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PRESS RELEASE


CHENEY'S VIRTUAL DECLARATION OF WAR VS. IRAN

President Approves Regime Change in Iran

May 23, 2007 (EIRNS)—The CIA has received secret Presidential approval to launch a campaign for regime change in Iran.

The approval comes in the form of a signed "non-lethal" Presidential finding which would launch a plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation, and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions, ABCNews.com reported May 22.

Presidential findings are kept secret but reported to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and other key Congressional leaders. The non-lethal aspect of the presidential finding means CIA officers may not use deadly force in the campaign.

Also briefed on the CIA proposals, among others, are the National Security Advisor Steve Hadley and Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams. "The entire plan has been blessed by Abrams, in particular. And, Hadley put his chop on it," an intelligence source is quoted saying to ABCNews.com

Abrams' last attempt to destabilize a foreign government led to criminal charges. He pleaded guilty in October 1991 to two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from the U.S. Congress about the Reagan Administration's attempt to destabilize Nicaraguan Sandinista government, known as the Iran-Contra affair. Abrams was pardoned later by President George H.W. Bush, father of the present President. Abrams is now involved in covert operations to destabilize the entire Middle East region.

Cheney's Shadow Behind New Show of Force in Persian Gulf

May 23, 2007 (EIRNS)—Nine U.S. warships carrying 17,000 personnel have entered the Persian Gulf today, in a show of force off Iran's coast. U.S. Navy officials said on May 23 that this was the largest daytime assembly of ships since the 2003 Iraq invasion began, AFP reported. In addition, this "flag march at sea" into the Gulf was done this morning in daylight, whereas military analysts say such naval entries usually take place at night.

Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn, the group leader on board the USS Stennis, said, "What is special about this, is that you have two strike groups. Everybody will see us, because it is in daylight." Quinn says the ships will conduct exercises as part of a long-planned effort to assure regional allies of U.S. commitment to Gulf security. "There is always the threat of any state, or non-state actor, that might decide to close one of the international straits, and the biggest one is the Straits of Hormuz." The reference was clearly to Iran.

What is of particular interest to observers is the statement by U.S. Navy officials, who said the decision to send a second aircraft carrier was made at a last minute, without giving a reason. According to AFP, the officials said Iran had not been notified of plans to sail the ships — which include the aircraft carriers USS Nimitz and USS Stennis — through the Straits of Hormuz, a narrow channel in international waters off Iran's coast and a major artery for global oil shipments.

DEBKAfile, reporting from Israel, notes that the maneuvers are taking place less than two weeks after Vice President Dick Cheney visited the region, and informed Saudi King Abdullah and fellow Gulf rulers that President George W. Bush has determined that if Iran refuses to waive a nuclear weapon capability, the United States will attack its nuclear, military and economic infrastructure before he leaves the White House in January 2009.

Saudi Daily: New Mideast Violence Followed From Cheney's Trip

May 23, 2007 (EIRNS)--The leading Saudi daily, Asharq Al-Awsat, published an op-ed by Fahmi Hweidi, a leading Egyptian Islamic intellectual, in which he argued that the outbreak of violence in the region must have to do with Dick Cheney's visit there.

Is it mere coincidence that Cheney would visit the region, and as soon as he had left, the situation in Gaza explodes and the Israeli government starts talking about eliminating Hamas once and for all? Thus starts Hweidi's op-ed. He continues: When the most dangerous man in the U.S. Administration comes here on a tour and, then, what we have seen take place on the ground and the air takes place, we cannot say that he was here for consultation or for extending the cords of friendship.

It is true, Hweidi writes, that the reports said Cheney discussed the Iraq issue, but the commentaries said that his visit was about the scenarios of dealing with the Iranian nuclear program, among which a military strike is one of the options. But, he did not talk at all [publicly] about the Palestinian issue, and in spite of that, it was only the Palestinian issue whose elements started to move as soon as the Vice President was back in Washington.

