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Tuesday, May 18, 2010     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

NATO report calls Iran a 'major Article 5 threat'

LONDON — A NATO report said Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear programs constituted a major threat to the security of the Western alliance.

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The report, issued on May 17, warned that Teheran could launch an attack on NATO allies, including those in Europe.

"Defending against the threat of a possible ballistic missile attack from Iran has given birth to what has become, for NATO, an essential military mission," the report, authored by a group led by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, said.


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The report, which outlined NATO strategy, envisioned an Iranian attack on Europe by 2020, Middle East Newsline reported. NATO contains a principle known as Article 5 in which an attack against one member triggers a response by its colleagues.

"Iran's efforts to enrich nuclear fuel, develop nuclear weapons designs, and stockpile long-range ballistic missiles could create a major Article 5 threat to the alliance in this decade," the report, titled "NATO 2020: Assured Security, Dynamic Engagement," said.

The 55-page report, meant for submission to the NATO summit in November 2010, deemed the Middle East a key area for the Western alliance. NATO cited Iran, the Arab-Israel conflict and Al Qaida as leading security threats to member states, and urged cooperation with the Middle East and North Africa.

"Iran’s conventional weapons programmes, especially its anti-ship cruise missiles, raise concerns about the security of critical maritime trading routes," the report said. "Given the abundant international diplomatic activity focused on Iran and the obscurity of Teheran's intentions, it is unclear whether the difficulties posed by Iran will multiply or diminish in the years ahead. NATO should do all it can to encourage the latter possibility, while preparing itself for the former."

In 2004, NATO launched the so-called Istanbul Cooperation Initiative to improve relations with the Middle East. So far, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have joined ICI.

Seven Middle East states have been cooperating with NATO since 1994 under the Mediterranean Dialogue program. The report said the 2004 initiative has been hampered by competition among Western powers.

"Although potentially valuable, the ICI has been held back by a lack of common strategic vision and by rivalries among the partners and some allies," the report said. "Nonetheless, like the Mediterranean Dialogue, the ICI is helping to build needed security relationships and to open channels for regular dialogue."




Comments


Nancy: Because Iran is an Islamic nation. The MSM is more concerned with presenting Muslims as unfairly maligned and victimized.

Daniel90210      1:30 p.m. / Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This report is another piece of nonsense generated by the Western powers to try to strangle Iran. There is no reason on earth that Iran would attack a European country. Do the writers think that the leaders of Iran are idiots?

Quinterius      11:13 a.m. / Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Why isn't the mainstream media reporting on this???

Nancy Morgan      6:49 a.m. / Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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