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User Name: abdulruff
Full Name: Dr.Abdul Ruff Colachal
User since: 15/Mar/2008
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NATO shield in Turkey for Israel against Iran? 






It seems the Americans are eager to install a missile shield that would provide cover for a threatened Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites, but Washington has denied it. Islamist-rooted Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, under whom Turkey's once-solid ties with the Jewish state have deteriorated, was worried that their trusted long time ally USA has hidden agenda to help Israel in the event of a Zionist attack on Iran.


Tayyip Erdogan was upset and had asked USA not link Turkish facilities with Israel that is ill-focused on Palestinians. Objections by Erdogan's government had resulted in part from confusion about Turkish-hosted NATO radar.


Turkey had been assuaged by US alliance Patriot anti-missile batteries assigned to protect its territory from Syria.


NATO deputy secretary-general Alexander Vershbow met Turkish leader and had rounds of talks with Turkish premier.


With a convincing explanation from USA that Israel is not going to benefit in any way from Turkish radar, Turkey has accepted their assurances a planned NATO missile defense system in which it is playing a part is not designed to protect Israel as well. Recently, addressing an Israeli security forum, Vershbow said there had been "a lot of confusion" in Turkey, including over the similarity between its NATO radar and a US radar posted in Israel to help it spot any ballistic missile launches by Iran. 



Vershbow opined that there was misperception that somehow the NATO system would be focused on the protection of Israel and that Israeli-based assets would be part of the NATO system, whereas in fact these are two separate issues. "So I think that issue has receded. It may still be a problem among some parts of Turkish public opinion, but I think Turkey is now as a government supportive of missile defense."


Vershbow linked that support to the fact the Erdogan government has "been benefiting from the deployed Patriots now for more than a year, deterring the Assad regime from firing some of its Scud missiles against civilian population centers in Turkey.


Ankara agreed in 2011 to host an early-warning radar system as part of the NATO ballistic missile defense system. The NATO missile defense system, which Vershbow envisaged being complete by the early part of the next decade, has encountered fierce opposition from Russia though the alliance insists the plan is not to counter its capabilities.


Vershbow, a former US ambassador to Moscow and Pentagon official,  also chided Russia for not taking up NATO offers to cooperate on missile defense and for apparently ignoring the assessments of Russian experts that the shield's technologies and deployment were inconsistent with a threat on the country. "This has actually been documented in numerous scholarly articles by Russian generals and rocket scientists in Russian journals," said Vershbow. "But the bad news is that Russian leaders and senior officials seem to pay no attention to their experts ... Instead they continue to beat the drum about the purported threat posed by NATO's missile defense system to Russia's strategic retaliatory capability coupled with ominous warnings of retaliation against a threat that does not exist."


There have been media reports of new Russian missile deployments in Kaliningrad, a western enclave of Russia lodged between NATO members Poland and Lithuania. After some days of ambiguity they made clear that they haven't yet deployed them.  "There is expectation that they will replace the older generation of missiles as well as outdated ones.. They have recast this system thing that they had planned to do and they are characterizing it as retaliation at least in part to (NATO) missile defense."


Meanwhile, The White House dismissed an aggressive claim of victory by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani over an interim nuclear deal, and attempted to face down rising domestic political pressure over the pact. Washington said Rouhani's comment that world powers were now bowing to Tehran was a symptom of domestic politics and insisted the deal, curbing aspects of Iran's nuclear program in return for limited sanctions relief, hinged on its words and not its rhetoric.



The White House is fighting a battle to prevent Congress from slapping a new round of sanctions on Iran which it says could cause the Islamic republic to walk away from the negotiating table, and eventually push Washington into a war to thwart Tehran's nuclear program.  



The new measures target the petroleum, mining and engineering sectors of Iran's economy, but supporters say they would only come into force if Tehran stops negotiating in "good faith." There is also strong backing for new sanctions in the House of Representatives.


Obama publicly called on lawmakers to hold off on new sanctions to avoid disrupting his nuclear diplomacy -- taking place after more than three decades of Cold War-style antagonism between the Islamic republic and a nation it derides as the "Great Satan."


The hawkish members of the US Congress complained that the deal, due to come into force on January 20, gave too much up to Iran for too little in return. Lawmakers who support the bill say tough sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table and stiffer measures would increase Obama's leverage in talks between Tehran and the P5+1 group of world powers.


Some lawmakers have not taken kindly to warnings from the White House that backing more sanctions was effectively a vote for war. Some have been irked by White House warnings that voting for new sanctions could unleash a train of events that could lead to war with Iran, inviting trouble for USA and more expenditure for war. 



The Obama regime is denying claims that the interim deal reached after weeks of talks in Geneva, included a secret side deal on implementation.


While the USA and Iran have held direct talks for the first time in decades during a diplomatic thaw triggered by Rouhani's election last year, the foes are still estranged on a string of other geopolitical issues.


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