German Security Sources See US Preparing Mideast Allies for Air Raid on Iran

EUP20051223072003 Berlin ddp in German 1058 GMT 23 Dec 05 [US Government translation]

[Report by Udo Ulfkotte: "Washington Prepares Close Allies for Air Raid on Iran"]

Munich -- The administration of US President George W. Bush is obviously holding secret talks with its most important allies in the Middle East at the moment, preparing them for a potential air raid on targets in Iran next year. Western security sources confirmed this to ddp on Friday [23 Dec]. According to this information, CIA Director Porter Goss is said to have asked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the capital Ankara on Monday last week [12 Dec] to support the air raids on Iranian nuclear and military facilities, currently scheduled for 2006, mainly by an unqualified exchange of intelligence service information. "We are looking at the exchange of information relating to Iran with great interest at the moment," it was said.

Over the past few weeks, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, and Pakistan were also said to be basically informed about the military plans. Air raids were then called a "possible option," with no specific date mentioned.

CIA Director Goss is said to have handed the Turkish security authorities in Ankara three dossiers, one of which supposedly shows that Tehran cooperates with the terrorist organization Al-Qa'ida.

Another dossier concerned the status of Iran's nuclear armament, it was said. According to information supplied by German security circles, Goss assured Ankara of informing the Turkish Government of a potential air raid a few hours in advance, giving Turkey already now the "green light" to attack camps of the separatist Workers Party of Kurdistan situated on Iranian territory on that day.

Turkey is Washington's most important ally in the region. A few days ahead of the CIA boss, FBI Director Robert Mueller had visited Ankara. According to information obtained by ddp, Turkish General Chief of Staff Yasar Buyukanit was asked while in Washington a few days ago to prepare the Turkish armed forces for a potential US military strike against Iranian targets "in the medium term."

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who was in Turkey a few days ago and is regarded as a close ally of Washington, has also been informed about the status of US preparations for an air raid on targets in Iran, German security sources say. German military circles believe that the US long-range bombers deployed in Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean could carry out the surprise attack together with naval units operating in the Gulf.

According to ddp information, the recent anti-Semitic invectives poured forth by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad have confirmed the US Administration in its view that Tehran would also refuse to make concessions in the nuclear argument and simply play for time. A high-ranking German military officer told ddp: "I would be very much surprised if the United States were not to gain advantage from Tehran's policy. The Americans must attack Iran before it develops nuclear weapons. Afterwards, it would be too late." Ahmadinezhad had not only denied the holocaust, but also demanded in public to wipe the state of Israel off the map. Israeli Prime Minister Ari'el Sharon had not ruled out recently that Israel would attack the Islamic Republic of Iran on its own.

[Description of Source: Berlin ddp in German -- independent news agency]