Monday, Sept. 18, 2006 12:43 a.m. EDT
Military Orders Suggest Iran Attack
Two recent orders by the American military have led some observers to conclude that the U.S. is preparing for an attack on Iran.
One order was a "Prepare to Deploy" command sent to a submarine, an Aegis-class cruiser, two minesweepers and two mine hunters, telling the ships’ commanders to be ready to move by Oct. 1.
The other was a request from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) for a fresh look at long-standing U.S. plans to blockade two Iranian oil ports on the Persian Gulf.
The orders created a buzz within the military because there are few places in the world where minesweepers could be significant – chief among them, the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, where about 40 percent of the world’s oil passes each day.
"Coupled with the CNO’s request for a blockade review, a deployment of minesweepers to the west coast of Iran would seem to suggest that a much discussed – but until now largely theoretical – prospect has become real: that the U.S. may be preparing for war with Iran,” according to a special report in Time magazine.