Although Hweidi does not bring in Cheney's plans for a Sunni-against-Shia war in the region, which EIR has exposed, he argues that Cheney's mad idea is to get rid of Hamas in preparation for an attack on Iran. There is a strong view in Washington that bringing the Palestinian situation under control and later to stabilize the Arab front is a precondition to bring the Arab nations on board to deal with Iran and reduce the pressure on the Americans in Iraq.

Hweidi accuses elements in the security apparatus of the Palestinian authority, belonging to the PLO, of playing into the hands of Cheney and Israel by sabotaging the agreement reached between President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and the Mecca Accord. The sabotage has been focused on keeping the Interior Ministry and security forces divided between Hamas and the PLO, and thus instead of having a national security force, the two groups continue having militias. Hweidi names three PLO security officials who have actively opposed the agreements of their own President, Abbas. They are: Mahmoud Dahlan (head of Preventive Security), Samir Mashharawi (Intelligence Chief), and Abu Shabak (security chief in Gaza).

Hweidi also notes that the security forces escalate the confrontation with Hamas on the ground, and at the same time Israel uses its F16s and Apachi helicopters to bomb the Executive Security Force of the Interior Ministry (Hamas-led), which was established to protect the elected officials and government personnel.

Neo-Con Secret Session on `Iran Confrontation' Follows Cheney's Mideast Trip; Iraq War `Genius' Bernard Lewis Featured

May 23, 2007 (EIRNS)—Journalist Jim Lobe has exposed (in LobeLog) a meeting underway now in the Bahamas, by leading neo-Cons, to plot a new "confrontation" strategy on Iran. The meeting is to include Gulf and Middle East specialists, at Westin's luxurious Our Lucaya Resort on Grand Bahama Island.

The meeting will be opened by a speech on "Iran's regional ambitions" by none other than British Foreign Office veteran Bernard Lewis, the inventor of the "clash of civilizations" doctrine, whom Lyndon LaRouche has repeatedly exposed as being among the intellectual authors of the British imperial war doctrine in the region.

The meeting takes place May 30 to June 1, Lobe writes. It is organized by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a neo-con outfit set up two days after 9/11. The "policy workshop" over the Memorial Day weekend, is to discuss U.S. strategy for confrontation with Iran.

Lobe's report quotes from the invitation letter sent out by FDD president Clifford May, which says the the workshop, entitled "Confronting The Iranian Threat: The Way Forward," will gather "30 or so leading experts who will analyze the implications of Iran's activities, the diplomatic challenges, military and intelligence capabilities, the spread of its ideology within and beyond its borders, and other issues, including the prospects for democratization in the Islamic world, energy security and other related issues that face policymakers in the United States, Europe and the Middle East."

Among the experts invited are: "Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky; the hard-line Iran country director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and Office of Special Plans (OSP) alumna, Ladan Archin; the recently-departed State Department Coordinator of Counterterrorism, Amb. Henry Crumpton; the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Treasury Department, Matthew Levitt, who is now with the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). The administration's new UN Ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, has also been invited, although his duties as next month's Security Council president may make it difficult for him to travel. In any case, his spouse, Cheryl Benard, who directs the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy, is confirmed," Lobe reports. "Uri Lubrani, the chief Iran advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, is also expected to participate."

"Rob Sobhani ... who helped found, along with Michael Ledeen and several other AEI fellows, the Coalition for Democracy in Iran in 2002, has also been invited, as has one of Lewis' most devoted protégés, AEI fellow and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative, Reuel Marc Gerecht," according to Lobe.

Finally, invitees include anti-proliferation expert Henry Sokolski, vice president of the neo-Conservative American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) and author of the rather sensationalist ‘Tehran Rising. Journalists from the Wall Street Journal, like Bret Stephens, and Matt Kaminski, as well as London Times editor Gerard Baker, have also been invited, as well as Amir Taheri.