Agency reported Friday that Central Bank governor Ebrahim Sheibani said Iran had begun moving its foreign currency reserves from European banks and transferring them to an undisclosed location as protection against possible U.N. sanctions.

Sheibani backed away Saturday from his statement that the transfers were already underway, and Iran's Central Bank said there had been no change in its currency policy.

Estimates put Iranian funds in Europe at as much as $50 billion.

---_

Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi and Ali Akbar Dareini in Tehran and Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.



Iran broke U.N. seals at a uranium enrichment plant Jan. 10 and said it was resuming nuclear research after a 2 1/2-year freeze. Germany, France and Britain said two days later that talks aimed at halting Iran's nuclear progress were at a dead end and called for Iran's referral to the U.N. Security Council.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, will meet Feb. 2 to discuss possible referral.

Israel's Mofaz said sanctions and international oversight of Iran's nuclear program stood as the "correct policy at this time."

In Germany, Jung called himself "confident that there will be a diplomatic solution in the case of Iran."

Israeli leaders have also repeatedly said they hope the crisis can be resolved through diplomacy, and they said any military action would have to be part of an international effort. They have denied having plans for a unilateral preventive strike.



Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Tehran might still agree to Moscow's offer to move its uranium enrichment program to Russia, a step backed by the United States and Europeans as a way to resolve the deadlock.

Israel's concerns about Iran have grown since the election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said last year that Israel should be "wiped off the map."

On Friday, Iran's Students News Agency reported Friday that Central Bank governor Ebrahim Sheibani said Iran had begun moving its foreign currency reserves from European banks and transferring them to an undisclosed location as protection against possible U.N. sanctions.

Sheibani backed away Saturday from his statement that the transfers were already underway, and Iran's Central Bank said there had been no change in its currency policy.

Estimates put Iranian funds in Europe at as much as $50 billion.

---_

Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi and Ali Akbar Dareini in Tehran and Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.


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