Plans are longstanding. Timing alone isn't known. Signs suggest 2012. If sanctions, subversion, cyberwar, and targeted assassinations fail, expect hot conflict to follow.
On January 9, the Washington Post quoted an anonymous US intelligence official saying America's goal for Iran is "regime change." A next day article retracted the statement, saying:
"An earlier version of this article reported that a US intelligence official had described regime collapse as a goal of US and other sanctions against Iran. An updated version clarifies the official's remarks."
In other words, the Post retracted its correct assessment. Indeed, Washington's longstanding goal is regime change by whatever means necessary, including war.
Recent reports and events are worrisome. On January 13, the The Tribune Company headlined, "US troops quietly surge into Middle East," saying:
CENTCOM head General James Mattis "warned that he needed additional forces to deal with Iran and other potential threats...."
As a result, 15,000 combat troops are positioned in Kuwait. "The new units include two Army infantry brigades and a helicopter unit." In addition, two aircraft carrier battle groups remain in the region.
Nuclear armed and dangerous, they include a carrier, two guided missile cruisers, a guided missile destroyer, another anti-submarine (ASW) one, an ASW frigate, two attack submarines, and a combined ammunition, oiler, supply ship.
On January 13, Foreign Affairs contributor Mark Perry headlined "False Flag," saying:
US intelligence files reveal that "Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as America (CIA) agents."
Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, part of Washington's worldwide propaganda operation, reported them responsible for assassinating high-ranking Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) officers and other government officials.
The State Department designates Jundallah (a militant Pakistan group, allegedly with Al Qaeda and Taliban links) a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Washington strategically uses insurgent groups like Al Qaeda as allies and/or enemies. Israel's policy is similar.
CIA memos suggested no direct Jundallah contacts. They also showed US intelligence familiarity with Mossad practices, and perhaps encouraged them.
Nonetheless, Perry said "they were stunned by the brazenness of the Mossad's efforts," operating "nearly in the open."
Though no evidence links Jundallah with targeted Iranian assassinations, The New York Times reported that current and former US officials say "(t)he CIA has repeatedly tried to derail Iran's uranium enrichment program by covert means, including introducing sabotaged parts into (its) supply chain."
In addition, its longstanding targeted assassinations policy "fit(s) a pattern over the past two years of covert operations by the West and its allies to 'degrade and delay' Iran's nuclear program."
France's Le Figaro said "the US and Israel have carried out multiple acts of sabotage against sensitive nuclear installations, while ordering targeted killings of Iranian nuclear experts."
Israeli and US agents recruit Iranian assets to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, "which includes targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear experts...."
At the same time, the State Department aggressively denies doing so. In a November 3, 2010 letter to the Wall Street Journal, it said:
"We have repeatedly stated, and reiterate again that the United States has not provided support to Jundallah. The United States does not sponsor any form of terrorism."
"We will continue to work with the international community to curtail support for terrorist organizations and prevent violence against innocent civilians. We have also encouraged other governments to take comparable actions against Jundallah."
In fact, state-sponsored terrorism is official US policy. So is Israel's. In addition, both countries willfully and maliciously target civilians in combat operations. Claiming otherwise is duplicitous.
In July 2008, Seymour Hersh said Congress agreed "to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence and congressional sources."
He reported US Special Operations Forces conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq.
In June 2011, he also said despite "years of covert operations inside Iran, extensive satellite imagery, and the recruitment of many Iranian intelligence assets, the United States and its allies, including Israel, have been unable to find irrefutable evidence of (a covert) nuclear-weapons program in Iran, according to intelligence and diplomatic officials here and abroad."
America's annual intelligence assessment says the same thing.
An unnamed former CIA officer told Perry that it's "pretty hard for the US to distance itself from....Israeli attack(s) on Iran" while targeted assassinations and other subversion remain ongoing.
Recent comments by US officials also reveal plans for regime change in Syria. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said that toppling Bashar al-Assad "would constitute Iran's greatest setback in the region yet - a strategic blow that will further shift the balance of power in the region against Iran."
According to Under Secretary of State for the Near East Jeffrey Feltman, Washington will "relentlessly pursue our two-track strategy of supporting the opposition and diplomatically and financially strangling the (Syrian) regime until that outcome is achieved."
He added that replacing it with one "more compatible" with Washington's regional interests is prioritized. Strategy includes falsified or exaggerated reports, including alleged massacres, torture, rape, and other claims to enlist public support.
Al Jazeera notoriously acts as Qatar's official mouthpiece. Long ago it lost legitimacy as a credible news service. It waged war on Gaddafi. It features biased reports on Syria's insurgency, and offers mostly pro-Western reports. What began as a noble experiment deteriorated visibly to a voice for imperial interests.
In December, Stratfor global intelligence cautioned:
"Most of the (Syrian) opposition's more serious claims have turned out to be grossly exaggerated or simply untrue....revealing more about the opposition's weakness (and credibility) than the level of instability inside the Syrian regime."
It also warned against falsified media reports "that make the case for foreign backing."
On January 5, Asia Times writer Aisling Byrne headlined, "A mistaken case for Syrian regime change," saying:
A calculated plan against Assad's government is ongoing. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained:
"It is clear that the purpose is to provoke a humanitarian catastrophe to get a pretext to demand external interference into this conflict."
In mid-December, the American Conservative reported:
"CIA analysts are skeptical regarding the march to war. The frequently cited United Nations report that more than 3,500 civilians have been killed by Assad's soldiers (now 5,000 allegedly or more), is based largely on rebel sources and is uncorroborated. The Agency has refused to sign off on the claims."
"Likewise, accounts of mass defections from the Syrian army and pitched battles between deserters and loyal soldiers appear to be a fabrication, with few defections being confirmed independently."
In fact, Washington, Israel, key NATO partners, and regional allies shaped externally generated insurgent attacks. Funds and heavy weapons are supplied. Operations are coordinated out of America's Incirlik air base. Turkey's actively involved. So are unmarked NATO warplanes. Planned regime change will precede belligerently targeting Iran.
Expect Washington's grand scheme to continue until total control over the entire Mediterranean Basin through Central Asia is achieved to Russia and China's borders. As a result, imagine the potential horrors ahead, including at home.
On January 14, Michel Chossudovsky suggested a possible scenario, saying:
Washington and Israel plan war against Iran. "Advanced weapons systems have been deployed." Intelligence elements and Special Forces operate inside the country. Spying and reconnaissance continue.
"Bunker buster B61 tactical nuclear weapons are slated to be used against (Iran's) alleged nuclear program." Operations include massive regional troop deployments. US/Israeli "naval war games are being conducted simultaneously."
Will a "war pretext incident" be triggered to provoke Iran to respond? Coalition to Oppose Arms Trade coordinator Richard Sanders was quoted saying:
"Throughout history, war planners have used various forms of deception to trick their enemies. Because public support is so crucial (to wage war), the home population is also subject to deceitful stratagems."
"Perhaps the most common pretext for war is an apparently unprovoked enemy attack. Such attacks, however, are often fabricated, incited or deliberately allowed to occur. They are then exploited to arouse widespread public sympathy" to retaliate.
A Final Comment
Throughout US history, false flag big lies provided pretexts for militarism, wars, occupations, domestic repression, and national security state extremism.
More recent examples alone are notable, including the fake August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, manufactured ones to depose Panama's Manuel Noriega, collusion and deception conning Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait, 9/11 to attack Afghanistan, WMD lies precipitating Iraq's attack and occupation, and falsified reports about Gaddafi to target Libya.
Is Syria next, then Iran, then global war followed by militarized homeland repression? Using Obama as front man, out-of-control militarists make it possible!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.