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Obama Administration Lowers
Threshold for Strike on Iran

Dec. 14, 2011 (EIRNS)—According to knowledgeable sources, the Obama Administration, under pressure from the National Security Council, headed by Tom Donilon, has changed the criterion for action against Iran. No longer is the "red line" crossed when the country has all of the elements required to assemble a nuclear bomb and delivery system, but when it has all the technological capability for building a nuclear weapon.

This clearly lowers the threshold for U.S. military action against Iran, even though it would still appear to be off into the near future. This shift is significant, according to one senior U.S. intelligence source, who equated it with the difference between a loaded and an unloaded gun. In point of fact, possessing the capability to develop such weapons is not prohibited by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and U.S. allies such as Japan do have it.

In the meantime, while a military strike remains a live option, the secret war has been ongoing for some time.

According to former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, the Obama White House recently issued several "findings" to the intelligence community, authorizing stepped-up covert action against both Damascus and Tehran. When combined with the evidence of major intelligence operations being run in Lebanon, they

"amount to a secret war against Iran and its allies in the Mideast."

Since 2008, Giraldi writes in, the U.S. has regarded the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, permitting the killing of its members. A 2007 Bush Administration finding authorized attacks on Iran's nuclear scientists and facilities, and coordination with the Israelis on developing computer viruses. A 2003 finding authorized the use of intelligence assets to disrupt Revolutionary Guard activity in border zones.

Giraldi says that assassinations carried out under these findings are not done by Israel or the United States, but by the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), the Baluch Jundallah, and the Kurdist PJAK. The new Obama edict on Iran extends the already existing initiatives, and intends to create new insurgencies along all of Iran's borders, including among the Azeris in northwest Iran.

In Syria as well, despite warnings from Russia and China, foreign intervention is underway, including support for the insurgency from Turkey and several European countries, and the arming of rebels with surplus weapons from Libya flown in on NATO aircraft. Reportedly, some 600 Libyan fighters who helped overthrow Muammar Gaddafi have been imported, along with French and British special forces on the ground. Giraldi writes that the U.S. is providing communications equipment and intelligence to the rebels, while cadres from the National Endowment for Democracy are providing the usual "democracy" training.

Giraldi warns that these destabilizations, taking place under the pretext of the "responsibility to protect" civilians, could provoke civil war and the suppression of Syria's minority populations.

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