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Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Before the election the world endured edge of the seat tension as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to ‘unilaterally attack’ Iran. They were always going to be empty threats before the elections as Obama, having everything to lose before the election, avoided dragging the American people into another war for Israel by offering to support Netanyahu. Yet, despite appearing to shun Netanyahu’s request for support, we now know that in reality Obama, by allowing the fuel for war to be sold to Israel two years ago when Netanyahu came close to ordering an  attack, actually supports an attack against Iran. The massive build-up of US and allied forces in the Gulf region are also evidence that Obama is prepared to use force against Iran.

Now the elections are over and Obama is back in the White House. The difference this time, however, is that he is now a nothing-to-lose President who may well allow history to judge him knowing that the electorate will not get another opportunity.

One wonders how long it will be before Netanyahu begins, yet again, to pile up the pressure to attack Iran – and how long will it be before Obama gives Netanyahu the green light. Will it be before or after the Israeli elections in late January 2013?


Anonymous said...

Damian mate,

I was wondering what you think of the story this week of a recent incident where a yank Predator drone was shot at by Iranian jets?.

A few points leap to my mind;
1. Was it really an unarmed slow flying Predator and if it was, did the Iranians then think that this machine now armed these days was a potential threat?.
2. Its said by the yanks tobe 16 km from the coast of Iran in 'international airspace', but was it following the coastline contours or cutting across into Iranian airspace intermittently and so triggering an Iranian reaction?.
Even if the drone was 16km from the Iranian coastline and at medium altitude would its sensors really be able to see much inside Iran in terms of its cameras/thermal imagery or the lynx radar some can carry?.
What meaningfully could be achieved by such a drone flight?.
3. The 'fighters' were said to be Su-25's a radarless subsonic close air support jet, albeit armed with a potent 30mm gun, is this likely or an appropriate response to a slow flying drone?.
4. Finally, was this drone deliberately used as a deliberate provocation to demonise Iran to make it look like an aggressor?.

I'd appreciate your aeronautical analysis mate,

Nylon Shirt

Damian Lataan said...

G'day NS.

The way I read it was that the actual encounter took place 16 kms from the coast (which is over Iranian waters, not international waters)but there's no mention of where the drone had been or where it was when the Iranians supposedly got on to it. If the drone was in Iranian airspace and their aircraft launched to intercept it then even at just 600kmph chasing the drone out of Iranian airspace, it would have only taken less than two minutes to be out over the water into international airspace where, incidently, if the drone had been over Iran, the Iranians were still within their rights to shoot it down.

I don't understand, however, why the Iranians used their Su-25's for the job unless they happened to be the closest at the time. They are not interceptors, they are ground attack/strike aircraft and using a 30mm cannon air to air would be a tough ask for any jet jockey!

No, I think your fourth proposition is closer to the mark though I think the US were more likely simply testing Iranian air defence responses.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for your insights on this matter.
I agree with your puzzlement on aspects of this story.
Indeed, I read in todays 'The Australian' newspaper (12. Nov), that now they are saying the drone was 16 nmi or about 29 km from the Iranian coast!.
Methinks someone is either 'fact sloppy' in the media again (no surprise there) or the intent is to make it look like the Iranians went out of their way to attack the 'innocent' drone far from Iranian airspace.
Moreover, as we agree, just how could the Su-25's even find the drone without radar over these distances unless they were guided by radio and ground radar or chasing it over some time closer or in Iranian airspace?.
Agreed too, perhaps the Su-25's were just the closest in the area, unless the Iranians have a deliberate programe to utilise the Su-25's with their powerful gun as a 'drone killers' such is the frequence of yank drone harrassment (which the yanks acknowledge is happening).

I agree, it looks like a deliberate provocation by the yanks and to glean response times etc.
Perhaps they know the Iranianas have a 'drone killing' programme which I suggest?.
I'm only conjecturing though.
Thanks again mate.

Nylon Shirt