* Bush plans Iran attack from bases in Bulgaria and Romania *


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

America Œpoised to strike at Iran¹s nuclear sites¹ from bases in Bulgaria and 

Report suggest that ŒUS defensive ring¹ may be new front in war on terror. By 
Gabriel Ronay

PRESIDENT BUSH is preparing to attackIran'snuclearfacilities before the end of 
April and the US Air Force's new bases in Bulgaria and Romania would be used as 
back-up in the onslaught, according to an official report from Sofia.

"American forces could be using their two USAF bases in Bulgaria and one at 
Romania's Black Sea coast to launch an attack on Iran in April," the Bulgarian 
news agency Novinite said.

The American build-up along the BlackSea, coupled with the recent 
positioningoftwoUSaircraftcarrier battle groups off the Straits of Hormuz, 
appears to indicate president Bush has run out of patience with Tehran's nuclear
misrepresentation and non-compliance with the UN Security Council's resolution. 
President Ahmeninejad of Iran has further ratcheted up tension in the region by 
putting on show his newly purchased state of the art Russian TOR-Ml anti-missile
defence system.

Whether the Bulgarian news report is a tactical feint or a strategic event is 
hard to gauge at this stage. But, in 
conjunctionwiththebeefingupofAmerica'sItalian bases and the acquisition of 
anti-missiledefencebasesintheCzech RepublicandPoland,theBalkan developments seem
to indicate a new phase in Bush's global war on terror.

Sofia's news of advanced war preparations along the Black Sea is backed up by 
some chilling details. One is the setting up of new refuelling places for US 
Stealth bombers, which would spearhead an attack on Iran. "The USAF's 
positioning of vital refuelling facilities for its B-2 bombers in unusual 
places, including Bulgaria, falls within the perspective of such an attack." 
Novinite named colonel Sam Gardiner, "a US secret service officer stationed in 
Bulgaria", as the source of this revelation.

Curiously, the report noted that although Tony Blair, Bush's main ally in the 
global war on terror, would be leaving office, the president had opted to press 
on with his attack on Iran in April.

BeforetheendofMarch,3000US military personnel are scheduled to arrive "on a 
rotating basis" at America's Bulgarian bases. Under the US-Bulgarian military 
co-operation accord, signed in April,2006,anairbaseatBezmer, a second airfield 
at Graf Ignitievo and a shooting range at Novo Selo were leased 
toAmerica.Significantly,last year's bases negotiations had at one point run into
difficulties due to Sofia's demand "for advance warning if Washington intends to
use Bulgarian soil for attacks against other nations, particularly Iran".

Romania, the other Black Sea host to 
theUSmilitary,isenjoyingadollarbonanzaasitsMihailKogalniceanu base at Constanta 
is being transformed into an American "place d'arme". It is 

Last week,theBucharestdaily Evenimentual Zilei revealed the USAF is to site 
several flights of F-l5, F-l6 and Al0 
aircraftattheKogalniceanubase.AdmiralGheorgheMarin,Romania's chief of staff, 
confirmed "up to 2000 American military personnel wil lbe temporarily stationed 
in Romania".

InCentralEurope,theCzech Republic and Poland have also found themselves in the 
Pentagon's strategic focus. Last week, Mirek Topolanek, the Czech prime 
minister, and the country's national security council agreed to the siting of a 
US anti-missile radar defence system at Nepolisy. Poland has also agreed to 
having a US anti-missile missile base and interceptor aircraft stationed in the 

Russia, however, does not see the chain of new US bases on its doorstep as a 
"defensive ring". Russia's defence chief has branded the planned US anti-missile
missile sites on Czech and Polish soil as "an open threat to Russia".

SergeyIvanov, Russia's defence minister, spoke more circumspectly while 
emphasising Moscow's concern. He said:"Russia is not worried. Its strategic 
nuclear forces can assure in any circumstance its safety. Since neither Tehran 
,nor Pyongyang possess intercontinental missiles capable of threatening the USA,
from whom is this new missile shield supposed to protect the West? All it 
actually amounts to is that Prague and Warsaw want to demonstrate their loyalty 
to Washington."

Bush's Iran attack plan has brought into sharp focus the possible costs to 
Central and Eastern Europe of being "pillars of Pax Americana".

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